AntiQuark is a San Diego electronic music duo with an international feel and flair. Ant Dakini is originally from Torino, Italy, and when she is not composing music she works as a marine biologist specializing in sharks. She has written two books: Mako Sharks from Krieger Publishing and Sharks of the Pacific Northwest from Harbour Publishing. Vocalist Sergio is from Panama and also sings in the band Divine Right of Kings.
The two recently returned from a tour of Europe. Their new CD is SkyDancer from Hungry Eye Records. Their music is first composed on the computer, "a tool and jumping-off point," says Ant.
Ant: "My little Moog Rogue, especially since when I got it I was 11 years old, and back then I didn't understand that it was monophonic -- can only voice one note at a time. So I kept trying to play chords and got so pissed that it kept playing only single notes."
Sergio: "Definitely the drums for me, though I haven't been the drummer in a band in ten years. I played drums all through high school, but it seemed everybody was a drummer, and there was always someone better than me. Hardly anybody had the balls to get behind the microphone and take that kind of abuse, but once you get used to it, you're a lot more in demand."
Ant: "So far it's been when Sergio did something stupid -- like a Soundgarden scream in Germany. It cleared the house almost immediately."
Sergio: "Ant beat the crap out of me that night. I also remember we got so lost on our way to Germany from Italy. We ended with a bunch of cows in the Austrian Alps, and I didn't think we would ever make it to Leipzig."
Ant: "Forte Prenestino in Rome, Italy. It's this old, huge -- huge! -- military fort from the 1800s with a moat around it and everything. We played to maybe 2000 people! This place was some old army barracks in the World Wars and had been taken over and converted by a group of people. Inside was a dance club, a live music club, a movie theater, a stage-theater, a museum, an art/painting room, a computer center, a recording studio, all inside it -- I mean, these weren't just regular-size rooms, every space was the size of a Broadway theater!"
Sergio: "Yeah, that was definitely such a fresh experience for me. The only place I've ever been that I could compare it to was maybe the Metropolitan in New York, but it was like a Met where you could live if you wanted to -- an entire community of young people all working for the promotion of art and music. They seem so self-sufficient. They were serving food, showing movies, had a live-acoustic performance room, the central stage where we performed, another live room somewhere else. The movies are their own productions, the CDs they sell are from their own record label, the books and literature they sell are printed right there in their own production house. Sadly, it's something I've never seen in the U.S., but Ant grew up with this. It seems like such a faraway Eden from AntiQuark playing some dive-bar in San Diego to ten people and having to worry about being run out by some sharp guy who's the boyfriend of the bartender who doesn't like the way we sound."
Ant: "You were not made to live like brutes but to pursue virtue and knowledge." -- Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, Inferno canto XXVI, 116--120
Sergio: "You must unlearn what you have learned." -- Yoda, Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
Ant: Paul Oakenfold, A Lively Mind. Because they are well-produced dance tracks.
Sergio: Quiet Riot, Metal Health. I took it to the gym yes-terday.
EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
Ant: "My little red piano and playing 'Frère Jacques' by ear but mistakenly matching mid-C on the piano to F on the written music page, which messed me up for a little while. They say I was four or five years old."
Sergio: "My earliest glimpse is looking up to watch my mother chase little birds around the apart-ment."
FAVORITE SAN DIEGO HANGOUT?
Ant: "I don't really attend bars since I don't drink, and I don't like the beer-mentality people. I do love dancing, so I do go once in a while to clubs like Sabbat, Ascension, or some downtown clubs when there are some trance/
techno/guest DJs that I like. As far as outdoors, I love biking by the ocean, especially in PB."
Sergio: "My room and the computer. There's so much music to finish before I die, but when Ant is not giving guilt trips about what's not finished, she does drag me out to dance."
WHO WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.?
Sergio: "I don't even care right now. I'm groveling and berating myself more and more on how Americans, myself included, have just let these current criminals do so much damage to this country in the face of the world. Remember when everybody was laughing at this monkey when he was first 'elected'? Does anybody remember that sitcom that started that February clearly poking fun at him? Nothing had ever been done like that concerning our commander-in-chief, the most powerful man in the world. Didn't 9/11 happen on his watch? He had been on the job for nine months. If you allow things to get so messed up in any other job, you get fired, right? I grew up in Texas. I voted against the monkey when he was first running for governor. I've voted against him three times. I don't know what else I could have really done...and here we are. I feel such shame and embarrassment as an American right now that I don't even want to look ahead."