I got a chance to do a quick Q&A with the guys from Anchors (I reviewed their EP here). I've said it before, but they are a really great trio of guys on top of being very talented.
Every band has a story, how they got to be a band, how they went from playing in marching band or basements to being who they are now. What's your story?
Brian - Rob and I took a class together at Northeastern University in the summer of 2010, and we immediately got along and talked about playing music together. We met Zach through some mutual friends pretty soon afterward, and the three of us started collaborating. It took a little while for us to find our footing with our musical style; we spent about seven months writing before releasing any music with our names on it. We needed to make sure that our first impression was a good one, and we all feel really good about the first steps we've taken as a group.
Where did each of you getting your start in music?
Zach - The first few bands I played in were very much in the vein of some of the earlier Tooth & Nail Records and Drive-Thru Records bands like The Early November, Dead Poetic and Something Corporate.
Rob - When I was six I took piano lessons and began learning the fundamentals of classical and branched out into jazz. I played for about 5 years until I moved from Toronto, Canada to Hartford, Connecticut. Unfortunately, I stopped playing because of the lack of owning a piano then. Around 8th grade, I took up guitar and drums (both self taught) and began performing with local garage bands in the Hartford County. In High School I played in a few different projects, those in the realm of pop punk (drums/vocals), screamo/hardcore (guitar/vocals), indie rock (vocals/piano) and had the opportunity to tour regionally. As High School ended, I branched out into different genres and projects as well as toured extensively. So the groundwork was built over many years, which will lend fuel for my story to continue.
Brian - I started playing piano when I was five, picked up guitar when I was eleven, so I've been around music for almost my whole life. Music has always been my favorite art form, if for nothing else other than the intimate, interactive nature of it. The feeling you get at a live show, that amazing sense of community, the connection between a room full of people united to sing along to their favorite songs; it just made sense to me to start playing in bands, so that I could contribute to that community that has given so much to me.
Who were your biggest influences music-wise?
Rob - Growing up in a European household, I was exposed to a lot of different styles of music; mostly that of pop and rock. Some of the greatest influences in my lifetime were bands and artists such as Queen, Yes, Pink Floyd, The Band, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and the list goes on. However, the one person who shaped my creativity and dreams was Freddie Mercury. The way he saw and portrayed music always fascinated me, giving me the aspiration to hopefully one day be able to move someone the way he moved me.
Zach - Like Rob I grew up on old school art-rock bands like Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd they continue to be a huge influence. That being said I have been heavily influenced by the music I discovered during high school: Thursday, The Early November, Converge.
Brian - My Chemical Romance has always been a really big influence for me as a musician. Their music and their live performances are so theatrical, it's amazing to watch them because you can see their blood, sweat and tears come out in their performance. They’re always challenging themselves, pushing to create a better, more developed sound, and I admire that about them. There’s no playing it safe, and I really respect that about any artist. Whenever I listen to them, I can feel their raw emotion, and I think all the best music has that quality in common.
Why the alternative genre? What drove you to make the music you make?
Brian Our style of music makes sense to us because it blurs the lines of a bunch of things that we love that don't necessarily fit together on their own. We've basically broken down all the music we love into its most basic particles, taking our favorite elements, and smashing them together. The sound we've begun creating makes us happy for two reasons. The first is that we feel like we've successfully achieved what we set out to do with the first songs we've written together, which was to carve our own path and not directly emulate anyone in particular. The second is that we've given ourselves a bar to clear, a specific expectation to exceed, and tons of space to evolve even further. I think that’s good for us, because it pushes us to challenge ourselves as writers so that we can make the best music we can possibly make together in the future.
What's your favorite thing about being in the music business?
Rob - The most rewarding and best part in my opinion is the fact that I am apart of such a great project and have the opportunity to share our music with people. As well, meeting new, interesting people and listening to their stories is what I love about what this business has to offer.
Zach - All the people we get to meet and friends we make along the way. To connect with someone through music is a huge inspiration for us to keep on trekking.
Brian - My favorite thing about being in the music business is playing music. I didn’t start playing music when I was six for any reason other than my love for the art. I agree with Zach, the connections people can make to each other through music is just amazing.
If you were going to switch places with a character in an 80s movie who would it be?
Zach - I would have to choose Atreju from The Never Ending Story; one of my favorite films when I was a kid.
Brian - If I could switch places with a character in an 80's movie, it would have to be Ferris Bueller. Dude had the car, the day off, and the girl. What's not to like?
Rob Hands down I would trade places with Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, also known as Teen Wolf. He was an outcast, but when people saw how cool it was to hang out with a werewolf… well come on, the rest is history.
Follow the guys on twitter: @AnchorsMA, @BrianStaples, @robert_parks, @HollywoodZach
And check them out on facebook.