October 2004 - ANTICLIMAX
Does anyone remember bands like Ripcord or Electro Hippies? Well, those powerful gangs were part of the upcoming British hardcore invasion in the mid-80's, and have influenced a lot of other bands with their whirlwind-like sonic assault. One of the most famous groups were the legendary Extreme Noise Terror, who created a sound somewhere between Disorder and Napalm Death (in the early days). ANTICLIMAX are also hailing from the UK and they are really close to the above mentioned bands. Their second demo "At The Mountains Of Noid" destroyed my speakers and brain-cells for several times. Aggressive and intense as hell.....like a horde of pitbulls on speed, but still catchy and skillful....that are only a few words to describe ANTICLIMAX and it's simply the truth. Due to the reason that this bands is still very unknown outside of the UK, and the Cosmic Lava loves to discover ambitious underground bands, it was time to sent over some questions to this group. Here is the result...
Well, let's start with how long you've been together?
Ceri: It's been two years since the three of us started jamming together, but Greg & I have been playing music together for about ten years.
Some weeks ago you've sent me your brand new demo "At the Mountains of Noid", but you also had recorded a rough six song tape in 2000. What's the main difference between both releases?
Ceri: The tape 'D.I.Y. Style' was recorded by ourselves live as a two piece, the songs were more basic, we were just having a laugh. We worked alot harder on 'At the Mountains of Noid' and we'd been playing as a band for awhile, but the energy remains the same on both.
"A.T.M.O.N" is an ultra-aggressive killer demo with a powerful production (except of the drum sound), but bass, guitar and vocals are very much upfront. Are you satisfied with the mix and how many days have you needed to finish the recordings?
Ceri: Overall yes, we like the rawness of it. It's a shame the drums had to be turned down, that was because the volume of the cymbals and hi-hats bled through into the other drum tracks. Our friend Jeff Lang recorded it for us, we liked the production he'd given his own band ROACHVILLE.
Yan: It's difficult to be 100% happy with any recordings, especially as we don't have money for proper studio time. Our mate Jeff had brought a bunch of recording gear and offered us an afternoon to record, as the guinea pigs for the new equipment, that's when we recorded 'Lord of Unrest' and 'Struggle of Years'. We then hired a local hall, threw the equipment in and got the rest of the songs down. So it took us two days all up. Noyce one to Jeff who captured the sounds!
Have you sent the demo only to 'zines, or have you contacted record label, too? How was the response, and when can we expect the first proper release from ANTICLIMAX?
Ceri: We've sent a few off to labels. To be honest it's always been one of our goals to receive a rejection letter, we've got one of those now haha! There's a few labels interested in using songs for compilations but that's about it. Of course we'd love a proper release and to go on tour to promote it, but we'll have to wait and see what happens.
Who writes the songs?
Ceri: The songs on the demo are built around Greg's riffs, when a riff came up which we all liked we'd run with it and hammer the structure out in the jam room. The new songs come from both Yan and Greg, then all three of us work on what's best and what direction we want the song to take. We always try to do something a little different from what we've done before.
I think, your sound is deeply rooted in mid-80's UK hardcore, when bands like Electro Hippies, Ripcord or Extreme Noise Terror were sending out their shockwaves over the earth. How do you define the music, because it's unavoidable but people always use labels.
Greg: AntiClimax is basically about welding together various sub-genres within HC and metal, Yeah you got the mid 80's HC thing going on, as well as your early grind and Japanese hardcore. Thinking of a label for ourselves can be a headache! We’re just a heavy band trying to make good music.
Yan: It is difficult to explain without using names, genres or labels. The way I look at it is, Greg's riffs can span rock, stoner, thrash, crust and so on. They are all chucked into a vat and stirred around and brought to the boil, some chemical reaction takes place and pops out at the mountains of noid.
Ceri: I think you've hit the nail on the head there Klaus, as far as the demo is concerned. Live the band is a different and changeable beast, yet the influence of bands like ENT is always apparent.
The above mentioned bands were mainly focused on political stuff, particularly ENT. What are your main topics? Do you consider ANTICLIMAX as a band with political intentions?
Greg: We don't have a political standpoint with this band. My lyrics are merely ramblings about the futility of existence, despair, grief... Anti-humanist sentiments with a good dose of ole-fashioned hatred and disgust. I like the idea that people don't know what I'm saying as it builds a better picture in their minds.
Yan: No real political points, just let Ozzy be Prime Minister!
You've played a lot of shows, also together with well-know acts like Orange Goblin, Sloth (UK) or Iron Hearse. What have been your best shows and what have been your worst ones?
Ceri: The worst one has got to be the first one opening for BLACK EYE RIOT. None of us had played live before, and we got drunk before we played. Halfway through the third song Greg blew BER's guitar head, they weren't too pleased. I've got a recording of the gig, it's just pure noise broken up by insults yelled from punks in the crowd. After we played an old DISCHARGE drummer got up and played a keyboard and sang punk songs.
Greg: One of my favourite shows was playing with Orange Goblin and Sloth, we had a great sound that night and the place was packed! There's lots of others that have been good for different reasons, but that one sticks out. Oh yeah, and then there's the one with the smoke machine haha!
Ceri: That one was with MULCH and DETONATION. DETONATION were on tour from Holland and had brought loads of gear with them, including a smoke machine, the place we were playing was pretty small and it filled with smoke in no time, I couldn't even see past my cymbals when I was playing! Great gig!
How often do you play?
Ceri: As often as possible, if we don't have a gig coming up for a few weeks we work on writing new material.
Do you guys have a good stage presence?
Yan: It's not for us to say really, I recon we can keep people entertained for awhile.
Greg: I get bored standing in one place too long, I can't wait until we go platinum, so I can invest in a radio pack for my guitar and a cordless microphone. The biggest limitation is where the mic stand is anchored and the length of my instrument cable.
Ceri: We'd like to think so, there's nothing more boring than watching a band rooted to the spot. It's good for a band to be exciting to watch as well as to listen to.
ANTICLIMAX hailing from Swansea in South Wales, UK. To be honest, I have no informatios about Swansea, so I like to ask you about it. Is it a big industrial city with a diverse music scene or the total opposite (a village where only shepherds live)?
Greg: Swansea is at the end of the line for most touring bands. Not many bands want to play here because there's nowhere else to go except back towards London, but things are getting better. It's good to see some busy folks putting on good shows and bringing good bands down from around the country and the occasional appearance of 'name' bands like CATHEDRAL, HIGH ON FIRE, ELECTRIC WIZARD, CLUTCH etc etc. Apart from that it's mostly covers bands and pub rock, with a few exceptions.
Ceri: The only shepherds are the confused drunken tramps.
Do you have a job or do you suffer under unemployment (or maybe enjoyin' it)?
Ceri: At the moment we're all unemployed, which is bad as it affects the band in that it's a struggle to raise cash for the jam room, or sticks, or strings, or transport to gigs...
Greg: I am thinking of becoming a heroin mule for a Columbian drug cartel, and having my toes amputated by medical students so I can afford a set of strings and a warm after show pint of whore's piss.
Your band info closes with the sentence "ANTICLIMAX intend to keep gigging, progressing, writing and recording for many years". So, what are your future plans for late 2004 and early 2005?
Ceri: We're going to keep progressing in our song writing approach and gig further and further from home, hook up with the friends we're making in other bands, play their town and sleep on their floor. Then we're going to record again once we've fine tuned the new songs.
Yan: Take over the world and kill boy and girl bands, torture them a bit first though.
Greg: Yeah we want the songs to grow more epic and heavy. Get in the van!
Thanks a lot for your answers! Is there anything you want to add at least?
Ceri: Thanks for the support Klaus, spread the word!
Yan: Noyce one for the "A.T.M.O.N" review too!