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A Dirty Dozen with JAMES AGUSTA from ANAMORPH – August 2019

| 13 August 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Fast-rising North Carolinian instrumental progressive metal band ANAMORPH recently announced the upcoming release of their ambitious, otherworldly full-length album, Lucid, out September 6, 2019. Lucid, which was recorded by renowned producer Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, Scale the Summit, The Contortionist), is available for pre-order now.” We get drummer James to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We’re talking about the upcoming release Lucid with this one. It will probably be difficult to digest the entire album on the first couple of listens. There is tons going on, a lot layers, syncopation & counterpoint. Oftentimes in any individual song the listener can focus on either the guitar, bass, or drums and have a brand new experience because of it. As far as hidden nuggets go, there are some recurring musical motifs in the record. Someone who is really into the record might be wise to try to make a mental connection between the track titles and the songs to get into the emotional and thoughtful depth behind them.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

This has always been a kind of curious question for me and I can’t recall the real answer. I definitely grew up around music, my dad being a multi-instrumentalist at different points in his life and having a big connection to classic rock. I think I just kind of naturally grew towards it because of that. Everybody tells me I always was asking to play drums since I was little, but I don’t remember really pursuing it until I was around 11. I’ll take their word for it.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

In 2005 when I began playing drums was when I was really getting “into” rock music. Shortly after that when I was first introduced to heavier stuff, System of a Down and Lamb of God were really the first two bands that got me into heavier or more dynamic music. I can see how those have brought me to where I ended up now.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Between the Buried and Me, Animals as Leaders, Cloudkicker, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Circa Survive.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Probably Ben Sharp because he’s a genius writer and could likely compliment just about anything.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Stories through sound. I find it increasingly difficult to describe our sound. I usually say it’s progressive/experimental music, “the softest stuff you’ve ever heard, the craziest stuff you’ve ever heard, and everything in between”. Normally my response is just to have a curious person listen, you really would be surprised at the wide breadth of people who can make a connection with this type of music. Typically I don’t like the “djent” comparisons we sometimes get lumped in with, even though I see how descriptive words like that can lead fans of similar styles to find our music. Our sound is far beyond the scope of being simplified to that word which is why overall I’d disagree with it.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Lately we’ve been so busy prepping for the album release tour that this “fun stuff” falls by the wayside. I will say though, Cole is literally always doing something weird with his guitar while we’re all sitting around. That’s about as close as we get to a singalong.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Paul Waggoner from Between the Buried and Me a few times in 2019. Externally I didn’t show it, but it’s really weird talking to someone that you’ve looked up to since you were in high school. Just chatting about regular stuff with someone like that is kind of a “pinch-me” moment.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is creating art from a deeply personal place and contributing something positive to the world. In tandem, being able to share that hard work with others in an intimate space is extremely fulfilling. If music wasn’t an option, my dream job would be some kind of activism.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I like deeper questions like “what motivates your music / what makes music extra-special to you?” And the answer to that would be that I want to help people find new perspectives and grow as a collective. We are in our infancy as far as human progress goes, and our choices tend to be destructive to ourselves and things around us. What gives some music that extra meaning is the stuff that helps you reflect and become a part of something bigger than yourself. Questions I hate are things like “pick x amount of artists for a supergroup” or “who would you want to write a song with?”

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Taking a pay to play show. Don’t let your local P2P promoters take advantage of you. That’s not how you make a name for yourself.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

There are a couple standouts to me, but I’m going to say Subsume by Cloudkicker because it’s an immaculately written piece of music with great subtext behind the concept of the album. In addition, Cloudkicker is pretty mysterious so being able to witness the creation of this album would be a great insight.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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