Not one, not two, not three but all five members of New Jersey metallers Anticosm take us on their personal metal journeys... who says Sentinel Daily doesn't give you value for money?
Greeting, gentlemen and a warm welcome to all of you to Sentinel Daily. Thanks for agreeing to take us for a spin around your own particular Seven Ages of Metal! Before we kick off – for the benefit of our readers, please identify yourself and tell us what you do in Anticosm…
Mark Siedlecki: I play lead guitar.
Kirill Kovalevsky: Vocals
Tom Wilson: Bass
Keith Romanski: Guitar
Good to have you all along… Here you are then – entering the world of metal, probably in your early teens, mewling about the unfairness of it all and puking on cheap white cider… Which band was your introduction to metal? How did you find out about them? And which bands generally do you think make the best ‘entry level’ metal music?
Mark: “Kiss when I was very young, maybe six or seven I saw them on T.V. They really attracted me to big loud guitars and heavy music. Shortly after that it was Iron Maiden and Metallica, Which I would say are both great “entry level” metal bands. Motörhead I loved from an early age, my Dad was super into various kinds of heavy music”.
Kirill: “I guess I really got into the music I listen to today in the eighth or ninth grade when my friends’ older brother played a Manowar record (Battle Hymns?). After that came Keeper of the Seven Keys (Helloween) and Imaginations From the Other Side (Blind Guardian). Of course there was Metallica and such, but it was those records that made me want to look for more”.
Beheader: “Metallica introduced me to metal. It was Ride the Lightning specifically. My friend’s cousin gave me the CD and that was it. Any of the early heavy metal or thrash metal bands are good starts. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, the big tent pole acts from the seventies and eighties are all decent places to start”.
Tom: “Like most, mine was Metallica and Pantera. Specifically, it was when my father took me to a Yankees game and I heard the main riffs to Enter Sandman and Cowboys from Hell. Hooked ever since”.
Keith: “I was introduced to bands like Black Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer, and Nirvana at a young age from different friends and family members”.
Yep, the old ‘older sibling’s friend’ entry method, combined with intelligent parenting, seems to be a Worldwide phenomenon for the introduction of metal into young lives! You’re in! The magical and bewildering world of metal lies at your feet… you’ve assembled a small collection of records and tapes – or CDs of course, if you’re a youngster – but you’re still very much a School child, whining because the olds won’t let you go to a gig – until the scales fall from their eyes – and you’ve got the Golden ticket in your sweaty little palm! Who were the first band you saw in the live arena? Did it confirm your suspicions about just how massive this hidden world was, how inspiring? Or was first ‘in the flesh’ contact a little disappointing?
Mark: “Kiss again. My parents took me when I was eleven to the “Farewell Tour” in 2000. It was far from disappointing, it was awesome. The roaring amps, the explosions, it blew my eleven year old mind”.
Kirill: “When I was a kid in Russia my mom took me to see a singer I really liked. It was in St. Petersburg and it was Winter, I remember that it was cold. Long story short, he got assassinated at that show and it wasn’t until years later when I moved to New Jersey that I attended another concert…. Sometime in 2003 I purchased my own concert tickets and went on my own to see Blind Guardian. It was on their A Night at the Opera tour when they played a tiny venue in New Jersey, Birch Hill. I believe it was their first tour in US. It was nuts for me, seeing such a band at their peak so up close”.
Beheader: “I don’t remember what my first metal concert was but the one that stands out is seeing Blind Guardian many years ago. Every metal show I’ve been to since has been dull by comparison”.
Tom: “The first metal show I went to was Anticosm. For the first ten years of this band I was just a friend and a fan, and the show was in a barn on the side of a highway. Kirill’s microphone stand was a claymore sword with two daggers taped to it. I thought someone was going to be killed, but there were only gashes”…
Keith: “The first concert/festival I went to was Ozzfest 2003 and I think it’s a big reason why I chose to become a musician”.
You’re now a full-grown acolyte, a fully-fledged lover of the dark arts, as it were. But listening and watching isn’t enough. You need to consummate your love, by forming or joining your own metal band – tell us about your formative bands and what life was like on the bottom rung of the ladder…
Mark: “I was in stupid punkish bands that didn’t do anything in middle school, then met Kirill in the freshman year of high school and we’ve been making metal ever since. As far as being on the bottom rung of the ladder I think we’re still there so I don’t know the difference of not being on it (Laughs)”
Kirill: “This is it”.
Beheader: “I don’t remember much about my early bands, it was mostly just anyone who would play guitar to my drumming. Bands slowly formed around that, and then just fizzled out. Its a frustrating stage of musicianship because everyone you play with sucks and so do you, so things are hard to get off the ground”.
Keith: “I feel like I still have a lot more rungs left to climb on the ladder”.
Mission accomplished – you’re in a band. A Soldier of metal mired in the trenches fighting for our way of life, possibly on a tour of the toilet venues of your home locale – what was your first tour like? What valuable lessons were learned? Or was there just to much fun to be had to worry about tedious life craft?
Mark: “Our first tour was some of the most fun I have ever had in my life. We went from New Jersey to Los Angeles and everywhere in between and I learned I could probably live life on the road and be completely happy with it. Can’t wait for the next one”.
Kirill: “In the Summer of 2009 we took an ’89 Chevy Suburban to California and back. No trailer, just all our gear and all five of us packed into a loud truck with no air conditioning. Not sure how many shows we played. Learned several things… how to deter a nosy person in the mountains, how to not go running into some random beach in the middle of the night, and how its not always a good idea to pass out on top of picnic tables at a park that the summer school uses for picnics”…
Beheader: “The first tour was cool. Bring deodorant, showers are at a premium. Everything is cheaper in the south so stock up while you’re there. Don’t swim in the gulf of Mexico”.
Tom: “Ask Mark, Kirill and Beheader. I’ve seen pictures and videos of them fucked up all over the country”.
Haha, happy memories I’m sure! Away from you boys for the moment – your careers are in full bloom. But what of the elder Statesmen, the justices who still reign, Saturnine and all-knowing? Which of the old-but-still-living Gods still command the most respect in your eyes? And why?
Mark: “Oh man, definitely the guys in Judas Priest. Rob Halford still kicks so much ass, same with Iron Maiden. I don’t think Metallica makes as compelling music anymore but they still kill it live which is something to be said. Blind Guardian, Helloween, they all still rock hard live too which is always great to see”.
Kirill: “I’d have to say Bruce Dickinson, he is always busy, he doesn’t stop”.
Beheader: “Judas Priest is pretty godly I guess”.
Tom: “If a band is still out there playing heavy riffs and people are head banging to it, that’s all that matters”.
Keith: “Jason Becker“.
And what about those who’ve maybe pushed it a little too far, those bespectacled and pantalooned ‘legacy’ artistes on their nth farewell trip across the globe? Is there anyone on our world you think might like to think about hanging up the old Les Paul and giving themselves and us a rest?
Mark: “Kiss for a third answer today. It’s become kind of a joke at this point”.
Beheader: “When it comes to metal I don’t think you’re ever too old to play. Unless its hair metal”.
Tom: “Ozzy should have stopped performing fifteen years ago”.
Keith: “No. Live and let live”.
And the final age, of course, is death. We’ll all be left Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything eventually. Which deceased metallian do you miss most? And what are your happiest memories of them?
Mark: “Lemmy. He was the exemplar rocker, every time I ever saw Motörhead he always put on a stellar performance, even when I saw them maybe two months before he died, he was still putting on a hell of a show”.
Kirill: “Dio is one, awesome voice. Jon from Dissection would be number two, just really curious where he would take the band after Reinkaos“.
Beheader: “Chuck Schuldiner without a doubt. I don’t have any memories of them, I never got to see Death live. The man gave so much to metal and had such a broad body of work, its a real shame he died so young since it seemed he still had so much to do”.
Tom: “Let’s raise Dio from the grave, I’d love to see the album Heaven and Hell played live”
Thanks for taking part! and good luck with the new album!
Anticosm’s new album, The Call of the Void, is released by Hell Kill Destroy Records on August 6th. Read Hideous Destructor‘s review of the album HERE