The Core Of The Music Scene: Talking With The Band Annihilism
Little did they know 4 months ago at their first practice, with the existing members, at the drummer’s dad’s house, would their band Annihilism be a key piece in the growth of the North Alabama music scene. Hayden Miller bass player, Matthew Sanford guitar, Alec Torres guitar, Jonathan Cach drums, and David Riddle vocals were anxious to see how their group was going to fit together. After lots of hard work and dedication, they are now more mature as musicians each in their own right, along with being excited about the future.
Annihilism the band based in Albertville, Alabama is killing it in the North Alabama music scene. The band has done shows as big as Winterfest back on January the 19th of this year. In this interview, I had the honor and privilege to sit down with Annihilism. I got to find out who they are as a band and get to dive into the core of the music scene in North Alabama.
The Interview With Annihilism
Jeremy Grace (JG): What was the first concert for the group you all performed together and what was it like?
Annihilism: I do believe our first show was a charity show out in Killen, Alabama back in November of last year. It was a bit of a nerve-racking experience because it was our first show with our current line up. But once we got up on stage it was almost like instant chemistry. David did not have a whole lot of time to prepare for it either so the fact that it turned out so well was a very big relief. We even got compliments from the band we performed with on how much better we sounded with David as our vocalist.
JG: How has Annihilism helped to improve the North Alabama music scene?
Annihilism: Well, I think it really depends on the perspective you have but from my own perspective on it, we’ve helped show kids in the music scene that they don’t have to go out and party to have fun or do drugs to have a good time. They can come to a show and just enjoy tunes with people who are also having fun with the music.
I think with the growth that we’ve had, it’s been easier for us to make connections to people who have done a lot for the scene and the people who enjoy the scene as well. We’ve got another local band in the scene, us, and that’s what the scene needs right now to keep improving is more kids starting bands. I hope we’re accomplishing that by showing kids how much fun it can be and how relieving it is to feel like you have people who care about you in life.
JG: What is the feel of the town in which the band plays, the atmosphere, positive/negative?
Annihilism: Well, the atmosphere of the town we practice in is like any other little town in Alabama.
There’s nothing to do really unless you’re a person who enjoys farming, fishing, hunting, or other activities of that nature. So I guess you can say the atmosphere is more of a melancholy/peaceful one. Like, it’s depressing that you get bored so easily out there but its peaceful cause of how small the town is and the lake. Every city we’ve played in from Birmingham to Florence and then back over to Huntsville, the atmosphere has always been so lively and welcoming.
People who were never into the type of music, who decided to watch us, ended up becoming a fan just from our live sets.
JG: What’s the biggest musical influence on each of you all and as a band together?
Annihilism: (Matthew) Well, I find influences from all around me. Musicians that have influenced me the most, Jeph Howard from The Used and Ken Susi from Unearth have been mine for a very long time. Nature and emotion also influence me a lot.
(David) My influences were Early Whitechapel, For Today, and Chelsea Grin. I just wanted to help people with music the way I was helped.
(Hayden)I take influences from Steve Harris, Alex Webster, Duff McKagan, and Victor Wooten. Phenomenal bass players. Along with them, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers is one of my influences as well.
(Jonathan) My early influences are Joey Jordison, Chris Adler, Dave Lombardo, Charlie Benante, and Travis Smith.
My current influences are Jayden Mason, Lee Stanton, Mario Duplantier, And Jesse Price.
(Alec) My influences are Fit For an Autopsy, The Acacia Strain, Within the Ruins, Lorna Shore, along with my time playing jazz and classical music in college has influenced my playing a lot.
Our biggest influence as a band: we had a lot of ideas of how we wanted to sound. We wanted to sound like a mix of Aversions Crown, Thy Art is Murder, Shadow of Intent, and Oceano. As time went on, we drifted away from trying to sound like anyone and eventually developed our own sound.
JG: Favorite songs from each of you all that the band plays?
Annihilism: (Matthew) My favorite song to play is Black Torch.
(Hayden) A God Amongst Men
(Alec) Black Torch for me as well.
(Jonathan) Yeah, Black Torch is our newest and a band favorite. Definitely my favorite. When it was written, I wanted a dark feeling song. It was based on The Conjuring movies and The Nun.
(David) A God Amongst Men
JG: The next step for the future of Annihilism and any future events?
Annihilism: Just recording and getting our name as far as we can. We are playing a show Friday the 15th at the Coppertop in Huntsville, Alabama.
I want to thank these awesome gentlemen for the amazing opportunity and them taking time to answer my questions. I appreciate them and WBLZ Media appreciates the opportunity as well. Go check out Annihilism at their next event and prepare to hear the core of the North Alabama music scene.
Have you listened to the band Annihilism? Leave a comment below.
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