Interview with Jacob Hansen (Anubis Gate)

Check out Steinmetal’s interview with producer / guitarist / vocalist, Jacob Hansen, whose band Anubis Gate just released an amazing release. Hansen talks about Anubis Gate and his other projects.

Metal Express Radio: Hello Jacob, it’s a true honor, thank you for taking this interview for Metal Express Radio. First, I want to congratulate you and Anubis Gate for a hell of a well constructed album. How are you? What is new with Anubis?

Hansen: Thanks for the nice words! Well, not much is up with Anubis Gate right now. We’re planning some shows, and for that we’ll have to rehearse when summer’s coming. All members are really busy. Kim and Henrik are both music teachers and play in a few different bands as well as having solo projects (Henrik), and I have my producer career going as well as doing albums with Beyond Twilight occasionally. Phew! 🙂

MER: Anubis Gate’s latest effort, The Detached is an awesome masterpiece surrounding an interesting science fiction story, which was written by Martin Rauff, a famous writer in Denmark. Please tell Metalheads out there why did you guys pick that specific story? Do you, personally, like these themes of mystery?

Hansen: We wanted to go all the way – pushing the envelope so to speak. We explored the concept world on our last album a little bit, and we just wanted to do it right this time, and therefore we got hold of this quite famous game-play writer. I personally like science fiction themes a lot! As a kid, I simply had to watch every single movie – be it good or bad – as long as it was sci-fi! Ha ha.

MER: Do you think that The Detached is a level up from your previous releases? Do you think also that “The Detached” shifted you between Power to Progressive Metal?

Hansen: We definitely tried to do better this time. We all learned a lot from Andromeda Unchained, be it writing for a new singer, as well as incorporating everyone more into the song writing, and I think we succeeded. There are great songs on Andromeda, but I feel that most of the songs on Detached are stronger and have that tad more heaviness, which we like. The early albums were pretty much the same style, I think, but we’ve definitely gone more progressive thru the years. The band started out as US Power Metal inspired, but we all love Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, Maiden and the likes, so I think that inspired us more than, for example Vicious Rumours, and similar US Power Metal styled things. We were never fond of the European Power Metal stuff singing about goblins and fairies, though… 🙂

MER: What amazes me is that for a Progressive / Power Metal band, you aren’t that techy like Dream Theater, for example, yet you were able to produce amazing releases. In your opinion, do you think that Progressive Metal needs to simplify itself a bit in order to draw more Metalheads to it?

Hansen: I think you should never be playing something that you can’t do in real life. Dream Theater plays like that, and that’s fine. I like Tech Metal stuff if it’s performed well and wisely arranged. But I also like very strong melodies like Fates Warning always had. They’re not tech, and that’s what turns me on! We’re not looking for airplay or anything. We just like the choruses and melodies quite pop, ha-ha.

MER: I have been hearing your works, as a band member, since the first album of your Thrash Metal baby, Invocator and another of one of your bands, the Power Metal based Beyond Twilight. In addition, since 2006, you have been the frontman of Anubis Gate. How do you manage your works, regarding the changes of attitudes? Thrash Metal, Power Metal and Progressive Metal have elements that make them alike but still the approach is different. How do you do it?

Hansen: Well, none of these bands are very active. I haven’t been recording with Invocator for years. Just playing a few shows here and there… and it sits in the fingers, although it’s a different style. But you know what, I just grew tired of screaming all the way through a whole album, so Invocator is put on ice for a while. As for Beyond Twilight, we’re working on new songs for a new album, but that’s maybe just playing some guitars here and there and producing it. That’s what I do all day anyways, ha-ha. Anubis Gate pulls out a few weeks of the calendar every 2 years for the recordings of a new album, and then we might have some shows. It’s not like we rehearse 2 times a week. I also have a family with 3 kids!

MER: Since Anubis Gate’s first album, you were there behind the curtain producing like you did for many other bands that came your way. What happened in that same year when you joined them? Did you fall in love with their material and caught the chance to get it? Did your ex-bassist in Invocator, Jensen, ask you to join?

Hansen: I always liked this style of music, and Denmark didn’t have that many, so I put a lot of energy into these productions. When they lost their singer, Torben Askholm, I thought; “This band should have a high-pitched singer”, and one day I just did a few songs for fun and sent them to Jesper. You know, I have known all these guys since ’88, and it was easy to get into the band. I just wasn’t sure I could sing like that! I never tried it before. I was singing a little bit on the last Invocator album “Through The Flesh To The Soul”, but it wasn’t at all like what I’m doing on Andromeda.

MER: Tell Metalheads around the world a bit about yourself, personal history, your experience as a producer for artists like Rob Rock, Destruction, Paradox and many other big and small names, you influences, as a guitarist and as a vocalist both in Thrash and Power Metal, and in general which types of Metal live in your CD player?

Hansen: Phew! From when I was a kid – like 6-8 years old – I’ve been interested in music and how it sounded. And especially how the sound touched me, and not only the way of writing. That’s why I fell totally in love with ELO that has this distinct sound. But also early ABBA was great. When I grew older I wanted to put my mark on the sound of bands.

Producing Rob Rock was fantastic. I clearly remember his Project:Driver with Rudy Sarzo, Tony Macalpine and Tommy Aldridge from the early 80’s. Great stuff! And Rob is the nicest person! He was visiting my family and went “when I go home, I gotta have kids!”, and about a year later I got this mail from him that he had a son! Isn’t that sweet. Destruction was one of my all-time Thrash Metal faves back from the mid-80’s as well. I think I was 15 when I heard them the first time! Killer. Meeting them was great. Fantastic people!

What’s in my CD player right now? LEO – Alpacas Orgling, Tue West, Carpark North, Fates Warning – Parallels.

MER: Two years ago, I think, you produced a band from my country, Prey For Nothing, do you have any recollections from back then? Did you get any other proposals from other Israeli bands besides them?

Hansen: It was great fun! VERY nice people. They just came all the way from Israel and knocked on my studio door. I mean, sometimes people from Denmark can’t find the studio, these guys flew miles and miles and just found it! Skilled musicians and nice people. Could one ask for more? Yes, I got a few more, but unfortunately they didn’t go through. I’m mixing something with Miri – Sven from Aborted’s wife – she’s from Israel, right?

MER: Can you give an update regarding your three major bands? What is next for them regarding gigs, recordings and sorts? Will Invocator be back soon with another Thrashy bomb?

Hansen: We’ve been asked to do a few Invocator shows. Maybe with Per M. Jensen (The Haunted), our old drummer. We’ll see about that. Beyond Twilight is, like I mentioned, writing new songs. Anubis Gate is preparing for shows.

MER: As an experienced Metalhead, what do you think about the Danish Metal scene? Is it like when Invocator was formed back in 1986? Is it a lot more modernized than ever before or the Danish Metalheads like to keep the Old School on top? How do you think your local scene should be like?

Hansen: It’s very different. People are being much nicer to each other these days. There was a lot of stupid competition back then. Competing about the same 4-5 venues…

I like it as it is now. The old (grumpy) people are gone, and new nicer people have the “power” so to speak. That’s great. Michael from Volbeat is a great exponent for that. He’s being very fair to upcoming bands.

MER: What advice do you have to give to the young Metal folks world wide? Is there a special message which you would like to deliver?

Hansen: Just be nice. behave!

MER: Jacob, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer this lengthy interview, it has been an honor. Take care and good luck with future productions and your bands. Cheers mate.

Hansen: Thank you!


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.