Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Picture Ann Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Absolutely. Picture Ann was spawned back in 2009, sometime in the spring if I remember correctly. I needed a raw, unfiltered and unconventional musical outlet of sorts back then. No rules, nothing controlled or regulated, just intuitive and honest music with an unpolished and lo-fi edge to it. More importantly, I needed something that I could call my own, something that had not been “tainted” by any others. The first album, “Blaspheme 2009”, was composed and recorded rather intuitively and spontaneously that first year. I then uploaded the material to MySpace and literally a few days later, I received an e-mail from 9th Meridian Records (US), asking me if they could release it on a limited edition CD. Eventually the CD was released in May/June 2010. Shortly after that, I started working on a 2-track EP entitled “Cinema Screen Sadism”, which I released digitally in late 2010. Quite a few songs and demo versions of songs and stuff like that were recorded between 2010 and 2013, some of which were streamed for a short time online and some of which are yet to be released. In 2013 a split CD consisting of mostly unreleased material by Picture Ann, Sagntid, and Vornoff was released by 9th Meridian Records and then in March this year I released my second proper full-length album, “A Bone Case for Papery Skin”, containing songs and ideas that were composed and recorded during 2006-2013. About a week ago I released an EP entitled “Insurgents in Vienna” digitally, containing two rather experimental songs. This EP can be downloaded for free. I am working on a couple of different releases now, but they have a long way to go and involve other people as well, so we shall see what the future holds.

2.Since 2009 you have released a good amount of material, can you tell us a little bit more about your musical sound and also how has it progresses over the years?
In the beginning, I was very much inspired by ugly and atmospheric black metal as well as lo-fi dungeon synth records. I am still inspired by those two genres, to be honest with you, but I suppose the music of Picture Ann has evolved into something more dynamic and experimental on the last couple of releases. “Blaspheme 2009” was more one-dimensional, monotonous, and melancholic, whereas the last couple of releases are slightly more varied and unpredictable in a sense. Nothing is ever really planned as such. I just write and record whatever comes to mind and then see where that takes me.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Longing, loneliness, melancholy, and fragility. Those are the main themes and lyrical topics. The theme and feeling of longing has been present in the majority of my music since day one, i.e. since 2001 when I composed the first couple of Vornoff tunes. Longing takes so many different shapes and forms. It is very inspiring in my opinion.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Picture Ann'?
That particular name relates to my family, actually. It is too personal to elaborate on here and it is not something that I wish to share with others, but it most certainly has a meaning, that is for damn sure.

5.Does this band have a line up or is it a solo project?
No, the whole thing only consists of me. My wife helped me out with certain drum- and percussion parts on “A Bone Case for Papery Skin”, and I have involved a couple of other people in two future releases of mine, so I have loosened up a little with respect to having others help me out and so on. However, Picture Ann is mine and mine alone J  

6.Have you done any live shows with this musical project?
No, never, and I do not think I will ever take Picture Ann to the stage either. This kind of music should be listened to at home, preferably through headphones. It does not belong in some crap-hole venue filled with drunken losers and pathetic little turds in my humble opinion.  

7.Is there a scene in Denmark for your style of music?
Not that I know of, but there has to be some experimental bands and projects in Denmark I reckon…I just don't know what they are called as I don't pay any attention to the Danish scene as such.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of underground and experimental music?
The feedback and comments I have received in relation to Picture Ann have been quite positive. “Blaspheme 2009” generated a lot of good feedback by fans of both black metal and dungeon synth. Friends and associates in and around the underground have also been supportive, but most seem to dig that first Picture Ann album the most. I know a few people who consider that album my best work to date, which is both a blessing and a curse in a way.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The different EPs that I am working on now are a nice mixture of “Blaspheme 2009” and “Insurgents in Vienna”, which is to say that some songs are simple and repetitive whereas others are more varied and strange, so hopefully my new songs will strike a good balance and take the listener on an interesting musical journey. I am really excited about these new tunes of mine, so hopefully others will dig them as well.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I listen to tons of different bands, different genres, different styles, and so on. When it comes to Picture Ann I would have to say that Burzum and Ulver (the electronic/ambient era of Ulver) have been extremely important to me and that I have drawn a lot of inspiration from those two entities. I also treasure the first album by Mortiis a lot. That was one of the very first dungeon synth albums I ever got way back in the day. So in terms of styles I would say that early Norwegian black metal and dungeon synth/ambient artists such as Mortiis, Vond, and Wongraven was, and still is, a major source of inspiration to me, especially when it comes to writing music for Picture Ann. Today I listen to so many different bands and artists…Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Burzum, Megadeth, Deep Purple, Mick Harvey, Sodom, Midnight Choir, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Arghoslent, Hellhammer, ELP, Gehenna, DIO, Depeche Mode, Down, Venom…and the list goes on and on. These past few days I have listened to the first couple of Led Zeppelin albums a lot.    

11.When can we expect another full length album?
That is a good question. I have no ideas or plans for the next full-length album, but as I stated earlier on I am working on a couple of different EPs, so new music by Picture Ann will surface eventually. I am also working on new songs for Signalfeide with my good friend J.H., by the way. People should check out the two free Signalfeide releases; “Fornjot” and “Midnight Sun”.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I want to thank you for your support and for this awesome interview! I strongly encourage the readers and all other moody suckers to head on over to http://floodgatemoodsproductions.bandcamp.com/ and check out some my/our releases. There are a handful of free downloads to be found there as well. Thanks for your time.

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