Goodbye to the Radio Wave Surfer
Holger Czukay was beyond doubt one of just a few German musicians exerting influence on countless musicians across the board, and I do hope that his seed of ingenuity and the spirit of a boundless musicianship will linger on.
Hence we did our version of "Atmosphere" in a more "pulling your punches"-way without compromising the beauty of its melody and its excellent arrangement .
Anyway, as we started checking out Paul Roland's musical works we soon got stuck with one of his earlier tracks called "Blades of Battenburg" and decided to do a cover version of that song for Axel's sampler — but in a very different style from Paul Roland's original psychedelia goth version.
And here is how we did it:
"Alice's Curiosities" is available via At Sea Compilations' website - and don't forget to donate!
Favourite Albums of 2016
David Bowie: Blackstar
Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker
Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos
Isolation Berlin: Und aus den Wolken tropft die Zeit
Wire: Nocturnal Koreans
The Hidden Cameras: Home On Native Land
Swans: The Glowing Man
PJ Harvey: The Hope Six Demolition Project
The Divine Comedy: Foreverland
The Thermals: We Disappear
Merry Yuletide and a very Happy New Year to all of you out there!
So Long, Field Commander Cohen
Leonard Cohen was one of my very first musical heroes: he was the one to introduce me to the beauty of melancholy, and he was also the one that I habitually came back to whenever life put on his boots and did some serious ass-kicking on me.
Whenever I think of Leonard Cohen I think of a real gentleman with an amazing warm and solacing voice and a wonderful sense of humour.
To be reminiscent of the great poet and songwriter that he was, here are my favourite songs by Leonard Cohen:
Diamonds In The Mine
Did I Ever Love You?
First We Take Manhattan
Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
If It Be Your Will
Lover Lover Lover
Seems So Long Ago, Nancy
Sisters of Mercy
So Long, Marianne
Take This Longing
Tonight Will Be Fine
Tower of Song
You Got Me Singing
You Want It Darker
Remembering Alan Vega
When Punk and New Wave jumped into the spotlight in 1976, almost everybody was fiddling around with power chords on E-guitars — but he and Martin Rev came up with some keyboard sounds and rhythms that were so far ahead of their time that 40 years later they still sound modern or at least up-to-date.
Martiv Rev took care that all hell broke lose when he switched on his keyboard & rhythm box, and Alan Vega turned into the scary revelator of some of the most frightening American nightmares I ever heard. He groaned, moaned and screamed through these songs — but always with style and attitude.
Being pretty wet behind our ears, me and my brave young Punk comrades were trying hard to enter the dark streets at that time, whereas Alan Vega had actually seen these dark streets that we were dreaming of; and these dark streets weren’t moody and romantic as we saplings though; instead they were bloody cold, wet und violent. Alan Vega knew this — and that’s why he sounded like he did.
These are my all time favourites from this great artist:
Suicide: Ghost Rider
Suicide: Dream Baby Dream
Suicide: Rocket USA
Suicide: Frankie Teardrop
Alan Vega: Jukebox Baby
Alan Vega: Rebel Rocker
Alan Vega: Je t’adore
Alan Vega & Pan Sonic: American Dreamer
By the way: you should also listen to the brilliant cover version of "Ghost Rider" by The Sods from their awesome 1979 debut album “Minutes to go”
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.
Time Takes a Cigarette...
Rock 'n' Roll Suicide
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
The Bewlay Brothers
The Man Who Sold the World
Station to Station
Wild is the Wind
Sound and Vision
Sons of the Silent Age
Ashes to Ashes
Where Are We Now?
Port of Amsterdam
The Loneliest Guy
Life on Mars
Look Back in Anger
Speed of Life
David Bowie (08.01.1947 - 10.01.2016)
"And the mountain moved its eyes to the world of realize
Where the snow had saved a place for the Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud"
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.
...it just smells funny
“German Gothic Isn’t Dead” can be downloaded for free via Bandcamp, but as Axel has did put a lot of work in this compilation, donations are always welcome.
By the way: We are temporarily working on the very last track for “Baduhenna”, hence the album is going to be released at the latest in October 2015. Hope you’re looking just as forward to it as we do!
Hairy Crisp Mouse
Die Nerven - Fun
Alvvays - Alvvays
Warpaint - Warpaint
The Raveonettes - Pe'ahi
Sleaford Mods - Divide & Exit
Kate Tempest - Everybody Down
Scott Walker & Sunn O))) - Soused
Adrian Crowley - Some Blue Morning
Marianne Faithfull - Give my Love to London
Robert Plant: Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar
Peace for all Creatures on Earth & A Happy New Year to You!
Missa Depositum Custodi
Get “Missa Depositum Custodi” for free here.
Working On New Tracks
To be honest I’d still prefer to release any song as soon as its ready -- but in that case the majority of votes seems to be against me.
Nevertheless we’ve been diligently working on new tracks (thanks to my new Mac Mini which is really an awesome and powerful yet underestimated little machine): we’ve been finishing “Understanding Everything” two weeks ago, and a new song called “Be Gone” is already in the works.
At the same time I’ve put the finishing touches on Ayuma’s brand new track “Wenn Ich Dich heute seh’”-- and there really are lots of other new songs in the pipeline, hence Antichrisis’ new album is developing pretty well even if you won’t be hearing any new songs until “Foxfire” (the new album’s title) is released.
Then there was also my 50th birthday on Winter Solstice: fortunately armageddon got cancelled hence nothing could spoil my little birthday party with Ayuma, however I guess I still need some time to realise that I’m really 50 now -- but as long as the Rolling Stones still hit the stage (or in Keith’s case fall from palm trees), I guess I’m still allowed to perform and record songs, too.
And while we’re looking back: here are my favourite songs of 2012:
Neil Young & Crazy Horse: “Walk Like a Giant”
Of Monsters and Men: “Your Bones”
Santigold: “The Riot’s Gone”
Lana Del Rey: “Born to Die”
Bruce Springsteen: “We Are Alive”
First Aid Kit: “Emmylou”
The XX: “Angels”
The Dead Lovers: “The Storm”
The Raveonettes: “Young and Cold”
“Not Fade Away” released on CD
iTunes Store (or search for “Antichrisis” and “Not Fade Away” in your county’s iTunes Store)
Amazon MP3 Store (or search for “Antichrisis” and “Not Fade Away” in your county’s Amazon MP3 Store)
Bandcamp (international availability but you need to have a Paypal-account)
Just use the shop that suits you best -- the main thing is that worldwide availability should no longer be a problem.
New Antichrisis Album Released
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” and “Adrenalin” 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” and “Shine”; 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.
To Ayuma 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!
Returning from Cornwall
Nevertheless we would like to thank all the kind people that we’ve met on our short but nevertheless wonderful journey — especially Rob Lloyd & his wife Teresa from Boscastle as well as Mrs. Watson who runs the lovely St. Christopher’s B&B (next to the Napoleon Inn, which is a highly recommendable pub in this little village with its outstanding coastline and the amazing Museum of Witchcraft).
Nevertheless we’re using our remaining days of vacation to work sedulously on new tracks -- and so Ayuma and me managed to finish “Walking With Angels” which you’ll hopefully be enjoying: it’s another lighthearted piece of pop music by your heretofore rather sepulchral gloomsters!
New Ideas and a New Track
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
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!
Antichrisis' Musical Equipment
Me and Ayuma are both working on iMacs, and while Ayuma’s recording her vocals in Garageband I’m completely addicted to Logic Studio as my favourite digital audio workstation instead.
When creating a track I usually start with the drums - and for me there’s no better software for creating awesome sounding drums than Toontrack’s Superior Drummer: easy to use, great sounding kits and lots of expansion packs and producer presets for all kind of purposes. If more “non-natural” sounding drum sounds are required I’m always turning to Spectrasonics’ Stylus RMX which offers an almost insane flexibility and gazillions of stirring drums and percussions.
There are two different ways for creating bass tracks for Antichrisis: Either I’m playing my good old balky Vantage Avenger 4-string bass through IK Multimedia’s Ampeg SVX amp simulation or I’m using Spectrasonics’ magnificent bass module Trilian via MIDI-keyboard instead.
When it comes to guitars, I’m usually using our Takamines for acoustic sounds and my Epiphone Tom Delonge model for that certain electric twang. Again I’m playing those guitars through another amp simulation by IK Multimedia called Amplitube 3 which I prefer over Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig 4 Pro especially when it comes to crunchy and distorted guitar sounds.
But let’s move on to the keyboards: I’m using a plain simple MIDI-keyboard by M-Audio as my master-keyboard and I’m preferring the following plug-ins for creating great and outstanding arpeggios, leads, pads and all other kinds of strange noises:
Omnisphere by Spectrasonics and Alchemy by Camel Audio are definitely my favourite workhorses as they provide lots of inspiration, clean user interfaces and mind-blowing sound quality - but M-Tron Pro and Virtual String Machine by GForce as well as Miroslav Philharmonik by IK Multimedia are also providing great additional sounds.
So all that’s left is sound processing itself: For these purposes I’m always coming back to IK Multimedia’s T-Racks for engineering and mastering, and if it comes to FX I’m quite often making use of Uhbik and Toontrack’s EZmix, but Logic’s own implemented FX-section is also highly recommendable.
But always keep in mind that it’s not the equipment that counts but your own creativity and skills instead!
“Adrenalin” uploaded - and some breaking removal news
In the meantime we hope you’re going to enjoy “Adrenalin” as much as we did when we were working on that song - and we also hope to be back on the track real soon!
By the way: New Antichrisis Interviews at www.hardharderheavy.de (in German only, also includes a very profound review of A Legacy of Love Mark II) and at www.lagrosseradio.com (in French only).
"Crossing The Line (Dark Feather Remix)" uploaded
Maybe a lot of you might think something like “Duh - does the world really need another dispensable remix? Aren’t remixes just a bad case of flogging a dead horse with making some extra money from an already released song?” - and of course I can’t completely deny that attitude.
But there’s something else about remixes: In the older days (yes, I was born in the sixties, so I should know all about those good ol’ times!) a band recorded a song on tape and once it had been mixed and produced that song could not been altered any more - it was on tape, it was done, and the only thing you could do was a bit of remastering when you felt the need for it.
But these days are gone: Nowadays with all those hard disc recording-prospects there is no such thing like a “finished” track any more. Thanks to your software sequencer’s total recall-capabilities one can work on a project, finish it - and re-open it again 12 months later with all the proper settings just for adding an idea for a new guitar line. And me, I surely love that kind operation method.
Besides, since I’ve released the first version of “Crossing The Line” I couldn’t help but notice that this track needed a more powerful Techno beat to make it work — maybe there are some things that you’ll only find out after having “lived” with a song for a couple of weeks.
Anyway, that’s the reason why I picked up “Crossing The Line” again and revised it for Dark Feather No. 10: the groove’s emphasis is now focused completely on danceability and there’s also a more aggressive midsection as well as additional vocals by Ayuma.
"No Going Back" uploaded
But when Ayuma started singing that song I instantly knew that we were working on the real thing. I also noticed that my primal scintillation of recording “No Going Back” as a plain vanilla ballad without any drums and bass was a flop, as the song seemed to lack the sparkling brilliance that is now added by the rhythm section (thanks to Toontrack’s Superior Drummer and Spectrasonic’s Trilian).
I’m really proud of this version because Ayuma’s vocals bear that special kind of melancholy airiness that emphasizes the overall feeling of that song: the battle is over and you have lost - and there’s absolutely no way of ever going back. But at the same time this means that there’s no more burden on your shoulder: though you’ve been bereaved of something that once was so precious to you, you are now free from a situation that was only causing pain in the end. Let your tears flow for the past, but the future’s promise lies already ahead and it’s sounding like a sparkling waterfall from afar.
Maybe this is one of Antichrisis’ most catchy tracks so far - but don’t get fooled by the song’s overall easiness: still a deep sense of valediction is lurking under its surface.
"The Point Of No Return" uploaded
This song has seen quite a few transformations since I’ve written it sometime in 2002; at first it was called “The Way”, but I could never get my head around finishing it — until I played the demo version of that song to Ayuma last January: As soon as she heard the track she was instantly hooked to it, and after rehearsing a couple of times she came up with those great vocal lines you now hear on that recording. Besides, “The Point Of No Return” contains also great performances by Frank J. Hennig and Näx, so thanks a lot for your contribution, guys!
But after I had finished mixing the 78 tracks that “The Point of No Return” consists of I swore to myself that I would never be recording as many tracks for just one song again — possibly!
Sid : Yes, it seems that the Nightwish-syndrome has taken over the gothic metal-scene, quite often in order to disguise the male singer's incapacity, but that point doesn't concern us at all: I am a pretty good vocalist myself, but I like the idea of integrating a female voice because of the different colour that this vocals provide to the big picture of Antichrisis.
This doesn't necessarily mean that I'd prefer the male voice being responsible for the aggressive or powerful parts of the music whereas the female singer does all the soft and lyrical bits — this kind of stereotype is much too predictable and boring, hence I'm simply avoiding this mode of operation.
The difference between a male and a female musician? I don't see any difference in general because in my book musicianship doesn't depend on gender categories, just on artistic ones — and if it comes to singing, it's merely reduced to the fact that there are not that many men able to sing soprano, whereas women hardly reach the pitch level of the bass.
Melancholy or Beauty?
Sid: The main idea behind Antichrisis is that music and lyrics as an individable entity should be a reflection of my soul, a mirror of my dreams, my visions, my desires and my emotions. Hence this music is of very personal and intimate matter, for it reveals my inner self completely.
Melancholy and beauty are both part of my world of emotions, as well as love and hate, sadness and joy, fear and hope, strength and weakness, desire and lust, depression and confidence.
Sid : We have actually been playing live when touring Europe (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands) together with Tristania, The Sins of thy Beloved, Siebenbürgen and Trail of Tears in spring 1999, but it wasn't exactly a satisfying experience for us: poor organisation, lack of essential equipment, bad promotion and other unpleasant circumstances made this some kind of "Tour de Force" — 19 gigs within 3 weeks without a day off, surrounded by a horde of permanently drunken Scandinavians wasn't that much fun! Anyway, we tried to make the best out of it and act as professional as possible (quite tricky if you haven't the chance of doing a soundcheck!), so we could at least prove the audience that Antichrisis is also a splendid live-act! Unfortunately Näx couldn't be with us on that tour, as he had to pass his exams at that time, so the tour-band included just me, Dragonfly, Brown Jenkin on Guitar, a mad session drummer and our japanese friend Roland on Keyboards and Sequencer.
Nevertheless I do enjoy live performances, although I'd prefer an old pagan temple to a Christian building for an Antichrisis-gig — as long as there are enough sockets somewhere: Otherwise it'd be a rather "unplugged" experience (which wouldn't mean a serious problem to Antichrisis either, as we're capable of doing an acoustic set as well).
Acoustic and Electric
Sid: When I wrote the songs for "Cantara Anachoreta" and "A Legacy of Love" I usually started with evolving the basic chords on acoustic guitar, but for "Perfume" things were different, because of its emphasis on electronic sounds and grooves. I started with just some basic rhythms and bass lines when working on the "Perfume"-material, which was a modified way of creating and arranging songs.
Personally, I don't see any reason for drawing a parting line between electronic and acoustic instruments: They both have their advantages, and they're both wonderful tools for creating the musical soundscapes of Antichrisis.
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.
Music is my Heartbeat
Sid: Yes, music is one of the most essential gists in my life, and it's not a matter of age at all: it only depends on how devoted you are. If it's just a pastime, then you'll lay down your guitar as soon as you've settled down and other things have become more important. But if you're a passionate musician, nothing will stop you from expressing your emotions through melodies, harmonies and rhythms.
Of course my musical taste has changed through all these years: Although I still listen to that old school of '77 Brit-Punk (Those were the days... sigh!), I'm nowadays also listening to classical stuff, Irish Folk, TripHop, Country & Western and Reggae (just to name a few): As long as it is a "good" song, I don't give da damn about its musical style.
Dedicated to Folk Music
Näx: Yes, I can`t deny that I am dedicated to folk music, especially to the traditional Irish music. Sometimes I think that I'm even addicted to it.
When I got into contact with Antichrisis it became apparent that the sound of the Irish uilleann pipes would perfectly fit into Sid's music, so we started off to experiment with this mixture.
Beside of this musical aspect it is really interesting for me to play traditional instruments and music in a non-traditional context. I would like to make the traditional music and the uilleann pipes become known to people who have no special interest in this stuff. Everybody knows what the Great Highland Pipes sound and look like, only a bunch of people know that there are regional forms of bagpipes like the galician Gaita or Böhmischer and Mährischer Bock in Germany, which may sound a bit crude sometimes. But there is another sound which is well known by films like "Braveheart", "Rob Roy", "Titanic" or musicals like "Riverdance" or "Lord of the Dance", and nobody knows which instrument creates this sound. They only know that non of the average bagpipes sound like this, but also no saxophone, clarinet or oboe. Perhaps a keyboard?
Besides of making music with Antichrisis I want to show people that there is an bagpipe-instrument, which is held in high regard in Ireland and amongst folk fans, but which still can be discovered by the worldwide rockpopmetaltechnopunkgrungegothic-andwossisname-audience.
Sid: My first-time acquaintance with music started with listening to Roy Orbison (him of the sunglasses and the angelic voice) on the good old valve radio (those were the days!), subsequently superseded by Glam-Rock-protuberances like T. Rex, Gary Glitter. Slade, Sweet and The Kursaal Flyers.
But soon after my 14th. birthday, being on holiday somewhere in the outback of Bavaria, some blessed DJ played "God save the Queen" by the later-to-be-awful Sex Pistols (them of the plugged bass-player) on the wireless , and from that very moment I turned into a punk. Blimey, it was just my luck being a punk in a little quaint village that seemed to be bogged down somewhere between the Palaeozoic and the Precambrian era on the evolutionary scale!
As entering upon a punk career meant getting utterly fucked up almost every night, I thought I'd do myself a favour if I went into that Dark Wave/Gothic-business instead, which to everyone's surprise served me pretty well during the next 5 years: The likes of Joy Division, Bauhaus, Killing Joke, Theatre of Hate, Christian Death (them of the good-looking singer!), Throbbing Gristle (them of the grotty singer) or Cindytalk weren't exactly what one would call a boisterous bunch, but after all they made me give up drinking.
A couple of years later I accidentally realized that Irish Folk could be even more melancholic and depressing than any Cure-album, and by getting myself an acoustic guitar, I turned out to be a neo-hippie long before Tracy Chapman or The Walkabouts were invented — and I also found out that buskin' is a hard way of making some extra money.
After one wicked weekend (we're talking about the golden age of every weekend being amazingly wicked) I was feeling kind of sentimental and put on the dead-gorgeous "Pretty Vacant"-single by the later-to-be-unnecessarily-reunited Sex Pistols, but unfortunately the record player (that popular stone-age device for listening to music before CD-players were invented) was on 33 1/3 rpm instead of the much more suitable 45 rpm — and that bungling of mine suddenly turned into pure enlightenment: Punk did sound so much more annoying if played at lower speed! But a few months later I had to find out that some creeps had nicked this brilliant invention of mine and called it "Doom Metal": you just can't trust anybody!
To cut a long story short: Some time in the Nineties I thought it would sound quite nice throwing all my musical preferences in the big boiling cauldron and seasoning the strange dish with a strong dash of pop music — and that's how Antichrisis got on the menu!
Sid: I do listen to a large variety of different musical styles, be it Punk, Folk, Metal, Classical music, Dark Wave, Country & Western, Reggae, TripHop a. s. o. and one can learn a lot just by listening carefully to different styles, hence theres a multitude of influences reflected in Antichrisis, which makes it quite impossible to describe Antichrisis’ sound without ending up with a slightly dumb expression like Celtic- Folk-Doom-Black-Gothic-Britpop-Dark- Wave-Grunge-Ballad- Metal or any other pompous description like that.
Antichrisis can't be described in musical terms except with adjectives like unique, refreshing or thrilling. I mean there are bands that do sound like Joy Division, bands that sound like Massive Attack or bands that sound like The Pogues — but there's only one band being able to come up with a compound of all these and many more musical ingredients while still creating its very own musical vision, and that's Antichrisis!
I don't bloody care about artistic limitations: inspiration comes in any shape it likes, and it'd be a shame trying to restrict it to just one kind of musical expressiveness: if a song comes to me as a folk ballad, I'll translate it exactly that way into music; if it comes to me as a piece of gloomy doom metal, I'll have to let it happen that way! Musical limitation means standstill to an artists creativity.
Take "Forever I Ride" for example, where you'll find at least four different musical patterns within one song: It starts like an up-tempo folk-song introducing a medieval brass band in the bridge, then turns into a stirring metal-refrain, followed by a bewitching atmospheric ballad with fairy-like vocals, when suddenly a ravishing black metal-part with a powerful female lead and wistful Irish bagpipes emerges a.s.o. — there are bands who would make at least 3 complete albums out of the ideas that I've put into just one song!
I do not actually create songs: They come to me like dreams or visions any time they want, they are prodigies of inspiration and that is why I actually cannot plan or propose anything. It's like sitting by a river-bank, watching the petals, leaves, boughs or other things floating by while picking up the most remarkable ones. The songs do seem to create themselves as they go along, both musically and lyrically. All that's left for me to do is giving them a certain shape like a gardener trimming a tree.
Sid: Being a good singer requires the ability to re-live the situation of the song you're singing: song and singer have to melt into one, the song's story has to become part of the vocalist's emotional world. This is only possible if the lyrics do reflect your feelings and experiences — then singing a song can become something similar to playing the leading role in a drama: like every good actor you have to become another character, reveal other facets of the human soul. A good singer is always able to immerse into a world of its own when singing a song.
A musician (just like every proper artist) has to be a visionaire; if not, his art would be nothing more than mere craftsmanship. Many young bands seem to care more about meeting an audience's expectation or copying their idols instead of developing their own musical language — that's not vision, but a frame without a picture. All that matters is musical inspiration, the artist's vision, and not a certain image or crazy outfits.
Sid: I wouldn't say I'm gifted as I've never learned to play any instrument properly.
Also I'm not at all a "good" musician if it comes to technical skills: All I know is how to hold a guitar (pointed end in the air, right?) and how to play a few basic chords — that's it.
My so called talent lies in writing and arranging songs so that they sound as if one had to be pretty smart to perform them.
Not a Gothic Metal Band
Sid: The mere fact that Antichrisis ain't a gothic metal band! Like a painter uses a multitude of colours to create a landscape, I'm using different musical ingredients to form the soundscape of Antichrisis — and Gothic or Metal are just two shades of a thousand and one musical colours of my palette.
Antichrisis can only be categorized by emotional values, not by any assignments of musical styles.