ANIMUS was formed late in 1987 when Vince Sanna and Paul Villani sought out a like-minded bassist.
Bill Johnson replied to an advertisement and after one meeting, he was the obvious choice.
ANIMUS rehearsed and wrote their early material at the back of Paul's Dads carpet shop (L.A Carpets). By early 1988, ANIMUS were playing shows at fairs and pubs. They recorded a 4-track demo at Frontline Sound with their friend “Spud” mixing it live into a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder. The demo was titled “Sweet Violence” and featured the songs: “Knocking Down my Door”, “Sweet Violence”, “Terminator” and “By the Roadside”. By the start of 1989 these songs were no longer part of their regular live set. Paul was prolific and the band was growing…louder and faster.
By 1990, ANIMUS had a small but loyal following on the Australian Metal scene. ANIMUS performed at Melbourne venues such as The Evelyn Hotel, The Tote, The Excalibur, The Arthouse (Royal Artillery), Riverside Inn, Richmond Club Hotel, The Corner Hotel, Sarah Sands Hotel and The Bridge Mall Inn. The band regularly ventured interstate to Sydney and Adelaide supporting the likes of Addictive.
ANIMUS were championed by independent Australian radio stations, including the PBS Weekly Metal Show. The band featured in street press including Beat, Juke and In Press magazine as well as Australia's popular heavy metal magazine, “Hot Metal."
In the early 90s it was thought that ANIMUS were going to support Megadeth and King Diamond on their joint tour down under but the shows were subsequently cancelled.

VINCE SANNA was touted as, arguably, the most original metal drummer in Australia and rightly so. His live performances were so dramatic that he would often seize up with cramp and be in agony after most shows! Vince had everything: speed, power, subtlety and groove.
BILL JOHNSON was Thrash Metal personified: lightning fingers and complex bass runs. He was amazing to watch on stage. Bill wrote some amazing songs (music and lyrics) while he was in ANIMUS: “Terminator”, “Alexia” and “Hellbound”.
PAUL VILLANI (aka Paul Louis Villani - The Beast) was determined not to be pigeonholed. His singing style ranged from soaring falsettos to Death Metal gurgling roars. Paul wrote most of the lyrics and music in ANIMUS. Coming from a classically trained background and being heavily influenced by neo-classical metal, he was determined to spread his musical creativeness vastly.

ANIMUS independently recorded and released a 4-track EP CD "A Dead Life" at the beginning of 1992. The EP received rave international reviews and was on high rotation on hard rock and metal radio playlists worldwide.
In recent times, "A Dead Life" has been commanding a premium as an ultra rare metal treasure/collectable. It's been bootlegged to the extreme! 1000s upon 1000s of copies were pressed in Mexico, USA, Italy, Belgium, Greece, France, Italy, Brazil and Germany, where the band enjoyed a fanatical following. Those copies are worthless. The band did not produce or sanction them nor did they receive a percentage from the thousands of illegal sales. To know if you have a genuine ANIMUS EP CD is easy. All the copies that ANIMUS produced in 1992 were manufactured by Melbourne company 'Disctronics' and each CD is clearly labelled.
1. "Open up the Gates of Hell"
Lyrics by Vince Sanna. Music by Paul Villani.
Vince rarely penned words but this was very personal and apparently written in an instant.
2. "Question My Existence"
Music & Lyrics by Paul Villani.
A song Paul wrote whilst working at a market selling carpets and rugs on the weekends. The song title gives away what it is about but where the lyrics take you is much darker. Bringing to the fore human emotions such as fear, anxiety, a sense of belonging and using surgery in the pursuit for aesthetic perfection.
3. "A Dead Life"
Music & Lyrics by Paul Villani.
Another track written by Paul on one of is market days.
Seems as though he had a few questions about life and definitely feared failure.
'Feel the wrath of obscurity' Paul often barked throughout the song. "Who will help try and see, everything you want to be" sounds like someone still searching for their correct path.
4. "We Immortals"
Music & Lyrics Paul Villani
Quite simply, a young mans war cry. Belting out "We Immortals live today, never dying" a 'do what the hell I want to do' line if ever there was one. The music was anthem like.
ANIMUS was keenly sought after by many international management and recording companies such as MetalMania in Italy and Wolverine Records in Germany but the band could never come to agreement over terms.
Live, ANIMUS was insane and intense. When reviewed in the media, the band was often cited as a "wall of sound" (not a bad compliment for a three piece band!) and as an "effective statement of metal's extreme tendencies." Take a listen to "A Dead Life" and you'll discover why!
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