In the Beginning...
In 1993, Nikolai (Nikko) Kleppe, Henrik Brautaset Aronsen and Tollef Ladehaug decided that listening to other people's music was not enough. Using Henrik's old computer (Amiga 500), they made the first couple of songs and sketches for later compositions.
Musically Anax imperator have come a long way. The development from the first sketchy versions of Lotus Drive (nÚ Hipdrome I-IV) to the songs on the demo for the forthcoming album "NŰcropop", has been a huge one. Originally an EBM-related band, we have during the years incorporated gothic moods and harmonies into our music, added more danceable rhythm-sections and more complex structures to get the sound we have today: necropop: a blend of EBM, gothic, synthpop and industrial.
Last autumn Anax added a new member to the group: Per Christian Nilsen is sound engineer and technical consultant both in studio and live.
Words are weapons
The lyrics mainly written by Nikko, in many ways reflect the band's viewpoints on politics, although some are more abstract or emotional. It may not be so obvious, but some of our lyrics are actually about love. With some help from Nikko, Tollef has written a couple of love songs, (Safety in Bondage, Head on the Slab) and Nikko and Tollef worked together on the song Cthulhu.
Topics range from the overtly political (Life vs Itself, Silent War) to elegies of sorts, like Life In Vein, which was made after the deaths of two friends at the hands of drug abuse (Ingunn Harberg and Christian Koslowski).
Another important feature in the lyrics of Anax imperator is the mental and physical abuse people inflict on each other. Nikko writes these lyrics (Head, Pandaemonium) out of personal experience and a wish to show that psycopaths are not invariably men and victims of domestic violence are not always women; that one should not believe the myths that perpetuate gender stereotypes, whatever they may be.
Freedom to be
In general, Anax wish to express their disapproval of whatever force, individual or corporate, that tries to limit individual and personal freedom. Artistic freedom is also important for Anax imperator. This includes working with stage and performance concepts as well as music and lyrics. A concert with us marries music, lyrics and strong visual impressions. We have used video installments, computer animations, installations, masks and theatrical effects to emphasize our music on stage, in order to give the audience the show we mean they deserve. Too many bands play their music on stage as they would in a studio and in recent years more and more bands "mime" on stage, without even plugging in the instruments they "play" on. Not so with Anax. A live show is supposed to be performed live, with the challenges and uniqueness this gives to each gig. Inspired by industrial live-acts like Skinny Puppy, Das Ich and Frontline Assembly and gothic, sci-fi and tech-noir films, Anax imperator always strive to be on the cutting edge of Norwegian live-acts.
Anax imperator's track record adds up to more than thirty gigs, all met with ever-growing enthusiasm from our audiences. On the local scene we are viewed as pioneers in the area of industrial and gothic music and we already enjoy the respect and friendship of other bands and people connected to the Norwegian darkwave scene.
Obey our Image
Imagewise we usually present ourselves in an atypical manner, as far as gothic is concerned, wearing suits on press-photos and live-shows (although Nikko's make-up is strictly gothic). The reason is simple. There does not exist an outfit more symbolic of evil than a suit. Most of the really evil people on this planet are, and have been, government officials, heads of state, leaders of multinational corporations and other authority figures. By taking their symbols: the flawless suit and tie, we wish to demask and reveal the true enemies of mankind and the planet as a whole.
Anax imperator wish to extend their respect, awe, gratitude and undying love (though not necessarily in that order) to the following:
Oslo Synth Festival, Atropine AKA dJ÷lle & Cthulberg (Get back together and get your asses back in the studio, boys! Please!), Anstalt (especially son Tarjeiav for lots of help), Gothminister, Skin Disease, Tania, Batcheeba, Ian and Ronny at Sake, Svein the lighting-punk, Tom@SoWhat!, Pride and Fall, Conetik, Olav Orud, Origami Replika (Tore og Lasse), Bente, Eira, Oddgeir, Jon Ole, Bjarte, Baste, Roy, Stefan Rosell, Jan Helge, Trond (Eblis), Christian, Frode Normann, Frode "Warulven" Warholm, BatKat, Patrik, Tonje (Bugslug), Satan, 4x Mother and Father, Christiane, Helga, LaMa, Bj°rn, Torgny (our most faithful and dedicated fan), Solveig, Reidun, Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, Nine Inch Nails, Kraftwerk (natŘrlich), EinstŘrzende Neubauten, Velvet Acid Christ, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Theatre of Tragedy (Hi, Hein Frode), Bauhaus, David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Kenneth Branagh (wanker!), Clive Barker, John Carpenter, Brian de Palma, Todd Browning, Oliver Stone, J. Michael Straczinsky, Terry Gilliam, Monty Python, Wes Craven, Hansrudi Giger, Katsuhiro Otomo, Christopher Walken, Bruce Campbell (Groovy!), Boris Karloff, Robert Loggia (the ultimate bad guy), Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, Barbara Steele, Russ Meyer, Dollie de Luxe (for ''Hope''), Iain Softley, Brett Leonard, Shinya Tsukamoto, Sam Raimi, Alex Proyas, Richard Stanley, Ed Ingebretsen, Hipdrome interest org., Dominion Goth Club, Gotham Nights, , Jan Kounen (wicked!), Ingunn Harberg (R.I.P.) and Christian Koslowski (R.I.P.), Depeche Mode, LeŠther Strip, Happy and the others in Eternal Joy, Malaise, Malice in Wonderland, Tomas F., the Morendoes, Elusive, Shellyz Raven, Atle Marcussen (Tinky Winky), Anstalt, Apoptygma Berzerk (total kroppskontroll), Android and the rest of S.P.O.C.K. (f÷redetta Kapten Eddie B. Kirk ochsň!!), Anneli and Cat Rapes Dog, Origami Gotika, Svante, Vampire State Building, Front 242, Global Genocide Forget Heaven, Ministry, Das Ich, Dance Or Die, our fans and all others we have forgotten.
Contact info available from the box to the right.
Anax Imperator is a division of transgressive technologies inc.