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Vincent (ANATHEMA): The next album is gonna make me proud

Vincent (ANATHEMA): The next album is gonna make me proud
BANDS : Anathema

I postponed the interview until after the show and I hoped the guys were awaken enough for some questions. I arrived at the hotel and I've been told that they were in the shower, trying to make it after a night without sleep – autographs and pictures with the fans, party and drinks with friends – everything after a fantastic show. After a while, Vincent and Dave came out the door, we sat at a table and got it started – one superb half an hour with witty musicians.
Metalfan: You look a bit tired.

Vincent: Do I?

Metalfan: Just a bit.
Vincent: Well, you know, it’s probably on my face, but I feel ok; I think it’s just that obviously after the concert last night we had a bit of a party.

Metalfan: I heard about that.
Vincent: It was kind of insane, we couldn’t really get away from everybody. What I would give to be anonymous at those moments and just be a member of the crowd like everybody else and just have fun. Of course, I appreciate it, and I acknowledge it for what it is, and I’m always gracious towards everybody – you have to be, otherwise you’re an asshole, or some kind of rock star idiot.

Metalfan: I guess it comes with the territory.
Vincent: Yeah, I would love it ‘cause I like night clubs and meeting people and having fun and everything, but in last night situations it was only the last 15 minutes that we actually had a table to ourselves and nobody bothering us, and that was it. I don’t know, what time was that? It was at least two and a half, maybe three hours of constant autographs and photographs all the time. It’s weird, it’s a strange situation. I don’t mind, of course, but it’s just very odd… Imagine, what would you do in that situation?

Metalfan: I don’t know, I don’t have to think about that.
Vincent: Yeah, but what would you do? How would you feel?

Metalfan: I guess it’s rewarding somehow.
Vincent: Rewarding, it is, yeah, it is. It is, you’re right, you’re right. I am not jaded! (laughs)




Metalfan: This was your third unplugged in Romania, not to mention the two “electric” shows. After Timisoara and Sibiu, what were your expectations towards here and how were they met?
Vincent: I personally didn’t have any expectations. All I knew was that me, Danny and Dave were gonna do a gig together and that’s all I knew. We’ve done that before and I knew what to expect from ourselves and not from the audience and the situation. I deliberately didn’t want any information before about any of it, I didn’t know how many people, I didn’t know the type of place, what was gonna happen, and I didn’t think about it at all before here because I like surprises.

Metalfan: You must really love it here, since you keep coming back – when you say “Romania”, what is the first thing that comes to you head?
Vincent: People. And their intelligence, and their down to earth nature.
Dave: Very friendly.
Vincent: Very friendly, being normal and OK. It’s just that you don’t get that everywhere. We’re like that, you know; where we’re from, it’s like that. When we come here, we really recognize the warm hearts, and sharp minds, and all that kind of things.

Metalfan: The fans love you back in Romania. You do know that the tickets for last night concert were sold out within a week – what about that?
Vincent: Again, I only found out that when I came here. That’s amazing, wow, partly sold out before the press got hold of it as well and then all the tickets were gone. That tells me that we should come back and do a proper, proper, concert here. A big rock concert, not like a festival, but a big tour of rock concerts. At least one, I’d like it if we could do three, Bucharest, Sibiu and Timisoara.

Metalfan: And maybe some other places too…
Vincent: Maybe, we would probably be the first band to ever tour Romania (laughs). Sounds crazy – who are these guys, they’re crazy, they wanna tour Romania?! We’ve got this manager, he’s American: what the fuck are you doing, guys, where the fuck is Romania, anyway?! (laughs) That would be great and I’d love to do that.



Metalfan: You’ve been doing a lot of acoustic shows, only in Romania three of them; what made you do this and how are they different in mood from a regular concert?
Vincent: OK now, if you were talking to me or Danny, you’d get two very different answers to this question.

Metalfan: Let’s hear your version.
Vincent: The songs implore us to do them in an acoustic way. The songs demand themselves in that way. Imagine you play acoustic guitar at home, you play your own songs, it sounds good, you know it’s gonna be good. Then when you mix it with the cello of course it becomes an entirely different matter and the cello really carries there melodies that you just can’t express on any other instrument; really, the cello’s so special with what we do as well, so… this is the ideal setting, at least just me, Danny and Dave, at least. With the rest of the band would be great, but we don’t have the money to bring everybody, but at least this.

Metalfan: With Angels Walk among Us, you drove our expectations very high last summer – how are things going with the new album?
Vincent: Thank you for asking, it’s going really, really good. I’ve made a CD of all the mixes that I’ve done. You know the three songs from the Internet that we released – two of those, I won’t say which two, are on the album and one of them is not on the album. But for the rest, I kind of arranged and mixed them in a demo format, which is fantastic, it sounds great, in order so we know exactly before we even start what we’re gonna do. Objectively, removing myself from the equation, removing my feeling about it, objectively I would be into this band. I would be really into this band, that’s not something that I’ve said for along time; I don’t even think I’ve ever said that, to be honest with you. Because maybe when we did the first album I was really into it, on the second maybe, but I just went along with it. Now it’s an entirely different matter. This is something that I would want among the records of my collection. We just hope to make each other feel good. It’s like the only expectation we have to live up to are each other’s; like John would give me a song, an idea and I’ll roam with it, and I’ll make it better than he thought it could’ve been. The only thing I can do is make that I can play it better. John says “What d’you think of that?” and if it goes well, I say it’s alright, then I have to do more with it, I have to blow his mind and the same with Danny as well. I’ve just done this thing with Danny; we had this song which was quite long, 8 minutes, but the last 3 minutes was like a quiet piano outro, which had some beautiful chords, and I thought: well, don’t leave those chords over there, bring them over here. It may sound a bit crazy, but I was talking to the chords at the end of the songs saying “Hey, don’t be on your own, don’t be lonely, come over here and meet the drums, meet the bass guitar, it’s great over here!” And eventually when it did, this changed the song ‘cause the outro brought the chords over here. I brought those chords and then the song was done, 5 minutes, done. It’s kind of a slow and on-going process, it’s a funny thing with song-writing really, because I kind of have a hard time recognizing when the song is finished, but so is Danny as well. Even when the guitar part is done, or the piano part, I say I’m sure I can do that better, but it’s not better, it’s just different. Once you’ve done it, it’s done, how could you do it better? It’s never any better.
Dave: It’s like you complicate things, you go to much in it and then the song loses it.
Vincent: That’s why it’s important to remember silence, remember when not to play. That’s one of the biggest secrets in music really – when not to play, and when to let the mood take over. That’s really, really important. We’ve got like forty or fifty ideas we could do, but we’re gonna pick ten, we have to; our songs are quite long as well, we want to do 11-12, we want to do a double album – it’s kind of too much information so it’s like: OK, alright, come on and just pick 10 then. So we got 10 songs and it’s about an hour, and this is how we’re doing it now.




Metalfan: Did you find a record label?
Vincent: That’s going to be after it’s recorded. Isn’t that a great situation? We do the thing ourselves first and then speak to people afterwards.

Metalfan: A lot of people are doing this now.
Vincent: Yeah, you don’t have to anymore. You don’t have to rely on a record company anymore. I mean we don’t have any money, so we had to give the acoustic album to the record company just so they could give us a cheque to buy some equipment and pay for rent in a house. What we’ve got is like this bungalow on the edge of a golf course that looks like a building site, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but field and horses, and there’s nothing there at all. Just us. I’ve been living there now for three months and I continue living there now until the whole thing is done and after that I’ll move. It’s a great thing actually, it can get a little bit like Big Brother or Groundhog Day, but it’s good, actually I quite enjoy it.

Metalfan: Any ideas on the release date?
Vincent: The acoustic album it’s gonna be out on the 25th of August, 18th available for download. The next album is too difficult to say really, we just have to finish it, get it mixed, get it mastered, as soon as it’s ready as a package we approach the labels and it’s whenever they can put it out. I hope it’s this year, if not it will be early next year.

Metalfan: What should we expect of it, the music, the lyrics, the topics?
Vincent: Don’t ask me that question ‘cause I’m not gonna tell you. You listen to it. when you get it, you’ll get it, it’s silly of me to even talk about it right now; I mean it’s embarrassing as well, we haven’t done it yet, we haven’t finished it. I know in my mind what it’s gonna sound like, but when you get it you’re gonna make your own mind and anyway it’s nothing I say that would make any difference.




Metalfan: But how do you think the fans will react to it?
Vincent: I have no idea. It’s not for me to say, is it? I’m not them. What’s important to me is how I react to it, because every album we’ve done in the past, apart from the first one, I didn’t want to listen to it for about two weeks, not even wanted to acknowledge – just been for a month in the studio with these guys and I just hated the whole thing. This time it’s gonna be different. So what’s important to me is how I react to it. If I react good, I expect other people will too, that’s the only thing I can say really.

Metalfan: What are your plans for the summer, any festivals involved?
Vincent: This summer – lot of staying in the bungalow, with lots of smelly people (laughs), recording music, loads of fun. Yes, it’s gonna be like Groundhog Day everyday, some festivals in between, just to brighten up our weekends (laughs). Other than that, it’s Groundhog Day until August possibly.

Metalfan: What else are you doing besides Anathema? The band is not so active as let’s say 5 years ago – what do you do for a living?
Vincent: These days, right now, I live with the band, I live in the studio, there’s nothing else that I do. Before that I used to, when I lived in Liverpool, up until recently; I had a part time job there, I used to look after people with learning difficulties, helped them make the right choices about their lives regarding everything really, from medication to going to the cinema. It was really, really funny and heart-warming, I did all kind of things with that.



Metalfan: Did that influence you in writing some songs?
Vincent: Yeah, well, I suppose so, in a way, because it influences you as a person anyway, like anything in life, if you’re honest in your music. We don’t really write conceptual stuff, we just write honestly. I think I’ve changed a bit and that was like six years ago, when I started that job; I was doing it for six years and did all kind of things with that. It’s an amazing experience. It wasn’t just that what I did, I worked in hospitals, I worked in psychiatric hospitals for about a year, I worked with people with autism, Asperger syndrome.

Metalfan: It looks like you enjoy working with people.
Vincent: I love people, yeah, I do. I can’t help it, I mean what else is there really? The communication, the warmth, their hearts, their minds, it’s boring otherwise. I go crazy if I don’t get a chance to talk to people. I was in the bungalow about two weeks ago, just me and Jamie and the bungalow for a week, everybody else was busy. Me and Jamie are very good company to each other, we have fun, but this day we were: “Come on, let’s just go out, let’s go to… anywhere”. But there’s nothing around and you have to walk for miles just to even find a pub or something, where people are. And we found the pub and it was the UEFA Cup final that day. And we said OK, we’ll watch the UEFA Cup. Jamie’s cool, but I was talking to everybody in the pub, constantly trying to make everybody laugh, just trying to have some kind of interaction. I need people.

Metalfan: If you were to draw a line now, how would you see your career as a musician?
Vincent: Career as a musician – that sounds wrong to me. I don’t have a career as a musician, I don’t have that; I’m not a career person as a musician, that’s just weird to think of it like that. Why did he pick up the cello? (points at Dave) Why did you start playing cello? Why do you still play cello now?
Dave: ‘Cause I love it! That’s it. If I didn’t love it, I’d stop, go do something else.
Vincent: Because it’s as much of you as your right arm, it’s not a thing that you think of, it’s you.

Metalfan: OK, then in other words: your musical life, your musical past – what made you most proud and what would you change?
Vincent: The next album is gonna make me proud. I’m proud of everything we’ve done, every single song is our own little baby and I can’t be regretful about anything really. Those things are all just lessons anyway, if you have regrets in life what is it for?  It’s just a lesson, the important thing is not to repeat the same mistakes, but as far as what I’m concerned it’s the future, it’s our next music. I hope that makes me as proud as I think it’s going to. I have my own beliefs about it, I just can’t wait to get it done. Then you’ll know. Then I don’t have to talk about it, then you can just listen to it and say: OK, it’s there. Don’t ask me any questions, it’s there, it’s just there, listen to it, you make your own mind, it’s there. That’s it.




Metalfan: What do you think it’s the most important thing in music?
Vincent: Good question… The most important thing in music?
Dave: I was just thinking that!

Metalfan: Some say there has to be a balance between what you express, the message, and the technique.
Vincent: Right. There’s no easy answer to that question, because there is no answer to that question. There’s no answer removed from people’s interpretation. Everybody has their own interpretation of music, everybody has their own expression, so there’s no actual cold answer to that question, it’s got to be from the person. I personally think it’s all about so many things… (to himself) Sum it up quickly, sometime this year, Vincent… Honesty – in all ways, not just in lyrics, to be actually honest with yourself and say this is something I can live with. I just wanna be able to live with it, that’s all, it’s as simple as that. I just want to be able to live with the idea that I’ve done it. It’s got to sit along side the best stuff I listened to, it’s got to be as good as that.
Metalfan: Don’t you feel like crazy because you felt like expressing something and someway you couldn’t? You didn’t find the lyrics or you just didn’t find the right guitar line…
Vincent: Like in conversation? I felt crazy because I was sitting in the car with my ex-girlfriend, in silence for like an hour, I didn’t know what to say and it made me feel shit – that was horrible, that was awful.

Metalfan: As far as music goes, you felt something you wanted to turn into a song and…?
Vincent: Music is easy, you can do music, you don’t have to think, the hard part in life is when you have to think.

Metalfan: I’m gonna quote you on that.
Vincent: With relationships it’s difficult sometimes, with music it’s just natural, it’s the most natural revealing think you can do and the good thing about it is it doesn’t have any ego, it doesn’t have anything attached to it, it’s just itself and it’s free. And once you let it go, once you’re free within yourself you can let it go and it’s the most revealing and beautiful thing you can ever do. And that’s easy, that’s great, I love it. But as far as the other stuff, the hard thing is to talk about. I think sometimes, about the lyrics – we all have these moments of reflection, don’t we? These deepest, deepest questions that we ask ourselves, whether they are philosophical, or whether they are emotional, or whether we remove ourselves from the whole deal.




Metalfan: About that – did you ever feel like you were exposing yourself too much?
Vincent: No. I’ve exposed myself in public, my private parts in public on many occasions just for a laugh, I stripped off naked and walked down the street. I don’t really have too much of a care about all that kind of things. Again, it’s in relationships and in close contact where I used to be careful about revealing too much, but nowadays I changed completely; my whole life has changed, I’ve never been happier in my life ever, ever and I gotta tell you how good that feels, honestly. What it’s being life all about? It’s not about having these stupid ideas, about regret, and fear, and loneliness – all those things I used to carry around with me all my fuckin’ life – it fell off, it just fell off one week. It fell off me and I was just like: oh, my God... It happened about ten months ago. I’ve got nothing to hide anymore and that’s great.

Metalfan: You performed some Pink Floyd, would you consider doing something similar to The Dark Side of the Moon, so to say, a conceptual album?
Vincent: No… no. That’s Pink Floyd there; that’s Roger Waters there. What the fuck would I want to do that for? Why would we want to do that? We want to do our own thing right. If you’re talking about a conceptual album – possibly, possibly. But it’s difficult – you know, The Dark Side of the Moon was one vision, whereas ours is like three-four-five visions, so how could we make that cohesive and be honest at the same time? Roger Waters was talking about a different situation that we do; he was talking about the human condition, he was expressing himself through the eyes of a human being, the human being and he was expressing his own feelings and thoughts through that. What we are doing is expressing ourselves through ourselves, it’s a different thing altogether so I guess “no” would be the answer to your question.

Metalfan: Another thing: this year I think Liverpool is the European cultural capital, like Sibiu was last year – do you plan something about that?
Vincent: I don’t even live there anymore; it’s kind of funny, really – as soon as everything started to happen, I left, I’ve missed the boat. I wish Liverpool well, I really do. It’s a beautiful place to come from and it will be beautiful to go back to, eventually when I do go back.

Metalfan: So you plan on going back…
Vincent: Yeah, to visit people and to climb the Magic Tree in Central Park. There’s this tree in the park, it’s famous, you can climb it and as you get to the top the branches are all leveled out evenly so you can fit easily like six-seven people up there and it’s great just to sit there and get a bottle of champagne or something, for a special occasion, to go and toast the future. It’s things like that I wanna go back to, some people and as far as the cultural celebrations, Liverpool is a very cultural, musical-happening place, with its good sides and bad sides, a real mix, unlike anywhere else in England or on Earth I would imagine. It’s unique, really, it feels like nowhere else and I love it for that. I love coming from there, but I have to move on now, my life is not in Liverpool.

Metalfan: You seem a little bit nostalgic.
Vincent: I don’t live there anymore. I’m actually not that nostalgic, to tell you the truth. I’m quite glad to be out of it, but ask me in a couple of years, maybe I’ll have a bit more nostalgia, now it’s too soon.

Metalfan: Where would you like to live? Except that bungalow…
Vincent: Paris. Except the bungalow (laughs). I don’t wanna live in the bungalow! Paris, I’d love to live in Paris.




Metalfan: Did it bother when all the people started to applaud yesterday night? You had some dialog with the public telling them to keep it low.
Vincent: That was Danny! Me and him are different. Different people, as simple as that.

Metalfan: So it didn’t bother you.
Vincent: Not me, no. I accept it. People pay the money, they buy ticket, they wanna come. As long as they don’t start shouting over the music when you’re trying to play an acoustic concert… If they start shouting over the music by being drunk and things like that – then that’s wrong. But they weren’t like that yesterday; in betweens songs yes, but they were very quite during the songs, which is fine. Yeah, great, great, great listening and in between songs as far as I’m concerned do whatever you like. That’s the way I am, different than Danny I suppose.

Metalfan: Thank you.
Vincent: Cheers.

And that was one of the most interesting conversations I remember, I’m glad I got the chance to do it, with no time constraints.

Autor: Mad, Stefan
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Anathema

   May 25, 2008  | 13 Comments  | 9548 Views « BACK

Comment on: Vincent (ANATHEMA): The next album is gonna make me proud

  • Bravo Morbid Angel Deanna! :D

    1. Posted by Fenrir | 27 Mai 2008 22:31
  • Tot respectul...Va iubesc!

    2. Posted by Nights Dew | 29 Mai 2008 21:27

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