ANFO were formed in 2013 and its members have served the Greek underground punk rock scene for a long time. As ANFO they take some steps further from the genre of punk, playing a – still revolutionary – rock n’ roll. On December 22nd they perform live at ILION Plus,in Athens, sharing the stage with The Dismissers.
Your debut LP includes 4 tracks which are lyrically to the point. For those who are not aware, which are the main themes ANFO are dealing with?
ANFO are everyday working class people. We are making songs as a way to make a psychoanalysis that helps us to stay sane in a country that’s hit by the crisis and in a world that’s falling in fascist regime. Also our music is a weapon, an act of resistance and an effort to inspire people to stand up and steel back their lives. The themes include whatever trouble us, or got our attention, and whatever triggers our feelings. We are a punk rock band and one of the first things that makes somebody play this form of rock n roll, is that the lyrics are more attached to reality and everyday life and anger is the main drive.
The LP was distributed by B-otherside Records and Scarecrow Records with the support of punk.gr. It’s all a DIY thing and if I’m not wrong it’s something new for the particular scene. Is it a result of how people are getting their music out today?
DIY in punk rock music is a very common way, actually its bound in the birth of punk. For us and for the majority of punk bands in Greece this is the usual thing. It gives us a total freedom of expression.
The Greek language has, so far, worked successfully in punk. Which are the criteria for the choice of language?
All native languages, especially in the 80’s, worked successfully in the punk scene of many countries. ANFO are a Greek crisis era punk rock/rock n roll band so we had the agony to make our statements clear to the rest of the world, pointing to them that Greece is just an experiment and that they will be the next in line, to do so English was the language that served this need better. It was a kind of Bauhaus decision, “the form must serve the purpose”.
You have been involved as musicians for many years now. What has changed and what is still the same?
The principles of creation can’t and will never change cause they are fundamental functions of the human brain. But the tools that are now offered by the new technologies has made the procedure easier and cheaper (rehearsals, recordings, home practice, internet communication etc). Also the amount of information that is now available is vast so the audience is easier informed and all the new musical movements or forms spread immediately worldwide. This is on the other side a problem too because no one can really handle so much information and many great bands will never be heard. Art in general since the beginning of history was always one of the first things that adjust and that uses the edge of technology of its time. The difference is only the technology of the tools to make music and of the tools that are used to spread information. We keep doing what we love, its just easier nowadays. Many will criticize the airways and how the market uses technology to make things mainstream or not, but this was always like this. In a capitalistic world, people become manipulated consumers through the media. Its just the size of the media that has changed and the transmission speed of the information that is “shared”.
Can music be a wake-up call, or is it just a way to express what someone already knows?
Music is not a political manifest, but like every kind of art, it’s always there in revolutions, resistance and historical changes. Art is usually inspiring movements, art is educating, art is transmitting ideas in a form that can be understand by common people. It’s both. It can send out very bold immediate messages to the masses, it can express the social subconscious, it can plant seeds of big changes in a society, it can make different cultures to communicate and mix. Its everything life can do because its woven in the texture of human nature, it’s a way of communication without limits. That’s why it’s dangerous for any system, and that’s why it always was hunted down by the power in every historic dark age.
Do you find the same spirit as yours in the younger generations (both musicians and audience)?
Yes. The forms of expression may change, the trends or the sound, but the spirit is the same. Actually the need and the reason to create music and play music, or just listen to music, join in concerts or dance is the same. Its DNA.
When can we expect new material from ANFO?
7 songs are now in final mastering procedure, and we are already writing a lot of new songs. There have been 2 members changes from the beginning of the band, and this brought new energy and ideas in the band. We are in a very productive timing.
On December 22nd you perform at ILION Plus with The Dismissers, who I guess you know each other very well. Is there a chance to play something from the past?
No. We like to live here and now. Songs from the past is something I personally (Sotiris) do only in jams or in some very rare occasions but not with this band. The band has three other members, plus me, and the way of expression of this band is what we write together. It’s not a “personal band”, it’s a personality by its own called “ANFO”.
Thank you for your time! Add anything you wish to close this interview
Demand everything, just don’t be miserable when you’re not getting it.