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The Anix interview 

The Anix
Submitted by Kaj Roth on 2018-11-02
The Anix is the electronic-rock project of Los Angeles composer / producer Brandon Smith. Combining his love of cinematic sci-fi, anime and comic books with synthesizers, electronic programming, alternative rock, powerful vocal hooks and anthemic choruses, The Anix creates a visionary future of art and music.

In 2018, The Anix completed their metamorphosis from band to solo project as front-man & songwriter Brandon Smith signed with FiXT, the artist-owned/operated independent record label of electronic-rock pioneer Klayton (CelldwellerScandroid, Circle of Dust). Focusing on releasing regular singles throughout the year, The Anix is poised to embrace the future. has always been fans of The Anix and we are pleased to welcome Brandon Smith on board for a chat.

Hello Brandon, how are you? 

I’m hanging in there! I have so many things in the works at all times that it is a bit stressful and overwhelming, but I am motivated so that helps!


In this age of streaming when more and more artists go for releasing EP´s or just a single song, the album concept is going through hard times but your new album Shadow_Movement feels like an entire piece that the listener get the full experience by hearing it from start to finish. Are you an album fan or hit single freak? 

I’m a fan of both actually. I am very impatient, so I love hearing singles for that instant gratification, however I grew up in the age of albums, so I still hold on to those moments of hearing an artist I admire’s full work together as one.

 I wrote Shadow_Movement in the format of a movie, where you have an intro to the film, dramatic action parts, then back to quite mellow parts, more action, then a resolve to end on a peaceful note. I think it may not make sense to hear all of these songs as singles, but to hear them as one group makes sense to me as you can’t watch a movie if it is entirely explosions and fight scenes! Same goes for this album, it needs breaks to help the listener through the entire album. Some of the songs are designed to be night songs, some are songs to help you create and think, some are driving songs-each one has a purpose.


I think Shadow_Movement is a more dark album compared to the previous albums, is the music a reflection of the times we’re living in?

I have always been drawn to the darker side of things. Music, movies, fashion, people. The last 3 records have been me as an artist not following any trends, not trying to become popular, not trying to get rich, just trying to make music which is interesting for me to create.


The Anix is now a solo project, do you feel it’s a relief being on your own or is it scary to take full responsibility if the new album won’t please fans? 

I’ve been the main writer of The Anix since I first started the project around 2000 so it doesn’t feel new to me to take on the responsibility. The last 3 albums I essentially wrote on my own, but the last two (Ephemeral and Shadow_Movement) I had full control over the mix, production, writing, direction and concept. There is always a fear that fans won’t like the songs, and it’s impossible to think you will please everyone. My main objective was to create songs that I was personally proud of and excited about, and if fans liked them it would be an added benefit. Most of my heroes either dissolved or changed so much that I can’t even listen to their music now. I want to stay true to my sound and pull influence from those artists when they made music I admired.


Shadow_Movement is released on FiXT Music, a perfect home for electronic music if you ask me. Tell me how you ended up on their artist roster?

James Rhodes, FiXT VP, heard my song ‘Mask’ randomly on Spotify. He then approached me to do a Circle Of Dust remix and we just got along great and started talking about my story. He showed Klayton (Label owner:  Celldweller/Circle Of Dust/Scandroid) my music and he also saw potential in me which moved things further along. I was just ending my deal with Cleopatra Records, so the timing was right to come to FiXT. I did a few demos for them so they could hear the direction I wanted to go in, and one of the first was “Fight The Future”. Once I finished that, we started discussing a full album.


When you will perform these new songs live, will you still have a band on stage or use backing tracks and go solo? 

Chris and my brother Logan are still the live element of The Anix, so that hasn’t changed. To pull these songs off live is a huge challenge as most of the songs have around 100 individual tracks. We will always have live drums, live guitar, vocals, and keyboards. I definitely plan to play these live next year in some format, potentially an online concert of some sort. There also seems to be demand in Russia right now.


When you get up in the morning, what’s a perfect day for you if you could do anything you want? 

Start with a piece of toast and an iced latte. Then a nice drive in my car on a fun road, a trip to Guitar Center to get a new piece of gear, a stop at NikeLab for shoes or some technical jacket, Pizza, a documentary, then record a song. Thats a perfect day.


If you could only take 3 albums with you to a desert island, which ones would you bring along?

Depeche Mode Violator, Deftones White Pony, NIN The Fragile.


Is it important for you to read reviews about your albums or couldn’t you care less what other people think? 

I love to read what people are saying, whether it be fans commenting on youtube or a review like the one you did! When you’re a creator, you become so disconnected with the validity of your creation that it’s a shock to hear when people like or dislike it. 

Most critics do not like my music. I think the last 5 reviews I read about Shadow_Movement were all generally negative, or rated as average, so at one point I told myself I need to stop reading them as it doesn’t help me in any way. I would appreciate negative feedback from my fans more than a critic that has only heard my music one single time and slams every part of it with no constructive feedback.


In 2010, The Anix released a cover of the Lost Boys theme "Cry Little Sister", that is the best version I’ve heard after the awesome original by Gerard McMahon. Any thoughts about recording another cover soon and if so, which song would you love to get your hands on? 

Thank you!! That was the first track I did for Cleopatra Records back then. Yes I always have a handful of covers I want to do, I think the latest one I am thinking about is “The Killing Moon” by Echo & The Bunnymen; the vocals are in the perfect range for me and it has an incredible vibe to it