Interview with AC Angry's Alan Costa
Andy-First of all I would just like to thank you Alan for taking the time to do this interview. I just have to say that "Black Denim" is a phenomenal rock album!
Alan-Of course, thank you very much, I’m really glad to hear that you like the album!
Andy-Could you give us a run down on the band and talk about some of AC ANGRY's influences?
Alan-AC ANGRY stands for testosterone-driven Heavy Rock ‘n’ Roll and our roots lie in the classic Rock ’n’ Metal of the 80‘s, in bands like Motörhead and very early Iron Maiden for example. We’re also heavily influenced by the “big 4” of the Scandinavian rock scene of the 90s: Backyard Babies, The Hellacopters, Gluecifer and Turbonegro. Add some Monster Magnet during their Powertrip/God says no/Monolithic baby – phase and AC/DC … and there you go!
Andy-How long did it take for AC ANGRY to go from it's formation to recording the album?
Alan-That went pretty fast! We had a different band name before: Taletellers. And after two albums and a European tour we decided to change the name to something more suitable for our straight heavy Rock ‘n’ Roll – AC ANGRY. We went straight into the studio and recorded “Black Denim”. So it wasn’t like the band was newly formed, Taletellers was formed in 2005. We just changed the name in 2011.
Andy-How about your band's name. Is there a story behind that?
Alan-Like I said in my previous answer: we wanted to change the band name (Taletellers) because many people would expect a fantasy metal band when they first heard the name so we searched for a more suitable monicker. AC ANGRY was on a list with 300 names and we just thought the name sounded cool, like a U.S. muscle car or something. Moreover AC ANGRY is a beautiful metaphor for rock music: angry current. So we thought, that’s it, perfect!
Andy-The one thing I really love about "Black Denim" is that it is first and foremost a "real" rock album. That was the intention I assume?
Alan-Yeah, real for us means: no bullshit, street. Let’s not screw around. It’s the attitude that is important. Rock feels or is only real and authentic when the attitude is right. That was our goal, to create an album with a lot of balls, with a lot of attitude. “Real” ROCK.
Andy-Now, you've been in the music a long time now correct? I mean AC ANGRY isn't your first rodeo right?
Alan-I started my first band in 2001. The band was called Taletellers Soulsellers. And you know, basically for me AC ANGRY starts right there because Taletellers Soulsellers played Heavy Rock/Rock’n’Roll as AC ANGRY does now, so for me it has been a long continuous evolution since then and my “big bang” was that first band of mine. After Taletellers Soulsellers split up I formed the band Taletellers with Stefan (Lead guitarist of AC ANGRY). So I suppose for him AC ANGRY starts there, in 2005. Taletellers – as the name suggests – originated indeed from the band Taletellers Soulsellers because we continued to play the same style of music and we also played songs from the previous band as I had written them so we kept half of the name because we thought Taletellers Soulsellers was too long. At the beginning of 2011 Dennis joined Taletellers and there you go, the last incarnation of Taletellers already was AC ANGRY. But still, AC ANGRY was created in October 2011, so that’s when AC ANGRY really was born for all of us. Even if there was this evolution for me personally, 2011 with the new band name marked a new beginning, a clean cut and things really started happening.
Andy-What do you think has changed in the scene from when you first started out until now? Are there things that you find are better now then when you first started out? How about the other way around? What things do you think have changed for the worse?
Alan-When we talk about the scene as a whole, world wide, then the situation has become better since when I started out because with bands like Volbeat, Airbourne and Danko Jones for example, there are lot more people into our type of music right now. Bands like The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies, Gluecifer and Turbonegro helped as well of course! So now it is easier for us to generate fans all over the world, because people are a lot more open to our type of music, I think. Back in 1999/2000, New Metal and Alternative Rock was big, so it was a tough time for us.What is also cool is that vinyl nowadays is back again, which was - when I started with my first band still very much dead. Last year we released a 7’’ and it completely sold out very quick. That is really awesome!
Andy-While most of our readers would probably think of the thrash scene when we talk about your
home country there is indeed a rich history of heavy rock/hard rock bands. Do you see a lot of growth in the current scene? Are there a lot of new, up-and-coming bands embracing the heavy guitar rock sound?
Alan-You’re right, Germany is a lot into thrash. But also a lot into power metal at the moment. There was a time when Emocore and Metalcore was THE thing here, but that's over now I suppose.
I think for heavy rock/rock ’n’ roll bands like us it is slightly harder to get recognition, especially when you’re a newcomer. Because our type of music does not dominate the scene here in Germany.
When you’re part of a style that is dominating the scene or experiencing a hype, it is of course easier for you as a band. You get better slots on tours and festivals, you're getting easier and faster a record label, even if you’re not that good, it’s enough that you play a certain style of music. That’s just my opinion of course.
That doesn't mean that they aren't dedicated fans for heavy rock/rock ’n’ roll in Germany and there also are a lot of them existent. But I think a lot of them are into already established bands, into legends like Motörhead, AC/DC. We have to convince them to get heavily into AC ANGRY as well. And we think the best way to do it is to play live. So far it works out pretty good. We always win over new fans when we play live. But to answer your question: I see indeed a growth in the current scene for Heavy Rock bands in Germany in the last two years and that’s really cool. But those bands are still few and far in between. But it is getting better. We hopefully can contribute to that.
Andy-What does 2014 hold for AC ANGRY? Tour plans? Another studio-album? World conquest?
Alan-Well, we really love to tour, we just love to play live, so we’ll try to play as much as possible in 2014. We have to do it, also to do the new album justice. The songs on it are made to be performed live and we want as much people as possible to learn about AC ANGRY. So 2014 will be a year of constant touring and festivals. At least that’s the plan. We’re still a newcomer and it is not that easy to get a good slot on a tour. But this year went pretty good, we did five tours until now, we supported Warrior Soul and Saxon throughout Europe and did two German tours as support for Michael Schenker Group and Anvil. Right now we’re touring through Germany with Ohrenfeindt, a German Hard Rock band from St. Pauli.
After that we’ll shoot a video for a song from the album, we are currently sorting out all the details. And after that: touring again! The next studio album will most probably not be released before 2015. World conquest? Sure, we wouldn’t mind. At least we want to play gigs all over the world!
Andy-How can our readers in the U.S. find out more about AC ANGRY and pick up a copy of the killer “Black Denim”?
Alan-“Black Denim” will hit the U.S. and Canada on January 14th, 2014 via Dust On The Tracks Records distributed by MVD Entertainment and Universal Music Canada. Until then we encourage our American fans to pay regular visits to our homepage www.acangry.com and our facebook site www.facebook.com/acangry. You’ll find everything about AC ANGRY on these websites.
Andy-I'll let you have the last words Alan. Anything else you'd like to add?
Alan-Thank you very much for this interview! We cannot wait to play live in America, because we really think Americans will embrace our new album. It's a style of music they immediately understand! I’m sure about his!