Ænimus: Transcending Sonic Boundaries

aenimus2013_2_400xBased out of the legendary San Francisco Bay Area music scene, Ænimus is beginning to make a name for themselves all across the country.  They recently unleashed their debut album Transcend Reality, a technical deathcore assault sure to pummel the senses of all who give a listen.  The band recently performed at the Cobalt Cafe in Canoga Park as part of their Transcend Reality tour with Sisyphean Conscience, nearly blowing off the roof off the San Fernando Valley establishment.  Here is a recent interview we conducted with the band membership to find out more about their their intensive music, thought provoking lyrics, life n the road, and other ultrasonic topics.   Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Ænimus, and how long the band has been together.
Sean: I play guitar too much.
Miles: I play guitar.
Seth: I play Bass
Justin: Drums
Matt: Vocals and that sweet piano outro. The band has been together since 2010, but we’ve had a few line up changes along the way.

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Sean: The band is mostly based out of the Bay Area and the music scene is pretty sweet right now. It used to lack in metal. A local band I would recommend would be Reformers. They are amazing live and great dudes.

Is there any story or concept behind the title Transcend Reality?
Matt: Transcend Reality has a linear story line following a main character through hardships, character development and resolutions. The point that I wanted to make with the lyrics is the importance of struggle in our lives. Overcoming adversity is what defines us and creates who we are. With this perspective, we should be open to the struggles that afflict us.

aenimuslive1_350xSelect two songs from Transcend Reality and what inspired the lyrics.
Matt: Two important lyrics to the album would be Masterpiece and Heavy Lies the Crown. Masterpiece has a major thought change in the main character as the song starts out sorrowful for the things he had to abandon. However, towards the end of the song, he sees this destruction as more of a beautiful thing because of the sheer volume of what he had done. He is then able to be rid of sentiment. Heavy Lies the Crown takes us in an opposite direction where the side of him that he had left behind comes clawing its way back. This song is more frantic with the craziness of the inner struggle with self which starts a process to balance the sides to create one stable being.
The lyrics are heavily influenced by Jungian psychology from start to finish. We hope that they provoke thought from new perspectives since the lyrics deal with hardships that a lot of people go through.

Who did the cover art for Transcend Reality and how much input did you have on it?
Seth: The cover art was done by Hal Rotter of Rotting Graphics. Most of the design was done before we started working with him, but a few changes were made to make it just right. The rest of the album booklet was designed by Brian Lewis of Stone Design. We worked with Brian every step of the way and with his skill in design coupled with his imagination and creativity, he made the entire layout of the booklet look exactly how we wanted.

What was it like working with Hernan Eddie Hermida of All Shall Perish and what he contribute to the overall recording process?
Sean: Working with Eddie was amazing. Definitely something I checked off my bucket list. The recording process was fast with him. We gave him the parts we wanted him to do and he put his own vocal style on them. So fast and professional.

aenimuslive2_350x263What could one expect from a live Ænimus show?
Sean: You can expect me to make a mean stink face. You can also expect a really fun show. We also always appreciate people approaching us after the shows. I always like meeting new people so don’t be afraid to say hi to us.
Seth: You can also expect a high energy show. We try our hardest to not only play the songs well, but to put on a show that will stay with the fan and be pleasing and fun to watch.

How did your tour with Sisyphean Conscience go and what were some of the highlights?
Sean: I had so much fun on that tour. I would say the LA show and the Denver show were my favorites. We had the chance to see the Breaking Bad house and I am a huge Breaking Bad fan, so I was ecstatic to say the least.
Miles: It was awesome! I just graduated High School and a month later I flew out for touring, couldn’t have been any cooler. I really enjoyed meeting new people, signing stuff for fans, playing shows and everything, and just living the ‘tour life’.
Seth: Touring with my boys in Sisyphean Conscience was some of the funnest times I’ve ever had. We have had the best of luck with tour partners since we began touring. It’s just crazy how you can go from complete strangers to brothers in two weeks. The whole tour was a blast!

Any strange or scary happenings from the road or at a show you could share?
Miles: Austin, Texas… that is all.

If Ænimus could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Sean: All Shall Perish because they were the reason I got into this heavy side of music. Another bucket list thing for me.
Miles: Even though the genre is completely different, Wintersun or Children of Bodom. I love both of those bands dearly.

aenimuslive3_350x263If the music of Ænimus was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Sean: Krispy Kreme because even when they suck they are still amazing. Haha that sounds so arrogant.

Are you involved with any other bands outside of Ænimus?
Sean: Nope. I put my full focus on this band.
Miles: Yes, I play in Dylan Furr’s band, as well as my own band which is still unannounced ;).

What’s up next for Ænimus?
Sean: We are planning on doing a music video soon and another tour early next year.
Miles: I certainly hope touring for ever.. and ever.

Any final words of wisdom?
Sean: Don’t give up on your dream. I know it’s cliche but it’s true. I have been in and out of bands, but I never forgot why I’m doing this.
Miles: Metronome, music theory, practice, don’t do anything else but practice, oh and… don’t forget to practice some more!

(Interview and Live Photos from the Cobalt Cafe by Ken Morton)

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