Joined: February 11 2009
Location: Vancouver, CA
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
I think perhaps it was
seeing The Police on TV back in '80/'81 (this exact performance btw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
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
For prospective listeners
who have not heard the music of Anubis Gate before, how might you describe
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
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
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!
Anubis Gate's PA Profile can be found here.
Edited by Conor Fynes - September 11 2011 at 18:09
Joined: May 19 2005
Location: Mexico City
Though I cannot say I truly enjoyed their new album, they are a cool and talented band.
Nice interview Conor.
Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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