Interview w/ AntiQuark (San Diego, CA)
AntiQuark, originally from Torino, Italy, are a unique blend of electronic and techno founded by keyboardist, Ant Dakini in 2001 and then further developed in 2006 as vocalist Sergio O then joined.
In 2009 they released SkyDancer and also recorded a song for a popular Italian 80’s synthpop band, Krisma. AntiQuark has also been featured in many compilations and have been remixed by international producers such as Marc Urselli, Chris Reynolds (Red Flag), Steve Morell (PaleMusic, Germany), Giulio Maddaloni, The Moscow Coup Attempt, and more.
Sharing the stage with such acts as Godhead, Orgy, Pigface, Red Flag, and others, AntiQuark has produced 5 albums in total and besides touring the U.S. and Mexico, they’ve also toured Europe 6 times and have performed at music festivals such as MTV Tr3s, Fe/Male at Forte Prenestino in Rome, GieBerstrabe 16 in Liepzig, Germany, San Diego Pride and LadyFest in Las Vegas.
In the past they have been compared to such acts as Depeche Mode, NIN, Dead Can Dance, New Order, and Skinny Puppy.
See them live:
JAN. 1 @ Dream Street in San Diego, CA
JAN. 2 @ the Del Mar Fair in Del Mar, CA
ANTIQUARK INTERVIEW / POST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC UNDERGROUND 12/26/09
By G. Cataline
PAMU: Hi Ant and Sergio! Wow, it’s nice to see you are still performing Ant,
as I remember you from earlier in 2001… When did you meet up with singer,
Sergio O., and how would you say your art and music has changed or evolved now that you are a duo?
Ant: Sergio has been part of the band since 2007. The band has certainly changed in a more professional & ecletic direction. Thanks to Sergio’s great abilities.
Sergio: I answered Ant’s ad (looking for a singer) in January of 2007. I’d never really sung to electronic music before and Ant never had a metal/rocker-type singing for this group. At first I thought she would write me off since the only voice-samples I could send were from the metal band I had previously worked with.
PAMU: Have you lived in San Diego all this time, since 2001?
Ant: Yes – back & forth between here and Europe.
Sergio: I had only moved to San Diego in the Fall of 2006 from Ventura, CA. I’d been in Ventura for 3 years singing/recording with Divine Right of Kings. I moved to Los Angeles from Texas in 2002.
PAMU: Ofcourse, you’ve toured and performed at numerous events even outside the states – What has been some of your most memorable experiences while touring and performing overseas, and outside of San Diego?
Ant: Festival Forte Prenestino in Rome – in front of 2,000 people – in an old, WWI barracks that is now a famous squat. We didn’t even start playing until 2AM!
Sergio:In Liepzig, Germany. That was fantastic – a couple of hundred people – everyone of them dancing to our music. We came on right after a thrash/death-metal band from Brazil and they’d torn up the place – the crowd loved them. I thought everyone would just leave or tear us to pieces, but they immediately adjusted to our sound and suddenly we were bouncing the whole place.
PAMU: Is “Electronica” the best label for your music, or do you stray far from that genre? For example, do you ever write just straight rock or folk, etc.?
Ant: Electronica is good enough. Since a big part of our sound is made with computers & synthesizers.
Sergio: What I saw about going ‘electronic’ was that I wouldn’t lose anything. Because ANYTHING can be put into electronic music. Heavier sounds from Nitzer Ebb, Skinny Puppy & NIN are as much ‘electronic’ as Depeche Mode, VNV Nation & Kraftwerk – and I dig all that stuff.
PAMU: Tell us about any upcoming tours you have booked.
Ant: Our manager is working on booking our next European tour.
PAMU: Sergio, how does your project “Divine Right Of Kings” differ from work with AntiQuark?
Sergio: Well, DRoK was a Zeppelin-Dream Theater-progressive-metal-ballad-thing. We recorded an album in English & then in Spanish and it was going to be a powerful, live, ARENA act. Big rock-guitars, big live-drums, huge GeddyLee-BASS & Ozzy-S.Bach vocals. I and the 2 other guys laid down the tracks with producer Z Morse. All the musicians involved were really good and already quite accomplished studio-guns, but then they weren’t going to take another step until they were paid. So the live act never happened. With AntiQuark, I met Ant, within a few days started writing stuff, recorded it, and within 2 months was onstage in Germany performing. The difference between 3 years with DRoK and the first 3 months with AntiQuark was like ice & lava.
PAMU: What is AntiQuark’s overall objective? What do you strive to communicate in the music of AntiQuark?
Ant: The main goal is to write good music that people can enjoy & dance to.
Sergio: To compose & record as much music as possible, to perform/present it in as many different places as possible. I suppose for me personally it’s important to communicate how elastic music can be since I’ve never sung to this kind of music before and it seems to work.
PAMU: What do you have in the way of video, and who helps you with video?
Ant: In some of our live-shows we use projections from the sci-fi movie, Litorra (by Marc Sokolowski) that I scored the soundtrack for. For the future, we will be collaborating with Bret Barrett, an amazing artist who does multi-media art & sculpture. Also, we will be working with Elle Gamboa, an eclectic photographer & film-maker, to make several videos.
Sergio: My brother, Gabriel Ordonez, is a video-editor who works in Los Angeles. He recorded several of our live shows in L.A. and is compiling together a live DVD of AntiQuark.
PAMU: What are your goals for the coming new year?
Ant: To finish a new album, tour Europe, Mexico, & the U.S. and reach more people with our music. To develop a new & more intense live-show with more lights & more video-installations.
Sergio: Yes, all those things that Ant mentioned.
PAMU: Are you happy with the way that the media covers you? And where else can we learn more about AntiQuark?
Sergio: Not being a part of the corporate machine makes it harder to get on the radio or get your videos on television, but the internet/global community certainly makes things more possible than ever before. Independent magazines have been very supportive.
Ant: On the internet you can check some of our stuff or talk to us at: www.myspace.com/antiquark,
PAMU: Giulio is a good friend of ours. How did you meet up with him, and what do you have recorded with him thus far?
Ant: Giulio Maddaloni is an amazing producer from Italy. We met through the internet and immediately became great friends. We met him in person in Naples, Italy, during our last tour. He did a number of remixes for us. Two of them (The Man from Mars remix & Shameless remix) are on our latest CD, SkyDancer.
PAMU: Ant, when did you move from Italy to the U.S.?
Ant: March 12, 1997.
PAMU: Are you happy in San Diego, and if so, what is it that keeps you in San Diego?
Ant: I’m all right in San Diego. It’s not really a happening place. But the weather is nice and it’s
Sergio: I actually moved down here 3 years ago from L.A. to be closer to my family, and then meeting Ant made the move double-plus-good.
PAMU: What else do the both of you do besides work with AntiQuark – What do you both do for a living, passtime, etc.?
Ant: When I don’t do music I work as a shark-biologist. I’m striving to bring more awareness about ecology & preservation of the planet. In the little free time I have, I keep my body in shape thru yoga, fitness and macrobiotic nutrition. I have a big passion for dogs, I love spending time with my dog, helping shelters and associations that rescue animals.
Sergio: You know I actually have written 10 times as much poetry & prose than all the music I’ve ever composed. I’ll publish a group of books in the future. I read too much, I’m a movie-bum, a solitary bedroom-hermit. I write more & more and sing along to CDs & walls all the time. Perpetually finishing production ideas on the computer; I research all kinds of music, bands & their histories, and nap all the time. I hang out with my nieces & nephews more than any adults (except Ant of course). Sometimes I fantasize about exposing all the U.S. powermen of this first decade in such a way that the public could no longer find any doubt about how badly they damaged this country – and make them personally pay back all the taxpayer-money they stole for their “wildy stupid” (Time magazine) ideas in ‘protecting’ the American people.
PAMU: What last words do you have for your fans and/or those who may be interested in your music?
Ant: Check us out! Come to our shows!
ORIGINAL INTERVIEW at MUEN MAGAZINE
December 28, 2009 – Monday