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Anubis Gate

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Conor Fynes View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 11 2011 at 18:08
Anubis Gate are a melodic prog metal band from Denmark that has released some highly accalimed albums in years past. With a fifth album upcoming, vocalist Henrik Fevre was kind enough to catch up with Prog Archives and fill us in.

What inspired you to take up music? 

I think perhaps it was seeing The Police on TV back in '80/'81 (this exact performance btw: Around the same time I made best friends with neighbour Per M. Jensen, now the drummer in The Haunted, and we actually wrote our first song before we even had instruments. But soon I got a drumkit and we were on the roll. So I believe both The Police and Per inspired me to make music. 

How did you all meet and start making music together? When did you first realize that the band was onto something? 

Per and I were joined by bassplayer Jesper M. Jensen (now guitars in AG) in '85, but we split up a year later. They kept playing together though, now in the band Extreme Feedback that also included Kim Olesen (guitars/keys in AG). When that one split, Jesper and Per went to Invocator. Jesper made one album, split and went to form Geronimo with Morten Sørensen (drums in AG) in early 90's. When Geronimo split, Morten and Jesper were gonna go for the one thing that they'd always wanted to do: Melodic heavy/power metal. So they made some instrumental demos and years later they finally got hold of a singer to match it - enter Torben Askholm. I was still a friend of their and was asked to do lyrics and vocal melodies for a couple of tunes, that ended up on the first album. Kim was called to add lead guitars and keys (the now almost legendary 21-hours non stop Olesen workday in the studio) + intro/outro to the album. We actually had a contract within 30 minutes from sending material to Locomotive Music, so I guess we felt we were onto something right from the start. Later in 2004 Kim and I were asked to join as full members. Since then both Torben and Jacob Hansen have been the lead vocalists on two albums each, before we ended as the fourpiece we are today. 

This is the first album of Anubis Gate to be released with Nightmare Records. What has the transition from Locomotive been like? 

The transition has been great, as our contractual obligations with Locomotive ended. And Nightmare is way better for us than Locomotive, who still owes us a lot of money. In fact if you should be interested in buying our previous albums, please wait for our forthcoming deluxe Nightmare re-releases, complete with bonustracks and new comprehensive liner notes from everyone involved - downloads only. Otherwise the money will go only to Locomotive, who has no rights to exploit our music anymore. But unfortunately they still do. 

For prospective listeners who have not heard the music of Anubis Gate before, how might you describe yourselves? 

It is basically modern heavy metal with different genres on top. Some songs are heavy rock, some are power metal, some 10 minute epics and some prog. metal. A little of everything, but always with the melody in focus. 

I might describe your sound as somewhat futuristic, progressive metal, but deeply melodic and song-based. What’s the key behind writing music for Anubis Gate? What inspires you, and how does this music go from a passing thought to a finished composition? 

It's all a mixture of our differences. We all contribute with our ideas of good music, and when it's put together it sounds like AG. Usually someone presents an idea; a riff, a chordstucture or even a vocal melody and someone else takes over making another piece for it or adds something on top. Days, weeks or maybe months later, when it's been back and forth several times, we've got a finished demo of a song that we all like. When we've got enough of these we start putting it together to see if it would make a good album. So we do not meet to rehearse or write together, it's all happening in our own studios, via the internet. We only meet when preparing for live shows, photo shoots or video shoots, because one of us lives 300 km from the others. 

We're inspired by lots of music, also from outside of the metal genre. Personally I get my inspiration mostly from pop and jazz, but also old prog rock. To mix with other worlds is what makes music interesting. I'm not very interested in well-defined genres. They're often too predictable. I like to be surprised when listening to music. 

Although the latest Anubis Gate album is self-titled, this is your fifth record to date. What had you decide to self-title it? What went into this recording process? 

While we've had to change the lead singer a couple of times, the rest of the band has been consistant throughout. So now, as a fourpiece we feel that we're sort of down to the nitty gritty – only core members left, for which we thought a self titled album was very appropriate. Actually we were originally very keen on having just a photograph of the band on the cover. But it didn't look right after all, so we went with the present, somehow untraditional metal artwork. Also there's a new record company behind it; thus the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Anubis Gate. 

The process of recording is the same as always: Drums are being recorded at Hansen's studio. Guitars/basses are being tracked, this time at my HenRec and then reamped at Hansen's. Keys and solos are done at Kim's Sphere and vocals are done also at HenRec. Then everything is gathered, first at Sphere by Kim and later when ready at Hansen's to be mixed/mastered by Jacob Hansen, with Kim present. 

Anubis Gate has been around for quite a while, and unlike some bands that began in the 80’s, the music does not sound dated. How has your approach to making music changed over the years? 

We started playing in the 80's in different constellations, but Anubis Gate did not really exist until 2003, so it's only been about 8 years. I think generally we've matured over the years to a point where it isn't important what people may think of us. We do exactly what we want to and luckily a lot of people like it. It's all about the songs now. We don't need to show off anything that the songs do not require. Actually when I look back at the metal that I digged when I was a teenager, it was in fact the songwriting I was after, but I never paid much attention to it back then. I could be quite impressed to hear somebody playing really fast and stuff, but if there wasn't a good song to back it up, I quickly lost interest. 

What are some bands that you have been listening to lately? 

Lately it's been Jamie Cullum, Toro y moi, The sea and cake and old prog rockers It bites. Metalwise we're talking new Cynic and Deftones, but it is not very often that I listen to any metal. I'm a sucker for nice vocal melodies/harmonies, so it's all very melodic. 

What advice would you give to younger artists and bands who are trying to get themselves noticed? 

The material is everything. Do not compromise when you write or record the songs. If it takes a year to make the demo, so be it (Purifications took 6 years (on/off)). Generelly speaking; no songs on Youtube is better than crappy or even half-decent ones. There's so much music out there and if somebody gives you 10 seconds of attention be sure that they get the best of you and they might bring their friends as well. 

Any final words or things you might want to add? 

We've got a single now (for download only); the track ”Golden days” (single version), backed with a non-album cover of ”Wouldn't it be good” (N. Kershaw). Furthermore ”Golden days” comes with a music video that we have just finished shooting. Should be on Youtube within weeks. So watch out for it and the full album on September 13th. And hopefully we'll see you all on tour one day. 

Thank you for taking the time to respond to this interview. 

You're welcome. Have a nice day, ye bangers! 

Henrik Fevre.

Anubis Gate's PA Profile can be found here.

Edited by Conor Fynes - September 11 2011 at 18:09
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memowakeman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote memowakeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2011 at 15:29
Though I cannot say I truly enjoyed their new album, they are a cool and talented band.
Nice interview Conor.

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