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Florida outfit Anberlin caught the music world’s attention in the mid 2000’s, their seminal second album Never Take Friends Personal boosted their profile tremendously and catapulted them into the mainstream thanks to its hit single Paperthin Hymm.
Their follow up record Cities also received positive acclaim and demonstrated a sonic evolution expanding their fan base and international reputation. They went on to release four more albums and in 2014 astonishingly announced they would call it a day. However last year, on the first anniversary of the tragic death of their guitarist Nathan Strayer the band spontaneously got back together to play a hometown show supporting Underoath and now they have chosen Australia to do their first proper reunion headline shows anywhere in the world as their loyal fanbase down under was always fervently supportive of the band and their music.
“We’re really pumped, it’s been five years since we’ve been in Australia” Anberlin drummer Nathan Young tells Hysteria,“In the final year of us together, we were doing the music very much for the fans, we were very tired and it was all for them, but now these shows that we’re doing in Australia are very much about us being in the right mind state and playing shows together again. We’re doing it because life is short and because people care enough to come and watch these shows and we love coming to Australia. For us it was like having a quick conversation and saying: Do you want to do this? Can we do it? and that was the extend of it and also to relive those memories again because the year we broke up was a blur and we’re in a better headspace now, we’re not beaten down by 13 years of touring prior and we just thought it would be fun for all of us.”
Right now there is no one word that makes sense for our future as a band, we’re not back for good as such but I do like the word reunion, as if it were a high school reunion, because it’s a time when people get back together and then they go their separate ways again.
[ Nathan Young ]
Australian fans will not only get a chance to witness the band playing songs from Never Take Friendships Personally and Cities but a wide range of revered songs throughout their excellent catalogue. As Nathan explains both those albums gave the band their music career and paved the way for an impactful legacy in contemporary rock music: “Both of those records I felt is when people started to take us seriously, I remember when we put out our second record people were into it and overtime people started getting more excited about it and realised soon after it was different and that’s when we started gaining our long-term fans. On Cities we just really tried hard to make it a great record and it solidified what the band’s sound and vision was all about. Those two records back to back for us were really integral to the whole career of Anberlin and our fans let us know that.”
Emo rock, iPod’s and Myspace were all the rage during Anberlin’s reign in the mainstream, for many young people these three elements shaped the way they heard music for the first time. So where did the band see themselves amongst all of these music trends and cultural shifts happening at the time? “It was a unique time for music, it felt that we were in an era that was slowly dying for rock music so I feel really thankful to be a part of a world where rock bands and heavy bands could be successful, now there’s not many rock bands at all unless you’re talking about the bands that have been around forever like the Foo Fighters but we were just happy to be a part of everything that was going on back then.”
In the present time the band have no plans beyond the upcoming Australian dates even though fans are itching to know if they will ever release another album and if there is an ongoing future for the quintet? “Right now there is no one word that makes sense for our future as a band, we’re not back for good as such but I do like the word reunion, as if it were a high school reunion, because it’s a time when people get back together and then they go their separate ways again. I feel it’s that way for us, it’s not that where saying we will never again do something, things do change, I’m just taking the approach of letting things be as they are now because all I know is that we are doing these shows and we’re doing it for us and we’re doing it for fun. Beyond that there hasn’t been anything discussed, we all have big commitments outside of the band so Anberlin will never be back as a full-time job only because we’ve commitment ourselves to many things outside of it.”
This will be a time to treasure because the theme of the tour itself will be a reunion for many as in each Australian city they play in (with the exception of Brisbane’s up and coming Young Lions) the support bands will also be reuniting again, like Sydney’s The Mission in Motion, Melbourne’s Antiskeptic, Adelaide’s Capulet and Perth’s Elora Danan, so make sure you don’t miss out on a momentous tour that’s sure to be kick-arse for rock fans young and old!
Catch Anberlin at the following dates:
BRISBANE // Saturday 25 May // The Tivoli w/ Young Lions
SYDNEY // Sunday 26 May // Enmore Theatre w/ The Mission In Motion
MELBOURNE // Wednesday 29 May // Forum w/ Antiskeptic
ADELAIDE // Thursday 30 May // HQ Complex w/ Capulet
PERTH // Friday 31 May // Metropolis Fremantle w/ Elora Danan