Exoterik is an awesomely powerful band from United Kingdom, whose music is a blending of rock, metal and alternative influences. They are a band with such pure talent, energy and outspokenness about them, that it is no wonder why their music is so inspiring. Through each member’s personality and uniqueness, they shine in their interview. Exoterik, it’s been a joyous experience having this interview---looking forward to following your career. (:
Grave Concerns: Dark Greetings Anneka, Tom, David, and Steve, this is such a divine opportunity to have you here at the grave, how are you all doing?
Dave: I really have no idea right now.
Tom: Doing really well, although it would be much better if I was on a beach in the Caribbean with a large cocktail, but I can’t complain.
Steve: I’m doing well…I think.
Anneka: I’m a little tired, but feeling great. Thanks.
Grave Concerns: Glad to know that 1/2 of the band is fairly certain that they’re doing well. (; The beach---the Caribbean and a cocktail…not a small, but a large…sounds wonderful Tom!
Grave Concerns: You have such an amazing sound---so empowering, sensual, viciously captivating---you're going to do so smashingly well! How did you all meet?
Dave: On the darker streets of a northern England town, snorting sherbet and injecting melted down cola bottles into our eyeballs.
Grave Concerns: Cool---I must try that too. Does diet cola work better? And what flavor of sherbet is the BEST for snorting? (;
Grave Concerns: When did you first discover that music was what you wanted to pursue? And while you were waiting for that to happen, what other jobs did you have, or are currently involved with?
Steve: My Mum and Dad bought me a tin drum when I was six. That’s when I first discovered music.
Anneka: Music has always played a huge part in my life and I’ve always felt that it is what I’m supposed to do in some form or another, I only hope that the opportunities are put our way so that we can all give it the best shot that we can.
Dave: Personally, when I was first introduced to a bunch of bands by older siblings (Alice In Chains, Metallica, Pixies) and then soon realized that you could make these kinds of noises too if you could just get your hands on a guitar... I’m still trying to finish my PhD in molecular biology/genetics so I’m a busy boy right now.
Grave Concerns: Seriously Dave? I’m in awe---congratulations sir---truly remarkable. No kidding?
Grave Concerns: Tell us about playing at Guilfest and Gas Works? And how about the cool bars---Joseph’s Well, The Exchange those places where people warmly welcome you, and are truly there to support your musical ambitions?
Tom: Guilfest was awesome, it was our first real taste of a festival atmosphere, big stage, big lights etc. I truly loved it. Gasworks and The Exchange are two local venues, both excellent for different reasons, Joseph's Well is probably the best mid sized venue in Leeds, playing live at any of these venues is always cool.
Anneka: Joseph’s Well in Leeds is always a great place to play. It’s a place we’ve been playing since the band started and it’s great that we can keep going back to it. Yet the Gas Works and The Exchange which are both based in Bradford tend to have a more dedicated rock crowd which I think I’m pretty safe to say goes down better with our style of music. The audience always seems to welcome us in The Exchange, which is a great pleasure to us.
Grave Concerns: As team collaborators, what have been the most difficult compromises to been made, regarding lyrics and music? How do you move forward, when something you’d really wanted to be considered, is not mutually felt?
Anneka: It’s always difficult to please everybody in any working environment and when it comes to music each new song is like a newborn baby to the people or person that wrote it or initially came up with the song’s concept. It’s delicate at first and can often lead to frustration and sometimes disappointment if something that seems like a good idea to yourself is cast aside by others. Yet at the same time, we each have to understand that everybody’s opinions are different and your not always right. I think we all feel comfortable enough with each other to say when something is working and when it’s not. That’s what’s good about having a strong working relationship.
Tom: Music is like anything else people have opinions on; you can’t always get everyone to agree. For a song to work I feel everyone in the band has to firstly dig the melody and overall sound of the song, and secondly really get a feel for what the song is about, and use that to drive their own individual performance. There is nothing worse then seeing someone going through the motions when playing a track, either everyone moves the track forward or it is reworked.
Dave: Inevitably songs from one individual will change when brought to the band but whether you see this is a compromise or not depends on your outlook. A lot of the time I think we’d agree that the songs grow once we work on them as a band, ending up with arrangements of ideas that would never have come from just one person. Obviously there can be tensions in choosing some ideas over others, adding bits, ditching bits etc. but without a certain amount of creative tension there’s always the risk of self-indulgence or plain blandness. So you have to be open as an individual to compromises but also to pushing your own song somewhere you might not have thought of on your own.
Grave Concerns: You have a very awesome band name---how did you come up with it?
Dave: It’s actually the codename of a secret government project involving adding fluoride and sodium thiopental to the tapwater…
Tom: …but of course the government denies all this and insist it’s only vitamin C.
Grave Concerns: Of course they would…but we know…we know.
Grave Concerns: You’re coming out with a single on April 28th---“Are You Alive”? What were the inspirations for the song, and what made you guys decide to have that be your first song?
Tom: The song draws from a wide range of observations and idiosyncrasies regarding human nature, we thought it would be just a good track to introduce people to the band and promote the album.
Anneka: I think it’s a song that comes across well on the album which is always a good start when choosing your debut single.
Dave: Gotta start somewhere…
Grave Concerns: Your album ”Don’t Swallow” will be out soon---by the end of June? How would you describe the mood of the album, and which songs are you most proud of?
Anneka: Well the album doesn’t yet have a release date but we’re hoping to release it sooner rather than later. In the meantime we’re releasing a single which you can download via iTunes, Napster, eMusic and Rhapsody. That will be available on 28th April.
Tom: I’m proud of all the songs on the album and hope that the public will get into it. The mood of the album is dark in places with lighter twists embedded. There are tracks to suit all moods whether it be homicidal rage to relaxing bliss.
Dave: The album is kind of a dark Rorschach inkblot test for your ears, tinged with general misanthropy and disappointment with the human race. I guess people will say there’s angst in there, but not your typical nu-metal “fuck you mum and dad!” angst, more of an apocalyptic angst.
Grave Concerns: When it comes to writing new material, which do you feel comes first in the creative process--- the lyrics or the music, or doesn’t it matter?
Anneka: We’ve written songs in both ways. Personally I tend to start with the music first and then move on to the lyrics but that’s not to say that the lyrics are not important because I think it’s the lyrics that help to cement the whole song together. They are the icing on the cake so to speak.
Dave: Personally I tend to flog the music to death then write words around it, which might involve some changes to the music. Generally I’ll have some ideas floating around my head for lyrics and the music kind of chooses which of my ideas get written down that day.
Steve: The music always comes first for me.
Tom: I work in completely opposite direction; lyrics come first for me generally, then the music. The lyrics often dictate the feel and style of the guitar playing and how heavy and light you want the tone to sound.
Grave Concerns: GREAT photos you have up---love the ones where you’re under the chandelier. Very, very, nice! Lovely photographer Kayley Cookson is. Such a pretty place too. Where is it?
Dave: Our secret underground layyeeerrrr. Afraid we can’t say.
Anneka: Yeah Kayley is an old school friend of mine and we grew up together, so I think that really helped as I felt totally at ease with her. But we couldn’t possibly reveal our secret hideaway!
Grave Concerns: (: OK. I understand. But if it comes to me in a dream… or an e-mail, I won’t tell where it is either.
Grave Concerns: You have some shows coming up in April--- will there be any plans to come to the USA---to Boston, MA? (:
Steve: Is that an invite?
Anneka: We’d certainly love to play the USA but there are no current plans underway to play there at this moment in time. Maybe you could recommend some venues for us to play?
Dave: If anyone wants to lend us the air fare?
Tom: We’d love to play the US, we’ve had lots of requests to come over.
Grave Concerns:Yeah---and I sure hope you do---I’d love to see you guys perform. I’d check out some places in Boston to see if there were interest…maybe one day soon. How great that’d be! (:
Grave Concerns: You reside in Leeds, United Kingdom---how incredibly beautiful it must be there. Would you please share some of your favorite hangouts, and places, that you find to be close to your hearts?
Anneka: Well myself, Tom and Steve are currently living in a little village outside of Leeds which attracts many foreign tourists and it is truly beautiful. It’s in the countryside just touching the moors. We get to witness all the seasons here in their full glory. Infact, it’s currently snowing here at the moment.
Dave: Well, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder…anywhere away from the students is a good place to hangout, but if I tell you then they might find them.
Grave Concerns: How breathtaking…I won’t tell, I PROMISE! I’d have to get up the nerve to fly first. I’ll accept pictures---it’ll inspire my poetry. (:
Grave Concerns: You’ve been asked to create a new word defining your style of music. What is that word?
Grave Concerns: NICE!
Grave Concerns: What do you think makes your music stand out among other artists in your field?
Tom: I think the music has cross genre appeal and taps into many of the mainstream sounds. It has elements of rock, metal and goth, with a dollop of commercialism.
Anneka: I hope people will find us fresh and appealing. I’d certainly like to think that our music bridges gaps between genres of music. Lazy journalists often compare us to other female fronted bands such as Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Within Temptation and the likes, but we really don’t see ourselves as being that intensely gothic. Sure we have aspects of it but I would never really say that we are in the same league as Nightwish or Within Temptation as our music is not operatic nor as broodingly dark. Yet it really annoys me when journalists see a female fronting a heavy rock band and then immediately categorize us in this seemingly new genre of ‘female fronted bands’. How come there’s no musical genre labeled ‘male fronted bands’? How many male fronted bands are there in comparison, yet they don’t as easily get compared to one another?
Dave: I’m not sure we’ve quite decided what our “field” is. Our music sounds different to me anyway but that’s all about the chemistry in the band, you can’t put a name to it.
Grave Concerns: Awesome answers---love the passion and the strength of your responses. Anneka, truly powerful thoughts---so well stated.
Grave Concerns: You have five balloons you got at the park...orange, green, purple, red, and black. Two of them slipped through your fingers…which ones?
Anneka: Orange and Purple. Dunno why.
Dave: Red and black. I just plain let go of the others.
Steve: I’d keep the red and black too. I’m not bothered about the others.
Grave Concerns: You’ve just created a jigsaw puzzle…how many pieces does it have, and what will the final picture be of?
Anneka: 250 pieces. It’s simple but still takes a little time to make the final picture, thus allowing you to take a certain amount of pride in what you’ve made.
Tom: One piece, final picture a star.
Dave: Two, but they don’t fit together. If they did they’d make a picture of the sea.
Steve: Drummers don’t do jigsaws.
Grave Concerns: Hey! It would be good eye/hand coordination Steve.
Grave Concerns: Do you have more clothes than you can wash/dry at home, or do you take them to the cleaners?
Dave: The first one. I’m considering swapping my washing machine for a bonfire.
Anneka: My laundry pile just seems to grow and expand day by day regardless of whether I do any washing or not.
Tom: I have clothes everywhere, I’d probably say I have clothes in about 7 different houses across the UK! I only wash what I need on a weekly basis.
Grave Concerns: Being a member of MySpace, how has it helped, or hindered your musical endeavors? And which countries do you feel have embraced your
music the most?
Tom: Without MySpace many bands would never get exposure to the public and it’s a great way to meet new people, musicians and awesome people like yourselves. The downside to MySpace is the plethora of rubbish that resides there and fucking spammers!! I’d love to catch just one spammer, and then post the outcome visually, as a warning to the rest of the spammer world.
Dave: MySpace is a great tool for reaching out to potential fans and for being able to talk directly to people who like your music in a more personal way then might be possible otherwise. The downside is that it has (along with the rest of the internet) helped to cheapen music so that people expect to be able to hear this stuff (which is quite expensive to make) for free. On top of which pretty much every half-arsed band in the world can stick some shitty songs up there and send a few thousand friend requests out there if they want to, so you really need a real good shit-filter to get to the good stuff.
Grave Concerns: What’s the weather doing right now?
Steve: It’s snowing and it’s bloody cold!
Dave: Being a cold bastard and snowing at random opportunities.
Tom: Its cold...cold...cold
Anneka: It’s cold, dark and snowing!
Grave Concerns: I do love the snow…with a crackling fireplace to snuggle by.
Grave Concerns: You were born with eyes that weren’t human---what do they look like?
Tom: Moons that fire lasers on demand at passing assholes.
Steve: An Owl’s.
Anneka: I’d have those huge googly eyes that they put on soft teddies. I’m not exactly sure what they’re called but they jiggle around when you shake them.
Grave Concerns: I REALLY like those answers---and marbles come in so many wildly funky colors. Very cool guys
Grave Concerns: Can you do any impersonations? If I had a few drinks…OK…maybe two more on top of that, I can do a pretty good Axl Rose “Pleased to meet you”, from the song “Sympathy For The Devil”, off of the Interview with the Vampire soundtrack. That’s all.
Anneka: Nah, I’m shit at accents but Tom does a great Yoda impression.
Tom: Yeah, Yoda from Star Wars, lots of Mighty Boosh characters and a great Russian sailor when I’m really pissed.
Dave: I can do a pretty good Jason Statham who himself is a doing a pretty good impression of a clichéd mockney hard-man twat. Hayden Christensen’s quite easy too but it involves going into a waking coma so I don’t do it too often. Or Butthead of “Beavis and…” fame.
Grave Concerns: If you were to write a short story or a novel based on one of your songs, which one would it be? And if it was to be adapted for the silver screen, who would be your leading actor and actress?
Dave: Salvation. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and William H. Macey would be the troubled and lost-looking leads. Natalie Portman would be there to walk all over them (and me if I’m lucky)…
Anneka: I’d probably choose Johnny Depp as my leading man but I’m not sure who the leading actress would be – possibly Natalie Portman or Kate Hudson. I’d quite like to see a story made out of Preservation. We could then use the acoustic version of the song in the movie - just to set the ambiance. That would be nice.
Tom: The song would be Watch You Bleed, the leading actor would be Christian Bale and the leading actress would be Eliza Duscku (mmmmmm!).
Steve: Raping The Reverie staring Jack Nicholson and Jodie Foster.
Grave Concerns: FANTASTIC group of performers from which you choose! I’d read the book---and go to the movies…well, go to the movies first. (;
Grave Concerns: Have you ever had to perform CPR?
Anneka: Only on a dummy!
Dave: Only on myself. Twice.
Tom: Yes believe it or not on a dog!! It came around, snarled at me, had a shit and fucked off, how ungrateful.
Steve: For a second there I thought CPR was something to do with Star Wars!
Grave Concerns: What movie character’s name do you think is cool? And if you were to be cast in a movie, what cool name would you go by?
Dave: Dirk Diggler from Boogie Nights. Joey Jo-Jo Jefferson.
Tom: A cool movie name is Riddick, my movie name would be Pleiades Triplelanger The First.
Grave Concerns: Write whatever comes to your mind after reading the following:
1. He came to her that night…
Dave: …and didn’t realize she was comatose until the morning.
Tom: He came to her that night…tears rolling down his face, trying desperately to explain what he was doing in bed with her mother and aunt, “You only Live once” he screamed!.
2. The candles were lit, the wine was on the table, and then he saw her…
Tom: …twitch just a little. She has been dead for 4 months now and although the smell was awful, he still made her sit and have dinner with him every Sunday.
Dave: The candles were lit, the wine was on the table, and then he saw her……rubbing her crotch and complaining of a yeast infection.
3. Her body lay…
Tom: …upside down facing the ground. The parachute jump had gone horribly wrong and now she was regretting having the video camera on.
Dave: Her body lay…on the surprisingly big mantelpiece, stuffed and mounted.
4. He stood there, shrugged his shoulders and…
Dave: …realized he’d gone to work naked again.
Tom: He stood there, shrugged his shoulders and…laughed at the kids he had rolling in a barrel down towards the waterfall. They’ll love it! he exclaimed to the horrified onlookers.
5. The sweat dripped off of my face, down to my lips, the heat was too…
Tom: …unbearable. If the funny fucker who locked the sauna did not come back soon he surely would die.
Dave: The sweat dripped off of my face, down to my lips, the heat was too… high. I turned the thermostat down and thought long and hard about wasting energy, what with global warming and all. How could I have been so stupid? Now penguins and polar bears were going to die and it was all my fault. Why couldn‘t I have just worn a sweater instead of turning up the thermostat? Why? Oh God, why? I resolved to kill myself that very evening for my stupidity, but suspected I would get that wrong too.
6. The excitement of seeing…
Dave: … Britney Spears bursting into flames live on national television gave him a hard-on.
Tom: The excitement of seeing...the erection finally go down after 9 viagra’s and a heart attack was too much to take for luckless Harry. The colour finally returned to his face and he could move normally again.
7. Not only did we…
Dave: … get the T-shirt, we caught the STD.
Tom: Not only did we… dig them up, but we ate them also.
Grave Concerns: You’re ALL so twisted and fun---LOVE the answers!
Grave Concerns: When are your birthdays?
Anneka: 17th September
Steve: 28th September
Tom: 29th January
Grave Concerns: June 16th.
Grave Concerns: If you had the ability to change the color of the sky during the daylight hours to a color of your choice…once every 3 months, what four colors would you choose, and why?
Anneka: Red, Purple, Green and a Yellowy Orange. Red because its darkly romantic, purple because it’s a favourite colour of mine, green for its ‘Wizard of Oz’ emerald city quality and yellowy orange for a bright contrast to the others within the summer months. The rain would also be black.
Dave: I’d choose green, red, purple and black. To confuse the birds.
Tom: Purple, Green, Orange and Silver would just look cool.
Grave Concerns: If you had the power to live the life of any character in a movie for one-week after the end credits rolled, who would you choose and why?
Tom: Darth Vader at the end Of: Empire Strikes Back. Fuck going after the silly rebel alliance, I would come to Earth and sort out low lifes and chavs. When I was finished I would use the force on Eliza Duscku haha.
Dave: Michael Corleone at the end of Godfather. Being a 1950s crime-boss would come with some pretty kick-ass advantages.
Steve: Doc from Back To The Future so I can carry on travelling through time.
Anneka: I’d love to be Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz – a talking lion and real-life scarecrow as well as a tin-man and a wicked witch sound like pretty amazing people to know. Oh, and I’d love to see a flying monkey, munchkins and horses that change colour.
Grave Concerns: If it were possible to have trees and flowers which only bloom in the springtime, be able to bloom once every other year in complete safety, for three extra weeks, which trees and flowers would you like to see, and what season would they bloom in for you?
Anneka: Blossom in winter would be cool.
Tom: I would like there to be daffodils and snow drops in mid winter and the cheery blossom on Christmas day.
Steve: I’d quite like to see a Weeping Willow and Daffodils in winter.
Grave Concerns: Lovely.
Grave Concerns: Same question as above, although this time it’s in regard to birds. I’d love to see the Hummingbirds…in winter. It would look amazing to see snowflakes and a thin glaze of ice on their wings, and iridescent bodies.
Anneka: How strange you should mention that – I had a dream only two nights ago which featured little colorful birds flying and landing in a field of thick white snow. Spooky.
Tom: Kingfishers in the snow would look pretty deadly.
Steve: Woodpeckers too.
Grave Concerns: Wow…very spooky Anneka. (:
Grave Concerns: When was the last time you had a really bad headache?
Anneka: A couple of weeks ago. I thought I’d be able to sleep it off but instead it kept me awake. Don’t you just hate it when that happens!?
Dave: This morning, this afternoon and this evening.
Tom: Years ago.
Steve: Drummers don’t get headaches – they cause them!
Grave Concerns: If you were to plant a tree to symbolize something special in your life, where would that tree be planted, and what kind is it?
Dave: In the middle of my road, just to be an awkward bastard. It’d be a Sycamore, just cos I like the name.
Tom: A red Beech tree in my home town in Ireland.
Anneka: It’d probably have to be a Weeping Willow for me.
Steve: I’d choose a Eucalyptus tree because my wife is Australian and I’d put it in my English garden.
Grave Concerns: A car wash is a fun place to go through...has it ever crossed your minds to go through one…without a car?
Steve: I can’t say I have…but it sounds fun!
Anneka: I never wanted to go through one without a car but when I was young I remember annoying the hell out of my dad by asking him to open the window every time we went through one!
Dave: Yes, when I was 5 but I was told I would drown. I’m still not entirely sure whether that’s true or not.
Tom: haha, I’ve gone through one with the car window open which I believe had the same effect.
Grave Concerns: Have you told people before that you’re seeing someone, just to shut them up about your personal life? Had it ever backfired?
Anneka: Nope, never done that.
Steve: Yeah, I have and luckily it never back fired.
Tom: Mmmm, I’m not telling.
Dave: I generally just tell people to shut up. It pays to be direct.
Grave Concerns: If you could have a movie director direct your next video, who would it be and why? And which song would it be?
Tom: Martin Scorcese – just ‘cos he has made some of the most brutal movies of all time, the song he could direct would be The Catalyst.
Dave: David Lynch because I love his dark surrealism. I would probably give him The Catalyst so he’d have plenty of weird mood shifts to work with and because I have no idea what the hell he’d come up with.
Anneka: It would have to be Tim Burton directing Raping The Reverie – probably predictable but I think he’d do a great job at it!
Steve: I’d also choose Raping The Reverie but I’d have Quentin Tarantino directing it because most of his movies push the limits.
Grave Concerns: Again---lovin’ your answers---ALL favorites of mine, especially Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino.
Grave Concerns: What are some of your hobbies?
Dave: You mean there’s stuff other then music?
Steve: Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – is there anything else?
Tom: Aside from music - football, movies and hanging out with my friends.
Anneka: Yeah, catching up with friends is always great especially with a bottle of wine…or 5 later…with pizza and a good movie.
Grave Concerns: I think there are a few things Dave…maybe a handful?
Grave Concerns: What’s your favorite perfume?
Tom: Xeryus Rouge or Issi Miyake.
Dave: Is the next question gonna be “What are you wearing?”
Anneka: I’m always changing my perfume but I’m currently wearing Provocative Woman.
Grave Concerns: If you had the chance to have any dream within your lifetime come true, what dream would that be? And this is actually a dream---you know the one that comes to you in your sleep. (:
Dave: I guess the one where I’m onstage playing bass for Meshuggah but I don’t know any of the songs. It was more of a nightmare then a dream but it’d be worth it just to hang out with them for a bit.
Tom: Well…me and Eliza Duscku are lost in the woods being chased by inbred motherfuckers (kinda like the movie Wrong Turn) but whilst we hide we don’t waste time crying like bitches, like they did in the movie, Oh no, if we only have a small amount of time to live, better make it count…..Que the poxy alarm clock.
Anneka: I absolutely love dreaming but I can’t actually think of one that I would like to come true.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever received, or written a “Dear John” letter?
Tom: A what??
Dave: My Uncle’s called John. I guess that doesn’t count though… So no. It is the age of email and text, you know?
Anneka: Nope, I’ve never written one nor received one. I’d much prefer to do it face-to-face either way.
Steve: Well it’s yes to both for me.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever dozed off in the shower?
Anneka: What standing up???? Never!
Dave: Shower no, bath yes.
Steve: Same here.
Tom: Yes a couple of times, I sleep anywhere, I even fell asleep on a motorbike…whilst driving…twice.
Grave Concerns: As musicians, how does the music in movies affect you? And if you were asked to compose a song for a soundtrack, which genre would that be in? Now let me take that question even further---actually backward; if you were to go back to the past, with your current music in hand, and were asked that same question, would any of your songs stand out as a good fit? If so, which song and movie would it have been?
Dave: Fuck me, that’s a long question…
Anneka: Well first of all, I think music in movies is critical to how a scene or emotion onscreen is portrayed. The same goes for the absence of music. As for which of our songs we’d use in a movie, I’d say;
Find A Cure (To Save Yourself) – possibly ‘Shaun of the Dead’ or ‘28 Days Later’, I think the title says it all. Also, Forever Watching could be used on ‘Big Brother’ or perhaps ‘Phone Booth’ if it allowed me to meet Colin Farrell. Are You Alive? would have to be ‘iRobot’ or ‘Transformers’ for it’s lyrical content. Oh, and Watch You Bleed would have to be ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ or some other slasher film.
Tom: I’d say; Watch you Bleed – ‘Saw 1’, Preservation – ‘The Mummy’, Humanity Inc – ‘Stealth’, Forever Watching – ‘One hour Photo’, Find a Cure (To Save Yourself) – ‘Outbreak’ and Are you Alive? – ‘Candyman’.
Steve: On a serious note I’d like to hear Watch You Bleed in The Great Escape.
Grave Concerns: The longer the better in some cases---super answers!
Grave Concerns: What time is it right now? What did you do eight hrs. and 19 minutes ago?
Anneka: Right now it’s 01:18 and 8hrs and 19 minutes ago I was checking my emails on my laptop computer whilst brewing a very English cup of tea.
Dave: I woke up.
Tom: I was asleep…or sleep walking.
Grave Concerns: Have you drunk bad milk?
Anneka: Not that I recall.
Tom: by mistake yes, it wasn’t as bad as people made out.
Dave: All milk is bad.
Grave Concerns: Forgot to brush your teeth, or put on deodorant before?
Anneka: Unfortunately, yes! Either that or I forget to take them with me when I stay out overnight.
Dave: Morning tends to be a bad-tempered blur for me, so yes.
Grave Concerns: Do you believe in ESP and ghosts or “other” unexplainable occurrences?
Dave: All in the mind, and the mind is a very powerful thing. There is a basic human need to believe in these things which has evolved, whether it be in the guise of religion or some other equally spurious form of spirituality, so let people believe what they want to believe, just as long as I get to keep my atheism and my nihilism.
Tom: I believe lots of the “unexplained” can actually be explained with rational and science. However there are lots of daily phenomenon which we can’t explain or wash away with science/ physics theory, and I like that. It leaves wonder and excitement in the world. Saying there is no such things as ghosts is the same as saying I believe in God, either way you have to respect what people perceive to believe, even if you think its crazy.
Anneka: I caught a ghost on my camera once and I can swear to you that I didn’t see anything there at the time I took the photo. But who’s to say that a ghost is a dead person? Maybe its an echo of the past, maybe it’s something from another dimension, maybe it’s all just in our minds, either way they’re certainly unexplainable to us.
Steve: Well, I haven’t made up my mind yet!
Grave Concerns” Have any of you had your fortunes read? How about other types of readings? Have you used an Ouija board?
Anneka: I once had a lady approach me telling me that she could see me travelling to Latvia and Finland with the band which came true cos that’s where we later went to record our album.
Tom: I tried the Ouija board before with disastrous outcomes!
Grave Concerns: You’ve been asked to be immortalized in Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum in New York; do you accept?
Steve: Shit, Yeah!
Dave: What’s wrong with the one in London? I don’t think my self-esteem would survive having to look at a copy of myself anyway.
Tom: Hell Yeah, I’d accept as long as they placed my model beside something cool like Predator, Terminator or Darth Maul.
Anneka: Yeah if I’m placed between Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. Phworrr, then again I’d probably melt from the heat of the moment!
Grave Concerns: Nothing wrong at all with the one in London---LOVE to go there too---just making it easy for some folks to see you guys…all waxed up! (:
Grave Concerns: Since nature is very precious to me, I tend to be drawn more toward the Earth element. Although each one has its own special attributes, together they are priceless. Which element do you see yourself more drawn toward?
Anneka: Hmmmm, I like them all for different reasons but probably Earth. But air is good – I’d love to fly.
Dave: Is beer an element?
Tom: Water, because it is the basis for all alcoholic beverages and without it you couldn’t drink the hangover away.
Steve: I’d choose fire.
Grave Concerns: Sorry Dave…no!
Grave Concerns: I’m a spider, and other good crawling and flying critter/creature saver to those whom happen to come into my home and at work. I’m the go-to-gal to set them free. What about yourself?
Anneka: I’m afraid I’m one of those annoying people who get a little jumpy around spiders but don’t like to see any harm done by them. Then again we don’t have any poisonous ones in our country. Snakes give me the creeps though.
Steve: I always set them free if I can.
Tom: I sleep with them!
Dave: I’ll save most things but dirty disease-ridden flies are on their own.
Grave Concerns: You’re in the supermarket---what isles do your frequent, which do you avoid?
Anneka: I go down every isle whether I need to or not. I like to see what new products are available which annoys the hell out of people who I’m shopping with but I quite enjoy supermarket shopping. The fish counter can be smelly though, but I’ve got a morbid curiosity about seeing what all the dead fish look like close-up.
Tom: I avoid the whole fucking supermarket, I hate shopping.
Dave: I like a bit of everything.
Steve: I always head for the cheese section.
Grave Concerns: Are you into the creative art of illusions? If so, whom do you admire?
Tom: I like illusions yeah, I admire Derren Brown.
Anneka: Yeah, I love a good trick although I’m more into the psychological mind games like Derren Brown uses. He’s pretty cool.
Dave: I quite admire the government’s illusory skill. But not much else.
Steve: David Blain is pretty good.
Grave Concerns: David Copperfield is coming to Boston in May---my dad and I are going to go. This will be my third time around. (:
Grave Concerns: Do you remember the TV shows “Friday the 13th The Series”? I wish that one would come out on DVD! How about “Freddy’s Nightmares”? And another favorite is “Nightmare Café”…cool stuff! Of course HBO had their classic “Tales from the Crypt”. And do you remember Rona Jaffe’s “Mazes and Monsters” with Tom Hanks? Would you like to create your own TV horror/supernatural show or TV movie---but with a Victorian twist?
Dave: No, but thanks for asking.
Tom: Yes, I would have Charles Dickens’s Oliver trapped in a cave with hairless freaks (see The Descent) and every time he cried “please Sir, Can I have some more” the freaks came out to play and chased him around…until the last episode where they finally caught him, raped him and killed him...The End.
Anneka: I can’t say I’ve ever thought about it. So no, not really.
Steve: I’d quite like to see a vampire musical based on Oliver Twist.
Grave Concerns: You’re welcome! (: A vampire musical Steve---I’m all over that one. (;
Grave Concerns: I’m thinking of a number from 0 to 2,995. What it is? I’ll tell you what mine is, when I post your interview.
Dave: it probably has a 7 and a 3 in it.
Anneka: Hmmmm, 372, at a guess.
Grave Concerns: 1,129.
Grave Concerns: What kinds of salad dressing do you like?
Steve: Yeah, home-made is best.
Tom: All salad Dressing!
Anneka: I’m not a big salad fan to tell the truth, wish I was, but I find them pretty dull and boring, even with a dressing on. I love tomato ketchup though!
Dave: Balsamic vinegar or make my own.
Grave Concerns: If you drink coffee and/or tea, how do you take it?
Anneka: Tea all the way! First you need a mug, not a tea cup, you need to have something you can wrap your hands around. For ease and speed I use teabags but if you’re using tealeaves you must make sure water is boiling when you pour it over the leaves. Anyway, boil the kettle, place the tea bag into the mug (use Tetleys, Yorkshire Tea, Typhoo or Twinnings which is my particular favourite, especially Earl Grey), once the kettle has boiled pour it over the tea bag and in the mug. Leave for a minute or so (depending how strong you take your tea). Prod the teabag a little with a spoon, take it out, add milk and then stir with the spoon. Serve with a Chocolate Hobnob biscuit. Yum, yum. The one golden rule about making a cup of tea is to NEVER, under no circumstances, add the milk before the water, you just stop the whole brewing process if you do so. SO there you go, now you too can make the perfect cup of tea!
Steve: As long as it’s warm and wet I’m happy!
Dave: Tea with milk. Coffee black, maybe with half a sugar depending on mood.
Tom: Tea, white, one sugar, Coffee, white or black one sugar or cream.
Grave Concerns: Yum indeed! And that chocolate biscuit sound delish! (:
I love teas…and now I’m a straight black coffee gal. Unless I’m in the mood for a fancy coffee.
Grave Concerns: What has been the most beautiful sunrise or sunset that you’ve seen?
Anneka: The most beautiful sunset I’ve seen was in the middle of the Sahara Desert at Abu Simbel. Absolutely stunning!
Tom: Sunset was in Majorca over the Mediterranean and Sunrise was over the Sahara desert in Egypt.
Dave: I always miss them. Guess I need to live in the moment more.
Steve: The most beautiful sunrise I’ve seen was on top of an active volcano in Bali.
Grave Concerns: If you could pick a choreographer for your next music video, who would it be, and why?
Dave: Er, David Lynch?
Tom: Whoever does 30 Seconds To Mars, they have awesome videos and the song would be Find A Cure (To Save Yourself).
Anneka: I very much doubt we’d have any dancing in our video so we wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Grave Concerns: You just opened your fortune cookie---what does it read?
Steve: “Shit Happens.”
Tom: “Kill the Drummer.”
Dave: “The Chinese food you just ate will leave you feeling strangely empty inside.”
Anneka: “What goes around comes around”.
Grave Concerns: Would you perform on SNL if asked? If so, which two songs would you perform? Would you also like to perform in a skit?
Dave: If we could go back in time to before the current plastic-sheened talentless fuckwits who are doing it now, then yes. I think we’d go for Complicity and Raping the Reverie and let Will Ferrel play the hell out of that cowbell.
Tom: I’d love to perform on SNL, the two songs would be Raping the Reverie and Humanity Inc. A skit would be ace, bring it on!
Grave Concerns: Favorite holiday, color, number and symbol?
Anneka: Greece, purple, 13 and *
Dave: Amsterdam, green, 3 and *
Tom: Greece, Purple, 13 and anything Wiccan or Aztec.
Steve: Venice, black, 7, don’t really have a favourite symbol.
Grave Concerns: Besides the obvious necessities of life, what are six things that you can’t be without?
Tom: My CDs/DVDs, a football, a guitar, a stereo, books, TV with DVD player.
Anneka: Hmmm, good question, at this moment in time I’d say; my iPod, laptop with an internet connection, a pillow, books, DVDs, keyboard.
Steve: Sex, music, sex, music, sex, truffles.
Dave: Books, CDs, olives, internet, showers and garlic.
Grave Concerns: Do onions make your eyes water? Ever play it up? (;
Anneka: Yeah my eyes are really sensitive to onions and I really have no need to play it up cos they’ll sting and stream so much I can’t open my eyes.
Dave: No, I figured that was only a problem for short people.
Grave Concerns: What is something about the human race that really gets you down…make you wonder…how could that person do that, act that way…say that?
Anneka: I despise cruelty to animals.
Dave: Every single thing about politics.
Tom: Any unnecessary act of violence towards another human, any incidence of racism, and people in general who have not evolved with the rest of humanity to the 21st century and beyond. Some fuckers are still acting like it was the Stone Age, in the rest of the animal kingdom they would be extinct or bred out!!
Steve: Ignorance, I despise ignorance.
Grave Concerns: What then, on the other hand, does the human race do to make you feel simply proud and amazed by?
Anneka: How some people can be instinctively self-less and utterly courageous when put in a life or death situation, even when they put their own lives at risk to save complete strangers.
Dave: Good art of any shape or form…
Steve: Compassion is nice.
Tom: Build rockets and other cool shit.
Grave Concerns: Tell me about your tattoos or piercings? Love stuff like that!
Dave: I’ve got a few pieces of metal through my face but still haven’t got round to settling on a tattoo design. If you’re gonna do it might as well do it right…
Tom: I have 9 tattoos, ranging from tribal and Chinese to stars and shamrocks. I have three piercings, one in my nipple (I strongly recommend that…once).
Anneka: I’ve wanted to get my eyebrow done now for a long time but never got round to it. I’m pretty shit with pain. I have my ears pierced though.
Steve: My body is a temple!
Grave Concerns: VERY cool! I have two. A black rose on my right shoulder blade, and a bracelet of pansies on my right wrist.
Grave Concerns: You’re in the process of designing your own night club…what’s it called, where is it located, and how does it look on the inside?
Anneka: ‘Club Rectum’ – dunno if you’ve seen the film Irreversible but it features in that. You’d obviously have to enter via the backdoor.
Tom: It would be in a cave, deep underground, with nothing but heavy rock and metal playing. There would be optics hanging off every wall and a sound system that is powered by the earth’s core. It would be lit up with candles and glow sticks only, and there would be a natural stream and pool to swim in. The bar would be free after people paid the entrance fee of £20. Bouncers would monitor activity from above and all trouble makers who ruined a good night would be dumped down a big shaft that led to a lava pit. The club would be called Sub-Terannean.
Steve: “Pussy Galore” in Soho, London with mirrors everywhere and beds instead on sofas.
Dave: The womb. In some exclusive as yet undisclosed location. Everything (and I mean everything) inside is the colour red but there are no lights. The comfortable sofas are designed to allow you to rest in the foetal position while tubes carry drink direct from the bar to your mouth. There is music, but no dancing.
Grave Concerns: Stella descriptions---they’d ALL work so brilliantly. (:
Grave Concerns: What day does the trash/recycling come to town? Mine is Friday. And my family and I have more gosh, darn recycling than EVERYONE in our entire neighborhood---it’s crazy! One barrel of trash---53 barrels of paper/plastic. OK, not that many, but darn close! (;
Anneka: Errr, Tuesday I think. I’ve just moved house recently so it’s all changed.
Dave: Thursday but only twice a month cos we suck here in Leeds.
Tom: Tuesday I think.
Steve: I’m never sure – they keep changing their minds.
Grave Concerns: What’s your favorite color of lipstick?
Dave: Never really given that much thought…
Anneka: I love red lips!
Tom: Ferrari red, moonbeam black, petulant purple or gravestone green. Ha!
Grave Concerns: Hmmm, petulant purple…gravestone green…I like it!
Grave Concerns: You’re making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What kind of bread is it; what flavor of jelly; and is your peanut butter crunchy or smooth? And now for the crucial question---do you use the same knife you put into the peanut butter, for the jelly?
Steve: Tiger bread, blackcurrant jam and it has to by crunchy peanut butter
Tom: of course!
Dave: Wholewheat bread, strawberry jelly (or jam as we call it over here) and crunch peanut butter. If it’s my house then it’s the same knife cos I’m lazy. You’re making me hungry.
Anneka: I’d much prefer a banana sandwich.
Grave Concerns: You’re stuck in an elevator, with three others. Someone begins to panic (and no, it’s not you) what do you do to help calm the person down?
Dave: Slap them. A lot.
Tom: Knock them out….no give them a cig…or climb out the roof
Anneka: lend them my iPod perhaps.
Steve: Give them a Glaswegian kiss.
Grave Concerns: Are you guys organ donors? How about giving blood---ever done that? Oh, and here’s a goodie---I LOVE getting my blood taken at doctor appointments! I actually look forward to it. I have my sleeve rolled up before I even sit down. Love watching the needle prick my skin, then, watching as the blood sucks up inside the needle. I should have been a Phlebotomist. (;
Anneka: Yeah I gave blood for the first time in January of this year. It’s something I kept meaning to do and now that I’ve done it once I’ll certainly do it again, no problem.
Steve: I gave blood too and was fine up until I had my cup of tea, then I passed out.
Dave: I’d happily give my organs away. I’m a bit lazy about giving blood, which is a shame cos I’ve got good veins – nurses love me.
Tom: I will be an organ donor, although by the time I’m finished with my organs they will probably become obsolete to anyone.
Grave Concerns: OK. After reading below, see what you can come up with. Grab a dictionary. Close your eyes---keep them closed until the end. Open the dictionary. Spin your left index finger around 14 times, counter clockwise, then, reverse, and spin two times, drop your finger on a word. Now write a phrase, question, poem, whatever you like with that word. BUT…you only have 10 minutes to do this. Seriously 10 minutes. Get cracking! (;
Dave: I lost my dictionary.
Tom: I’ve only an Irish dictionary and no one would understand the beautiful poem I would write.
Anneka: I don’t have a dictionary at hand.
Grave Concerns: Excuses, excuses! (:
Grave Concerns: What do you think of showgirls or burlesque dancers?
Anneka: I don’t really think about them that much!
Dave: I think a lot about them…
Tom: Haha, fair play to them, they should be given a national day to parade their talents; like Independence day.
Grave Concerns: What are a few of your favorite local radio stations?
Anneka: Well I live in a little village so we don’t really have a local radio station. I just tend to listen to my iPod or what ever is on at work or in the car.
Tom: BBC Raw Talent.
Steve: Radio Leeds.
Grave Concerns: What’s the best way to flag down a cab?
Tom: With a flag!
Anneka: Smile and try not to look pissed!
Dave: Over here? Acting sober or being a girl.
Steve: Or drop your pants.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever drank too much, and then called in sick the next day and said you had the “stomach bug”?
Anneka: Oh come on, haven’t we all?
Dave: My boss might read this…
Tom: Pass haha.
Grave Concerns: What would be a cool name for a fashion designer?
Tom: Zippy Stitch-button
Dave: Jock Strap. That’s lame…
Anneka: Edward Scissor-hands, perhaps?
Grave Concerns: What kinds of shampoo/conditioner do you use? And what about hand soap---bar or liquid…what kinds?
Anneka: I don’t tend to stick to any one type, just what ever smells good or feels nice.
Tom: I like all shampoos, hand soaps etc, I’m really not picky. Steve washes himself in bleach and uses sandpaper to scrub himself.
Steve: No I used Head and Shoulders shampoo and Imperial Leather soap bar.
Dave: This is starting to weird me out.
Grave Concerns: Good, then I’m doing my job. (;
Grave Concerns: What’s the BEST kind of kissing?
Steve: Arse. Ha!
Anneka: It depends who or what you’re kissing!
Tom: ALL types with a partner or lover, only on the cheek with a parent or sibling and with eyes closed with any animal.
Dave: The unexpected kind.
Grave Concerns: Lots of smiles…and giggles.
Grave Concerns: If you had the chance to travel back to the past, where would you go, and what would you want to leave as a reminder of time spent, as well as, something to take back with you?
Tom: the time of the dinosaurs, Id leave a guitar on a dead dinosaur so it became fossilized and archaeologists would think the T-Rex invented heavy metal, in fact id bring back a dinosaur.
Dave: Prehistoric times, I’d leave a pack of cigarettes and bring back a dinosaur.
Anneka: Ooooo, so many to choose from. I love English history so I think I’d love to be invisible and go back to the Tudor times just to see what they all looked like and to see what was REALLY going on. I’d probably leave them a memento of the future, something for them to ponder over, or maybe some knowledge. What would I take back? Possibly a little trinket or an item of clothing.
Grave Concerns: Tell us two things about yourselves that your fans would be surprised to know about you?
Anneka: I play the saxophone and I hate mustard.
Dave: I invented the internet, I am a big liar.
Tom: I eat absolutely everything and NEVER found a food I don’t like. I’m afraid of lightning.
Grave Concerns: I LOVE the saxophone!
Grave Concerns: Did you ever play “Spin the Bottle” or “Strip Poker”? Did you cheat to win? (;
Tom: Yes and yes.
Dave: I thought that stuff only happened in American sitcoms?
Anneka: I’m afraid my life never got that interesting living in a little country village.
Grave Concerns: Oh no…it’s real, and a lot of FUN!
Grave Concerns: Now these questions are only going to work if you guys like oranges and watermelons. (: Do you prefer to peel your orange, then take apart each segment, one at a time; or, do you like to cut it into wedges, or slices? As for watermelon, do you eat the white seeds? Yep, I do. As for the black ones, what’s the best way you like to remove those seeds…and yeah, I know, you can get them seedless! (;
Dave: They’re both far too much work when there’s fruit out there that doesn’t need any peeling or cutting.
Anneka: I adore Satsuma’s and I always peel the orange then tear apart each segment. Melons should always be eaten in slices.
Tom: Peel the orange and then eat it whole. Watermelon has to be in slices.
Grave Concerns: Has anyone bitten their tongue, or lip recently? I have. I bit my bottom lip---it hurt, but you know what made it feel better? Sucking it---yeah, I’m glutton for pain. It’s just one of those things I can’t seem not to do, when it happens. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Steve: Yep, no pain no gain!
Dave: I bit into my labret piercing yesterday. My tooth is thankfully intact.
Tom: It's amazing how annoyed you get when you bite your own tongue!! I did the other day and I was going to stop traffic and execute people on the spot. It’s so annoying!! Never cross a person who has just bitten their lip or tongue.
Anneka: Yeah it’s sore for a bit and you get that funny taste in your mouth. What’s that all about?
Grave Concerns: Any fetishes?
Tom: Interesting question but my lips are sealed…for legal reasons ha, ha.
Anneka: I couldn’t possibly say!
Dave: Too many to list here.
Grave Concerns: Some day…I’ll get them ALL! (:
Grave Concerns: Thanks so much---we needed MORE kinds of greeting cards with a dark flare to them. What’s the name of your greeting card company, and what are your three top selling cards?
Tom: People Suck Company. 1. Welcome Home, how was Prison? 2. Congratulations, it isn’t yours. 3. Happy Anniversary…your third week together.
Dave: The Sad Truth. 1. Commiserations on your face. 2. Congratulations on your lobotomy. 3. Will you have my abortion?
Grave Concerns: I’M IMPRESSED! REALLY! (:
Grave Concerns: What is sexy in your eyes?
Tom: Lots of little things like a smile, a look, a lip movement. The eyes are probably the sexiest things on the planet.
Anneka: The eyes, it’s all in the eyes.
Steve: A long black skirt with a slit in it.
Grave Concerns: Name three things about your band mates they probably haven’t heard you say about them before?
Tom: 1. Steve played really slowly tonight. 2. I think he wrote a love song. 3. I’m glad his mum could climb.
Dave: 1. I fucked your sister. 2. Your ears smell of cheese. 3. That coffee DID have piss in it.
Grave Concerns: Nice guys! Good friends you all are…lol!
Grave Concerns: Drink of choice, and what are some of your favorite foods? What can you cook really well?
Anneka: Vodka and coke, pizza or a nice pasta dish. Chinese food is usually good and I love potatoes but I never really have time to cook properly.
Tom: Cider with Black or anything from top shelf with a kick. I love all food but seafood is my favourite and I cook a mean mustard and pepper fish ensemble with lots of weird special ingredients.
Dave: Whiskey. I love steak, roast duck, curry, and cheese. I cook a mean curry and kickass roast potatoes.
Steve: Black-Russian is my favourite tipple.
Grave Concerns: I love the intricate looks of Labyrinths, and the mysteriousness of what lies within them. If you were to create one, how would it look?
Dave: From air it would look like a meeting between badgers. From space it would look like Elma Fudd.
Tom: it would have one entrance and a maze that ran for about 200 miles. In it I would put all assholes and degenerates. If they found the one red leaf I placed somewhere in the maze…within 1 hour…they would be free.
Grave Concerns: Sweet---sounds good!
Grave Concerns: How do you differentiate a real good song, from a classic? In other words, what really makes a song stand out and last? And with your music, which song or songs do you feel have met that challenge, have come close to it, or are you currently just enjoying the creative bliss?
Dave: It’s an intangible quality. If I could put me finger on it I’d be a millionaire by now. Not my place to judge our own songs, I only know I like them.
Tom: that’s a tough one, I really enjoy writing and just being creative. If a song is a classic it will only become so after we are long gone maybe so I will let other decide that.
Grave Concerns: If you were able to put on a concert for charity, which one/s would you be supporting, and which artists would you like to headline?
Dave: Amnesty International (please ask your government to stop torturing people) and I would have Tool, Meshuggah and Isis headline.
Tom: Animal Cruelty Prevention and WWF. The bands that would be headlining would be chosen by an internet poll.
Grave Concerns: What would you like to say to your fans right now?
Dave: Got any aspirin?
Tom: Keep in touch, buy the single and album, come to a gig if you can and have a drink with us. If you can’t make the gig have a drink on your own and play the single.
Anneka: Thank you.
Steve: Yeah, thanks.
Grave Concerns: Anything else you care to share with us about yourselves and your awesomely cool music?
Dave: you’ve been remarkably comprehensive…still not telling you what shampoo I use though.
Grave Concerns: Thanks! And darn! (;
Grave Concerns: Anneka, Tom, David, and Steve, thank you so very, very, much for this incredible opportunity of interviewing you all---so cool! We here at Grave Concerns, wish you so much happiness and wonderful success in your creative endeavors. May your album “Are You Alive” be a huge hit because it deserves to be. Please keep in touch! Cheers!
For more information on Exoterik check out http://www.myspace.com/exoterik andhttp://www.exoterik.co.uk/
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