Chris- Cryptivore/Bone Marrow
Chris Anning is the guitarist for Bone Marrow and the one man extremity project of Cryptivore. A staunch supporter of the extreme metal scene not only in Australia but worldwide, an obsession that led to label distribution and a devotion to all things heavy that began quite early;
“Probably like a lot of people I was exposed to music when I was very young in the 1980's and one of the first bands, I really obsessed over was AC/DC. The power, the catchiness really struck me early. that lead me onto buying Hot Metal and other mags which then in turn exposed me to the heavier side of things like Maiden, Metallica, Mortal Sin etc and it just snowballed from there always wanting something heavier and faster than I had heard before. My older brother, Peter, also had a big hand into exposing me to heavier music.
Favourite bands / albums starting out ?
“”As far as the extreme side of metal goes some important albums for me in those earlier years were Amorphis - The Karelian Isthmus, the first time I had heard melodies in death metal create such a grand atmosphere, Obituary - The End Complete, "Rotting Ways" was among the first death metal songs I had ever heard and has had a special place in my heart since. Dissection - The Sombrelain, my brother bought this album because Terrorizer magazine gave it a perfect score and we were not let down, I still have goose bumps when listening to this album. Misery - A Necessary Evil, this album still floors me and has always stood side by side with any international band at the time. the list could go on and on!
What goes into writing the perfect riff?
“If i sit down with my guitar and try to write a riff I’ll get writers block straight away. I have always just plugged in and played and if a good riff comes out of that it’s a bonus! I think you just have to let yourself go and see what comes out.”
Both bands have built up a following , How do you decide which riff , song goes with which band?
“With Cryptivore it is just me, the decision begin and end with me and no one else has a say which can be a positive and a negative thing at once. With Bone Marrow song writing is handled by all members and is usually written in the practise room. As far as deciding which riff for which band is something i have struggled with at times but i think the bands are different enough to get away with it!”
Both Bone Marrow and Cryptivore have debut albums on the way.
“The Cryptivore full length which is called "Celestial Extinction" has been a very long process as i have wanted it to be perfect and sometimes i think i'm too hard on myself. Most of the songs were written and recorded in 2019. I was hoping for a 2020 release but that maybe pushed back further now because of the pandemic. Bone Marrow planned to record the debut album early this year but with our vocalist and bass player now living in Melbourne flights and transport were not an option during this time. Hopefully we can really knuckle down and get the new songs extra tight before hitting the studio.”
One is death grind the other more Older school death, how can you tell them apart? And is it much more than that
“ Well yes it gets complicated. The Cryptivore demo was very grindcore influenced death metal but the full length is more straight forward death metal with thrash and grind influences. More proper riffs and variation compared to the demo. Bone Marrow also started out in a similar fashion with a healthy dose of grind influences. We have had a new vocalist and a second guitarist join the band which opens up a lot more areas to play with. Newer songs seem to be going in a very old school Finnish death metal direction.”
Is it harder as a solo musician or the band environment?
“Thats a tough question. As a full band i think it is harder but i think it is all very rewarding with everyone being on the same page and coming together as a whole unit. As a solo band it can be easier because you have no one else to answer to but then you do not have anyone else to challenge you as a musician. So it’s probably equals uot to 50/50 on both projects.”
What influences each band lyrically, stylistically and socially.
“With Cryptivore it’s pretty obvious that there is a strong Swedish Death Metal influence there which comes naturally for me growing up on those bands. But of course, a lot of other styles influence me as well especially the early 90's bands from Germany, Netherlands, France, and Finland. Lyrically for Cryptivore i don't really have any set styles of subjects i sing about. Lyric writing is definitely not something that comes naturally for me and is usually a very mentally exhausting process!”
Death metal and grind is still as important as 30+ years ago. why do you think it still so relevant?
“This was a hard question to answer and I can only give thoughts from my own perspective. Death metal and grindcore was always a release and escape from me since I started listening to it. Today I still feel exactly the same. The environment has definitely changed but the key elements that made this music so personal and unique is still all there.”
You've run a label started a fanzine and been deeply involved in the underground. What are the biggest changes you have noticed and why your passion is still so strong?
“It’s probably a cliché but the internet marked a huge change in metal (and music in general) whcih had both negative and positive impacts. of course, it is easier for bands to promote themselves now. You can easily find and underground band on the other side of the world in seconds now. For example, before the internet that same band could have been interviewed for a zine. Then that zine would be released 2 months later. Then another 2 months to get to Australia then possibly another 2 months waiting to receive demo from said band you heard about in the zine. These days especially with Bandcamp you can search for something new, listen and purchase demo within 60seconds if you wanted.
I originally started a label because it seemed very hard to get the underground releases I was after in Australia without having to pay the increasing cost of international shipping. At first, I was just buying stuff wholesale from labels that were not represented here and selling with pretty much no profit just so people could buy good music without having to pay a shitload buying overseas. Eventually I released a few things myself by bands like Sewercide, Cruciform, Horrified and Grotesque Deity. I had other releases in the pipeline but the bands either broke up after recording or just went silent. My passion was very real at the start, but it was taking away too much time from stuff I really wanted to do with my family and musical projects. Well the zine was very short lived and did not make it to press. Unfortunately, only the international bands replied to the interview questions and I thought it would be pointless not having any Aussie bands.”
Are there any new bands you are getting into?
“Of Course! I am always searching for new bands worldwide. There are a lot of people especially in the heavy music scene that believe all the good albums were released in the 80's and 90's and will not give any bands the time of day. I think that’s a really sad way to look at it. There’s a lot of great newer Aussie bands getting around I like, Puncture Wound from QLD who play a catchy brand of old school death metal, Rituals from Melbourne who have the mid 90's Swedish melodic death metal down pat, I have heard some of the songs from the upcoming Unbound album which is a very unique blend of metal and punk sounds but presented in a refreshing way. They are probably the one band in Brisbane trying to do something different. Other newer Aussie bands I am loving at the moment are The Plague, Contaminated, Gutless, Carcinoid, Faceless Burial, too many to list. Internationally it’s the same so much great new bands and new releases coming from everywhere. Hyperion (Swe), Ossuarium, Rotted, Live Burial, Obscure, Cerebral Rot, Astriferous, Corpse Hole, Horrified. The lists are endless if you know where to look!”
top 6 releases of all time ?
AC/DC - Back in Black
Iron Maiden - Somewhere in Time
Bad Religion - No Control
Amorphis - The Karelian Isthmus
Kreator - Coma of Souls
Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss