INTERVIEW: ANTEROS

In May, Leeds well acclaimed day Festival took place across the city. We saw the likes of six, interchangeable, authentic and buoyant indie-rock bands. Alongside this, a Journalist of ours interviewed the London based quintet Anteros about their, ‘sound,’ new music and some of their biggest fears.

I understand you’ve been working on your new debut album in Bath, when will that album be out?

Laura: We’re not allowed to say that are we? *Looks at manager Andy Glancy before continuing.* Early next year.

Are you able to give me a hint as to what the name could possibly be?

Laura: I don’t think we even know that yet, we’ve shortlisted it, there’s a few names and contenders.

Josh: It’s literally the hardest thing to do.

Laura: It’s like naming your baby, isn’t it! We know we don’t want to give it a song title name.

When you work- do you produce the songs first and then consider the title last?

Laura: I think for us, we had quite a lot of demos to pick from, we figured out a number of songs that we wanted to go in and record; and then we did pre-production on them and then we went in and did them. A lot of things did change, from the demos to preproduction they do change a lot. For pre-production we did that for a week in Suffolk before the year ended. It was great because we were all just in there for hours. 12 hours a day just starting to build these songs from scratch, because a lot of them were like writing demos, really simple- we just needed to come up with parts that everyone was comfortable with playing.

Josh: Then we spent the rest of the year, bouncing ideas off each other.

Laura: Yeah, we did almost two months in the studio, which was really good- we did have a weekend off though.

(all laugh)

So is there an overarching narrative highlighted within this album, or a theme perhaps?

Laura: The theme is definitely the idea of life in your early 20s. There is so much that you aren’t aware of until you’re 20 I think. Your parents can prepare you and your school can prepare you but, it’s so weird, by the time you hit 20 you’re a totally different person. Since the first few years, for us, we’ve all evolved, changed and learnt so much about ourselves; and that’s what this album is about. This album is about first proper heartbreak, understanding that things aren’t black and white at all, understanding the greys. Because from a young age you’re told, this is good this is bad. It’s a bit like the first steps in the real world and the first steps to becoming an adult. It’s weird how heartbreaks last, suddenly you can be heartbroken for a year and not even know it.

Harry: You can, let me tell you!

I feel as though there’s a story here, care to share?

Harry: (laughs) let’s not go there

Laura: You don’t expect it and that’s what our album is about, I think most of us have struggled. I feel like every kid in their early 20s gets depressed at one point, but the thing is, no one has prepared you for that. No one tells you and so you spend a year or however long in this state of mind not knowing how to get out of it. Learning how to overcome that, so I think for us that is the theme, of becoming an adult.

Josh: Growing up

What studio was your new debut album recorded in?

Laura: The Distillery – our record label has a beautiful studio in Somerset, which we get to use. We did the Drunk EP there and that was really fun, but this has been great. We stayed in an Airbnb, we were all living under the same roof, it added to the greatness. But we had days, there were days weren’t there Harry.

Harry: We had different people coming and going- we had like three different houses.

Laura: Yeah, Harry can’t clean up his eggs. Rotten eggs all over the counters. But yeah, I was almost a bit lost for those two months, because you’re in this cave, you’re in a little bubble. You also get bad FOMO (fear of missing out.) You know, your friends are on tour or out gigging, and you’re in the studio and can’t tell people what you’re doing, I’m cleaning up rotten eggs.

Jackson: Someone’s just played their part 20 times and it’s still not right, someone’s getting stressed out about that.

Laura: I quit smoking just before we went to record as well.

Harry: That’s kind of all we were doing, just recording, go to bed, wake up and go there again.

Laura: And you’re in there for 12 hours as well, you go home, try and disconnect, whichever way possible. You’ll have a day and a half on the weekend but you’re still in a bit of a limbo because you’re thinking about what you’re going to be doing. You guys also got snowed in?

Josh: Yeah, we did it in blocks of 3 weeks, and during the second block

Jackson: We got hit by the beast from the east

Josh: And it was me and Jackson and Harriet who was in the studio and looking at life in the studio with us, making the record. We were staying in this tiny village In Somerset which was basically on a hill, in a valley.

Harry: We literally embedded ourselves in the local community

Laura: Harry loves a local community

Josh: It was really fun, it’s nice when you can look back on making a record and there are so many great moments. We wanted to enjoy it and we had time to make the record, so many bands you hear only get a couple of weeks, so it was really sweet.

What would you say is your number one memorable studio recording session?

Laura: Probably this one, Bonnie was quite fun. We’ve been working with Charlie Andrew and he produced Bonnie and also this record. All the stuff we’ve previously put out is pretty much bedroom demos, everything was pretty much made on a laptop. Obviously, with Drunk EP we did in the studio properly, but the last two songs we released, Love and Bonnie were live tracks, they weren’t recorded. The energy live was not captured in any of the demos we did, we tried demoing it so many times but there was no way of getting it right. Then we met Charlie who came to one of our gigs and he had suggested, “why don’t you just do it live?” And we were like what?

Josh: We were like, record it live? And he said was like, “yeah.”

Laura: So, he got us in the studio in Brixton and he had two live rooms which he divided everyone into. He asked us to get friends to come in and get the live energy in there. Then we hired out some silent disco headphones because obviously you can’t have music blasting whilst you’re recording. So, we did a billion takes of that, we had a bunch of people, more girls, thank god, the boys were outnumbered. (laughs)

Jackson: Yeah, we had backing vocals on the song, which were just a gang vocal of girls, with Laura.

Josh: Ambience in the room.

Laura: It’s so cool though, because Bonnie is about women and for me, I just felt it was nice to have girls singing along to it and it helped bring some energy into the room.

Harry: Yeah, as musicians, we’re performers and so when you know people are watching you, you up your game.

Josh: it’s a much more natural way to record music; playing together as a band.

Jackson: There was a funny moment after we had done all that live tracking, we came in the next morning and Laura was like, “so, we going to do some vocals today?” Charlie said, “no, we got them all last night.” We were all like what? What do you mean? (all laugh)

Josh: Yeah, working with someone like Charlie is great, his whole approach is to do everything at the same time. It adds a challenge to the process.

Yeah, so what would you say is your way of disconnecting from your work? A lot of people listen to music, do you feel as musicians it’s hard to feel like you’re disconnecting by listening to music?

Laura: I listen to records, that’s the only way I can listen to music. But I think as a band, you have to be careful because you’re influenced by what you listen to. So, if you spend a whole day listening to music, you’re just going to end up sounding like every new band that’s out there. But listening to an album from start to end really allows me to unwind.

Harry: Music is so massive

(all laugh)

Harry: You know what I mean, you can listen to anything, a whole new album and know that you might not use it for your music,

Laura: Harry enjoys the pop hits

Josh: Yeah, he loves the Zara Larson and all that

Harry: There’s nothing wrong with that

Josh: Yeah, we all have our own guilty pleasures, but it’s not guilty. I love listening to hip-hop and Britpop. I think it’s great to have a diverse panel.

Jackson: Yeah, I’ll switch between Blink 182 and Neal Young.

Laura: Yeah, Jackson is a misery guts, he’s not allowed to DJ in the van.

(All laugh)

Laura: Yeah, I think I’m more r&b and soul, Donna Summers, Fleetwood Mac. But then, I go to No Doubt, and Kraftwerk, I go from one end of the spectrum to the other. I think it’s important, because the more you do, the more appreciated your work can be.

What are your thoughts on Journalists comparing bands to other bands as a way of describing their sound?

Laura: Oh god, I think whenever we’ve been compared I am grateful, you know people have compared us to Blondie quite a bit. I’d never take any offence. I think it’s quite funny because in our earlier stuff it was Fleetwood Mac, but we had never had a Fleetwood Mac comparison, it’s quite funny how it gets turned around.

Harry: Yeah, you can see why people use it as a tool

Josh: I think it is hard to articulate or define a band because music is so…

Harry: Music is massive!

(all laugh)

Laura: I guess, listeners want to know what they’re listening to as well. But, I don’t wanna sit in an interview and say, “yeah it’s indie rock or yeah, it’s pop,” because I don’t know what it is. We go, we write the music that feels good and that’s what we do. I don’t want to put a label on it because I want this band to be able to grow and make the music we want to make. If one day we want to add a hip-hop beat, then that’s that. We don’t want people to feel tricked and so we try not to constrain ourselves to one genre.

What musical guilty pleasures do you all have?

Laura: Harry has already said his

Josh: Probably rapping all the lyrics to Chance the Rapper’s, Colouring Book. It’s one of my favourite records. I just do it in my car, in my own world. I listen to it and I think, everything’s wrong about this but I still love it.

Laura: I’m not ashamed of anything, but have you heard of the new Shaggy and Sting collaboration? That has been my ultimate guilty pleasure at the minute. I fucking love Sting, but yeah, perhaps Shaggy is my guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel ashamed.

(all do impressions of Shaggy)

Laura: Let’s rebrand this, let’s stop making people ashamed of what they listen to, let’s call it, ‘what’s your music wild card?’ That way you make people feel special!

Josh: What’s that yodelling guy called?

Jackson: Mason Ramsey, yeah, I quite like him

Harry: I really like One Direction, got good tunes.

Josh: Music is massive (WICKED, WICKED)

Last two questions now, what’s something minuscule that you fear?

Harry: Fish, I’ve had a fear of fish since I was a child.

Laura: Mine is holes, like loads of holes together, there’s an actual name for it, it’s a real phobia.

Harry: The first tour I went on was with a band called High Tyde, but yeah, I stupidly told the guys of High Tyde that I was scared of fish. The next day, Louie, the drummer, (I hope Louie see’s this,) was like, “’ve uploaded your gear for you.” I was kind of like, okay… that’s nice of you, you’re not usually that nice. So, I’ve gone in, everyone just started to crowd around, I open my hardware case and it was really dark in there, so I was just rooting around. Felt something weird and was like, what was that? It was a trout! I sprang into action and sprinted out of the carpark.

Josh: He was like, “what is this? Who has done this?” We were all just pissing ourselves, he was so angry.

Laura: I accidentally made Harry eat fish. We went out for dinner with my family and Harry came along with us, he obviously didn’t want to make a bad impression on my family. (We aren’t together by the way) My dad was there, and he is Spanish and quite distant so Harry didn’t want to offend anyone.

Harry: Obviously everyone’s speaking Spanish, so everyone’s having a laugh at me eating fish

Josh: Mine is probably bacteria

Harry: It’s not minuscule at all, it’s quite major

Laura: Josh has OCD

Josh: Yeah, I’m not as bad as I used to be, but, the more nervous I am, the worse it gets.

Jackson: Mine is moths, going to sleep, turning your light off and knowing there’s a moth in your room and you’ve tried to make it leave but it won’t.

Laura: Do you know how many spiders we ingest every night? About 12 a year!

Josh: Jackson is quite firm with his insect and arachnid repellent.

Harry: Between us, he’s got every lotion!

Jackson: No, I don’t. But yeah, moths eating my jumpers, I don’t like that.

Laura: He’s an avid jumper collector

Harry: That’s what the fear is

Last and not least, what would you say is your most over-asked interview question?

Harry: Name

Laura: No, describe Bitter Dream Pop. If you came up and asked me the same question repeatedly I might be a bit irritated but if various people, ask, it shows that they care. We tend to try to give different answers.

Photos – Phoebe Fox (https://www.shotbyphox.com)

Laviea Thomas

Laviea Thomas

Features Editor at Gigslutz
Hiya pals, I'm the current Features Editor at Gigslutz. You can reach me on: lavgigslutz@gmail.com
Laviea Thomas

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