It was just recently that I started getting familiar with the very young Anarbor out of Phoenix, Arizona – but man… I do like what they’re all about. Whether it’s how they write their songs or how they treat their fans – they seem to have it all together. When asked about their creative process, the band responded “We all play guitar and we all write music so we like to sit in a circle and just bounce guitar riffs off of each other than we like to write lyrics to a good progression that we all agree on.” I don’t know if it’s just my thinking, but that’s the kind of band that stays together.
The boys of Anarbor also realize just how important their fans are to them. They say “We really make a connection with our fans too. We have more friends than fans I think. And we like it that way. And we appreciate every single one of them!” Again, this is my thinking, but that’s the kind of band that succeeds too. It also helps that they’re producing great music, which you can sample on their 4-track release, “The Natural Way.” These fast-paced tunes do indeed have an organic sound, avoiding any extra programming. If they can’t do it live, they don’t want to do it at all. The guys say “We play real music. I think we really took a chance and wrote something that really smacks people in the face. We surprised people, but in a good way.”When you hear this kind of passion from a band, you know they can bring it on stage. And lucky for you out there on the west coast, the band is touring right around there throughout December. After they record a new EP, they’ll be on the road again, so keep your eyes open. Want to learn more? Get into the XXQ’s.
PensEyeView.com (PEV): Having been together as Anarbor for quite some time, was it an instant connection for the band when you first came together? Do you remember the first time you met to practice?
It was an instant connection almost; we were all friends for a really long time before we started the band. We all grew up going to the same shows and listening to the same bands, we knew where we wanted to take our sound. The first time we practiced was in my (Greg) garage. Mike, Slade, and Adam had little 1×12 speaker amps, and I had a shitty kit that I got offline for less than 100 bucks. It was a Friday after middle school and we they all had their parents drop them off and we just fucked around for an hour. Looking back on it, it was really funny.
PEV: Phoenix, Arizona, what kind of music where each of the members listening to growing up? Do you guys argue on different kinds of music? What was the first concert you attended?
We listened to pop-punk. We listened to the Starting Line, The Early November, Blink 182, All American Rejects, Senses Fail, Homegrown, Allister. We don’t really argue on music, we respect each others opinions and we can all take something from a song, whether we enjoy it or not. The first concert we all went to as a band was warped tour in like 2001 or something. We all watched hidden in plain view, and Slade actually got to sing with them, we were so stoked for the next month on that.
PEV: Tell us about your creative process… What kind of environment do you have to be in to make music?
We don’t need much to get creative. We all play guitar and we all write music so we like to sit in a circle and just bounce guitar riff’s off of each other than we like to write lyrics to a good progression that we all agree on. It’s a very collaborative process and we all contribute something, whether it’s a lyric, a guitar part, or a melody, it’s something the 4 of us all created and it’s special to us.
PEV: Known for fantastic live performances, what can fans expect from a live Anarbor show?
We bring a lot of energy onto the stage with us, and we always love to have the crowd participating. Just expect to have a good time and be yourself.
PEV: Tell us about your first live performance as a band. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?
Oh god. The first time we played a gig was our 7th grade year. We played at Skate Land and we got paid twenty dollars and we went and bought a pizza after the show with our money. We were shitting our pants because of how nervous we were. But we got through the show and kept going from there. We’ve changed so much since then. Not only have our songs gotten better but our stage presence has and we feel a lot more comfortable. I think that 6 years of being on stage really help you cope with playing live shows, and we’ve had a lot of time to perfect our show.
PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, “The Natural Way”?
Four straight forward rock n’ roll songs that are in your face and energetic.
PEV: How is “The Natural Way” different from other albums out right now? As well, now is it different from your past albums?
We really believe in having a “natural” or organic sound. We don’t use any programming, or anything that we can’t pull off live. Bands these days have tracks playing over their songs and we don’t think that’s what music is about. We play real music and we love what we do, hopefully people catch onto that. Our past albums were a little more laid back and not as hard. I think we really took a chance and wrote something that really smacks people in the face. We surprised people, but in a good way.
PEV: How would you describe the sound of Anarbor? And what do you think it is about the band that has made you so successful?
Real Rock n’ Roll music. We try to go for something different on every song, none of our songs sound the same like many records that come out now-of-days. We really make a connection with our fans too. We have more friends than fans I think. And we like it that way. We have fans that love good music and want to have a good time at our shows. And we appreciate every single one of them!
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of the band?
Most people don’t know that we’ve been friends for seven years. We consider that an accomplishment and our strong relationship really makes us that much better of a band and song writers.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?
We knew that we had a chance our senior year of high school when we started getting a lot of industry attention. I think when we signed our contract with Hopeless/Subcity Records was when we knew that we had a career in music. We love our label and we couldn’t have asked for a better family behind us.
PEV: What one word best describes Anarbor?
PEV: As musicians, you live a lot of your life on the road. How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts? Any fun stories?
Life on the road for us is so spontaneous and crazy. On our last tour I think just about everything that could possibly go wrong did: 2 car accidents, 2 tires blew out, our van died about 50 times, got a bomb-threat on our van (it’s a long story), and our van broke down in the middle of New York City.
It was definitely a learning experience and we wouldn’t take back any of it. But we are most successful as song writers when we are touring. Long drives we sit I the back of the van and jam the whole way. That’s how a lot of our new songs were written and we think they are some of the best we’ve ever created.
PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?
We love every city, but if we had to pick one we’d have to say Los Angeles, California. It’s like our second home.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?
They’re all very supportive in anything we do. They’re always checking in with us while we’re on the road. We love our friends and family, we couldn’t ask for more.
PEV: What can we find the members of the band doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
While we’re at home, we see each other everyday and are constantly hanging out with each other. We’re always jamming together when we’re hanging out, so music basically takes up our whole life at home as well. It’s a lot of fun.
PEV: Having played with many great acts in music is there still one artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
I’m sure a lot of bands have said The Beatles. I know that’s who we would pick too. Dude, they’re The Beatles.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
Our friends from back home who just started a band, Western Medicine. They’ve got great songs and are all awesome dudes.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music, what would the members of the band most likely be doing for a career?
We would all be going to college working on a degree, like most kids our age. We’re all enrolled in online college courses too.
PEV: Tell us what an average day is like for the members of Anarbor?
At home, wake up, go to practice for basically the whole day, then we usually all go hang out with our friends, and do the same thing the next day. On tour, wake up, drive all day, play a show, go to bed, do it all again the next day. We also have to balance online college between these things.
PEV: So, what is next for Anarbor?
We’ll be doing a west coast tour in December, and then we’ll hit the studio that same month to record a new EP, then touring our asses off after that. Look out for us in a city near you!