Interview

Akaname

Akaname

Monday 9th August, 2010 6:27PM

Akaname are playing three NZ dates in July, taking in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. UTR had some email correspondence with the band and the result was the below interview.

Hi, how are you?

On behalf of the other guys in the band, Namaste. We are all pretty chur.

Can you please give us some brief background on the band?

We started out in Wellington 2005 as a 3 piece, instrumental band.. we jammed out for a couple of years at black note where we lived and after accumulating 3 more members, put out a 5 track EP that was picked up and released by a U.S grind label- Debello Records...... We got to support some pretty chur bands like Cephalic Carnage, The Dillenger Escape Plan, Jakob, Dial, This City Sunrise and Ulcerate... we moved to Melbourne and found equilibrium as a 4 piece, put out a 3 track Demo of our new instrumental sound and began combing the live music scene for signs of life while Swampy began building a studio in the warehouse he lives in so we could record this full length album.

Who is in the band and what do they play?

Otis is our beastly yet compelling drummer and senior musical alchemist, he also is the man behind our gig posters and album art, he's the oldest and youngest.
Matt plays bass and does all the driving on tour.. he's the sneakiest and funniest one.
Swampy plays the lighter tones and handles all the samples live.....he is the Macgyver of the band and has his own brand of O'swamp handmade tube amps.
I play the heavy guitar stuff and tap dance over a pedal board or two.. I would guess I am probably the serious one..and gear sponsor for the unorganised...

Where are you currently based?

In our large riffon collider, smashing riffs apart untll we divide the vacuum.

How has living in Australia helped the band?

Moving to Australia provided us with a Crisitunity, the band was like 4 plants growing in the same pot back in Wellington. I think our inherent personal differences have found the breathing space to become strengths.. which we needed to rediscover equilibrium, you know? We only stood to gain what we were willing to gamble with, so we each went 'all in'.

What has Akaname been up to lately?

The most dynamic shift in our recent trajectory is also probably the most subtle, it was when we changed our tuning of the note A, from 440hz to 432hz..
It came about after two or three years of sniffing around the Kybalion (as above, so below), Cymatica (vibration creates form), Sacred Geometry (the blue print of that form), Crop Circles and Temporal Displacement, Expanding Space-Time Theory and stuff like that...It sounds pretty tech but it's all just different expressions of the same thing..... and from there we learned that 432hz is the square of the speed of light and.... as above, so below! It was like..the music settled in to something big.
Back on Earth, Otis works as an artist/graphic designer while the rest of us all work in hell.. Hospitality. We have played a few shows around Australia and made friends with a few cool bands along the way... all in all, the basic vibe has been one of keeping it real....

What can you tell us about your debut album?

Swampy has pretty much engineered the whole album from the ground up and we each take turns bossing him around and playing producer while we track our instruments. Otis comes in at some pretty random intervals and goes ...Luuuke, theeese are not the takes wee are loooking for.....
Without the dollar illusion hanging over our heads, we are free to pretty much develop a feedback loop and go all night.
The most out of it thing for me was when we were recording the first track in A432hz, there was Swampy, me and our old guitarist Alex and we all started experiencing hard out spinning sensations in our Solar Plexus' during high volume playback.. it was awesome! the music was 'doing something'....The high harmonic content just began exploding when we tuned down to A432' and I remember Alex going Wo o o ooah!! my solar plexus is trying to climb out of me! and Swampy and I both went me too! at the same time...it was beautiful.. Since then our guitars have all been behaving much better too..thanks Schumann Resonance.

Is it all new material, or have you reworked some songs from your EP's?

New material in the loosest sense of the term...our music is ususally developed as a single entity, one whole piece of music from the first note to the last...sure there's a couple of old riffs from here and there, some eye of newt, tail of puppy... even the first riff we ever played together is still in there...somewhere. Since day one, we have been a 'live band' and our music has always been subject to how many people were in the band and what they could realistically pull off, now that we don't have those 'restrictions'...the studio has really allowed the music to reveal itself to us....making an album isn't about playing the songs 'they way they go'...its about collapsing the ego, listening with our hearts and allowing the identity of the tracks to present their hidden faces, angels and symmetry's.

What was you writing/recording process for the album?

Most of the material was already written, as a live band would play it so our initial focus was on capture and engineering....we didnt want to spend too much time in 'post production' we just wanted to get the drums as huge as possible, rain down guitars like cats and dogs, and then devastate any remaining negative thinking patterns with Matt's bass once the guitars had crystalized. We mixed as we went so once the songs were played, we were halfway there...after a little polishing with some faery dust, we became one mind while swampy rode the faders... Otis' natural ear for arrangement provided the necessary executive decisions on the finer twists and turns.

What are you thoughts on the final product?

Turn on, tune dowm, rock out ;)

What can audiences expect from your upcoming NZ tour?

It's mushroom season right? Expect to see us playing our faces off!

Do you notice a difference between crowds in Australia and NZ?

Yeah, in NZ it wasn't weird to have a crust band, a black metal band and a experimental act all on the same bill...there is way less genre crossing here, bands all seem to want to stick together. Apart from that, I guess it's fair to say we attract a certain type of heavy music fan... people who feel the music but hate being screamed at and who dont want the traditional 'negative/destructo' vibe from a 'metal band'.... it's these fans who've provided us a common ground on both sides of the tasman.

What's your favourite thing about playing live?

The sympathetic resonance between the band and the audience.. the feed back loop of emotion that once established, connects us all in the moment.

Tell us about the best or most memorable gig you've ever played.

For me, that's easy... I love Cephalic Carnage and getting to support them was a dream come true, we played a pretty mean set that night and afterwards,we all smoked a few tree's in their room and got chonged as, talking about space and stuff.

Do you find comparisons annoying, interesting, helpful or all of the above?

I don't find comparisons helpful...... I mean really, when you get down to it... we are all just different expressions of the same thing, so although it's natural to see duality and compare things to others in the world, its indicative of a certain, missing of the point. We just want people to enjoy it for what it is... an endless fleeting moment.

What's the strangest comparison you've read about your band? Cant say I've ever read anything about Akaname beyond the old myspace chestnuts and Dillenger Escape Plan arguments.... haha and there was always the disbelief that our old singer was a girl.... Kallie's voice was pretty much beyond compare.

What are you listening to at the moment? My current playlist is Frerik Thordendal's Special Defects, Nephlim Sound System Modulation, Bohren and Der Club of Gore, Kobong, Gridlink, the New Backyard Burial album and Solace by Jakob....there also appears to be some of Whitesnake's 1987 album in there too.... just telling it like it is!

What else does the future holds for Akaname?

The future doesn't exist, it's just a concept we have developed with the temporal lobes at the front of our brain...Our awareness of time itself is a side effect of our current level of consciousness... I believe that anything is posssible, an album with Mike Patton? A World Tour with Ornithologist? A gig on the Space Station..with the original Guns n Roses line up? Flick us an email at akaname.net if you can help make any of these things come true!




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