The Swiss outfit Appearance Of Nothing is around for awhile and they already build up a fan base - mainly in their home country where they played live. Now their second album is out and they try to expand their following. To learn more about the Swiss I sent over some questions, here is what AON have to tell!
Appearance Of Nothing was founded in 2004, but I don't want to ask you about the beginning of the band. Just one thing, why Appearance Of Nothing?
Good question. It took many discussions, some beer and even more bad proposals until the name Appearance Of Nothing was found. Some of the band still swear that they haven't approved the name ;-)
But we think that the name reflects our music in some way.
In 2008 Wasted Time was released, now it's time for All Gods Are Gone. What's the difference between the albums for you?
The name of course. ;-)
Wasted Time was our first studio album. Every step we took was a new experience and we learned a lot in this process. So we knew exactly what we'd like to change and what should remain. We wanted Markus Teske as producer, but we also wanted a more aggressive production.
The album is heavier and the guitars have more 'heavy touch'. We think that's the main difference.
It seems you didn't waste time, how long did you work on AGAG? How long did the recordings take?
Some Ideas we're already there before the release of Wasted Time. We focused on the vocal lines and suit the instrumental parts again. So it's difficult to say how long we worked. We needed one week for the drum recording, one week for the vocals and about one month for the guitars, bass and keys. All in all this was a process during the last 2 years.
Again you worked with Markus Teske, why did you choose him initially? Is he the perfect match for you at the moment?
Yes, he truly is. Markus works highly professional and we are really enjoying this cooperation. He knows exactly how he gets the maximum out of us. And of course he has a good sense of humor.
Laughing while working makes things so much easier. Working with Markus is like visiting a friend, having fun and... oh yes...producing an album.
All Gods Are Gone... Why this title? And how does cover artwork ties in?
The religion and the definition of god is more and more a matter in our society. Maybe we should better believe in our own strength than in others. That's the message. The artwork just shows how it would look like, when all gods are gone.
At AGAG you have 2 guests - Dan Swan÷ and Devon Graves. Why these guys? Was it easy to hook up with them?
...in fact they asked us to sing on our album. ;-)
No, we wanted to add more creativity and create different styles on that album. We thought that Dan Swan÷ would be the best person for taking care about the 'death voices' (...and he truly is !!). As we finished Sweet Enemy we decided to ask Devon Graves to sing some parts of this song. We all felt, that his dramatic and melancholic voice would fit perfect. Now that we hear the result we know that it was the perfect choice too. Fortunately both agreed to sing on that album and we're very happy to have these two guys on board.
Devon sings the leads at Sweet Enemy, why him and not one of you?
We first sang Sweet Enemy on our own and without overstatement we can say that it sounded perfect. It is Pat's and Omar's original vocal line, so we're sure that they can sing this song live on stage. Devon is well known in our music scene and we all felt that it would be a good idea to ask him. We're sure that many Devon fans will listen to our album too and it surely helps to give us more attention.
You have 2 singers who share vocal duties. It's not uncommon, but usually one is doing growls or something... So, how come that Pat and Omar share vocal duties?
We always evaluate which vocal line that fits better for a song. Pat sings the heavier and darker parts while Omar is taking care about the melodic parts. But sometimes it's exactly the other way. It's a good mixture and this vocal split helps for the live performance and adds more diversity to the songs.
Musically you seem to influenced by many different bands / artists. How important is it for you to push limits? To make yourself differ?
We think the most important thing is that we really like what we do. We're not that kind of (sorry) music bitches that follow the mainstream. We are all 'appearance of nothing' fans. There are several bands that inspired us in some way. Sometimes you don't even know how. Marc who writes most of the songs listens to Opeth, Dream Theater, Dimmu Borgir and has a very wide range of musical interest. Omar is the contrast program in our band. His influences are Vasco Rossi, Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. Pat and Yves are coming out from the Savatage and Symphony X corner, while Peter is more a fan of the old school metal. This mixture is bringing together the best elements of this music and that's what you can hear on this album.
Which song(s) would you like to visualize?
This question would initialize endless discussions in our band.... maybe ...the one that is short enough to be shown on TV. ;-)
Can you imagine to do a conceptual album next time?
Why not. But it's no so easy, because we're not working like many other bands. So it's difficult to create a concept album that satisfies our requirements.
At the moment vinyl seems to have a comeback. Would you like to release your album on vinyl? Do you think that a picture vinyl in combination with a legal download would be a good idea? Even if it wouldn't solve the illegal downloads problem...
At the moment we don't think so, but we'll see what the future brings...
What about live shows? A tour? Festivals?
We are now rehearsing the new songs and we try to manage our new in ear monitoring system. We just begun to plan our concerts, but until now we haven't any dates confirmed. We're focusing on headliner shows in Switzerland and supporting shows in Europe, but also some Festivals would be great.
Your demo Behind Closed Doors is sold out - as far as I know.. Do you consider to make it available again? Perhaps release it as a bonus CD next time?
We still have a few CD's. We think it's better to wait until our fans pay incredible amounts to get one of these. ;-))
No, we're looking forward. Behind Closed Doors was good as a demo CD, but these times are over now. We're focusing on the now.
What's next on your schedule? What are your plans for 2011?
We are now planning concerts and live shows and we try to work on our live performance. We hope that we can bring the music to our fans.
Let's hope they can hit the road and present their music live...