Hanna Tsepesh: Olá Diogo e Alex! Thank you so much for accepting this interview and Welcome to THE GATES OF METAL! How are you and how are the things doing with your concerts?
Hello! Thank you for having us, I’m doing fine thank you! The concerts are going very well, actually they are blowing all my initial expectations away! In a positive way I mean! Lots of people seem interested in the band and in the album!
Alex: Greetings. It is yet too soon for me to speak confidently, but I expect all to go well in the future, should all be like our TTROD*-release concert, which was great.
(TTROD* - Through the Rupture of Dimensions; our first album)
Hanna Tsepesh: First of all I have a curiosity: how did the band name emerge?
Alex: I came up with the name “Antichthon” considering Philolaus’s (a presocratic Greek philosopher) astronomical theory. According to Philolaus, the Earth would orbit around a Central Fire which was, as the name implies, the centre of the Universe wherein all celestial objects revolved around. Yet for the Earth to maintain balance in its movement, Philolaus suggested that a Counter-Earth, Antichthon, would orbit the Central Fire on the exact opposite point in relation to the Earth. This concept was later adopted and fabled in Greek Mythology, which held that Antichthon existed to obstruct man from glancing at the Gods.
Hanna Tsepesh: For those who do not know the band, could you tell us a little on how it all started? You guys started very young, right?
Diogo : Yes! We were only about 14/15 years old. As where the band history is concerned I think, if I’m not mistaken , that all it started back in the year of 2006. Alex , Bruno and João were classmates in the same school , later they lost contact between them , but back in the year of 2005 they got all back together again! As where I’m concerned, I was introduced to Bruno and Alex by João which is my neighbor. They Introduced me to metal (gothic and black metal to be precise) and as the time passed we got together more and more frequently so we just thought: “hey lets create a band”, but none of us had any musical knowledge or anything, except for João which had a few drum lessons in the past. It all developed naturally from there.
Hanna Tsepesh: What inspired you the most to create the lyrics and what process does the band use to create the riffs to comply with the lyrics?
Alex: All lyrics in Antichthon are epic tales that although fictitious may occasionally reflect some of my philosophical views (consubstantiated in the storyline). I was mainly influenced by books connected to “Magic the Gathering” and other fantasy literature, of which I must mention John R.R. Tolkien. However, mythologies of different cultures and times have influenced me as well. Concerning the writing process, the songs always precede the lyrics, as to enhance the synergy between music and lyrics and to avoid the risk of disproportion. Nevertheless, I invent and organize the entire concept of the album and respective songs beforehand.
Diogo: Well myself and João , when we started to write “Through the Rupture of Dimensions” we hadn’t any specific concept lyricalwise , but as we wrote it , Alex started to develop a concept of his own for Antichthon so he quickly kept up with the composition process. The last song of the Album ( The Evil Rising) was written to comply with the concept and the lyrics , I think it was the only one, apart from the instrumentals which were composed on purpose to comply with the lyrics. In the other songs some adjustments were made as well! To answer your first question, composing this kind of music having already a lyrical background is much easier than having no idea at all. From now on we will work this ways, concept first and music second. It’s much more logical this way if you want to do a concept album.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands? Do you have a musician that you admire the most?
Diogo: Well as for bands, they are so many… I cannot just point you one or two, that would be narrowing what is music for me since there are so many …
As for a musician that inspires me, I have one in particular, and it’s not even in the metal world.
Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree since he innovates so much. For me, he stands for all that a musician and a producer should be.
Alex: I like a myriad of bands, as any metal musician does. Still only one band has managed to utterly penetrate ears and touch my essence, and that is Deathspell Omega. I am yet to find a band with more exquisite songs and technical riffs in Black Metal. Although I do not agree with the band’s set of beliefs (for being, according to some sources, theistic), their lyrics are profound and elaborate to a level no other metal band has managed to reach.
As for the musician I admire the most, I must answer Wagner. I shall even admit that, to a certain extent, my work in Antichthon shares the same prime essence and purpose as Wagner: to invent legends outstanding and fabulous enough to drive hearts and dreams, and convert them into equally striking music.
Hanna Tsepesh: Do you have another band or some future project?
Diogo: I have a side project with João and another friend, Existence:Void, more in the area of the avant-garde/experimental Black Metal. It gives me room to express my other influences and feelings. I also play as a live guitarist in the black metal band Imperivm.
Alex: Indeed, I have personal projects which have not yet seen the light of day. One of them is Lugh, which consists on simplistic Celtic Black Metal. The other one is Heldross, an avant-garde Black Metal experiment in which I intend to make music as sinister as possible, yet brutal, and yet ethereal. I have already recorded some stuff, and hope to post it online soon.
Hanna Tsepesh: I would like to know if you had or have any guttural technique lessons?
Alex: Not at all, and I do not think that one could ever get lessons on that matter in our Western Lusitanian Beach. I could have been tutored by another metal vocalist though, but it was not the case. I took classical singing lessons for some months though, which indirectly helped. Whatever the case, I urge all aspiring guttural vocalists to seek help from a more experienced vocalist, in order to avoid attaining a wrong technique that could ultimately lead to some nasty vocal chord damage.
Hanna Tsepesh: When you start to play guitar? It was difficult to learn? What brand guitar you prefer?
Diogo: I started to play the electric guitar at the age of 14.I went to a music academy and met my teacher which for my surprise was also a Metal Head! This enabled me to learn it rather quickly since he was constantly correcting me and giving me tips. We still remain big friends, it was he that recorded our album! Regarding guitar brands I currently use ESP Guitars exclusively.
Alex: I play guitar as well. Actually, I was supposed to play guitar on Antichthon, but do not due to the complexity to coordinate both the guitar playing and guttural growling. I was taught by the exact same teacher as Diogo, and took lessons at the exact same time. The first 6 months were most troublesome, but soon learning guitar became smoother and more pleasant. I use an ESP model, but have a crush for Mayones guitars.
Hanna Tsepesh: What was the highest and lowest point of your young career as a musician?
Alex: The highest point? I’d say it was the releasing our album, TTROD. The lowest point, I’d say, was the shortly after the birth of our band, when we were having a seriously hard time finding a second guitarist and a keyboardist to play live. As you know, Gustavo Lopes is our current live guitarist, although such role used to be occupied by Pedro Barros, and we use a sampler to play our orchestrations.
Diogo: That is a very difficult question since I’m having constantly high and low points, I tend to be a very bipolar musician (laughs). But careerwise the highest point was to play at Barreiro, in an awesome stage with an awesome audience and crew and also the satisfaction of releasing an album that was being delayed for so long! As for the low points I think the lowest was when he didn’t had time to mix the album and the band sort of stagnated.
Hanna Tsepesh: Let’s talk about the “Through the rupture of dimensions” album. I am very surprised with your talent guys...this album kicks ass! I liked a lot of elements that remind me of some old horror and war films! Congratulations for the entire band! Can you tell to our readers what they can expect from this album?
Alex: It is interesting how you mention that our songs are reminiscent of movies. There is a somewhat, one could say, cinematographic touch to our music, as I intended to make the plot progression in the lyrics accompany the intensity and ambience of each part of each song throughout the album, and João was also highly influenced by movie soundtracks. I hope that a listener of our album may experience a similar feeling as to that of watching an intense movie on theater!
Diogo: I think that the audience can expect an awesome adventure full of twists and turns!!
Hanna Tsepesh: In the recording studio, did you guys face difficulties? If so, tell which and how was the whole process.
Diogo: Well the whole process was very hard, mainly because we hadn’t any studio experience , and also because ourselves and the producer back in the day didn’t have the necessary time to sort all thinks at once, so the whole process took several stages to be complete and that was the worst thing, the constant wait! It is very frustrating believe me.
Alex: Our difficulty was mainly the time the mixing process consumed and our longing for its completion. It was however worth it and I don’t regret it.
Hanna Tsepesh: How has the response been to the album by the fans and media?
Diogo: I think the response to our album has been astonishing! A lot of people seem interested, the album leaked to the internet in a matter of days and we had a lot of downloads. Since we release the album in a limited to 50 copies run, it is a great thing to know that its reaching more than 50 people. Many more actually!
Alex: Astounding. Everyone desired an exemplar of our album the moment it was released, and everyone liked it to date. But what was most notorious was the blast of popularity after our songs were leaked into the internet. Our myspace’s daily views multiplied exponentially and our songs are now everywhere – from the United States of America to the People’s Republic of China! The leakage was more of a blessing than a curse. Still I am not a supporter of intellectual property reform.Hanna Tsepesh: If one of our readers wants to buy your album, what they can do?
Alex: Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or www.myspace.com/antichthonband . They better get them quick because soon there won’t be any left!
Hanna Tsepesh: What is your favorite song in this album and why?
Diogo: Its very hard to choose only one, I like them all.
Alex: The Evil Rising I’d say, I like the riffs and it’s great to sing.
Hanna Tsepesh: What is your opinion about metal in our country (Portugal)?
Alex: Metal in our country? Metal’s a good thing, there should be a lot more. But Portugal is not a naturally metallic country for cultural reasons, unlike a country of Teutonic heritage is, for instance. Still we have some very good bands (which are for the reason mentioned above typically more popular outside) and I hope metal to gets a decent boost here in the future.
Diogo: I think that we have very good bands in Portugal but they are a bit underrated.
Hanna Tsepesh: What are the future plans/goals for Antichthon?
Diogo: Reach as many people as we can, maybe to get a record deal and start making a new album!!Hanna Tsepesh: Do you want to send any message for the people who are going to read this interview?
Diogo: Thank you for following us!
Hope you like our album!
Alex: Hope to see you among the ranks of The Wicked Legion next time we play live.
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks o much for your answers and time. I wish the entire band a big success! Hope to see you guys very soon on stage…
Diogo: Once Again thank you for having us! Cheers
Alex: Fare well.
By: Hanna Tsepesh
To listen to ANTICHTHON songs and for further information go to: