USBMS would like to thank Ancst for this interview.
1.Id like to start off by asking when Ancst began as band and who are the current members and their roles?
Tom: we started sometime in 2011 when we recorded the first demo. Its Torsten and me most of the time but we always had friends joining in on the recordings so you cant really just speak of us. We see Ancst as a collective that has different ideas and different faces. Its not really a traditional band or anything like that.
Torsten: Tom reached out to me and asked if I'm interested in doing the vocals for some songs he arranged in his living-room. I agreed because I've known Tom for a while and always wanted to work with him. I went to a practice space in a Berlin squat and recorded the vocals for the first Ancst-Output. Neither would I define Ancst as a band, cause we don't have a proper line-up. It's more a collective of people who have similar sights and ideas of life and seem to be frustrated of the same reasons. I am mainly responsible for the lyrical content of the songs, Tom is the one who's putting a lot time and effort into writing songs, doing artwork and spread the news over the Internet. It seems like I am one of a few people, who do not own a facebook account. Besides us there are also some people who play additional guitars on the recordings or bass, master the songs, release them or just share some kind words and have nice conversations. It's more or less one bigger circle of friends.
2.Your band was previously know as "Angst", but a name change [respelling] occurred in 2012, Can you give us brief explanation for this and did it affect the musical or lyrical style of the band?
Tom: Well, there are a dozen bands out there that go by the name "Angst" but as we liked the name we just changed the spelling. It's really not a big deal.
Torsten: That's right. We simply decided to abstract the spelling, but in the end the meaning stays the same. And from my perspective it didn't change anything on a musical or lyrical level.
3. Your style has been labeled as Post/Crust Black Metal with Hardcore influences, is this an accurate description of the band and if not how would you describe the bands musical sound?
Tom: If people want to call it that, we don't really care. We draw influences from black metal, crust, death metal, grind and this whole shoegaze thing as well as from other genres. If you have never listened to Ancst, lets just say you could dig it if you like fast melodic black metal with crusty vocals.
Torsten: Musically it's mostly Death/Black Metal with Crust. This so-called Hardcore influence could be found in the lyrics. Contrary to the common sense of lyrical output from most of the bands in this genre, we try to make a difference, which might be rooted on the DIY-Background we're located at for many years. I'm a big fan of the musical elements and aggression Metal has to offer, but the DIY-Hardcore-Scene or whatever you may call it, gives me much more content and input I can discuss and reflect in my daily basis.
4. The band collectively has expressed strong views against fascism, sexism, and religion as well as voicing its distaste towards the NSBM moment, explain how the band chooses to confront these issues through its music? And do you feel like you are being heard and getting your point across?
Torsten: I think that our "views" are nothing more than parts of what we understand as common sense. And at the same time they could be defined as results of emancipatory processes, if you ask me. Tom might surely agree on that. It's very easy to follow, because there's no need to put any strength into own decisions.
I also know, that these arguments are very very short-handed, but it would take way to much time and space to discuss these views in a proper way. People could start to read more books, reflect themselves and their surroundings more again and start to see themselves again, instead of consuming brain-numbing shit/food/TV-Shows/news, etc. I don't think that we, as a collective in this musically extreme Sub-Genre, have a lasting effect. But on the other hand we're refusing any efforts of teaming up with people or bands, who seem to be indecisive about the topics we've talked about and mostly with this NSBM-/Greyzone-BM-Fuckheads, just to get a wider range to spread our "message". We know exactly what we want and we don't need this.
Tom: We think its important to share ideas and to reflect what is happening out of there. It's your choice to listen or to ignore it. As simple as that. We have connected with a bunch of people that share our ideas, that get involved or that had a conversation with us about these topics (as you do right now) and for me personally this is a win-win situation. We are not trying to censor peoples personal views, this is about giving new input and sharing our own ideals not about telling what is right or wrong. We want to learn and we are interested in what's going on in our sub cultural microcosm. Although for us, any national socialist ideas, racism, sexism, homophobia and organized religion don't equal freedom of free expression and that's what extreme music is to us. Doesn't matter if its metal or hardcore. This kind of music and the ideas that grew out of certain connected sub cultures are (and this is my personal opinion) a critical reaction to the world we live in. C'mon a lot of us don't agree with what is happening outside of our four walls. A lot of us don't enjoy living in a world that dictates a certain setting of rules. A world that is plagued by war and political crisis. Our music and the music of so many other bands you people enjoy is a mirror of what happens around us. its against the fucked up stuff on this planet. its about being different, its about being what you would like to be. This is the opposite to what fascism is. Metal and hardcore should be about individualism not about herd mentality (even tough most people inside the extreme music community seem to tend to the second). It should be a place for us to gather and to make a change. to share what happens inside of us. It's about asking questions to ourselves and changing the way we walk this earth.
5. Do you have guys have an opinion on whether or not NSBM should be associated with BM music? And how do you feel about the current state of Black Metal music in general, in your country and as well as around the world?
Torsten: Of course NSBM should NOT be associated with and tolerated within the BM-Scene. Unfortunately it seems like there's no other way for many bands to get some attention besides their musical skills. And to me it's kind of weird, if i am having a conversation with a person out of the HC/DIY-Subculture and this person tries to point out the musical significance of Varg Vikernes/Burzum, with the argument that more people should separate the musical impact and influence from the individual(s) behind it. Putting the racist/fascist/nationalistic ideas seriously into perspective is something I really cannot relate to. I can't actually say something about the current state of the Black Metal-Scene, as I'm not that much into the intention of most of the bands. I dig a couple bands who grew out the so-called RABM-Movement, everyone with a proper Internet access should be able to check those out, but I am no friend of too elitist views of life, either… there's not only one truth, just many sad and true facts concerning life.
Tom: I'm not sure if people are really aware of what fascism is and what that would mean to them. I don't think the long haired unemployed metal dude next door with his absurd hoodie will survive in a fourth Reich. I'm not sure if all these kids playing with third Reich slogans and imagery in black metal certainly belong or should be a part of the extreme music community which is clearly a multicultural thing. Metal wouldn't be what it is without multicultural influences. Ever heard about rhythm & blues? Ever checked where the instruments you are playing your black metal with are originally from? If you people are so interested in your ancestors and heritage ever checked where YOU are really from, before you talk about all this aryan crap? All this pure blood nonsense and white supremacy bullshit is just a waste of time. Black metal wouldn't exist without other influences and without people moving on. It's a thing that grew out of progress. It's not like it came out of nowhere. A lot of new bands again understood this. I don't want to listen to a thousand dark throne / mayhem / Burzum clones over and over again. The so called necro sound is something that gets old too. It's 2013 fellas. Time to move on. Tradition can be so boring!
6. You guys released the "Humane Condition" EP through Dark Omen Records in 2013, What made you guys decide to release the EP in cassette format as opposed to CD format, and is there a full length release from the band in the works?
Tom: I've been releasing music for my own bands and for various others on cassette for the last 8 years. I'm somehow stuck with that medium as its cheap and reliable and I like it. I mean I grew up riding my bike to school and listening to loud stuff on my walkman. I didn't leave the house without big headphones and some tapes. CD's are nice too but its not my format of choice. However, we are currently discussing to put out all the split material as a compilation on CD. Regarding the full length... we wont tell. It's a secret!
Torsten: I think I'm gonna sing only about love on our full length. This seems to be the only life-aspect which cannot be controlled and observed by the NSA. Or I could sing about the disobedient character of the Straight Edge... or Tofu-Burger vs. Meatzza. Fuck CD's, by the way!
Tom: I love this guy!
7. How did the deal with Dark Omen Records come about, were you guys satisfied with the final product?
Tom: We asked around if anyone would be interested in putting out the first EP and Jonas from Dark Omen contacted us and offered to take care of it. We are totally satisfied with "The Humane Condition". Jonas did a fine job there and was fun to work with. We are already in talks for another release with him. Everyone should check out his band Depravation. they got a new LP out which is killer and we are planning a split with them later this year.
8. Right now you guys are currently unsigned. Are you searching for a label or have you received interest from any labels?
Tom: We like to do things ourselves but we are happy for everyone that digs the sound and lyrics and gives us a helping hand. We have a few split releases coming up and we sure could use some labels that are up for some joint operations. Also we would like to make our stuff available outside of Europe. If anyone is interested, make sure to get in touch.
9. According to the bands bio your guys have been involved in other bands, are any of these bands still active as side projects?
Tom: To be honest, Ancst is our side project. we are both still active in other bands. Torsten was part of Disschrist and Hoilkrampf in the past and is now active in Gamera. Berlin emo sludge. I'm still singing for Berlin powerviolence outfit Henry Fonda and play drums for a 90s HC band called Afterlife Kids.
Torsten: Actually I am very busy with my responsibility as a father of two kids and the positive/negative aspects of the daily grind.
Because of that, the efforts for my musical projects are pretty much limited. But it's always great to hang out with my friends and to have a vent for my frustrations.
10. Are there any certain styles of music "outside of metal" that inspired you guys to become musicians? If so which ones, also what "Metal" bands had the biggest impact on you guys growing up?
Tom: I was 12 when my dad introduced me to Napalm Death. I went on to explore extreme metal over the years that followed and then got my mind blown by hardcore. I started playing music at an early age but as I grew up without any fellow metalheads around me, my first steps in making music were in punk and alternative bands. When I later moved to Berlin I finally found people that would play noisier stuff. Besides hardcore and metal, I like all kinds of music. I can go with some indie pop tunes and then switch to hardstyle or cheesy chiptune stuff. I'm not really elitist when it comes to genres. I think you miss most of the fun when you are stuck with that one style of music, but back to your question. When I grew up bands like napalm death, malevolent creation, Nasum, converge or Ulver blew my mind. I can name a hundred more but lets just stick with these.
Torsten: I definitely do NOT see myself as a musician... I am mainly influenced by the variations of extreme music, grew up with Pantera and Michael Jackson and much other stuff at the same time and always skipped through the genres, as long as it's not too cheesy. Right now I am listening mostly to Rap because I am very fascinated by the creative variations of music and language.
But my heart will always be with the DIY-Subculture and loud, aggressive music...
11. I would like to thank you guys for your time and ask what's in store from Ancst for 2014 and what can we expect from you guys in the future?
Tom: We are currently working on some new split releases and are trying to find a reliable drummer in the Berlin area. Check back on our Facebook or Bandcamp for further info. Thanks to you for your time and support!
12. Are there any final words that you guys would to say to our readers before we finish up this interview?
Torsten: The world is definitely a fucked up place. Just like most of the people are pretty much fucked up.Rethink.Redefine.React. Thank you.
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