Interview With Tim Hale of Anomalous
San Francisco's ANOMALOUS is a pure death metal band on the Brutal Bands record label and are about to release their debut EP "Cognitive Dissonance' at the start of 2007. The band truly gets it done right for this wildly popular sub-genre that mostly finds itself bogged down with shitty production after the next. I got some Q&A in with their lead vocalist and rhythm Guitarist, Tim Hale.
Rocket: So are you orginally from San Francisco, California?
Tim: No, I grew up in Riverside, which is a smoggy hole in the ground in Southern California. I moved to SF when I was twelve.
Rocket: When did you start playing the guitar and singing?
Tim: I started playing guitar probably around the same time when I moved to SF. The first song I learned to play was and I'm ashamed to admit was "Doll Parts" by Courtney Love's band Hole, which is a very simple, shitty song. I later met Max, who is the other guitarist in the band, and he made me realize that I sucked. He taught me how to play blues, some soloing techniques and power chords. Vocals came a lot later and I have no kind of training. I just like to shout and growl along to the bands I listen to, and terrorize the neighbors in the process.
Rocket: Haha. Did you ever take any formal guitar or vocal lessons?
Tim: The closest to guitar lessons that I've ever had was with Max, who had already attained a good level of virtuosity when I met him back in middle school. And, like I mentioned before, I've never had any formal vocal lessons, just screaming in my car and having onlookers question my sanity.
Rocket: Who are some of your biggest guitar playing influences? Past or present.
Tim: Initially it was Kirk Hammet and later Dimebag Darrell, but as I got into heavier music I started to be
influenced by the likes of Chuck Schuldiner, Jack Owen of Cannibal Corpse (from whom I absorbed the most
death metal influence) and most importantly, Frederik Thordendal of Meshuggah. Although Max smokes me at guitar, so his influences are a lot more crucial when it come to the solos in our music.
Rocket: What about vocal influences?
Tim: I'm a very big fan of Jens Kidman of Meshuggah. I've always wanted to hear a brutal death type of band
with scream vocals, and that was one of my goals with Anomalous. It's gotten me into some trouble with death metal fans who prefer a vocalist who sounds like he's choking on his own diarrhea, but I've learned to forget what others think and go with my instincts. As far as the lower register stuff, I love George Fisher's growls, as well as Luc Lemay of Gorguts.
Rocket: What kind of guitars are you playing live and in the studio?
Tim: Seven string Ibanez RG7321. I also practice on a Schecter Diamond Series.
Rocket: What kind of amp rig?
Tim: Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier head run through a Boss compressor/sustainer petal, DBX compression/noisegate,
a BBE Sonic Maximizer and played through a Mesa/Boogie 4X12 cab.
Rocket: Let's talk about how Anomalous formed initially. What year did you guys all get together? And how did you meet up exactly?
Tim: Well, as I mentioned earlier, I met Max in middle school which was way back in '96 before we even had pubes! And he basically taught me how to play guitar. Later, I started getting into metal and shared my new shred style with Max, who then absorbed it and melded it with his preoccupation for blues and jazz fusion. We started writing music and eventually acquired a drummer around 2001, but it didn't work out. We later met up with young up and comer Nate who is now our current bassist (and I'd like add that he is also an extremely gifted guitarist in his own right). I decided to quit fucking around and program some drums and make a demo to unleash our music upon the unsuspecting world. The underground death metal label Brutal Bands caught wind of it through myspace and signed us for 2 releases. Now, here we are, world!
Rocket: Anomalous is soon to be releaseing a new album of material. Tell us about it and how can fans pick up their own copy?
Tim: It'll be through www.brutalbands.net, and our email email@example.com, people can buy pre orders. These include package deals (shirt, poster, sticker and CD) as well as the CD on its own and merch. Cognitive Dissonance is the title of the release, and it is a Mini CD consisting of 5 tracks (close to a full length at over 26 minutes, however). Expect a whirlwind of brutal riffage, mind-blowing solos and industrial-style samples/soundscapes that are counterbalanced by more subtle, mellower interludes. You can hear a couple of our tunes at www.myspace.com/anomalousmetal.
Rocket: Who does the songwriting for this band?
Tim: Max and I wrote the majority of Cognitive Dissonance, but mostly because Nate was not in the band yet. The full band will participate in the creation of the songs for the full length that we are going to release, also through Brutal Bands.
Rocket: I like to have fun with this next one. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you while performing?
Tim: Well, we haven't performed much yet, but I think the funniest (and also just plain awesome) thing happened when some kids in the pit started popping and locking, dancing like we were playing techno or something! Also, one time a very violent pit rammed Max nearly off of his feet and disconnected his guitar chord right when a "chug" riff came in. Oh, mosh pit.
Rocket: Dude, you guys are going to be blowing up many mosh pits in the future for sure. So who are some of the other local San Francisco metal acts that have impressed you?
Tim: We are fans of Sol Asunder (whom Nate also plays bass with), they are buddies of ours, too. I know Paul Ryan from Origin, but I don't know if that counts because they are originally from Kansas. I'm actually not too familiar with the local scene...
I think Embryonic Devourment are from here. Most of the bands are from outside the city, like Decrepit Birth and Odious Mortem from Santa Cruz.
Rocket: Right on. Man, it's been a great year for metal. What's been your personal favorite for 2006?
Tim: I've been playing the shit out of the new Martyr CD, very awesome, progressive stuff. Meshuggah's remix of Nothing, which sounds fucking huge now. Other than that, I don't know, I'm still catching vapors from Crowpath's and Ion Dissonance's releases from last year. I've actually been listening to the new Mars Volta a whole lot, and I know that they aren't metal, but they are still fucking awesome.
Rocket: I know you guys have shows coming up, right? Tell us about them.
Tim: Unfortunately, we don't have a drummer at the moment, so no. We've had an assload of offers, though, including some pretty sweet festival gigs (like Gathering of the Sick--but I'm not confirming that we can play it, though). Once we do get a drummer, it's on!
Rocket: Well, hopefully the exposure from being featured on metalunderground.com willhelp you find that drummer cause you guys are going to need to bring this crazy shit you produce to tons of fans real dman soon. Thanks for taking the time out on this with me. Give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Tim: No problem, thanks for the interview!! I'd like to give a shout out to Scott fom Brutal Bands, Fabio Stabber who made the awesome cover art and logo, and all the Anomalous fans out there! THANK YOU!!
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