Hello. First, I’d like to thank you very much for this interview. It’s not often that we have the chance to talk to such a creative artist. I deeply appreciated this. Please, I kindly ask you to introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi there! Thanks a lot for your words. So what can I say about myself?… Basically I am just a young guy from Austria who found his passion in deep atmospheres and the beauty of intense melodies. Since I did my first steps as a songwriter some years ago I just follow my vision to create songs that are able to express what I felt in moments that touched my soul in different ways.
While I love to make music with friends who share the same attitude, it was also time to do my very personal thing without external influences which forced me to start Anomalie some time ago. Meanwhile a lot has happened since then and now I have the pleasure to give some hopefully interesting interviews like this one! (laughs)
Your first full-length album with Anomalie features very deep and emotional music, something that, again, it’s not so often that we are able to hear. “Between the Light”, although being as I’ve mentioned before your début release with Anomalie, shows a mature artist. Could you talk a bit about the album and what were your main goals with this release?
“Between the Light” was a quite long journey for me. Everything started back in 2011 when I realized that I’ve written a bunch of songs just for my own joy which seemed to fit together well. You have to know that I was always more interested in writing songs in their entirety, finding new ways to create interesting song-structures etc. than being able to play the most hardest guitar solos in rock ‘n’ roll history. While other guys practice their technical skills for hours and hours, I like to write stuff including influences of very different types of music to improve my personal style of music without any mental boundaries.
So… I had some first songs for my new project, but no idea how to produce that stuff without investing money that I simply did not want to spend for a project which should be just for my own pleasure. More than a year passed by until I got the chance to record my material at the place of M. S. (a good friend and my bandmate at Harakiri for the Sky) who did a great job at all. I shared some songs for free via Youtube and a few weeks later I received some offers from different labels around Europe which was a big surprise for me. At the same time I met a young talented graphic artist who was interested in creating an artwork for me so suddenly everything was ready for an official release. Today it simply feels great to receive intense feedback from all over the world. Those songs are my heart and my soul and I am happy that there are people out there who share my vision!
This is, in a way, a question that I’ve asked Vanhelga and I feel that I must ask you as well. I always try to understand what’s going on in a musicians mind, but, of course, most of the times it’s impossible. Please, let us know how can you create such an atmosphere that is so varied, emotional, honest, depressive, anguishing and at the same time exquisite, splendid and stunning? I sincerely don’t think this is easy, that’s why I’d love to know the answer.
You are right, it is really a difficult question. To be honest I have no idea why I’m able to do what I do. I never took lessons to learn how to play a guitar, one day I thought it might be a good idea to buy a guitar, so I did and what I’ve done since then is just the result of my tries to create music displaying my emotions which words cannot describe. Other guys draw impressive pictures or they have found other ways to express their feelings but if I take a look at our society it seems like many people have never discovered their real passion. They are diverted by a world which is ruled by people who force us to become a part of their game at any cost. Many of us end up at a desk, working for a big useless company day in, day out without time to find something in life that defines everyone’s very personal uniqueness!
Some people described my sound as depressive, melancholic and negative which is just partly true in my opinion. Like the musical part handles the contrast between beauty and aggression, desperation and hope, also the lyrics contain many positive or hopeful aspects. Sometimes you have to read between the lines but I always try to keep some kind of rebellious spirit alive, because Anomalie is my way to come to terms with hard situations of my life which means it’s history now and I am a quite positive guy so giving up was never an option!
Inspiration is one of the most important elements when it comes to music. A rather obvious statement, but, lately, I’ve heard so many bands that lack it. Of course this doesn’t apply to Anomalie. Well, that being sad, I wanted to know what inspires you to create music, what do you feel that compels you to open your soul to your fans. And musically speaking, what are the main elements that inspire you when it comes to create your sound?
The instrumental songwriting is mostly influenced by a spontaneous gut feeling. I don’t know why but the most creative part of the day is usually somewhere between 01:00 a.m. and 04:00 a.m., maybe because my mind starts to reflect the past day(s) when the silent night allows my brain to let my mind flow. I try to write new stuff without thinking too much about it, as long as it feels smooth and natural it is the right way for Anomalie! There are no restrictions for this project which allows me to work completely liberate. Some upcoming songs will be quite far away from my Black Metal roots while others might be more aggressive than ever before, no one knows what’s next and that is a very good thing in my opinion.
Connected to the previous question and how about your lyrics. In my humble opinion they feel very profound and real, like you’ve really experienced what’s described there. I would like to ask you to talk about your lyrics, as they feel like poems and you can sense the anguish in them. As I said, the lyrics are real and not simply narrating something that the person never experienced before. Please, share with us your thoughts and visions about your lyrics and their deeper meanings.
Writing lyrics is clearly the most difficult part for me. Sometimes it needs months to find the right topic for a song because I won’t pick up any random themes just to finish a song as soon as possible. Every song has a special story behind it and those stories simply don’t happen every day, so sometimes I have to be very patient. It is essential to be able to identify myself with my songs at any time, which means Anomalie’s lyrics will always contain very personal thoughts and experiences, everything else would be meaningless crap.
What was the main reason that Anomalie is a one man band? Is it because you didn’t want others to “contaminate” your visions and feelings? And also, this is something that I enjoy getting to know the answers by musicians that are in one man bands, in your opinion, what are the main advantages and disadvantages on this matter?
Working alone is for sure the main difference between the songwriting of Anomalie and my other bands. Usually I want to talk to my bandmates first to declare in which direction we want to move on before I start to write stuff for a new album. Songs for Anomalie are much more spontaneous without a general masterplan. This kind of freedom allows an artist to do whatever he/she wants without respecting the taste of someone else. On the other hand the input of different musicians can force other creative dynamics, ideas which are based on the thoughts of your bandmates. This different ways of work are very interesting and full of certain advantages. I don’t want to miss both the extremely personal relationship to the music I’ve created just for myself as well as the strong connection to my bandmates after we have finished another album together.
You are also a member of the band Selbstentleibung, which has also released an album in 2014. Please, enlighten us about this band as well as Null | Negativ. For those that are familiar with Anomalie, but not with Selbstentleibung, do you think that Anomalie fans would also enjoy this band?
Selbstentleibung is my longtime band since I joined them lately after they wrote the debut “Emotionale Endsation”. Since the second album I took over the main-songwriting and we developed our style into something that’s still based on our Black Metal background but with lots of influences of Rock’n Roll as well as some hopeful Post-Punk elements, reflecting the longing for personal freedom which symbolizes the main contrast to our topics around the mental and sometimes even physical isolation of people who try to think different in our world full of rules and predefined opinions.
I’m sure not all fans of Anomalie would like the sound of Selbstentleibung as well, but those who have no problem with quite extreme vocals and a more straight-forward style of Black Metal are welcome to check out some tracks on Youtube for a first impression!
Can you tell us a bit about the work with the label “Art of Propaganda” and how satisfied you are with it? I must add that they have a very impressive roster, with bands like Anomalie, Harakiri for the Sky and Vanhelga, How much do you feel that the label has helped you?
My choice to work with “Art of Propaganda” was influenced by our experiences of his collaboration with Harakiri for the Sky, in which I am active as a live member and manager, so I already knew about the qualities of this very good working label and I it was definitely the right decision. The man behind the company became a friend very soon and his support is amazing, he makes a major contribution to the success of his bands. Because of his passioned encouragement we were for instance already able to tour with Vanhelga and Kall in Sweden this year which was also a great opportunity to promote Anomalie at the show’s merch stands. Art of Propaganda is not a major institution on the global metal market of course, but I am sure both the label and his bands will continue their great work which attracts the hardly deserved attention of more and more people worldwide!
How do you feel about the Austrian scene nowadays? In the past there were classic bands, which are still active, but I personally feel that the scene is richer nowadays. What are your thoughts and feelings over this subject? And how friendly are the bands to each other? Is there a bond between the Austrian bands?
The scene in Austria is definitely alive! We are a small country, not very well known for a high-quality metal scene but during the last few years a hand full of very promising and interesting bands started to work harder than our average local bands and it looks like our way is not that wrong at all. I’ve seen more and more shows in many different countries with Austrian bands participating which is a great thing for all of us. Of course not everyone likes everyone, but in general we treat each other with respect and meanwhile I’ve started to support some promising Austrian acts with my own agency “A Dying Spirit – Management & Booking”. If you want to check out some interesting stuff from Austria feel free to have a look at Asphagor, Our Survival Depens on Us, Ellende, Doomina, Pastor, Ewig Frost, Infestus, Sakrileg, Groteskh, Echelon,… just to name a few!
What does the future holds for Anomalie? I know it’s very early to ask, since you’ve just released an album, but do you feel that you might release another one soon? I’m sure many would love that, as we need more sincere and creative releases, such as yours. We are eager to know what’s in the future for the band.
Actually I’m already working on the next album since a few months. A lot of songs are nearly finished instrumentally and I am currently preparing some kind of basic lyrical concept for those songs. This time I won’t play all instruments by myself because I think the result will be much better if I am able to concentrate on guitars and vocals only which means that I have already recruited some very talented session members for drums and bass-guitar. At the moment everything looks like we will enter the studio in March 2015. I hope we can fix that soon, due to our intense lifestyle full of different bands, work, studies and private life it’s really difficult to find some dates where everyone is available, but as I said before it looks good for early 2015!
And we’ve come to the part where I ask a few things about you, the man behind the music and not about it. I always point out that it’s nothing that will invade your privacy, of course. I simply ask you what are your main interests and passions outside the band/ bands. Are there any favorite activities that you enjoy doing out of the music world? Any favorite movies or movies genre, books, outdoor activities, anything that you’d like to share with us and talk about it.
Beside my work as a musician I am active in the music business as a booking agent and manager while I am currently studying sound engineering as well, so you see it looks like a quite unbalanced way of life. To keep motivated and mentally fresh for so much “music stuff” it’s really important to find ways to cool down and think about other things in life. My family, my friends and last but not least my girlfriend build the major part of my everyday life and I am glad to have so many reliable people around me.
Unfortunately I have not much time for time-consuming hobbies but I love to leave civilization behind from time to time, it’s always a magical experience to spend some hours apart from modern society at a lake in the mountains to get rid of our worries about the stressful world we all have to dwell within. When it comes to movies and books my taste is very similar to my musical favorites – I simply love the symbiosis of a profound story, strong pictures, honest emotion and deep atmospheric sounds. A good book creates those elements in the reader’s head, so I’m exceedingly impressed by people who are able to build their own world just by using words without any other optical or acoustical tools.
Alas we reach the end of this interview. One more time I would like to thank you very much for your time and answers. I also would like to wish you the best in your future plans, both personal and professional ones. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thank you for your big interest in Anomalie, I hope to get the chance talk to you again after the release of my next album! Thanks to everyone who supports Anomalie, I really appreciate that! Over and out.
https://www.facebook.com/ADS.managementJuly 16, 2014