Anhedonist interview


You have released a demo tape, 3 very long tracks of high sort doom death metal. Congratulations on that, especially in these days dominated with ugly and old skull death metal!

Cheers, Bart. We were all talking about playing a more classic style of death doom influenced by some old favorites when we started this band. Although on our newer material we are working on there is certainly more death metal creeping in. I am actually quite a big fan of much of the new old school death metal going around these days.

Cassette os sold out now, from what I know. How many copies did you spread? So I guess feedback was also significant?

Yes the tape is now completely sold out from us. We did a press of 300 copies. We also sold a fair amount of tapes on our Western US tour with Oak from Baltimore, MD. But, yes, the band is completely out of copies. People internationally have been really supportive!

Where your demo spread better, in USA or Europe? I guess, although it os sold out from you, can be still obtained from distros, right?

I would definitely say that most of the trades and orders came from Europe and Australia. There are still some distros worldwide that have copies of the tape. Detest, Yersinia Pestis, Vjecni Rat, AVR Label, Bloody Oath, Abysmal Sounds, Psychedoomelic, and The Cave Distro all should still have some copies kicking around.

Heard you plan to repress your demo on vinyl. How far things have gone and when this will be released? Will it have any additional tracks?

Parasitic Records from Portland, Oregon will be releasing the demo material as an LP, on 180g vinyl. There will be no additional tracks, however the songs will of course be remastered and will sound far better. I am also working on the layout at the moment and I think the packaging will be killer.

How about next release? Have any songs except these from demo?

We actually have quite a bit of other material written at this point. We will be doing a split EP with Knelt Rote, a full length album, and there is a slated four way split LP with Mourner, Pallbear, and High Priest. I would say the Knelt Rote split EP will be done before the rest of it. Although we have a fair amount of the writing done for the full length.

What I find uncommon as for death doom are these insane black-metal like vocal parts. Was it on purpose?

Absolutely, the guitarist/vocalist VB is heavily influenced by Bethlehem so these seemed a natural addition. Stylistically, these vocals were included where the riffs seemed to warrant them.

Why did you decide to press it on cassette? Yearning for the old times or effort to differ from many other bands?

We find the cassette medium to be better, and maybe less disposable, than the CDr and we did not want to press vinyl for our first release, as it is a demo after all, and we are broke, haha. It was also damn cheap to get pro cassettes pressed. I would say a bit of nostalgia did factor in as well.

I`m curious to what extent your bands name and music is coherent to your attitude? Are you equaly serious in everyday life?

An anhedonist is a person whom is not capable of experiencing pleasure. I would not classify any of the members of our band as such, although some of us do cope with severe anxiety and depression. This band more represents a vehicle to channel a lot of the horrific experiences we have had, continue to have, and would like to escape, to somewhere outside of ourselves. I would say on the day to day we are not a bunch of grimsters and dicks. At the same time we do take this band and the subject matter very very seriously.

In more general terms: do you think metal can be jouyful?

Haha, well shit, I have had some damn good times partying at shows. Generally I think maybe sound wise and concerning subject matter, it probably shouldn't be too cheery. I have heard some of these more positive "black metal" bands circulating around the States with revolutionary subject matter and such, and it strikes me as being a bit disingenuous. Just a personal preference I suppose. Heavy Metal represents darkness, whether it be the occult or otherwise, to me. Although, I am quite a fan of old NWOBHM bands and there is quite a bit of upbeat nature there.

Say some words on your lyrics, what are they about in general?

The lyrical subject matter of Anhedonist is quite personal, focusing mostly on psychological struggles. The torment of existence, the sorrow of defeat, and the endless war against the self and the world around you are all thematically very strong. We have chosen not to publish lyrics for now, though that may change in the future. We view the vocals as another piece of the overall sound, less so as a means to convey a message of some sort. I think the sound of the band overall conveys these ideas pretty effectively already.

How crowd behaves in your shows?

Honestly, I am too focused on other things during our performances to pay much attention to the audience. Sometimes people seem quite attentive or even alarmed. Other times no one pays any mind to what is going on in front of them. It depends on the type of show we are playing really.

Seattle in popular view is the city where grunge emerged. But going to metal. Have no idea of your age, but can you remember the begining of 90s? Also there are bands like Nevermore and Queensryche, but I cannot recall any extreme metal acts there. Can you reccomend any local band?

I am actually not from Seattle and have only lived here for about five years. I know in the nineties bands like Burning Witch and Thorr's Hammer were active, playing death/doom type metal. These days there are a large number of active bands, although we seem to be the only one playing the death/doom style. Some of our favorite locals are long running death metal horde Drawn and Quartered, Scorched Earth, Iron Lung, Black Breath, the now defunct In Memorium, and d-beat maniacs Deathraid.

Who are in your opinions doom death originators band? To me they are Paradise Lost/My Dying Bride/Anathema. What is your opinion on these, then and now?

The old Peaceville death/doom bands were some of our strongest influences initially, along with old Katatonia, Winter, Thergothon, and Ceremonium. I think Lost Paradise, Gothic, As the Flower Withers, The Thrash of Naked Limbs, Serenades, and Crestfallen are all incredibly important, influential albums and EPs which led to the existence of the current death/doom genre. I can't say much about current albums by these three bands as I have honestly only heard them in passing and did not really appreciate or enjoy what I heard. Early Paradise Lost especially was a huge influence on me.

Thank you for your time and last word for readers?

Thanks to everyone who has been in contact with us and ordered or traded for our demos. The support is very much appreciated and hopefully we will be able to play for you all internationally at some point. Bart, thanks much for the excellent interview!

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