ANR is more than just a Miami music-making duo, they are now a Miami music-making trio (at least live)! Off of their recent run of shows at SXSW and throughout the southeast, they’ll be playing our New Noise 003 show with Body Language this Saturday, March 31st. Tickets are available HERE. We caught up with lead singer Michael-John Hancock during SXSW to discuss living in Miami, time travel and, of course, horror movies.
STREAM: ANR – “New Armor”
Nancy Lu: How would you describe your music to someone who’s hearing about you for the first time?
Michael John: What the little dude in Adventure Island is listening to on his headphones when he’s skateboarding to his girlfriend’s hut.
NL: Southern Florida/Miami is well known for southern rap and that miami bass sound. Has that influenced your music in any way?
MJ: It has very much influenced our sound. We’ve always used beats from those genres here and there, but especially these days, we’ve been all about the booty bass and the local radio.
NL: Has it been difficult to exist as an indie live band in a city that’s primarily known for its dance clubs, hip hop and electronic music? What have you done to meet these challenges?
MJ: Very early on we started playing music people could dance to more easily. We noticed the kids down here didn’t want to listen to 40 minutes of experimental slow-jams pretty early on. We enjoy all the kinds of music that are especially popular down here, so it hasn’t been a challenge, it’s been great.
NL: What was the thought process behind releasing “Rational Geographic” in a three part series versus a singular album? Is there a distinct sound or theme to each volume?
MJ: We made and intended to release a three part set that eventually would be just one thing, each with a different sound and mood, similar to the aesthetic of Star Wars, like desert, ice, and forest. Things fell off though when our take on Volume III, along with most of the other sessions, were lost via hard-drive failure. At the time there was a really weird dynamic with the people who release our music and support the band. Brian felt squeezed out of his vital role to our sound, and they started producing this radio pop album out of some of what was supposed to be the third volume and some older songs they were convinced we needed to re-record. As the powers that be that they were, that is what came out instead of the promised 3rd volume. It’s frustrating that our catalog of music is not what we’d like it to be, but everyone’s moved on and learned a lot from the experience. We just happened to be the guinea pig in the case of that time period.
NL: For any SXSW newbies, what advice would you give them?
MJ: Don’t watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre before you eat the barbeque.
NL: If you could go back in time and live in any decade of music, what would it be?
MJ: The 70’s, figure out a way to ascertain all the synthesizers and sequencers being invented at the time. Would probably involve a sports almanac.