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!
Anchor - Recovery
(CD - 2011
The Singles Collected (Compilation - 2010)
Relations of Violence
(7'' - 2009)
Anchor - First Year
(Compilation - 2009)
The Quiet Dance
Anchor - The Kind That Kills
Claes - Gesang
Mattias - Gitarre & Gesang
Ulf - Gitarre & Gesang
Fredrik - Bass
Carl-Johan - Schlagzeug & Gesang
Review zu Anchor - Recovery