Joe and The Anchor
If you like brit-pop mixed with indie rock, Joe and the Anchor is a band for you to check out. With sounds and energy similar to Radiohead and Bloc Party, this band has the potential to make it big.
Founded by Joakim Rosenlund, lead singer and bassist, in Malmö, Sweden Joe and the Anchor has grown from a one man act to a three piece when Rosenlund joined forces with Robin Zhang, guitarist, and Viktor Edsjö, drummer to do many shows before deciding to add members to further hone and develop their wonderful sound. They added Ruben Sonesson, guitarist, and Yrsa Schau, keyboard and vocals,to release their debut EP; “Tough enough” that can be found on Spotify.
Currently, they are working on a new album, debuting this fall, and touring around Sweden. These guys really sound great. Joe & the Anchor are a breath of fresh air among a plethora of the same radio friendly rock. The energy in their music and lyrics makes you want to get up and dance with your friends while also being mellow enough to just chill and sing along to.
They had this to say at our Q&A session:
HHM: What made you pursue a career in music?
J&TA: Well as cheesy as it sounds, we just wanted to play music and have fun
when we started out. It wasn’t about making a career, we just really love music and making it together. It wasn’t until after our first live show that we realized we had the potential to actually become a really good band, if we just got our act together and dared to put our heart and soul into it. We´ve always had the outlook that nothing is impossible, as long as you believe in yourself and love what you do. And having this band, being a part of Joe & the Anchor is what we love, and being better is what we work for every day.
HHM: Who are your personal influences?
J&TA: That’s a tricky question. There are A LOT of influences. I mean, to begin with we are 5 people in the band with some pretty different tastes in music. For instance, our drummer loves metal and is influenced by a lot of progressive metal groups like Animals As Leaders or Devin Townsend, while Ruben (guitarist) adores Prince, and Robin (guitarist) is all about blues, so there really are many different influences hanging around. But since Joakim (lead vocals/bassist) is the mastermind behind this whole thing, he is responsible for much of where the band is going, sound-wise. We actually created a Spotify playlist with music that fits in to our vision and inspires us to learn new things, to make it easier to find a coherent direction for the band. The music on the playlist can vary a lot, but our favorites would be The Maccabees, Radiohead, Editors, Kent, The National, Chapel Club and Muse.
HHM: What are the complications of trying to balance a music career along with normal life?
J&TA: Its different for all of us. Viktor, for instance, is studying graphic design at Malmö Högskola. So, besides being a kick ass drummer, he also has to be a keep up in school and at the very least get decent grades, which can be a bit of a struggle when you’re in a band – especially when rehearsal mostly start at 8 pm and ends 01.00 am the day after. Joakim is a father to a lovely girl named Juni and works full-time as a logistic coordinator at Top Gear Scandinavia, so having a child, a full time job and a band can also be rather tricky from time to time. Then there’s the family/friends complications thing. Because of our late night rehearsals 3-4 times a week, and sometimes several shows a week when we´re touring, it can get rather hard to find time for friends or people close to you. But we´re all blessed with people who support us and our music so we´re very grateful.
HHM: Are there draw-backs to being on the road and traveling? What are they?
J&TA: There haven’t really been to many draw backs for us yet. Maybe financially, since our members are in their early twenties, and not all of us have been able to save up money from working full time. But, being away from family, friends and loved ones when being on the road is always a draw back. And between shows it´s easy to get exhausted having done all of the packing, driving and hard work that goes on behind the stage, but in the end it´s always worth it. We´re always having so much fun!
HHM: Why did you decide to expand your band and how did you select the right people?
J&TA: When Joe and the Anchor started the bands only member was Joakim. He released an acoustic album called “Still Alive” on Spotify and didn’t think more of it, until he wanted to play live for a music competition in Sweden. Originally he planned to do the show alone, but changed his mind just before the event, and asked the drummer, Viktor Edsjö, and guitarist, Robin Zhang, to join; two friends from earlier music projects. After the show, people seemed very appreciating of our music and, as grateful as we were, we also felt some sort of pressure because now we needed to step up our game and start rehearsing for real. So we expanded the band, taking in Ruben Sonesson on guitar and Yrsa Schau on female vocals and keys, deciding to dedicate ourselves to Joe & The Anchor.
Finding the right people isn’t always the easiest thing to do though, sometimes we’ve done lots of interviews and try-outs with people before we feel we’ve found the right one, and sometimes we’ve had like an instant match. Usually we find people either by online adds or by asking people we know. The important thing is that it feels right to everyone in the band, that everyone feels good and understand each other.
HHM:Any plans for an American Tour?
J&TA: Yes, they are some, but it’s all very early on in the planning process. We´ve put together a comprehensive list of potential places to play at for an upcoming tour this fall, and America is on definitely the list. Let´s just hope that Trump will let us in!
HHM: How do you come up with new music?
J&TA: It can happen in different ways. Sometimes one of the members gets and idea during rehearsal hours then we start jamming and working on it until we have a mostly completed song, but mainly it´s Joakim that writes the music. He records low quality demos, where he records every instrument and then shows us how he wants the song to sound. We then start working on it together, every member adding their own flair, and maybe rewriting some parts if we find it works better. Then we record it with better quality with the recording gear we have in our rehearsal space, to be able to judge if the song has potential to be a really good one. We’re very selective with the songs we end up using because we write a lot of songs that end up being discarded in the end. Out of the ten songs we usually play at a set, there are 20 or more songs that we wrote but decided weren’t good enough.
HHM: Anything other you would like to tell your fans?
J&TA: Thanks to everyone that support us and listens to our music. You’re fantastic and we love you all.
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