Annisokay Interview

Long Branch Records

The latest album from the German quintet Annisokay is Devil May Care. Bassist Norbert Rose fills us in on the new record, a special Michael Jackson covers EP, tour plans and other subjects.

Chad Bowar: How did the songwriting process for Devil May Care compare to your first two albums?
Norbert Rose: We try to develop without repeating ourselves. With Enigmatic Smile we found our own signature style. With our third record we know what music we’re able and want to do. Our previous records The Lucid Dream[er] and Enigmatic Smile had heavy songs with dark fictional lyrics. This time we wanted to write about strains of everyday life. A lot of things run wrong in this world. We’re not trying to be a political band and we don’t want to tell you what to do. It’s simply unavoidable for us to not write songs about the society we live in. The bottom line: it’s about us.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Working with other great musicians is always fun. On the new record we’ve got features of Marcus from Northlane and Christoph from Emil Bulls. Marcus lives in Australia so we sent him the song and he killed it right away. Christoph came for three days to us in the studio and wrote songs with Christoph like soulmates. The connection and musical inspiration was amazing. It’s always a pleasure and it’s exciting and inspiring what they can add to an Annisokay song.

Tell us about the limited edition covers EP available with the box set.
We did a 4-track Michael Jackson cover EP. Covers can be fascinating! It’s thrilling if a musician is transforming a well-known song in his own style. We already did covers of two pop hits by female artists: “Telephone” by Lady Gaga and “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus.

As some of you already noticed, our band name is inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” So we had to honor this true musical genius. But one song wasn’t enough. We chose four tracks that some didn’t expect. One of the most valuable experiences was how relevant and up-to-date the strong social-critical lyrics by Michael Jackson are. This crazy world repeats the same mistakes over and over again and we should listen closely to what Michael had to say 20 years ago to make this world a better place.

What are your expectations for the album?
As always, we gave the best we can. We put so much hard work in this new record we hope people will like it. And of course we want to play in as many as countries as possible to present the songs to a big audience.

How much attention do you pay to reviews?
We try to read every review. It’s just exciting how people react to the new songs. And it’s also very interesting to read about our own songs from a strange view. Positive or negative, either way it doesn’t affect how we gonna make music in the future, but it’s very entertaining for us and we really appreciate if anyone is listen to our music closely.

What are your upcoming tour plans?
We’re supporting Eskimo Callboy on their European Tour. In early 2017 we will go on our own headline tour through Europe. So stay tuned for the dates!

What has been your most memorable Annisokay live show or tour?
The most expressive experience was when we did a Ukraine, Belarus and Russia tour. These shows were the farthest from home shows we’ve played so far. We went by plane from show to show. The people there were so nice and hospitable and at the shows they went totally crazy! It was a massive adventure.

What was the first concert you attended as a fan?
In our teenage days we all went to a Machine Head concert without knowing each other. When we found out that we all have the same old ticket for this show in our collection of old concert tickets it was very funny.

What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
At the moment we all like the new Sylar record. This band is very talented!

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Thank you for your attention. The support of our fans is simply the main reason we are able to do music. So we try our best to realize the music in our heads and we hope to see you at our shows!

(interview published November 21, 2016)

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