Melbourne punk rock outfit Anchors have been keeping busy since the release of their ‘Bad Juju‘ album late last year. They are one of the many acts who’ll grace the stage at Push Over 2011 in March, so Deborah Konopnicki caught up with Pat from the band for a chat. This weekend the band also teams up with No Trigger & Such Gold for a couple of shows in Melbourne and Adelaide. Click below to expand this post and check out the interview. For more information on the band, head [Here].Anchors - We Are Oscar Mike
Hey, Pat! How are you going, mate?
All good thanks! How are you going?
Very good thanks.
We’ve all got a bit of a break from work at the moment so it was a great time to call.
Excellent. So what are you doing in your time off?
We haven’t been doing a lot of band stuff at the moment, which has given m a great deal of spare time and is a welcome change.
The talk of the day for your guys is your inclusion of the 2011 Push Over festival featuring a host of great Aussie bands. How did you get involved with the organisation?
Well, they contacted us! We’re been doing a little bit of Freeza stuff lately but it was a great surprise to get on the show! I’ve been interested in the Push Over stuff for I think it’s about ten years now, so to be able to get on It was quite awesome! I don’t know how we did though! (laughs) We just look at the caliber of other bands and we feel a little bit overwhelmed.
The Push is a pretty important part of the local scene so it’s great that the festival has been running for so long. What other things have you been involved with?
The last one that we did was an all-ages show in Croydon. They do so many shows.
You’ve got a couple of really cool shows coming up before the festival including one at the incredibly iconic Arthouse which unfortunately is going to be closing its doors in the near future. Do you have any fond memories of the venue? Either as a part of the band of just a spectator?
Yeah, definitely. I still haven’t got my head around the fact that The Arthouse is closing. Like, even when we’re booking shows it just hits you really hard that you can’t just call Dave to book us. I haven’t been going there as long as some people but I remember my first show there was a show call Ska-beque with Area 7. It goes back a little while for me! I don’t know what anyone is going to do because without a venue like The Arthouse I guess that the music scene becomes a lot less vibrant. It’s harder to organise shows, which means that there will be less shows I guess.
Yeah, it’s a sad thing. You could always rely on The Arthouse to have a quality gig on the weekend and I guess that when you eliminate that as a venue it might make it just that little bit harder for local bands to have somewhere constant to play that has the reputation that The Arthouse has built.
Yeah. I mean there are other venues but it’s just the ease that you can deal with The Arty and how well known it is for punters that we’ll miss. That’s not saying that it’s harder to work with other places though.
You’d be better equip at commenting on this then I would, but as a punter I feel like there is just so much oversaturation of international bands at the moment and you just feel that people are going to start going back to local shows in big numbers. I’m not saying that there aren’t people at the local shows at the moment, but for the average kid they can’t afford to drop $150 every time that a festival is announced.
Yeah! I mean, it’s something that I’ve been saying since a while back and especially now that it’s so easy to get international bands over here. If you look at the moment in all of the capital cities of Australia you could name a punk or hardcore band or any sort of alternative band that is just as good or better than anything coming from the States or Europe. I think that you’re starting to see the oversaturation of international bands, like there’s one out every week. It hasn’t hurt Australian shows in the way that I thought that it would. If anything the attendances are still great at Aussie shows and in some cases a bit better than the international ones.
Now, you released your debut album late last year after releasing a couple of EPs. How was that experience for you?
Well, we went with the same dude that recorded or second EP. He’s a pretty easy guy to get along with and he’s pretty open about what’s going on. We started feeling the crunch a little bit early on just in terms of time and stuff. He sat us down and said that “look, you don’t have enough time here let’s book a few more days and take the pressure off”. So, we did and I think that the extra time really helped to push the things that we wanted to get out. I mean, half of the thing is that we like working under pressure and we like not over thinking what we’re writing and recording to much so we didn’t want to spend weeks in there. It certainly was an experience having the extra few days in the studio to record something.
Do you have any favorite tracks from the record?
(laughs) Personally it’s hard to say. Basically on the CD, half of the guitar parts were written by me and half of the guitar parts were written by the other guitarist Chris.
So you’d say that it would come from the half written by you?
(laughs) well, you have two different styles and thoughts on writing songs and what music is good. If you know which son is written by who you can kind of pick the difference. As for favorites, I don’t really know. I will admit that I don’t usually listen to the music from my own band (laughs). I like nutting out what was right or what was wrong but in terms of saying what I think is my favorite track, I think that might be a little self indulgent.
(laughs) fair call. Well, let me re-phrase the question; what songs do you enjoy playing the most?
Oh, ones to play live? I like playing the easy ones! The stuff off our older recordings I really like to play. With the newer stuff, Chris tends to push my guitar playing skills which are limited becaue they’re a bit harder. I’d say that any of the easy ones off of the old EP.
Just listening to some of the tracks off of the album you can totally pick out bands that have influenced you, for example you can tell that A Wilhelm Scream is a massive influence on you guys.
I would say that they are one of the common influences throughout the band. We’ve got a lot of different ideas of what music is good among the band but A Wilhelm Scream is one that we all share a love of.
Are there any other bands that night influence your own style?
Older bands like Strung Out, Ignite, there’s a fair few metal bands that we all like, like Darkest Hour and that kind of thing, I mean, it tends to come from pretty wide places. Like, Chris – the other guitarist – used to play in a bloody metalcore band. Our drummer used to drum in a really poppy-punk band. Our singer used to sing in other hardcore bands; it comes from a pretty wide, wide place so it’s hard to pick out a lot of influences but I think that you can pick out a few little ones here and there I guess.
You can really see the metal influence shining through because your music does tend to sit on the heavier side of the punk realm. I’m going to say that A Wilhelm Scream is probably a band that you could see yourselves touring with but are there any other international bands that you’d be keen to share the stage with? I know that you’ve also got the show with No Trigger coming up that should be great.
Yeah, that’s another one that a lot of us have wanted to see live for a vey long time. I mean, the thing is that a lot of bands that I’d like to see you get to see these days! I terms of bands like I’d like to see, I can’t wait to see H2O. They’re going to be awesome. If we could get onto a H2O tour then that would be rad but I don’t think that’s going to happen in the near future.
In terms of Anchors, have you had any shows that have stood out among your others around the country?
We always like playing interstate. Like, we love playing in Tassie, Canberra and Adelaide. Those shows are always awesome. The people always look after us there.
Do you have one favorite place to play in Australia?
Probably The Arthouse. That is always the best place to play show and they’re always the easiest people to deal with. I’ve never had a hassle with the dudes at The Arty. Interstate? Probably Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Tassie are always rad.
You guys released one of your EPs “Songs For Lilly” as a digital release purely to get into the hands of as many people as your could. A lot of people are opting for digital work as the cost of CDs stays the same but less and less people are buying them. Were you happy with how that worked and do you think that it’s something that you might consider again in the future?
Yeah, definitely . Basically when you’re selling CDs you’re realistically looking at covering the cost of your pressing so in the end you’re often sitting there thinking “well, what was the point of that?!” Our album had the shit leaked out of it so you have to take that stuff into consideration. We’re happy for people overseas to download music and hear it. Like, it’s awesome having people overseas hearing it and letting us know what they think. For the time being people like a tactile thing and it’s always good to have a little bit of cash coming your way when you’re travelling and playing shows interstate. One thing to keep in mind is that CDs aren’t too long for this world. Digital collections aren’t great and vinyl collections kind of take up too much space, but I don’t know. I’m sure that there will be something to come along in the next 20 years that will work it out.
Now onto the really important questions. I read that you were a bit of a Wayne Carey fan growing up. So I take it that you’re a big Kangaroos fan as well?
(laughs) yeah, he would be my childhood idol! It was weird because the rest of my family went for the Hawks. During the late 80’s and early 90’s when the Roos were playing a lot of Friday night games, that was sort of the footy that you tended to see so I got to see a lot of Wayne Carey growing up. It was really sad the way that he went. It destroyed the image of an idol.
Being an avid football fan myself I couldn’t imagine being on the road and not being able to sit at the MCG every week. I know that touring is a part of being in a band but do you find it hard to give up things like going to the footy to peruse another passion?
I still tend to go to about a dozen games a year so I guess that I haven’t had that void in my life! We’re not really the hardest working touring band so the problem hasn’t really presented itself yet! We all tend to get along really well. Tours are always fun.
I’ve just got one more question for you before I take up too much of your time, but last year ended on a really strong note for Anchors. What do you see 2011 holding for the band?
I don’t want to say too much I guess but were really excited about looking overseas this year. We’re currently trying to organize Japan for the end of this year, which would be an awesome thing for us. Speaking to most of our friend’s bands that have been over there, they definitely enjoy playing there so it would be a cool thing if we could make it there this year. We’re also looking at getting to Europe but that will probably not be this year.
Catch Anchors playing at
13/03/11 – MELBOURNE, ABBOTSFORD CONVENT
Venue address: St Heliers Street, Abbotsford. Venue phone: (03) 9380 1277.
Time: Midday. Age restrictions: All Ages.
Fully supervised, drug, alcohol and smoke free event
[BUY TICKETS FOR THIS SHOW ONLINE HERE]
Anchors, Break Even, Children Collide, Deez Nuts, Dream On Dreamer, Gold Fields, House Vs Hurricane, Howl, I Exist, Illy, Last Dinosaurs, Metals, Oh Mercy, 1/6 feat. MzRizk, Owl Eyes, Stonefield, The Storm Picturesque, The Tongue, Violent Soho, Young Revelry and more to be announced!
Full information available at www.thepush.com.au