Antimatter – Business in Pleasure

Sunday, 11th October 2015

Mick Moss is many things, if not honest and forthright. His main musical vessel Antimatter (lest we forget his excellent Sleeping Pulse project that debuted last year) has released unquestionably, their finest album to date with The Judas Table. The man scores regular, global gigs as a solo acoustic artist; same with Antimatter, but to hear him say “Antimatter has languished at the bottom” of the music industry sums up his approach: He’s not fooled by the extensive praise his band(s) receive, nor is willing to buy into the industry hype machine. Not this veteran.

The Judas Table, much like previous Antimatter albums, is laced with innuendo and metaphors. The songs are stark, yet challenging, and more importantly, so good, that no less than five (5) rank among his finest compositions ever. (They are: “Killer,” “Comrades,” “Little Piggy,” “Stillborn Empires” and “Hole”) It’s yet another artistic triumph for a band whose grip on dark rock is about as tight as they come. Heavy enough to drift into our lovely little metal territory, yet minimal to the point where becoming a full-on metallic outfit will probably never happen, and rightfully so.

Fresh off a rehearsal, the hoarse and tired Moss was kind enough to give DR a ring at 11:00 PM England time, where we waxed on The Judas Table, this thing called “friends,” the music biz, and much more. Read on and learn something…

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve had The Judas Table album title around for a while. Are you one to hold onto songs for a long time? Is there a risk involved with that?

Mick Moss: No, there’s no risk. If anything, they kind of mature beyond the point they would had they been recorded. If I had recorded them and released them quickly…it’s a trade-off. If I come up with a new song and it nail it quickly, I’m full of energy for it. I get all of this energy out. But if there’s a song that has been festering in my mind for ten years, like “Black Eyed Man” or “Comrades,” if that’s been in my head for a long time, it comes out really mature. So there’s no risk.

Dead Rhetoric: The last album, Fear of a Unique Identity had a global, if not social outlook. Whereas The Judas Table has more of a personal outlook. Not to say your previous albums didn’t, but this is the most personal Antimatter album to date. Is it difficult to put yourself out there like this?

Moss: That’s all I’ve been doing since the last 20 years. I’ve been writing since 1995, so it’s not difficult to put personal things into rhyme and verse. That’s all I’ve ever done. But I do it in a cryptic way, unless I want to drive the message home. A song like “Integrity,” it’s quite obvious. I’m writing about personal experiences, but at the same time, there’s a lot of sociology in there. I read sociology; I’m not an avid reader of it, and I don’t go crazy, but I like to read from time to time and it puts my mind at ease in regard to things I’ve been thinking about how people behave.

Dead Rhetoric: Knowing that you’re not alone.

Moss: Right. So there’s a lot of sociology that I’ve stuck in. It was largely absent in the first albums where I was basically having a moan. [laughs]

Dead Rhetoric: A lot of the album’s lyrical content is about people and how they let you down, etc. Do people routinely bum you out?

Moss: [laughs] I’d say for the last 25 years, there’s been at least one person…it’s like a tag-team. There will be one person bumming me out, then they’ll disappear, then someone else will come along and bum me out for a few months. I’ve been getting bummed out by this tag-team of people for the last quarter of a century. I’m hoping it will stop. That’s the idea behind the album – it’s helping me to identify certain character types.

Dead Rhetoric: I think we all know someone like in “Little Piggy” or “Comrades.”

Moss: People can just…it’s like I’m on a sinking ship sometimes and that’s what “Comrades” is about. I had a wonderful group of friends at one point and they just disappeared. My usefulness had run out.

Dead Rhetoric: Do you have a small circle of friends?

Moss: I have a large circle of acquaintances.

Dead Rhetoric: There’s an obvious difference between friends and acquaintances.

Moss: I don’t even know what a “circle of friends” is anymore. As I’ve got older, I have no idea. I have people who I feel are close to me. Outside of my family…as I’ve got older, it’s like when I was a teenager, I was like, “Fuck family. I’m going to hang around with the dudes and get stoned and try to fool around with girls.” Then you spend a few decades doing that and you realize, you’ve got a good family. The real stock is in family. On top of that, if you have one or two people you can call good friends, you’re a rich man.

Dead Rhetoric: People value themselves by how many friends they have on Facebook. They’ve probably never met a third of these people in real life. It devalues the idea of friendship.

Moss: Social networking is something I’ve rejected over the last couple of years. I used to have a little personal account with close friends, but I’ve rejected it because I’ve found I was substituting a real social life with an online social life. While I was being convinced I had a social life, I actually had none.

Dead Rhetoric: We talked about people bumming you out, and having a close circle of friends. What about the music industry? Do you have any horror stories?

Moss: [laughs] Yeah, absolutely. Of course. A few of the songs on the album are about a few people from the “biz.” It’s a pool of people…a lot of people are attracted to this idea of a quick fix of power. You’re going to be pulled in with a lot of people who are in it for more than creative reasons, or they’re pursuing something else and they’re using music as a means to get there. It’s not going to work like that. Only the select few who are picked up by a major label who have thousands plowed into them – they’re going to get a quick fix of power and in two or three years, they’re going to be nobody, pushed off to the side.

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