Interview with Lars Frederiksen - vocalist AnoxiA, January 25th 2010

A Danish Tango with Satan

In a few days the debut record of the Danish thrashy powercombo Anoxia will be available. A record which is different from a lot of other releases, but very recognizable. They combine power with thrash in an Anoxian way and that makes them more interesting.  One of the surplus the band has is the good vocals and lucky for us he is the one who is doing the interview. Here is the result.

Could you please introduce the band to our readers?

Lars: AnoxiA is a thrashy heavy metal band residing in Denmark. We have just released our debut album "A lapdance for the devil" and we're ready to take over the world.'

The band started back in 1996. Why did it take so long before your debut 'A Lapdance for the Devil' was released?

Lars: The lineup back then was not the same as today. Our current lineup has been active since 2004 and together we have made a promo-EP in 2005 called "Kept In Sin" and now this album. We have made several promo's during the years before 2004, but our music-direction was not as defined as today. AnoxiA also used to suffer from lineup problems in the early years. Those problems are eliminated for sure. We're all hungry musicians ready for action.

One thing is for sure, you can hear the experience in the band and the songs indeed sound like they are not written in one night. How is the writing process for an Anoxia song?

Lars: You got that right. Our songs are never made in one night. Usually one of us (manly the axe-handlers) brings a riff into the rehearsal-dungeon. After the introduction we usually jam around the idea and in lucky moments a song is born. The lyrics are then added after the completion of the songs. We are quite old-school and does not use any kind of software like Guitar-pro and so on.

There must be lots of other new songs as well, considering your existence since 1996, is there going to be a second album within 1 or 2 years?

Lars: Hehe Like I told before, we have made several promo's. I guess AnoxiA has created around 50 songs since 1996, but the quality of the early songs doesn't really match the newer ones. Besides I have got a lot better handling the guitar during the last 14 years.

How did you get the deal with Mighty music and what are your expectations from them?

Lars: Well, Tommy Hansen was done mixing our album around June 2009. We therefore started searching for a label. We already knew that the best partner in DK would be Mighty Music/Target since they have a remarkable experience in the music business regarding rock and heavy metal. We were very pleased when Michael H. Andersen contacted us and after a meeting with him we decided that this was the right label for us. Our expectations are quite high, but also realistic. We can not just lean back and do nothing now. Our album needs not only hard work from Mighty Music, but also a GREAT dedication from our side.

Is there a lyrical concept in the songs?

Lars: The album itself does not have a lyrical concept, but the title of the album and the title-track "Lapdance For The Devil" resume the concept of our life-philosophy: Break the chain once in a while. Break your routine of your 9-17 jobs. Seize the day and burst the frames of your life. And that's exactly what we have done making this disc. We all have normal day jobs, but once in a while we all go out and rock a venue somewhere, just going completely crazy. I think it's important to open the valve once in a while and just step out of your normal life.

The rest of the songs have different themes. Usually we are dealing with emotions, society criticism and everyday triviality. Just a huge mixture of what is going on in my brain.

A nice album-cover, it expresses the album title very nice, who made it?

Lars: The Cover artwork is made by our friend Alan Domazet (Guitarist in Modra). The layout and photos are made by another friend Mikkel Groenkjr. Both are extremely professional and dedicated. Yeah it's a great artwork! We are very pleased with the result.

How would you call the style of music you play? I mean it isn't power metal, it isn't thrash.

Lars: Well we do not really like to label our music so let's just call it a kind of thrashy heavy metal. All the best from all the best.

Denmark is known for many good metalbands, is there a place for Anoxia in the crowded scene?

Lars: Yeah I think so. So far I don't really know any other bands that sound exactly like us. There is a whole lot of death metal and hardcore, but our style with rather clean vocals is not so typical in DK. I guess we can offer an alternative to the scene as it is today. But yes, DK has indeed many great bands at the moment. I am a huge fan of the Mercenary constellation with Mikkel Sandager on lead vocal. He's awesome. Artillery is great as well. And the whole underground scene in DK is terrific and many great bands are developed all the time.

You are doing a very good job; your vocals are powerful and melodic at the same time, who or what are your influences or idols?

Lars: First of all thanks for the compliment. Since day one of AnoxiA I have always been told that I should do more growl and screams. AnoxiA IS NOT a hardcore or deathmetal band!!! I use those vocal-styles as effects here and there, but I don't think it fits the music all the time. Does James Hetfield growls? Does Bruce Dickinson growl? No way!

My inspiration comes from a lot of singers. I like a lot Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe). He has that super rusty and well pitch'ed vocal. Then there is DIO, who is a singing GOD. Bruce Dickinson is in fact a great singer and showman. Axl Rose is/was a badboy with a great sense of melody. Bon Scott and Brian Johnson of ACDC. Whooo the list could continue. I definitely like a whole lot of singers. The Guy from Lamb of God also has a characteristic vocal. Conclusion: I have a million influences!

After a new album, there normally is a promotion tour. Are there any touring plans?

Lars: Yes! Right now we have 4 confirmed gigs and hopefully much more to come! Go check out our myspace to find the exact tour-dates.

The record is only released in Denmark at the moment, is the budget of the label too small to release it also in the rest of Europe?

Lars: No no, not at all, but the delay in the rest of Europe is in due to delays. It is important to find the right time in order to get some focus outside Denmark. Our record is released in Europe in June 2010.

A new year has started, what were in your opinion the 5 best albums of 2009?

Lars: Wooo a difficult question. I must admit that I have spend a lot of money in 2009 buying more classic albums, you know completing your collections with all the "oldies but goodies". But A few new has to be mentioned here:

Starrats - Screw the Consequences (An awesome party-disc)
Artillery - When Death Comes (No introduction needed, this rocks and S
ren has a killer vocal)

Any wishes for 2010?

Lars: Yeah that all the readers and staff of this zine will stay healthy and hopefully we'll be able to see you all on the road. I hope (and know) that 2010 will be a great year for AnoxiA. I love hanging out with those guys and we'll be touring and partying like we use to do. Then I don't care if it is 2010 or 2020, I just want to continue with these guys.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Lars: Thanks to all the support we have got so far, there are still some mountains to climb but I am convinced we can make it together.


Reviewed by Reinier de Vries 

AnoxiA - A Lapdance For the Devil

Album available on Mighty Music, February 1st 2010.