The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




Anarbor Interview 2013




Anarbor is on their way Down-under for the first time as part of the first ever Vans Warped tour of Australia which hits our shores in November. We took some time out to talk to singer Slade Echeverria about the phoenix band’s new album ‘Burnout’.




Mark: Hi Slade thanks so much for talking the time to talk to The Rockpit.


Slade: Absolutely


Mark: I just got a copy of ‘Burnout’ last night and so I’ve managed to give it a few spins. Even though it’s not a radical departure from your earlier releases it does feel a lot stronger. What has the reaction been like so far to the new material?  


Slade: Yeah the fans have been really responsive and they seem to like the sound, it’s not too far as you said, but we tried to go a bit more rock this album.


Mark: A strange name for a band from Phoenix, there’s not a lot of trees and you’re a long way from Michigan. Where did the name come from?


Slade: Well our guitarist does actually come from Ann Arbor in Michigan, we originally had a name that was pretty lame (originally “Troop 101”) we liked the sound of Ann Arbor so made it all one word which was kinda cool.
Mark: The lineup is pretty interesting too, you seem to be losing members recently – is it just you and Dave the guitarist at the moment.


Slade: It’s actually just me right now. Unfortunately everyone kinda left to do their own things, so I now have a guy, Josh who was in a band called ‘Every Avenue’, he’s playing with me and I have a drummer now, and an old percussion player that used to play percussion with us when we were a four piece is also playing guitar now.
Mark: Is that a situation that you’ve comfortable with, I mean you write the songs but does it now feel like being a solo artist?   


Slade: We’ve always been a band so when they left it was kind of ‘let’s see what happens’ I mean a new band could spark up out of this but it’s all kind of in the air right now.





Mark: Last time I was over in Phoenix a few tears ago there was a pretty vibrant scene going on musically, plenty of bands, plenty of places to play especially around Tempe. Has it changed much? What’s it like at the minute back home?  


Slade: You know what’s it’s hard to say, when we first started out maybe seven years ago the scene was absolutely amazing we had a bunch of local bands and some great venues to play at. Kids were always going to shows buying t-shirts and stuff, everything was super awesome and the spark was really there. Now a lot of venues here in Phoenix have closed down, there’s only a few left. But now local bands when they start out haven’t really got places to play anymore: the venues that are left are all for the bigger bands that come through.  When we were starting out there were always venues that would give you a chance to play and get your start, but it doesn’t feel like there are those places anymore. The kids are still very supportive of us though, we still have a solid following in Phoenix.
Mark: You’re pretty hard working as well; you seem to be constantly on tour!


Slade: Yeah (laughing) we tour a bunch man!


Mark: The exciting news for us is that you are coming Down under to see us on the first ever Vans Warped Tour of Australia.


Slade: I cannot tell you how excited I am to be coming over we’ve never been to Australia before, we’ve toured Canada, Japan, the UK but Australia is really a new experience for us.






Mark: You’re coming over at a god time of year, maybe not as hot as Phoenix but we’ll be getting there. What are you looking forward to?


Slade: Kinda just meeting the people there and playing with the bands and maybe even finding out if we have any fans over there! It’s gonna be totally different. You guys have all those different animals and stuff and I’m a big wine guy so I hear you have some great wine over there. I’m just so excited.


Mark: There are great wineries everywhere but I think South Australia and Western Australia have some of the best reds. Getting back to the album, you mentioned that you’re not sure if you have fans over hear, but listening to ‘Burnout’ I think the answer is if you didn’t you will have really soon. It’s so catchy. The think I liked about it most is the diversity: there are really cool songs like ‘Damage I’ve Done’; then you get the real pop of songs like ‘18’ the one about pissing off your parents; ‘Whiskey in Hell’ is fantastic and then something unexpected and so cool like ‘I Don’t Love you Anymore’. Did the songs come together over a period of time or was it a quite intense writing period?


Slade: Between this record and the last there are about two years, and we’re pretty much writing all the time though we’d been touring so much after the last one, we took a little break to go home and be with our family and girlfriends and friends and stuff. But during that whole period we were writing. During that time I guess we did about 40 or 50 songs – we experimented writing with song-writers in LA; we kind of stepped out of our box on this one. And that was kind of interesting as usually when we were about to write a record we’d sit down in a room and we all write so we all put out two cents in. Nut this time it took a while and when you pick the best out of the 40 it came together quite nice.


Mark: The two singles ‘Who can Save Me Now?’ and ‘Every High Has a Comedown’ are both great introductions to the band for new Australian fans wanting to check you out. Are you going to be playing a lot of the new album?
Slade: Yeah, this tour in the States we play about 4 or 5 new ones.


Mark: What’s going down well? We’re you playing ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ for example?   


Slade: We weren’t playing that one but we can (laughing), if you want us to! We play the singles, ‘Whiskey in Hell’; ‘18’ and one other.





Mark: We mentioned before that you’re a pretty hard working band always out on the road. What do you get out of that experience, have you learnt anything from your contemporaries?


Slade: The more we tour the more fans we get, these days if you cut a record and you stay home it’s really not going to do much! You really gotta show kids how you are ‘live’ (or even if you’re any good live) and get out there and interact. Over here with all the social networking and stuff fans really feel like they really know you and they want to meet you and stuff and all that’s really important over here. Touring you ass off is the main thing we’ve learned.


Mark: That’s the great thing about the Vans tour coming down here we get a chance to see so many bands that we wouldn’t normally get the chance to see. As far as your personal influences are who do you look to and who has really helped form your style?


Slade: When it comes to me personally I’m a huge nineties guy, I grew up on that kind of music so anything from that era. It’s pretty diverse: The Gin Blossoms, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cyndi Lauper – the sky’s the limit man! I can be influenced by anything but growing up I loved bands like Taking back Sunday and I’d go to the Warped tour myself and see the bands that I loved. I definitely got the influence to start a band from seeing those bands. I was like yeah I want to form a band; I want to play like that, and for me it did get that far.





Mark: You’ve certainly got a knack with a catchy chorus and hope it’s fair to say that on ‘Burnout’ you’re exploring more lyrically than on previous releases?


Slade: Yeah, absolutely when we first started the band I was like 14 years old and we hadn’t experienced a lot except school, high school and kissing girls for the first time (laughs). But now that I’m 23 we’ve come a long way and experienced so much more: falling in and out of relationships, losing friends. All different types of stuff and so we have so much more to say on this record.


Mark: If you could have been a fly on the wall for the recording of any great album at any point in time, just to see how the magic happened, and how it all came together what would it have been for you and why?
Slade: It’s probably not a classic album in that it’s not very old but it is my favorite record of all time. I’m a huge, huge fan of Brand New the band and ‘Deja Entendu’ is my favorite record so I’d love to see how that all came together.  That would be sweet.


Mark: I don’t know if you can hear that but a huge rainstorm just hit, that’s not static. I’m pretty sure it will be gone by the time you get over. Take care and we look forward to seeing you when you get here. Australia will love you I’m sure.


Slade: I’ll make sure we see you when we come over to Australia.  




Slade spoke to Mark Diggins October 2013





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