Sunday, 22nd October 2017. 11:27:38am ET
Interviews Synthpop, New Wave Interview- Anything Box

 

Band: Anything Box- Paul Rijnders
Interviewer: Matt Willis
Date: 10-9-05

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I had the honor of sitting down with one of the most well-rounded songwriters and musicians. What I admire most about Paul is he doesn’t even know it. He refuses to buy in to his own press and remains down to earth. This seems to be the approach of the whole band. All the while, one can easily argue that Anything Box is one of the most influential synth-based bands ever.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Paul Rijnders of Anything Box and Matt Willis of Grave Concerns

Opening Statement (Matt): I am pleased to have you join me for an interview with Grave Concerns E-zine website. Thank you so much for joining us.

Opening Response (Paul): I know this took a long time to happen. I really had a complex for a while and didn't think I deserved an interview. I got it straight in my head after the Houston show with Anything Box.

Interviews and autographs are not because you're famous or rich, they're because you did something someone connected to. I guess maybe I should be very happy about things that are supposed to be good things!

Matt: What have you been up to these days? (career and leisure-wise)

Paul: I've been working my new band, the Lamented, for the past year. It started off as me just screaming, guitar in hand, into my laptop. After it went better than expected, I turned it into a full band. We've played the House of Blues and the Viper Room, but we've a long way to go. The album is done. Will I put it out is the big question. I'm a notorious side project abandoning fool!

Paul: I also just renewed my interest in Goodbye July. I ordered new software to go along with a potential new album. Cheryl (Kunkel, the band's backing vocalist) is anxious to get this going again. She's been calling me once a week for months to get back on the ball.

Matt: How would you describe your current musical endeavor “The Lamented” to some of our viewers who may have never heard your music? How does it differ from your other musical endeavors?

Paul: Well, it's straight up riffing, good time, vintage, "let's dance" rock & roll. There's a lot of cussing and punk rocking, but at the base of it all is a good pop song.

Matt: Summarize your work with Anything Box over the years. How has it impacted your life? What prompted your return after a long absence from the band? You seem to have many musical irons in the fire. Does A-Box remain the “Bread and Butter” of your music endeavors?

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Paul: I guess you could say I'm a close satellite to the Sun that is Claude. I've learned half of what I know from him. The impact in my life has been great in both directions: I've had the happiest times, times that no one I know could understand, but I've also had to make sacrifices. I've dropped out of school more than a few times to tour. I'm finally finishing up my last three classes.

Paul: I wouldn't change it. This is how it was supposed to be. No one could point to the last decade of Anything Box and say that it was as hot as the decade before. Yet, there are individuals out there who we have touched in life's greatest ways. They've sustained us as artists and allowed us to advance musically.

Paul: About my return to the band, I gave up the craziness in favor of a regular life. Thank God I got the request to come back. I almost became what I should never have been: normal.

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Matt: Could you reset the story of the “Billboard” meeting that you and Claude attended and where it took place? What happened etc?

Paul: We had just parted ways with our management company and we're interviewing potential replacements. A cool guy name Bill Coleman (a Billboard Reporter and big ABox supporter) was managing Dee-Lite. He arranged a meeting at his friend's new house by Griffith Park in LA. This friend was none other than Sinead O'Connor! She greeted us out front and all that I could remember was that she had the firmest handshake and that she was wearing a towel on her head...

Anyway, she left and we were just hanging out in the house. I had to go to the bathroom so I found my way to the closest one downstairs. While I was standing over the toilet, I saw gold records leaning against the tank!! I was afraid I was splashing on the things. Maybe I wasn't. I'll never know. That was so surreal...

Matt: Describe the experience of hearing your music on the radio for the first time? What was your reaction?

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Paul:The first thing I heard was Living in Oblivion here in L.A. Although Claude wrote it, I felt like it was us and I almost crashed my truck.

Matt: What are some of your favorite places that you have enjoyed playing and touring over the years? Any funny road stories for us that you can tell at the expense of Claude, Gary, Dania, or Dave???

Paul: All the shows have been great. I get a special thrill out of New York & the reception in Texas is always outstanding. I love Chicago and I love going out of the country. Funny tour stories???? I have a horrible memory. Claude has funny stories of me that I don't remember. And I was a sober kid in those days... I remember some guy licked my ear while we were signing autographs at a table. Afterwards, I told Claude & Dania "The craziest thing happened to me..." Claude said, "No, the craziest thing happened to me!" Then, at the same time, we shouted "SOME GUY LICKED MY EAR!" That was too funny. I've got better stories, but they can't go down in writing ever...

Matt: You have written some masterful songs, some of my personal favorites being “Salvation” and “Sober’. What is your approach in writing songs? Who are some of your favorite song-writers in the music industry?

Paul: Wow, that's an awesome thing to hear! Thanks! My rule is only to write songs when I feel like it and to not ignore the feeling when I get it. Sometimes it takes weeks to get in the mood, but when it hits, the songs just emote themselves. The words come out of the air and the scenarios are imagined, but so real for me. Lately though, I've been waking up with songs in my head. As far as songwriters, I guess I have to default to Mr. Gore and the partnership of Morrissey/Marr. There's also lots of good music that my parents marinated me in growing up. My mom was such a fan of 45's. She'd play them all day when I was a kid. My dad was crazy like that, too. He'd make these tapes for the annual New Year's Bash at the house. Coming from Holland & Indonesia, they were immune from stereotyping music. So he'd put Disco Inferno right next to some folk song about a snowman getting married. He was like an Anything Box himself in the seventies!

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Matt: Do you ever get people who approach you and say “Hey! You look like that guy from Anything box!? Explain some funny encounters that you have had with fans over the years.

Paul: No, I don't think I'm that recognizable. Poor Claude & Dania have to suffer that all the time. I get more comments about John Leguizamo and Scott Peterson. That's not so good.

Matt: Take this opportunity to shamelessly promote your current music projects or is there anything you would like to say to your fans out there or people who may not be familiar with your music?

Paul: I guess if people would like to hear the damage, come to www.myspace.com/thelamented and www.myspace.com/goodbyejuly It would make me ecstatic if they visited my alter ego, Kult Litre, at www.myspace.com/kultlitre I spent a few years developing a pretty unique remixing style and that's a good place to hear some of that music my dad used to play, but at a different speed and all crushed together...

Closing Statement (Matt): On behalf of Grave Concerns E-zine website, We wish you great luck in anything that you do in the future and thank you so much for joining us today!

Closing Response (Paul): Image Hosted by ImageShack.us



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