A Q&A with Anfang

anfang interview music

Riff-focused rock from the U.S. Mid West…

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
Our latest release is ‘Legs’, a dark, ethereal single that came out a few weeks ago. ‘Legs’ means a lot to us as it was inspired by something we all consistently struggle with as musicians; balancing our love for a passion and our love for the significant others in our lives. Being a working musician requires a significant time investment, and balancing that and our respective day jobs can make maintaining personal relationships difficult.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
The hardest part of recording ‘Legs’, as well as any music we have released so far, is making decisions on where and how the studio work deviates from our live sound. We are hyper-focused on making the biggest, loudest live show we can muster, and that loudness of our live sound that is difficult to translate to digital spaces. We write for live first. When we hit the studio, we are deconstructing and rebuilding the track all over again, not to replicate the in-person performance, but to try and craft a similar experience for our listeners in a wildly different context. We sometimes add extra layers, instruments or entire new riffs to augment a recording, but with ‘Legs’, it was really the opposite. We had to strip it down quite a bit to make it a more direct experience.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
‘Legs’ and ‘Guerrilla Mitts’ were both produced by our friend, Tuffy Campbell. He has been a huge influence on writing more concise songs. He really helped us boil down a song to its essence and let that essence drive the song. It can be easy for us to go too baroque with our riffing! He was a very solid voice of reason in the room to help us distill our sound to something more immediately identifiable. Working with him has greatly improved our song writing.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
There’s a certain completeness to our songs. They close a loop sonically, but they also were an effort to close some loops we have recurring in our lives. Getting these songs down on the page and in the studio has been somewhat therapeutic or cathartic for us as a band, getting out all our pent-up angst. We feel that release is tangible in the songs we write, and definitely comes out in our live performances. If we can help people get their feelings out or feel more resolved, mission accomplished. If we melt a face or two along the way, even better!

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
We typically all work together when writing songs. Whenever any of us have an idea for a song, we’ll bring it to the band at a practice and flesh it out from there. An idea can be anything from a 10 second riff or a drum beat, to a nearly already completed song. Andie and Christian are the most efficient songwriters in the band and come up with the most ideas, but the songs are always finished by all of us working together to make them the best they can be. The process for recording a finished track starts with Nick and Christian hitting the studio at the same time to nail down the rhythm section. Once that’s done, Mark and Andie record with the producer to layer on the lead guitar parts and vocal tracks respectively. After they’ve finished and the producer does some mixing magic, we’ve got a finished song ready to be released.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
We all come from varied musical backgrounds (and sometimes eras) and therefore pull from a lot of different influences. That being said, there are some standouts that we continually find ourselves being influenced by. Queens of the Stone Age is a big one for us, as they have the riffs, the lyrics, the mood, the aura; the sort of cohesiveness and identity we are constantly aiming for as a band. The White Stripes are another, constantly reminding us that keeping things straightforward and finding what naturally fits a song is more important than complexity for the sake of being complex.

What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
The United Kingdom and Mexico immediately come to mind for countries we’d like to tour. The UK has always had a healthy rock scene and it’s on the travel bucket list for the majority of the band. The UK is also home to several of our favorite bands (Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Blood Red Shoes, Royal Blood, et al.), so we feel pretty confident that we wouldn’t have a difficult time fitting in across the pond. Mexico is also on our list for a couple reasons. First we think it’s wildly underserved from a touring standpoint, and with it being our Southern neighbors, feel like we should pay it a visit. Also, our lead singer Andie is Mexican and it’d be nice to tour her family’s home and native land. As far as standout venues, number one on our list is Metro here in Chicago. It’s been home to some of the biggest rock acts that have visited the city, and as a rock band from Chicago, feel like it’s an important milestone to hit.

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If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
Two songs come to mind for us, so we are of two minds on this one! It’s like picking your favourite child. ‘Ghost Ship’ off of our first EP we released in 2020, ‘Tunneller’. It’s one of the first songs we wrote as a band that we thought, hell yeah, that’s what we are trying to do with Anfang. We also really love how our recent single ‘Guerilla Mitts’ came out. It’s our heaviest song, and we like heavy songs over here at Anfang HQ.

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
In the immediate future we’d like to record and release as much of our unreleased catalog as possible to get our music out there for everyone to hear… and also for our sanity. There are only so many killer songs we can sit on before we start losing our collective mind. We also cannot wait to start playing live regularly again (pandemic willing) since it’s easily one of our favorite parts of being in a band together and is a fantastic way to continue building our fan base. We’ve talked about recording an album and touring further away from the Midwest in the future, but we’re taking things one step at a time. For now.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
We normally keep things pretty standard with something along the lines of, “Thank you for coming out, we’re Anfang, goodnight!” To be honest, this is the first time we’ve really sat down and given it some serious thought though, so we might be changing to something a little more unique.

For more info visit: instagram.com/anfangmusic


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