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Interview with Anchorsong @ The Breakfast Club
I caught up with Anchorsong for a quick chat about his love of Bjork, keeping up the neighbours with his string quartet rehearsals and the plans for 2012
So let’s talk about how your year has started off, what have you been producing, what’s exciting?
I finished my last album last April so since then I’ve been working on my new songs so there’s already six tracks ready, for the next album, it’s not ready yet but I hope to release it early next year
Ok, and is that going to be very different from your last album?
Ah I think it’s a new direction, I started this project in 2004 and since then what I’ve been doing hasn’t changed at all, I fixed the concept really early when I started it. Since then I’ve just been following it, I do want to be innovative but what I’m thinking is I just want to work on one thing for a long time so the more I do it it becomes more sophisticated. Some artists won’t do the same thing again but I think that if an artist wants to do this then it’s going to be inconsistent at least for the listeners. I’ve heard so many artists like that, I like one record and then the others are not so… but my favourite artists are not like that they will always be doing something similar for example the artists like J Dillla, Tom Waits, they don’t sound that much different but if you heard them you know its them that’s what I want to establish, I believe it takes time so that’s what I’m trying to do to, establish my own sound
So you had 3 EPs that were released back in Tokyo do you think the direction they took is very different to what you are doing now?
I believe some are similar, maybe the third one is a little more experimental but really I am following just one concept and so no in that sense I don’t think the EPs are very much different from the album I just released, actually the third EP is available here in the UK, on my own label, Case Study
You’re noted for your unique live performances, is that something that is important to you?
That is the most important concept of this project, when I started this I just wanted to play this music from the stage I just think when you’ve got something really electronically heavy, that it’s not normally supposed to be performed on stage, not physically at least. Those kind of tracks can be played with a laptop or a really complicated looking hardware but I wanted to do something very simple, very physical and so then I decided to just use two instruments and maybe a keyboard and just having those two instruments can be limiting but then that simplicity kind of gave me some ideas about what I could do and so my music, it came from that idea
And tell me about the journey you take when creating a track..what starts that creative process for you? Is it another track, something that’s happened?
The most typical process is I find one single sample it can be anything it can be a sample of a snare or maybe just a piano but it has to be a single note I never use a phrase sample coz if I use that then it decides what the song will be. Most of the hip hop producers do it that way but my style is simple I only use one single sample or sometimes just a high hat but once I find a good sample I think the rest of the track just comes together so it’s kind of like chemistry like you create something from one tiny sample so that’s my usual process, it doesn’t take more than two weeks
And who are your inspirations? Who do you listen to ?
Bjork, especially her early works I’m not crazy about her recent works though. The reason why I like her stuff is coz she takes different kind of elements and releases it as her own works and it doesn’t sound like anything else so when she released her second solo album I think she was really into her hip hop and so I think it was really influenced by hip hop but eventually the record doesn’t sound like hip hop at all. I like that she took ideas from different places and then put it into her own way I think that makes the originality I mean a lot of artists just take something and put it directly and it’s kind of obvious ..Ummm I also like JDilla ,MF Doom, Radiohead The Beatles , Jimi Hendrix..
So you’ve got your next gig coming up at Cargo on the 22nd March, are you looking forward to that?
Yea sure, I’ve been working for it quite intensely with my string quartet we’ve been rehearsing a lot. I’m going to play some old tracks and some new tracks as well, make it something really special!
So where have you found space to practice with your string quartet?!!
Usually we practice at my flat..it’s quite noisy..
Well your neighbours must love you..
Ha! Yea I’m not sure about that..well i’ve got this other neighbour who plays music at like 6am in the morning, which really annoys me so its kind of like some sort of payback!
Yea string quartet rehearsals definitely trump 6am music..
So you’ve also got Soundwave in Croatia coming up, what are your expectations this year?
Last year I performed at the main stage but I thought not that many of the audience knew my music in advance but as the night went on and people came together you could see they were getting into it and that was enjoyable to see. But this year I’m hoping that more of the audience will know my tracks in advance and so they’ll be able to recognize tracks more and so they would see the difference between the live tracks and the album. Not all musicians do that, when I go to a gig I like to be able to see a slightly different arrangement from the recording to the live performance. It’s like when I went to see Red Hot Chilli Peppers, they would just jam and then you would start to recognize they were going into a song you recognized…like Californication..they had mixed it up a bit, I like that excitement
So what are your plans for the rest of this year?
Well track wise I don’t really want to do anything with someone featuring..I would rather focus on instrumental music that doesn’t sound like others. I think it’s really common nowadays for electronic producers to feature vocalists, at least a couple of their tracks will definitely have vocals on them and I don’t think its original anymore. I want my albums to be consistent, so if I’m making instrumental tracks and then I have some with vocals I think it breaks the flow. I mean now even the most cutting edge producers use vocalists, it just seems using a vocal sample is really common. I mean I do like listening to that kind of stuff so as a creator I just want to try something different. And i would like to work with other musicians. Yea maybe, I mean I would like to provide a track for Q-Tip..umm M F Doom but they are rappers so I don’t know..maybe the singer from Little Dragon and I like Feist too.. But definitely I would like to work with them in the future
Well thanks so much for your time today and good luck with Cargo and Soundwave!
Anchorsong is playing at Cargo on the 22nd March and is performing at Soundwave Croatia on the 19th-23rd July
For tickets and more information:
Follow Chloe @sarky_clogz86