Rob 'the Baron' Miller (AMEBIX): when crust meets doomBANDS : Amebix
Rob "the Baron" Miller, lead singer of British group Amebix, is without any doubt one of the most interesting characters in the underground scene. Even better if it has been 30 years since he formed the group and even if the band was absent more than 20 years in the spotlight Amebix are just like in their youth: making music and eager to leave their mark in world music. Rob was kind enough and has agreed to provide a new Metalfan interview. The result, in the following lines:
Metalfan: Hello Rob and welcome back to Metalfan pages! I know that you were a blacksmith, do you still make swords? Hahaha!
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: Yes I do, I have now been working at this job for 21 years, but still learning.
Metalfan: Last year, on 23rd of Septembre you have released a new album, Sonic Mass. Could you offer us more details regarding the title of the record?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: Sonic Mass has a couple of meanings, a spiritual or religious connotation, or literally 'HEAVY SOUND'.
Metalfan: You have reformed Amebix in 2008 and after three years you have released this album. When did you start the work on Sonic Mass?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: we started the first tracks immediately after leaving Hellfest in France, June 23rd 2009, Roy started writing The Messenger in the van on the way back to England. After that the songs began to filter in, we then had to find time and space to record between Roys schedule and the three of us living in different countries.
Metalfan: Your music have been described as a crossover between crust punk and doom metal. Is this mixture of genre present on Sonic Mass? Could you tell us more about this matter?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: I really dont know,as i dont think about our music within a genre specific context,Stig and I have never been afraid to experiment, taking the original inspiration of punk rock,which was to do what you want to do. Apparently some people are confused by the album, this is 24 years on from Monolith, and to me sounds like a natural progression, rather than something 'comfortable' for people to buy off the shelf.
Metalfan: What it would miss a person who is into crust punk/extreme music if he or she won't listen to the new Amebix album?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: They might miss a real experience.
Metalfan: Could you tell us more things about each song from the album?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: Not really, the album was written as a complete work, to be listened to and engaged with throughout, it is in the form of a journey, starting with the statement of Days, passing through the Alchemical and Archetypal worlds into the darkness of Visitation, which is written about an experience that happened when we were recording. The album ends with a blessing and a statement 'The Great God Fear is Dead' 'you were always free, and ever may you be.
Metalfan: I know the fact that Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) have played with Stone Sour at Rock In Rio festival from Brazil on 23rd Septembre. If this thing becomes permanent do you think that Roy Mayorga could concentrate more on Amebix activity? Do you think that this thing would be good for the band?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: Mike was sitting in for one show as Roy is expecting his first child any day now, so it is an exciting time for him with two Births. Roy will continue to play with Stone Sour and also hopefully with Amebix if we can find time and opportunity in the future.
Metalfan: Not to long ago you have released the video for Knights of The Black Sun. What could you tell us about it? Do you think that videos are a good way to promote a band? Why or why not?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: The video was animated by our friend Andy Lefton in Minneapolis,and Directed by Fin McAteer. we decided to make an animated video because we could,we had no money,no budget, nothing, but everyone worked on this for five months for the love of the music,I made Andy a Sword and looked after Fin in return.
Metalfan: Amebix music have influenced such bands as Sepultura and Neurosis for example. Neurosis is also seen as a cult grup, just like Amebix by the bands and fans of sludge music. What do you feel about this?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: I feel very honoured, and yes, 'cult' is a fitting expression, as the band is almost unknown even in the metal world. Hahaha...
Metalfan: In 2010 Amebix have released the EP Redux. What can you tell us about this record? How it was recived by the media and the most important by the fans?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: Like anything, opinions are divided, and I understand that people can prefer the original sound and production, even if it is terrible. But these songs were a way for us to breathe life back into the music and have it sound how we would have liked it to sound back then. It was also a way of preparing people for the idea of a new Amebix sound overall.
Metalfan: Have passed 33 years since Amebix was formed as a band. Have you ever think to make a special show and film it for a DVD with all the ex an current musicians from Amebix?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: There is already a DVD called Risen, which has a lot of the bands story. However, it is no longer available but there are Youtube links on our site.
Metalfan: Lemmy from Motorhead said in an interview that the key of succes is to never give up. What can you say about this words?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: I would rather say, do what you are good at.
Metalfan: What better advice could you offer to a young band?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: Enjoy being young and playing music, don't be afraid to experiment, be true to yourselves.
Metalfan: How are the things going regarding live shows? Do you intend to go on tour to promote Sonic Mass?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: We do not know yet, but hope to tour again in 2012.
Metalfan: Do you have in mind to play in the near future here in Romania?
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: If we can make that happen then we should.
Metalfan: Thank you for your time. In the end feel free to add something if you want or to send few words to our readers...
Rob 'the Baron' Miller: Thank you for the interview, we hope you enjoy the work, and also hope to see you in Romania some day.
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