Interviews: Enso Anima

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Post-Hardcore band, Enso Anima from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name?

Shane: Our name is closely tied to all of our shared belief that there is powerful beauty in imperfection. Enso is the cycle of energy connecting all things, a concept and symbol stemming from Zen Buddhism. Anima is the latin word for soul. Combine the two and you get Enso Anima, a soul within the cycle of energy. 

Nick: We came up with it with a previous vocalist. It had a cool ring to it and translated to something we wanted to embody in our music so it was perfect

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

Shane: Post-hardcore has always spoken to me personally. As a genre, it allows for so much creativity and diversity within itself which is what I think really draws me in. You can go from very harsh dissonance and travel back to very delicate melodic parts all in the same song and it won’t seem out of place if done right. Hell, you can even toss a 5 part vocal harmony a cappella section and no one will think it’s weird. It’s wonderfully expressive.

Nick: It’s funny now that I think about it, I don’t think any of us ever thought “let’s play this kind of music”, but we’d have one riff for a song, and one beat, and one line of lyrics, and over time they fell together in ways that fit into a style we sort of stick with haha. What’s cool to me is that it means we keep evolving so we can’t quite predict what’s next in our music!  

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Shane:  In essence the answer is both yes and no. Some of us formed the band and then met the rest of the group because of the band, which I think is an awesome nod to the power of music. Three of us lived in New York originally and knew each other through common friends until we became a friend group ourselves. Then once we moved out to California and got serious about our music career, we met the final 2 members after exploring the new music scene we found ourselves in.

Nick: Three of us are friends from high school, and two of us are friends from middle school actually! We started learning our instruments at the same time so it made sense to play music together.   

4. Each band member's favourite band?

Shane:  In all honesty, we each have such a varied sense of taste in music that I don’t think it’s possible to pick one favorite. We actually just made different Spotify playlists with the music we each listen to on them! For me personally, I've been really diggin’ an odd combination of Polyphia and Ujico* (a japanese edm/future bass artist). In terms of common roots, we have to cite some of the classic post-hardcore bands: Saosin, Emery, Thrice, and Dance Gavin Dance.

Nick: Enter Shikari for me.     

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I feel like I’m the odd one out when it comes to songwriting inspiration. Most of the other members of the band write with the ability to capture a specific emotion, or are inspired by that emotion itself. For me, there is a moment that I live for when writing or listening to music, when a certain string of notes or a groove just hits you and sends chills down your spine. I’m not even sure what to call this phenomenon, but it’s what I aim for. The ability to make sure that mystical sense is tapped into whenever I’m writing.

Nick: Oftentimes I get an itch to put together feelings or thoughts I’ve had for a while, but I’ve been working on how to get a vibe in a moment and immediately Play Doh press it into music in my mind haha  

6. Where was your last gig?

Shane: Oh, our last gig before the world ended [r.i.p.]? We played a really great show down in San Jose. We had a huge hometown show planned too, right here in Sacramento. We were going to play a bunch of new material and debut our new bassist, Tory. Unfortunately we went into lockdown about a week before that show happened. It’s a real bummer, but we’re looking forward to playing that show as soon as we’re able to.

Nick: Powerhouse Pub in Folsom, CA    

7. Where would you like to perform?

Personally, I really want to be able to tour back over to New York City sometime soon! I want to play at one of the venues I grew up going to. I’m thinking about the Roseland Ballroom and Webster Hall in particular. It would be awesome to be able to visit the old stomping grounds with new friends!

Nick: Roseland Ballroom, New York, NY  

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Shane: I’m a huge video game nerd. That’s actually how I got into music in the first place. Ideally I’d be able to work with the composer behind the Final Fantasy series, Nobuo Uematsu. If we’re talking more genre specific, I’d love to write a song with Toru Kitajima. They’re the guitarist/singer of a japanese post-hardcore band called Ling Tosite Sigure. They have such a unique sound and I feel like we could make something really crazy together.

Nick: I think Pierce The Veil would have great energy to mesh with. 

9. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Shane: In the beginning, it was always a struggle for me to feel comfortable on stage. I’m still working on it honestly, and with this year long break from shows, who knows how the stage will feel. Every time I see a band play live, I have this inexplicable feeling that I NEED to be up there, regardless of how nervous it makes me. When I’m with my Enso family, it’s way easier to settle in and be myself up there, though I am still a huge fan of the moment a set is finished. Really bad puns and dad jokes while bantering on stage really helps take the edge off, trust me. You have to remember to not take yourself too seriously.

Nick: I get it at almost every show. Knowing my stuff is important, but what helps the most is getting totally lost in the spirit of what I’m doing, and forget about being perfect in any way. No one will care as much that you messed up if you’re having the time of your life. 

10. What bands have inspired you the most?

Shane: A few bands that have inspired me in terms of my personal guitar style and technique would be: Saosin, Dance Gavin Dance, The Fall Of Troy, Ling Tosite Sigure, and Polyphia. That’s in chronological progression too! In terms of overall songwriting, I have to give a ton of credit to Emery, Thrice, and A Lot Like Birds. Those bands, in my opinion, have put out some of the most well constructed albums. I still go back to them all the time.

Nick: Saosin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Fall of Troy.  

11. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Shane: This is a tough one to be honest. The best thing fans have asked for is a hug, which feels great to know your music connected with someone. The weirdest though has to be an autograph, but not because that’s a weird thing to ask for or anything like that. To me it’s weird because it feels different being on the receiving end of that question. I’ve asked plenty of people for autographs, but when the question is directed the other way it just feels weirdly surreal to me still.

Nick: I think someone asked for me to sign my broken drum stick in blood once?? If I recall correctly I was already bleeding because said drum stick splintered on my hand  

12. What do you think of your fans? 

Shane:  I love all our fans so much it’s hard to express in words! If you’re not a fan, don’t worry I still love you too. We have a saying that we try to live by and that’s, “You are not alone.” We’re here to help people by letting them know that it’s ok to feel negative emotions. It’s ok to be broken, but you don’t have to stay there. Imperfection is beautiful. We strive to be that warm outstretched hand, ready to pick you back up when you’re knocked down and keep pushing forward with you. Yeah, our fans really mean a great deal to us, it makes me smile just thinking about it.

Nick: We love our fans so much! They’re a big part of what drives us, they’ve been amazingly supportive beyond our expectations.   

13. What do you think of our site?

Shane: I think that it is very important for people to realize that their music scene is so much bigger than their own country, or even just their own city. I think you bringing “core” bands from around the world together is a wonderful idea and I support it fully! You bet I’m combing through right now discovering new artists I’d want to play with or just listen to! Y’all rock!

Nick: I think it’s awesome what y’all are doing to make a hub for bands all over the world, and there’s a lot of great music on there! 

14. Something to add?

Shane: It’s important to remember that as musicians and artists, the best thing we can do is be ourselves. If you share your true self with your fans and listeners, you can count on making a far more impactful connection with people. We as a group pride ourselves on the fact that we’re all very different people and are more than willing to open our hearts to anyone who’ll listen to us.

Nick: Thanks for taking the time to interview us! Everyone can find our single “Harlequin Icthyosis and the Man Who Thought He Was Tree” on all platforms now!

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