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intriguing interviews (#II013): Ant Antic

Intriguing Interviews (#II013): Ant Antic

The weeks of diversity go on with this beaut of a talkfest we recently had with yet another promising name. As we stumbled over their profile around some months ago, it was the sheer joy of listening to that succulent output that brought us back again & again. Being flabbergasted by the latest upload that wades through your ear drums, the level of excitement went tremendously high as we recently read that they’re going to bring out a long play around June.
But about who are we talking about? The answer: Viennese electronic pop music duo Ant Antic. The young duo consisting of Tobias Koett & Marco Kleebauer are one of those groups who never cease to amaze you. Listening to their latest piece Juggernaut over & over again, we knew that it has been about time to have an exchange of thoughts over the realm of music & the perception on art. Luckily, Tobias got some time:

Hi Tobias, it truly is a pleasure to finally make this conversation happen. Not only that we’re still intrigued by the beaut of an output,
but also the fact that there will be more to hear in the near future. But for those ones in our audience, who never heard about you, guys. Would you mind to introduce yourself?

Sure. I’m Tobias Koett, producer and singer for the electronic pop music project Ant Antic. I was born in Upper Austria, creatively socialised in Vienna, currently living in Berlin.

Tell us, Tobias. How did it start? Were you destined to be a musician, or was it a sheer fluke that you & the aural art crossed each other’s path?

Well, I was lucky to be born into quite a musically talented family, so it was omnipresent from the start. Thanks to my brother, I had good music to listen to quite early on. I got my classical music education in a few instruments but the main instruments I use today I taught myself.

Lovely, with which DAW you started to produce music actually? Was it Ableton or Fruity Loops?

It was Cubase. At 14 I got introduced to it and started producing my first electronic tracks.

And how did Ant Antic start?

In my late teens, I played loads of shows with my post rock’ish band. Marco liked my vocals back then, we did a track together, produced more tracks using Ableton

together and here we are now.

Sounds like a picture-book story that you couldn’t describe better. What really interests us, while we’re listening to your tunes, are you actually listening to same style of music in your free time as well?

You know, it really depends on the mood. Lately, I listen to a lot of Hip Hop like Noname,

Steve Lacy,

Vince Staples,

or Kendrick.

But generally, you can’t go wrong with Brainfeeder

or Erased Tapes-releases,

Motown Classics

and the Beatles.

Succulent selection. We’re guessing that you get a lot of inspiration by these gifted musicians. As we were preparing ourselves for the interview, we wanted to always ask you what your main priority is while writing music? What do you guys try to convey while producing pieces under Ant Antic?

Production wise, our main goal in making music is to combine sound design and pop music as well as stretching the boundaries of pop as much as possible. This may sound trivial in the first place…

It actually doesn’t, but please go on…

…but as a producer, it’s quite a good rule to live by. As a writer, I basically just reflect on social interactions and its sociological impact.

But seeing on the personal side, what do writing the lyrics mean to you?

Personally, the lyrics serve me to keep my head clean and they additionally might give other people different perspectives. The art of giving opinion without evaluating it, if you want.

So, what your trying to convey is mostly opinions on anything towards society? What about raw emotions or feelings? Do your try to transmit them inside of your artistry?

Well, we let smarter people evaluate the artistry of our music. (Smiling)

From our point of view, what your music does to us is to bring up emotions that you can’t really put to one direction. The pieces are produced in a style that stymies your mental den for a while, so you are engulfed by a gargantuan amount of feelings that you can distinct from each other. Ok that sounds way too emo. Haha.

Ok. Hahaha.

You know, as we’re checking out your latest dates of performances, there will be soon a release show for your long play around June-ish, if we’re not mistaken. Do you have actually any rituals before a show, like drinking or something?

Just one thing…

Which is?

…Checking the blood sugar.

That one has to be top notch, while performing. Speaking of which, what kind of gear are you guys actually using for a performance? A midi-controller, a microphone, a laptop, anything else?

Almost. No, we use quite a selection of gear, because with our live-set, we try to evoke the energy of a band set. Our bass player David Resch splits his signal into top and bottom to create a heavy bass sound. The rest of the bass is done with the MiniBrute.

With the help of some good Moog boxes, I manage to transform my guitar sound into some more interesting lead and pads.

For my vocals, I use a shitty old analog vocal transformer which always glitches. I love it. Marco is playing drums with an electronic Jmox Kick


and a MPC.

He also has a controller for looping and effecting the output. Due to the fact that we use a lot fragile and broken analog synths in the studio, we replaced them with a Prophet 8,

the Blofeld

and a beautiful and talented guy called Fraser James Bowers who plays them.

This sounds like a decent setup. You can literally imagine how the sets are constructed & would sound like. But, let’s use the time machine right now. We’re going back to the past. Are there any specific moments that you’re remembering about? A specific goal you set?

That’s hard to answer. I mean, I think as soon as we accomplish a goal we automatically set sail to the next one. So, it’s super hard to value those things at the time.

What about one of your releases? The Blood Sugar-extended play seems to be the point that everything went up?

Yes, it’s crazy what doors were opened for us with that ep. It’s even crazier that we toured nearly two years with only three songs released. I remember that I also cooperated with Ritornell,

Monophobe,

some other artists and founded a small festival in Upper Austria in that time.
Marco was even busier. Beside working with me on Ant Antic he also released with Leyya

and Karma Art.

Are these guys also the ones who guided you the most?

Definitely. You know, it’s always a blast working with Marco together. As well with Monophobe, we have that constant back and forth of pushing each other to the next level. Everyone of us has a different approach in producing, but we all have the same understanding of good music.

Let’s use the time machine again. This time, we come back to the present. As we’re really looking forward to hear the long awaited release of your album, we’d like to know how everything came up? Did you guys have a vapid jam session together? Or, did you decide to finally write a long play?

The record Wealth is a pure electronically produced album. We exclusively recorded on Ableton and almost only used some old half broken analog synths like a Siel Cruise

or a Yamaha CS-15.

We both think in terms of electronic music there’s to much digital high polished stuff out there, not able to create some unique feel to it. With recording almost all samples and sounds ourself and adding loads of overdrive the album naturally grew into its honest and rough production that it is. And to be honest, sometimes you just have to use 808.

Nothing wrong about that.

But listen to for example the kick drum from the track Blood Sugar.

It is the pitched sound of a table. What can I say is if it works, we’re happy.

Currently, your latest piece Juggernaut is on play in our office. Such a lovely piece & a sensational video that you have made for it.

But tell us, do you have a specific connection to your upcoming release? Because we can literally feel the joy that is inside of your words?

Personally, the album Wealth is maybe the biggest thing I’ve been working on my whole life, so naturally I am emotionally connected to the release. Two years of just working on that one album is a fucking long time of ups and downs you share. Especially, as a writer you have a period of your life lyrically set in stone in the record. Or at least all the catastrophes. Haha.

We can imagine how satisfying it feels when your work is finally done & you can finally share this moment with other people. If we take a look in the future, what do you want to happen? Making music for the eternity?

If we’re lucky: do as much music as possible and have the honour of presenting it to more and more people.

We hope you will. Because we want to hear more. It was a pleasure of having this conversation with you. But, we’d like to ask you two more things. First, do you think that music for living is still possible nowadays?

Yes, i do.

Second, if you got the opportunity to have an art collision, with whom would it be?

I would form a supergroup with Arca,

Ringo Starr

and D’Angelo.

And if time doesn’t matter, I would wanted to produce for the early Roberta Flack.

That has been the official part of the interview, yet as we’d like to show the human side, we did allow to add a section into the section (oh hell, that sounds like something created by the illuminati, huh?), which we just named: Solar’s R/Vapid Ten. This sec-into-section contains vapid questions, which can be answered by the interviewed artist voluntarily.

so, let’s see Ant Antic’s answers:

Your favorite vegetable?

Eggplant. Baba Ghanoush, man!.

Your favourite food?

Lasagne and quiche.

Banana or apple?

Banana, I’m allergic to apples…

Strawberry or cucumber?

Cucumber.

Disney or Warner Bros?

Is this a hidden way of asking Marvel or DC?

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee. Can’t live without it.

I would not be a musician, if…

I had any other talents.

If I would start right now with the music…,

I would write a song about how happy I’m that the dark depressing Berlin winter is finally over. On happy 60ies beat music. Beach-Boys style. Maybe double time.

If I would be an object…,

We wouldn’t be doing this interview.

If I would be an animal…,

You’d give me a treat for every answered question, wouldn’t you?

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A gargantuan amount of THANK YOUs followed by a dozen of 🙏🙏🙏-emojis to Ant Antic & the effort they made to make this special interview for this series happen. As we truly adore the sheer beauty of electronica music, it has been truly a pleasure to wade through the aural spheres of these gifted musician again. Be sure to subscribe to their channel, get yourself the latest release as soon as it is up, check out the succulent discography that is uploaded on his Soundcloud-page & don’t forget to share one piece with your dearest ones.

Le fin..
..Oh btw

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The end of the tale, but not of this book.