According to Robert Moulding, guitarist and frontman for Sydney-based band Anubis, the prog rock classification sits very comfortably on their collective shoulders, but he feels that they have something different and a little more contemporary to offer lovers of progressive music across the globe.
“I guess it was a conscious decision to mix classic progressive rock with the modern ideas of alternative and experimental music,” Moulding explains. “There’s no denying it’s progressive rock: we would never shy away from that tag and we’re not afraid to use it. But we try to draw on other influences. It’s a melting pot of the modern and the idea of progressive rock from the 70s.”
He feels that it is this patchwork of influences, as well as certain sound sources that the band utilise, that provide Anubis with a point of distinction from other bands on the prog scene. “I think what sets us apart, and what I think other bands might say about us, is that while we have metal elements, it’s not the core sound,” he says. “A lot of our sound is far more classic rock. And a lot of our sound comes from keyboards.”
After more than a decade together, the band’s music and stunning live shows have attained them cult legend status in their home country, and saw them selected for quite a prestigious festival headlining gig in 2015. “I’d say our strongest and most surprising achievement was actually getting overseas,” Moulding states. “It was kind of a shock to be offered a headline slot on a festival called Prog The Castle at Heidelberg Castle [Germany]. We received the offer, and we just went along. We booked a mini-tour just off our own backs, in Germany, into The Netherlands and over to London.”
The band have been a little off the radar as far as their public profile is concerned over the last year or so, although behind the scenes they have been far from idle. They have spent that time preparing their fourth record, which will definitely surface some time this year and they plan to head out on the road in support.
“It’s a slow burn, and we’re keeping it cool now, but we’ve got a new album coming out pretty soon,” Moulding reveals, “and that will tip off what we do as far as touring locally goes. And going over to Europe again is another goal of ours, that will entail us getting on to some of the big prog festivals over there.”
Now over a decade into the band’s career, Moulding is very confident that Anubis have plenty of juice left in the tank yet. “All of us are in a position now where we’re comfortable with where we’re at,” he states assuredly. “No one’s looking to leave, it’s not imposing on anyone’s lives. Everyone has a life, and this band is kind of like a side project to our lives. The music industry would really need to change back to the way it was, and be beneficial to the artist, for that to change. We’re just in that mode where we write a record, record the record, go on tour, and then move onto the next one. So we could be doing this for the next 10-20 years.”
Line Up: Robert Moulding (guitars, lead vocals), Douglas Skene (guitars, vocals), Dean Bennison (guitar, vocals), Anthony Stewart (bass, vocals), Steven Eaton (drums, vocals), Dave Eaton (keyboards, vocals)
Sounds Like: Classic prog with indie and post-rock vibes
Current Release: The Second Hand is due for release in May