ANA are still a new band. Founded in January 2023 in Melbourne (Australia). Singer Anna Khristenko initially lived in a small village near the Caucasus Mountains. Her comrades-in-arms are experienced musicians and have played or are playing in Rock and Metal bands of various genres. So there are certainly many different influences on the band’s sound. After ANA signed a worldwide label deal with Eclipse Records in October 2023, the door was open for the first sign of life, the EP “The Art of Letting Go”, which contains five songs. Singer Anna Khristenko and guitarist Josh Mak answered my questions.

MHF: Hi, I’m Rainer and I write for Metalheads Forever Magazine. Thank you for letting me do this interview with you. You are still a young band and little known outside your home country Australia. Please introduce yourself briefly!

Josh & Anna: Hi, I’m Anna Khristenko and I am the vocalist in the band ANA. Hi, I’m Josh Mak and I play guitars in the band ANA.

MHF: How did ANA come about in January last year? How did you find each other?

Anna: Josh and I had been working on our own individual music projects prior to this. We had already worked together on writing songs so it seemed like a logical transition to form a band together so we could start performing. We had a very clear idea of the type of band we wanted and the musicians that we needed so we went about searching the local scene for players that would fulfil these criteria.

MHF: The band name suggests that you named yourselves after your singer. Or is there another reason for it?

Anna: We named the band after me because we liked how it sounded and looked stylistically. Making it ANA also fit into our logo nicely.

MHF: You were able to sign a record deal with Eclipse Records just a few months after your foundation. How did the label become aware of you?

Josh: At the start I reached out to many labels. Most of them either did not want to work with a band as new as ours or they didn’t necessarily understand the creative direction we were taking. Eclipse Records offered to sign us after hearing our only recorded single at the time (Sirens). More importantly they trusted our vision and saw the potential in what we could do.

MHF: Anna has a classical vocal background. How did it come about that she now sings in a Metal band? And how does her classical training influence her singing at ANA?

Anna: Although I’ve always loved classical music I’ve also been drawn to the energy and freedom of expression that Metal music allows. My classical training has helped me develop discipline in both my approach to practice and technique.

MHF: Some of the band members were songwriters in their previous bands. How does the songwriting process work for you?

Anna: Josh and I work together on the main melodies and lyrics. We then present this to the band and jam out ideas on the arrangement for the songs.

MHF: Where do you get the inspiration for your music? Are there any musical role models?

Anna: My inspiration comes from my life experiences. We begin with a story and that tells us what the music should be. One of my musical role models is Lara Fabian. Her ability to exude emotion through her voice is unmatched and her consistency over the years is truly inspiring.

MHF: Your debut EP “The Art of Letting Go” was released in March. How satisfied are you with the result?

Josh: We are very pleased with how receptive the international community has been to our music. When you begin work on something like this you believe that it is special and when your beliefs are confirmed by listeners it is an encouraging feeling. Having said that we always demand more from ourselves so rather than resting on our achievements, they spur us to work even harder.

MHF: What was the reaction from the fans and the press?

Josh: The vast majority of fans and press have wholeheartedly embraced us and our vision. It feels like a family that is working together towards a common goal.

MHF: Can we expect more from ANA in the future? Is a full-length album already planned?

Anna: We have already begun work on a full-length album. Songs are in various stages of completion. At a recent show we actually surprised fans with one of these new songs. I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised at the direction we will be taking our music.

MHF: I know Australia is very far away for me. Nevertheless, I ask, is there a possibility to see you live in Europe?

Anna: We don’t like to say too much until there are things confirmed. But I will say anything is possible 😉

MHF: Thank you once again for the interview. Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans at the end?

Josh & Anna: A band no matter how brilliant nothing without its fans is. Each and every one of you that has joined us on our journey is a part of our success. Our wins are your wins.

ANA are:

Anna Khristenko – Vocals
Josh Mak – Guitar
Tory Giamba – Bass
Cleveland Beckford Gonzalez – Drums
Matt Williamson – Keys


Sirens – Single 2023
Moth – Single 2024
Ouroboros – Single 2024
The Art of Letting Go – EP 2024

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