Saying Goodbye to Anchoria

Anchoria was like a baby to me. It had my absolute best friends in it  and was conceived with the idea of doing something that challenged us.

The  first person I met before even Anatta was a thing, was Shane Lear. Back  in like 2012 or 2013, I approached him and ask if he'd be interested in  helping start a band with a friend of mine at the time. I had seen him  play in a few bands before and figured why not ask. He was down. Of all  things, he was going to play drums. When that approach didn't pan out,  he reached out to Josh and we all started jamming together. We went on  to record a demo and ran into the problem of not having a vocalist.

And  that's when I met Nathan Kennedy. He recorded his vocals to the demo we  had done and it sounded awesome (it was Cocktopus, BTW). Slowly, that  morphed into Anatta being reborn with Shane and I being new members.

After  putting out an EP, and playing numerous shows, I saw this guy that just  played guitar like an angel. And when Nate introduced me to him at a  show we were both playing, we started talking all things music and gear  and everything clicked. I knew we would be playing music one way or  another. That dude was Timothy Steria.

There was an attempt to  have Tim be the second guitarist for Anatta. Unfortunately, that didn't  pan out and eventually, Anatta broke up.

Just before Anatta broke  up, Tim and I got together and started writing some music. Mostly just  putting riffs together and hoping for the best. I started saving up my  money to start buying recording equipment. I knew I had to record what  we were doing. With Tim, Nate and I being good friends, we decided to  start something real with what we were writing.

I would go over  to Tim's apartment at the time, dragging in an iMac desktop with an  interface and these huge speakers, along with my guitar and would hook  everything up and we'd record ideas at his kitchen table. Nate would  come over with pizza and beer and we'd all have a great time.

Nate  would tell us all these weird things we should do and if Tim didn't  understand what he was saying, I'd tell him what I thought he meant and  vice versa. It's crazy looking back at it but that was a special part of  the writing process we had.

The first song we wrote was  "Crucio", which was released as it's own single/b-side today as well on  our Bandcamp. The second song we wrote, we scratched once we kinda had  an idea of what we wanted to do. The third song we wrote was "Moon  Cycle." Then "Letters," and "Bloom." I remember going over to Tim's late  one night and he told me had an idea that he couldn't get out of his  head and he wanted to record it. So we sat down, and I hit record. He'd  play a riff and we'd make a new track and he'd lay down another one.  Soon, he was on a roll and just kept writing and writing until 3 am and  we realized we both had to work the next morning. That song turned out  to be "Silhouettes." All the guitar work was Tim, and he killed it.  Along with Tim writing a whole song, I had also been working with an  idea I wanted to see play out. I wrote a song that ended up being slower  and overall different from what the other songs were. I sat on it for a  while because I couldn't figure out how I was going to end it. A year  or so later, I opened up that session and somehow figured it all out.  Until 2 days ago, no one, including myself, had ever heard the lyrics or  vocals to that song, except for Nate of course. That song turned out to  be "Wake," and I believe it's my favorite because of how kept in the  dark I was about it until the last minute. Nate did an awesome job with  that song.

I booked our first show 9 months before playing it. We  weren't even a band yet. We had no drummer, no bassist at the time and  we never formally practiced. We had demos and lots of hope. Rookie  mistake, I know.

We had jammed with a couple of guys when we were  looking for a bassist and a drummer who were alright but nothing ever  quite clicked. We had interested people but for an array of reasons  didn't pan out.

I remember talking to the guys as we were getting  to be about 5 months away from playing our first show. We had no idea  what to do. I made the comment at Tim's bachelor party that "if the next  guy we try out on drums doesn't work, I'm buying a drum set myself,  learning the songs and I'll play drums." I had a few beers in me when I  said that. But, I was dead serious.

Sure enough, that month, I  order a drum set with absolutely no knowledge of how to play drums. I  programmed the drums for the demos to just get us by, I had an idea of  how it was done, but that's certainly not the same as knowing how to  play drums. You know, I just had a whole lot of hope.

Around that  time, I asked Shane if we could go to dinner and catch up on things. At  that point, I hadn't talked to him much since Anatta broke up. We ate  at Buffalo Wild Wings and had a few beers. Straight up asked if he  wanted to play bass in the band, shared some demos, and mentioned we had  a show booked in 5 months. He was down.

Everything was somehow  going as planned. Kinda. I still didn't know how to play drums. I took a  few months and taught myself something new every time I got behind my  kit. After a month or two, I had all the songs roughly (very, very  roughly) figured out.

Then came another problem. If I'm playing  drums, who's our second guitarist? Our songs needed a second guitarist. I  came up with a crazy, never-before-tried (by me) idea as a way for me  to play drums and still play guitar at the same time. No, it's not what  you're thinking at all. It's simpler. Sort of.

I exported all of  our songs to my phone with the left channel being dedicated to our click  track and the right channel being a raw, dry DI of my guitar parts from  all the demos we made. I bought a mixer, a reamp box, and some wires  and rigged it up so I could play to a click, and at the same time, my  guitar parts would be reamped through my guitar rig. It works perfectly  for the most part. The biggest downside was carrying drums and a guitar  rig to and from shows, building up and tearing down everything.

I  started having band practices at my parents' place, who were very  supportive of us. And we were able to get to where we needed to be to  start playing shows. Our first show went well, we played in front of  maybe 500 people. One of the bigger shows we've been fortunate to play  as a band and especially for our first show.

After playing numerous shows, and being a band for about a year, both  Tim and Shane announced around the same time that they were expecting  their first kids with their significant others. This meant that the band  life would slow down a bit and we were all aware and supportive of  that. Family always comes first. When they had their kids, they would  often bring them to band practice and my parents would watch them for a  bit. It turned into my parents being the band grandparents and it was  pretty awesome.

When Thanksgiving of 2017 hit, we decided on  doing a "Bandsgiving," taking the idea of like a Friendsgiving but for  the band. We got our families together and it was one of the funnest  times I've had being in a band without worrying about anything  music-wise.

In March of 2018, Anchoria played our last show. We didn't know it  was going to be our last. We had another show booked in Syracuse a month  later, but unfortunately, we had to drop off of it due to a scheduling  conflict with Nate taking a new job. With Nate having a new job and both  Shane and Tim having new kids, we decided maybe it was time to shelve  the band with only having released two demo songs.

Since then,  I'd frequently listen to the demos we had that were never released and  it's been eating me alive in terms of stress about how we could get  these songs out there. I'm not someone to not finish what they've  started. This band was my baby so to speak. I grew the most as a  musician in this band than any other band I had been in.

At the  beginning of 2019, I told the guys of my goal to release our EP on  Halloween. They all agreed it needed to be out there so we could have  something to leave behind what we did in our time as a band. A sense of  closure.

In conclusion, in the last few weeks and months, we've  worked hard to finish everything up. Taking time to sit down with the  guys and finish up recording what we were missing. In late August, I had  decided to move  to the Midwest and had to make time with Tim and Shane  to record their parts before I couldn't anymore. Once I moved, I worked  with Nate to get the rest of his vocal parts to me. It's awesome that  he has a recording set up of his own so that we could work remotely  together and share our files. We worked pretty tirelessly to wrap  everything up before the big release. I had talked to our friend,  Matthew Corey (Matty C Beats), who has a huge background in music  production and is the go-to guy for our area for a lot of that stuff.  I've always wanted to work with him and thought there was no one better I  trusted to do arguably the most important job in producing music;  making sure the master is the best it can be. Good mix + ok master =  maybe ok album quality. Good mix + killer master = killer album quality.  Of course, that's me hoping I put together a good mix in the first  place. And Nate had helped me fine-tune some things and gave me great  feedback during that process. Overall, I think everything came together  in a way that it was meant to be. The album is exactly what all of us in  the band wanted and more. It's a huge weight lifted from our shoulders  and we couldn't be any more grateful for the opportunity to all come  together and have the fortunate pleasure of being in this band together  and making the music we made. Not only as bandmates but as great  friends.

Thank you to everyone who supported Anchoria over the  years. Coming out to shows, checking us out, to whom it may concern for  catching the handful of sweaty stickers Nate pulled out of his back  pocket and threw at everyone but they all stuck together and had hit you  in the face at our first show, for all those of you who have taken some  time to listen to the album recently, and thanks to my parents for  allowing me to make my bedroom into the band's practice spot and dealing  with our noise.

I'll never forget any of this. With that said, if you haven't checked out our music and would like to:

Dalton Sutton

Dalton Sutton

Music / Anchoria / Writings

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