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Horia Diaconescu A short interview with Danny Cavanagh (Anathema)

29 Noiembrie 2004
de Horia Diaconescu

"We have always been hippies, really!

Anathema constituie una din preferintele speciale ale publicului rock/metal din Romania, prin urmare concertul acustic Danny & Vincent Cavanagh se anunta drept un eveniment inedit. Daca evolutia realizata de Anathema de la doom metal la psychedelic & prog reprezinta un traseu artistic cel putin interesant, nu mai putin demna de atentie este preocuparea fratilor Cavanagh de a explora valente acustice ale muzicii. Ultimii ani s-au concretizat in diverse proiecte unplugged alaturi de Antimatter, Leafblade si alte trupe, in colaborarea Anathema cu un cvartet de coarde, in inregistrarea unui album tribut Nick Drake si in organizarea unui turneu acustic european care ia start prin concertul de la Timisoara. Ca ultim element de noutate, fratii Cavanagh au decis sa aduca live si pe instrumentistul David Weslings (Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra) care ii va acompania la violoncel. 

Am realizat un scurt interviu informativ cu Danny Cavanagh, urmand ca alte posibile intrebari sa isi gaseasca raspunsul la intalnirea de la Timisoara.

Discografie Danny Cavanagh:
ANATHEMA - They die (single, 1992)
ANATHEMA - The crestfallen (ep, 1993)
ANATHEMA - Serenades (1993)
ANATHEMA - We are the Bible (single, 1994)
ANATHEMA - Pentecost (ep, 1995)
ANATHEMA - The silent enigma (1995)
ANATHEMA - Eternity (1996)   recomandat
ANATHEMA - Alternative future (single, 1998)
ANATHEMA - Alternative 4 (1998)   recomandat
ANATHEMA - Judgement (1999)
ANATHEMA - Resonance (2001)
ANATHEMA - A fine day to exit (2002)   recomandat
ANATHEMA - Resonance 2 (2002)
ANATHEMA - A natural disaster (2004)
DANNY CAVANAGH - A place to be, Nick Drake tribute (2004)
Compilatie - Slatanic slaughter part II - Slayer tribute (1996)
Compilatie - In the name of Satan - a tribute to Venom (1998)
Compilatie - X Peaceville (1998)
Compilatie - Lotus Eaters - Dead Can Dance Tribute (2004)
ANTIMATTER - Saviour (2002)
LEAFBLADE - Beyond beyond (2005)

Muzici si Faze / Anathema
Muzici si Faze / Danny & Vincent Cavanagh la Timisoara
Anathema - sit oficial

Greetings Danny!

          Hello Romania. We have prepared a pretty diverse setlist for the gig in Timisoara!

During the past years, Anathema recorded and performed occasionally acoustic versions. For the last tour you also brought on stage a string quartet. Then you were a special acoustic guest for Antimatter (who are currently recording an entirely acoustic album too) and for Leafblade. There is also this Nick Drake tribute and the acoustic mini-tour. How it all happened for you to develop this peculiar affinity for acoustic music?

          How has it happenned? It happenned naturally like all love of music. Even on The silent enigma tour we had acoustics out on the bus every night singing Beatles songs and lots of others. We have always played and written on acoustic guitars. Alot of our older heavier riffs were originally written on acoustic and transferred to electris later. Also I have found a fondness for folk music and to me, music like this can sometimes seem to represent all I love about life, nature and harmony. We have always been hippies, really!

What do you think are the advantages or difficulties that you have encountered in covering and performing songs in acoustic versions?

          I dont know about advantages or disadvantages. The organisation is different because its a much smaller set up than when the whole band and crew do a gig. But musically I guess they are just different sides of the same coin.

Which critera did you then use  for the selection of songs to be performed acoustically, both from Anathema and from other artists such as Maiden, Beatles, Depeche Mode?
          The criteria was just this. Can I play them? Can I make them sound good? Thats all!

You will soon release an acoustic tribute to Nick Drake, limited to 1000 copies. How did you got in contact with Nick Drake's music and why did you feel it was necessary to release such an album?

          I learned his music over the last three years and when I was going through a positive change in my life I was listening often to him and learning his songs. As an exercise in guitar and also to relax I guess. His style was suited to me and I found I could pull off good versions of his songs when I really tried. So then after learning alot of them it seemed obviously good fun to record them. And this also provides Duncan with a platform to kick start his Strangelight Records venture. You can order the album, by the way, called A place to be from

You also cover the greatest band from your hometown, Liverpool, if not the greatest band ever, The Beatles. What are your personal relationships with their music?

          We grew up with The Beatles. They are the greatest band in the history of rock and roll music. They changed everything. They are the best. Bar none!

It seems to me that with "A natural disaster" Anathema reached a second end of its musical developpement, meaning that throughout the last albums you fathomed the same style and emotions up to the point where if the next release is similar, many might perceive it as repetitive. Perhaps because there is one main composer, Danny Cavanagh. Where is Anathema heading to now? Could you give us some input about your future songs?

          The last album is like the end of a chapter and the new one starts now. There are many new tunes for us to work on, and everybody can contribute, and will do. The last abum was just a collection of songs that were all linked in theme, that's the reason they are together. Now that era is over its time for a new way. A more colourful way. The new material sounds like a rainbow... after a storm!

You both came to Romania 10 years ago. Back then you were a dark doomy metal band playing Venom's "Welcome to hell" for equally dark and doomy metalheads. "Who" is coming now to perform and whom do you adress with this acoustic performance?
          Me, Vincent and a cello player are coming as an informal visit. We hope to bring the band fully in the next year or so. And we address whoever wants to come and listen!

What memories you have from your two concerts experience from Romania, back in 1994?

          Many fun times we had. The concerts were wild. We had alot of laughs and we played a football game against the press over there. It was a while ago but we all remember it as being a special visit.

"Do you think we're forever?"

          I do not know but somehow I doubt it...

Thanks for this brief chat and good luck with your show in Timisoara!

          Thanks, see you there!

Interviewed by Horia Diaconescu
29th of November 2004

Danny & Vincent Cavanagh, 2004

My Great Web page
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