Interview with female-fronted metalcore quintet THE ANCHOR: digging deep into new record BREATHE.
SICK AND SOUND presents an interview with female-fronted metalcore quintet THE ANCHOR. The band is hailing from Denver, Colorado and is led by female vocalist Linzey Rae, next to guitarists Cory Jones and Ryan Miller, bassist Keenan Luebbers and drummer Adam Johnson.
After debuting on the scene with first album A WORLD AHEAD in 2016, the band released EP MAKE IT LAST in 2018. On October 18th, 2019 The Anchor unleashed their brand new full-length BREATHE via Manic Kat Records. The record was anticipated by lead single Through Rose, premiered as an official video at the end of August.
Our editor-in-chief Alex is catching up with vocalist LINZEY RAE to discuss in detail the process behind new record BREATHE. We got to know the band a little better by discussing their influences and the mindset behind having a female vocalist for both harsh and clean vocals. We talked about the meaningful messages of positivity, self-worth and vision the band brings forward and the lyrical themes approached for the record. We also had a chat about lead single Through Rose and their best memory on stage.
- Hello and welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Since it’s our first interview with THE ANCHOR let’s start by introducing your outfit and journey so far. What kind of influences, bands and genres have you explored before sticking to metalcore or currently exploring?
We pull from quite a few different genres. On this album (Breathe) we specifically wanted to explore a bunch of different styles we like, so you will hear things ranging from Rock to Pop and all the way to Metalcore. I think we all have strong Metalcore roots, which heavily influenced our first album. We were super into August Burns Red, Parkway Drive and The Devil Wears Prada as well as other bands in that realm. Our EP (Make It Last) we tried to dive into some pop punk styles. With this new album we wanted to mesh everything together and then add a few more things.
- The Anchor is a female fronted band, with Linzey Rae both at harsh vocals and clean vocals. I am in love with the effortless transition from clean luscious vocals switching to impressive growls. Let’s discuss the harsh/clean chemistry you have found and the mindset behind having a female singer for both.
We are kind of a band that does things out of necessity. Originally we had a clean singer and he unfortunately had to move out of state a couple weeks before we recorded the first album. So, I kinda just “started singing” because I had to. I really didn’t start feeling comfortable with it until this album. Even today I have to constantly practice switching between the two. Screaming just comes so effortless for me but singing is a lot of work for some reason.
- The Anchor are a self-proclaimed family, a home, with uplifting and positive messages, as well as promoting the value of self-worth. I would love to discuss the meaningful messages and vision you are bringing forward.
When we came up with the whole idea of what this band wanted to be, we really thought about what music has meant to us. We could sit in a room or put headphones in and kind of get lost in an album or a band. It was as if we were a part of the band we were listening to. We wanted to bring that to our music and then expand on it by showing our fans how much we appreciate and care for them. Things like, responding to as many comments as we can, having thoughtful conversations and being a part of their lives. I have been invited to a lot of weddings haha. I think one thing that we have learned and now believe, is that the whole music experience is meant to be shared. We don’t want to be gods or above the fan. We are literally the same people that have problems, anxieties and loss. We want to share burden with each other. That’s how we can make it through all this.
- Is your name “The Anchor” somehow related to this vision as well?
Ya, we sort of came up with the name when we were talking about how we wanted to portray ourselves to our fans. An anchor holds a ship in place in a storm and we wanted to be a band that can help hold people in place during their storm.
- BREATHE is your new record coming out on October 18th, 2019 via Manic Kat Records. What was the creative and writing process approached for it?
Cory writes all the guitar work for the most part. He wrote probably upwards of 30 songs and we just started picking and choosing the ones that we liked. One thing we did decide for this album is to not hold back. We wanted to do things we had never tried before but also see how far down into my dark places I could get. Some of these songs are probably the most personal songs that I have ever written.
- What progression has been taking place since your earliest materials? In what measure has your sound or creative process changed since your first record A WORLD AHEAD dating back to 2016, or most recent MAKE IT LAST EP released in 2018?
When we wrote A World Ahead we didn’t really know what we were doing. It was our first album and we made a lot of mistakes on it. Also Make It Last was more of an experiment by bringing in a lot of Pop Punk influences. This album we really focused on what we had learned and what we knew we were good at. Almost like our second chance at redoing A World Ahead. This is our “practice makes perfect” album, if that makes sense haha. I think we developed our sound and were really figuring out what we wanted to play with A World Ahead and Make It Last. This album brought it all together and I think it really nails what kind of music we love to write.
- Let’s briefly discuss the stories and specific lyrical themes discussed across the tracks.
This album (Breathe) is a lot about taking a step back and just taking a breath. There’s a lot of personal stories in these songs and now that I look back on the stories, I wish I had just taken a step back and allowed myself time to process. Some themes could be like, allowing myself to make mistakes, being okay with growing into something and not being a perfect person. Almost like allowing myself to not be completely whole.
- Let’s discuss a few details about lead single THROUGH ROSE released to anticipate the record at the end of August and the mindset behind choosing this track as to give the world a taste of it.
Through Rose really hit the nail on the head when it came to the mood of the album. It has the heavy breakdowns and riffs with the awesome singing and the emotional bridge. It was kind of like I said before, we wanted to show fans that we had found our sound and this song really showed that.
Watch The Anchor – Through Rose (Official Video):
- What are the most important aspects to focus on to achieve a profound bond as a band and what are the main elements that grant a great time together when writing music?
Probably learning to roll with the punches. Writing music is a super difficult, emotionally straining process. It is therapeutic but also one of the more frustrating things I have had to deal with. Remembering that we are a family first and that we love each other is probably the best way to get through it. We really poured our heart and soul into this album and wanted it to be perfect. I wouldn’t say it’s a “great time” haha, but rising to the challenge and completing it is always fulfilling.
- The Anchor have a solid live experience across North America, so let’s share a memorable moment on stage.
I think it would be really easy to say playing IMatter fest, but honestly our most memorable moments on stage are when we have been to a town multiple times and we see familiar faces and new ones. Then we go back and everybody is singing our lyrics to me and the whole room is filled. It makes me super emotional on stage. The fact that we get to connect with people like that is just incredible.
- If you had the opportunity to tour with 3 mainstream metalcore bands who would you tour with?
A Day To Remember would be awesome. August Burns Red or Parkway Drive would be cool too!
- What plans, shows and upcoming projects do THE ANCHOR have in store for the rest of the year for the promotion of BREATHE?
We have a few secret things going on in our camp haha. Those will show themselves soon enough.
Thank you for your time and having a chat with SICK AND SOUND. We are enthusiast of supporting you into EU and US and will keep an eye out for more music to be dropped by THE ANCHOR. All the best with your amazing music!
The Anchor – Breathe album tracklisting:
1. Through Rose
3. One More Day
6. Of Saying Goodbye
9. The Calm Before
For all interviews available on SICK AND SOUND, please check out:
For all album reviews available on SICK AND SOUND, please check out:
For all concert reviews and live reports available on SICK AND SOUND, please check out: