The Antithesis @ The Forum!
You may well have heard me mentioning this strange new band, The Antithesis, several times over the past few weeks... But 'who are they?!', I hear you cry! What is The Antithesis?!
The Antithesis are an alternative rock/metal band based in Maidstone composed of some of the best young musicians you could hope to find in Kent; guaranteed emotive lyrics explored in depth through the vocal range of Faisal Anderson, mind-blowing guitar solos from Harry Clarke, a solid bass player with technical expertise in Darragh Lepke-Brown, and the glue to mould them all together, the talented Olly Harper on drums.
As explored in detail on their Facebook page the band started as the merging of Faisal and Olly's band, Crayfish Plague, and Harry and Darragh, originally to the appropriate name Synthesis; however, through the evolution of their music, the band's name has since changed to The Antithesis.
So, now you know a little bit about the band, I'd like to share with you an interview I had with the guys a little before they went on to headline The Forum on Monday 11th!
To see the sort of music that The Antithesis are all about, pay a visit to their Facebook page, and/or check this out!
The first (and last) time I wore my System of a Down shirt to a gig, resulted in comments such as "your mum's a Stem Of A Dow", and "I thought you were gonna say nice tits!", before the interview had even begun... I could already tell it was going to be a mixture of insightful, and just plain weird feedback, but what more would you expect from the headliners of a venue as revered as The Forum?!
What did the band think about playing The Forum anyway? Lead singer Faisal Anderson thought "it's pretty savage", while bassist Darragh remarked "it's fucking cool. Playing The Forum is big shit." Who was it that said the art of poetic conversation was lost? Despite their seemingly calm exterior, I could tell they were all incredibly excited to be performing. It's clear to see the boys are all incredibly passionate about music, even to the point of putting the band before their school work.
"We don't do any work..." Harry admitted, an opinion backed by drummer Olly who claimed he'd probably fail his exams because of all the time he puts into practising. If it makes you feel any better Olly, I'm probably going to fail too!
All this practice and dedication has to be put towards something tangible; Faisal's lyrics. What is it that teenagers write about in music these days anyway? "I guess it's a mix... Drugs. Talking about drugs. My own personal experiences." But of course! Drugs are such a large part of modern culture, it seems only natural to want to talk about them in songs; The Antithesis also tackle themes directly related to this drug-taking subculture, particularly "battling with the lower self, and the higher self." Faisal's lyrics "can apply to anyone", regardless as to whether you take drugs or not. The ability to write lyrics that everyone can enjoy is a talent which very few are blessed with; The Antithesis certainly use this to their favour.
In relation to natural talent, I asked the band what they thought about chart music, and artists that didn't write their own songs, or couldn't even play any instruments. To put it simply, the mutual agreement was "chart music is shit", an opinion shared by other local band Black Sun (and many others). Darragh had very strong feelings towards chart music today; "it bothers us a lot. We have a serious problem with it. It should be about the music, and not like, commercialism." Faisal added "when it becomes about creating a product, it gets shit.", a view shared by everyone present. After this resounding agreement about the state of today's chart music, the conversation steered more towards the music industry in general.
How did the band feel about stores like HMV closing down? Stores which many people have bought records, and CDs of bands they might not have known about before. "I think bands are gonna become more entrepreneurial", said Faisal. "Pretty much everything we're doing is internet based." With the likes of Facebook band pages, SoundCloud, YouTube and Spotify, it seems the physical stores across the country like HMV will continue to close, but it's not the end of music! As The Antithesis rightly pointed out, bands are evolving to match technology, and there are plenty of other ways to broadcast and showcase new music.
While we're on the topic of adapting and changing, how will The Antithesis' sound change in the future? "We're thinking of doing stuff that's a lot heavier." Excellent! The metal-heads of Maidstone utter a low growly cheer in response, but on the inside they are doing celebratory dances with broad grins. What's that I hear you say, Harry? "We might go into some electro stuff as well..." Double-excellent! There's a lot to look forward to in the future, then!
Now, The Antithesis aren't the only local band in Maidstone that show potential; school mates and rival band Black Sun are also a group of highly talented guys looking to catch a break in the music business. What did The Antithesis have to say about them? The general consensus was "they're amazing. Really good.", however Harry had other opinions... "We're sort of angry at them. I hate them with a passion." He spoke only in jest, of course, and this was made evident when I asked them if they had anyone they wanted me to acknowledge. "Definitely Dave Martin. The big Dave. He's done so much for us. And Black Sun. We've got so many gigs opening for them." The two bands have a symbiotic relationship in which everyone befits, something that's particularly evident in the way they interact and support each other, despite (technically) being in a permanent competition.
I'd like to thank The Antithesis for giving up their time to talk to me, and I don't seem able to express enough through words the quality of the performances that this band gives. A definite must-see band, and certainly one to monitor as they continue to achieve highly.
All the best guys!
You can find The Antithesis on Facebook here!
If you enjoyed this interview, you can follow me on Facebook here for upcoming interviews and reviews!
In the near future you can expect to find a review of Bullet for my Valentine's 'Temper Temper', an overall commentary on The Forum (Monday 11th February), and a review of the Battle of the Bands at The Rafters in Maidstone on Wednesday 13th February.