Ann My Guard Vocalist Eszter Anna Baumann talks about metal and rock…
What are your earliest memories of heavy metal – was it love at first sight/hearing?
My father is a big heavy metal fan. When I was a little girl, he showed me his Black Sabbath cassettes, so the main influence comes from these memories. So to say, I grew up listening to rock and metal from the very early ages. I will be always very thankful to my daddy because of it!
What was the first metal album you bought with your own cash?
It was Korn’s Issues. I remember I was lying on the floor in my black summer dress and during the first listen I knew that my life has changed forever. This album made me the person who I am right now, seriously.
Are there any bands you loved as a youngster that cause you to wince now and ask ‘what was I thinking’ ?
Not really. Honestly, besides rock, I listened to many pop albums too and nowadays, my go-to playlist contains country music as well. Yepp, I love many kinds of genre.
Who were the first band you saw live – please feel free to include no-name local bands if that was your first interaction with live metal
It’s my father’s blame too! He always took me to rock concerts from age 4, but the first show I remember clearly was an alternative Hungarian band’s gig at our local community centre. Afterwards, my daddy took me to Sziget festival where we saw In Flames and The Rasmus live.
How hard was it growing up to get info on the bands you loved- was there much mainstream media coverage where you lived?
I rarely could follow the bands which I adored on the internet. So I read all the news from our metal magazines like Metal Hammer Hungary. I loved when a promotional CD was attached and I always checked every unknown band featuring on them. I loved to discover new acts, so every month when a new issue came out was like Christmas for me.
Do you think the internet has taken away the mystique of being in a big band for young people today ? Do we know too much about our heroes in 2016?
Totally. I really miss the great old times, although there are several benefits of our cyber era. But keeping that “mystique” is really hard, rock idols who used to be my gods/goddesses have to use the same tools like anyone else to be up-to-date. But it’s not so sad, if you are a professional social media user, you can still represent anything you want, including the mystical image.
Were you a big festival goer as a junior headbanger?
I grew up in a small town, therefore I attended every single rock/metal/punk gig I could. It didn’t matter if a band that was playing was popular or a beginner, I was always there! Also, when I joined my first band, every young rocker was headbanging at our show. It was crazy as hell!
How hard/easy was it for you to get to big gigs growing up? Would you have hitched hundreds of miles to see your favourite bands if necessary?
When I had money for the tickets, I always watched my favourite bands in Hungary. But when my greatest idol, Melissa Auf der Maur was playing in Prague, I took a bus and went to see her. I was very lucky, because that gig took place in a very small club, so I could stand right in front of her. She was playing on her Fender Precision bass, which has a mirror in the middle, so I could clearly see myself in it, while she was singing my favourite songs. Needless to say, it gave me goose bumps.
What five albums have stayed with you since your formative metal years?
Korn Issues, Melissa Auf der Maur Auf der Maur, Nightwish Century Child, Linkin Park Hybrid Theory and Freshfabrik Dead Heart in Living Water.
Did you have a metal crush? I had lifesize posters of Lee Aaron and Doro Pesch on my ceiling in 1986…
Of course I had. Not surprisingly, it was Ville Valo from HIM. He’s been a muse for me, not only his (khmmm) beautiful green eyes enslaved me, but also his brilliant mind, art, and philosophy impressed me when I was a teenager. Moreover, if Jack White had invited me for a dinner, I would have not declined it either, hahaha.
Anything else you’d like to reveal about your metal upbringing?
Interview conducted by Scott Adams