The Amenta interview (08/2004)
- Could you introduce the band please?
Chlordane: The Amenta is Chlordane - keys, samples and effects, Cesium 137 - vocals, Ethion - guitar, Endrin - bass and Diazinon - Drums. We formed in 2000 and released our debut MCD, entitled "Mictlan" in 2002. In 2003 we signed to Listenable Records who are releasing our first full length album, "Occasus".
- Like a lot of young bands, you seem not to have the will to be easily classified in one single genre, as you mix a lot of various elements [Death, Black, Indus]. How do you define your music?
Chlordane: I always think of our music merely as Extreme Music. I don't think that we follow any of the 'rules' of a particular genre. There are certainly facets of Death and Black Metal in our music but our desire to create something new led us to incorporating other elements such as Power Electronics and Dark Ambient. I think that all bands should have this kind of experimental attitude. There are way too many bands that are content to churn out the same pointless re-workings of tired and stagnant genres. We have always prided ourselves on the originality of our music. Everything we have released and everything that we will release will push the boundaries of extreme music.
- Tell us a bit about the lyrics of your first album…
Chlordane: The lyrics of "Occasus" deal with the decay of individual intelligence in western society. Dogmatic teachings, be they religious or philosophical, force an individual to conform to an unnatural hive mentality. This has the effect of crushing any individual thought and creating a mindless society. The lyrics of "Occasus" deal with this issue both metaphorically, highlighting the methods of thought control used by dogmatic systems for thousands of years, and in a blunt, personal sense. All the lyrics are linked thematically to make "Occasus" a concept album, a soundtrack to a personal revolution.
- Is it easy to be a Metal band in Australia? Is there a big underground fanbase, or lots of support between bands?
Chlordane: Australia is not the ideal country for any kind of artistic expression, least of all metal. Our Government has systematically sabotaged any support for local art with taxes and levies forcing the closure of many venues resulting in a fragmented and unfocussed scene. Due to the lack of venues it is nigh on impossible to play quality gigs and receive any kind of payment, subsequently a lot of bands give up and, while they may be talented, they are unable to make any impression overseas. Of course, the bands that do exist are quite tight knit, helping out where they can by lending gear, organising accommodation on tours or providing supports and occasionally venues. The fan base isn't huge but I think that it is growing.
- How did an Aussie band end up signing with the French label Listenable?
Chlordane: After we released our "Mictlan" MCD, we sent it around the world to print and internet 'zines. We got awesome reviews and a lot of publicity by appearing on compilations like the Legion comp and Knuckletracks from Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. One of the 'zines we were reviewed by was Chronicles of Chaos. Impressed by the CD a particular reviewer recommended us to Laurent from Listenable Records. We sent a promo pack out to Listenable and they offered us a great deal and excellent support.
- What are you up to now? Have you plain to tour out of Australia? Maybe we will have a chance to see you in Europe or America?
Chlordane: At the moment we are in pre-production for the film clip of the track "Erebus" from the "Occasus" album. We are working with Stef and Dali from Entropy Films whose critically acclaimed feature film, Zero Tolerance Squad - State of Entropy, recently won best director, best film and the jury prize at the Toronto Fifth Planet Indie Film Festival.
We are definitely going to tour overseas. One of biggest goals with The Amenta is to hit both Europe and America. We are currently rehearsing for an Australian tour at the end of the year. We are recreating the entire album live, interludes, samples and effects included, so we are just working out the logistics of the technology.
Occasus, the first album of the band.
- I guess you all have jobs when you're not with The Amenta. How do you reconcile music and day to day life?
Chlordane: Reconciling our day to day live with the band is not too hard for us. We are so committed to the band and enjoy it so much that we pretty much spend all our free time working with it. I guess the focus for us is the band and we merely work to support it.
- Which bands influenced you?
Chlordane: Personally my influences are very wide ranging. I am inspired by bands from the Death and Black Metal scene, such as Immolation and Emperor Etc. as well as bands from the Power Electronic scene such as the Grey Wolves through to Dark Ambient bands like Lustmord or Archon Satani. What inspires me about any band is that they are offering something new and not just repeating the same tired old formula.
- Some people say that it's too easy today for a band to get sign and that this phenomenon blocks the Metal market. As a relatively new band, what do you think of this statement?
Chlordane: A shit band with a record contract is still a shit band. No amount of prestige attained by that little logo on the back of the CD will wipe out the excrement that they have pressed on the disc. It is up to the discerning listener to make sure they don't pick up the fucked album.
- Have you thought sometimes about the future of The Amenta? Do you think staying in Australia is viable for you ?
Chlordane: If it became feasible then we would definitely relocate as Australia is just too distant from any kind of music centre. It is probably not viable to stay here in the long run unless some drastic changes happen to geography and government in the next few years.
- Thanks a lot for this interview, feel free to say anything you want, to the Fans, to me ["Your interview sucked…"], to your dog, your girlfriend or maybe even nothing…
Chlordane: Thank you, Deadsoulman, an excellent interview. Visit www.theamenta.com or www.listenable.net to download a full mp3 of the track "Erebus", the film clip of which should be out soon. Buy "Occasus"!
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