In 2014, Sydney’s cinematic prog rock sextet Anubis released “Hitchhiking To Byzantium,” an album that was very well received and which was listed as one of the best Prog releases of the year. Following its release, the group embarked on tours around Australia and Europe promoting the album live as much as possible, and expanding their fanbase along the way. As a result of that Anubis released a live album titled “Behind our Eyes.” Now, almost three years later, the Australians return with their fourth full-length record “The Second Hand,” their best yet.
Singer, guitarist and producer Dean Bennison spoke for Progarchy about Anubis in 2017, the new album, and future.
Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?
Life is good. Very good. We have a new album that’s just come out. It’s nice to have finished all that hard work and see it go out into the world.
Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “The Second Hand”?
Well for starters, it’s a return to a narrative driven concept album. There were some people who expressed a bit of disappointment that our last album “Hitchhiking to Byzantium” didn’t have the narrative style of our previous albums, so I think those people will be happy to see we’ve returned to that format. It wasn’t a conscious decision though, it’s just that the themes that we wanted to explore were best served by going back to that format.
Musically though, I think this is probably the most diverse album we’ve made. We’ve used a broader range of sounds, and created a more dynamic album this time. I think people who liked our previous work will still find it recognizably us, but we’ve branched out quite a bit, so it’s still Anubis, but not quite as you’ve heard us before.
What was it like working on the album?
I sent a message to the other guys in the band shortly before the album was released, and told them that this was the most enjoyable album for me to make since our first album, “230503”.
We really worked well as a unit this time around, and it couldn’t have been a better experience making a record.
Are there any touring plans in support to “The Second Hand”?
Yes, but it’s early days in the planning. We’re going to do a few shows here at home in Australia this year, and the plan at this stage is to return to Europe in 2018.
While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?
After playing in Europe (Germany, Netherlands & UK) last year, we really can’t wait to get back there. We’d love to see more of Europe next time. We know there are quite a few fans in France & Belgium who keep telling us they want us to play there, so they would certainly be high on our list.
Who and what inspires you the most?
For me personally, first and foremost would be my wife and family.
I’m very lucky to have a loving and supportive family. Watching our young children as they grow is an endless source of inspiration. Not to mention the fact that my wife is also an amazing singer and songwriter, she is always inspiring.
Of course, the next source of inspiration for me would have to be the other members of Anubis. It’s a real privilege to play with such amazing musicians, who all happen to be great friends as well.
What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?
I’m a big fan of well crafted pop-rock. I’ve always been a big Beatles fan, and I’m a fan of anything Neil Finn has ever been a part of. In fact, I’ve always felt that prog music is at it’s best when it uses some of the more Beatle-esque, pop-melodic style elements as a way of drawing the listener in to the more atmospheric and complex elements of prog.
I’m not a fan of complexity for the sake of complexity. I think that music has to be accessible.
I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?
Well thank you as well.
I’d really like to thank everyone who has taken the time to listen to our music, and especially to everyone who has already bought the new album. We’ve been so overwhelmed with the response. We feel very lucky to be able to do what we do.