Progressive metal band Anuryzm should not be strangers to readers of this blog. I had interviewed them in January 2012. Since then they have been featured in publications like Metal Hammer and even opened for bands like Black Sabbath last year. Last week they released their second album ‘All Is Not For All’. I spoke to vocalist Nadeem Bibby via email about their new album and their plans for the rest of the year.
Tell us about your new album ‘All Is Not For All’. What is it about?
Hi Peter and thanks for getting in touch, the new record “All Is Not For All” is set as a prequel to 2011’s “Worms Eye View.” Conceptually, the themes of the “worm man/corruptor” are taken back in time to confront the prevailing good in the world, almost like the seeds of a lot of today’s major issues were sown or debated in the past. This is quite an over-simplification of the concepts and themes; it’s kind of like a “use the force” moment where you can be corrupted towards the “dark side” and vice versa. I don’t want to give too much away, but that’s the gist of it.
Lyrically and thematically some themes we cover in “AINFA” include minimalism, re-birth, illness, extraterrestrial encounters, Japanese Bushido code and third culture upbringing to name a few.
What was the writing process for the album?
For AINFA, John (Bakhos, Guitarist and main composer) and I wanted to create something that reflected the current ANURYZM sound and take our time to make something that we were very happy with. John worked his magic as usual while I took the time to digest, conceptualize and deliver my parts. We then spent some time letting it all sink in while the guests were doing their work and we then crafted themes and compositions that excited us. The process took about two years including purposefully taking lengthy periods of time to let things sink in as well as the usual logistics involved with working with guests overseas.
Unlike the making of “Worms Eye View,” which was a challenging but fairly linear and enjoyable process; the writing process for AINFA took us through a lot of struggles and difficulties because as always, life gets in the way of everything. It was a tough couple years for me and maybe some of the other guys in the band. I think this is reflected in the passion and energy on the record which is quite literally crafted of everyone’s blood, sweat and tears.
What was the recording process for the album? Did you try anything different this time around?
Not particularly, of course everything is a learning process but I think everyone kind of did what they are used to, the only major differences being that I recorded my vocals in Abu Dhabi instead of Dubai under the hawkish eyes of Miltiadis Kyvernitis who always pushes me to deliver well. The mastering was done by Bob Katz, which was a new and valuable experience for us
The album was mastered by Bob Katz at Digital Domain studios. How was it working with him?
It was very educational, firstly because he is a two time Grammy-award winning mastering engineer, so his methods and more specifically, methodology was fascinating to watch and learn. However, because we wanted the album to sound very organic and not artificially loud (like a lot of modern metal is nowadays); we found the collaboration to be perfect! So much so that when the final masters came in, we didn’t even feel the need to ask him to change the sound as we had learned the virtues of this type of mastering along the way. I think it was a rewarding and very interesting process for all involved in the album.
‘All Is Not for All’ features guest performances by Michael LePond (Symphony X), Charlie Zeleny, Uri Dijk, and Christopher Chaplin. How did that happen?
Uri Dijk, we’ve known for a while now as he also featured on “Breaking The Ballot” from our first record. It was such a pleasure working with him and he is very talented that we really wanted to work with him again on AINFA. Charlie Zeleny is a very solid and versatile drummer from NYC who is also a good buddy of ours and was able to work with our hectic schedule.
Mike LePond is an incredible bassist, I think we all know that so it was a pleasant surprise when we reached out to him through some friends and he was interested in performing on the record. Christopher James Chaplin is a very nice person with a very eclectic taste in classical music and I loved his work with Hans-Joachim Roedelius so I really wanted him to play stringed instruments on the track “Oceans Apart.” I think all of the guests did a stunning job and we are very humbled and proud to collaborate with each of them.
How does ‘All is Not for All’ compare to ‘Worm’s Eye View’?
Well, it’s definitely more indicative of the stylistic evolution of our sound and thus by default more mature I suppose. For me the most major difference is that the songs will appeal to a lot more music aficionados that just rock and metal enthusiasts due to the sheer nature of the compositions. I don’t like to be pigeon-holed, if it’s heavy music, its heavy music. I think good bands should always surprise and captivate their audiences while maintaining signature sounds. A complete contradiction, I know, but when you are able to do that, it’s very inspirational and rewarding for both the listener and the artists and that’s when the magic happens.
The album is being released by Melodic Revolution Records. How did the deal with them come about?
Sometimes things just happen for a reason I suppose! We feel very blessed in this regard.
How important is the support of a label at present when bands prefer to release their music on their own?
I don’t think anyone has truly found the answer to this question yet! For me it really comes down to how hardworking the band is and what type of label we are talking about. The two go hand in hand.
With Nick Katona and his team over at MRR, they are a different kind of label that focus on progressive music from an over-arching viewpoint. With a lot of different types of prog bands from experimental to rock to folk to metal, it’s a more realistic and natural type of grassroots label that aims to inspire the artists and fans and have more people discover new music. I think this mentality coupled with a lot of hard work from our end, (remember , we are in the Middle East and thus have limited resources available to us as artists,) make for an interesting combination that tends to garner very informed and educated critics and fans.
At the end of the day music is a very personal thing and if we can be part of someone’s personal consciousness for a little while then it’s a beautiful thing. That is some of the credibility afforded to us by being on a label, but by no means is it a substitute for hard work.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Tune in to http://www.ANURYZM.com to find out! We are still working on some things and are usually pretty good about updating our websites and social media.
Any Final words.
Thanks for the interview, shout out to all the Indian fans!! We hope we can play your beautiful country one day soon and I dream of kicking back and hanging out in Bangalore Rock City and other awesome destinations with you all! Love and Respect
Listen/Download ‘All Is Not For All’ below