Hailing from the same country that has produced such bands as Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral for Friend, Skindred and many others, I caught up with Leon and Steve from Death Metal group Anterior to discuss the release of their new album and the guys themselves.

R13: So, in your opinion is Wales the best place to come from in the music industry?
Steve: Wales is a really good place to be in a band, there is a really strong metal scene here. There are some really great bands and everyone knows each other and is always willing to help out if you are ever stuck for anything, whether it be gear, floor space to sleep if you are touring or even having to borrow a drummer!
Leon: Yeah it's as good as any really, at the end of the day it's who you're in the band with that really counts.

R13: What is the meaning behind the band name Anterior?
Steve: Well technically it means to be at the forefront of something but the truth is from what I've heard that the boys were absolutely out of their mind drunk and randomly pointed a word out of the dictionary.
Leon: No Comment :)

R13: How did it feel to sign to Metal Blade Records that has such bands as- As I Lay Dying, Amon Amarth and Whitechapel on their lists?
Leon: We were thrilled to sign with Metal Blade as they have a lot of great bands and a history of success in this genre. When we first signed we basically went straight out on a tour with Black Dahlia Murder which was just the catalyst we needed to help us achieve more recognition within the UK. Also, they stuck by us when we had some down time due to line up changes and other problems, so we will always be grateful for that.

R13: Did you ever think, that when you first started the band as a bunch of teenagers back in 2003 you would ever come this far?
Steve: I think you have to dream big in order to get big. If there's no belief in what you can do you'll never achieve anything.
Leon: Yeah, deep down everyone of us believed we could make it, but it obviously takes a lot of hard work. We always believed we had something special and were different to any of the other bands around in our area. We played the music we wanted to play, not what was cool or trendy. I think that's part of the reason why we've been successful, we've stuck to our guns and played what comes naturally to us.

R13: When did you first realise that Anterior was hitting the big time?
Steve: It's weird because when you look back at where we were 2 years ago we have obviously done a lot since then but it's like a progression, your always waiting for the next big opportunity or the next bit of big news. Like a week ago we found out that we had been confirmed as main support to Lazarus AD on their Japanese tour in November. It's somewhere we have always dreamed of playing and if it wasn't for all the hard work and progress over the years then we would not have had this opportunity.

R13: Were you pleased with how much positive response you got from the release of 'This Age of Silence'?
Leon: Of course, it always makes you smile when you read a review and someone has loved the album. It drives you on to keep doing what you are doing and makes the whole experience of being in a band worthwhile. Personally I was really pleased with the way it turned out and I can still listen to it today and feel proud of what we created.
Steve: Yeah it's a great album and I still love playing loads of the tracks live, none of them have become tedious to play, well not yet anyway.

R13: Are there any countries you have not yet toured but would like to?
Steve: We would love to go to the States. As of yet we have not been there but it's at the top of our to do list. We have a lot of fans over there that are constantly asking us to come over so hopefully in the new year we can make this request a reality.

R13: In February 2008 you completed a five day Indian tour where you headlined "Avalanche" the rock show at Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology in New Delhi, how was that?
Steve: India was amazing, everyone loved us and we met some really nice people that we are still friends with and talk to all the time. People always ask us if they like that sort of music out there, and I can honestly say that they absolutely love it. It's a shame because not many metal bands tour India, it was almost as if they were desperate for it and and they all went bonkers when we played.
Leon: Amazing experience and some of the most friendly people I've ever met. And they LOVE metal. I think all of us are looking forward to go back, hopefully we can get back out there in the new year.

R13: What inspires you as musicians?
Steve: Many things inspire us to play and write music. It can be anything from a song you heard on the radio to movie scores or other bands that we have played with. We find quite often that when we tour with bands their style rubs off on you ever so slightly and you end up incorporating some of that into your own playing.
Leon: Same for me really, music is my biggest influence to write music. I really enjoy Live DVD's and whenever I watch one I always want to pick up the guitar and start jamming or writing a new song. It helps remind me of what I love to do and it reminds you of that buzz you get from playing live.

R13: You went from a four piece to a five piece line-up, has this helped your music progress in any way?
Leon: Yeah definitely, we gained another great guitar player in Steve which made us more dynamic as a band. He brought a lot of his own ideas to the table for the new tracks and it really helped us evolve. The music has become more complex and accomplished as we don't have to worry about technical limitations and Luke can concentrate on just doing vocals without having to play guitar at the same time. Sometimes back in the day we would have to slightly alter riffs so Luke could play and do vocals. You can also work out more complex vocal patterns going against the riffs and creating their own part of the music. So nothing but good come from it.

R13: Last month, you released your second album 'Echoes of The Fallen' do you feel that your music has changed or matured in anyway since the release of 'This Age of Silence'?
Leon: Our music changed since This Age Of Silence mainly due to the fact that we have all grew and matured as musicians. Now it is much more about the song and writing hooks that will stick in people's heads after they come away from the gigs. We don't have a strict formula that we write with, we just write what comes naturally to us and whatever sounds good. It comes from the heart and there's nothing contrived about Anterior, we're not trying to sound like somebody we're not. Obviously Steve has brought a bit of his style into the songs but it still sounds like Anterior. I think the vocals developed a great deal too, way more attention was payed to creating melodies and really hooky vocals.
Steve: We've definitely kept the same style and core things that make Anterior, Anterior We're all more grown up with more experience in the music industry and we realise it's all about writing great songs and that's what we set out to do with "Echoes..."

R13: You've got a few more shows in the UK in the next few weeks or so, are there any that you're particularly looking forward to the most?
Steve: We are looking forward to the whole tour but would have to say that there are key cities that we always love playing, such as Glasgow, Manchester and London. It's always nice going to these places where people have loved us before because you know you are going to have a good show. It gives you an amazing buzz when you see fans loving the songs and going absolutely crazy. Reminds you of why you do what you do!

R13: What's next on Anterior's to-do list after your UK tour?
Steve: World domination!
Leon: After the UK and Japan tours we are going to shoot a video for a track from the new album. We are also in the process of recording instructional videos for the new tracks so people can have the chance to learn them for themselves. Other than that we just want to get out and play for as many of our fans as possible and hopefully get over the the states in the new year.