TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Mick Moss of Antimatter was done by e-mail by Fjordi in October 2005.
Ambient act Antimatter´s "Planetary Confinement" album is receiving deserved good reviews from the press around the globe. Mick Moss is the mastermind behind the band and we contacted him to know some things.
Hi! How do you do? First of all I´d like to know if you are utterly satisfied with the last album. Have you had the proper budget/equipment/time to record the album?
Hi there, I’m fine thanks. Yeah, I’m pretty satisfied with the way ‘Planetary Confinement’ turned out. Preparing to record an album is always a tough time and it’s a rewarding feeling to come out of it the other side knowing that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. I’m a particularly nervous person at times and I can get myself in a right state when I’m going into a studio.
You´ve left aside the electronic elements in your music to give way the most organic instruments, please tell us the reasons of this change.
Personally, I felt that if we were to record an album based around the acoustic guitar, then I would bring the entire session to that level and go for an all-natural feel. So instead of having the acoustic playing over sequenced beats and synths, it would in fact be accompanied by live drums and violins.
This is the Antimatter album which reminds me Anathema the most, especially “Alternative 4”. Strangely enough, that was the swansong for Duncan with Anathema, the same as “Planetary Confinement” for Antimatter. Are both events related in any way?
Only Duncan could answer that one I’m afraid, I can’t speak for him in terms of what was going through his head whilst recording ‘Alternative 4’ or ‘Planetary Confinement’.
“Planetary Confinement” is sort of naked music, unbridled of complexities. I´d like to know if you´ve gone through certain experiences in your life lately, and if your daily life is the main source of inspiration when making music. Is the change of style related to the changes in your life?
No, not at all. All of our songs are written on acoustic guitar, it’s just that in the past we’ve chosen to interpret those songs on a more electronic level. For this album we decided to leave them as they were and see what we could do to the songs in that state. That way you get a more honest presentation of the original composition. It was simply a decision to record differently, not a decision to write differently.
Is originality something that you try to look for, in your albums, or you rather concentrate on feelings?
I’d say both.
The next album, “Leaving Eden”, to be released in the future, seems to be in a similar vein that “Planetary Confinement”. Is the style something more or less planned before the studio, or as long as you´re recording and rehearsing the songs to be recorded, you incorporate new things here and there?
The style of ‘Leaving Eden’ is something that changes about 3 times a day. I’m constantly working out in my head what tracks to use and what tracks to leave off, what running order to use and what instruments to base the tracks on. All these factors are absolute in the interpretation of what style the overall album is. So as you can see, I can’t really comment too much on what direction the album will take. I do prefer to have everything arranged before I go into the studio, though. At the moment my head is burning with enthusiasm for the tracks I have finished that I can’t wait to get in and record. But it’s also burning with frustration for the tracks that I haven’t yet managed to complete. This period of time is very, very frustrating for me, it always is.
Why did Duncan leave the band? He wielded “personal reasons”, could you delve deeper on the subject if you can?
We all know Duncan came from Anathema, which were your previous bands and projects?
Since I was around 15 I seemed to be in one trippy instrumental-based band or another. Two of the guys from an early band (Ste Hughes and Chris Phillips) later played with me on ‘Planetary Confinement’. When I got to around 20, I tired of bands and the bullshit that came with them, and decided to concentrate on simply writing my own stuff. I’ve been doing that for 10 years now.
Antimatter has offered in the official website a whole CD consisting of rarities to be downloaded for free, what do you think about the alleged crisis in the musical business because of the mp3 stuff?
Major record companies have been quite famously bumming the artist since the beginning of time. Now comes along the mp3, which undeniably damages the money that the record companies take. If they want to combat it, then they simply have to mark down the price of their overpriced c.d’s, which is an idea they hate because then they wont be as ridiculously rich. Here in Britain a c.d. is £10 plus, but a blank cd-r is £0.10 (when not bought in bulk). You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to work out where the rest of the money is going. (Clue: not the artist, who gets around £1 per cd). Yet the companies choose to attack the public instead citing damage to the artist as a reason they should buy instead of downloading. Haha.
Explain us something about the link between the band´s name and the meaning of your music and the feelings you try to express through the notes.
Antimatter is a dark notion, the type of thing that would make you go insane if you thought about it too much.
Tell us five CDs which are regular visitors of your CD player lately.
Van Morrison – St Dominic’s Preview
Rolling Stones – A Bigger Bang
Simple Minds – Black and White
Neil Young – Prairie Wind
Robert Plant – Dreamland
Is Prophecy a label you´re satisfied with? Do you like the bands there?
Yeah I like Autumnblaze a lot. It was great to tour out with them through Germany in ’03. I haven’t heard that much of any other stuff from the label. Christoph seems quite active in arranging stuff with magazines which is great.
No more questions, Mr. Moss. Good luck for the future and congratulations for your album. Yours are the last words of this interview, tell whatever you want...
At the moment there’s a 4-track virtual video E.P. to download for free from www.antimatter.tk
Tracks featured are ‘The Last Laugh’, ‘Going Nowhere/Destiny’ ‘In Stone’ and ‘Empty’, and were filmed on our 2003 tour. It’s a release that I think turned out really well. Files are 25meg each and playable in Windows Media player. There’s also printable artwork to download. Anyone interested should head over there. Cheers!
Links of interest: