The Anthems FAQ


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Q:         What the hell took so long?

A:         I know, I know.  I thought this record would be out by 2009, and then 2010, etc, etc, etc.  I had some tough times in there.  Some crazy crap went down. If you’d been there, you wouldn’t be surprised that I fell a little behind with regard to record releases. But fear not: Anthems is here, and my next record is nearly finished being written. So don’t plan on having to wait another three years before the next one comes out.


Q:         Why no CDs this time?  You’ve always had physical copies as well as digital downloads available…

A:         I do love CDs, but in addition to the fact that everyone listens to music on computers and iPods now, it was a matter of cost.  I’ve had all of my recording expenses from the last five years funded by record labels, but finding the cash for the mixing, mastering and printing of Anthems has been the biggest hurdle in the record being released – because once I was out of my deal(s), these became out-of-pocket expenses.  Printing CDs is expensive, so going solely digital meant the album could finally be released without the help of outside funding. The last piece of the puzzle was realizing I could include a deluxe digital booklet with all the photos, lyrics, and credits that would usually accompany a physical CD.  Once I knew that was possible, I felt I could live with a digital-only release.


Q:         You’re right about digital downloads; they’re the way to go, but why isn’tAnthems on iTunes?

A:         Well, although iTunes put the digital music store on the map, it’s simply not as artist-friendly as other digital retailers, like Bandcamp.  I’ve chosen to use Bandcamp as my music distributor for a few reasons, but the two most important are:

1.) I could offer the digital booklet as an easy download along with the music, and

2.) I could allow fans to NAME THEIR OWN PRICE when purchasing the album.

This last element is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and with Bandcamp, it’s really easy.  The fan downloads the record, pays $10 or $1 or $5 or whatever they want, and everybody wins.  So that’s the way I plan to release records from now on.


Q:         I’m a bit of a collector. Will there ever be an actual CD of Anthems to sit on my collector’s shelf next to the first two albums?

A:         I hope so, but I can’t say for sure.  There’s a very limited chance that one day I could do a special-edition short run, just for posterity’s sake. I’d also love to do vinyl editions of all of my records at some point, if the demand exists and the funds are available.


Q:         I saw you on tour in (Spokane / Omaha / Atlanta) and you played a new song about (a car crash / worms / Tyler’s sister) and it was one of my favorites.   Why don’t I see that song here on Anthems?

A:         Yeah, those will be on the next one.  As you know I’ve been doing a lot more writing and touring for the last few years than making records.  So I’m a bit behind.  Those songs will definitely be on the next record, Albatross, which I’m nearly done writing.  Sometime in the coming year I’ll start looking to record it and hopefully it’ll be out in 2013.


Q:         It says David Lowery produced and plays bass on two songs.  You mean David Lowery, the lead singer from Cracker?

A:         Indeed, it’s that David Lowery.  We were introduced back in 2009 and he graciously invited me to his home-base of Richmond, VA to record at Sound of Music Studios with him and the excellent house-band there. “The Rest of My Life” and “Oh Lily” came out of those sessions, and the talents of John Morand, Craig Harmon, Hugo Haggie, Alan Weatherhead and Miguel Urbizitano are also on display. They’re a great bunch of guys and excellent musicians. 


Q:         Why do the backup vocals sound so awesome? Is Kelli back?  Could this really be true?

A:         Yes, after being conspicuously absent from Beneath a Balcony, original Dead Messengers member Kellianne Noftle is on Anthems singing backup vocals.  I hesitate to say, “she’s back where she belongs” because she’s actually been right where she belongs this whole time: putting out her own excellent solo records and promoting the publication of her award-winning book of poetry.  But let’s just say we all missed her, and she’s a Dead Messenger once again. Hopefully she always will be, for many records to come.


Q:         Tell us about the artwork. Please?

A:         Edward C. Simon came up with the signature motif of the typewriter and Polaroids for the album cover way back in 2009, long before the record was finished.  Eddie is a multi-talented artist and musician from New Orleans, and one of my best friends for several years now.  He’s one of the many people who gave a lot of time and energy to seeing this record become a reality, and for his special contributions over the years and his friendship and support, I’ve dedicated the record to him.


Q:         I’m OG and went to the CD release shows for both Welcome to the Danger Show and Beneath a Balcony. So when/where is the Anthems release show?

A:         It pains me to say that a “release show” (at least in the sense of what I’ve done for my last two records) is not in the cards this time.  I’ve moved to new states twice in the last year, and I’m more than likely moving to yet another state in the next few months. This, among other things (like the untimely death of my car), has made fly-back shows difficult and touring impossible.  I hope to be playing live again soon in all my favorite places, but performing has had to take a back seat to getting the new album out. Maybe in the next few months we’ll get some celebratory shows in places like Boston, New York, L.A. and/or New Orleans.


Q:         Well if you just put out a record and you’re not about to start touring, what’s next?

A:         Well, I’m getting married. And moving. And in addition to spot dates in support ofAnthems, I hope to roll out a few music videos and then focus on a bunch of exciting stuff coming down the road. This includes a long-lost Dead Messengers live record from 2009, a documentary film about me and Ben De La Cour from one of our 2010 tours, and recording plans for my fourth record, Albatross. For now though, please enjoy Anthems.  It’s the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people, nearly all of whom contributed their time and talents for nothing more than their love of this music.  I’m extremely proud of this record and I’m sorry it took so long to release it.


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