ANTIMATTER (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with ANTIMATTER?

Hi! Right now I’m gearing up for some acoustic tours with Vic Anselmo, we will be performing tracks from the new album as well as delving into Antimatter’s back catalogue to present what I hope to be an intimate, textured series of gigs. We will actually be coming to Spain too, Barcelona (‘BeGood’) and Pamplona (‘Zero2’) to be precise. Apart from that I’m also working on a full live band here in the UK, and writing new material.

– «Fear of a Unique Identity» is your first album since «Leaving Eden», released in 2007. Why has happened this gap of time between both releases?

The years since Leaving Eden were very full. Compiling ‘Alternative Matter’ alone took a year out of my life due to the fact that I had a lot of old recordings to clean up and augment, a 100-page book to arrange, a DVD to author, a documentary to make. Apart from that I had a number 1 record with ‘Broken Smile’ (The Beautified Project), supported Marillion twice, by their request, I set up my own label ‘Music In Stone’ to release a live Antimatter album. I also had a nervous breakdown, bought a house and wrote two albums, one of which is ‘Fear Of A Unique Identity’, which, as you say, I strove to make perfect, not a quick process. So, really that 5-year gap was quite full.

 

– And how could you say has the band changed since «Leaving Eden» came out? Has the songwriting procces changed at all?

I had realized that over the years the path from ‘Lights Out’ to ‘Leaving Eden’ had resulted in Antimatter’s sound being narrowed and refined, almost to a defining point with ‘Leaving Eden’, and I really needed to open the picture up. I’ve certainly achieved that with ‘Fear Of A Unique Identity’ and I’m sure fans will agree.

 

– Getting a bit into this new album, would you please mind to elaborate a bit on its concept?

’Fear Of A Unique Identity’ is a concept album that explores the dangers of mindless conformity, especially if the standard that is being conformed to is actually malignant. I see a lot of people smudging the lines between themselves and the collective. There’s a lot of role-play going on.

 

– And how strong is the link between it (or/and the whole album) and the cover artwork?

Everything is connected on the album, from the artwork to the photoshoot and also the promo video for ‘Uniformed And Black’. The concept is very strong and consistent throughout.

 

– In my humble opinion, this is your best opus to date, as you’ve managed to let the listener delve into your world full of melancholy and melody without being monotonous. Do you think this is the effort we could mention when someone would ask what is ANTIMATTER all about?

In my opinion this is the most dynamic Antimatter album to date. Not since the first album have we had such a range of textures, and even then the debut was very static in its genre, whereas ‘Fear..’ really sweeps the board. There was a pent-up energy that was released in a rainbow of styles for this new album. I really got something out of my system here.

 

– It’s also a little bit more «synthetic», showing you are always looking to add new sounds into your music. Was this kind of sound something you were looking for? Is reinventing yourself something important for ANTIMATTER?

After Leaving Eden I knew I wanted to try something different. I wrote a song called ‘Eyes Burning Holes’ and created a demo for it, which sounded just like any track off ‘Leaving Eden’, and that really repulsed me. I took a bit of time off to let myself calm down and find a new angle. Then, as I mentioned earlier, I got drawn into a thousand other things, so when the urge to write and create came back I couldn’t, as I was too busy. This resulted in a pent-up energy in me that was never released. Once I had time to myself the music just came flying out, and I let it come in whatever form it wanted. It felt very much like when I was writing for ‘Saviour’, it was very free. Antimatter is in a constant state of flux. The next album will present a different angle; I intend to explore music as much as I can in my lifetime. I only have this life once and I can’t understand why some people or bands stick to the same formula time and time again. Well, actually, I can, but it’s not an artistic decision, that’s more about raping an established fanbase by recreating the same ‘product’ again and again. Personally I want to open as many doors musically as I can, and at this point Antimatter’s fanbase should be used to change, as every album has been different to the last. I already have the most of the music written for the next album ‘The Judas Table’, which I hope to record at the end of 2013 for a 2014 release, which, surprise surprise, is a step in a new direction.

 

– Each song on the CD is a different world; we can find Pop-ortiented tunes, while other seem to have certain Dark Wave sound, there are also really atmospheric tracks, etc. Due to this I would like to know which one is your personal favourite and why.

I love each song equally, really I do. In the process of compiling an album I make sure that each song has its own merits. Nothing goes on an album that doesn’t have a deep impact with me, so its very hard to then have to choose a ‘favourite’. I guess from time to time certain songs will stick out more than others to me. But at the moment? I love them all!

 

– And still talking about such; what are the band’s main musical influences? As I guess they may be quite diverse.

Theres actually a massive New-Wave influence on this new album, its everywhere! Obviously theres loads of other things, but New-Wave was the big one this time around.

 

– All this about «Fear of a Unique Identity» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Only three words? : P

 

– Something that has always caught my attention is the fact all your records (except for «Lights out») feature nine songs. Is something you strive for or just coincidence?

No, its not coincidence. Its more about a certain running time than a set amount of songs. I grew up as an avid listener to records, and obviously, vinyl had a set running time of around 40-45 minutes. That is the frame that I grew up with and in my mind that is how long an album should be. As it happens, that tends to average out at about 9 songs.

 

– I guess, due to having Duncan Patterson among the band’s line-up, comparisons with ANATHEMA may be something unavoidable. Anyway ANATHEMA has been through an obvious evolution, getting as result a totally different music genre compared to what they played when they started so, do you think ANTIMATTER would ever cross that line? Could such a huge change happen with ANTIMATTER?

I can’t say what music Antimatter will be creating in ten years time. It’s a complicated subject, because the project has already moved so much over the last decade from ‘Saviour’ to ‘Planetary Confinement’ to ‘Fear Of A Unique Identity’, and also with many songs being a hybrid of different genres yet still retaining a certain identity. I could talk for a long time about the politics of this and wtill come to no solid conclusion. Music is a fluid concept, I’ll just keep on creating it and let other people worry about what they would like to classify it as (and even then they would all not agree!). Its all ‘Antimatter’ to me.

 

– You’ve been around since 1998, so I would like to know what are some of your goals still to achieve?

I’d like to continue to write and record music that Im proud of, and to explore the live side of Antimatter fully with the 4piece band I have formed here in Liverpool. Id also like to see Antimatter get a bit more recognition, I guess that will come with time.

 

– Next 2013 you will release another album, «The Judas Table». Could you already tell us what will we find on it? Why these two albums in a row?

The concept is already set in stone. I’ve had the album in my head for years. At one time I had both ‘Fear Of A Unique Identity’ and ‘The Judas Table’ in my head, both about 70% complete, and it was’nt clear which one would be the 5th Antimatter album. In the end I had a creative leap with ‘Fear …’, which was completed first. ‘The Judas Table’ is about betrayal, and is based upon a nightmare scenario of gathering together all the people who have needlessly stabbed me in the back over the years, and then having to sit in a social situation with them all.

 

– And beisdes this upcoming record; what are some of your other near-future plans?

Straight away I’m going to go on a few acoustic minitours with Vic Anselmo. The album has just been released and I want to tour it as soon as

possible. My old tour manager Aftermath Music is setting it up and I’m actually quite looking forward to it. Vic and myself have a great chemistry on stage and I’m eager to hear the new songs played live. After that I’m working on a new project called ‘Sleeping Pulse’ with Luis Fazendeiro from Portuguese band ‘Painted Black’, which, again has me very excited. It’s a step away from Antimatter and its refreshing to actually work with another writer rather than being in total control. We’re aiming to have that album released in 2013. Once that’s finished it’ll be back to Antimatter for the 6th album ‘The Judas Table’ which I am already busy finishing off the writing at the moment. I’m a very busy boy!

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Sure! Thanks for your everybody’s continued support, and fans should feel free to connect via facebook.com/antimatteronline. Cheers !!

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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