The Anderson Brothers
First time I saw The Anderson Brothers was a summer weeknight at The Frequency and I was there for the earlier show, so I didn’t know who was playing later. But as I was sitting at the bar with a group of friends, we kept hearing their music from the other room and started getting curious about all this sonic ass-kicking coming from the other side of the club. I was blown away watching them, tight melodic rock music influenced by classic Rock, they played a Zep cover and even though I’d heard it a thousand times in my life, they did it with the energy and excitement that you feel when you first play a song that you love. Bassist Brian Anderson, his brother Eric on guitar and vocals, and Cole Dockter on drums form the band. We talked with Eric about their upcoming show in Madison on August 13th at The Frequency.
MI: What got you into music?
EA: We grew up seeing pictures of bands in front of thousands of people and always had the mentality that if we wanted to have that kind of connection, we could. And also seeing the prestige that some of these big rock acts got just made us want to have something like that for ourselves. Also the chance to be loud and get paid to do it seemed pretty great.
MI: What kind of music did you guys listen to growing up?
EA: We all listened to similar types of music. For instance Cole was really into Led Zeppelin, where I favored AC/DC, and Brian loved The Hives. Even as our tastes changed we still related back to rock and blues, because most of the time those bands were playing out of passion.
MI: You guys are a really tight band, what are the artists that inspired you as a group?
EA: The three of us have really gotten into progressive rock in addition to classic and hard rock. Karnivool and Tool are good examples of some newer influences. We always seem to find our way back to bands that are all about the songs rather than the sales. Eagles of Death Metal, Motörhead, Rush, and even local bands like Subatomic and Devil to Drag have influenced how we write.
MI: What’s your single? If people haven’t heard you yet, what song should they check out?
EA: “Devil’s in the Details” for sure. When we play live that song always gets us jumping around. It’s the best example of what we want to do with our music, because it gives a danceable feel to a hard rock tune.
It was written about the struggle a lot of bands feel to be something they aren’t. It’s so hard to get original music heard in a market so heavily saturated with Top 10 hits, let alone to try and make money doing it. With that in mind we wanted to write a song that showed how we feel about playing music. I guess you could say the moral is that we are going to make the music we want to write for our own enjoyment, rather than to please as many people as possible. The goal is always to have our music connect with people, but we need to believe in what we do. This song serves as the perfect introduction to our music because it shows our connection as a group. The parts aren’t particularly flashy, but the song leaves an infectious need to strut and stroll your way through life without caring what people think.
MI: What’s the meaning behind the title “Saints Don’t Sell”?
EA: Saints Don’t Sell came as a result of writing Devil’s in the Details. We had finished writing and recording our album and couldn’t decide on a title. There’s a line in “Devil’s” where Brian says “I’ll be a sinner cause saints don’t sell”, and it just seemed to fit.
MI: So, why should people come out to see you guys August 13th?
EA: Our live shows are always about energy. If our performance doesn’t get people excited, there’s no reason for anybody to see us play live. Mistakes on the technical side of a performance are always secondary to the effort you put into it. Brian and Eric will jump into the crowd to dance with everyone, lots of call and response, its really a group effort between the band and the crowd to make a good show. Our live sound is something we put a lot of time into as well. With just three people in a band, each person has to hold down their part of the song. Did I mention loud ass Marshalls? That helps a lot too. At the end of the day someone can always listen to our CD, but a great live performance is what makes a band memorable… Life is too short to sit with headphones in all day.
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CD: Saints Don't Sell