Interview by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
It takes real dedication to be successful in a career, matching talent and hard work and shaping them into something that grabs the attention. Anastasia Coburg has already conquered the cutthroat field of modelling and with her band Koburg she has started to make tsunami sized waves in the music industry too.
With her raw and exciting take on symphonic rock with debut album ‘The Enchantress’ in 2017 people started to sit up and take notice but the effect of her sophomore release ‘Positions of Power’ was both instant and immense, some lauding it as the best of its genre since ‘Fallen’ by Evanescence.
Bereft of some of the more florid tropes displayed by some of their contemporaries, Koburg chose passion and grit over more operatic stylings and imbued the music with a wild sensuality that perfectly matched the thunder of the music. Very much a labour of love, Coburg poured her all into the project and every sparkling moment and nuance is marked with her fingerprints.
Faced with the daunting task of putting together a live show that will match her sky high standards and bring the songs to glass-shattering-decibel life, the lack of opportunity for live shows may have been a blessing in disguise somewhat for the artist as, Kate Bush-like, she formulates just how she’ll do this. Forever busy, she took some time out of her schedule to bring us up to date on her world.
First off, and most importantly: How are you doing?
I’m doing very well thank you. I was ill with Covid at the start of March after shooting the video for ‘The Ego has Landed’ and it took some time to recover but I’m getting there now. I still have some weight to regain after losing 20lbs during the whole process but am getting stronger every day. I hope you are well too.
How have you been keeping yourself busy?
I’ve been very busy working on new material and also working as a session musician. I record at home in my own studio so things haven’t changed all that much for me. I also taught myself how to play the cello for new songs I am recording. I’ve continued to rehearse on a daily basis so that I’m ready to go when live shows become possible again.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=620OtVwhnhM&w=560&h=315]
Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?
Sadly, I’ve been too ill to do any live streaming, I’m hoping this will all change soon. I’ve watched a few Mark Spencer online live shows which were absolutely brilliant. Stu Nicholson and Dean Baker from Galahad also did some live vocal/piano covers which were pretty epic. When I am fully recovered, I hope to do some live streaming myself and have been converting some space in my studio to do so.
Have you had to change your way of writing material?
Luckily, I have always written and recorded from my home studio. I feel like having agoraphobia for 10+ years has really prepared me for this. I have progressed faster on my new EP than planned due to having no gigs so I’ll probably bring the release date forward unless I decide to continue writing new material in which case it will progress to a full album instead.
Do you keep in touch with your fellow bandmates / other musicians much?
I’m a solo artist so have no fellow bandmates. I’m talking to myself as much as ever though. Mostly pep talks with the odd bit of swearing when technology works against me on a project. I am also in touch with the mighty Evan Rodaniche as he has been mixing my new songs and really taking them to the next level which I’m very excited about.
What plans have you had to change this year?
I am supposed to be touring with Covenant and Naked Lunch in September but I would imagine that will end up being postponed until next year. I also had all the festivals I was booked to play cancelled which was very disappointing. Additionally, there were plans for two music videos to be shot too, I’m not sure when that will happen now though.
What do you think of the social distancing gigs (like the one that happened in Kansas recently – 229 people in a 1,100-seat venue) or the thought of drive-in gigs?
It’s not for me unfortunately. When it’s safe for venues to open properly again, I’ll be there. Having agoraphobia means that live performances are fairly terrifying anyway but the thought of having to play in even more open spaces to allow for the attendance to social distance is a step too far for me. Being in lockdown has undone some of the hard work I’d done to desensitize myself to being out so I’ll be building my tolerance level back up when I am able.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7DgQ1u0XDw&w=560&h=315]
How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?
I think some venues will have closed, promoters will have lost too much money to be able to continue and bands will be utilizing the internet a lot more to reach their fans. I hope the arts will receive the money needed to recover from this situation.
What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?
I plan to venture out more to support the bands and venues to show my appreciation. I really didn’t do that enough before and took the live music scene for granted. Hopefully, I will continue to do some live shows myself too as I’d only just started when lockdown came into place and I was really loving it. I will also be working on exposure therapy.
How can people support you during this time?
My career hasn’t really been impacted as my money is made from online sales rather than live performances. What I’d like is for people to take good care of themselves and each other during this tough time. Let’s all support each other and we’ll get through this.
All my love.
Out now on my new album ‘Position Of Power’ https://koburg.bandcamp.com/album/pos…