Wednesday, March 30, 2016

interview: Anger As Art

Anger As Art
The long-running California thrash bandidos Anger As Art have a new 2016 album titled “Ad Mortem Festinamus,” which, after doing some research at the local library I found out, means “Welcome to the thrash zone: step aside, posers and hipsters!” Apparently, I have been living in a cave because I had not caught on to the music of this band. It is time to rectify this error. Come to think of it, this interview does a good job of laying down the law, according to the gospel of these sons of chaos. Why don’t we find out together now about the message of rock that this thrash battering ram brings? Read on and clear some space in your living room for some moshing.
Greetings! What can you reveal about the life of your metal band in your city?
Hey guys, and thanks for the interview. I'm Eric Bryan, bass player and vocalist for Anger As Art. We're a thrash band from all around Southern California, specializing in the more brutality-oriented aspects of the genre. In our ranks are Steve Gaines (Abattoir, Bloodlust, Tactics, Dreams of Damnation, Pagan War Machine), Dan Oliverio (Abattoir, Stealth), and Rob Alaniz (Abattoir, Evil Dead, Rise, Winterthrall, Feaost, and about a million other bands). I'm the newest member, but cut my teeth in Inland Empire thrash bands Necroscope and Abstract Prayer. We've been around for over 10 years and are currently promoting and touring around in support of our fifth album, Ad Mortem Festinamus, through Old School Metal Records.
What is the history of your band?
A lot of that is in the previous question, guess I went a bit overboard! has a pretty thorough bio available, but the short version is Steve was left with no active bands after decades on tour and in studio. He recorded the first album completely on his own and on its success, began to gather band mates. Line-ups have come and gone, but at this point we're solid and ready to bring the AAA thrash all across the country and world.
In metal music there are many genres. How would you describe your metal music?
I'd put us squarely in the thrash genre, though vacillating between the more aggressive ends and the more experimental. On Ad Mortem Festinamus in particular, we're taking some tonal risks in defining how we move from our base of pure thrash. We are at our core an LA thrash band, rooted in the speedier take more than a lot of the Bay Area chunk or New York punk, but Dan's bluesy take on soloing and Rob's wide breadth of technique and influence (from prog to grind, thrash to black), along with a little black metal on my end creates what I believe is a pretty unique take on thrash.
How many recordings do you have and where can people hear your music?
We have five records out: Anger As Art, Callous and Furor, Disfigure, Hubris Inc., and Ad Mortem Festinamus, all on Old School Metal Records. We have stuff up on YouTube, Soundcloud, and, but for physical copies, our Facebook and Amazon are best for picking material up.
What inspired you in the first place to pick up instruments?
I can't speak for the rest of the band, but for me personally, it was a combination of things. Metallica and Black Sabbath came to me at an early age, but getting into metal was a wholly independent thing, as I didn't grow up with heavy metal in your family. Geezer Butler and Jason Newstead made me want to pick up a bass, and I began to dig into metal as a genre. I began with thrash, and started playing it, but as I went, there were milestone discoveries ranging from Candlemass' "Nightfall" and Fates Warning's "The Spectre Within, to Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill," Overkill's "The Years of Decay," Voivod's "Killing Technology," and Anacrusis' "Screams and Whispers." From there it got more and more obscure, until I was digging through used cd racks trying to complete my Akerococke and Virgin Steele collections. I'm still looking for more great bands, and likely always will be. I loved the options that heavy metal presented, and wanted to be a part of that world. I was featured in Metal: A Headbanger's Journey when I was about 17, and that opened up a world of options, from there it's been all about learning to be more fully a part of the metal world, an with Anger As Art, I've been able to see bands from all around the country, and even be witness to the Puerto Rican scene, which will eventually be a monster in metal. So many fantastic bands from there.
What can people do to support your music?
Buy the record and come to a show! Things are tight for a lot of people, and I completely understand that, but check out our Facebook and take a listen, a kind word is always nice too.
Do you plan to tour?
Absolutely. We've got immediate dates in San Diego, Las Vegas and Chicago, all of which can be found at
People say that there is no money in metal music. Why do you have such dedication to your metal music?
There isn't. Unless you hit that mid-upper tier of bands (for our purposes, think Overkill, Kreator's, Exodus and the like) or higher, you'll be struggling. We make music because we like making music. We're interested in the crafting of it, and bringing that to the stage, and the money comes last. If you don't want to lose your ass, read your contracts, play smart shows, and play well. Metalheads can smell a fake from ten miles away, come prepared, open, and able. And don't be an egotist, it looks small and sad. There's a lot of metal to love, show up ready to love it.
Some bands like lyrics about zombies, demons or politics. Are lyrics important to your band and what type of lyrics do you think work well with your music?
I believe lyrics are very important. I was able to write quite a bit lyrically for Ad Mortem Festinmus, and put quite a bit of work into it because I think they are essential. This doesn't mean purple prose or technical terminology or whatever, but knowing how to write well for your own band. I could never write a song about zombies well, but King Fowley does it masterfully for Deceased. Likewise, I'm not much for songs about sex and relationships, but Skyclad, Riot, and WASP did a good job with that stuff. There's nothing more annoying to me than a shit lyric over a great riff.
What other news do you have?
We'll be playing our record release show at Malone's in Santa Ana this Saturday, April 2nd, and after that, gearing up for more shows! Shoot us a message or comment at for more details. Thanks again for the interview, and hope to see you when we get up in the Washington area!

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