ANACRUSIS: AN INTERVIEW WITH KENN NARDI, PLUS A NEW TRACK!
Anacrusis have posted “The Killer in My House,” their first new song since 1993’s Screams and Whispers LP. The band will play a reunion show at St. Louis’ Firebird on Saturday, Feb. 26. Listen below, or click here for a no-hassle free download .
The players came together in the mid-’80s, and formally launched as Anacrusis in 1986. Readers of UK mag Metal Forces voted 1987’s Annihilation Complete Demo of the Year. The band ultimately signed to Metal Blade. Over the years, they toured with Death, D.R.I. and Overkill, playing a melodic, downtuned thrash-prog hybrid that was way ahead of its time. Slayer/Trouble producer Bill Metoyer executive-produced their final album, Screams and Whispers. They split in 1993 and reunited last year to re-record their first two LPs. Two shows followed, in their hometown of St. Louis and Germany’s Keep It True Festival. The band return to Germany in June for the Rock Hard Festival.
[New video, old song: The re-recorded version of “Imprisoned” from 2010’s Hindsight: Suffering Hour and Reason Revisited, originally from 1988’s Suffering. Live footage from 2010 reunion shows in St. Louis and Germany’s Keep It True festival. ]
The new track was born during last year’s sessions. Frontman Kenn Nardi told MetalSucks about what will come next.
Does the new song mean a new album is on the way?
There is a good possibility that we will release some more new music this year in one form or another. Mike [Owen, drummer], John [Emery, bass] and I have many more songs written or partially completed, and after our upcoming show we will dig back in and continue recording some of this new music.
Whether we will release it as an official album (either ourselves or through a label) is up in the air at this point. I’d like to be able to stretch my songwriting boundaries a bit more. And unfortunately, when people have known your music for so many years, they tend to have certain expectations. The new song is probably somewhere right in the middle as far as style goes. Some of the new music is an even greater departure from the more typical metal stuff and some of it is closer to where we left off with our fourth album.
Do you see the band becoming a regular presence on the scene?
Things are so different these days as far as the music business is concerned that it seems strange to me when people ask if we are going to try to get “signed” or go out on tour or whatever. If someone enjoys doing that, more power to them, but if you just want to make music and share it with people who will enjoy it, there are much less complicated ways to do it these days. Few bands on the level of Anacrusis are able to make a living from playing their music or selling their albums anyhow and once you realize that as an artist it is very liberating because it allows you to make music for the right reasons.
Not that I am opposed to making a buck or anything, and if there is money to be made, it definitely should go to the right people, but chasing those teenage dreams of being a “rock star” are more than a bit futile and would be a pretty silly motivation for us to play or write music at this point.
How was the response to the Hindsight re-recordings and the show?
Speaking for myself, just knowing that what we do from the heart connects with people has always been much more rewarding than compromising my own musical integrity to jump on this bandwagon or that in an attempt to do what is popular at this moment. One of the things people have always said about Anacrusis is that we were ahead of time in our approach to metal, and I would hope that just as many people would still feel that way about what we do 20 years later even if that means the majority of people might not like it.
On the other hand, if no one likes it you simply end up being self-indulgent. So that is the challenge we would be facing with a new album. However, I am confident that if we continue to write and record from the heart just like we have always done most of our fans will be very excited about what we have been working on. Right now we just appreciate the chance to play our songs again a few more times and we are flattered that there are still people out there interested not only in what we did in the past, but also in what we might do in the future.
What was Bill Metoyer’s involvement in Screams and Whispers?
Screams and Whispers was recorded here in St. Louis in a guy’s basement studio because we thought working in our hometown would be a more relaxed atmosphere. We and the label were just not happy with the final mixes. We decided to go back up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin [Royal Recorders, home to famous Queensryche and Skid Row sessions], where we had recorded and mixed our previous album.
The label [Metal Blade] wanted to send Bill Metoyer in to help us out, which he did, but really more as an engineer than anything else. Ultimately, his input was very minimal and I ended up mixing everything pretty much the way I would have anyhow, with the tools available to us at this studio. Not to take anything away from Bill, who is a well-respected engineer/producer, but by the time he came in everything was recorded and finished, and he only assisted on helping clean the sound up a bit. He really had no hand in producing at all.
Read the band’s history at its website , where you can download their entire old-school discography free.
D.X. Ferris is the author of 33 1/3: Reign in Blood, the first English-language book about Slayer, which is available cheap in hard copies and for the Kindle machines. (He’s been know to send bonus swag in exchange for a proof of purchase.) You can friend it on the Facebook, or follow his bullshit daily on the Tweeters: @dxferris and @SlayerBook.