Jesper, not many know you and the bands background, why did it take
so many Years for you to return and how did the band get together?
Jesper - The
3 of us started the project in 2002. Drummer Morten Sørensen and I
have known each other since the teenage years, started playing in
the band Extreme Feedback, and ended in the rap-metal act Geronimo,
who released a mini cd in 1995. We kept writing music the years
after. By 2001 we had enough material, and was in need of a singer.
We called Torben Askholm, as we remembered him from his days in
Northern Empire, and the Prophets Of Doom album. He recorded one
demo song, and that was it! We liked his voice, and met him for the
first time when he recorded the vocals on the album in the studio
last summer. We had another member in, Kim Olesen, also from the
days in Extreme Feedback. He laid down most of the keyboards and
lead guitars on the album, but decided to leave the band.
I know artists are not happy to categorize
their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?
Jesper - Our
music has been called "epic heavy metal", and "timeless
metal". I guess we are old school, mixed with some dark
atmosphere. It may sound typical, but we are often told that we
don't sound like, or can be compared easy with other bands. We have
some elements from power metal, just without the speed and "happy"
vocal lines. Heavy at times. Relaxed and melancholy other times. We
are not modern metal. We like a good catchy melody, with clean
Why the name Anubis Gate - I don't hear much
Arabian influence or any
references to Egyptology in your lyrics?
Jesper - "Anubis
Gates" is the title of a sci-fi book, by novelist Tim Powers.
We needed a name, Torben came up with some options, and we agreed on
this one. There is no direct references in the lyrics to Egypt. But
the artwork and layout goes well with it.
topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?
Jesper - Lyrically
the debut album is a loosely based concept album about fighting
inner demons, cleansing on a psychological level. In ancient
Egyptian mythology Anubis was the jackal God, who lead the misguided
dead souls to heaven, if they deserved it. So in some way it fits
or what has inspired you vocally, musically and lyrically on this
and earlier stuff?
Jesper - It's
a hard question, as inspiration is a part of everything in your life.
It's about what mood you are in. The process for writing music for
me is not one way. But often by just playing the guitar things turn
up, some melody, some rough parts. I try a lot of ideas, recording
riffs and versions. Morten is important on the arrangements of our
songs, he have a good ear on what is good and not, how the parts
work together. Music as an inspiration can be jazz, metal, or pop.
On the vocal side, Torben did write 3 lyrics and he arranged the
melody line for 5 songs. A good friend, Henrik Fevre, did write and
arrange melody for 2 lyrics and he added harmony vocals on the whole album.
this a one-off project or do you consider this to be a regular band?
Jesper - I
consider it as a project with a future, we are writing new material
at the moment. The goal is to make a new record, and as always....do
it all a little better. If we stay as a 3 piece I don’t know,
right now the doors are open. First step is a pre-production of 5-6
Do you have any touring plans?
Jesper - No
plans for tour/concerts right now. It depends on how the album is
received. We also need extra people to do live shows if so. Right
now the album is not out, 26/4 for Europe and 29/6 for north America.
think Jacob Hansen has done a great job producing and mixing this album, but I know you
had some problems during the recordings - what happened and how do you
feel about the end result?
Jesper - Yes,
there where some problems, as the basic tracks was recorded at my
place, by the drummer Morten and me. Torbens lead vocal, and guest
musician Kim Olesens synthesizers & lead guitar where recorded
in Jacobs studio. In the first mix the rhythm guitar sound just was
not that good. And we needed some harmony vocals, to get it more
interesting. So we added the extra stuff at Hansen studio: new
guitar sound, and Henrik then recorded the extra harmony vocals.
Jacob did the second mix alone, sending some test files. We ended up
with a good result in the end. We learned a lot, like, next time do
it all in the real studio ;-)
You have linked up with IntroMetal
Management, how did this happen, and
how important is it for a metal band to have a management today?
Jesper - With
the first mix of the album, IntroMental got hold of a few songs.
Claus Jensen the managing director, called us a few days after. He
liked the music. This was what we have hoped for, and after we
signed with them, things started to happen. The record deal came
very fast after. Without IntroMental I don't think we by our self
could make it. So it's important to have a good management.
IntroMental has been very good for us.
I just love Mattias Norén's excellent
artwork, he is in my opinion one
the best cover-artists right now, and I reckon you are very pleased
work? Did he have the lyrics, the band name or both as basis for his
Jesper - It
was IntroMental who came up with the idea of letting Mattias Norén
do the artwork. Mattias was send 3 songs from the first mix, some
lyrics and band name. He liked our music, and we gave him a few
hints. He worked really fast! Sending some early versions just a few
days after. At version 5 or 6 it was totally killer, he did the
Anubis Gate logo as well. So yes, we are very pleased with his
fantastic work. I hope we’ll work with him again in the future.
The Internet is a very important source for
many metal fans - how do you
use the Internet and how important is it for you and other new
Jesper - The
net is important for having a voice today, in some ways it's easy, a
bands website work 24 hours a day. It's great that you can find so
much information on your favourite artists, latest news and sound
clips. I use the Internet to get inspired, to see what’s going on
both in Denmark and the world. It’s nice, when you get surprised,
finding a good new band that way. People chat about the music and
releases on the Internet, sometimes they even get and answer direct
from the band or management. This is the good side…
How do you see the Danish metal scene at the
Jesper - It's
healthy, lots of music in one or another genre of metal. In my
hometown, Aalborg, metal is quite big. Many people meet at metal arrangements/concerts. Now the
bands often have a good production, and the quality is there. Bands
sign with labels outside Denmark. It’s great to be a little part
To finish things off - could you pls. make an
all-time Top 5 or sort of
the 5 most important
albums in your opinion?
Maiden – Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Glory – Transcendence
– Operation: Mindcrime
bane – Age Of Elegance
– Ghost In The Ruins
are all-time good ones in my opinion, when it’s about metal.
for this interview Kenn!
bit thanx to Jesper M. Jensen for taking the time to do this interview and all
the best for him and Anubis Gate. Also a big thanx to
Claus (Intromental) for setting up the interview.