By Nicholas Jason Lopez
The Ansible present an ensemble of high energy, heavy guitars, dark lyricism and melodies that’ll be stuck in your head before you even work your way through the second verse – but of course, that’s by design.
Comparable to the likes of Spiritbox and Loathe, the melodic metal veterans have been a fixture in the Austin, Texas music scene since their 2014 arrival and showed no signs of stoppage, with the release of their critically-acclaimed 2021 EP ‘Existing To Repeat.’
With music that was inspired by member Greg’s quarantine X-Men comic binge, they explored themes of time travel and attempts to change the future by changing the past, which only works well in dreams and not reality.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with vocalist Derril King about what they’ve been up to lately and more, which you can check out below.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your particular style of music?
Derril King – We definitely love the freedom that comes with writing progressive metal. It’s exciting to have zero limitations when expressing yourself. We love how open to expression the genre is as a whole. You can use heavy, melodic, technical, dreamy, or any number of styles. The real task is making sure you’re playing music that you’re passionate about.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Derril King – I was very fortunate to grow up with a musical parent. Some of my earliest memories were sitting in a jam room watching my dad, uncle and their bandmates practice, so since then I’ve always had a passion for every aspect of music.
Music Bugle – How would you sum up your 2020?
Derril King – Oof. (Laughs) 2020 was a mindfuck for us. We were starting to tour much more frequently and had a couple of tours lined up, including our first full United States run. All of that went away. 2021 was infinitely better by comparison. We released the ‘Existing to Repeat’ EP and got back to playing shows. The process of returning to the momentum we had before COVID was slower than we would’ve liked, but we’re happy to be getting back into what we love most – writing and playing music.
Music Bugle – How did you decide on the band name?
Derril King – So, when Greg and I started, the band had a different – and not nearly as awesome – name that another band had already had. They sent us a “cease and desist” letter, so we had to come up with something else. I was reading a book by Orson Scott Card called “Speaker For The Dead.” The term “Ansible” is the name of their communication device that can be used to talk across time and space instantaneously. It’s deep dive nerd shot and we love it. As soon as The Ansible was pitched as a name idea, we locked it in.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Austin, Texas to someone who has never been there before?
Derril King – Austin is beautiful and hot. The mantra for the city is “Keep Austin Weird” and the community lives up to it. Even though Austin is considered a big city, it has a lot of local influence. The music scene is awesome and there are all different types of artists and if we’re be honest, make sure to avoid I-35 about 12 hours out of the day.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Derril King – We all unanimously love Sleep Token. We also jam to Spiritbox, Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, Between The Buried And Me and Rivers Of Nihil.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Derril King – Whether it’s figuring out a riff to a section of the song, or getting clean takes on technical parts for production, or figuring out the best lyrics for a song, every song has its hard part, but for me, the hardest song I ever had to write was “Transmutation Fade.” I centered the lyrics around my battle with opiate addiction from years past. Hashing out the memories of what that made me was a struggle. Having to dig up memories from the worst time in my life was like dragging my face across hot pavement at high speeds, but it is one of my favorite songs lyrically, because once it was done, I felt liberated from a lot of the guilt I carried from those experiences.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Derril King – That answer is different for all of us. Ultimately, we look to each other when we need help. Sometimes, it’s for mental health. Other times, it’s for music. A lot of the time, it’s to vent, but none of us will say no to a trip to Disneyland!
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Derril King – The first song we ever released is called “Rust Heart” and we included excerpts from an interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson did with Time Magazine. It goes like this, “The most astounding fact is that the universe is in us. Many people feel small because they’re small and the universe is big, but I feel big because my atoms came from those stars.”