Initially forming in 2014, and finally having a full band together by 2016, indie-rock four-piece Anteros are now finally ready to release their debut album. Laura Hayden, Josh Rumble, Jackson Couzens, and Harry Balazs will be dropping When We Land in March 2019, an apt name for the first major release of a band who have been flying high off the success of singles and live shows for some time now.
With obvious influences from the likes of Blondie, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and more, it’s hard to imagine Anteros not becoming one of the biggest names in British indie-pop in the next few years. We catch up with the band after the release of their latest single, ‘Ordinary Girl’.
How does it feel to finally be getting an album out next year after being together for nearly three years now?
We feel excited and lucky we are getting the chance to put out a full body of work for anyone to listen. The last three years have been unforgettable, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and together as one. We can’t wait for the album to be out!
How has it been working with the producer of the album, Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Madness, Bloc Party)?
Charlie is awesome. We worked with him on a previous release (tracks “Bonnie” and “Love”), which was almost a test run. Charlie has a way of bringing a lot of patience and good energy to the recording process – which is exactly what you need when you’re spending 12-13 hours a day in a studio, somewhere in the middle of Somerset. We all felt really comfortable around him, which meant we were able to give honest performances. Another good aspect of the recording process is that we recorded a lot of elements live, together as a band, which made it all the more fun. Some tracks felt like we were playing a gig, which immediately meant we did what felt natural, instead of over thinking parts.
What’s the story behind ‘Ordinary Girl’?
Laura had a weird year in 2017. Having finished a busy tour season, her grandmother passed away a couple of weeks before her birthday. On the same day, she found out her father’s wife was expecting a baby (the age gap between Laura and her new sister is the same as hers and her dad). When she showed up at the studio, she told us the news and nobody really said anything, we just started writing. The lyrics poured out, it was Laura’s way of understanding her situation at home, a message to a new life. It is a very special song on the album.
What was inspired your new aesthetic, as in the sandy wasteland and metallic/pastel colours?
The album deals with life experience – our 20s. Early adulthood and everything that nobody prepared you for. When we thought about it as an image, it kind of felt like waking up far from home – in the middle of nowhere – and having to figure out where to go from there. The colour palette followed after.
How was it for Laura directing the music video for ‘Call Your Mother’?
The pressure for the latest music videos (Call Your Mother, Ordinary Girl) was shared! Laura co-directed with Bella Howard. Laura has co-directed in the past, so it was nothing new. The biggest difference was shooting in a different country (we travelled to Marrakech for both videos), and the fact that we shot three music videos in three days, one after the other. It was extremely hot, exhausting…and so much fun. We’ve made some amazing memories from it.
When and why did you begin referring to your music as ‘bitter dream pop’?
The reference started really early on – it was before even Jackson had joined! People love categories. We didn’t know where we fitted, but when we kept getting asked during interviews, we decided to make our own… and three years later we’re still talking about it, hehe.
What led to you to creating the Anteros hotline (+44 (0) 7984164159)?
It feels like in a society which is more connected than ever, we are at our loneliest. We don’t believe a like or a follower can replace that. When we started to tease ‘Call Your Mother’ we wanted to connect with fans differently. So Laura was on the other side of the number for a week, chatting to fans on the phone about everything from GSCEs to latest Netflix binges. It was so much fun! We are hoping to do more to break the barrier, establish a true connection: interacting face to face, instead of spending so much time in a world that only exists digitally.
As we know, Anteros is the Greek god of requited love. What other Greek gods make great band names?
I can’t think of any greek god names that don’t! There’s so many good ones. Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares…
A study by Fender guitars recently found that 50% of new guitar players are young women. What other changes do you think need to take place in the music industry and culture, especially around guitar rock?
That stat includes Laura..! She’s an ambassador for Fender’s guitar learning app, starting this month. We feel like the main change is erasing the barrier between men and women in the industry. Women have been treated differently since the start, so its about trying to find that balance and equality: not better, but not worse. Change is happening slowly… and hopefully will make its way all the way to the top over the next few years. We could talk about it for ages, but it’s more about taking action – thinking about what we can do to make women feel like they’re being treated fairly? How can we make women work together, instead of putting them against each other? Are our words matching our actions? What are we doing to support the women close to us? Cause that’s where we need to begin.