ANLMA is a progressive metal band from New York City. After spending several years under the name Perspectives, the band changed their name to ANLMA last year and released their debut EP Pilot under this name at the beginning of 2016. Their unique sound, which stands out in the metal scene that they come from, has helped them gain massive amounts of local popularity and has proven that the future is bright for ANLMA. I had the chance to talk to the band about Pilot, their name change, maturing as a band and as musicians, and much more!
“As far as maturing goes, a lot of the musician I am today has been completely because of this band” – Tony d’Aquino
For Fans Of: The Contortionist, Periphery, After The Burial
By James Boss
Babetalk: What is your name and what do you in ANLMA?
Julian: I’m Julian. I play guitar in ANLMA.
Tony: I’m Tony. I play guitar and also do clean vocals in ANLMA.
Claudel: I’m Claudel: I play drums in ANLMA.
Dario: My name is Dario. I play bass in ANLMA.
Sekou: I’m Sekou and I’m the vocalist.
BT: You guys released your debut EP Pilot at the beginning of the year. How would you say the reception has been so far?
Tony: It’s been mostly good. I’ve heard a few obligatory internet comments but mostly people who listen to it like that. I’m happy about that.
Sekou: Most people liked it, which I didn’t find surprising, but it’s still really nice to hear people say that it’s dope.
Julien: Some dude said that we were better than The Contortionist but better and we were all like “That’s really nice, but you’re crazy.” We all really like The Contortionist *laughs*.
Dario: I had a lot of people telling me that we are very tight as a group, which I really appreciate.
Claudel: We got a good reaction being that there aren’t a lot of progressive metal bands from NYC. I’ve heard a lot of people say that we are the only ones doing this style in the city and that’s good to hear. We want to be one of a kind.
BT: What was the recording process like for the EP?
Tony: The recording process was 2 years writing and rewriting the songs, going through lineup changes, and then having people learning the songs. We then spent a week in 2013 tracking the DI files for guitar and bass and programming the drums and then trying to go to a guy, but that didn’t end up working out. We lost money and waited a year trying to get it out before meeting a guy named Ryan Harvey. He basically took our files and we worked with him and tracked vocals with him for about 2 days and we ended up getting it out by New Years.
Dario: The recording process was difficult but it definitely pushed me as a musician and was great for us in the long run.
Tony: The process taught me how to program drums, synth, and edit. It forced me to learn a bunch of new skills because it wouldn’t have gone out if someone didn’t take care of them. It’s kind of cool.
Sekou: In doing it, at least for Tony and I, we learned how to put an album together. It made us more self-sufficient trying to get it done.
BT: What were some of your lyrical inspirations on the EP?
Sekou: I guess I wrote 60%-75% of what is on it. When I started writing I was listening to a lot of Lamb Of God and Meshuggah and stuff like that. I wouldn’t say they inspired me but I was really impressed by the patterns they used so I was influenced on how to do patterns and rhythms for lyrics by those bands. As for the lyrics themselves, it’s mostly stuff I think about such as the state the world is in. That was a lot of what I wanted to write about and it was what was on my mind at the time.
Tony: I wrote the lyrics that he didn’t write mostly. Part of it was trying to make it sound like it wasn’t written by 2 separate people and the other part of it was learning how to be lyricists when writing it. At first, we were just musicians who needed lyrics and now we are lyricists who have something to say. The next thing we put out will have lyrics that up the ante.
BT: You guys used to be known as Perspectives but changed your name to ANLMA last year. What led to the name change?
Sekou: When we were still doing Perspectives, we didn’t care for our logo that much and we were planning on changing our sound a little bit. We decided to go under a new banner to get a new logo and have a new name we were more proud of. Perspectives was thrown at us by our old guitarist and it made sense to change the name with the timing of him leaving and us wanting to change it up.
BT: How would you guys say you have grown as a band?
Dario: I have become a dad. I am responsible for my kids, aka my bandmates, I go to work, I make money, and I want to support my band and do the right thing for them.
Sekou: The biggest way I was influenced by being in a band and it matured me was that things have happened that have thrust me in a position where I just had to deal with a situation. Me being a vocalist in this band was a situation of the vocalist before me not thinking he could do it and me picking up the slack. Because of that I realized that I had to be a better lyricist and musician as a whole. This band has forced me to progress for the better.
Tony: As far as maturity goes, I went from being self indulgent about aspects of my guitar skills such as my technique and how to play in front of a band as opposed to being in a band. Being in a band, I started to learn the importance of being a rhythm guitarist in a band, so my whole right hand chops really developed. I also really learned how to be a songwriter as opposed to just writing riff soup. I also learned how to sing in this band. I wasn’t doing any type of vocals before we started. I learned more about the sound of music. Sekou and I have become mini audio engineers because of this band. As far as maturing goes, a lot of the musician I am today has been completely because of this band.
Julian: Even though I haven’t been in the band too long, the process of learning the songs themselves wasn’t the easiest. The bands that I had been involved with in the past didn’t use too many weird polyrhythmic riffs. This is the only band I have been in where I had to write down the rhythmic patterns and memorize it. It’s been an experience. I’ve been getting better as a musician since joining this band.
Claudel: As a drummer I have definitely progressed being in this band. I’ve been getting the hang of and appreciating the complexity of prog music because of ANLMA.
BT: Are there any milestones you guys hope to achieve?
Tony: Release a full-length album for one. Owning a van and becoming a full fledged touring band would be nice as well.
BT: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Tony: Be on the lookout for new material from us!
Last modified: February 20, 2017