ANTIMATTER - INTERVIEW WITH DUNCAN PATTERSON - 7-6-05

Rebel 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 be honest

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, as 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 be recreated.

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 colouring?

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 the record.

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. I prefer 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 later?

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 a clean break. But this didn’t happen. Such is life. I didn’t 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 country. 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 good album.

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 site.

RX: Thanks for the time and the opportunity, man!

DP: No problem at all, and thank you for the coverage.

www.antimatter.tk
www.duncanpatterson.com


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