Reality Check with KT: Get Submerged in Mad Anthony’s Sank For Days
Local heroes, Mad Anthony, end one chapter and celebrate the beginning of another, this Friday, with the release of their new (brilliant) album, Sank For Days, at Southgate House Revival. I had the good fortune to catch up with Adam, Ringo and Marc, earlier this week to talk about the genesis for the album, and just to reflect, on the past 19 months, since they pulled up stakes to go out full time, on fire, for music.
Adam talked about the fear he had as they were prepping to leave; quitting jobs, giving away many possessions, letting their housing go, altering relationships…but his fear wasn’t what most of us may have struggled with. “I didn’t feel afraid of leaving. I felt like we would be crazy NOT to do this! We were already working 40-50 hours a week on music, and then 8 hours at a day job, to pay for stuff we don’t need. I was more afraid not to do it.” Marc gave a little chuckle and said, “Yeah, I remember you using those exact words to convince me.” Ringo too, had some of Marc’s apprehension; we actually wrote the tune “House of Snakes” for my Sacred Harp Sessions, during January-immediately preceding the exodus. “I’ve got a fear, I can’t express. I got a need, I can’t forget.” Came from a writing session where we discussed, the conflict, of having a passion for a thing such as music and the burn that comes with it, if it goes unanswered (or unsung). All of these conflicting emotions are the backstory to the new record, coupled with things that played out that the guys could have never seen coming. That’s some deep, profound shit, right there, and I have to say, it was not wasted on Mad Anthony.
If you’re familiar with Mad Anthony, you’ll know they have an unbelievable, tornado of a live show. It’s hard to not get completely swept up in their energy on stage. The songs they’ve previously written, have certainly not been one dimensional, but there were many tunes that had, an almost, pop sensibility with mass appeal and lyrics about things like looking for lovers in the yellow pages. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love those songs, but make no mistake that this collection of tunes is a whole other level. It’s like they trimmed any fat off this album and every single note, and every single word, has intention and relationship to the album as a whole. The themes are darker and intertwined with the very history of Mad Anthony with references to previous tunes, specific placement of lyrics, sounds and color, that it honestly takes several listens for the entire landscape to reveal itself completely. We’ve all felt like we’re underwater. This album represents that feeling in many ways. But, it’s uplifting. As the tracks build, the classic Mad Anthony energy is ever present, it draws you in, to submerge yourself, and then readies you to push off, come back up to the surface and take your next breath.
If you’ve been following Mad Anthony, you know they were in a devastating accident in June 2013 (only 4 months after taking the leap of faith to go full-bore). I don’t want to rehash that much, because, honestly, it is only one piece of the songwriting puzzle. But, it is a piece, so if you don’t know, you can read about it Here. But, don’t get too distracted by the near-death experience. It is certainly a part of the album, but much of this record was already written before that had even happened. I know the guys don’t want to continue focusing on that as well. I’m sure they may have asked themselves if it was a sign that they had placed the wrong bet, but, then it evolved into this realization of how valued and cared for they are. That was a big part of what pushed them to move forward (so quickly). They only lost ten days, with Ringo and Adam, picking up and finishing the run acoustic and then working with a sub drummer until Marc was healed and able to re-join them at Midpoint Music Fest. This album is informed by the journey that transpired as they took their swing at dedicating themselves, completely, to music. And, they proved to themselves, it is indeed possible. They’ve been in the black financially, they’ve seen the truth; that they can create good music, be self-sustaining, and be true to themselves by writing very personal, revealing songs and they’ve also learned that you tweak the plan as needed. Adam mentioned, their goal as a band, is longevity. Now it’s more about keeping touring as a priority and also figuring out other ways to reach new fans.
This album, will definitely make anyone who has doubted the raw talent and chemistry of Mad Anthony, put those doubts aside. In all honestly, talking to these guys, I think it has done the same for them. “I remember thinking, did I kill Mad Anthony?” Ringo said. But what was clear to me talking to these guys, it’s the exact opposite. The past year and a half has sold them on their connection to each other, as friends and musically, and on Mad Anthony as an entity. They have seen the truth that they can take a few lumps, get up and come back even stronger and there is an amazing freedom in that.
Listen to the album here—(https://madanthony.bandcamp.com/album/sank-for-days).
My favorite tracks; The Bottom, Stubborn, Turn It On