Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An interview with Carie from AnsoticcA. AnsoticcA is a new female fronted band from Germany and The Netherlands. You can describe their music as a cross between gothic and progressive metal. This interview is with Carie van Heden who joined the band at the beginning of 2009.
Did you always want to become a singer?
I can’t remember a time before I wanted to become a singer. One of the first things I can remember is that one day my parents bought a cd player. I don’t know why exactly, but my father also got one of those real cheap microphones, which made it possible to sing along with the music. Quite fast I found out how to plug this thing in, so that I could listen to myself via headphones. Whenever I was alone at home and no one could hear me, I sang all of my favourite songs – guess I really got addicted to it. That’s how everything started.
And how did you end up in the music business?
Music was always my passion. After I finished my economic apprenticeship I felt that it was time to live my dream and study music with all the consequences. By means giving up a well-paid job and moving to a new city. I thought if I’d fail I still could go back to work in my old business, but if I wouldn’t try to make my dream come true I would probably regret it for the rest of my life.
Who are your favourite singers and musicians?
It’s not easy just to name a few cause there are so many… Singers: P!nk, Skin, Sharon den Adel, Melissa Etheridge, Adam Levine, Anouk, Nelly Furtado, Beth Hart, Eric Martin, Christina Aguliera, Stefanie Kloss, Sandra Nasic, Marta Jandova and more! Songwriters: Alanis Morissette, Michael McDonald, Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson and more!
And to what kind of music do you listen yourself?
Bearing my last answer in mind you will notice that I don’t have a classical background as many singers of the gothic genre have. When I got in touch with music I listened to pop and rock music. Since I started studying at the Rockacadmie I found it interesting to learn more about music of other genres and I also started to listen to various musical genres as soul, gothic, hard rock & metal, funk, RnB or blues. On my iPod playlists you can find a lot of female fronted bands but in the end I like music that touches me – the genre or whether it is sung by a man or a woman doesn’t really matter to me.
You study at the “Rockacademie” in the city of Tilburg. For the people who do not live in The Netherlands, what is the “Rockacademie”?
Unlike universities or musical high schools where you can study Jazz or classical music, at the Rockacademie it is possible to perform in several musical genres such as Rock, Funk, Pop, Metal, Punk, Soul or Hiphop. When you successfully absolve the Rockacademie you get the Bachelor degree of Arts (Music). In the first year you gain some basic skills which you need if you want to go on with the study. After that you have to choose a specialization such as sound engineering, session musician, management or education. Even a combination of several specialization is possible – as long as it is realizable. Usually the study takes 4 years. Probably I will finish my study in February after 3,5 years.
AnsoticcA is not the only band you sing in. You are also quite busy with Jigger Skin? Is it difficult to combine your study and singing for bands with your personal life?
If you’d take a look at my time schedule you could get the idea that this girl is quite busy. Yes, it is difficult to have a personal life beside “all that music”. I tour around South Germany with Jigger Skin and travel back to the Netherlands every weekend. Whenever there’s a time slot I join Maarten and Adrian in the studio in the near of Berlin. Still I write my own music and I am busy with finishing my songwriting study at the Rockacademie. There is not much time left for spending evenings with my friends, playing handball or visiting my family. But for me music belongs to my personal life. I found a way to make everything work and wouldn’t want it any other way. If I should give someone an advice how to handle such a life I would say: buy an organizer and schedule all the things you have to do, but also all the things you love to do. Enjoy life. That’s what gives you energy even for the things you have no choice but to do.
And do you have any other bands or projects besides AnsoticcA and Jigger Skin?
My main band is AnsoticcA but as long as it’s possible I’m still involved with some other bands and projects. I’m the female singer of Jigger Skin, I have my own project which I sometimes play gigs unplugged with and I’m a member of the Popchor TF a pop choir in Germany.
And since Jigger Skin is more pop and rock oriented, do you use your voice in a different way than with the gothic AnsoticcA songs?
When you sing in a cover band as Jigger Skin you have to sing songs from various genres. That requires the use of different vocal techniques. Imagine I would sing “Open Your Eyes” of Guano Apes in the same way Nena sings her “99 Luftballons”. It wouldn’t work… But what makes the Gothic songs in comparison to the pop/rock repertoire of Jigger Skin so special is that you have to use a lot of vocal techniques in one song. In the studio Maarten really tries to get the best out of me. That challenges and pushes me.
How did you get in contact with the boys from AnsoticcA?
I’ve know Maarten from the popchoir I sing in. I heard that he was starting a new project and that he was looking for a female singer but I didn’t expect that to affect me one day. After auditioning some singers, Adrian and Maarten called me asking, if I wanted to join the band. They looked for someone with a more powerful voice who at the same time would also be able to sing the softer parts of their songs. First I thought they were joking. My voice couldn’t fit that kind of music. But I was completely wrong!
What is the idea behind the band name?
Actually the name came from a friend of ours – while listening to some of our first recordings he said “this sounds like Ansotica” – and so the name was born – with one more “c”. It is the name of a goddess that has been worshipped around the area of Croatia. It is comparable to the Latin “Venus”.
How would you describe AnsoticcA‘s music? Because Gothic & Progressive covers about everything with a guitar, bass and drums and female vocals these days.
Our music is very epically arranged with a truly guitar oriented approach – extremely powerful and rough but at the same time deeply melodic and emotional. The songs are catchy and our sound is unique. You will easily recognize it any time.
And what makes AnsoticcA different compared to all the other female fronted bands in the world (especially in Holland)?
Sure! I definitely belong on stage and I can’t wait till we get ready to bring our music to the people. We are planning to start the tour in spring 2010 after the release of our album. Our management is already in contact with a booking agency for the Benelux, but we also want to tour in Germany and the rest of Europe.
And, if so, are you looking for additional members to complete the line up?
We are currently looking for a drummer and a bass player – so feel free to write us if you are interested in doing live performances with AnsoticcA…
Is song writing teamwork in AnsoticcA or is there a mastermind behind the music?
Adrian and Maarten are the two minds behind the songs – but you can truly say they function as one mastermind. Their creative potential is tremendous and they both claim that they have never had so much fun writing music also thanks to Rockfeld Records, the studio that makes everything possible for this project.
Can you tell us something about the songs AnsoticcA has posted on Myspace?
“Our Time” – A very epic and also slightly progressive piece, the lyrics can also be seen as a metaphor for what we expect from the future
“I’m Alive” – A song about staying strong when everything around you seems to fall apart
“Silent Tears” – A song that turned out to have a quite noticeable pop influence but hell we like it
“Rise” – A ballad but also not a ballad; listen to it – crank the volume up and listen to the whole song … you will know why
And what is your favourite song?
Hard to tell because every song is like our own child. But if our life would depend on that decision – it would be “Rise” – the song embodies nearly everything that makes the sound of AnsoticcA – but all the other songs do that too.
You are also working on an album. What can we expect?
You can expect 13 pieces of epic gothic metal that will shatter the scene. But seriously, the album is the essence of what we have always been dreaming of – doing powerful epic metal that touches the listeners – hopefully this is what we will achieve.
What are AnsoticcA‘s plans for the future?
Next year we would like to bring the whole thing onto the stage, feeling the energy of the audience and getting more intense with every note we play – we really can’t await to play live after the release of the album