An international progressive metal project AnovA has appeared on Progstravaganza: Landmarks XX compilation in August 2014, and they answered the standard Progstravaganza questionnaire.
How did you come to do what you do?
Anova: Originally we were all making songs by ourselves and uploading them onto SoundCloud, Luke then got in contact with me and asked to collaborate, so we did and made a few songs together, Luke then found David and they collaborated to also, we all had a similar taste in music (pretty much anything) and natural progression saw that all three of us grouped together to create something.
What is your first musical memory?
Yoshi: I was 13 years old at junior high school. My friend let me borrow an album of X Japan, I was so shocked because it was something so much more than what I expected “music” to be.
I am certain that I would not be here if it wasn’t for listening to X Japan.
Luke: my first musical memory is not a good one I’m afraid, I was 14 and I bought my first 2 singles, Dizzy Rascal – Fix Up Look Sharp and Evanescence – Going Under, I clearly hadn’t developed a musical taste at the moment in time.
David: I remember visiting a family friends’ house and he had a pristine black drum kit in his basement that he let me play. In my head, I was a total rockstar even though I was probably playing nonsense. He let me take home a pair of drum sticks that I drove my family crazy with just beating on various things around the house.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Yoshi: I don’t know exactly but it suddenly pops inside my head. I feel remarkable when I am inspired by something, for example, taking a shower.
Luke: This question can have multiple answers and it all depends on the moment in time, but the biggest inspiration personally, and I think this is where me and David understand each other more than ever, is video games, my entire life rotates around videos games, and I am obsessed with video game sound tracks and stories.
David: Inspiration can be drawn from anywhere. As I got a little bit older, I chose to not limit myself and allow inspiration to come in any form. I’m typically inspired by other artists. I think most musicians are inspired by the music they listen to, but I also take inspiration from things like my own life experience, world history, even movies and video games.
What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
Yoshi: Ask David!
Luke: Yeah I think David’s the man for that question.
David: Not sure about the overall message of the song, but the purpose of the song is to listen to it as loud as possible and enjoy. Or not, your call.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
Yoshi: It depends on the song; I think it is sometimes enhanced and sometimes more beneficial if I don’t follow a set trend or rule.
Luke: NEVER! It’s not a conscious thing I do but I tend to write music very organically, I let the piece flow, sometimes I start with drums, synth, guitar, bass or orchestral stuff, sometimes I’ll write the song in sections, sometimes I write out all the guitar, sometimes I’ll tab out all the sections first, sometimes it free time it.
No, not really. All of the members of AnovA are on different continents and we all have our own various methods for songwriting and structure. I think the one constant is the overall concept for the album and then we are each subject to our own pre-defined songwriting patterns.
What is your method of songwriting?
Yoshi: I always start by making drum patterns and synthesized sections, then making a structure, tempo and key of the song. After that I will add guitar, bass, and vocals to it.
Some may feel this method is strange but personally I find it’s very effective for trying to create new music.
Luke: Don’t really know.
David: I think I like to take a “gardening” method of songwriting. I know what I want to end up with, say for example, if you were gardening and you knew what you were planting, but you might not know the end result because there are too many variables that can affect the outcome. I take this approach with songwriting. I think I generally know what I want the song to end up sounding like and then I mold the song to that sound allowing for variable change.
How do you see your music evolving?
Yoshi: I’m not sure.
Luke: I think our music is evolving in the obvious sense i.e. we are developing as musicians so we are able to become more technical if we wish, or more relaxed, we definitely feel that we don’t have anything to prove to anyone so we tend to write whatever we want, I think this is where I am at anyway, the issue with this however is as I said I “think” this is how we are evolving, it is not an obvious thing, however the one place I do see us evolving is as friends, all three of us are 1000’s of miles away from each other (literally) and when we all first met it was a beautiful thing, we all hugged as if we were all old friends, it was the purest moment I think we have had as a band, our relationship is absolutely !! continuing to evolve.
David: It has always been AnovA’s goal to write the best possible music. I think we continue to evolve because we continue to strive towards that goal. I’m not sure what AnovA’s music will evolve into, but I know that at the core lies the want and need to write fresh and original music.
What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
Yoshi: I think keeping balance with what you want to express and what listener wants is important.
Luke: This is where I actually disagree with yosh-man, you see there are 2 types of people in the world playing guitar, musicians and artists, I think the best advice I could give is to discover which one you want to be and which one you are, and to write whatever the hell you want to write.
David: My advice would be to write music that makes you happy and to be proud of every accomplishment, whether its big or small. I was totally floored to find out that our album was being pirated. Yay, for small victories!
What are you looking forward to?
Yoshi: Making our next album!
Luke: Absolutely the next album.
David: I’m looking forward to the future of music and technology. AnovA would not have been a possibility 10-15 years ago because we live on different corners of the planet. But now with Skype, Facebook, DropBox and other social media outlets, we are able to exchange music, thoughts, and ideas via a network connection. Maybe 20 years from now we’ll be able to compose songs just by thinking them.
Do you think that Progstravaganza compilation series is good way to showcase the potential of many unheard bands on the already overcrowded scene?
Yoshi: I feel that there are too many songs and bands on the album and am worried that the listener may not realize the concept of the album.
Luke: I think it is a brilliant idea, but to avoid an overcrowded scene the compilation has accidently became overcrowded, perhaps a compilation more often with less bands?
David: I think that any medium that gets unheard bands out into the airwaves is a good thing. Like they say, “No publicity is bad publicity.”