ANUBIS GATE is a Danish band that I have just recently been made aware of. I wanted to know more about them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-I feel we accomplished to express our dark sides in a complex and dissonant manner, with our usual trademarks intact. It’s definitely different from our previous outcome, but just as good.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-Our first singer, Torben Askholm, came up with the name from one of his favourite books “The Anubis Gates” by Tim Powers, but as I was only a hired hand in those early days I wasn’t there when the guys decided upon it. Eventually I bought the book though, but never got around to reading it. The first two albums had artworks that supported the name perfectly, but as we moved on and slowly changed into what Anubis Gate is today, we got more and more detached (!) from it. The last bit, the logo, was actually replaced on “The detached” and henceforth. Nowadays it’s just a name, and hopefully people just see it as our brand.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It means a lot. It makes us go the extra mile to please them and to raise the bar for each album. We tell ourselves that we can’t afford to make a bad or half-hearted record, ‘cause maybe they’re not there anymore. So thank you – all of you out there who is (still) supporting us, despite us going both east and west.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-I think our music goes in so many different directions that a rather natural appearance works best for us. But we haven’t given it that much thought to be honest. Personally I’m having a hard time appearing in worn-out Metallica t-shirts and that sort of typical metal clothing, whereas some of the other wouldn’t mind, so we always try to find an in-between look that we can all accept and no one gets hurt. Sometimes I dare speak of my completely controversial ideas, but I always get vetoed haha. And I see it; we want people to know what genre we are, so tuxedos are (still) out…
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-I guess it is as important as the right commercial or poster for a film or a toothpaste tube etc. = pretty important. For the 2011 album “Anubis Gate” we were this close to throwing a band photo on the front cover, which in our genre would have been a rather risky move (as we’re not that good looking..). But it didn’t create the right mood for the contents even though it made perfect sense in connexion with the title. The art work puts you in a certain mood, and if you see the artwork right away your mood is already set when the music starts playing. It is also a way of showing what to expect from the music, which again is important if you want to target the right people with your music.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-We have always embraced the social medias and find it very beneficial to socialise with fans, so it’s all good. The downside, if there is one, would be that people might find out that we’re not gods but in fact mortal and quite ordinary human beings…
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community?
-That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
Sure. We have an agreement but the feeling of being very tight connected is maybe not as strong as in other bands. As we live far from each other we don’t meet very often, so the feeling can be a remote one at times. But then we put out a new album, work on new material or play a gig and we’re thrown right back in the middle of it. It definitely is a big part of my identity to be in a band like Anubis gate, so it gives lots of meaning to my life. When it one days isn’t anymore I must fill that empty space with something else.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-This is a tough question. Maybe I don’t pay that much attention to it. But as long as we can keep putting out albums it must be ok, because it means that people still buy music – both downloads and physical copies. In our genre at least. In pop music – not so much I fear.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We’ve never toured. If asked I often jokingly say that we’ve played as many gigs as we have put out albums, but the bitter truth is that it’s not that far off. Nevertheless we’ve been to Prog Power in Holland twice and unfortunately had to cancel US Prog power festival a couple of years ago. Hopefully they’ll invite us again one day, but we really need an agency to cross borders I think. Until then we’re actually doing two concerts this April in Denmark. Check our website for more details.
What will the future bring?
-If all turns out well we have a bit of an odd release for you all this year. Follow us on Facebook etc. and it will be revealed as soon as we know what it will be exactly. Other than that we’d like to start working on the 8th album and hopefully do more concerts in the near future.