What’s the story behind the formation of Anti-Thesis and why did you choose that name?
David: This will probably be a little novel, but the information is required to understand the destiny feels we have. At the end of 2008 I became completely burnt out with music. I straight up quit, 10 years of playing shows, touring and never really getting anything for it took its toll and I bailed for a career. In early 2010, I moved to Melbourne to start a computer store for a silent partner. After working 6 months of 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week and not getting paid the commissions I was entitled to, I had a nervous break down.
I had to retreat back to Bundaberg and live with my parents for 6 months recovering my brain. Andrew was renting a room from one of my best mates. I went round for hangs and that’s where I met Andrew. He was smashing out songs on Guitar Hero on expert+ on the drum kit (including all the crazy double-kick and weird timed stuff). Since I had a tonne of experience selling simulators to people (and knowing how well they work for real-life applications), I hit Andrew up if he’d ever played a real kit. He said “yeah for a while a few years ago, but I haven’t since then”. So I said “I have a kit at my parents place, feel like having a jam?”. That’s how it all started. A few months later we moved to Brisbane and started rocking out.
The name was harder to come upon. Eventually we picked with Anti-Thesis as it works on multiple levels. Firstly, I think this country is very anti-intillectual, they don’t turst people smarter than them. Just listen to what people say about doctors, scientists, psychologists and other health/science experts as an example. The dictionary meaning of the word Antithesis, also fits us quite well as we have totally different influences and styles, yet they somehow squish together into the sound we have well. Ok… That is that novel haha.
Lachlan: David & Andrew were jamming in Bundy & decided to come to Brisbane to a better music scene. They already settled on the name Anti-Thesis long before I came in the band but I dig it.
Why did you decide to add a bass player? How would you describe Lachlan as a bass player and is the band complete now?
David: We wanted to have a bassist from the very start but were lazy about finding one. Suddenly we had a show come up at the ZZZ carpark, so we’re like “fuck it, we’ll play it as a 2 piece and find a bassist afterwards”. Then shows just kept coming and kept coming. We played at a show Lachlan organised as part of a tour in May 2013. He asked us if we were looking for a bassist, we said “yeah – but when we have time to teach him the songs”.He kept pestering us constantly over the next month so we were like “fuck it, let’s make time and get a bassist happening” and BAM, Lachlan was in. I don’t think we could have anymore members. I’d like another guitarist, but I don’t think it’d work. Our sound is full enough as it is.
Lachlan: One day David messaged me on Facebook chasing a gig, I watched some live videos of them on Youtube & said to myself “This is the kind of band I want to be in!”. I noticed they didn’t have a bass player & started harassing David to fill that role. I think my harassing skills are responsible for adding a bass player. it was either that or a restraining order. I’d describe Lachlan as a below average bass player but he seems to get the job done.
Andrew is amazing on the drums. I’m just sayin…..
David: Andrew is pretty fucking amazing on the drums. His chaotic form of technical precision works strangely well with my loose, noisy, dischordant style. We don’t know how it managed to work, but it does. It’s fucking awesome.
Lachlan: Andrew is amazing on drums! the song Breaking Evolution, every time we to the 2nd verse I look back & say to myself “OH SH*T! look at him go”…. I’m very jealous.
Tell me a little about your creative process in the band.
David: Normally songs are written in one of two ways. I’ll either write an entire song and bring it to rehearsal and say “here’s a new song” and we jam on it for a while so the guys can figure out what they want to do in the various parts. Other times someone will start playing a riff and we’ll just start improvising around it. We film all our rehearsals, so when there is an amazing improvisation/jam, I’ll normally take it home and sculpt it into something (if it needs it, they don’t always. Fuck Abbott is a good example of this style… It’s still mostly improvised when we play it live).
What sort of issues/subjects do you address in your songs?
David: Pretty much whatever is bugging me at the time the song is written. They mostly cover politics, idiots and mental illness/insanity. There are other songs, like Distance, which is about a very close friend & fan who killed herself the night after one of our shows. It did my head in… She was an amazing friend who did so much for me… I hadn’t seen her in a couple of months before that show, but then she came out and seemed a million times happier than I’d ever seen her. It took me the longest time to figure out how to deal with the fact she chose our event as her last night on the planet. I still think about her alot. She was an amazing person who I wished I could have saved/helped but was never able to accomplish it.
You guys are known for chaotic, improvised and occasionally bloody sets. Where does all that energy come from? Is that intentional or does it just happen naturally?
David: It’s a weird combination of things. Anti-Thesis are like therapy for me. I’ll spend the hour before the show channelling all the negative emotions I have building up and do whatever I can to bring them to the surface. Once they start pouring out though, I’m merely a passanger. I dissassociate at gigs quite regularly (which is something my psychiatrist was particularly worried about). The guy you see on stage is not me, he is the culmination of all my negative emotions coming out and exploding. Half the time, I’m literally a passenger just watching the show unfold from my eyes. I have zero control at this point.
This is why the shows are so unpredictable and so fucking angry. I pretty much put myself through a breakdown each time on stage. I feel amazing after a show once all the emotions are gone. But it takes a while to come down from. Most people avoid me for the first 20 minutes after I walk off stage… It takes a bit for regular Dave to reappear and all my rage to subside.
Lachlan: It is a lot of fun & a tad scary when Super Dave comes out.
Are you all technical players or do you prefer to just play what you feel?
David: I’m 100% self taught, I know some theory, but mostly none (pretty much just chord names and stuff). I generally use my guitar as a frequency tool to express my emotions. I like making people feel uncomfortable with frequencies, it’s a physical reaction unlike anything you get with a lot of music. It alows them to physically feel how I do most of the time. Hence why there is a lot of white noise, feedback and dischordance at our shows. It’s the sound track to an angry, broken mind.
Lachlan: I prefer to just play what I feel, it’s a lot fun to just go with it & see what comes naturally. I think Andrew would be a bit of a technical player or maybe it’s just because it looks technical.
What is the band dynamic like?
David: I’m a pretentious wank and the others put up with my bullshit because they like the music and enjoy performing it on stage. I think that sums it up well.
What equipment do you use?
David: Mostly stuff I find in 2nd hand stores. I find that 2nd hand guitars create unique sounds and frequencies. They’ve all lived a life before you get them, so they’ve got their own personalities, likes and dislikes. This is a big part of our sound I feel (particularly in the noisier sections). I’ll always use Marshall Cabs, at the moment I’m using a Laney head, but I’m squirreling away money to get one of the higher-end Peavey heads.
Lachlan: My BAT-BASS!
You’ve played all the major venues in Brisbane so far. Where else have you played and where would you like to play?
David: Surfers Paradise Beer Garden was always a favourite of mine. Sure they’d always end up not paying the bands, but there was always a huge, receptive audience there. The Surfers Paradise shows are some of my favourite Anti-Thesis shows, which is strange because I actually detest Surfers Paradise with every bone in my being.
Lachlan: We’ve played all around South East Queensland & parts of North East New South Wales. We’d love to play anywhere and everywhere! I can’t wait til we take it overseas!
What is your honest opinion of the Brisbane “Scene”? What do we need more/less of?
David: The scene is pretty damn healthy at the moment, although, people aren’t going out to bars in the numbers they once were. It’s not as big as Melbourne, but the qaulity of bands is heads and shoulders above. The bands are mostly all trying to do their own thing here whereas most Melbourne bands seem to be conforming to particular scene sounds or doing whatever they can in an attempt to get signed. The mindset is different here. People want to create art.
Personally, I think high speed internet access has changed things forever. I started playing in the scene 11 years ago and back then everybody would go out during the week and on weekends (regardless who was playing). Mainly because they had nothing better to do. It was how you discovered new bands. If you were into “underground” music, you literally had to get off your ass, go out to venues and find it. It’s not the case today. Which is both awesome and terrible. The internet has been simultaneously the best and worst thing for local music.
The only thing I’d change in the scene is related to that; people need to go out more and get adventurous again. Go see bands who you’ve never heard of, attend every gig you can afford!!! You meet amazing people and will always discover something awesome you’ve never heard before
Anti-Thesis are playing EarCandy #5. What can people expect? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?
David: Pretty much all of them haha. Although that’s impossible because of the schedule. I can’t specifically name any of the bands because they’re all fucking awesome. My personal favs on the lineup are Baron Samedi, Ghost Audio, Forward Beast and DPOOA, but like I said, I love every band on this line up. It’s going to be hectic trying to catch parts of all their sets!
Lachlan: We always go hard for EarCandy. so it’s sometimes hard to put on a great show with a throbbing erection but we always pull it off in the end. I’m most keen to see The Molotov, Flannelette & DPOOA. These guys will no doubt tear the roof off!!
What is “earcandy” to you?
David: Since I’m also the promoter, I can’t really answer this. It’s my baby. It’s an event which always ALWAYS a HUGE party. Everyone seems to go that extra level of insanity at them. The bands are all headliners in their own right, so I can’t imagine why anyone would miss the show. Even if I were just a punter, these nights are fucking perfect.
Lachlan: EarCandy is sweet, sweet music for your ears. I love EarCandy. It’s always tons fun & #5 will be no different.
What are your favourite Brisbane bands? Who would you like to play with?
David: The Johnny Mustards (rip), Whiskey & Speed, Forward Beast, DPOOA, Ghost Audio, Baron Samedi, Junkyard Diamonds, Dead Wolves, Mjootmn/Buttermilk, Midwest, Deadweight Express, The Royal Artillery, Trigger Warning.
I could keep going with this list, Brisbane music is fucking unbelievably good at the moment. We’ve played with all the local bands that we like (that we’ve heard of), so I can’t actually think of one who I’d like to play with (but we haven’t). I’ll cheat and say Regurgitator and The Red Paintings. They’re still local Brisbane bands despite their success right? 😀
Lachlan: My favourite Brisbane bands are The Molotov, Flannelette, DPOOA, Columbus, Love Hate Rebellion, Whiskey & Speed, Baron Samedi, Quorum Consensus, Baltimore Gun Club, Trigger Warning, Flowers For Lilly, The Real Eyes (sadly no longer together), Junkyard Diamonds, I could go on & on here…
What is on the horizon for Anti-Thesis?
David: The long awaited recording will be happening at some point over the next couple of months. There is always something coming up which prevents it from happening. I’m dying to get it recorded and out there. It’ll happen sometime this year.