Based of out Germany, Annisokay is an explosive post hardcore collective ready to take on the world at large. Their debut album entitled The Lucid Dream(er) has just been unleashed through SPV / Steamhammer Records, packed to the brim with a thrilling sonic intensity that should enrapture fans of acts such as We Came As Romans and Blessthefall. Annisokay has yet to play here in the States, but they’ve shared European stages with the likes of The Ghost Inside, Upon This Dawning, and Lionheart. Here is a recent interview we conducted with Annisokay to find out more about this band on the rise, ready to invade your lucid dreams. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Annisokay, and how long the band has been together?
Annisokay is Dave Grunewald on shouts, Christoph Wieczorek on clean vocals and guitar, Norbert Rose on bass, Daniel Herrmann on drums, and Philipp Kretzschmar on guitar. Christoph and Norbert started this band already in 2007. But it took a while to create a foundation of talented and passionate musicians. So this final lineup is been together for about 2 years. Ever since we can remember we’re in love with music. With this band we try to make music professionally and we want to play shows all over the world. It was a long and hard way to create this band but now we feel that this band is an ideal mix of young dynamic and talented people who go hand in hand and are ready to take all hurdles.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
The Band is based in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt (Germany). Halle is in the middle east of Germany, 2 hours far from Berlin. Our local scene isn’t that big but really really pleasant. In general if you play metal or hardcore shows in any small town in Germany, the promoter will always take good care of your band.
How did you wind up being signed to SPV Records, a label not normally known to sign post hardcore?
The deal with SPV was curated by our management Monster Artists. We are really proud to be one of the first post hardcore bands signed by SPV, a well known independent record label existing over for 30 years. We try to make good music in the first place and we believe SPV will take over the business very well so we can make even better music.
Is there any story or concept behind the album title The Lucid Dream(er)?
Yes as the album title says the concept behind the record is about nightmares and the concept of lucid dreaming. We apply these metaphors to everyday life that reflects a state of lucid dreaming and experiencing a nightmare. “The Lucid Dreamer” is a metaphor for everyone out there. Everybody is dreaming. Not only when being asleep. Mesmerizing about this is the point when the dream itself assumes the control and it becomes a nightmare. That’s why the word dreamer in our album title is written with these box brackets. These thrilling thoughts led to the theme of our record for example like the chorus of our song „Firewalk“ which states: „I tried to tell myself what to dream, what to forget. And now I try to wake up cause all hell is let loose“. We also live our dreams every day. Some go through nice dreams, some experience nightmares. That’s what the record is all about in the end: Life!
Select two songs from The Lucid Dream(er) and what inspired the lyrics.
A very special track of this record for us is the song „Sky“ which is our first music video for this record as well. The Song is about saying a very last time goodbye to a very beloved person who has left forever. We have achieved a lot of response from people who told us how much they can identify with the lyrics and that the song has helped them in difficult times. That really means a lot to us!
Another special track is „Day To Day Tragedy“ which is our current music video. This song is one of our latest. We recorded this song as a bonus track for the re-release of our debut record „The Lucid Dream(er)“. The lyrics are about a repetitive human tragedy which can be apply to one person or a hole society.
What could one expect from a live Annisokay show?
A lot of energy! We try to create an intense and sweaty rock show with a lot of jumping, singalong and crowd surfing. And of course we try to play our songs as perfect as we can. The uniqueness lies in the vocals. Dave’s got this very brutal voice which is able to demolish houses and Christoph thick velvety yet gentle vocal timbre is singing such epic melodies.
Has Annisokay ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
No not yet but we really really want to tour the States! The best thing ever we could imagine would be playing Vans Warped Tour. We’ve recently been in the States to record with Joey Sturgis and hopefully next time we’re gonna do shows.
Any strange or scary happenings on the road or at a show?
At one time we had to drive a 4 hour trip home in the middle of a very cold winter night. And then it happened … the car heater broke. The car windows inside the car were frozen. Halfway between Christoph was opening a soda can which had been shaken for a long time. So the can blew up and he was wet and very very cold. He had to take off all his clothes. Luckily we had a sleeping bag. So he was sitting on the wet front seat half-naked in his sleeping bag and cold to his bones while scraping the ice of the frozen window inside the car.
What was the experience like opening for The Ghost Inside and did you get to hang out with them at all?
Such great bands have always an amazing fan base and that is the most important thing of a good show, one hell of a crazy crowd! Unfortunately we didn’t had the chance to hang out with The Ghost Inside. Hopefully we get another chance!
If Annisokay could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
In the near future one dream will become true. We’re gonna open up for Silverstein and Blessthefall for four shows in Germany. These two bands are a big inspiration for us and we got a lot of memories with their music. This tour is gonna be very special for us.
Who is Ann and just why is she just okay?
Unfortunately we don’t know Ann very well. Our buddy Michael Jackson was asking in his song „Smooth Criminal“: Annie are you okay? Yes she is and she doesn’t need to be great because understatement means elegance.
Germany in famous for their BEER! What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
Of course Germany has a lot more to offer than just beer but we have to admit german beer is really good. But we can’t name one specific brand there are too many different kinds of beer. It’s always a matter of taste and in our case Dave isn’t drinking any alcohol at all.
What would you like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the first time?
Hopefully some catchy tunes and words from a singalong chorus so if they see us live maybe they will sing with us. Because that’s the best when you’re playing far away from home and people are singing the words of your songs.
Any final words of wisdom?
Most of us live our whole lives without having an adventure to call our own. What is any life without the pursuit of a dream?
– taken from the Movie „Vanilla Sky“
Dave Grunewald – Shouts
Christoph Wieczorek – clean Vocals/Guitar
Norbert Rose – Bass
Daniel Herrmann – Drums
Philipp Kretzschmar – Guitar
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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