by Ryan Meehan
AntropomorphiA originally formed under the name ‘Dethroned Empire’ in 1989 by F = Ferry Damen [Vocals/guitar], M = Marco Stubbe [Drums] and former member Vincent van Boxtel [guitar].This first year as ‘Dethroned Empire’ they recorded several rehearsal demos. In those days under the influence from bands such as Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Infernäl Mäjesty and Bathory. Between 1990 and 1993 the musical direction transformed into death metal. Subsequently their name changed to AntropomorphiA. At the same time they were joined by S = Marc van Stiphout [Bass] to complete the line-up. The next year and a half they concentrated on writing songs and developing their own style. This culminated into the band’s first official demo ‘Bowel Mutilation’, recorded at RS29 and produced by Oscar Holleman, this beast was released into the world early 1992. Immediately after the release of ‘Bowel Mutilation’ a record deal was offered by Swiss label Blackened Recordings. The band recorded their first MCD and in the second half of 1993 the cult classic ‘Necromantic Love Songs’ MCD finally rose from the grave. After several live shows and a busy 1994 the band is back in the studio recording new material. The 1995 ‘I have my Way’ demo got great reviews but didn’t lead to a new deal. Within these years of turmoil AntropomorphiA released several recordings while band members got involved in other projects which consumed most of their time. In 1999 the band part ways with guitarist Vincent van Boxtel. The remaining members decided to put the band on indefinite hold. Although they kept on writing music and record tracks nothing significant resulted from it. Fast forward 2009 when other projects moved into the background, AntropomorphiA got re-activated. The line-up is still the same, original members, F (vox/guitar), M (drums), S (bass) form the trinity that is AntropomorphiA till this day. In the course of 2010 an album is written and recorded but after finishing it the band decided to put this record on the shelve and start over from scratch. Early 2011 AntropomorphiA made their first live appearance since 2001 at Neurotic Deathfest where they put up a convincing brutal show. While still working on a new album the band released ‘Necromantic Love Songs’ combined with their first demo ‘Bowel Mutilation” for the first time ever on vinyl as a double LP through well respected underground label The Crypt. At the end of 2011 most of the new album is recorded and the band is taking their time to make sure this album is something more resulting in Evangelivm Nekromantia – an album consisting of 9 tracks, divided into three chapters of each three songs. Mastered at Necromorbus Studios by Tore Stjerna. “We’ve been working on this conception for almost a year. Dedicated to composing a new sort of disturbing death metal darkness which exceeds most of the one-dimensional releases that you hear most of these days!” Their new record is called “Rites ov Perversion”, AntropomorphiA Vocalist and Guitarist Ferry Damen is our guest today in 7 Questions.
RM: You’ve been doing this for almost a quarter of a century…What do you think is the one critical aspect of the band’s attitude that has allowed for Antropomorphia to achieve such longevity?
FD: I think a big part of it comes from that we’ve (Marco (drums), Marc (bass) and me) been friends even before we started this band. Within these 25+ years of friendship we’ve shared some life-altering changes, we’ve had our struggles and tribulations and went through them together, it has formed a brotherhood and this brotherhood is a strong element within the world of AntropomorphiA.
RM: Do you find that most of your lyrics are written before the musical structure of the song is laid out?
FD: There are times I write lyrics before there’s any music but those times are few. For 98% of the time I’ll start writing when the song has some sort of form or is finished… I let the music evoke the lyrics.
RM: What’s the biggest difference between the material on “Rites ov Perversion” (09.16.2014) and the music that was on “Evangelivm Nekromantia”? Was there anything significantly different that you did during the making of this record to make it stand apart from the last release?
FD: ‘Evangelivm’ harbored the characteristics from our older work but was more groove based and captured more atmosphere than our older and previous work. It was a good representation of where we stood as a band after such a long break but to me it also opened more possibilities as far as songwriting goes. It wasn’t that we wanted it to stand apart, I still wrote all the music; sometimes together with our drummer Marco, ‘Rites’ is a natural continuum of ‘ Evangelivm’ and its sound but we refined and expended the borders on it. It wasn’t a conscious decision but part of the inevitable progression you go through as an artist all these things together make the album more dimensional and adds to the overall aesthetic and atmosphere of it.
RM: Is the topic of necrolesbian lust something that’s been a theme in your lyrics for some time now; or are you only recently exploring it? It looks like that concept heavily influenced the album cover…Which is the artist did that piece; and what did you think the first time you saw it?
FD: That’s something heavily rooted in our lyrical tradition it’s only that now people pay attention to it. My lyrics are mostly viewed from a women’s perspective, the beauty and darkness and sometimes-even gruesomeness within these woman is something that intrigues me. The album cover is inspired by the song ‘Tevfelskvnst’. The artist is Madeleine Hoogkamer, she is a tattooartist and also my girlfriend although that wasn’t he reason she got picked to paint the artwork. We looked at several artists, Madeleine being one of them. We asked them all to present a sketch based on the lyrics of ‘Tevfelskvnst’ . When she showed us her first sketch she hit the nail right on the head. So she was the obvious choice. We all like the way she paints/tattoos/draws these female characters, they can be very sensual and sinister at the same time.
RM: What’s the story behind “Carved to Pieces”? Which lyric from that track is your favorite and why?
FD: In short they are glorifying chaos, my misanthropic Luciferian beliefs and views towards certain religions. The whole song baths in its own energy with the music, there’s not one sentence I can pick as a favorite.
RM: What’s the most difficult thing that you’ve been through as a band? How is it that you were able to pull through such a rough stretch and continue to make music?
FD: We’ve had some trials and tribulations… things in our private live that have had a big impact on us as a band, personal things but I really don’t want to elaborate on them because they are so personal. The reason we pulled through? I’d say our brotherhood.
RM: If you had to define the AntropomorphiA live experience in three words, what would those words be?
FD: Raw, Uncompromising and Unpredictable.
RM: Do you have any other musical projects outside of the band? How often do you write something that might not be fit for what you are trying to do in Anthromoprhia?
FD: At the moment I play in two other bands, one is an more occasional project called DeathTemple. Together with Manuel Tinnemans (Bunker) and Twan van Geel (Legion of the Damend/Soulburn) we create this pure raw and ritualistic Death Metal. The other band formed 10 months ago but remains still nameless at this point.Besides me and Marco (AntropomorphiA drummer) Niels Adams and Patrick Oosterveen from Prostitute Disfigurement we form this nameless Black Metal vessel.
RM: What’s up next for Anthromoprhia in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
FD: We are focusing hard on the upcoming storm! Be assure…We will cast our rites on this cesspool of a planet in the near future. All updates and relevant news can be found on our digital channels.
Official Website: http://antropomorphia-official.com/
Antropomorphia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AntropomorphiA
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