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Interview – Nate Young of Anberlin

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Hey mate, how are you going?

 

I’m good, how are you Sean?

 

Yeah, I’m doing really well. Firstly, thanks heaps for taking the time out to chat with us today. I’m sure you’ve got heaps of interviews to get through.

 

Yeah, no worries, it’s cool.

 

So here we are; the final album and the final runs of shows for Anberlin. How are you feeling now that it’s all starting to become real?

 

Good, really good. Our first conversation about this was last year, so for us it’s been a little bit longer coming than what people think. It’s been great. Just really excited to get moving. We start practice this weekend and we have a video on Friday, so we’ve got a lot going on for sure. But yeah, we’re pumped.

 

That’s awesome to hear. So, how did the actual conversation start up? Did you guys notice any kind of tension in the band? How did it actually come up to say I think it’s about time that we have this chat?

 

Honestly, there wasn’t tension. After 12 years of being in a band and travelling together and everything everyone’s going to be in different spots, you know? Everyone’s going to have different life calls and everyone’s going to be… Just, different. Everyone’s going to do different things in their life and experience different things, so obviously that’s going to affect the way that people feel about certain stuff.  We always felt like we wouldn’t be a band forever. That’s just the hard facts of starting a band. You can think of it as oh, nothing matters it’s just going to be over; it’s nothing like that. It’s just a way of thinking and kind of knowing that one day that would be something that would have to be discussed. So when we started talking about it we all got together and it was discussed, and obviously it was tough and it was emotional and all those things; it was pretty crazy. It feels right, though. We’ve been a band for 12 years, almost 13, and for 7 records so that’s more than we ever thought we’d be able to do. There are plenty of bands that have had a good run, and broken up in the time that we’ve been a band so we’ve seen so many different things happen. But it’s still fun, we always said we wanted to go out while people still cared. We didn’t want to be that band that just kept coming back and having only 10 kids there. But that’s not bad, some bands do that, I’m not speaking ill of it at all and I think there’s something to be said about people that just stick with it. But for us it was just enough, and that wasn’t our reality. That was never us; we sacrificed so much already but not to the point where we though that no matter what we have to keep this going. So this conversation that we had was just a real conversation about where we’re all at in our lives and what we all want for our future and for the band. So it was great. It was emotional and stuff but it was a good conversation with them for sure.

 

It’s awesome that you guys were actually able to have that conversation because, as you said, there are either the bands that just keep going or all of a sudden you just open the Internet and see that one of your favourite bands has just broken up without having a chance to say goodbye.

 

That was always our goal, you know.

 

So I read in the press release that Stephen was saying it’s great to be doing this album because you’re not having anyone breathing down your neck to try and get a single out or anything like. But with that being said, was there still some kind pressure you guys have put on yourself since this is the final album? Like, you wanted to go out with a bang.

 

I thought there would be, but honestly there wasn’t. The reason was that we knew we’re almost going to be getting enough pressure from the fans and people talking about it; people saying stuff like this has got to be epic. We have such a wide variety of fans and you’re never going to make everyone happy. You’re never going to put out the record where every single fan says that this is what they want. We have so many different songs, so many different records, so many different fans in so many different age groups and everything. So we were like, you know what, we can’t try too hard to please what people think and what everyone’s different opinion about what Anberlin is to them. So when we wrote the record, and not in a crappy way, we just didn’t really think about the fans and we just made the record. We did what we could to write the best stuff. I think there’s stuff on the record that people will maybe be confused about, I think a lot of people are going to be up in arms about stuff we’d normally do but didn’t. Like, we didn’t do a 10-minute final song. We honestly tried to, but it just didn’t feel right and we never thought more about it than that. If we’re not feeling it then let’s not force it. We just wrote the songs that we were feeling. We all just sort of compiled these songs and were just like; I think this is our last record. We did 10 songs and we recorded 10 songs and that’s it.

 

Awesome. So there were no b-sides or anything to it? You focused just on those 10 songs?

 

Yep. That was the goal. We didn’t want to just pull b-sides. We had so many songs off the other records so we could have easily pulled out other previously written songs and put this together, but I feel like we’d be selling ourselves short if we did that. Like Stephen said, we didn’t have a label breathing down our necks or any kind of pressure. We just made a record and it was so much fun because we could think hard on stuff and we could push ourselves. We’d kind of give each other a hard time, like; this is our last record, is that the guitar part you wanna write, is that the right tone? Being in the band, we just went with what felt right. We didn’t overthink too much stuff really. We like it and we hope other people do but, quite honestly, if you don’t then that’s fine because you can listen to the other 6 albums that we have. With this record we just wanted to be able to create together one last time and I think that’s what we did.

 

That’s great for the band. After listening to the stream that I got given yesterday it really is a progression for Anberlin and that’s what was really comforting for me because, as you said, you guys weren’t trying to please everyone and it kinda doesn’t make it feel like the end, coming from an Anberlin fan point of view, which is great for a big fan like me.

 

Awesome. That was the goal, you know, a little bit. We always said that. Even with the title of the album and the way the album sounded we wanted to progress all the way up until the end. For example, and we keep using this as a reference; if someone has never heard of Anberlin and they walk into a store and pick up that record I don’t want them to know that that’s our last record. We wanted to push ourselves up until our last note, up until our last album cover, up until our last record; we wanted to progress. I would want this to be a record even if this wasn’t the end for us because, to me, I want us to always be pushing ourselves. There were times when we’d come to a crossroads and wonder if we should push ourselves or do we go with what we know is the safe choice. For the most part, it’s not the safe choice every time because we wanted to push it every time. We wanted to progress, we wanted to write a record that, like you said, doesn’t just feel like it’s the end. We worked hard on this record, and that’s how it turned out the way it did. And thanks for that man. Out of all the comments that are said that would be the one that I would want to be said. That for sure was our goal so it’s cool to hear that people kind of get that.

 

Awesome, well I’m glad that I was able to let you know that. Waking up this morning, I read a post from you guys saying that the album was actually postponed for a month. Is that something you can talk about?

 

I will say, and this is something I really wanted everyone to know, that it wasn’t to do with Tooth & Nail. It was to do with other stuff that we can’t really talk about, which is annoying, but it’s just a sucky situation. It’s just one of those things that couldn’t be helped and we didn’t know about it until some stuff came up last minute and it was going to be pushed back a little and then it just got to the point where it was going to be pushed back a month. So it’s really crappy. It’s a huge bummer for us, especially since it throws off the rest of the year with planning and when we would be on tour when the record came out and all that sort of stuff. But, it is what it is. The worst part is that it’s a month and that not so bad part is that it’s only a month. So yeah, it is what it is. ‘

 

That’s right; people are still going to be getting it eventually anyway.

 

 

I suppose, with that being said, you’re heading out on Warped Tour soon and you personally will be doing two full sets with Anberlin and with Yellowcard, so how are you preparing for that?

 

I probably should be doing more workouts, but I’ve just been practicing and playing through sets. Anberlin starts practice soon and we’ll start to go through everything. So yeah, I’ve just been listening to the songs a lot and I could easily stress but I feel fine about it. Everyone’s saying things like you’re crazy playing two sets and learning new songs and all this stuff but the dude’s in Yellowcard are still professional and still such good musicians and obviously I want to be pushed to where I fit in with them. But I know that those days are going to be fun; I love those songs and I love those dudes and Warped Tour is such a fun crazy time so I’m looking forward to it for sure.  I think half way through the tour I’ll probably be like, oh no what did I do… But I’m looking forward to it for sure. I think it’ll be a good time. I get to play longer, which will be fun, because Warped Tour’s a lot of down time and that’s one of the reasons I said yes to it. You play 30 minutes and then you get the rest of the day and you’re usually kind of in the middle of nowhere so for me I always like to work hard when I’m on tour and make myself as busy as possible.

 

You’re coming to Australia in September and we saw your Melbourne show selling out quicksmart and then you guys announced a world first to play Never Take Friendship Personal in it’s entirety. Was that kind of a thank you to the Melbournians for selling your show out so quickly?

 

Yeah, for sure, it was crazy when we got the call that Melbourne sold out and then people were responding saying they didn’t get tickets and that’s always heart breaking because it’s not like we’re coming back any time soon. So we thought about having a second show and then we didn’t want it to be the same thing so we came up with and thought it would be really fun. The first time we went to Australia was around that record so we just thought it would be a thank you to everyone that’s been there since the beginning and we just thought it would be a good time; we’ve never done that before and there will be songs we’re playing that I don’t think we’ve ever played live. It’ll be cool for sure and it will be fun; it’ll just be wild.

 

Awesome! So, after Anberlin you’ve all got your different plans but, what’s next for you individually?

 

I’ll always do music in some form or in some capacity. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve been doing a little bit of writing and yeah, just kind of always involved in that. But I’m looking to start a company with my brother-in-law. We’ve been working on for the last year or so; it’s something that we’ve always kind of talked about. We’re not really 100%, well we’re not 100% but we’re not launched and everything yet. It will involve coffee and other things. It’s something that’s been happening over the last 4 or 5 years and it’s just slowly been taking over. I know it sounds weird and whenever I bring it up people get confused because of how broad that is and what that means. Once we get started, my brother-in-law and I, we’ll just be going for it and hit the ground running that’s for sure.

 

So it’s time to wrap it up, which is perfect timing because I’ve run out of questions. So I’ll just get this out of the way… For the past 12 years I personally want to thank yourself and the rest of the guys for bringing music to me that has been such an important part of my life. I can’t thank you guys enough. And thank you for giving us all a proper farewell. It’s been an awesome road and I’m so stoked that you guys have been a part of my life, so thanks for that.

 

Thank you so much. Seriously, that means a ton.

 

Is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans before we wrap this up?

 

Honestly, just thank you so much. It’s like emotional and so humbling. I mean; I’m an emotional dude so whenever I hear stuff like that I get choked up. It’s so humbling to know that people care. But just thank you so much to everyone who’s gone to the shows. The relationships we’ve made and the people we’ve met have just been mind blowing. So just a huge thank you to everyone, for sure.

 

All right, cheers Nate. It’s been a pleasure talking to you and we’ll be seeing you in September when you get here.

 

Awesome, thank you, make sure you come say hey.

 

Definitely will, mate.

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