The Last and Final Antichrisis Album
When I started Antichrisis in 1995, the world was a different place: back then demo tapes were still sent to labels, music was preferably released on records or CDs, and if you were one of the chosen few to get a record deal, you went into a studio to record a complete album within a given (and usually far too tight) time frame.
Times have changed a lot since then: sales figures for CDs and vinyls have declined drastically, home recording has taken off whereas the number of studios declined just as much as the number of major labels, and instead of sales figures for CDs and vinyls, streaming figures and YouTube-clicks are much more important nowadays.
Some may regret this trend, but one of its positive side effects is the democratisation of music production and distribution. Today basically anyone with a computer and appropriate software (although musical talent is definitely not a disadvantage at this point) can publish proper songs - and you don’t have to get involved with producers or labels to achieve that goal.
But what does all this have to do with Antichrisis? Well, for some years now we’ve become also one of those bands/projects that record and produce their songs in their own home studio and release them completely on their own. Since "Not Fade Away" all our albums have been released exclusively as digital downloads, but over time we realised that the demand for these albums was decreasing more and more, whereas some our songs were literally skyrocketing on several streaming portals.
So we came to the conclusion that releasing an album could be no longer appropriate - and to be honest: we are neither sad nor miserable about this, because we too have often been wondering whether album releases would still be making sense for us at all.
From a commercial point of view this might bring some disadvantages, because in the music press and other relevant media only albums are taken seriously and therefore are getting featured and promoted accordingly.
However, this only applies to albums released on CD or vinyl; digital downloads by independent artists are largely ignored by editors because these artists can neither place expensive ads in magazines nor afford inordinate PR-appointments for journalists. That is why the perception of Antichrisis in the media has subsided since we went down the Do-it-Yourself-road, although we’ve been still releasing albums.
Our decision not to publish CDs or vinyls any more but to rely exclusively on digital downloads instead has mainly to do with the fact that in times of climate change we all should be re-considering how we want to deal with environmental pollution. And producing CDs and/or vinyls is raw material wastage that is no longer necessary in this day and age, as in the majority of cases digital distribution works pretty well.
But apart from the whole environmental issue, our decision not to release albums furthermore also has to do with our mode of operation: In the past we went into a studio to record a complete album within a few weeks, but nowadays home recording allows us a completely different approach. We are often working on many songs simultaneously, but only a few of them are suitable for an album release, because an album always requires a certain coherence or homogeneity of the material it contains. But what do you do if you are working on an EDM track, a piano ballad and an ambient piece at the same time? What happens when you have finished these tracks and would like to release them, but you don't know whether you will write other pieces of music in a similar vein in the future, so that a coherent album emerges?
Antichrisis has simply evolved artistically in such a way that neither me nor Ayuma want to limit ourselves to any restrictions of musical style of fashion: if we feel like writing and producing a moody synth track, then that's what we'll do, whereas the next song could turn out to be an utterly noisy piece of guitar rock - but it's almost impossible to achieve a coherent album sequencing with that approach.
However, if we put aside the thought of an album release, we can release a single track as soon as it's finished, and you wouldn't have to wait several years until another Antichrisis album is ready to be released.
From a musician’s perspective it is definitely much more satisfying to be able to release a song as soon as it is mixed and mastered, instead of having to put it on hold because another 8 tracks have to be finished first in order to finally have enough material for an entire album.
Hence our next album for which we have already written all songs will also be the last and final Antichrisis album, because we will be releasing only single tracks prospectively as soon as they are finished.
And don't get us wrong: albums like "Cantara Anachoreta", "A Legacy of Love" or "Not Fade Away" were just the right thing for us to do at the time of their release - but as aforementioned, times have changed and our music is written and produced in a different context nowadays. But that won’t affect the musical quality of our songs in any way; it’ll just give us the chance to expand our ways of musical expression even further than before - and that is something every ambitious musician is trying to achieve.
"Foxfire" Is Finally There!
The completion of "Foxfire“ took much more time than we had expected. This was mainly due to the fact that we both were buggered by some troublesome health issues since the release of "Not Fade Away“: whether it was pneumonia, tinnitus, blood poisoning or depression — you name it, we had it!
But much to my surprise, "Foxfire“ almost formed itself on its own: many songs were written, recorded and some of them got discarded — but when the core of the album finally began to emerge, I realised that this album turned into some kind of review of my life so far, with all its ups and downs. Given my advanced age, such a review is not at all surprising, indeed. That said it isn’t a look back in anger, but a rather forgiving and sometimes astonished look at all the years that lie behind me which made me the person I am today.
That is also the reason why I am going back to my musical roots with songs like "Romeo“, "Last Night“, "St. Materiana“ or "The Night is Still Young“, as I felt that I should pay some kind of tribute to the heydays of the Punk scene that I grew up in. And there is also a new version of "Goodbye to Jane" to be found on this album, because that song, which goes back to the first Antichrisis demo "Missa Depositum Custodi“, has always been very close to my heart.
On the occasion of the release of "Foxfire“, Kurt Mitzkatis
of German Rock e.V.
did a very profound interview with me on Rockradio
(in German only), which you can listen to here
And the legendary Fatal Unterground-zine
wrote a pretty comprehensive review of "Foxfire“ which can be found in the reviews-section
of their website (German only, too).
With "Foxfire“ an important chapter of Antichrisis comes to an end, because with our next album Ayuma and me will take a completely different route in terms of songwriting and sound. And we do keep our fingers crossed that this forthcoming album won’t take us another 8 years to finish.
An Interim Report on Foxfire
It’s been a long time since the last blog entry — but don’t worry: there’s still a lot going on under Antichrisis’ hood. We’re still working on our upcoming album “Foxfire”, and I’m really excited about those new tracks that we’ve recorded so far. In order to give you an idea what “Foxfire” will be all about, here’s a few production notes on some of the songs that’ll appear on the album:
After the War: A rousing dystopian Electronica track, much in the vein of old classics like “Crossing the Line” or “The Point of No Return”. It deals with the subject of what will become of mankind if we stick with warfare, pollution and nationalism.
Close-Hauled: Melancholic Folk Rock inspired by North Cornwall’s rugged coastline. The story of a ghostly crew coming back for the soul of a lighthouse keeper whose delinquency lead to their death one stormy night.
Goodbye to Jane: One of Ayuma’s all-time favourites: she always wanted to do her own version of that song and so we re-arranged and re-recorded it in a way that sounds a bit like Nine Inch Nails would encounter The Jesus & Mary Chain.
Gravity on Mars: What happens if promises and hearts are broken and love fails? This gloomy acoustic guitar ballad will tell you. Sad & sweet but also with the silver lining of hope at the end that has become some kind of trademark for Antichrisis.
Is Anybody There?: As you might already know, I’m a sucker for those 80’s Synth Pop-acts like Soft Cell, Yazoo, or OMD. And as I’m also a big fan of Stuart A. Staples and Stephin Merritt, I thought it could be a great idea to merge these two preferences and create a catchy Synth Pop-ballad dealing with a guy who walks the streets alone at night.
Last Night: I’ve grown up with the first wave of British Punk — and the older I get, the more I’m fond of these musical roots. And though I do love to fiddle around with keyboards and synthesizers, it still feels great to plug in the electric guitar, turn up the volume and bang around on high speed — not the hardcore, but the melodic way. “Last Night” is all about the anger and the desperation - and its music sounds exactly like it.
Lost & Found: From Punk Rock to orchestral music: A love song written for my wonderful wife Ayuma; done in a rather unorthodox way just with harp, English horn and clarinet. No drums and guitars to be found here.
Loving You So Long: Oh, I just love guitar-driven disco songs: Blondie, Gang of Four, New Order, Gossip — they’ve all done really great stuff when it comes to that kind of music. Hence I came up with this “Four to the Floor”-track that also provides a very snappy bass line.
Like a Snow Walk: Not really sure it that’s going to be the definite title of that song as we’re still working on the lyrics momentarily, but it’s nevertheless a great track with tribal drumming, uplifting keyboards and a hymnal piano line, which could be because of some indeterminate Ultavox-Midge Ure-inflluences.
The Night’s Still Young: Getting back to these old punk roots: a song about what it felt like when we were young, it was Saturday night and there was something in the air that promised adventures and brill fantastic incidents. The night was ours, and it usually kicked off Friday evening and finished in the early hours of Monday morning.
She Lay Waiting: This is exactly what you’ll get when you put Pink Floyd, Anathema, Lee Hazlewood and Oasis in the blender and operate the damn thing on full speed: walls of guitars crushing down in that song that came to me during our journey to the Baltic Sea two years ago.
St. Materiana: Yet another song inspired by and about the sea. This time it takes place in Tintagel, Cornwall, and it deals with the subject of star-crossed lovers. If that topic was good enough for William Shakespeare, it’s definitely still good enough for Antichrisis. Except for the fact what Mr. Shakespeare didn’t use Metal-drenched Punk Rock for background music.
Subways of Time: Things get a bit unusual here: A country waltz played by piano and strings? But don’t worry: It just works! A sparse but doleful ballad about the passing of time and remembering the ones we once shared parts of our lives with.
You Could Not Follow Me: Now comes the marching band. Honestly… Like young Leonard Cohen would have a little get-together with Procol Harum at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Rather odd but catchy!
These are just some of the tracks of our preselection for “Foxfire”: Could be that there will be some additional tracks, too; but it could also be that one or two of the aforementioned songs will be discarded in favour of some other tracks — let’s just wait and see. We haven’t set a release date for “Foxfire” yet as some of its songs are still in the making, but as soon as we’re reaching the mastering stage we’ll let you know.
New Album "Baduhenna" Out Now
There once was a most beautiful planet called Eorthe
But mankind really fucked it up
Only a few survived Dōmes Dæg
Two tribes emerged: Enoe and Mandoag
Mandoag tried to hunt us down with their spiral wings
They built bastilles that we absconded from
Beware of Mandoag searchlights
Her boat was waiting for us on the shore
We cried when we saw what we had done
How could we be so ignorant?
Even the crows had disappeared
We built Baduhenna with our last resources
We gotta get away although we could have had it all
The last rite before the take off
Our spaceship on a preset course to Alpha Canis Majoris
We're desperate and scared: there is no home anymore
It's so dark and cold out there
There's no return
Au revoir, Terre
We just released our movie score to A. Forster's SciFi filmlet "Baduhenna". This score was quite a challenging task as "Baduhenna" turned out to be a movie without any dialogue: like in the silent film era the music had to underscore the entire movie reflecting the emotions of all characters of the pursued Enoe tribe.
The soundtrack album contains the original motion picture edit as well as all its tracks separately (for those of you who prefer to listen to single tracks or wish to download individual tracks). We've also included bonus tracks "Understanding Everything" and "There Were Crows (Snowflakes Mix)" as they fitted just perfectly to the album's over-all atmosphere.
"Baduhenna" is completely different from previous works of Antichrisis as we had never done a score before. Just like our previous album "Not Fade Away" it comes as digital download only and is available at Bandcamp, on iTunes, Amazon and lots of other digital market places.
Although this movie score is entirely based on synths and keyboards, it doesn’t mean that we won’t be doing our more “traditional” stuff any more. On the contrary: Antichrisis' next album “Foxfire” will definitely pick up the threads of “Not Fade Away” again.
“Not Fade Away” released on CD
Good news for all Antichrisis-fans in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus: renowned Russian label Irond has released a licensed version of “Not Fade Away” on CD, including a beautifully designed booklet. The collaboration with Irond was a really pleasant experience, and they did a great job -- so check it out on their website
New Antichrisis Album Released
Here we go: Antichrisis’ new album “Not Fade Away”
is finally available as download-only edition via Bandcamp
as of now for a minimum price of €7.00 and a minimum price of €0.50 for individual songs (if you feel like paying more you’re welcome; if not enjoy the decent price tag, anyway) .
I’ve also taken the chance for overhauling Antichrisis’ website because I’ve had it up to here with black — and also because Holger Warschkow of Dark Feather suggested that it’d be time for a new Antichrisis logo. At first I hesitated because I really love the original monicker (no wonder as I’ve been doodling it by myself), but after giving it a second thought I came to the conclusion that Holger was right: Antichrisis has gone through so many changes since I’ve started the project in 1998 and the new logo somehow represents the new musical horizons that we’ve set sails to perfectly.
“Not Fade Away” seems to be just the right title for that album because many of you might have got the impression over the last years that Antichrisis may have possibly ceased to exist. But Antichrisis is still up and running though no longer as the sextet that we’ve used to be, but as a duo consisting of yours truly and Ayuma
instead. And not only have Ayuma
& me gotten this album together but we’re already working on a lot of new tracks; so Antichrisis definitely hasn’t faded away but is rather bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as it were.
This new album is also the first album in Antichrisis’ history that is released as a digital download only, without an external record company (Blue Yonder Records is our very own label) or an external producer: everything was done by ourselves, from cover artwork to the recording sessions in our home studio, as well as from production to mastering. Hence we may not have reached the perfection of previous releases like “A Legacy of Love Mark II” but Ayuma
and me are nevertheless very satisfied and proud of what we’ve achieved with that kind of DIY-work ethic.“Not Fade Away”
is the perfect epitome of what Antichrisis 2012 is all about. We’re not longer the Doom/Metal/Goth-outfit that we’ve started with “Cantara Anachoreta”
because we’ve been embracing a lot of musical styles and influences on our way to this day and age. Of course you’ll still find Post Punk and Gothic elements in tracks like “Here Comes The Night”
but we’ve also developed further into the direction of Electronica and Dancefloor with songs like “Ocean’s Too Wide”
, “The Point of No Return”
and “Crossing The Line”
Apart from that there’s still Antichrisis’ search for the perfect pop song that we’re keeping up with “The Fire Went Out”
, “Creatures of a Jade Lagoon”
or “Walking With Angels”
, our love for Indie & Alternative guitar sounds that’s shimmering through “Who You Are”
; our passion for Irish music that’s reflected by songs like “Restless Years”
, “Endless Flow”
or “Lament for Kira”
— and finally there are these in-betweeners like “Night Train”
or “Have You Been Loved?”
that simply don’t fit into any of the aforementioned categories.
and me “Not Fade Away”
feels like a Greatest Hits Album because it really is a selection of our favourite songs, and we hope you’re going to love this album as much as we do!
Last but not least we’d like to express our gratitude to Alexander “Näx” May, Tilo Rockstroh
and Frank J. Hennig for their wonderful input and contribution: it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to work with these guys! And also a big “Thank You” to all our fans out there: your feedback and support means a lot to us!
New Ideas and a New Track
As all you keen readers of Antichrisis’ blog might have already noticed, releasing a new album is a very unsteady operation these days: plans for releasing “The Legacy remains” went down the drain when Reartone Records called it a day a few years ago, and now that Tunguska Records also kicked the bucket it seems that Antichrisis’ scheduled album releases do stand just the same chance as a mayfly in a thunderstorm.
But as so many of you out there have requested an album, Ayuma and me were asking ourselves how we could accomplish an album release on sensible terms.
One good thing is that we wouldn’t need a studio as we’re able to record and produce all our songs at home -- and even if our technical standards might not come close to those of let’s say Bob Rock or Rick Rubin, we’re still achieving something that doesn’t sound too bad for an autodidactic independent production.
Now getting these self-produced tracks on CD is a different story: compact disc manufacturing and printing of booklets ain’t something that I’d call dirt cheap, but thanks to the blessings of the Internet it is nowadays within the bounds of possibility to distribute a downloadable version of an album on decent conditions.
So we decided to release a download-only version of the new Antichrisis album by the beginning of next year: you’ll get all tracks in highest possible quality (i. e. without any bit-rate reduction just as you’d expect it from any standard CD) as well as specially designed artwork (front cover and back cover) - and it goes without saying that all this will be reasonably priced.
All that’s left for you to do then is buying the album, download its tracks and artwork, burn the songs on CD (if desired), print the cover and off you go: a brand new Antichrisis album, directly acquired from the artists without being charged for any kind of intermediate trade or stock-keeping: of course we’ll keep you informed about further details concerning track list, release date, pricing and source of supply on this blog.
This also means that availability for free downloads of Antichrisis’ songs from SoundCloud will be stopped by 23 October 2011. Of course you will still be able to listen to all tracks in full length via streaming audio, but with the forthcoming release of the new album we’ll have to draw the line somewhere eventually.
But enough of that for now: we’re hoping that you’ll like the idea of a self-distributed downloadable Antichrisis-album, and in the meantime Ayuma and me hope that you’re going to enjoy our new track “Creatures of a Jade Lagoon” that we’ve just uploaded to the music section
of this website.
By the way: thanks to Rüdiger Abend there is now some live footage from Antichrisis’ performance at the Markthalle Hamburg in 1999. Of course not the best audio quality, but nevertheless a nice remembrance of Antichrisis’ first stage appearance ever (although with a completely different line-up than today): Watch it on YouTube
Worse Luck: No New Antichrisis Album Again
A few days ago we received a sad email by our label Tunguska Records: unfortunately Tunguska had to close down due to the fact that it’s almost impossible these days for a small ambitious independent record company with low budget but much better taste in music to make ends meet.
This means that there won’t be any new Antichrisis album for now, which is a shame as our collaboration with Tunguska Records was a really pleasant experience -- hence we’re wishing Julia Dobberstein all the best for her future plans!
Good news is that this drawback won’t stop Antichrisis in any way: we’re going to release all the songs that were planned for the aforementioned album on our website within the next few months and we will also carry on with continuously writing and producing new songs, because in the end Ayuma and me are in it for the music and not for business purposes.
As long as we’re still loving, dancing and dreaming, there will also be new songs!
Manifesto of Love
Question: I think I can easily say that "A Legacy Of Love" is a manifesto of love and friendship: do you think that people influenced by this album have changed their view on these issues or have perhaps discovered a new truth for themselves?
Sid: We've received lots of feedback to this album, and the reactions to it were quite peculiar: In the beginning, after the album's release, most people were puzzled and confused because they expected a gothic album similar to our debut, "Cantara Anachoreta”, so they were not at all prepared for the Folk Pop-experience of “A Legacy of Love”.
But after a while they seemed to understand more and more the album's deeper meaning: Gothic Metal would have been a too limited musical diction to express all the feelings I wanted to manifest on that album. My ambition was to create an album that would outlast time, both in form and content, and I think we have achieved that goal: One can tell this easily by all the requests we receive for a re-release of "A Legacy of Love” (the album is meanwhile out of stock); seems a bit like if this album was too far ahead of its time and that just now people become aware of its emotional and musical value (and I'm sure it'll be exactly the same with "Perfume").
Many people were touched and moved by "A Legacy of Love", because this album reflects the most primary human experiences of love and loss in an almost painful yet simultaneously beautiful way: Maybe one of its main effects was that it made people realize that they were not alone: No matter if you're in love or if you'd just lost someone you've loved — when you got home at night, there was always this album to provide confirmation and bliss, or consolation and hope.
I doubt that "A Legacy of Love" changed anybody's life, but it made them see things in a different way: It made them realize the beauty of love as well as the importance of holding on to one's dreams even if having to face drawbacks from time to time.
In the end, that's what art of any kind is all about: to create the state of catharsis for the audience that makes people feel better instead of dragging them down.
Question: I have got a feeling that the cover of "Perfume" was prepared in a hurry: It looks so very poor and its content inside is also very modest. What sense does it make to put your lyrics at the Website only? Don't you think that a buyer deserves its printed version in the booklet?
Sid: Point taken. First: I'm a big fan of the cover artwork that Peter Saville and Martyn Atkins did in the early Eighties for Manchester-based label Factory Records, esp. for Joy Division. No naked female vampires or fake plastic skeletons or what else you have on your average contemporary goth-covers, but plain and straight, Bauhaus-inspired (not the band, but the famous school of arts in Dessau) artwork that didn't draw the listeners attention from the music. And as I do like that style a lot, I wanted to have something similar for "Perfume", and so we did the booklet-design together with Guido Meyer de Voltaire, who -did a great job. Whether you like it or not, the cover of "Perfume" was done with purpose and care — and most of all it does look neither "gothic" or "metal". Proper job.
Second: We didn't put the lyrics in the booklet due to objections of Napalm Records. They've had lots of problems with the rather thick booklet of "A Legacy of Love" that caused many complains by record dealers: Peasants browsing through the CDs in the store did take the booklet out and had to fiddle about like hell to get it back in the case again, most of the times in a very crinkled or even ripped condition.
So we had to find a way to let buyers have all the lyrics either wedged on 4 sides of a CD-booklet, which would have only been able with using a font not larger than 4 points and hence causing serious sight-damages to the innocent customer, or putting them on properly lay-outed and more easily readable pdf-files on our website, which allows even non-CD-purchasers to get hold of the lyrics.
Question: Do you think Perfume has met the expectations of your audience? Will Antichrisis ever hit the airwaves of commercial radio station or do you consider yourself as being not "mainstream" enough?
Sid: To be honest, I don't care about our audience or its expectations very much: First of all, my music belongs to me and no one else — if other people like it as well, then this is just a lucky coincidence and not the main reason for my musical output. That's why I don't want to push Antichrisis in any way whatsoever: As a human being, I'm constantly developing, and these developments will cause effects on Antichrisis' music as well.
At the moment our music is published by a record company — maybe one day we don't need record companies any more, but who cares? I got some recording devices at home, and I certainly won't stop writing and recording new stuff anyway, may it get published or not. I'm not in this business for fame or money.
In the end, I'm just a songwriter who simply does what he has to do — although I think Antichrisis does provide a certain commercial appeal as well: Songs like “Goodbye to Jane”, “Our Last Show”, “Wasteland” or “Like the Stars” with proper support could easily enter the charts, as they are both catchy and mainstream-compatible though still maintaining that special Antichrisis-touch.
A more cheerful Approach?
Question: So we've got the third album of Antichrisis. I have to tell you that while listening to this album for the first time I had a feeling that the album sounded too modern, that you drift towards pop music too dangerously. My feeling was for sure influenced by the fact that the songs form “Perfume” were easier and somehow nicer; they fell faster into your ear. But after listening to it few times you realize that it is the same band, only refreshened and more "cheerful" Do you agree?
Sid: First of all let me ask you a question: What kind of complete nonsense is this to evaluate music by criteria like "too modern" or "drift towards pop music too dangerously"? Do these terms say anything about the actual quality of music? No, not at all — it's just the sort of pseudo-know-it-all-terminology used by people who have stopped listening to music with their heart but trying to analyze it with their so called brains instead!
Either you like a song or not, either you find it awful of great — but trying to evaluate music with terms like being "too modern" is nothing else but a sure sign of utter backwardness! When Richard Wagner first hit the scene back in 1841 with his opera "The Flying Dutchman" critics laughed at him, calling his music "too modern" as well. Guess who's the laughing stock now?
But anyway: As you've already found out, "Perfume" may sound different from "A Legacy of Love", but it's still Antichrisis — even if it's another side of the same band! We just used a different form of musical expression, as we do consider repetition as dead boring. We're musicians, not parrots!
"Perfume" has become a very powerful and vital record: Whereas "A Legacy of Love" was the perfect soundtrack for a cold autumn's evening with candlelight, "Perfume" is meant for dancing — maybe that's the more cheerful side of Antichrisis you're referring to.
Question: “Perfume” contains very exclusive kind of music; with it's odour influencing all senses — this time your music is more rock-ish, psychedelic or even sensorical, but however it is still Antichrisis, thanks to Näx's characteristic instruments. Do you agree with this recapitulation?
Sid: Of course Näx' special uilleann pipes-sound has become some kind of trademark, but most of all it's the songwriting that provides the typical Antichrisis-touch: Though I may always use different musical ways of expression, I have developed a very characteristic "handwriting" if it comes to creating and arranging songs: there are no bagpipes on "Carry me Down", "Something Inside" or "Gates of Paradise", yet these songs still sound like Antichrisis.
Anyway: Näx is a brilliant artist and I just love working with him!
Question: In the booklets preface of "A Legacy of Love" you say that both darkness and light are given to us to make us prosper and grow. Do you consider composing and writing as an adventure and what are your inner conquests?
Sid: I'll have to admit that I haven't got the slightest idea why I had to go through all that tough shit during the time the album was written: O.K., the result of all these emotional misfortunes lead to a very heart-touching album, but if broken-heartedness is the price for the songs on "A Legacy of Love", then this price could be considered much too high!
But no need to argue: These things have happened, and I'll have to deal with it somehow, whether I like it or not. There are good times and bad times in everybody's life, and accepting the interplay of both, the necessity of experiencing both to become aware of life's everchanging cycles, might be an important step on our path to self-awareness.
Composing and writing songs is just one part of my inner conquest: I would not call it an adventure, furthermore something like a gift that makes it easier for me to come to terms with life.
Question: Is there a concept behind the lyrics of “Perfume”?
Sid: No — both "Cantara Anachoreta" and "A Legacy of Love" had been concept albums, so this time I wanted to try something different, hence each song of "Perfume" is meant to be some kind of snapshot of my life: There are moments of joy and love (for example "Gates of Paradise", "Dragonflies" or "Like the Stars") as well as moments of being pissed off by human stupidity & cruelty ("Hole in my Head" and "Goodbye to Jane") and also some spiritual songs just like "We are the Witches" and "Carry me Down"; all in all a pretty extensive collection of my world of emotions.
Question: Perfume is released by Napalm Records, is it your real first release for them? I think in the past you have suffered by very poor distribution — not to mention promotion!
Sid: "Perfume" is actually our second and last album for Napalm Records — our contract is carried out now and we're free to find a more suitable label for us.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that Napalm Records would have done "bad promotion”: After all, they're just a BM/Gothic-label, and they're used to promote bands and artists of that genre.
But they've made the mistake of taking Antichrisis for a metal-act, so they were bound to fail in promoting a band that's simply beyond musical limitations.
In the beginning of our cooperation with Napalm Records I had the impression that they were interested in entering new musical territories, and that signing Antichrisis was meant to be their first step in that direction, but in the end I realized that they would have been much more satisfied if we'd just recorded "Cantara Anachoreta" Vol. 2 and 3 instead of developing into those directions we've headed for with “A Legacy of Love” and “Perfume”: In fact, they considered both albums as being “too commercial”, but at the same time they're not capable of using this commercial potential for their own and the band's sake
Question: You have just returned from the studio where you‘ve recorded your new album „Perfume“: Can you give us some impressions about the time you spent there, including the material you have recorded?
Sid: We spent 5 weeks at the Blue House Studio in Meerane: We had recorded „A Legacy of Love“ there, too, and as this had been a very pleasant and cooperative experience, we decided to record our new album there again. The Producer, Jens Bachmann, who also runs the studio, is a really great guy: He's not the sort of producer who tries to enforce his own idea of sound on a band, but someone who listens carefully to the band‘s conception and tries to transform their ideas as good as possible into music. Besides, he‘s a brilliant guitarist as well and we were glad that he liked our new stuff that much that he offered to join us for the recordings.
So this time, with the additional support of Kugator on Drums and Tilo Rockstroh on Keyboards, Antichrisis appeared as a "proper" band on an album instead of being just some kind of One-Man-project as it were on previous recordings.
We have recorded 10 songs for “Perfume”: "Something Inside" is a song about someone finding himself trapped in memories of the past, being forced to relive a traumatic situation again and again until he‘s able to let go off the past. Matching the lyric's character, this song comes up like a haunting nightmare, the acoustic equivalent to lying awake in sleepless nights with torturing thoughts banging against your head.
"Gates of Paradise" deals with the subject of being struck down by love but getting up again, and it's the only track on the album where I've done all vocals on my own. The song itself is quite strange: It's based on a shuffle groove, which is normally to be found in traditional Blues or Jazz, but there's also a wall of sound by analogue sequencers, transforming this song into a rather electronic shape, whereas the electric guitars pick up the shuffle beat again - pretty weird!
"Hole in my Head" is one of the new songs that we've introduced also on last year's tour: It's about the ignorance and blindness of other people towards the things that really matter, about their predilection for self-righteousness and prejudice instead of thinking for a minute of being tolerant. It's a very groovy track, a mixture of TripHop-sounds and heavy guitars.
"Carry me Down" is our new interpretation of a song that appeared as "Baleias" on our first album and as "Baleias Bailando" on "A Legacy of Love": This song has become some kind of Antichrisis-theme over the years, and I like the idea to present it on every album in a completely different manner: Though it may still be the same song, it always sounds completely different in order to give some kind of musical summary of Antichrisis‘ current development. This time the song has turned into a bewitching blend of TripHop-Grooves, shamanic chantings and heavy guitars.
"Wasteland" is my vision of a perfect pop-tune: Catchy but yet unpredictable! It starts quite mellow and smooth, but as soon as the refrain appears, the guitars break loose. In my point of view, a good pop song shouldn't sound too clean, as it always needs a certain kind of racket to disguise its beauty: That makes it much more interesting than offering everything unveiled!
With "Like the Stars" we've entered a completely new territory: Our first song coming up with vocals in Rap-style — but don't be afraid: they fit perfectly into the song, the song itself sounds just great and as soon as the refrain starts, you'll be blown away by Näx' enchanting pipes and the gorgeous backing vocals: another fine example for a perfect pop-tune!
And for all of those who thought that Antichrisis would have turned into a bunch of sweet-toothed popsters, there's "We are the Witches": A song that picks up the pagan thread of "Cantara Anachoreta" again, sounding as if Black Sabbath had decided to kick ass again — but this time with bagpipes from hell! Heavy as a ton of lead and equipped with a refrain that‘s based on a traditional english witches' Chant.
I've been always very satisfied with every Antichrisis-release — there was only one thing that has always bugged me, and that was the very bad version of "Goodbye to Jane" on our first album, because of the vocals that had been done in a very uninspiring way, hence I always wanted to re-record the song again. We did a new and much more powerful version, with brilliant vocals, splendid bagpipes and an absolute unbelievable amount of E-Guitars creating an amazing Wall of Sound.
As most of the new songs have turned into really powerful and energetic tracks, I wanted to create some kind of „breathing-space“ on the album as well — and so "Dragonflies" arose in my mind. When listening to this song you‘ll find yourself easily at a pond on a warm summer's day, the reflections of sunlight on the water and Dragonflies dancing on its surface, and that's exactly the atmosphere I wanted to capture with this track!
The last song on the album and at the same time the first cover-version we‘ve ever recorded is Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love": I always thought that doing cover-versions is a heavy burden, because one usually doesn't cover bad songs and it's always hard to beat a classic original or even to match it up, especially if it's such a great song as "Whole Lotta Love". So doing a cover version does not mean just to „replay“ an old version, but to show a renown song in a new light without treating it in an disrespectful way. But instead of merely repeating the original‘s somehow ridiculous machismo-attitude, we've turned it into some kind of feminist-electronic-dancefloor-metal-with-lots-of-bagpipes-and-naughty-noises!
All in all, our new album has become a very powerful and vital record: Whereas "A Legacy of Love" was the perfect soundtrack for a cold autumn's evening with candlelight, "Perfume" is meant for dancing.
Question: It took quite a long time to come up with Perfume, aren't you afraid of losing touch with the fans?
Sid: I'm not afraid of losing touch: Our fans have the chance to contact us via email, and we try to answer every email and every letter we receive as soon as possible.
As I'm doing most of the songwriting on my own, it's quite understandable that Antichrisis works in a different way than a "normal" band does: I do create the majority of songs, lyrics and arrangements all by myself, I do have to come up with the album concept, hence songwriting takes a bit longer compared to other bands where two, three or even more people are working together on the songs in the rehearsal room at the same time.
Of course I could come up with new stuff much faster, but I'm quite self-critical, so I'm always waiting until I'm absolutely convinced of every track that's bound to appear on an Antichrisis-album: If I have the slightest doubt about a song it goes straight into the dustbin.
I'm also quite sure that our music is good enough that people will remember it even if takes us a while to come up with a new album: just think of how long it takes Depeche Mode or Pink Floyd to come up with a new one!
Missa Depositum Custodi
Question: In summer 1995 the debut demo "Missa Depositum Custodi" was released: Seems it was a great success in the underground, but it seems that it was mainly sold in Germany. What do you think about the demo nowadays? Should you have worked longer on the material before recording it or is it exactly the way you wanted it to be?
Sid: There has been an edition of 500 copies of "Missa Depositum Custodi", and it has been sold-out within 6 months after its release, which is quite good for the first demo of a newcomer. You are right: most of the copies were sold in Germany, just a few in Greece and Italy. There hasn't been a 2nd. Edition because as the demo got Antichrisis a record contract, it had fulfilled its purpose and is now simply a collector's item.
I still like "Missa Depositum Custodi" because whereas the sound of the subsequently released album "Cantara Anachoreta" is much better with the songs being performed much straighter, the demo with its more "baroque" attitude and insufficient sound (that's homerecording for you!) nevertheless manages to create an own special atmosphere. Of course many things could have been done better, but I consider recordings as some kind of snapshot: The attraction lies in the spontaneity and not on some perfect technical standards — true feelings are always miles away from being immaculate, I guess.
"Missa Depositum Custodi" is simply the best I could come up with at the time I recorded it.
Question: The sound of "A Legacy of Love" seems more direct than the one of "Cantara Anachoreta"...
Sid: Thanks for that compliment, but I'll have to admit that we'd spent more time in the studio than we did when recording "Cantara Anachoreta", and we had better equipment, too.
Besides, theres also a mental difference between those 2 albums: The emphasis of "Cantara Anachoreta" was a more spiritual one, whereas "A Legacy of Love" is mainly determined by emotional values.
But maybe it's also a question of musical matters, because there are hardly any manipulated sounds to be found on "A Legacy of Love": About 80 % of the sounds we used were created by acoustic instruments, recorded almost without any special sound effects — that's why this album sounds as if you had a strange kind of folk-band in your living-room.
Sad Side of Love
Question: Although love brings happiness (and sometimes sadness), "A Legacy of Love" is full of sorrow. Did you want to describe the sad side of love?
Sid: It wasn't my intention at first place to record a mostly desperate album, but fate turned out to be just that way: I lost a wonderful and precious love at that time, and divine ordinances of that kind are not supposed to make you write happy songs!
I felt so incredibly sad when I wrote those songs, and the process of writing them was like building up some kind of armoury against an engulfing darkness.
Nevertheless I've also tried to show that there's more to love than just sorrow and despair, and so I put 2 songs on "A Legacy of Love" to picture as well its unbelievable beauty: "Nightswan" and "Planet Kyrah". Both songs were originally written at a time when I was still together with my former girlfriend, and so they accidently became aural sculptures of this love's chastity, innocence and virtuosness.
No, really, I would have wanted this album not to become as sad and sorrowful as it did, but sometimes one just cant help it.
The Concept behind "Cantara Anachoreta"
Question: Is "Cantara Anachoreta" a concept-album? And could you explain the title?
Sid: "Cantara Anachoreta" is a latin-portugiese term meaning "The Chants of the Hermit".
I've chosen that title because "Cantara Anachoreta" chronicles the last hours in the life of Ariman, the anchorite, who is aware that his time has finally come: Darkness embraces him ("Prologue"), and while he's on the threshold of twilight, he recollects occurrences of his present life and past incarnations.
Thus he relives the dark age of witch hunt ("The Endless Dance") as well as the tremendous distress of losing the one he once loved ("Requiem ex Sidhe").
He also remembers a little girl he once knew who committed suicide after being abused by her father, and Ariman's still able to sense the rage, anger and fury her ghost emanates ("Goodbye to Jane").
Images of long gone days do arise, and the anchorite recalls the moments when he had to withstand to remain true to his principles and beliefs ("Baleias"). It wasn't always easy to follow the path of the Goddess and to obey her advice, but whenever he thought that she might have left him in the lurch, she was in fact with him for guidance ("Her Orphaned Throne").
So he dreams of her return: a return that'll bring an end to injustice, intolerance and the lies of the false prophets — the dawning of a new golden era ("Descending Messiah"). Thereupon Ariman floats downstream to Cerridwen's realm, the garden of eternal dreams, where his seeking soul will find peace and tranquility at last ("Epilogue").