Agnosis is a US band that mix elements from traditional Rock and Metal in some
quite unique way, I have heard many bands that try to do the same, but the
results aren’t so
compared with the sound of “Zero”. It sound is quite unclassifiable but can
easily catch the attention of a wide audience without being “commercial” or
“massive” with its groovy, still dark sound. We contacted this uncompromised and
promising band and Mr. Andrew Jude Riotto (bass / primary songwriter) kindly
accepts to answer our questions…
First I would like to thank you for giving us this interview. Can you tell us
about the band’s beginnings?
AR: Agnosis has gone through a lot of changes since the band was first formed
in the fall of 2002. Our sound and line-up has evolved greatly. Basically, the
band started as a few friends wanting to play heavy music, however it eventually
evolved into something much more serious -- as we're very proud of all the
releases we've done and plan to keep putting out music for a good long time to
come. For a very detailed history of the band, I recommend you check out
BB: What are you doing nowadays?
AR: We are currently playing some shows on the East Coast (US)
in support of our latest record "Zero". We are also writing material for out
next full length record, which we expect to release sometime in early 2006, if
all goes according to plan.
BB: How you define the sound of Agnosis?
AR: Take traditional doom (Pentagram, St Vitus, Sabbath) and mix it with some
sludge (Neurosis, Crowbar, Acid
Bath) and you've got the starting
point... But the sound is very varied, just like the music we listen to. To hear
some of our stuff, please go over to
BB: How has been the reception of “Zero” worldwide?
AR: So, far it's been surprisingly positive! The record is very diverse and
we figured that a lot of people would be turned off by that. However, a lot of
people seem to latch onto the diversity of the record. Many bands these days
tend to stick very closely to the confines of one particular genre and not
really try out anything different... this is very different than what Agnosis is
about and we appreciate the support that we've received!
BB: Can you tell us about your previous works?
AR: We're put out a number of demos and an EP titled "Welcome to the Monkey
House". I consider these works to be more formative in nature, with our first
full length "Zero" being the first "true" Agnosis release. We hadn't really
fully developed our own "sound" until we put "Zero" together.
BB: Why you call your first full length album “Zero”? Is there any
concept behind this work?
AR: The record has a consistent mood throughout and we felt that the title
and artwork nicely captured that atmosphere.
BB: You got a wide range of influences, from Metal to Rock… Can you tell
us about those influences?
AR: Well, I like listening to a lot of different types of music and this
really is reflected in our writing style. Too many bands sit around and think
"well, our favourite band sounds like this, so we have to sound like that as
well". Our record is diverse, reflecting the variety of personal preferences of
everyone in the band.
BB: What do you think about the relationship between drugs and music,
specially being a Stoner/Doom Metal band? Many people tend to relate this kind
of music with drugs…
AR: I don't think there's any necessary link. I've met so many different
people from various backgrounds, walks of life, and lifestyle through playing
this sort of music so I think it's very difficult to generalize.
BB: I understand you opened a The Misfits show… Sounds (unless to me) a
little weird a Doom Metal/Rock band opening for a Punk band… How was that
experience? How you get there?
AR: That was one of the first shows we had every played so we were very
honoured to play! The club owner had seen us previously and asked us to play the
show and we of course said yes. Also, at that time we were writing a lot more
up-tempo music than we do now (this was back in 2003), so sound-wise we played a
much "faster" set than what you would probably get if you saw us play live now.
We've written many, many songs, not all of which are "doom" in the traditional
BB: Can you tell us how your live shows are?
AR: Volitile. We go out with a lot of energy and play a very intense, loud
set. Our music is emotional and intense and we reflect this as much as possible
in our live performance.
BB: Why don’t you release “Zero” under Unsung Heroes Records like
“Welcome to the Monkey House” Ep?
AR: Actually, "Monkey House" didn't technically come out through UHR, they
only distributed it for us and they distribute "Zero" for us as well. Vic of UHR
is a friend of mine and an ally of Agnosis. I have also collaborated with him in
helping him produce his Rampage project, which features Agnosis vocalist Aerik
Von. There is some degree of confusion regarding our label status, so let me
clarify it: we have always self-released our efforts and worked with various
labels, distros, and one stops in distributing the records and getting
the word out there.
BB: What do you think about the “massive explosion” of the Stoner/Doom
Metal bands nowadays? Do you see this like an advantage or like a disadvantage
for this “scene”? Personally I think many bands can corrupt it… like happened
with Black Metal…
AR: Scenes can be good when everyone goes out to shows and supports each
other and has a good time. I love checking out other stoner / doom bands and
hanging out with my friends. However, some bands sometimes act like rock stars
or gods of the scene and this ruins the whole experience for everyone. Also,
sometimes scenes limit bands artistically as they feel they need to conform to a
certain sound. I am definitely ambivalent towards the scene.
BB: What are your five favourite albums of all times?
AR: Black Sabbath - "Vol. IV",
Danzig - "Danzig II", Neurosis -
"Times of Grace", High on Fire - "Blessed Black Wings", Mark Lanegan - "Field
Songs". Granted, my tastes vary from day to day, so it's hard to keep a
consistant "top 5" list. Ask me again in a week and you may get a somewhat
BB: What underground bands are you listening nowadays?
AR: Does High on Fire count? I know they are quickly entering the mainstream
consciousness, but they are one of my favourite bands these days. I have also
been listening to a lot of 70s/80s music that isn't well known outside of the
doom community -- Pentagram, Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust, etc. To doom fans these
names may be very familiar, however most music fans have never heard of these
bands, which is unfortunate.
BB: Have you received some label’s offer?
AR: We have been in discussion with a few labels, however nothing appropriate
has worked itself out. We will be shopping our next demo, however if we don't
like the responses we get, we will self release our next record.
BB: When can we expect new material of Agnosis?
AR: We hope to have another demo out in the fall of 2005 and a full length in
the spring of 2006. We will post progress updates over at
BB: Thanks again for your time and your words… and sorry about the big
delay with this interview… Is there anything else you want to add to this
AR: Thank you for taking the time to send over
the questions, it is very kind of you! We also want to thank everyone that has
supported us so far. We really appreciate everything and hope you've enjoyed our
music as much as we've enjoyed making it!