Any Given Day – Unbroken SpiritsThursday, 25th January 2024
With three full-length albums already under their belts, Germany’s Any Given Day have been making a name for themeselves in the German metal scene for over a decade. Their newest album, Limitless, is their first in four years, and sees them continuing to champion a positivity in their metalcore sound that is hard to shake. It’s a potent mix of heavy grooves and riffs, soaring choruses, and everything you’ve come to expect from the genre, done in a fun way. We spoke with drummer Leon Stiller and bassist Michael Golinski to get some more knowledge about what the band has been up to between albums and through the pandemic, the effect of positive lyrics, and the German metalcore scene itself, amid other topics.
Dead Rhetoric: Overpower came out in 2019, you released a few singles in the meantime, what else have you been doing in between albums?
Leon Stiller: Between Overpower and today, there was the whole COVID situation. For two years there was nothing we could do outside of writing some songs. We couldn’t play any shows here. The first time we really got to do something again, after 2019 was in 2022 when the first festivals started up again. There was a lot of trouble with touring, because every band was coming over here [to Germany]. Ticket sales were catastrophic.
So we decided not to tour last year. 2023 was more of the same. We did a few festivals and really started to work on the new album. We actually played the festivals with our old setlist and one or two new singles and went with the flow. We did a lot of brainstorming for the new album – it’s not interesting [laughs].
Micheal Golinski: We all do our full-time jobs, and are not only musicians. So we work, like everyone else [laughs]. Leon said it all!
Dead Rhetoric: That’s an interesting perspective. I hadn’t heard that side before. I know during COVID, talking to people, there was the thought about having everyone back out there touring at once, but then it just seemed like bands went out and did it. But it’s interesting to hear the impact of having everyone out on the road at once and the impact on ticket sales due to increased competition.
Stiller: I think it depends on where you live. In the UK, there was all of the Brexit stuff going on, and no one knew how to do it, since the visa rules changed for other Europeans. When you are in the US, there are so many bands that you might not notice. But in parts of Europe, and in Germany, I think Germany is a place that a lot of bands make money, so these last two years here it was crazy. You have one weekend and if you are from the west, there are a lot of cities nearby. On Saturday, you might have Bad Omens, Slipknot, Bury Tomorrow all at the same time in different places, so you would have to choose who you want to see.
For me, personally, I have never been to as many concerts as I did last year. So for European/German bands, it wouldn’t really pay off to go on tour because there were so many bands who don’t come around frequently. So we had to wait, but now things are starting again.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel that Limitless takes the band to the next level?
Stiller: It’s kind of the same but very different than what we did before. The difference from Overpower to the older albums – there was kind of a vision where the band wanted to travel to. The songs needed to sound more mature, but very brutal still. That’s the same thing with Limitless. But with Limitless, there was less of a travel plan. We didn’t plan out how it would sound. We had a theme – there’s so much negativity, so we wanted to be more positive. That’s what Any Given Day has been all about. There’s a lot of songs where the theme is pushing yourself through, and we wanted to do that with Limitless. But at the same time, we didn’t want to limit ourselves. We didn’t start writing thinking, “ok, we have to do another metalcore album now” or something like that.
We just naturally wrote what we wanted to write – it came out authentically. I think that is a great jump forward or a push to higher levels, because there are a lot of bands who just want to go into one direction. But I think there are a lot of other bands who just do what they want. Those are the bands where you can feel something in their music. I think that was our approach in this album. We didn’t’ want to limit ourselves to categories and boundaries, and it was a good starting point for us to get better and more diverse.
Dead Rhetoric: Talk about the collaboration with Annisokay on “H.A.T.E.” I think it’s a really cool combination compared to having just one person guest on a song.
Golinski: It’s totally different than what you normally see, and that was the point. We wanted to bring both styles of both bands together in one song. We wanted to take the brutalness of Any Given Day and the quieter parts of a chorus from Annisokay, and we think it fit perfectly as it came out. People seem to feel the same, so we did it right with this collaboration.
Stiller: There’s actually a funny story to this collaboration. Any Given Day and Annisokay are both German bands who have been around for like 10-12 years and we haven’t really done anything together. We didn’t play the same shows or festivals, or stuff like that. People actually thought we couldn’t stand each other! But our guitarist Andy [Posdziech] who is our studio guy and songwriting, and Annisokay’s guitarist Christoph [Wieczorek], they actually have been in touch because sometimes Christoph sometimes does mastering for some songs. So after some talking, they just came to the idea of why the two bands hadn’t done anything before. So they decided on this idea. So there was some brainstorming and a songwriting session that came about, and instead of just doing a vocalist feature, everyone decided that it would be cool if we did a full band collaboration.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts about the German metalcore scene? At this point, I can rattle off more than a handful of bands that play in that style. It’s more unique than what you get from the American scene.
Stiller: I think the German market is smaller, since Germany is a small country compared to the US, but I think the reason why there isn’t so many bigger German bands is because we have a big underground scene. There’s a lot of underground hard rock, progressive, metalcore, and djent bands but somehow no one makes it out of their local status. No one really knows how to do the business, since everyone wants to make music without committing to social media, or to spend the money for videos or management.
Sometimes you just have to invest. It’s hard. The mainstream part of the metalcore scene is in America and England. There’s not too many German bands that have made it out of here, outside of bands like Electric Callboy. I think they are a good role model though, because they have taught us that it’s possible. You can see that you can achieve something, and that gives a lot of hope.
Dead Rhetoric: You hit your 10 year anniversary as a band last year. How do you feel that your thoughts on music have changed since the band first started?
Golinski: I don’t think there were too many changes in the last ten years, just because we started as a project with only friends. We didn’t come together to create music so much as hanging out with friends and creating the music we liked. That’s why we started and it hasn’t changed much. We just stay up partying together and creating music we love. But we all grew up and have played so many shows in the last ten years. We have done more than 300 shows, and that changes you, but the main reason we do this hasn’t changed.
Dead Rhetoric: With that 10 year mark, you did a cover of Rhianna’s “Diamonds” – do you feel that helped get you off the ground so to speak?
Golinski: Yeah, absolutely. When you look at YouTube, there are 15 million plays on that video. It helped us a lot to start, to get into the market, and to play festivals. We got some opportunities to do some big German festivals after the song came out. We never regret doing that cover.
Stiller: Speaking from the outsider point of view, because I came to the band in 2019, when they released the Rhianna cover, I was in like 10 grade, and it went viral after one day. All the platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and stuff, it was full of it. They had like 100,000 views in like a day. For the time, that was huge. Everyone knew it. You didn’t even have to be in the metalcore scene to know it – everyone just knew it. That was around the time I first heard of them, and ever since then I have seen them on tour posters. I think the band had a great starting point with the Rhianna cover.
Dead Rhetoric: Could you talk about your work ethic and how it ties into the song “Get That Done?”
Golinski: Get that Done is a motto for the band. We always come together before the show and yell it in German. We have said it since the beginning of the band. We really wanted to make a song with the motto because we think you should get it done. Don’t talk much, just do it.
Stiller: It’s funny because when I came into the band, as Micha said, we always would shout it. Last year, our songwriter Andy realized we hadn’t done a ‘get that done’ song, so they did it. I think it represents what the band stands for and our mindsets very well.
Dead Rhetoric: Lots of metal bands focus on a more negative lyrical outlook. What’s rewarding about going with a more positive one?
Stiller: First things first, I think when you have the metalcore scene, 95% of bands write about more negative stuff. It’s more natural, because most of us aren’t as healthy or sane in that frame of mind [laughs]. I can understand it. You are always stressed with your job, family, or town – there’s always shit going on in the world. It’s ok to rant and scream and let the negativity flow out of your body. In Any Given Day, even in the past, most of the songs were about positivity, and somehow around COVID and the Ukraine war and all this, we just learned and saw it in bands like Electric Callboy.
A lot of people cope with negativity in their day – they don’t want more negativity anymore. They want something that gives them hope and makes them feel like they can be a part of it. We just want to give people what they need, or at least get them out of the downward spiral of negativity. You can see it in bands that are doing more positivity – bands like Electric Callboy are a good example. They make music that makes people laugh or are fun. Everyone can hear it and feel better, or they party hard. That’s what we wanted to do.
A big part of that is that we love the community and want to be positive. That’s why we shot our last video with people from the community. We just wanted to do something positive that gets maybe one person who feels alone who hears the music to not feel so alone anymore. That they can pull themselves together and push through and do something amazing.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you hear from fans more on that aspect? Like, “Your song really helped me,” kind of a thing?
Golinski: In the last few years, we have gotten more messages like that, or “you’ve saved my life with your music.” Those messages where people pull out their hearts and tell them what you have done for them as a band, there’s a tear that runs down your cheek and you know why you are doing it. We’ve gotten a lot of those types of messages and it helps us write this music. I think it’s good that we are going with positive music instead of the bad vibes.
Stiller: You can just check the YouTube comments on “Winds of Change” when the Ukraine War was on the peak in the media and we wanted to contribute something to make more awareness of the war, and the difficulties there. Ukrainians did a lot of comments on the video, and I’ve heard the song was even on the radio, which is crazy. On the more recent songs, some people say “I was in a bad mood, but now I want to go to the gym.” People get a lot of help from this type of music that lifts them up. It’s something we are really thankful for.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your plans for 2024?
Golinski: The album is out on January 26 and five days later we will be on tour. We will have a little European tour which will go for about 3 weeks. The last tour we did is now 4 years ago, so we are really looking forward to it. After that, festivals will come in the summer. Then we have many plans for the rest of the year, but it’s not planned out yet. We are hoping for some more shows for the end of the year.
Stiller: We tried to get more international, so we are doing more international festivals. We have one in Spain, and we have been asked in other countries. We have been talking about a UK plan. We want to tour America too, but the odds are a bit difficult. It’s expensive as hell. But there are a lot of bands who have come over to the US from Germany. Even if they don’t make a lot of profit, but they are still amazed because they get a great welcome. For me, it was always a big dream to tour the US and we are thinking about ways to make that possible now. We can’t say it will happen in 2024 or 2025 but we are going to try.