01. Got A Nerve! (Deutschland) | 2011-08-31
02. Own Blood Magazine (Deutschland) | 2011-06-07
03. Fuze Magazine (Deutschland) | 2011-05-16
04. FUZE Magazine (Deutschland)
GAN!: Hallo! This is GAN! webzine. What’s up? And who’s gonna reply this interview?
Yo, I'm Mattias, I play guitar in Anchor.
GAN!: If my memory doesn’t play tricks you guys are around since before 2007, right? For those not in the know, can you introduce all band members and give us a low-down on band history thus far?
That's correct. We're Mattias, Ulf, Calle, Fredrik and Claes. We've released two LP's, a bunch of EP's and some other stuff. We've toured Europe and North America a few times with bands we admire.
GAN!: Let’s jump straight to 2011. Last month you guys released your sophomore full-length “Recovery”. How do you guys feel about this new release?
MATTE: Stoked of course. Even though I have to admit I haven't listened to the record since we got the final mix in march. It's definitely our best record yet though, no doubt.
GAN!: How do you come up with an Anchor song? What do you laid down first –lyrics/riffs?
MATTE: Most of "Recovery" first came to life in my couch. A riff or two, a basic idea came to me, I then brought it to bandpractice where I showed the idea to the others and we took it from there collectively. Most of the time what happened was the Ulf had some interesting input on the songs. Lastly me, Claes and Calle sorted out the vocal arrangements.
GAN!: In your view, how does your new record fits among the other releases? And do you think it manages to best embody what ANCHOR year 2011 are all about?
MATTE: Yes, I think it gives the listener a pretty good idea of where we are right now. My ambition with "Recovery" was to make it differ quite a bit from our previous releases, at the same time I also wanted to hold on to the "Anchor-characteristics". I'd like to think we succeeded in doing so.
GAN!: Does the title “Recovery” have any deeper meaning?
I'm sure it means different things depending on which one of us you ask. Alot of things in this world need to be fixed. Look around and look inside. To me the title is a call to contemplation, critical thought and action.
GAN!: Lyrically, what themes you wanna address?
It's the same old really.
GAN!: The new album is out on Let It Burn records, how did you get hooked up with them and how do you think they are supporting your band?
MATTE: Chris got what at the time was our latest recording, the Relations of violence-7", he liked it and got in touch. We're of course very happy to work with such a hardworking, caliber label. It's inspiring to see the amount of time and effort he puts into promoting our band.
GAN!: Sweden seems like to be a very hotbed for metal and hardcore bands. Years ago I heard something about funds dealt out by your government to support young bands moving their first steps in the music scene. Was this all true?
MATTE: Yes, there's funds you can apply for to have parts of your monthly practicespace-rent covered but it's really not alot of money.
GAN!: Do you think hardcore bands can support themselves only through constant touring and merch sold at shows?
MATTE: Yes, but it's very rare. We're very far from it.
GAN!: What’s the Gothenburg scene like these days? Any bands worth checking out?
MATTE: I'm actually the only one in the band living in Gothenburg. I like it here though. It's a beautiful place to live and alot of cool things happen. One of my favourite bands lately is Gamla pengar. They're awesome!
GAN!: You guys are well outspoken about your vegan sXe ethics. What being a sXe veg-etari-an individual means to you?
MATTE: Yes. Our individual stories probably differ a bit from each other as we come from different geographical places and social backgrounds. I personally come from a broken home. Alot of people in my family and near environment were alcoholics or chemically addicted. I guess I felt subconsciously that I needed to be a counter reaction to all of that As I've grown older the idea of sober living have grown with me and have come to be about way more than just self-preservation. Same thing with veganism really. I turned vegan 13 years ago and at that time it was all about the animal rights-aspect for me. It has since then come to be about so much more; environmental- and health-reasons for example.
GAN!: I’m pretty sure you’re road testing your new stuff. How do kids react to it on live dimension?
It's been working out fine and especially towards the end of the tour when the record had been out for a while. I'm looking forward to play more songs from the new record and see people connect to them.
GAN!: Your Euro tour is on its last legs these days How this did go? Any cool stories that go along with it?
MATTE: The van must have broken down a thousand times or so. We were stranded in Bilbao for a week without anywhere to stay. A drunk dude on a moped hit our parked rental car in Vigo and a million other things but I'm still too traumatized to wanna talk about it. We had quite a few awesome shows though. Some of the best we've ever done so I guess it evens out.
GAN!: What’s up next for Anchor?
MATTE: We're touring europe with Trial and Run with the hunted in september/october. Stoked about that of course. We've got a bunch of sweden-shows lined-up and our plan is to do what we call a "far-away-tour" in early 2012. Tons of things coming up.
GAN!: Yep time to close this up. Anything to add?
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OBM: First off, give us some background on yourself. Tell us how Anchor got its start?
Mattias: Anchor started in early 2007. The bands we'd been in in up until then had just broken up and we still had a drive to make records and tour. The three of us who started the band got together in january or so that year and wrote 5 songs in a few hours. Those songs later became the "Captivity songs"-ep. In march or april that same year we went on our first tour, with Ritual and the rest is history I guess.
OBM: For those who have yet to hear the record and your sound, who would you say is its biggest musical influences and comparisons?
I hear Defeater and a little dash of Have Heart.
Mattias: Oh, we're all over the place. Never really heard Defeater but friends of mine keep telling me to check them out so I definitely will, soon. With Recovery we were going for a feeling rather than a sound. No specific bands. At the same tiem there's always a bunch of bands that are fundamental to you. For me there's always Breach, Entombed, Snapcase and and a million others. Bands that really intrigued me and made me wanna make awesome music myself. I'm definitely proud of our previous records but kinda felt most of it was a bit too clean-cut so I wanted Recovery to be heavier and dirtier. More riff-based, more punk and more emotional.
OBM: Is your sound something that you guys sit down and discuss the direction of or do you just start jamming and see where it flows?
Mattias: It's very much a product of moments and spontaneity. We never really discuss songs during the process we just kick them out. Usually the process looks like this; me or Ulf have an idea, a bunch of riffs or sometimes even an entire song. We present it to the others and we collectively feel it out. Most of the songs on Recovery were born in my kitchen, brought to practice and recorded with a cellphone. I'd then listen to it while going for a walk and see how I felt about it, what I liked about it and what needed to be improved.
OBM: "Awakening" really was the first track to catch me. Tell us a little bit about the song?
Mattias: That song went through two or three different phases. I was throwing parts around for a while, adding and taking away until I found a formula I liked. At first it had this long, doomy intro that in itself was awesome but really didn't do much good for the song as a whole so it had to go. I wanted Awakening to be an intense but yet simple, straight forward song and it turned out pretty good in the end.
OBM: I think the first thing I am drawn to is the lyrics of an album. I’m not sure if this is the same for everyone, but there is power and encouragement within this genre because of this. So talk to us about any themes taking place on this record…
Mattias: Same thing for me. It's what gives hardcore the potential of sticking out from alot of other genres. Claes wanted the lyrics to portray a journey towards a more peaceful place. On a personal, collective and global level. I guess that's a red line going through most of them at least. We've got the crucial song about veganism on there, the equally crucial straight edge-song, one about religion, one or a few dealing with more personal topics and so on.
OBM: Tell us about the title, Recovery… What it means and how it came about.
Mattias: The title, Recovery, is about healing, on an individual, collective and global level. Be it dealing with personal traumas, a messed up childhood, addiction, the global economy, sexism and so on and so on. This world needs to heal in so many ways on so many levels and in my eyes most of these problems are interconnected. It's all symptoms of all world gone mad and it's up to us to make a change. Every movement starts with just on person.
OBM: I love your album art. How did you come up with the idea? What does it say about your album?
Mattias: First off, thank you so much for the kind words! Ulf took the photos outside his family home, where he grew up. Our friend Kalle made a draft and him and us kept discussing it all throughout the entire process. We appreciate his work very much and thanks to Ulf's photos it turned amazing in my opinion. We were talking about how we wanted to the artwork to contrast towards the music but yet walk hand-in-hand with the lyrical theme of the record and portray serenity and peace.
OBM: What have you seen as the biggest difference between the times when you were a DIY band to now where you have a good label backing you?
Mattias: Our cooperation with Let it burn has only just begun so it's a bit too early to point out. One thing I can say already is that we're stoked to work with a label that is as hard at work as we are. Feels good and we can't wait to see what this cooperation will bring.
OBM: What does music mean to you personally?
Mattias: Call me a pretentious asshole if you will but it's the air that I breathe. Music has been my companion through thick and thin. I've been using it to celebrate and mourn thorughout most of my life, ever since my brother showed me Guns N Roses. I'm not a musician in any way though. I sung in a choir for 6 months and I loved it but that's the extent of my "musical education". Everything I know I've learnt by myself, with a bit of help from people around me and some curiousity. I tell you, whatever I do a million people can do ten times better. I do this because I need music in my life, on many levels.
OBM: Once the album is out what’s the next step?
Mattias: Touring, touring, never boring! We're touring europe this summer. Some 30 shows allover the western parts. As most of you might already know we're doing another european tour this fall with our lovers in Trial and Run with the hunted. Very stoked about that of course. We'll round 2011 up with what we, within the band, refer to as a "far-away-tour". Not yet sure where we'll go though but it should be fun!
OBM: When people attend a Anchor show, what do you want them to come away with?
Mattias: A sense of empowerment, a feeling that if these pricks can be on stage and have people watching I'm good enough for anything. I wanna make people enjoy themselves, sweat and dance and leave the club in a good mood and feel like life's not too bad I guess.
OBM: Was there anything else you guys wanted to throw out at the readers?
Mattias: Life's tough, be kind!
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Wie hat es euer Songwriting beeinflusst, dass wir euch euren talentiertes- ten Gitarristen weggenommen haben?
Mattias: Genau, warum habt ihr euch stattdessen nicht den anderen geschnappt? Aber im Ernst: Das ist eine gute Frage. Davor lief es bei uns so, dass Marcus Riffs anbrachte, die er dann mit mir zusammenbaute. Als er die Band verließ und ich vom Schlagzeug an die Gitarre wechselte, wusste ich, wie groß die Herausforderung sein würde. Ich habe das aber sehr genossen, und nach zweieinhalb Seven Inches und einer LP scheint es, als wäre es genau das Richtige gewesen, um ANCHOR in eine neue Richtung zu bewegen.
Es gibt also kein böses Blut?
Mattias: Nein, behaltet ihn. Marcus ist toll. Mit kaum jemandem hatte ich mehr Spaß daran, Musik zu machen.
Böse Gerüchte im Internet besagen, dass ihr uns Marcus abtreten musstet, damit wir Stillschweigen darüber bewahren, dass wir euch beim Big-Mac- Fressen bei McDonald’s erwischt haben. Was sagst du zu diesen Vorwür- fen, an denen wir natürlich vollkommen unschuldig sind?
Mattias: Haha, das kann eigentlich nur Marcus gewesen sein. Das ist wahrscheinlich auch der Grund, warum wir ihn zu euch geschickt haben.
Wieso überhaupt dein Wechsel vom Schlagzeug an die Gitarre? Mattias:
Dieser Schritt schien uns einfach das Vernünftigste zu sein – auch wenn ich davor noch nie in einer Band Gitarre gespielt hatte. Unser Freund Oskar hat mich ja schon einmal am Schlagzeug vertreten – während der ersten Hälfte unserer Tour mit VERSE und I RISE –, es gab also jemanden, der unsere Anforderungen erfüllte, unsere Songs kannte und in der Band sein wollte. Oskar machte aller- dings ein paar schwere Zeiten durch und war nur ein Jahr bei uns. Zum Glück fan- den wir dann Calle. Kurz darauf verließ uns unser Gitarrist Niklas. Er wollte nach vier Jahren mit ANCHOR einfach etwas anderes machen. Unser alter Kumpel und Roadie Ulf nahm daraufhin seinen Platz ein, und darüber könnten wir nicht glück- licher sein. Wir waren nie besser.
Ihr lebt alle in verschiedenen Städten, richtig? Wie wirkt sich das auf die Band aus?
Mattias: Es hilft vor allem dabei, von den anderen nicht so schnell die Schnauze voll zu haben ... Klar, es würde viel runder laufen, würden wir alle in derselben Stadt wohnen oder zumindest näher zusammen. Andererseits sind wir immer hundertprozentig konzentriert, wenn wir uns treffen. Das Ganze hat also auch gute Seiten.
Euer Sänger Claes scheint sich in jüngster Zeit einen Namen als Fotomo- dell zu machen. Was kannst du uns darüber sagen?
Mattias: Haha, darü- ber weiß ich nicht viel. Nur, dass er und Andy, der Sänger von STAY HUNGRY, ein Fotoshooting für Blåkläder [ein Hersteller von Arbeitskleidung, Anm. d. Red.] gemacht haben, bei dem sie wie Bauarbeiter und Klempner angezogen waren. Mit Arbeitshandschuhen, Helmen, ölverschmierten Gesichtern und dem ganzen Pipapo. Total männlich!
Wieso habt ihr euer neues Album „Recovery“ genannt?
Mattias: Die meis- ten Songs der Platte handeln davon, sich wieder aufzurappeln – sowohl persön- lich als auch kollektiv. Es geht um die Genesung als Person, aber auch darum zu versuchen, vieles von dem zu verändern, was auf dieser Welt falsch läuft und ungerecht ist.
Wieso sollte man unsere neue Platte „Tighten The Screws“ auschecken?
Mattias: Weil jeder weiß, dass schwedischer Hardcore ein Synonym für Qualität ist. Wenn du deinen Hardcore schnell und hart magst und Texte, bei denen es um den Hass auf Menschen geht und darum, verraten zu werden und wie krank diese Welt ist, dann wirst du „Tighten The Screws“ garantiert lieben.
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1. Yo dudes, you recently recorded a new album. Since we took away your most talented guitar player,
how much of the writing has been affected?
Haha, yeah, why didn't you guys take the other one instead? No, seriously, that's actually an important question. Most of our previous material were products of Marcus bringing the riffs
and me and him putting them together in a very spontanous manner. When he left the band and I jumped from drums
to guitar I knew we were to face a challange. It's been a challange I've enjoyed very much though and after having done 2,5 7inches and an LP this might
actually have been what ANCHOR needed to take things in a new direction.
2. So, no hard feelings?
No, you keep him. Marcus is an amazing person and one of the ones I've had the most fun playing music with. His energy is incredible. Now,
when listening to you guys' new record the ANCHOR/ANGERS CURSE-exchange program really seems to be to have been to a great
benefit for everyone involved.
3. Evil rumors on the internet are saying that you had to trade Marcus to Angers Curse for our silence since we caught
Anchor gorging Big Macs at McDonalds. How do you respond to this evil rumor (in which we have no part)?
Haha, who's that Anchor-member supposed to have been? Must have been Marcus then, right? That's probably why we had him go to you guys.
4. Claes is also currently becoming a recognized name in the swedish elite among photo models. Please tell us a little bit more about this.
Haha, I actually don't know how busy he's been doing that kind of gigs. The one that I do know about however is that him and Andy (singer of Stay Hungry) did a shoot
for Blåkläder, dressed up as constructionworkers/plumbers and shit. Constructionsgloves, helmets, oil in the face and the whole shebang. Manly as hell!
5. Which of the following two bands had the most impact on you and on Anchor? Asta Kask or Strebers?
Definitely Strebers. Love that band. Not as much as Marcus but still. Never been a fan of Asta though.
6. All of you are living in different cities right? How does that affect the band?
It helps me not get tired of the other guys. No seriously, I'm sure we would've been way more effective and have things run a bit smoother
if we were all living in the same city or at least closer to eachother. At the same time I must say we manage real well and when we're
gathered we're 100% focused so there's alot of good coming with it.
7. Just like us you've gone through some member changes and Mattias also switched from drums to guitar. Why the switch and what do we need to know about the new members?
By the time Marcus quit me jumping to guitar seemed like the most rational thing to do. We had our friend Oskar fill in on drums for me on
the first half of the VERSE/ANCHOR/I RISE-tour so we had a drummer that fit our criteria who already new our songs and he wanted to be in
the band. I had never played guitar in a band before but really wanted to. Oskar went through some hard times and didn't last more than a
year. Luckily we found Calle, who's nothing short of an amazing person. Shortly thereafter Niklas left. Let's say he wanted to do something
different with his life after 4 years of Anchor. Our old time friend and roadie Ulf took his place and we couldn't be happier about having him
taking Niklas' place. He's straightthrough awesome and Anchor have never been better.
8. What about the album title, "Recovery"?
Most of the songs on the record talk about recovering and moving towards a better place, individually and collectively. It's about healing as a person but also about trying to fix alot of the things that we find wrong and unjust about this world. I'm not going to spoil it so read the lyrics if you're curious.
9. I know you've heard "Tighten The Screws". Please tell us why people should check them out!
Because everyone knows swedish hardcore is synonymous to quality. We've had so many good bands over the years and we've kept it coming.
If you like your hardcore fast and tough and your lyrics about hating people, being stabbed in the back and how the world is a sick sick place then you'll love
"Tighten the screws". I knew it was going to be good but was still blown away. It's in my opinion one of the best hardcore-records to have come out of this continent in a long while.
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