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Deutsche VersionInterview mit Antiquus (19.06.2007)

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HH: Why did you choose Antiquus as name for your band?

Andrew: Antiquus is actualy Latin, meaning 'Ancient'. We went by a different name, before we put out our first record, and we had changed musical direction, so we wanted to come up with a new name. I came up with the word 'Antiquus', and at the time, I didn't even know what it meant, I just liked the sound of it. So did the band, when I brought it up. Once we learned what it really did mean, we thought it was even a better fit - it was very appropriate, given the kinds of songs and lyrics we were writing.

HH: In your biography it says that you are "mixing the raw, oldschool roots derived from their 80's influence with a fresh, melodic, and more modern touch". Which bands from the 80's influenced you most as musicians?

Andrew: I think it pretty much goes without saying that Iron Maiden is a huge influence on us. Myself, I am really into bands like Fates Warning and Queensryche. Between the group of us, we are into a lot of different bands, from a lot of genres and periods. Everything from power metal like Helloween and Hammerfall all the way to thrashy bands like Metallica and Megadeth and heavier stuff like Slayer.

HH: Where do the modern touches come from?

Andrew: It was important to us to get away from some of the almost formulaic kinds of songwriting structres that we'd seen time and time again from bands that influenced us. It's not that we're not fans of how some of those bands have crafted their songs, we're just saying that the patterns have all been done a lot, and we wanted to put our own vision out there. We also wanted to work without any constraints in terms of production style - working with unconventional instruments and especially vocal techniques.

HH: In early 2005 you released your first record Ramayana which received really good critical acclaim over here in Germany as far as I can see. Did you expect such a positive reaction on your record?

Andrew: We were very proud of what we accomplished with Ramayana, given the very low budget we had to work with. We had very high hopes for the record, but nothing could have prepared us for the reaction we received, not just in Germany, but all around the world. We are touched that Ramayana was received so well - it's just a shame that we couldn't have toured more behind that record.

HH: Where in the world did you get the best reactions on Ramayana?

Andrew: Of course, Germany was very kind to us, but the record was also received very well in Greece and the United Kingdom, and here in Canada, of course. We had hoped to garner more attention in the U.S., but it's such a huge market, and there are so many bands and albums floating around out there, it's hard to get the media's attention there.

HH: In January 2007 you released your second album Eleutheria over here in Germany. Where in the world did you get the best reactions on Eleutheria?

Andrew: Our experience with Eleutheria has been much the same as it was for Ramayana, except to say that, having been signed by Cruz Del Sur, the media and the fans have expected more from us - the bar has been raised. Because expectations are higher, the praise we've receieved for this record, especially from Germany, means a great deal to us.

HH: Are you pleased with your new record?

Andrew: Yes, but, as always, I would have been happier if we had just a little more time to work on it. In the end, we managed to faithfully capture the story we wanted to tell, and the musical performances were as strong as we could make them, given the time and resources we had. There are a couple of production things I wanted spend a little more time with, but - well, maybe next record!

HH: Looking on the track names of Eleutheria it seems that you are following a certain theme within your lyrics. Can you please give us a brief overview of what the lyrics deal with?

Andrew: Eleutheria is a story about an explorer, the Captain, who is charged by his King and country to find new lands. During his journey, the Captain must make some difficult decisions, and his decisions have dire consequences. We wanted to examine to what lengths people would go, in the name of progress, and duty. Would they die? Would they kill? Why do we set out to explore the unkown? We've always been fascinated by historical accounts of discovery, and the effect that those discoveries have had on the future. So, we told a story that is part past, and part future. We also had a chance to touch on some other things we enjoy, in terms of historic and contemporary literature, everything from the poetry of Walt Whitman, to the horror and fantasy of Stephen King.

HH: It seems that "Mechanismo" and the last song "KT Event" are not related to the rest of the lyrics, are they?

Andrew: No, they weren't. The concept-piece is the first six songs, "KT Event" and "Mechanismo" were other songs that we had written at the time. We really struggled with whether we should have placed them at the begginning of the record, or at the end. We chose to start with the conceptual stuff first, as it was the foundation of the album.

HH: On Eleutheria you manage to write complex songs which grow from run to run. But the songs are also quite epic without using bombastic keyboard dominated passages or choruses for several voices. Did you deliberately avoid these elements? Can you imagine to use keyboardsounds and choruses on future releases?

Andrew: As a producer, I wanted to make sure that all of the guys in the band were on the same page in terms of the elements of the story, and how we told that story, before we began to record it, and that included a very frank discussion of instrumentation. The message that they gave me was very clear - we wanted to be able to recreate the recordings in a live setting as much as possible. Since we didn't have a fulltime keyboardist, so we didn't want to record keybaords on the record. The same thing for a choir. Who knows what the furture holds for us, but, we have always felt that not relying on heavy keyboard pads or huge vocal choruses was one of the things that made us unique.

HH: Imagine an empty room. How would you decorate it so it represents Eleutheria?

Andrew: I wouldn't put anything in it at all. Part of the message that we wanted to deliver was that, when you discover someone or something or somewhere new, you show your respect for it by leaving it the way it is, instead of stamping it with your own identity.

HH: Can we expect Antiquus to enter the stages over here in Europe especially in Germany in the near future?

Andrew: We are working on a few dates in Europe for July right now, but it's in flux. We haven't been in contact with any of the festivals yet. There is still plenty of time for us to put something together, and we'd be happy to talk to anybody about any kind of opportunity. We desperately want to get to Germany and the rest of Europe this year, we just need someone over there to get a hold of us and book some dates.

HH: Thanks for your time and good speed with Antiquus! Any last words?

Andrew: We just wanted to say thank you to the fans, especially in Germany - without the audience, what we do has no meaning. Thanks for supporting us throughout the years, and we hope to see you on tour in 2007!

Lord Obirah

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