Extravaganza: Well, it seems like all the advance
press about Planetary Confinement has been nothing short
of glowing. How does it feel to have people reacting
in such a positive way to an album that, in actuality,
is very stark and bare compared to much of what's flooding
the market today?
DP: Maybe it’s a welcome change for people to
hear something real sounding, rather than the usual over-produced
contrived stuff that is everywhere these days. I don’t
know. Really, I didn’t know what to expect or even think about it to
RX: In the end, though, all the media (myself included)
can do is put our perception out there. It's really more
about the general music fan who isn't interviewing, reviewing,
what have you.
DP: That’s true, but a lot of “general music
fans” need to be fed by the media. That’s
how it is these days, even in the supposedly “alternative” scenes.
RX: What led you to take this approach with this record?
DP: We had discussed making an acoustic album on a few
occasions, and we had played some purely acoustic gigs,
so it was just one of those things. It didn’t
really seem like a drastic decision. I’ve never been so laid back while
making an album as with this one.
RX: Antimatter recorded half the album in the England
and the other in Ireland. It's a strange setup, to be
sure. How involved was each of you in the other's material,
or were you at all? It's really amazing to me that the albums are so cohesive,
despite being recorded in separate locations with different
writers and performers.
DP: This was actually the first album that we recorded
in two different sessions. Well, three to be exact,
I did most of my recording in France. We never really
wrote together anyway, so it’s not so alien. I
recorded Mick’s demos on my equipment here
in Ireland, so I obviously knew how the tracks were. I don’t usually
make demos as a rule, as I like to keep the initial magic in songs. There’s
spontaneous stuff that can’t
RX: Your previous live shows had been primarily just
you and Nick and two acoustic guitars. Was it difficult
to slip into this mode for recording, or do you think
your previous live experience made it natural?
DP: It’s a completely natural process. The only
obstacle for me is trying to record such natural sounds
in such a sterile environment. I don’t enjoy recording
acoustic guitars while wearing headphones and being unable
to move, as the mics are so sensitive and close.Other
than that, acoustic guitars are the lowest common denominator
in our writing,
so it’s okay in that respect.
RX: How heavily did electronics figure into your personal
writing in the past, or was it a case where you wrote
first on a guitar, then added the electronic parts as
DP: Yeah, it’s all written mostly on acoustic
guitar anyway. I write a lot of stuff in my head after
the initial parts are written. Then, I’ll try those
ideas in the studio to capture the magic.
RX: Can you draw a musical line from your debut to Planetary
Confinement legitimately, other than the lineup revolving
around the same two core members?
DP: Not really. Each album is a different project. This
latest one is more like two sessions than a complete
album. Well, literally, it is.
RX: The album is a very lonely album to listen to, as
well as being very demanding. It's not that there's so
much going on that the songs are difficult to pay attention
to, as is the case with most metal. I think it's more
of a situation where there's so little going on that
you have no alternative besides to immerse yourself in
DP: I guess we got that bit right then. Putting words
and music together, and creating the atmosphere that
reflects it all is the important part of making a record.
minimalism anyway, in artwork or music as well as in
humour or conversation.
RX: You used Amelie Festa to do the female vocals this
time. What's her story, and did you write the songs she
appears on with her voice in mind, or did she come along
DP: Amelie agree to do it a couple of weeks before I went
to France. I hadn’t really heard her voice
before, but I remember it being soft. She’s a very
sweet girl, and was easy to work with. It was just one
of those spontaneous things again.
RX: A Trouble cover would've been an obvious choice for
a band like Anathema, but you chose to rework it
here. What led you to choose 'Mr. White' which, admittedly,
isn't one of Trouble's more "known" songs?
DP: It’s one of my favourite songs, from one of
my favourite albums. I wanted to record it on many occasions,
and this seemed like my last chance to do it this way,
so it was an obvious decision for me. It may not have
been an obvious choice froma
commercial aspect, but I honestly don’t think along those lines.
RX: What led to your decision to end things as regards
Antimatter, and did you know during the writing/recording
that Planetary Confinement would be your last?
DP: I wasn’t really comfortable in that situation
anymore. I found that the more time, money, and energy
I was putting in, the more negativity I was receiving.
It was time for a new beginning, time to improve my life
on all levels. I knew that it would be my last Antimatter
album, and I wanted to get it out of the way, to have
break. But this didn’t happen. Such is life. I
stress about it, though. I plan to put myself into a
more positive environment now, and since then, I have
been really busy helping other people with their own
music, recording, and playing various gigs around the
Life can improve if you make the effort.
RX: Will Nick carry on under the name, you think?
DP: As far as I know, Mick is going to record one more
album – ironically, with Danny Cavanaugh (Anathema) – under
the name Antimatter. I have no problem with that, as
it was my choice to leave Antimatter. Good luck to Mick
in that venture, and I’m sure it’ll be a
RX: What's next for Duncan Patterson musically?
DP: I have a new band/project or whatever you want to call
it called Ion. I’m currently working on the
first album, Madre, Protegenos, which will be released
by Equilibrium Music ( www.equilibrium.com ) later this
year. Other than that, I have the Deathcap project, which
I have no time limit or deadlines on or anything. When
it’s ready, it’ll
be ready. Anyone Interested in my future releases can check them out on my
RX: Thanks for the time and the opportunity, man!
DP: No problem at all, and thank you for the coverage.