Melbourne punk band Anchors are set for a big end of 2012. They have just released their new album "Lost At The Bottom Of The World" and will be launching the release of the record by hitting the road later this month with Transit, as well as heading over to America for the first time in October to play The Fest in Gainesville, as well as a string of other shows while they’re there. We caught up with the band’s guitarist Patrick O’Shea once again to discuss the new record, as well as the band’s touring plans.
Start off by stating your name, your role in Anchors, and what you had for breakfast this morning?
Patrick, Guitar / schmoozing, two eggs from my neighbour’s chickens on avocado toast with Tabasco.
Since we last spoke to you, you found the time to record and release your new album “Lost At The Bottom Of The World”. How are you feeling now that the album is out?
Really good. Even though in the scheme of ‘the biz’ it was a really quick turnaround, for us it felt like an eternity. You can’t tell whether something you have made is actually good until you can validate it with the opinion of people you don’t know. It sounds like I’m taking the piss but I’m 100% serious… Even with a little band like Anchors you get so close to what you’re writing and hear the songs so many times that it really takes someone else’s opinion to give you some sense of reality again…
You recorded once again with Joel Taylor at Three Phase Studios in Melbourne. What was it like recording with Joel again on the album?
It was a bit different to last time. We were definitely more prepared this time. Joel knows how to get the best out of us now, and we really upped the ante gear wise, so it was probably a better experience than last time, but it’s hard to gauge because recording always feels horrible and painstaking to me…
What was the writing process like for the new album; did you do anything to change things up this time around?
The last album was written over the space of maybe a month, and only demo’d once, whereas this time we wrote it over the space of about 6 months, and did four rounds of demos. We wrote a lot more songs this time as well and were really critical on what was OK, what needed to be reworked, and what was a hunk of shit. We were really conscious of not just writing another Bad Juju to be honest, although we didn’t want to do a Crime in Stereo and come out as a completely different band, we certainly don’t wanna be one trick ponies.
Do you have a favourite song from the album?
For me it is the last track, ‘New Limit’. I was so happy to do something completely different, not do any fast bits, not really do any twiddly bits, just write a slower song and give Brett a bit of room to move away from fast angry shit, even if only for one song. It’s not like that is a new direction for the band, but it was a good challenge…
To launch the release of the album, you will be touring later this month with Transit. What are you hoping to get out of this tour?
Same thing we always do – time off work, fun shows, heaps of drinkin’ and seeing friends… I’m fucking excited to see Transit as well, Listen and Forgive was one of my top releases of last year and it’ll be good to see them playing live. I guess it’ll be good to play with a band that’s not so heavy as well. We’ve only done tours with bands on the heavier end of the spectrum so it’ll be interesting to see how this works!
What are you looking forward to the most about the tour?
Tour is just tour, the whole thing is always awesome. Not having to worry about work, chilling in the van, seeing mates, warmer weather, getting loose in DAL clubs, eating shit tonnes of food etc etc etc…
Do you have some things and places lined up that you will be showing Transit while they are here?
Maybe… I think we only get one day off on the entire tour so I don’t know how much time we’re going to have. Little things like the beach and ridiculous highway attractions like the Big Prawn and shit are always funny. We have 3 days in Melbourne so food and bars are on the cards…
Do you feel that the Transit tour will be a good opportunity to play to a crowd that you might not have had access to on your own?
Yes and no. We’ve played a lot of mixed bills in our time and it’s not as easy as just playing to them and BAM they like you. You have to work harder with people who haven’t heard you before, and sometimes, they’re not going to give a shit anyway. We’ve played a lot of straight up hardcore shows and some full on weird pop rock shows and you can instantly tell if no one is going to give a shit… That said, I think Transit is a close enough match to us that hopefully a few people will see us for the first time and enjoy it.
You guys are no strangers to the road by this stage; do you have any favourite cities to play in or favourite venues across the country?
We always love playing Tassie. We’re really bummed that we’re not going there on this tour. The Brisbane Hotel look after you so well and everyone in Hobart, as well as the people who trek down from Launnie, Devonport, and god knows where, are absolute legends.
It was announced a few months ago that you will be heading over to America in October to play The Fest in Gainesville. How did you hook that up?
Just a case of who you know not what you know… Mike from After the Fall offered us an introduction to Tony who books The Fest and he really liked our music, so he booked us…
The line up for The Fest is massive, what bands in particular are you looking forward to seeing?
I was looking forward to seeing Torche but they had to pull out… It’ll be great to see Good Riddance, I’ve never seen them and am a lifelong fan, Propagandhi again obviously, Lagwagon, Grade, Baroness and everyone else that I’m forgetting haha…
How many other shows have you got lined up while you’re over there?
About a dozen at the moment, we’re driving from Montreal down and playing a bunch of places on the way. Hopefully we’ll have some Cali shows booked soon too…
What thoughts went through your head when you found out that Propagandhi was added to the line up a few days ago?
That time I got on stage to sing Fuck the Border and totally cooked it.
The Smith Street Band will also be playing, are you planning on spending some time with them while it is on and being obnoxious Australians?
I think so. I think we’re staying in the same hotel so that should be interesting. Hopefully we’re not too obnoxious, there are already plenty of obnoxious Australian’s going as far as I know…
The Arthouse closing down last year was obviously a huge loss for the Melbourne music scene. Do you feel this closure has had much of an impact over the last 12 months?
Not as much as you would think. It sucks emotionally, but life goes on. The few shows we’ve played at other venues have been sweet and they’re moving on to bigger and brighter things so all power to everyone…
And on that note, have you been and checked out The Reverence Hotel yet? If so, what are your initial thoughts?
I haven’t been down yet but from all accounts it’s awesome and the food’s kewl.
What is your fondest memory that you have from being a part of the band so far?
Japan tour without a doubt, the kindness shown to us and the friends we made will stay with us forever. Getting a teary glaze over my eyes just thinking about it haha.
Do you have any goals that you would like to achieve with this band?
We never really set any ‘goals’ per se with this band. The thing I think we have to do before we pack it in is get over to Europe and meet some of the weirdos who spam our page. Hopefully next year.
Who are some bands that you have been enjoying lately that we should be checking out?
Cleave. They are the best punk band in the world for my money. Check out this video for ‘The Circle’.
What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2012 other than touring America?
Not much, Murph is going to be away for a while so we won’t be playing too many shows before the end of the year. We have Fest-Mas in Melbourne in December with Pour Habit which will be sweet, but we’ll be taking it pretty cruisy until 2013…
Thanks for doing the interview, best of luck with the Transit tour. Any last words or shout outs?
Cleave again. They’re that good. Also – shout-outs to Joel Taylor, Alan Douches, Pat Galvin and the myriad of people whose passion and perseverance made this album a reality.