HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: November 2010. We talked with Mick Moss from Antimatter band. They have a new compilation album out “Alternative Matter”. Read what he told us:
“Alternative Matter” compilation album is about to be released. How difficult was to collect all this stuff? How important this release is for Antimatter history?
It’s incredibly important, as it gathers together all the archived recordings from the last 10 years that were just gathering dust on our shelves. A shortlist of about 38 pieces was narrowed down to 29, which was still way too much for a coherent double album. I then spent the next 9 months going gradually mental, not just over the choice of tracks, but also the parts contained within the tracks. It was a nightmare to compile, really, due to the sheer amount of archived recordings and also how much of a ridiculous perfectionist I am.
Which are the current projects you’re involved in?
I’m working on new Antimatter material at the moment. This is the album that would have appeared in 2009 had I not been distracted by ‘Live@An Club’ and ‘Alternative Matter’. It’s been a very frustrating time for me working on other releases and not being able to fully concentrate on my next album, especially while everyone around me has had the time to release their own albums. But my hands are untied now since the release of ‘Alternative Matter’, and I can finally continue with the work and ideas that were gestating back in 2008. I have various tracks in various stages of completion. If I work hard and productively enough I will be able to release the next album in late 2011. Im looking forward to this very much.
In May 2011 you ‘ll play support to Marillion in Marillion Weekend? How this happened? Do you prefer the Fish period than the “H” one?
I think both of Marillion’s eras are unique and therefore incomparable. Both have their own merits. Saying that, I do have more preferred material from the latter line-up. The request for Antimatter to support came from Marillion themselves, and it came as a huge shock for me. In fact I read the email and then had to read it again just to be sure I hadn’t made a mistake! It’s a great way for me to start Antimatter’s second decade, and also launch my full live band. I’ll be doing a few warm up gigs beforehand, which will, strangely, be the first time I’ve ever played in the U.K.
Is it possible to work again with Duncan Patterson or/and Danny Cavanagh in the near future? Did you enjoy the tours with them?
I don’t think that Duncan would ever feature on an Antimatter recording again, that wouldn’t work for either of us, even a ‘guest appearance’, as that would simply create confusion. Duncan for one is a guy who likes to move forward, and he’s very protective with the border that separates his past from the present. As for myself, Im eager to pull Antimatter away from constant comparisons to Duncan’s old band, so again it would serve no purpose to have him come back. I did enjoy my tours with the guys in the past, but now its time for me to move on with different people.
Which are your music influences? Did you like the last Portishead album “Third”?
To what extent anybody has influenced my music I don’t know, as for me influences bleed through on a subconscious level rather than me saying “today I shall sound like Pink Floyd”, and besides, I lilsten to a hell of a lot of different artits nowadays. Yeah I did check out ‘Third’ and I liked a lot of the stuff I heard, but it struck me as an album you need to invest time into in order to fully appreciate it, and Im not that big a Portishead fan to do that.
Do you think your work should receive more recognition you have from fans and press? (As I believe) If yes, had you ever got disappointed by this factor? (Roy Harper, has said me “yes, sometimes”)
I’ve no idea what to expect really from fans and press, as they ‘re all a mixed bunch with different opinions. I guess at the end of the day I’ m happy to be making music that I’m proud of, and that’s the most important thing for me. I don’t really worry that Antimatter isn’t at a certain level, although sometimes I do wonder why it;s such a slow-burner of a project, that maybe people aren’t taking it seriously or something. And I do occasionally get saddened by some bloggers and journalists, with their inability to equate Antimatter to other bands in the grand scale of things, but I know exactly what’s going on there… I just wish that some types of people didn’t have such easy access to a keyboard.
Do you think rock’n’roll is dead and now everything is about contracts, managers and deals? So, Jim Morrison was right?
Rock is dead from the point of view of the business, but is very much alive in the heads of some of the bands, and always will be. The business is just there to exploit that, and always will be.
Which was the last great album you heard of?
I really enjoyed ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’ by Iron Maiden. I do consider that album to be a classic, upon its release I counted it as their best work in 25 years.
I ‘ve heard that independent labels are equally greedy with the majors ones. Lower costs for them and the biggest profit. Do you agree with this? Are you happy the way labels treated to Antimatter?
I can’t really comment with any experience on how the majority of independent or major labels work, although I would doubt that independents get more profit than majors, as majors have a huge press machine that influence more mindless consumers to part with their money. I’ve recently started my own label, MUSIC IN STONE, to release Antimatter music and that of other artists. The whole thing was just a natural progression for me, and, seeing as I’m a control freak, it was only a matter of time before I started to try and control the higher end of the business side of things myself. Also, there’s a whole lot of politics associated with either being on a label or running your own label, and I guess this isn’t really the time to be getting into that, needless to say I favour the D.I.Y. approach. The artists I’ve signed to ‘Music In Stone’ I have done due to the sheer brilliance of their material. Lisa Cuthbert and Averse I had both met during Antimatter tours, and, due to the state of the industry at the moment and the fact that they were both very young acts, they had not yet secured a record deal. Both of their material blows me away so there was absolutely no question about me signing them. Lisa plays dark, piano based singer songwriter music with a Celtic twist, and Averse jumble King Crimson with Emperor to create stunning 20 minute epics of progressive metal with a strong folk vein. I’ve also recently arranged to release Duncan Patterson’s next album ‘Herencia’, in 2011, so things are moving very very well for the label. I have a website up at musicinstone.com with music for people to listen to.
What memories do you have from Greece? Send a message to your Greek fans.
I remember in 2003 during my first visit to Greece we played at An Club in Athens. The place was packed out and the audience was really attentive and responsive. This is something that I’ve noticed a decline in over the years, but Athens in 2003 was a great experience and a wonderful audience.
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