Formed in 1997, the United Kingdom’s Antimatter is a melancholic rock band masterminded by founder Mick Moss. The band’s latest full-length studio CD is titled Fear of a Unique Identity. Take Five secured an interview with Moss, who has the following to report.
Please introduce the readers to your band and explain in general your musical approach.
Mick Moss: “Antimatter is a UK dark alternative rock band that has many elements to the sound. The musical approach is ever-changing, though a certain moodiness does tend to stay constant."
Tell me about your new full-length studio CD, Fear of a Unique Identity. What can listeners expect to experience?
Mick Moss: “Fear of a Unique Identity is the fifth album in the Antimatter canon, and being my latest work it is of course the one I am proudest of. I feel it contains the most elements that tick the box personally for me. What people can expect to experience, that will differ from person to person, I can’t even begin to speculate!”
Is Fear of a Unique Identity a concept album, or would it be better to say that it is a theme album, one that explores one key idea? Please elaborate on the lyrical approach you took in Fear of a Unique Identity.
Mick Moss: “The whole concept of the album deals with the individual’s desperation to fit in with the masses. And also the dangers of doing this if the masses are on the wrong path spiritually and ideologically. Going with the flow. Selling your identity in order to blend in. Urban role-play. Being afraid to speak up against the majority . . . the self-imposed pressure in the individual to conform to their perception of the masses as they feel like a freak, or there’s something wrong with them, if they’re ‘different’.
“I believe there is a trade-off between someone’s uniqueness in character and what they see as the accepted standard in order to avoid drawing negative attention to themselves. Specifically, I look at the dangers of mindless conformity if the standard that is being conformed to is actually malignant. Personally, I’ve always felt different but never felt like conforming to anybody’s standard. I’m stubborn like that.
“The lyric ‘I’ve never been moved to sell myself’ from 2007’s ‘Another Face in a Window’ says just that, and in fact refers to the exact same pressure I’m talking about in this album. I see a lot of people smudging the lines between themselves and the collective. There’s a lot of role-play going on.”
Looking back to 2001’s Savior, how would you say Antimatter has progressed to today? What things do you like about this progression? What things would you say need improvement?
Mick Moss: “Each album has brought to the forefront different facets of the Antimatter sound, which is itself also in a state of constant evolution. It’s almost impossible for me to comment on the progression itself as it is in constant flux. As a songwriter, I have matured over the years, and my restlessness with the frame within I work has resulted in the arrangements becoming more progressive, especially on Fear of a Unique Identity. This is a change that occurred naturally, but who knows, maybe on the next album I will react against progressive arrangements and make my set of songs tighter and more to the point. I guess each album strives to bring something new to the mix, there is no point making the same album twice, there’s no challenge or excitement in that. As for improvement, that comes with each album and is, again, completely subjective.”
Tell me about your label Music In Stone, which you founded in 2008. What types of bands do you work with? Which band right now would you say is worth receiving some attention from listeners?
Mick Moss: “Music In Stone has been very quiet lately, I didn’t like the amount of parasites and thieves that running a label forced me to deal with. Honestly, I don’t know what it is about the music business. I guess it’s because it’s an elusive yet potentially lucrative machine. There’s so much desperation in there, and this awful business of people befriending people just to try and suck off a piece of what they’ve achieved. Plus, there’s a load of lazy bastards, as well as conmen, and people who are plain bad at business. It’s a minefield. I’ll keep my dealings with ‘the biz’ down to just looking after Antimatter in the future. So, my label is there if I want to release a single online or do a limited run of a CD or whatever. I’ll try and be a bit savvier about the type of person I deal with from now on. I had a period in between contracts where I was considering putting the album out on my own label, but that would just have took up all of my time. I’m a writer and musician first and foremost, and the administration of a record label is a full time job in itself.”