Against Magazine

ANCKORA: Cyber Metal meets Extreme Sports (Interview)


What brought you from symphonic metal to industrial metal?

Evgeniy “JonPriest” (guitars): It was our love for the electronic sound. That’s it, I guess. It wasn’t as easy as we had thought when we had first taken this decision, but in the end we are glad it’s going the way it is!

Concerning Anckora’s line-ups… You have struggled with it a lot. Did the band itself suffer because of it? Like cancelling shows or delaying releases

Katrin “Antares” (lead singer): The line-ups used to be a problem, that’s true, though we never canceled any shows because of it. Of course we would rather prefer some stability but it seems close to impossible, as people tend to have circumstances of their own and things keep changing. That is why our goal was to make our working process less dependent on the line-up changes. Now we have everything organized the way that just having two members of the band is enough to make the show happen.

Speaking about your recent EP Экстрим” (Extreme), I’ve felt some nu-metal influence. Can we say that nu-metal is part of your background?

Evgeniy “JonPriest” (guitars): Well, I’d say it is more of hardcore influence. I like such bands as Hatebreed and Agnostic Front, so I think they were the ones that influenced our work this way. It may be a strange combination with industrial music, but the audience loves it!

What are our lyrics based on? Especially in the most recent works.

Katrin “Antares” (lead singer): Mainly our lyrics are about various kinds of extreme sports – that’s why the album is entitled Extreme in the first place. For instance, “Bluehole is about divers. Blue Hole – is the name of a submarine sinkhole in Egypt north of Dahab. The tunnel pierces through one of the most beautiful and mysterious reefs of the Red Sea. It’s practically a must for any diver to go there. Unfortunately very often it has a sad end, a lot of people perish there. There is a legend which says that once upon a time a certain Persian princess was drowned there for her extreme amorousness and cruelty, and now she is claiming the souls of careless divers… “Bluehole is based on this very legend. In a similar way “Vyshe (“Higher) is dedicated to paragliders while “V Temnote (“In the darkness) – to diggers and speleologists. And “Polnoch’ (“Midnight) is about street racers.

You have toured a lot in the recent years. Can you share some funny stories on the road with us?

Katrin “Antares” (lead singer): When we get this question, it somehow always takes some effort to recall a particular story, though we used to have a lot of them!
Evgeniy “JonPriest” (guitars): Well, for example once as we were touring we had a trouble with the rented bus, so we had to take our private car. It was really hard, we were so tired that we even happened to leave our backup dancers at the gas station! The girls went out for a smoke, while I filled up the tank, got into the car and went on. The bass guitarist asked me if I was aware that the girls were missing. We were terrified – so we stopped at once and saw them running behind us along the road! And there was a time when we were driving two cars and we kept throwing apricot stones at one another… Then we accidentally hit the driver of the other car, which made him really furious!
Katrin “Antares” (lead singer): And one day in Finland our drummer (we had a blind drummer at the time) went out for a smoke and then tried to find an ash-tray. But he forgot what the English for it was, so he asked the locals for “a cradle of the dying cigarette”. Right, and our driver once decided to take a peek into the concert hall during one of our gigs. He later recalled seeing some wicked red lights, billows of smoke and hearing some hellish sounds. He asked us how we had managed to survive it. It was really stifling in there.


Where exactly in Russia have you played so far? Which places proved to be the best ones?

Evgeniy “JonPriest” (guitars): We have been going all round Russia. I guess it was Desnogorsk, Bryansk, Valday and Volgograd that were the best. But we really liked it everywhere!

Speaking about your shows, the gig itself is completed with a laser show, right? Could you tell us more about it?

Katrin “Antares” (lead singer): Yeah, that’s right! A laser show is a great feature. A band with a distinctive visual impression is always remembered. Besides it is a great back-up for our music and the overall atmosphere of the show.
Evgeniy “JonPriest” (guitars): We have been using the lasers for a long time now. It was our former keyboard player who first suggested it. As time went by, the show kept changing, we introduced new elements and got rid of the old ones that we don’t need anymore.

Cyber metal has a huge popularity in Eastern Europe. Do you think it is as popular in Russia?

Evgeniy “JonPriest” (guitars): In our country there’s no easy way for unformatted (any kinds of metal or other alternative) music, that’s why it’s no use splitting different kinds of metal to measure their popularity. Unfortunately its overall popularity has been recently declining, so it’s unlikely to gather a stadium-sized crowd. Yet we have an audience of our own, they are always glad to see us in different towns around the country and even abroad. So we are quite happy with the way it is!

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