Sunday, September 1, 2013

Anicon Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?

Anicon is based in New York City and formed in 2010.  It started as a recording project and we made our live debut in late 2012.  Members also play in the bands/musical projects Krallice, Trenchgrinder, Geryon, Damnatum, Middle Kingdom, Ypottrol, Desertum, and Under the Same Shadow.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

I think our sound is rooted pretty firmly in the realm of black metal, but we don’t look to play to that genre.  We take influence from bands and musicians from across a wide spectrum.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

Our lyrics thus far have dealt with ideas of dissolution, negation, encountering the void and the transgression of perceivable boundaries.  Transformation has been another prominent theme.  I’m personally very interested in black holes, dark matter, the possibility of alternate planes of existence, basically things that can’t be completely understood in scientific terms.  I’m curious about what is on the other side of what we are able to comprehend.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

Anicon is a shortening of the word ‘aniconism’, which is the eschewing of visual representation.  It’s a practice that most people are familiar with in a religious context, specifically the Muslim faith forbidding representational art.  It can also be closely linked to iconoclasm wherein a social or religious group destroys or attempts to erase the icons and images associated with another.  Neither of these really apply to our use of the idea though.  We are interested in making an honest expression with our music, meaning we are expressing something audibly and not visibly.  We are not against a visual element within our music, but we prefer to focus on making our music the vehicle of our expression and to allow it to be the majority of what the audience contends with.  This is our art and the art should be allowed to do its work.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

Our first show was opening for VON here in New York a little less than a year ago, we really couldn’t have asked for a better start.  Since then we’ve played a lot of shows around the Northeast and recently finished our first tour. There were so many good shows on the road that it’s hard to pick one or two out, but Toronto and Montreal were both excellent. 

We’re not an especially gimmicky or theatrical band, we don’t dress in robes, we don’t burn incense, we don’t perform mock rituals before a performance.  In general I don’t like the attempt at mystification of a live performance, it always seems contrived and unnecessary.  If you write good music and perform it well it will make a deeper connection with your audience than any kind of dress-up pageantry could hope to.

6. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Well, we just finished a tour last month and played a one off in Brooklyn.  Our drummer will be gone for the majority of September filling in on drums for Woe on their upcoming tour and our bassist is in Finland for the next couple of months.  We’re going to spend this little bit of downtime writing new material and preparing to record for a split with Brooklyn’s Belus later this year.  We have a handful of new songs in addition to the demo we just put online so we hope to have a pretty sizable body of new material to start playing out again in November.

7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or received any interest?

We’ve spoken to some labels and have received some offers, but nothing that we were very enthused about.  We certainly don’t have an objection to working with a label if we can come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial.  We plan to self-release the split I mentioned and we’ll see what happens after that. 

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

As far as I can tell it’s been pretty positive.  We’ve heard from people all over the planet that seem to really like what we’re doing.  We’ve had one dealing with a promoter who didn’t want to book us because he felt we didn’t keep to the ‘old-school’ enough.  I think when people start talking like that they’re really being revisionist and small-minded, both about what music can encompass as well as what was going on 15 or 20 years ago within this genre.  The overwhelming majority of people that have heard or seen us have seemed enthusiastic.

9. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?

Well, Lev will be drumming on Woe’s upcoming tour and otherwise Krallice has recently finished a new recording.  Damnatum finished a recording some time ago, but I’m not sure what they’re doing with it and Geryon will be putting out a recording on Gilead in the near future.  Trenchgrinder has a split 7” coming out with Skullshitter, hopefully very soon.  It’s been tied up in production for months now.  Alex is currently in Finland doing a residency with Middle Kingdom and he also runs Mineral Tapes, a tape label devoted to noise recordings which is very prolific.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?

That’s a hard question to answer.  I’m not sure what songs we haven’t written yet will sound like.  Some of the newer ones we’re working on I can describe as fast and expansive, also more varied.

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

As far as metal goes I don’t think there’s anything that would be that shocking.  There are always classics within heavy metal and then what I consider to be classics from the Norwegian and Swedish scenes but I also really enjoy Finnish and Ukrainian black metal.  Growing up my father was very musical so I listened to a lot of American country and folk when I was younger.  I don’t think too much of that shows up in our music, though it certainly gave me an appreciation for music at a young age and probably helped to develop my sense of melody.

Recently I’ve been listening to Raate, Beherit, Akercocke, Rainbow, and Deep Purple, among others.  I just got back from a lot of traveling so what I’ve been listening to has been pretty schizophrenic and I’m just now getting the chance to sit down and listen to some records I picked up in Europe.

12.Outside of music what are some of your interests?

I paint and Alex and I also work on installation and sound work together, though those tend to be site specific endeavors and we haven’t collaborated on anything other than Anicon in the past year or so.  I also really enjoy camping and hiking, though I get to do very little of that living in New York. 

13.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Be on the lookout for the Anicon/Belus split, they’re a great band and good friends of ours so we’re really looking forward to getting to work with them on something.  Thank you for the interview.

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