(Sorry for the huge delay in getting this interview up–I’ve been really sick!)
I had the chance to stand outside in 40 degree Midwest weather with the very charming and extremely cold Anarbor at the Picador in Iowa City, IA. As I watched the native Arizonans shiver in their flip-flops and t-shirts and talk about their current journey, I realized that they truly were a group of down to earth guys, despite their quickly rising popularity, and wanted little more than a home cooked meal””and some jackets.
~ Introduce yourselves to all of us at Driven Far Off!
Mike: Hey, I’m Mike and I play guitar
Slade: I’m Slade and I am lead vocals
Adam: I’m Adam and I play guitar
Greg: Hey, I’m Greg and I play drums
~ So what’s the story behind Anarbor? How did the band form?
Slade: We’ve known each other since we were in fifth grade and we wanted to start a band. We’ve been a band for 6 or 7 years now, since 2003 when we played our first show.
~ What were your emotions when you finally got signed to a label? Obviously it was amazing, but were you freaked out at all?
Adam: More excited; pumped, really. We wanted it to work for forever. All through high school all we wanted to do was get on the road and play shows and do what we are doing now, so it was really exciting to have that opportunity. We were all stoked.
~ You have shared the stage with big names: from Fall Out Boy to The Academy Is. Do the nerves ever get to you? Do the bands give you tips or criticism?
Greg: I actually get more nervous in front of less kids. In front of huge crowds by nerves actually go away. When you are playing a big show, basically anything you say to them they will be like “YEAH!”
~ Did you ever think that “Let the Games Begin” would be such a hit when you were writing it, now that it’s been on shows from The Hills to Good Day in LA?
Slade: We actually didn’t have it in mind for it to fit into a sports thing, but everyone we talked to afterwards were like, “you guys wrote that perfectly,” and we didn’t even mean to; it wasn’t intentional.
Adam: Yeah, the NFL then came along and turned it into the music for the macho tackle scenes, which was awesome.
~ So there’s new of a full length on the way. Can you tell me anything about that?
Slade: In this record we’ve found our style of music. It’s just something new for kids to listen to. Basically, the EP was just a taste and this is going to be the meal.
Greg: We’re working hard because it is our first full length and we’ve only just released EPs locally.
~ Are you happy with how Free Your Mind has done? Is there something you’ve noticed didn’t work so well on the EP and maybe you’ll add that to your full length?
Slade: No, we were pretty stoked with it.
Adam: As far as music goes, we’re just trying to show kids what we have to say, because we have 13 songs instead of 7.
~ So how did the name “Anarbor” come about?
Mike: My family is from Michigan, and my sister was born there and was one of the people who got me into music. It was a good one-word name. We didn’t want a long ass one.
~ If you could choose one song off of your EP to broadcast to the world, which would it be and why?
Greg: I would say “Always Dirty Never Clean,” because it’s really what we stand for.
~ What’s the hardest part about touring? Do you anything you really miss that was left behind?
Mike: We all have dogs that we miss really badly. We can’t wait for the day when we can bring a dog on tour with us.
Adam: Home cooked meals, our beds, our friends.
~ So how are you guys going about writing your new album? Do you sit in a room and hum melodies, or is it solo?
Slade: basically we just get a cool riff that we like and sit down and figure it out. We have some of the instrumentals recorded, and we bump them in the van wherever we go. Sometimes we take a guitar to the back of the van and jam. There’s no real process, we just go by how we feel. We just generally do it in the van, since we spend the most time there.
Mike: Our van is awesome. We have the windows blacked out, with black poster board allover them”¦it’s like the Batcave””it’s all dark.