Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about ANAHATA (Members, Starting Year etc).
Kyle: I actually wrote the first 2 songs found on our demo (The Thunderer and Son of Fate) while living in Germany in 2013/2014. They sat as unused mp3s on my computers and phones as I moved around and pursued other projects. I was always very fond of those songs, and once I got Instagram and started interacting with people on there, I found Ioan and Jack simply through mutual interests besides music. One day I saw Ioan uploaded a story of him strumming an acoustic and singing and I greatly admired his voice so I asked him if he'd like to lay down vocals for 2 old songs I had. Same with Jack; he had a story of him just absolutely shredding his guitar and I inquired if he'd be interested in contributing. They both obviously said yes, and when they sent me back their tracks I was blown away. It re-ignited a massive conflagration in my heart for making music, of which I had taken about a 4/5 year hiatus. This led to an absolute lightning whirlwind of writing on my part resulting in Auspicious Atavism.
You have recently released your album ''Auspicious Atavism''. What is the Feedback from your audience as well as from the Press?
Kyle: The reception for the album has been incredible. The greatest and most in depth review and discussion of the album has come from the gentlemen over at the Terminus Extreme Metal Podcast. I have never been so flattered with such a passionate discussion of music I have been a part of creating. Naturally, the majority of our friends and contemporaries have spoken highly of the product as well, and we are indebted to their passions and support. We have received a very comfortable amount of congratulatory messages and requests for interviews. I think our appearance seemingly out of nowhere within the span of just a few months resulted in a substantial amount of intrigue. Jack Donovan hosted me for an interview over at his new site ph2t3r.com on the day of our album launch which gave us gargantuan exposure right out of the gate. I think it's natural to assume that over the coming months, word will spread, and more people will discover us. I can only hope that as people find the torrents and free hosted downloads on various blogs (which I don't really mind, I'm ecstatic that people are interested enough in our music to host and share it!) that they will support us by following on Instagram or Bandcamp, and consider buying some merch!
Label or DIY and why?
Ioan: In my experience it really depends on the project. But for years I've done DIY or small label releases for various different releases.To me it is the truest way you can connect to your initial fans, and those people who are gonna support you from then on out. Putting releases out with no PR and literally just letting your creation slip into these tight knit facebook groups, and surf through various forums is excellent not only for you, but for that type of person whos gonna be up past their bedtime and go ‘holy shit, this is crazy’ and realize he's one of the first to find it. It's the inquisitive types of listeners who find you through these channels. The type of dude who's gonna read every lyric, and try and understand every bit of your project. There is a mutual understanding that you both want each other to be immersed in this thing that you built from the ground up, and that you want help in showing it to others. It really drove my love for the early dungeon synth scene and brought me back to my younger days of stumbling across something truly special. But of course big labels are fantastic for other reasons, and they are often discredited for some unfair reasons in my personal opinion.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Ioan: For the Same reason I would say DIY, I will always prefer Vinyl and Cassette to anything else. Nothing like trading with a German online for 4 of his cassettes for one of your more notable Vinyls. Getting a physical release of some strange and eldritch piece of music and noticing the various different details and levels of passion that had gone into the creation of it is entirely why I love metalheads, and the metal scenes I operate within.
Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Kyle: I'll actually get some disgusted looks from metal purists if I start listing my primary influences for writing. I listen to pretty well everything and have been known to pull influence from some large pop artists over the years. What I find particularly intriguing is comparisons to contemporary bands or when people say things like "oh he must be a fan of ______" when I have seldom heard of the band or bands that are mentioned! This to me, says that we are collectively riding an energetic wave that is permeating and boiling up in the subconscious of the men and women in these circles. It is something that is screaming to be born again. Archetypes that are stirring from the depths of the psyche, stirred into wakefulness by the nearness of the Grail and the sweltering heat of the coming Solar Renaissance. Ultimately, my influences and inspirations are seldom other bands or musicians, but rather concepts. What does the Fool's journey to the Grail Keep sound like? What is the soundtrack to inhaling the Fumes that exude from the cleft in the rock at Delphi? We seek to give sonic presence to the subtle music of the spheres of high heaven.
Ioan: For a project like Anahata which -at its roots- exude the magic and mystery of myth and legend I have a great amount of inspiration from not only bands but sagas and stories in which first drew me to the music I listened to in my youth (i.e Manowar, Blind Guardian, Ensiferum, etc). But surprisingly enough the biggest musical inspiration I drew for this project was blackmetal outfits such as Macabre Omen, and Bathory in terms of the raw emotion you can feel in their vocals and lyrics. Its bands that have albums and songs that scream ‘i don't care if its out of key, it sounds fucking powerful’ which really gave me the mana needed to belt out some of these absolute bangers Kyle made.
Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
Ioan: I could write a novel on artistic sacrifice I think! But to keep it short and to the point, I think the #1 thing any decent artist needs to sacrifice if he/she is to continue making good music is hubris. The idea that your fans will always be there -or more important still- the idea that you will have fans right away. My first experience with releasing music was not at all what I thought it was going to be. I sat there with a complete folk metal album thinking the record deals would come pouring in (give me a break I was 14) but instead what I got was a review I had to translate from Cyrilic which said my vocals sounded worse than a dying boar. Needless to say I decided to keep the ‘boar’ motif throughout everything I did from then on out, hence the name Eofor (boar in old English). But all in all I think it’s very important to understand that you need to earn your place with everything you do, and just because the first record didn't blow up doesn't mean you're never going to make it. Nor should you bank on being famous or rich one day, because my god are you in the wrong business if you are doing it simply for the money. Aim higher than everyone else and stay grounded and ready for the offense.
Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
Kyle: As we are spread out by thousands of kilometres and an ocean, we actually have never met one another. However, when the day comes that Anahata is able to perform live, we will absolutely ensure beyond any shadow of a doubt to bring only the highest standard of live performance. The days of musicians thinking it is acceptable to simply hit the stage in a t-shirt and jeans are gone and must never be allowed to return. Metal - and particularly traditional, epic heavy metal - demands a visual feast to accompany the triumphant soundscape. Some aspects may be reigned in depending on venue limitations of course, but at the very least, costumes, props, PERFORMANCE and passion! It is not enough to merely "play music"; one must SHOW the music and the ideals that birthed the songs. Tell us and show us a mythic tale to inspire and amaze. That is the way forward, particularly as live music comes forth from this hibernation. It must reawaken with a fiery passion.
Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Kyle: This ties somewhat in with what I mentioned above in regards to live performances. There is an infinite swath of new bands coming forth thinking for some reason that THEIR macabre imagery of skulls, leather, spikes, and flames is much more unique. This is not to say that these gentlemen don't often make wonderful music; but these bands simply drown in the sea of monotonous contemporaries. As I scroll through labels, suggested Instagram pages, zines, and lists of new releases I grow increasingly weary of rehashed, repeated, and worn out concepts and themes. How many promotional pictures of "super serious" looking guys with crossed arms wearing band shirts must I see? I am much more likely to check out a band if I see something out of the ordinary - even if the music ends up being somewhat generic, the image alone will have won the chance for me to indulge. Give us something new, tread the path less travelled. Only then will something truly divine reveal itself, as that is not for the masses.
Ioan: I've always found it very important to understand what made your inspirations better than all of their contemporary competition, and why it still holds up against anything coming out in the present. What you typically find is what most people don't see coming at all. And that is influence from multiple genres. There isn’t a single good record out there in metal that hasn’t -at least in some way- found influence from a genre most of the band’s fans would never think of touching with a ten foot pole. If all I did was listen to pagan blackmetal on cassette and scoff at everything else I would probably only ever make a lesser version of that genre (which would still be fucking sick but you know). So for those that don't think I listen to Kate Bush and go ‘oh fuck yea’ on the way to recording powerful solar metal… think again.
Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
Ioan: I think like all things in the music scene of today that Bandcamp has its place, but shouldn't be looked at as a great source of income. It's absolutely fantastic for community building and finding people of a like mind. Back in the day I met some of my closest friends on sites like Last.Fm and was able to find some music I still can't live without through them and sites like it. But if we're talking money, and people being less greedy, I must say that sites like Spotify could be doing a lot more for Artists, and are not as ‘hand-tied’ as they make themselves out to be. But like all great myths show us, if you don't want to be swallowed by Cronos then you must find a way to help yourself out of the belly of those that wish to drown you and your kin. Its very important to adapt and remain creative and dependant away from sites like that.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Ioan: I know that Greece has been fantastic for myths, history, music and art. So I see no reason why it wouldn't be just as fantastic for its subcultures such as its metal scene. Though I could do with some more recommendations on that front outside of Rotting Christ and Macabre Omen.
What are your future plans?
Kyle: Ioan will undoubtedly be much more musically active than me, and Jack is a working musician who constantly has projects and jobs on the go. Ioan has releases coming forward under a massive assortment of project names and genres. His primary band Unbowed is set to release a new album very soon, and his pummeling black metal project "Hirsi" along with our valiant producer Alex Snape of Nomadic Arts Studios and Zack Janson who wrote and contributed the synth tracks "The Atavist", "Hymn to Lykeios", and "Death of a Hero" on our album. These 3 guys are definitely who metal and generally music fans should keep an eye on.That said, as with most musicians, I am always sitting on a stockpile of riff and song ideas and we fully intend to forge ahead towards a second Anahata album which will likely be available around this time next year. I can't bring myself to sit inside writing and recording ideas through the summer as Apollo casts his rays down on us, the days are long and warm, and nature calls fervently out to us.
Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.