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NAS 10 Questions with Annimax

This time on The NAS 10 Questions we get to know Annimax, a solo project from former Nightshade (ex-Q5) bassist Joel Wiseheart. The eardrum eradicating euphoria of this band features Joel performing all roles: bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist, drummer, lyricist, songwriter and producer.

The track "Stab In The Back" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.

Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:

1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.

I am Annimax founder and only member Joel Wiseheart from Corona, California, USA. Annimax just released the debut album "Asphalt Assault" in July of 2023, with a second album in the works, and a few singles on the shelf coming soon as an "appetizer between meals" so to speak. I am also the president and only employee of my own record label, Crystal Crown Productions. I do all of this in addition to raising a family and working a full-time database programmer job. I am also the former bassist of Nightshade (changed name from Q5, which was Floyd Rose of locking tremolo fame's former band), and played bass on their 2001 release Nightshade - "Men Of Iron".

2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?

I've wanted to play music as long as I can remember. Playing air guitar to all of my older brother's vinyl albums, playing trombone & baritone in school bands, singing in my Mom's church's choir, anything musical! My main journey started when I bought my first bass guitar just before my 14th birthday.

𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest influences? Pick a decade! It mainly started with whatever hard rock albums my older brothers brought home. I grew up in the 70s with Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Kiss to name a few. 80s? Iron Maiden, Dio, Judas Priest, Ozzy, and later G&R, Metallica, Megadeth. 90s? I discovered Progressive metal bands like Dream Theater & Symphony X. My tastes grew heavier in the new millennium; Avenged Sevenfold, Shadows Fall, Lamb Of God, Five Finger Death Punch. I also have influences from many other genres (for example, Victor Wooten is one of my favorite bassists!), but primarily traditional heavy metal.

4. What are your goals in the music industry?

My goal is simply to get my music heard and enjoyed by as many people as possible, and to get as much released as possible! I have day job, so I don't rely on music for money. This gives me the freedom to explore whatever musical direction I choose to go. Along the way, I have made many friendships with people in other bands (NAS artist Portobello Express being a prime example), where we can mutually help promote each other and lift each other up. Bands work best when they team up together!

5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.

My music is heavy metal, but somewhat sub-genre eclectic. it's all built one piece at at time: I program and record the drum tracks first (the only instrument I can't perform... yet!), then go back through and put in the bass, then the rhythm guitar, then any keyboards, then the lead & harmony vocals and finally the guitar solos. I usually prefer writing the lyrics first before the music; that way, I know what kind of mood I'm trying to create. For guitar solos, I like to create a loop of the solo section of the song, record myself improvising to it multiple times, picking apart and piecing together the best parts, and memorizing and practicing the result.

6. What is your all-time favorite song?

Annimax songs excluded, my favorite song is Dream Theater - "Take The Time". There was a time in my past where my life had completely fallen to pieces, and this song inspired me to put them back together and carry on.

7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?

The best piece of advice I ever received? Play bass! As a kid, I tried several times to play lead guitar. I'm a pretty big guy, and had a hard time fitting my fingers on those tiny strings and tiny frets (I still wrestle with that when doing guitar tracks today). Finally, my friend Chopper Stepe who was trying to teach me asked, "Have you ever tried playing bass?" He let me try his brother's bass guitar, and it instantly felt more comfortable. That was probably the moment when I realized playing bass was my destiny, If you look at the main Annimax band pic with me holding all the instruments, the bass player is in front for a reason!

8. Proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment so far is an easy one: releasing the album Annimax "Asphalt Assault" in 2023! I have been in many bands, even been on professionally released recordings, but am not credited on the songwriter on any of them. In 2008, I decided "Joel, if you want it done right, do it yourself," and Annimax was born. Being able to record an entire album by myself to get the music out of my head and out to the fans is the greatest reward ever!

9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?

I was playing a live show once, on the left-hard side of the stage, and kept hearing this horrible recurring humming noise coming from somewhere. After several occurrences, I noticed it happened every time I stepped to my right. The problem was my wireless unit; I had put the receiver on the floor so it wouldn't vibrate off the top of my bass amp. So, every time I stepped to my right, the signal was going from the transmitter on my belt THROUGH THE MIC ON THE BASS DRUM and to the receiver on the floor! I had to spend the entire rest of the show standing in one place.

𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.

One of the highest points: The band Nightshade/Q5 that I was in opened for many big name acts over the years. During my tenure, we got to open for Quiet Riot, and one of our songs "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady" was covered on Great White's 1996 album "Let It Rock".

Low point? I had to leave Nightshade in 2002 because of circumstances that prevented me from being able to tour. I was about ready to hang it up and call it a career. Then in 2008, instead of focusing on what I CAN'T do, I decided to focus on what I can: I can still record all the parts myself, I can still get worldwide distribution through CD Baby, I can always put music videos up on YouTube, and although I can't play live shows (I can play all the instruments, but not at the same time!), I can spread the word through social media. I resurrected my dead career to see how far I can push Annimax with this new modern paradigm.

Stream "Stab In The Back" now

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22 comentarios

Nice to meet a fellow one man band! Awesome stuff, man!

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NOTE TO ALL FROM ANNIMAX: I changed my NAS song since the time I submitted my 10 Questions response. If you're looking for my song, search for "Asphalt Assault" on the NAS Pro playlist!

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Ash Ramus
Ash Ramus
31 dic 2023

😎Great interview!

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Contestando a

Thank you! 😊

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Edward Corrado
Edward Corrado
30 dic 2023

Great learning about you Joel and your band Annimax

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Contestando a

Thanks, I hope you enjoy the music as well! 😊

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Glad to hear some of their tunes and learn more about this band! Great Interview!

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Contestando a

Thank you for checking out the tunes as well as reading the interview! 😊

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