Anberlin’s 6th album Vital (released October 16, 2012) had pretty high expectations from Anberlin’s fans out there. When the band released Cities in 2007 it set the bar very high for what was to come in the future. Well Anberlin fans have no need to worry, Vital is definitely up to par, I actually think it might rival Cities. Vital delivers with heavy hitting, synth infused, and mature song writing from the entire band. It stays true to a very familiar but mature form of Anberlin which is what ultimately fans wanted. Lead singer Stephen Christian speaks to about his favorites spots on tour, their new music video for “Unwanted", and his favorite places to write for the albums.
XO: Your newest album Vital just came out recently. How does it compare musically to the other albums you’ve released?
S: We’ve maintained to be Anberlin and not try to be anyone else. No other influence or swayed by popular culture, but just to be simply Anberlin. I think the biggest change on this record was from the contribution of our drummer Nate Young who wrote musically three songs on this record. I think that inspiration, that injection of fresh blood helps with the song writing process and aided every other song and I think that was the biggest difference between this record and every other record.
XO: Awesome. You guys just released your newest music video Unstable, and correct me if I’m wrong but that is a bonus track right?
S: Yeah, it’s so crazy, that video was meant for our song ‘Someone, Anyone’, but the closer we got to releasing the video we just didn’t feel it. We watched the video and the whole video was so moving and the video makes you feel like you’re holding your breathe the whole time. We just felt like with ‘Someone, Anyone’, the speed and the energy of it kind of took away and didn’t add anything to the video. So for the sake of art we then just went through the whole album and all the songs we wrote for this record to see if we can find any other songs that can fit this - epicness for the lack of better words. After listening through we got to Unstable and we were like “Oh my gosh this is it.” We were just so in love with this song and the perimeters of this song Unstable and that’s what we wanted to aim for.
XO: How has Tour De Vital been so far?
S: It has been awesome, it’s been really incredible. It’s only been a week and half of the tour and its been one of my favorites the crowds have been insane. We haven’t headlined in about two years, and it’s good to go back out on your own record. It’s also we’ve got two really good bands, all get out and paper route and its always makes the tour better when you and enjoy and appreciate the bands you are out with.
XO: Any favorite cities you like to play for in particular or just hang out in on tour?
S: Absolutely, I think the crowds in Salt Lake City and Atlanta Georgia are just always unbelievable, just insane. But as far as cities I love to hang out in, I love San Francisco or Washington are my favorites to hang out in and explore.
XO: Where do you feel most inspired to write?
S: For me, I have to have get away, you know on one record I ran away to New Orleans and attempted to write the majority of the record there. I just have to get away from the norm, I feel like I’m just so ADHD and everything in life allures me, if there’s something to do at the house, or someone wants to hang out, or a new email, I just get so easily distracted. So it has to be a moment where I just cut everything off and just focus. And it’s hard cause sometimes creativity doesn’t line up like that and creativity is so elusive, and who knows where and when creativity is going to be inspired. Is there a paper or pen around? is there a song you’re working on? Creativity is so elusive like that. When it lines up perfectly you just feel it, you just know it. For instance, Self Starter, on this record had that. Nate our drummer, it was two in the morning when he sent the song to me, in Nashville where I live. And I just heard it and was like “Ughh my gosh, this is insane. I got to go get started on this right now. “ But I couldn’t cause I was kind of like this, I just was excited but I was exhausted. And I didn’t want it to turn out horrible. So I just laid and laid in bed, and finally it was 5:30 or 6 o’clock I got up and “I’m like forget it, I have to go write this.” So by 9 am the whole song was done. Completely, front to back, chords, everything you hear on the record was done, in like an hour at 5:30 am because I was just so excited. So yeah moments like that you just have to flow with it and go cause with creativity you have no idea when or where it will meet up with you.
Anberlin are currently on tour promoting Vital, tour dates available here.
Words | Zarina Karapetyan