ANATHEMA's DANNY CAVANAGH Discusses Upcoming Album, Band's Business Affairs

Pete Woods of MTUK metal 'zine conducted an interview with Danny Cavanagh of the UK atmospheric rock band ANATHEMA prior to the band's November 7, 2008 concert at London, U.K.'s Islington Academy. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MTUK: Firstly, I wanted to ask about your partly enforced DIY approach to things. After Music For Nations' closure, you essentially found yourself without a label and have been using your website for tasters of new material. What is the current position as far as labels and a release of a new studio album are concerned?

Danny Cavanagh: Well, we are going to finish the album, have it mixed by Steven Wilson and mastered. It's going to be a fucking incredible record. Then the manager, who is also the manager of PORCUPINE TREE, is going to go to other labels in Europe and America and say, "Listen to this." We are going to get a record contract based on the quality of that record and he is going to do the negotiating and we will see where we stand after that.

MTUK: Well, I would imagine that you would have been approached by labels already?

Danny Cavanagh: Yeah, yeah we have had the usual suspects — Nuclear Blast, Century Media and all that — but we just wanted to wait as we realized that what we wanted was the chance to record the record independently first then release it via somebody as your bargain position is stronger. Also, as it is already recorded, it means they can't change it and you can keep the rights. As the record company have not spent a lot of money recording it, so they can budget for other things. So that's the plan. With "Hindsight" being recorded independently, we figured we can do that, we have better gear now and with the benefit of "Hindsight" and the benefit of all those recording techniques, we can make a very good recording, give the files to Steven and mix it with him, have it sounding amazing, get it mastered and away we go, see who wants it.

MTUK: Wiki is saying that a new album could well be called "Horizons" and it is not impossible it could be a double disc produced by Steve Wilson. Is this still a likelihood or have things changed?

Danny Cavanagh: The title will probably stay the same, but I think it's going to be about an hour long on a single disc. Produced by the band, but mixed by Steven. We will be looking after all the recording process and the decisions, but we are certainly very glad to have him on the mixing. There were a few arguments for and against the double-album thing. It just seemed better having it an hour long and everything done in one listen as often what can happen with two discs is that people pick one over the other.

MTUK: You also were managing yourselves. Obviously you have plenty of experience in the music business, but what would you personally say were the advantages and disadvantages of this and what advice would you give an up and coming band thinking, "We can do that?"

Danny Cavanagh: Well, we do now have a manager in place and a booking agent. When we lost our previous manager and started to take over our affairs, we started making money. Suddenly the shows were earning us money and because it's all done in-house, our tour manager is a member of the band (Les Smith). It's obviously in all of our interests to look after the tours well as nobody wants to work for nothing. It's been good and this tour is actually the best we have done financially and I think it is only going to improve. Managers are great for contracts, you need them, someone to fight your corner and we have that now. I couldn't give young bands advice, it wouldn't be right for me to do so. I think you have to take each case on its own merits.

MTUK: You have a long-running relationship with Peaceville who have just re-released your "Silent Enigma" album, a personal- and, I think fair to say, fan-favorite album. What are your memories of the original release and would you say hopes and expectations of its success were exceeded?

Danny Cavanagh: Yeah, praise was heaped upon it which I didn't expect. I remember that, I did not see it coming. Quite good memories, really. I was young, up and coming, and it was pre the dark days. I was quite well, really, in a lot of ways recording that record. It came together very quickly, I think it is all there in the sleeve notes, it was almost improvised in the studio that album. We were full of joy de vivre and were very bullish and the bee's knees, you know. I have positive memories of it all.

Read the entire interview from MTUK metal 'zine.

Austrian heavy 'zine Stormbringer.at conducted an interview with Danny Cavanagh prior to ANATHEMA's August 15, 2008 concert at the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic. Watch the 10-minute chat below.

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