1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band in the last 2 years since we talked?
AK-11's first Demo/EP 'Legendary, Demonic & Invincible' (2011), my solo project, was & a blueprint for a : 'Strategic, Left Hand Path, Military, Pagan, Propaganda Band'. I was living in Germany at that stage & had a good opportunity to do the demo recordings. Upon returning to Melbourne, Australia in 2012, I immediately began searching for like minded Heathens, who would help me terrorise the feeble music world & join me in the WAR against the organized religions of the 'white light'. An old comrade & drummer - Morturus offered to take up the Battery. At this stage the six string Axe duties was taken up by the rookie, Davddareth.
The Black Metal WAR spirit fueled AK-11's drive for triumph. Preparations for debut album recordings & the first wave of AK-11's live assaults began. After hitting the stages of Melbourne & Brisbane, we entered the studio in late March 2014 to record our debut full length album 'Once Upon A Time In Europa.' The recording was completed at the end of April. This was immediately followed by a trip back to Germany in May 2014 for the very first AK-11 European album launch-show dates & the spreading of our Propaganda internationally.
Currently, back in Melbourne, we are re-grouping & getting ready for our Australian album launch in September. A new battle plan & 2nd album material is also in the works.
2.Recently you have released your first full length album, how much progress do you feel you have made as musicians since the demo that you had released a couple of years back?
A fair amount of practice is required for sure. You can say I am a much better bass player now then I was during the 2011 demo sessions. I can also scream my head off for longer periods of time. I have known Morturus for years now & I can say he has evolved into a drummer who excels in his craft. He can really get those war-beats going.
3.Also how would you describe your progress as a song writer with the new album?
I always had a hunger for writing morbid & sinister music. Like with others, developing as a song writer over the years has been just a natural progression. The hate never dies but grows stronger, fuelling the desire for personal musical conquests. It sharpens the visions of one's objectives, which expose new inspirations, granting the will to write more demonic tunes, as well as to be a better composer.
The tracks on new album compared to the demo, have more diversity, with longer intros, instrumentals, stronger new music passages & rhythm changes. There is a lot more controlled anger in the lyrics. With 'Once Upon A Time In Europa', the tracks are like chapters in a book, tying into each other & also there is a (Europa) song trilogy which defines the title.
4.On the new album you also re-did a couple of tracks from the demo, what was the decision behind re-doing some of your older material?
The demo was a solo project with a drum machine. My goal was always to re-record those songs for a proper album with a full line up & inject new & stronger dark energies into the music.
5.On the demo you where all solos but with the new album you have a full line up, do you feel this has made your music sound a lot more powerful?
Yes, of course. The 'Legendary, Demonic & Invincible' demo is only my personal aggression & demons. 'Once Upon A Time In Europa' is a 3 piece band attack, so the feel & dynamics are a lot more complex. Having real drums smashing away to the devastating style of Black Metal is second to none. And even though 95% of the guitars were recorded by Davddareth, he managed to capture the melodies with conviction, bringing forth the obliterating sound track of our 'message' which is essential to the WAR.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Two come to mind. The first is a Melbourne performance which occurred on the 12th April 2014 at the Central Club. Leading up to the night, my two comrades & I have been perfecting our set for some time. We were more than ready for battle, so when we came out on stage, we blasted away with speed, precision & hate. Playing Black Metal at a rapid pace & screaming out in the night can summon up some pretty unholy feelings. I felt that we had a bond with something 'profane' that night. The crowed response was very positive as well.
The second assault I will mention was our debut European album launch show, which occurred on 31st May 2014 at Gaby's Gruft in the German city of Stuttgart. The venue was a small 'Keller' with limited stage gear & needles to say it was packed. And once again we did not falter in executing our material, with aggression & speed being the essence in our performance.The crowed response was really intense & they would not let us leave until we played an encore. Some maniacs were already familiar with the material, so that is always a great feeling especially when performing in a foreign country. What also made that night was the copious amount of beer with old mates & the new bonds, friendships that were formed. A memorable night indeed.
Our stage performance can be described as a 'sonic assault' on the pathetic, back word philosophies & consequential actions of the weak minded, human garbage that continues to plague our lands. AK-11 is a weapon against such 'slave mentality' fairy tales, deeds & wishful thinking. The vocals are the victorious battle cries which describe the demise & forth coming devastation. Each beat is a bullet into the heart of our enemy. The notes & chords are the Hell Fire that vaporises & cleanses everything that stands our way. Any remaining ashes are scattered over the abyss.
The aim of each performance is to inspire & unite all the 'like minded' under the WAR banner of Black Metal & to call upon them to join us in our cause. So each AK-11 performance is not just a group of 'buddies on stage', gathering together for a good time & a few beers. Its an event with a purpose, that requires visual & auditory brutality, mostly relentless style of playing & merciless oratory.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?
A live on air performance at a local radio station (PBS 106.7fm) by Burning Bitumen is being arranged for early September. Our Australian (Melbourne) album launch will take place on Saturday, 20th September 2014 at the Central Club. There is another Melbourne performance coming up on the 6th of December at the Reverence Hotel. Also as mentioned earlier, we are 're-grouping' the AK-11 battalion after the European tour, so there are a few suprises coming up.
8.How have extreme metal fans worldwide react to the musical sound of the newer album?
The metalheads that have been following AK-11 have only positive things to say about the new recording & those familiar with the demo have voiced their opinion on how much progress has been made over the last couple of years. There has been a lot of support & interest for the band locally & internationally.
9.Where do you want to see the band heading into musically during the future/
I envisage AK-11 becoming more brutal & hostile as our mission continues & the WAR intensifies. I always aim to work towards interesting music, something that is memorable & can be listened to over & over again. Some bands just play fast & heavy for the sake of it. Their song ideas have been already done by others many, many times over, so its boring, safe & predictable. For me music like that is heard once & then forgotten. So I do try to experiment when it comes to song writing & I'm open to new ideas. I can say for sure however that AK-11 will remain dark, militant, heavy & always dedicated to the Left Hand Path.
10.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
COME JOIN OUR WAR. MARCH TO VICTORY WITH AK-11. UNITE IN BLACK METAL.