INTERVIEW: Anchorsong

Pic by Masa Hamanoi

Hi Masaaki, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been spending lots of time preparing for my upcoming UK tour. I’ll be playing with a string quartet for all the dates, and I’m working on the string arrangement of the tracks from the new LP.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Ancestors”?

It’s one of my favorites I think. The repeated pizzicato riff is part of the melody and the rhythm at the same time. I wanted to blur the border between melody and rhythm on this record, and the subtle Indian drums in the background serve as the medium.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I have performed with string players a lot in the past few years, and I was trying to figure out how to adopt live strings into my composition.

Pizzicato is one of the techniques I frequently used, and it’s featured on this track prominently.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We’re considering it but might end up making one for another track. We’ll see!

The single comes off your new album Cohesion – what’s the story behind the title?

This record is my attempt to combine contrary elements. Rhythm and melody, past and present, Eastern and Western cultures, acoustic instruments and electronic production. I wanted to blur the gap between these factors and see what happens when they merge. Thus it’s called Cohesion.

How was the recording and writing process?

I’m fascinated by vintage Bollywood movie soundtracks and have been digging their vast catalogue in the past few years. I began to produce a track that reflected that influence, and at one point I thought I should make an album based on that idea. I played all the instruments used on this record myself.

What role does India play in your music?

I’m interested in all kinds of percussion, and I found Indian ones like the tabla and dholak really fascinating. Vintage Indian pop, namely Bollywood movie soundtracks, combines those traditional instruments with Western music like psychedelic rock, and it still sounds really unique and intriguing in this age.

What is it about the 70s and 80s that you find so fascinating?

Regardless of the genre, music was evolving faster than ever in the ’70s. Fusing styles became even more common in ’80s, but I feel some styles began to lose their pure form at some point. Hybrid music has its own charm of course, but I tend to be inspired by something more basic and primitive.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

While I was mainly looking into Bollywood movie soundtracks, I came across some really interesting stuff from Iran, which shares some elements with Indian pop. It’s usually more melodic, and it might have affected me a bit.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’ll be touring cross the UK in November. It starts in London on 1st November at Islington Assemble Hall, then we’ll head to Leeds, Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Ramsgate, Brighton, Sheffield and Bristol. I’ll be accompanied by a string quartet for all the shows.

What else is happening next in Anchorsong’s world?

Just collecting lots of used CDs, I’m a proud CD collector.

Watch here

Catch him live!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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