Progressive metal bands place emphasis on technical complexity and push the accepted standards for song structuring with each new effort. When this is done under the guise of death metal there’s a fine line of coming off too technical or pushing the envelope too far, results at either of those points vary from fair to midland. California’s Anisoptera manage this fine line surprisingly well on their recently released full length Spawn of Odonata. Spontaneity and creativity collide face first with melodicism and brutality across the eight songs contained on this debut effort – it’s hard hitting AND memorable, can’t ask for much more than that on a debut. Armed with our set of Profile questions we recently sat down with guitarist Randall Krieger and vocalist Robby Perry to gain some insight into the band so head directly below to see what they had to say.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
Randall Krieger: I always had an interest in different sounds and music making. As a kid my mom played the piano so I remember always tinkering around on the piano then I took up the trumpet in school bands. But after listening to Metallica and Pantera playing metal, guitar became the coolest thing in the world. I hoped to always be playing music and getting better and learning new things, I don’t think I will ever reach a level of success that I am content with because it is about continuing and constantly creating new things. As long as I continue to do that I will be happy.
Robby Perry: I used to watch my grandpa play guitar, and gather inspiration from just seeing how awesome he made it sound, he was probably strumming a few chords, but to me it was a shredfest at the time haha. I started picking it up around the age of 6 or so, and making sounds until years down the road I was writing my own songs and riffing out. As far as success goes, there’s never a level I’d think to reach for, I just enjoy what I do and keeping pushing further.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
RK: One time someone in the band got super pissed about some mishap, I think it was because we forgot the merch or someone was running late or something. But he kicked the wall of our studio in a rage, and the walls inside the studio were paper thin so the wall instantly crumbled and his foot got stuck in a huge crater.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
RK: One of the great things I think is I am hearing more bands mix different genres of music with metal to create new interesting blends of music which I think is really cool. It is unfortunate that I keep hearing about sexual misconduct and rape allegations in the music scene recently. Hopefully it will lead to more awareness and less of these crimes in the future.
RP: We can’t be thankful enough of all the great new music out there, from all subgenres out there it’s just booming. More and more tours are happening all over the globe and seems that newer bands are getting recognized with actual talent, we hope to join them in the coming months. As far as what spoils any musicians appetite is the contant bashing, drama, and false coverage. Social media is a priveledge and could be a great thing, why not uplift the great things going on in the music world instead of focusing on talking trash on addicts and exconvicts.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
RK: I like to convey emotions into my music but I leave it up to the listener to decide what to take away from it.
RP: Everyone has a past, whether it was negative or amazing, more importantly we all can shape our future and decide who we want to be. We try to integrate our previous, current, and future choices into the bands lyrics and overall morale. With how gruesome some of the lyrics may be, there is a balance of beauty to be heard.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
RK: I think I was 12 when I started listening to metal. My family was supportive, my dad was really into groups like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and Jimi Hendrix so he was very supportive.
RP: I was 11 years old, trying to find myself, definitely digging the harder distorted songs and heard Slipknot playing on a local rock station and have been hooked on heaviness ever since. Growing up in a religious home, my grandparents weren’t too pleased, in fact they were infuriated, didn’t stop me though haha.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
RK: I would say take some time to research music analytically as well as culturally. And please do not ask what kind of porn I watch in an interview. (inside joke)
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
RK: My goal is to continue writing new music, world domination would be cool. No. One of my hobbies is creating new instruments with metal scraps, junk, and found materials.
RP: Current goals are focused on new material, releasing new content, and releasing our debut album. It’d be pretty sick to start a dragonfly cvlt haha.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
RK: Beyond Creation, the Aura, and Iannis Xennakis
RP: My current favorites within my CD rotation right now are Deftones, Sun Speaker, Alterbeast, and Gorguts.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
RK: Writing new material soon.
RP: We’re already starting to write new music, so I hope to release at least an EP/Album within the next 6 months. We have aspirations to tour more, hopefully internationally within the next 12 months.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Randall and Robby for their time!