Exclusive Interview: Archnemesis – Cosmic Campout Series

Recently, Sensible Reason sat down with Archnemesis, to talk about the upcoming festival season, their upcoming EP and more. Archnemesis’s next festival appearance will be Cosmic Campout in Gore, Virginia with Damn Right! and Bassdread; you can find tickets and information for Cosmic Campout, here.


What festivals are we most excited about playing this summer?

We’re excited about all of them! Festivals are always a special thing, whether they’re the big ones or the small ones. There’s something different about a festival from a club or theatre show. Just playing outdoors is always different. Hangout was a lot of fun last weekend, and we’re definitely looking forward to Bisco, Impulse and of course Cosmic Campout!!!


What acts are we excited about catching while touring?

It’s hard to catch other acts while we’re out on tour since it’s a constant moving machine, but when we can we really try to support our friends out on tour. It’s easier at festivals obviously, since we’re all in the same place, but we’ll run into our friends out on the road from time to time, and do our best to support them at their shows.


What is the biggest difference between playing a large festival and a small one? Which do you like better and why?

There are obviously more people at the bigger festivals, and that always gets rowdy, but the smaller ones can be just as fun. The intimacy of the smaller ones always creates a certain energy that the big ones can’t, but the big ones are just massive amounts of people, and that’s something the smaller ones just can’t compete with. We enjoy playing both equally though. People are people and if they’re feeling us, it doesn’t matter if it’s 1000 or 10, 000.


Can you explain your method a bit? How much is it the two of your interacting spontaneously on stage and how much is predetermined?

It’s a combination of both. We obviously don’t have a physical drummer on stage but you hear drums so those are pre-determined, and the overall song structures are mostly pre-determined too, but we allow ourselves the freedom to be able to improvise within these structured forms. Outside of the live playing we’re doing on the keyboards, we break up the samples and triggers between us and are able to use them live as we choose within the structured forms.

Along that same line do you each have something specific that is designated “your” part in a song to do? If so how do you decide it?

Not really. We just figure out what works for each song and how to divide it between us.

How much of your music comes from collaboration between the two of you? Are there times when one of you will make a track and not want a lot of alternative input or are you guys always up for mixing and sharing styles?

It’s a mix of both. There are many songs where it’s one of us writing the majority of it and then coming together at the end to finish it up, and there are others where it’s more collaboration. We do all of the mixing and mastering together to have more than one set of ears on things, but we think it’s a pretty good system.


Do you each have very different musical beginnings and influences or are you more or less cut from the same music cloth?

We’re both classically trained musicians (cello and piano) and both studied jazz at College of Charleston and The University of North Carolina-Asheville respectively. As far as influences, we both listen to pretty much everything, and respect most music. There’s so much music out there and in all genres so much amazingly produced music that we take tips from it all, and try to take things from each style to make our music better.


When are you at the peak of your creativity? In the morning when you just woke up, when you haven’t slept for days, right after a run, or really any time that just feels right?

There’s no set time for creativity. Whenever it strikes. You can’t force it.

What’s next for Archnemesis, a new album, EP, more relentless touring or maybe a combination?

We’ll finish up this summer with some other festivals and weekend runs before rolling into the fall. We have another EP/LP scheduled for a September 4th release, and will tour heavily to support it. We’re going to be releasing a teaser track or two and the album artwork over the next couple months to hype the release, and we can’t wait to see everybody out on the road again this fall!


You can download all of Archnemesis’ music for free here.

Greg Sarafan

Greg Sarafan founded Greg Sarafan’s Sensible Reason in 2007. He started blogging for HeadCount in January 2011. Soon after he organized and ran a small but successful charity festival called Binghamtronica to benefit HeadCount and OxFam America. He is a Team Leader in NYC as well as Artist Relations representative for HeadCount. Greg has BAs in political science and art history from Binghamton University. Greg has a J.D. as well as a Certificate in Intelectual Property, Media and Privacy from Brooklyn Law School . Greg also volunteers for OxFam America as a Concert Outreach Coordinator. In 2009 Greg presented his theory of Artistic Stylistic Transmission in the Royal Mughal Atelier at an art history symposium at Ohio State University.

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