To the backdrop of Rammstein I sat down with Morgan Deane, Dan Gerber, Matt Gerber and Dave Gibson. When pieced together they represent something unique, something spontaneous, something inspired from frustration, love, hate, pleasure, desire and depravity. Together they represent Anarkangel, a metal band with no real direction of influence and a style that can only be described as infectious.
With a music video, “Sick”, recently released from their debut album “This Moral Void” I wanted to get their views on what it actually means to be Anarkangel. I wanted an insight into their writing styles, production methods and exactly why South African girls have teeth hidden deep in their vaginas.
What is Anarkangel? How has it all come to exist to what it is today?
Dan: It involved a lot of whiskey! In Brady's!
Morgan: Myself and Dan sat down, on a lot of whiskey and decided we were gonna create a heavy metal band, and it was gonna be something astounding. And then we drank some more whiskey and then we forgot about it for about three years!
Dan: That's pretty much it. We had one song, “All Your Ties” and we redid it about five times and then four times after that. Then the third time was when we decided that was the kind of style we wanted to go. It took us a long time, I mean, we drank fuckin' bottles of whiskey. We nearly killed an Indian guy.
Morgan: I really apologise to that guy actually...
Dan: Yeah, I don't think he deserved to be nearly... dead.
Dave: How did that happen?
Dan: Well, he drank a bottle of whiskey... No joke!
Dave: Bad idea!
Did you supply the bottle of whiskey?
Dan: Ah yeah, we did yeah... not to try to kill him though cos he was like “I can drink whiskey too!”
Morgan: “I can drink whiskey just as quickly as you two!”
Dan: He drank the half bottle there in one go and we were like, “you're gonna be sick!”. And then he got sick. And he got more sick. And then he got more sick and then he was unconscious in the toilet he'd eventually gotten into. I don't know how he did it. This was in my house.
Dave: How did an Indian guy end up in your house?
Dan: I've no Idea! He was just there! But he was in love with Morgan...
Morgan: And that's the origins of Anarkangel.
Dan: So we nearly killed an Indian guy and thought, we need to start a metal band!
Is that what “All your Ties” is about?
Morgan: Hahaha, I never thought about it like that. Well, “All Your Ties” has gone through so many fuckin' changes and rewrites and the album version that's now there is the definitive version. It's six years? The album version is six years old.
Dave: Where could I buy the album Morgan, if I wanted to buy the Anarkangel album?
Morgan: Bandcamp! It's readily available, all you need to do is put in your credit card details...
OK so next question, talking about the album This Moral Void, can you talk about production?
Dan: Basically what we tried not to do is copy any kind of stuff. We set out to go for a grindcore/industrial kind of thing but what came out was what came out, Anarkangel. And it's not everybodies piece of cake, that's for sure. I've shown it to people who are into industrial and they've said “That's not industrial! That's not metal!”. But we've never gone out to impress anybody, that's the best thing about it, we've just done it for ourselves.
Morgan: Yeah, I gotta second that vibe. For me anyway, it's part of just relaxing and not giving a shit about anybody really. That's what Anarkangel is to me.
Dan: And the production comes in layers. We started off going, right, we'll just get a simple beat going, we'll write a couple of riffs over it and then I'll email it to Morgan. Morgan puts the vocals on it, when I come up, we have the vocals on it then it goes back to the drawing board again. So once the vocals are there we can restructure it. Morgan says “Actually no, I wanna change some shit, I wanna put this up here... change that guitar a bit...” And then we redo it again. And that's how it's taken us four years to do it when it could have taken us six months. But it's at our own leisure and we're doing it for ourselves.
You relased the track “Sick” as a video, how did that go, production wise?
Matt: Well, the idea, me and Dan came up with that and we asked Morgan to do the concepts for it. And it was six to ten months, maybe even longer than that before we started making the video. We filmed it in a school one day.
Dave: Funnily enough, in a nursery school! How fucking metal is that?!
Dan: There were childrens toys, montessori dripping from the fucking ceiling!
Dave: No children were harmed in the making of this video.
Morgan: Apart from those two unfortunate bastards that wandered in!
Dave: It was actually quick enough to shoot, it was really good. Done in a day.
Dan: So we got Dave, “Dude, you wanna do bass guitar for it”, and Dave's like, “sweet, I'll do it.” He learned the song in literally no time. He just rocked up and learned the song and I realised, “Holy fuck, I need to know the song as well before we record this”. It didn't even occur to me! I was worried about fuckin', “Has Matthew got this down? Is Morgan alright? This has got to be done as well. Fuck! I need to know the song before we can even jam! Fuck!” So I had to learn the song before I jammed it there. And Al, the drummer from Cold Trigger was there as well and he was fuckin' deadly! The guy came up, asked to hear the song for a second and he went, “yeah, ok!” and he did it. He just got it, it was insane!
Dave: And the fucked up thing was that on the recording some of the drums are programmed, and some of the shit should be nearly physically impossible to even play!
Morgan: Yeah, he actually said “Ok, listen, I'm not gonna play this part cos it's impossible...”
Dan: He asks me, “do you want me to do that part on bass drum?” which is really intricate so I ask, “can you?” and he's like, “yeah...If you want I can do it!”
Morgan: He currently plays the Original Rudeboys. Lets shout out to them guys...yay...we all agree with that...
So were there any limitations with it, or even freedoms with the creation of the video?
Matt: I think there was ultimate freedom, there was no actual set. You had camera angles that you wanted to know but there was no actual storyboard drawn out.
Dave: It was just do what you wanna do, and do how you wanna do it!
Morgan: I felt restrictions...
Dan: I think when it came down to cutting the video and editing it, we did a couple of drafts of it, and that's what came out. But the only restrictions that we found was once everything was recorded and put together, the camera angles that we had were the limits; because we couldn't go from the side. We just had what we had, there's all you can do in one day with one camera man at a cheap price.
Dave: Fourty thousand million!! Fourty thousand million!
Morgan: The shoot itself went pretty fuckin' flawlessly I have to say. I was acting director that day and it was as perfect as I could have wanted it. But first off, when I sat down I just had all this footage and I didn't know what the fuck to do with it. Then me and Dan sat down and we put it together and suddenly we had too little footage. I mean we would have liked more interesting shots. And just like the music, it's not 'til the two of us get together that it makes sense.
Dan: It makes no sense until someone else has a look at it. That's where we're headed now, it's myself and Morgan and Matt and Dave. The next one should be a little bit more awesome!
There are plans for another music video?
Morgan: There are. There's a song, “Little Heathen” on the current album.. .Available on bandcamp...
Dave: For only €7? Wow, so reasonably priced!
Morgan: Isn't it?
Dave: Where can I get the album for €7 Morgan?
Morgan: On Bandcamp.com!!
Wait a second!! That's half the price of a fully released album!
Morgan: Yes... but eehh, anyway, we're planning on recording “Little Heathen” as a music video. We're doing a call out for people to record girls saying one line which is basically “When do you want it?” into a camera phone or anything and then just email it to us.
Dave: How many have you now?
Morgan: About 30 now... we need about four hundred!
Dave: Approached some girls in the pub last week, “How would you like to be in a music video?” and they're like “Is it porn?”. Do you want it to be porn?!
Dan: And you say it's not porn and they ask “Can it BE porn?”
Morgan: “If you really want it to beeee...”
Dan: It makes you think back to when you're twenty one/twenty two and you dont really wanna approach this girl, she might be scary, I dunno, she might have, her vagina might have teeth!
Matt: What girls were you hangin' out with?!
Dan: You grew up in Ireland! I'm South African, you're Irish bru! You might be my brother but you're Irish! South African girls have teeth in their vaginas bro! They eat your dick!
Morgan: But yes.... Answering your question... There is a video in the process. It's “Little Heathen”. We just need to work out some logistics before we begin. It's gonna be sexy!
Are there any plans to playing any of the tracks live?
Dan: Did you have to mention the war?
Morgan: I'll tell you what, I'll answer this one myself. From my own point of view, we could play live, we could rip the fuckin' stage apart live! We could introduce an entirely new fuckin' idea to the Irish metal scene live! BUT, I don't wanna pay that much money to play live. Practice fees and shit like that.
Dan: It's an investment and when and if we can, we might. If it seems feasible to do it, we'll go off and play live! But our promotion is strictly internet based. It's fun. We're basically a cyber band. That's it!
Morgan: You looked at me funny there!
Morgan: I do it all the time, just cos you're in a proper band!
Dave: I didn't say that! In my head you are the products of that but no... That was a bit weird!
Dan: Morgan think's he's got telepathy. We try telling him he doesn't but!
Morgan: It's just ADD!
It's early stages but with new material, what are you writing?
Dave: What ever comes out really isn't it, we were just there this evening bangin' out riffs and Dan goes “what's that?” and I'm like “I dunno, I just made it up now!” and Dan says “well that'll go with something I have!”
Dan: It's so easy with the technology now! With ProTools, you can record your session and you can send it all. Dave can record a whole entire track and send it off to me. I might not have the same instruments that he's got but midi will put that all together. The whole track is there! I can jam something back and send it to him. And we'll work the track until we get together for the final amalgamation of the whole track! Like semen in a carpet!
Morgan: Semen on the carpet? Jesus!
Dave: Just soakin' it up!
Dan: This is how we do it and technology allows us to. We could sit in a band practice, and we might do that still but this is it for us!
Dave: The thing I love about it is, it's on your own schedule. We don't have to go into a room at six o'clock until ten o'clock every day, or every week and fuckin' look at each other and go “anyone got any riffs?”. But when you have a riff, you sit down in front of your laptop, you put it down and you send it to the guy! You're not forced to fuckin' ejaculate this riff between the hours of x and y on a certain day of the week.
Morgan: I see it as an art form, in that if you're drawing or painting a picture you're not going to be forced to do anything at a certain time in a certain week at a certain specific moment. If something comes to our heads we'll lay it down, send it off and that's it then. That's the way we write.
Dan: So we're a cyber rehearsing band!
And Matt, you do remixes with it all too?
Matt: Yeah, I've had some really good ideas for remixes and I'm working away at the moment for “Sick”. The remixes for the few songs are good ideas.
Dan: Actually on the album, there's a track “Pariah” and there's a laugh on there and that's all Matts idea. He said it needed something and he pulled something off youtube. Thats it!
Have you released any remixed tracks, or are you going to?
Matt: Hopefully when I get them finished. It's a tedious process doing remixes for metal. I mean the time beat is completely different. Trying to make a decent remix of a heavy metal song is difficult. I need to do it justice and trying to do that with sick is fuckin' hard!
With the whole band, are there tracks that you've discarded that you want to work on again?
Dan: About three albums to be honest!
Morgan: Yeah, there were so many tracks that were just thrown aside because we just forgot about them.
Dan: One of the tracks starts off with some chick going “mmm, mmm, fuck you, fuck you, mmm”. Every one of our tracks started off with some chick going like, “Stick your cock in my mouth!” and that's how it progressed! We are a porn metal band!
Morgan: The song “Sick” itself has a porn sample in it! I fuckin' loved it the first time that I heard it!
Dave: The first time I heard it I was in my car! There's a siren in there, a police siren, dunno where it is, I swear to god but I put it on, I was hammering down the road doing ridiculous speeds and I hear this siren! “Fuck, I've been done!”. Lookin' around there's not a car on the road! I fuckin' shuffle back the song and it was there! I nearly shat myself!
Morgan: Listen out for the wilhelm scream too.
So for the new stuff, we can assume it'll be Anarkangel style, “it'll be ready when it's ready”?
Morgan: Yeah! It'll be an eclectic fusion of genres! It's gonna be better but we're not trying to constrain ourselves to a single genre.
Dan: We're not gonna try and do what we've done before. We're going to improve. We've got one canvas, and four artists. Everyones got a paintbrush and trying to paint a picture. That's what we're trying to do.
What are the three must have items for recording and writing?
Morgan: Guinness, Bulmers and Tyskie!
Dave: ...apart from the equipment you need to record?
Apart from the equipment you need, yes...
Dave: For me, a day off the next day. Not to be in work the next day 'cos I'm gonna drink copious amounts of alcohol.
And last of all, how would you like to see Anarkangel, six months to a year and then two years from now?
Matt: Kind of just seeing where it's gonna go.
Dave: Yeah, that's the fun thing about being in this band. You don't know what it's gonna be in the next year. There's no pressures, you don't have to be something in a year, you don't have to want to be something in a year. It's just gonna be its own beast, which is awesome.
Matt: It could take ten years for all we know
Dan: There's no delusions of grandeur in this band.
Morgan: That's why we don't have a drummer... Eh, i'd like some kind of feedback though. You know, not even recognition just feedback.
Dan: Yeah, like I hope someone listens to it and says “man, that was cool, I enjoyed that”
Dave: Or gets pissed off by it!
Dave: Like they hate this song so much that they're moved to hatred!
Dan: Cos that's the same thing!
Dave: You know, in a years time, the only thing I hope is that this is still fun.
Morgan: it's not a job being in Anarkangel. It's literally a few mates who can get together and write music and enjoy it.
Finally I would like to thank Anarkangel for being gentlemen, taking the time to chat and sharing a few beers. If anything in this interview caught your attention, please take a look at their bandcamp page. This Moral Void is a refreshing, fast paced album with plenty of surprises. Enjoy!