Check out the song: “Hold Back Tomorrow”
The progressive melodic band Anubis Gate has just completed work on their self-titled, fifth full length release. I had the good fortune to be able to speak with vocalist Henrik Fevre about the work that went into making this disc. This is a fantastic record that defines catagorization; just when you think you know what the band is going to sound like they change things up, refusing to be pigeonholed. A killer production accentuates the bands’ unbelievable musical chops making this a very good listen. Here’s what Fevre had to say.
What’s the story behind the name of the band?
Henrik: Anubis Gate comes from a book called, “The Anubis Gates” by Tim Powers. It was something that our former frontman Torben Askholm came up with. It inspired us both lyrically and visually back then, but now we’ve kind of grown out of it. So these days it’s just a name, a brand with no actual connection to anything else about the band.
Now that your new self-titled CD is complete, how do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome?
Henrik: We’re all very pleased, indeed. Have you ever heard somebody saying that they were unsatisfied with their new material? We’re happy about both the change of record company and the way people have welcomed me as the new lead singer. It’s never an easy task to replace singers, but I guess the fact that I’ve sung some leads on the previous albums has helped quite a bit.
What was the writing process like?
Henrik: 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 chord structure 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 we really hate each other.
What is the meaning behind the album’s artwork?
Henrik: We stumbled across these nice drawings by Jens Reinhold and thought this one was very close up and kind of personal, which pretty much sums up the contents of this self-titled album. So we found it quite appropriate and also different from your average prog/power metal artwork. The days of cover art showing god-like heroes with swords and dragons with seven heads are over (for us, anyway).
Was there any different writing on this CD compared to your last?
Henrik: Pretty different, yes. Last time we had a whole story to connect with both lyrics and music – The Detached was a concept album, this isn’t. This album has 10 very different stories. But the writing process was similar, so apart from the lyrics things haven’t been that different.
Are there any tracks that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Henrik: It is a difficult question, but I guess if I should pick three it would have to be “Desiderio Omnibus” – about being able to control death, “Oh My Precious Life” – about the difficulty of living up to your father’s expectations and “Circumstanced”, which is a very personal lyric about being haunted by old relationships. But I’m very happy about the lot.
When you write do you ever think about the live performance?
Henrik: No, never. That is something we’ll have to deal with on the day. We would never restrain ourselves from wild ideas just because it would be impossible to do live. That’s no way to make enchanting music. If something proves impossible to re-create live we’ll do it in another way or omit the track from the live set. The sky is our only limit.
Check out the song: “This White Start Throught my Mind”
Is it hard translating your songs to a live performance?
Henrik: Not really. It’s a lot of work doing the backing tracks right (Kim plays the guitar live, no keys), but once they’re complete it isn’t hard at all. Some tracks work better than others live, so that will also affect our choice of live songs, when we go live.
What kind of touring plans do you have in support of the record?
Henrik: None at the moment, unfortunately. But I believe we’ve talked about doing shows in 2012. We’re waiting for kind invitations to festivals or support gigs.
What’s next for Anubis Gate?
Henrik: Right now we’ve got a lot to do promoting the album, to which we’ve just made a single version of “Golden days” (backed with non-album cover of “Wouldn’t It Be good” – download only), accompanied by a forthcoming video (watch it on YouTube soon). Later this fall will see the release of deluxe versions of our 4 previous albums, including forewords and comprehensive track-by-track liner notes by all involved plus bonus tracks and lyrics, maybe pictures as well. We’re working on these as we speak, so if you’re on the brink of downloading these albums, please wait for the new versions. After that live shows could be the next big thing for us.