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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Punk


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Anchoress @ Track House

Olympia, Washington, United States

Olympia, Washington, United States

Anchoress @ The Lair

Yakima, Washington, United States

Yakima, Washington, United States

Anchoress @ House show

Spokane, Washington, United States

Spokane, Washington, United States



If you happen to live in Vancouver anywhere that’s not under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Anchoress. It’s hard to pinpoint their genre, but simply calling them a punk band detracts from the bands’ intricacies. They’re melodic, they’re aggressive, they’re technical in just the right spots, and they bring hot fire to their live shows. They’re also some of the nicest guys you will ever meet. I tried my hardest to make one of them say something mean during this interview, and totally failed. Their third full length, Anchoress Is Ruining My Life, comes out October 4th


Absolute Underground: Who are you and why are we here?

Chris: Those are big questions, dude.
Rob: People spend their whole lives answering those questions.
Ricky: We are Anchoress and we are a punk band from Vancouver…
Chris: He didn’t ask us that. He asked us what we’re here for.
Ricky: We’re here to…
Rob: Answer some questions.
Ricky: And cause controversy.
Chris: And lose friends.

AU: How and when did Anchoress come into existence?

Rob: Late 2010.
Ricky: It started at a party. I was wearing a Ruiner shirt and Rob, who I’d never met before, came up and was like, “I fuckin’ love Ruiner!” And we decided to start a band together and went to practice the next week.

AU: You have a brand new full length coming out in October. Tell us a bit about it.

Ricky: It’s called Anchoress is Ruining My Life, and it’s a reference to a rap song. It’s an album that took us a long time to write because we were signed to a label and they really wanted to reissue the old albums which we had independently released. They wanted to release them on vinyl and we thought “Great!” But it actually put our band in this weird pause for a while where we almost had to relive the first two releases. We kept writing the whole time and eventually had an album. We recorded it in stages, which was really nice.

Rob: It was super comfortable. We recorded it over a year with Jesse Gander at Rain City.

Ricky: Eventually we had twelve songs, two of which became The EP Formerly Known As Lemonade. We parted ways with our label and thought, “This is on us, and we’re going to release is independently, the same way we used to.” Which is to release it digitally for free, because people are going to pirate it anyways, so they might as well just have it.

Chris: And we’d rather just have people listen to it.

Ricky: We’re looking into vinyl right now and October 4th is the digital release. We’re really happy that it’s all on us again. It’s more expensive and it’s more stressful…

Chris: But it feels great to have all the control. Every aspect of the band is back where it belongs, which is with us. It’s better that way.

Ricky: Music-wise, it’s almost the album this band was always meant to write. It almost feels like this is our actual first album. We wrote Set Sail a month after we met each other, and I don’t know if we could say we were friends then, we were just people who enjoyed music together and didn’t hate each other. And then we toured and life happened and we’re best friends now. Anchoress Is Ruining My Life is the first album we have written as people who are lifelong friends and you can really hear that in the music.

AU: You also recently completed a Western Canadian tour with Exits. How did that go?

Chris: Surprisingly well. There were some really wild shows and we made friends with the Exits guys and got to watch them play every night.

Ricky: Exits are easily one of the best hardcore bands in Canada. It’s nuts that they’re not bigger than they are. And we’ve never toured with another band before.

Rob: You kind of have a built-in crowd.

AU: Having toured across Canada and the US, how would you say the Vancouver punk scene stands out in comparison with other cities?

Ricky: I think our scene is so fucking strong. We have so many good bands…

Chris: And so many venues. Some people kind of shit on the Vancouver scene because it’s hard to do all ages shows here, but the harder that people make it, the more it’s going to happen. You can shut down an all ages venue here and there are just going to be two more that pop up. I think that shows the spirit of the Vancouver scene – we’re not gonna take no for an answer.

Ricky: On an international level, its different, because Vancouver is geographically separate from the rest of Canada and the States.

Rob: We have to be more self-reliant.

Ricky: We have to go into tour understanding that it’s going to be seven hour drives or crossing a shitty border. I don’t think anyone sees Vancouver for the amazing scene that we have because it’s really hard for the bands that we have to get past the fucking mountains. It’s a healthy scene but we are in our own little greenhouse of awesome. It’s a challenge to get people to know that there are other really great bands apart from Baptists and White Lung.

AU: What are some local bands the readers should check out?

Ricky: Cheap High, Selfist, Balance.
Chris: Seer.
Rob: Witch of the Waste.
Ricky: Glad Rags, Swim Team. Bigger bands like Anciients are killing it. Neck of the Woods.

AU: You’re one of the best looking bands in the Vancouver punk scene. You’re all really handsome. Can you give the readers some style pointers?

Ricky: We spend a good deal of time in the van talking about how un-hip we are.

Rob: We’re not like dad rock, but…

Chris: The best style tip I can give anyone is don’t wear a brown belt with black shoes.

Ricky: Just watch Chris. Take pointers from him. He’s the man with the style. Catch him on the seawall.

Rob: The rest of us just look better in his reflected glow.

AU: Not only are you guys incredibly good looking, but you’re one of the kindest bunch of men I’ve ever met. Why are you so god-damned nice?

Ricky: Because it doesn’t pay to be an asshole. Personally, I have no interest in being a shitty person. All of us have that mentality. It just pays to not be a dick. Everyone has the same struggles, as artists.

Chris: Except for me. This is just a long con.

Ricky: Chris is an asshole, but the rest of us… yeah, I dunno, especially within our scene, we’re all trying to succeed. We’re all trying to engage and play shows… why the hell not be nice? Don’t get me wrong, we’re not pushovers either. If you fuck with us, we’ll fuck right back, in our skinny way.

Rob: There’s no point in being rude. I would never be rude to someone unless they were incredibly rude themselves. I can’t think of the last time I raised my voice at somebody.

Ricky: That’s why we write the music that we do. We can write a whole album about how much we hate everything, and there it is. If you want to see the darker, shittier side of us, look at our music. And then we can be nice, happy… well, maybe not “happy” happy…

Rob: That’s what they call catharsis.

AU: Can you please say something mean to me?

Rob: I don’t know if I can.
Chris: You’re too damn tall. Your hair is… nice.
Ricky: The only insults we can say are loud compliments.
Rob: Gosh, you’re charming!
Chris: Aggressive compliments. You better watch out!
Ricky: I hate how incredibly talented you are!
Rob: You should be more careful when you’re skateboarding!

AU: Can you please talk shit on another band?

Chris: Witch of the Waste is the worst band that has ever existed.
Ricky: Total fuckheads.
Chris: Peter Sacco? More like Peter sack o’….
Rob:…shit. Roasted! And what’s up with Fitz’s hair?

AU: What’s the worst show you’ve ever played?

Ricky: Oh, fuck, there have been so many.

Rob: Pouzza Fest. Historically, remarkably terrible.

Chris: It was our first tour. We booked it because we got into Pouzza Fest in Montreal. We didn’t know how to book it... so many long drives on the way there. By the time we got there we were all just fucking koo-koo.

Rob: I was hella sick.

Chris: We were opening for Poison Idea but Strung Out was playing across the street. There was a lineup around the block for that venue and our venue was fucking empty. Like, real empty. Additionally, there were student riots happening at that time. We played a pretty bad set to no one.

Ricky: All of us started with different songs. It was the worst set we’ve ever played.

Chris: There were three old drunk French dudes watching from the bar.

Ricky: When we were loading out… we couldn’t, because of the riots.

Rob: I had gone out ahead of everyone to get the van and then the venue locked down. I’m sitting in the van in the alley watching protestors clash with riot police, advancing down the alley.

Ricky: They finally gave us a three-minute window to get out of there.

AU: If Anchoress was trapped on a deserted island and one member had to be eaten for the others to survive, who would it be?

Chris: Keenan.
Ricky: Would it be Keenan? I feel like you’ve got more meat on you.
Chris: I’d be harder to kill.
Ricky: If we’re talking about the greater good, look at me and Rob… you guys would eat for a day, if you killed us both.
Rob: You’re forgetting that we’re all vegetarians, guys. We’re all going down together.
Ricky: And we’re so god damned nice, we’d probably all die before anyone got eaten.
Rob: Whoever would be the first to fall naturally.
Chris: Decapitation kills you quite naturally.

AU: Would you rather play top-40 pop country music for the rest of your musical careers or give Glenn Danzig a handjob, with eye contact?

Ricky: After the handjob… we could do whatever the fuck we want musically?

AU: Yeah. One-time deal.

Chris: He’s old as shit!

Ricky: Aw, whatever. It’s one handy. If it meant for the rest of our lives we could do whatever we want, I’d take one for the team. On the other hand, people do tell me there is a lot of money in top-40 pop country.

Chris: I totally thought you were gonna say there is a lot of money in handjobs.

Rob: We’re not a money band.

AU: Outside of your upcoming album, what does the future hold for Anchoress?

Ricky: Playing a show in October on the Island with Toymaker.
Chris: More local shows and probably some touring in the spring.
Rob: We’ve already talked about releasing another EP pretty quickly.
Ricky: We’re not gonna slow down. We’re gonna challenge ourselves on our next album.

AU: Any last words?

Chris: Thanks for the interview. To all the people reading Absolute Underground, check out new album, it will be up on for free. Come hang out, see us at the merch booth. You don’t have to buy anything. We like to talk to people.

PHOTO CREDIT: Out Of Step Productions

PHOTO CREDIT: (above) Out Of Step Productions
OTHER: Willow Gamberg - Absolute Underground Magazine

Being in a touring punk band in this day and age is not easy feat for anyone, but Anchoress prove they have what it takes. Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Ricky Castanedo, Keenan Sunbro, Chris Lennox-Aasen, and Rob Hoover form the band Anchoress. The punk-hardcore phenoms have been leaving their mark on every city they touch in one way or another. Their debut record “Set Sail” has been highly regarded as a revival in an ever growing punk movement and after wrapping up their first western American tour, crowds saw what Vancouver’s punk scene was hiding first hand.

The idea of a modern day punk band can be a laughing matter to some, but lurking in the shadows there is an emerging and renewed post-hardcore scene that has been quietly waiting and perfecting itself for the triumphant return to the spotlight. Anchoress, a very minimalist band, have been playing to packed crowds in their hometown of Vancouver for some time and recently recorded and shot a music video for Andrew W.K’s “Party Hard” with not only Andrew’s help and blessing but with the help of 3 Inches Of Blood as well. Touring as a relatively unknown group is one of the biggest gambles any band can make. Any first trek tour is bound to have its ups and downs and Anchoress’ journey was no different.

Abort was giving the opportunity to be an unofficial member of Anchoress for their homecoming show at Vancouver’s all ages venue Zoo Zhop. In what was probably one of the strangest shows I have been to in my fifteen year tenure as a concert-goer, I got to see how true to form these boys really are. Before hitting the stage, lead singer Rob Hoover claims that the first thought to cross his mind is, “I have to pee” while drummer Lennox-Aasen is a little more zen, “I love to do yoga, clear my mind before I play.” These are the routines some of the guys have before instructing chaos and destroying whatever stage is presented to them. Early influences for the band are fundamental for the growth and bond these young men share with each other. “We are united by our love of Brand New & Every Time I Die,” they went further to explain that without the love of those bands that they never could have formed. Music has played a pivotal role in the up bringing of these young men. “My dad was really into 70s punk and my mother was really in to folk, I always grew up with music playing.” Lennox reflects on his childhood saying that “The first time I heard London Calling by The Clash was when I knew I wanted to play the drums.”

Between conversations of dream tour opportunities, their dedicated and loyal local fan-base, and talks of their favourite records all in the comfort of their cozy tour van no one would have guessed the insanity that was to follow. Police pulled guitarist Kennan Sunbro aside due to a legal disagreement over the consumption of alcohol, noise violations, fire hazards and more than a few rowdy fans. Showtime looked doubtful as police paced the streets, neighbours stood from windows cursing down at the crowds of fans or whispers of the fire marshal moments away to end the night. A bit late and bit rushed Anchoress hit the stage to play one of the rowdiest sets we’ve seen in the concrete dungeon known as the Zoo Zhop. Hoover jumped in and out of the crowd as fans sang along to every word screamed at them, Castanedo hit the bass, Lennox smashed the skins, Sunbro slammed his guitar and with jet piercing vocals Hoover trashed around the crowd like a fish out of water. It was the perfect punk show and just as things got hot and heavy in that concrete slab in typical Vancouver fashion, the fire marshal and an army of police officers crashed in and had the crowd swarming out of all available exits.

In punk rock this was no minor coincidence and just like many of the great bands before them Anchoress achieved a pivotal moment in any bands career and that is the simple yet refined moment of a police crack down. Anchoress have the longevity, the charisma, and the musical chops to become one of the biggest punk bands in Canada, a role that has needed to be filled for sometime now. It wont be long before you see a new record from the boys and before that Anchoress will be in your home town to play for you. You can find their latest tunes online, you can find their video for “Party Hard” on their Youtube page and most importantly you can find us against the guard rail at the next show. - Abort Magazine

Whilst reading the Chuck Palahniuk novel Diary, Ricky Castanedo, bassist of local post-hardcore punks Anchoress, came across a passage in which Palahniuk describes the lead character as “the anchoress of the city.” Castanedo thought this was an interesting word and pitched it as a band name to the rest of the four-piece, which includes Rob Hoover on vocals, Keenan Federico on guitars and Chris Lennox-Aasen on drums.

“Chris was the first one to really jump onboard, and we decided to go with it,”Castanedo recalls, over breakfast at a well-known greasy spoon diner. Not everyone was a fan of the name, and after they had established themselves, a woman contacted the band on their facebook page to explain the religious connotations of the name, advising them to be more respectful.

“An Anchoress is someone that gets put in a church to bring blessings to the town. She’s not allowed to leave the church during her lifetime, and is basically a self-made martyr,” Castanedo explains.

“She posted on an event page for a show we were playing, on comments wrote about our band, on our band page, and she wrote a personal message to us,” Hoover says. It seemed that she either wanted the band to change their name or start playing Christian music. “I just wrote to her and said it’s ridiculous to assume that the name of a band will define their output, and she didn’t respond. She disappeared after that,” says Hoover. “Thank god,” adds Castanedo.

Anchoress has only been at it for two years, but they’ve done a lot in a short time, catching the attention of many and making fast friends where it counts. Originally, frontman Hoover and Castanedo met at a party and bonded over the bassist’s Ruiner T-shirt. That’s when they realized that they were both looking to start a band.

“It just so happened that I was a bassist who knew a drummer and he was a singer that knew a guitarist,” Castanedo says. Things were off to a good start, even though the first practices didn’t quite go as planned. “Our first guitarist wanted to write twelve-minute sweeping metal songs,” Hoover says sullenly. “We replaced him with Keenan early on, but we still consider Keenan an original member of Anchoress,” Lennox-Aasen adds in.

Lyrically, it would seem that Anchoress is having a lot of fun. Song titles from their first record, Set Sail, range from “Zombies on a Plane” to “Murder in the Sky Over Burnaby” to “Coral Bones”. \

Hoover writes all the lyrics for the band. “I write a lot of stuff that isn’t very serious and I’ll sprinkle it with darkness and maturity,” Hoover says, claiming that the first record was a lot of silliness, but no one else in the band seems to agree.

“Cadillacs is some of the best lyrics. Rob says the name of the band in the song and he introduces the guitar solo by saying ‘bring that shit in!’ That’s when I knew I was in the right band,” Federico comments while the rest of the band chuckles. “A lot of people seem to read into our lyrics a lot more too, thinking ‘Coral Bones’ is something really personal, but Rob wrote it as a mystical pirate adventure. Everyone thinks it’s a story of heartbreak and revenge,” Castanedo remarks, and Lennox-Aasen quickly pipes up, “well it is a story about heartbreak and revenge, but with pirates. Most people miss the pirate part.” It was easy to see that the rest of the band were big fans of what Hoover was doing lyrically.

Before even testing out their band on a stage, Anchoress hit the studio. They had written and released a full-length album before even playing a show. Now, close to two years later, their first release Set Sail has become their main focus once again. “We’ve remastered it and brought it up to 11 tracks, whereas it used to be 9,” said Castanedo. It was also noted that their latest and second full-length release Crime and Compass has disappeared off of the band’s Bandcamp page.

“There’s a couple things we want to alter with Crime and Compass, so we’re going to go back into the studio and re-approach it. Just remixing and redoing some vocal stuff,” Federico explains.

“Yeah, I wasn’t happy with some of the songs because I had been singing for 18 hours straight and my voice wasn’t where it should have been,” Hoover adds.

It’s an interesting approach to things and one that the band thinks will definitely turn out in the long run. “We pushed Set Sail as far as we could, but no one was really listening to it. Now that we’re a little bit bigger, and it is getting remastered, it’s a good time to push it more. We wrote Set Sail and then we were kind of done with it and wanted to write a new album, but we shouldn’t have been done with it that quickly. This is our way of going back to do Set Sail justice,” Castanedo explains.

“We’re not gonna deny that Crime and Compass exists,” Hoover says. “It’s still there, we play all the songs live, and if you come to a show we’ll still sell you a copy, because we printed a bunch of CDs.”

In May of this year, Anchoress vent - BeatRoute

As real-life, sepia-toned tales go, it’s so epically brilliant, it would be a crime to limit it to the dinner table at family get-togethers. Thank Rob Hoover, then, for dredging up what happened 80 years ago on “The Rumrunner Blues”, the first track on Crime & Compass, the sophomore album from Vancouver hardcore upstarts Anchoress.

Set in the Prohibition era, the song chronicles a nighttime battle at sea. Over a backdrop of stutter-step guitars and Tommy-gun drums-and-bass, Hoover bellows out lines such as “Make a break for American waters/Make a break for American fathers/The Coast Guard follows/Shots fired puttin’ holes in the deck.”

When Hoover shows up with Anchoress guitarist Keenan Federico at the Waldorf Hotel tiki bar, he comes across as so impossibly well-mannered, it’s hard to believe that he spends his spare time screaming his brains out in a hardcore band. It turns out, though, that he comes from a lineage that’s all too willing to fuck with the system. More than just a great kickoff to an impressively abrasive album, “The Rumrunner Blues” is an adrenalized moment in Hoover-family history set to music.

“That song was written about my great grandfather,” says the singer, clad casually in jeans and a refreshingly un–punk rock North Face windbreaker. “In my parents’ house, my mom has the front-page clipping from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, back in, I think April of 1930. It’s basically this account of how the Coast Guard had a run-in with a rumrunner, and how they fired shots at him, but he got away. In the article, it says that none of the shots fired hit the rumrunner’s boat, and that they were all just warning shots. But scrawled at the side—and apparently this was written by my great grandma—is a note saying ‘They actually did hit the boat. He’s okay though.’ ”

Federico—whose tuque and black jacket make him look like he just stepped off the nearby Port of Vancouver docks—weighs in on “The Rumrunner Blues” with: “I love that song—the content is so classic, you can’t make that stuff up. With the lyrics and the way that the guitars sound, I’m really happy with that one. It’s pretty complete.”

Anchoress—which includes drummer Chris Lennox-Aasen and bassist Ricky Castanedo—has lots to be happy about on Crime & Compass, the band’s follow-up to its 2011 dark-horse monster, Set Sail. Once again, the temptation is to file the group under hardcore, mostly because it does fast, loud, and aggressive as well as anyone in wendythirteen’s Rolodex. There’s just as good a case to be made on Crime & Compass, however, that posthardcore is a better tag for Anchoress. That’s partly because Hoover is a more accomplished lyricist than 90 percent of the stooges who scored invites to last year’s Warped Tour and partly because Federico has no interest in limiting himself to three garage-punk chords.

Consider, for example, the way that Anchoress goes at the issue of drug addiction in “Fangs”, where, over two discombobulating minutes of sparks-throwing six-string, Hoover delivers the following: “I live in fear of the Lizard Lounge/We went in there but you never came out/Crossed the threshold and your blood went cold/You sprouted those claws and you scratched yourself raw.” Career barflies for whom the punk-rock party never stops will find plenty to chew over in the tightly coiled “Curtain Call”, sample lines including “It’s sundown in the city of slums, and damned if it ain’t the best pile of bricks and shit this side of Mos Eisley”. Elsewhere, “Disaster Porn” is part love story, part rumination on the endless cycle of birth and death set to a gas-bomb attack.

“I feel like there are themes running through the album,” Hoover offers. “Though I did come at each song with a different goal, I came at the album trying to make them cohesive. Some of the characters, in my head at least, come back. The girl in ‘Disaster Porn’ is also the girl in ‘Fangs’, and I use specific turns of phrase to try and connect them.”

Federico - The Georgia Straight

Despite the themes of social decay and destruction, and despite the spit-in-your-eye punk onslaught of the music, ‘Crime/Compass’ is not a work of pure nihilism. The lyrics tackle issues such as ecological disaster, societal breakdown, alcohol abuse, self-loathing and disaffection with poetic phrasing and reflective thought. These guys actually care about these issues. Anchoress may not be the first intellectual punk band in history, but you’ll be hard pressed to find such a stark contrast between the blistering, steel-edged assault of the music and the beautiful intelligence of the prose.
Anchoress delivers its punk at a break-neck pace, and they rarely lift their foot off the pedal. Backed by stalwarts Ricky Castanedo (bass) and Chris Lennox-Aasen (drums), guitarist Keenan Federico leads the charge with a primarily hardcore bent, but occasionally displaying a more metalcore leaning (e.g. on “The Rumrunner Blues”) or even math rock in the case of “Capture”.
Then there is singer/lyricist, Rob Hoover, whose half-screeched vocal delivery is so ferociously intense that you feel he is reaching out through the speakers and throttling you. But then you realize he is not angry at you, he is angry at the state of our world and our society. On “Disaster Porn”, for example, he disdainfully observes the perverse pleasure that we take in witnessing our own destruction:
Build up our cities and watch them fall down
Build up our lives and watch them fall down
And on the TV, we’re watching them burn
And on “Break the Dam, Release the River” he calls out our Prime Minister for his poor efforts to address climate change:
Oh Stephen, how you’ve failed us all
Like a guard dog howling at the lights passing in the night
While thieves break in through the back, you’re missing the point
The band’s entire toolbox of skills is put to work on “Torrential”. It starts with the slow throbbing of bass that leads into Hoover’s spoken word delivery of the song’s one and only verse. He tells us that rain falls on the unloved, but if you reach out and take a risk you might find love because, after all, “bad weather can’t follow you everywhere.” This is followed by a progressive, post-rock instrumental lead by Federico. But then a musical deluge is unleashed, lashing down on you like the heaviest pineapple express to ever hit the coast of BC (it’s torrential, you see?). Hoover repeats the verse in a scream, but this time the emphasis is on the rain that will be heaped on you as one of the miserable unloved. Brilliant stuff really.
Although intended to be one coherent album, in its physical form it is divided into two EP’s (‘Crime’ and ‘Compass’, respectively). This is probably a good thing because the pounding music drains you physically and the demanding lyrics drain you emotionally, so six tracks in one sitting is about all you can take. - Ride the Tempo

Hardcore punk is a dance on the dagger’s edge, a balance groups must strike between heart-racing adrenaline symphonies and irrelevant walls of noise, the risk of blandness on the one end and self-effacing screamfest on the other. On Crime & Compass Anchoress has precisely hit this target and produced one of hardcore punk’s best albums of the year so far.

There is no “-core” contingent of punk that would be able to disqualify Anchoress on some technical grounds. Their songcraft draws heavily on their political brethren, ringing with late-career Propagandhi and mid-career NOFX sounds just as easily as forging their own path with dark, heavy breakdowns that match Isis’ best moments. Much of Crime & Compass focuses on Manichean struggles, tinged with looming storms and black oceans to indicate which side Anchoress sees more of in the world around them.

Overt political references are infrequent, veiled beneath the band’s preferences for pastoral imagery and fantastical narration. One of the best tracks, “Break the Dam, Release the River” appears to be about the financial crises, but “fires from Mumbai to Texas” could just as well be a nod to Smokey the Bear as to Occupy. A track that opines “Oh Stephen, how you’ve failed us all,” must be making a statement on Canada’s shockingly regressive Prime Minister, but Anchoress weaves all its lyricism in ways that will allow its protests to outlive its targets. “Crime & Compass” is poems within poems, names loosely dropped strong statements on morality that use the themes of compasses and navigation to steer its listeners through storms both physical and ethical.

At the same time it’s hard to miss that track’s titular Lord of the Rings reference, and to place it as precisely the moment in that narrative when the darkness broke and began to recede. Find elsewhere the album’s numerous Star Wars references – still within the context of good-and-evil showdowns – and the lightness necessary to keep this album from becoming overwrought shines through.

It’s enough that some of the subject matter – the “voyages” of “mariners,” the sheer aquatic weight of almost every line concerned with dark water – can be accused of unnecessary pretentiousness, a sentiment that is assuaged only by the interspersion of nerd porn. The best moments are where those dueling aspects unite: “The Last Sailing of the Miskatonic Mariner” borrows one of Lovecraft’s scariest stories and some of Nietzsche’s most Zarathustrian blustering to tell a tale of capital-S “Science!”

This all assumes that the album’s lyrics get a thorough listening, a dubious hope given the vocalist’s bouncy, rapid-fire style. The intensity of this genre is not everyone’s cup of tea, but of its style it is among the best. -

I knew going into things that this night was going to be the perfect storm. First off, I love Burt's Tiki Lounge. In my particular opinion, there's nothing better than a punk show in a dive bar, and Burt's is the epitome of the dive bar. Give me a cheap beer and cover the walls in posters and I'm home. Easily doubling the good vibes, tonight Anchoress was headlining, having made their way from Vancouver, BC blowing up venue after venue on their way to burn down SLC on their first US tour. I'm not sure how to talk about Anchoress without sounding like a fanboy, so I'm just going to go for it and hope you forgive me––they're good, they're really freaking good, and I absolutely believe that this band is destined for an amazing future. I haven't stopped listening to Set Sail since I reviewed it for the upcoming June issue of SLUG, and I hope every person reading this checks it out ASAP. It's good. It's really freaking good. I'll wait here while you go buy it.

The first set of the night was The Two-Bit Band, a local punk rock trio dressed for the part and ready to warm up the crowd. Despite a couple technical difficulties and a few missed riffs, it was a solidly entertaining set. I'd like to see them when they play a little smoother, but there's not really a whole hell of a lot you can do when your gear just isn't cooperating. Highlights include a bit of amusing dissent over bassist Al Catraz's place of origin (LA by way of Columbia, I learned chatting with him after the show––a well traveled rocker, indeed), as well as drummer Dick the Kid air-drinking a beer from a stage hop-on in the middle of pounding out another song. The crowd loved them, proving once again that all is forgiven as long as you jump back in and keep the speakers pumping.

Next up was Simian Greed, a band with a fascinating name and an even more fascinating stage presence. Also featured in SLUG's January edition of Localized, this was my first time seeing them and I walked out of that venue impressed. I love their sound, particularly Dave Sanchez's unique vocal delivery, a mix of spoken word and hardcore screaming that he makes look absolutely effortless with a quiet, mostly still stage presence. Difficult to describe, although more hardcore than punk, it's not a sound that fits neatly into any particular genre, but it's captivating all the same. I'll be seeing these guys again, although I don't expect that I'll be able to describe them any better next time.

The last of the openers was a band that I've been hearing quite a bit about recently, the Salt Lake Spitfires. A little bit rockabilly, a little bit punk, and all rock and roll, these guys (and gal) had the crowd bouncing around from note one. Drunk as hell and twice as charismatic, singer David Dalby kicked serious ass as this band delivered another solid set. Unfortunately, this was also their last show with drummer Joe Bondra who is sadly moving on, but I have plenty of faith that they'll find someone to take up the sticks again and keep rocking. There's a reason they've been making waves, and I've got a feeling there's always going to be a place for good old-fashioned rock and roll. Needless to say, the crowd loved them and kept the good vibes rolling.

It really doesn't seem like a yell like that should be coming out of a singer as admittedly wiry as the incredibly talented Rob Hoover, but I dare you to try to make him slow down. Opening with “All Sweaty Dudes Stay True,” Anchoress started with a roar, diving into song after song and bouncing around hard enough that I'm surprised nobody passed out by the end of the night. Every member of the band is more energetic than anything I've ever seen, just an incredible whirlwind of hardcore fury from drummer Chris Lennox-Aasen to guitarist Keenan Federico and back to bassist Ricky Castanedo. The closest I've ever seen is the also-phenomenal La Dispute, but even they can't top Anchoress on that tiny bar stage. I mentioned their cover of Andrew WK's “Party Hard” in my album review, and although that cover didn't make the set, see them firsthand and you'll see why it's a fair example. This four-piece of sonic perfection parties hard and it is glorious.

Taking advantage of a rare break between songs, Salt Lake City's finest stepped up their game and proved how a grateful crowd treats such an impressive performance. One round of Cerebral Assassin shots later, and hospitality was delivered––you wonderful drunken bastards, don't ever change. Fittingly booze-worthy, Anchoress then delivered a short peek into Canadian affairs in the form of a song about current Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his apparent similarity to our own former President Bush. On behalf of all of post-Bush America, I'd like to extend our sympathies to the Canadian people. Come back for more shots s - SLUG Magazine

Anchoress = Gallows + Every Time I Die
I'm calling it—this is the album of the summer, if not the year. Furious and cocky hardcore punk with more swagger in 22 minutes than most bands have in a full LP, I haven't taken this album out of my stereo since I started listening to it. Twangy guitars mixed with traditional hardcore chugging, Rob Hoover's upbeat fast-talk erupting into passionate screams, an impeccable sense of pacing—it all combines to make this some of the catchiest song writing on the planet. Hell, they've even got a song about zombies. Fittingly called “Zombies On A Plane”, it features the most infectious breakdowns of all time— zombie gnash, indeed. This is also the same hardcore band that celebrated their album announcement with a cover of Andrew W.K.'s “Party Hard”—they know they're hot shit and they're not going to let you walk away without some serious grooving. –Matt Brunk - SLUG Magazine

Anchoress are a four-piece hardcore punk band hailing from Vancouver, Canada. Formed in 2010, the band is gearing up for the release of Set Sail. This album has a couple of fairly short songs like “All The Sweaty Dudes” and “Murder In The Sky Over Burnaby.” The latter is a 30-second opening that transitions beautifully into the second track. “Cadillacs” and “She-Devil” are composed of quick chords and switch over to single-note riffs. “Cadillacs” also features a roaring guitar solo. The guitar shines on “Apocalunatics,” and along with the snare rolls, adds to the energy on “Foul Bay.” About halfway into the latter track the music slows down a bit, creating a groove before it picks up again, making this my favorite song on the album.

There are a few references to various characters and films on Set Sail. “Brooks Was Here” is one of these tunes, which is about one of the characters from Shawshank Redemption. Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking, Star Wars and the current zombie phenomenon are all mentioned throughout “Zombies On A Plane.” The last track on the album, “Grease Fire,” has love song-like lyrics and is as touching as a hardcore punk love song can be. Overall, this is a very fast-paced album with nine of the 11 cuts ending in under three minutes. That said, the length of the album does not take away from its quality. Anchoress are more than just a band—they are friends. A tight-knit group that share a passion for writing and performing music. It is a way to creatively express themselves and share their thoughts with others, even if these thoughts reference John Travolta’s Grease, zombies, and stuck-up girls.

In A Word: Passionate - The Aquarian Weekly

I’ve been reviewing so many crappy albums tonight (actually been doing ‘em as “shorts” on Dagger; which means a quick assessment before it’s out of my life), I had to check to make sure I still have a pulse. Artsy wannabe annoyance, schlock electronica, a headache-inducing Indie/whatever passes for mainstream thing, and a modern R&B pop/hip hop mash by a bunch of kids in Vancouver, Washington (embarrassing! I love Washington!) I was starting to think I had to take a break; just switching to music I know will make me happy for the evening’s balance. Then I pulled Anchoress’ new joint from the pile.
Well, thank the rock gods. Apparently I’m still alive. Anchoress launches Set Sail with 27 seconds of thrash yumminess, “Murder in the Sky Over Burnaby.” Which goes right into a 52-second furtherance of slam accompaniment called “Cadillacs.” After that, the band calms down a tad, with the rest of the tracks clocking in at more like 2 minutes. But “songs” is, more or less, a misnomer here. Anchoress is about smushing the maximum amount of crunching chords, rock-happy hooks, insaniac rants, and annihilating beats into the space of an album. In other words, blasting Set Sail is, more or less, like being at a really good thrashy/speedy punk show.
The other cool thing about Anchoress is that it seems to pick up where Throw Rag left off. And I have deep love for Throw Rag. Anchoress may be more about the quick fix and reverberating head (from all that bangin’) than the more song/melodically-leaning Rag. But Rag never spat out a song called “Zombie on a Plane,” or made me enjoy one about “Curses.” Ahoy!
You might want to bookmark before burning some calories (and regaining some faith younger rockers) to”She-Devil”: - Punk Globe

Loud abrasive hardcore thrash played with so much intensity that you'll think you're reliving the 1990s all over again (!). Anchoress is the Vancouver, Canada-based quartet comprised of Rob Hoover (vocals), Keenan Federico (guitar), Ricky Castanedo (bass), and Chris Lennox-Aasen (drums). Set Sail is an assault on the senses. No generic limp-wristed twenty-first century technology crap here. These guys play real instruments...and they play them like the world's going to end at any given minute. This debut album is not for the faint of heart. The band plays fast and loud...and vocalist Rob Hoover has a growly scream that sounds like no one else. When you consider how much anxiety and anger there is in the world seems peculiar that there aren't as many loud aggressive bands as there once were (?). These guys must put on one helluva incredible show...they've got the chops, the attitude, and the balls to drive fans into a heated frenzy. Intense rockers include "Murder In The Sky Over Burnaby," "Zombies On A Plane," "Foul Bay," and "Grease Fire." Mighty wild stuff...whew... - babysue

Rob Hoover displays a complete and utter disregard for his vocal cords as the singer for hardcore upstarts Anchoress, a four-man assault squad that also includes guitarist Keenan Federico, drummer Chris Lennox-Aasen, and bassist Ricky Castanedo. If you like your punk kicked old school, you’ll love the hardcore howitzers on the band’s debut, Set Sail. Totally fucking ferocious doesn’t begin to describe things.

Best local release other than yours:

“The Jen Huangs’ EP called Rango. We’ve played a couple of shows with them, and they are just amazing. I got an early copy of the record, and I love it. They’re like a ska-ish punk band where one of the guys plays, simultaneously, accordion, trumpet, and guitar. It’s just a sight to behold.”

The year’s best gig:

“The best—and the worst—was that Blink-182 show that just happened at Rogers Arena [on August 31]. Best in the sense that I grew up loving Blink and this was the first time that I’ve seen them—it was amazing. Worst in the sense that it was just like going back to high school, including that bizarre cross section of people who all have to coexist. They were all trying their best to stand out and be cool and yet fit in and all be the same.”

We’re road-tripping. Who’s on the stereo?

“I don’t know if it would last the whole trip, but the Lonely Island, if you could take the best songs from their first [Incredibad] and second [Turtleneck & Chain] albums and get rid of the filler. That would give you one good album all the way through. I think that would be perfect—faux-rap is just ideal.”

The Straight’s paying, so where’s dinner?

“The Templeton [1087 Granville Street], hands down. I’d eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at that place. I love it. I’m a vegetarian, and there are enough vegetarian options that I don’t even notice the meat. It’s some of the best diner food I’ve ever had.”

Vancouver needs a sex-tape scandal. Who’s your co-star?

“Dan Mangan. He’s got a luscious beard and an array of plaid shirts that the whole band can get behind. Plus he probably has some robots, which would be extra titillating.”

Jimmy Pattison’s fronting the money. Where are we opening a venue?

“I would set up a network of tower rooftops—the Wall Centre, Scotia Tower, the new Woodward’s building—that would host secret and awesomely hip and exclusive shows. People would have to follow clues on a journey of personal and sexual discovery before finding the music. And love.” - The Georgia Straight

Anchoress is a great band that, for some reason, continues to fly completely under the radar in Vancouver. The hardcore quartet’s debut, Set Sail, was one of the standout records, punk or otherwise, of 2011, its take-no-prisoners approach making you wonder when the Warped Tour Main Stage booker is going to come calling.

Anchoress wasted no time pulling the pin on the hand grenade; by the time the group ripped into “Murder in the Sky Over Burnaby” a couple of songs in, singer Rob Hoover, bassist Ricky Castanedo, and guitarist Keenan Federico had already served notice they wouldn’t be spending the night standing in one place. They also made it clear they wouldn’t be contained by the Funky Winker Bean’s stage setup. When Federico wasn’t straddling the barrier, Hoover was splayed right over it, the mike extended into a crowd that was happy to help out on scorchers like “Curtain Call”. Impossibly, given the separation between performers and audience, “She-Devil” somehow turned into a mass sing-along, Anchoress and its fans operating as one impressive punk-fucking-rock machine.

Some barriers, evidently, are made to be broken. - The Georgia Straight

There’s a good reason for all the current blog buzz surrounding Off!: kids who were shitting their diapers when Blink-182 first started making booby jokes have suddenly begun to discover old-school punk. And by old-school, we’re not talking Green Day, but instead the guys who were ripping up the North American underground back when Ronald Reagan was public enemy number one.

The latest proof that everything old eventually becomes cool again is Set Sail, which doesn’t come on like a record as much as a nuclear-strength napalm bomb. Forget pleasantries: the quartet simply plugs in and then unleashes the hailstorm, with the opening track, “Murder in the Sky Over Burnaby”, roaring over the finish line in 28 punishing seconds. From the Chicago-style hardcore of “Coral Bones” to the plastic-explosives metal-punk of “Apocalunatics”, this is powerful stuff, with admirably inventive guitar work by Keenan Federico anchored by the solid back-end work of drummer Chris Lennox-Aasen and bassist Ricky Castanedo.

Unlike many of the pioneers that got all this started in the ’80s, Anchoress doesn’t limit its lyrical targets to the government, war, religion, and parents who totally refuse to get their teenagers a Pepsi. The skronky “She-Devil” has frothing-at-the-mouth singer Rob Hoover training his sights on chicks who are on a mission to out-slut Sasha Grey, while the chugging “Zombies on a Plane” will be pretty much self-explanatory to anyone familiar with the Misfits and George A. Romero. It all adds up to a top-notch first effort, which, thank you very much, will fit in perfectly on a playlist between Black Flag and Articles of Faith. - The Georgia Straight

With a West Coast tour under their belts and a brand-new EP, Crime, just released in early February, the gentlemen of Anchoress are well on their way to world-domination. Not Your Scene’s Milton Stille sat down with them recently to discuss their tour, their evolving style, and their unorthodox discography.

Not Your Scene: We’re going to start by going all the way back to the beginning. How’d you guys meet and end up playing music together?

Rob Hoover (Vocals): I met Ricky at a party because he was wearing a Ruiner shirt and I got really excited and we talked about music and he introduced me to his roommate Chris. Basically by the end of the night we had decided to start a band and become best friends. I was introduced to Keenan through my roommate at the time, and though bass is his primary instrument, he wanted to play guitar in a band. We had all wanted to start a band and we found each other exactly when we needed to.

NYS: You first released Crime and Compass, then Set Sail. Then you re-released Set Sail with a couple more songs added to it, and now you are re-releasing Crime and Compass in a different format. To some people, this probably makes absolutely no sense. What’s your reasoning behind this approach?

RH: This needs some clarification. Before we signed with File Under Music, we had self-released (in order) Set Sail, A Night at the Movies, and Crime & Compass. When we signed with FU:M, we really wanted to do vinyl, and in its current state, Set Sail wasn’t long enough and the first time around we hadn’t actually had it mastered; we had actually written and recorded Set Sail before ever playing a show. So we added the songs from Night at the Movies to the end of Set Sail, had the whole package mastered and then pressed onto vinyl. And now we’re onto Crime & Compass, and in the time between when we first self-released it and now, we had a lot of time to stew over details and there were a lot of little things we wanted to change so we took the opportunity to remaster, re-sequence, and edit it a touch. Maybe it’s a little busybody of us, but I’d rather get it done now than on the 10th anniversary re-issue or something silly like that.


NYS: You’ve been playing a few newer songs for a while now. Any plans to release them?

RH: We actually just booked some studio time in June to record a new EP, and we’re planning to record a new full-length in the fall. I’m really excited for these new songs, I think we have five or six performance-ready, and another ten in various stages of completion.

NYS: You toured the western US a little while back. How was that? Any highlights you’d care to mention? Any plans in the works at present for more touring?

RH: It was incredible! I’m sure this is true of every tour ever, but there’s probably a novella’s worth of ridiculous and fantastic stories to be told. But for just the highlights, San Diego and the Shoebox Collective dudes were incredible, Vegas was surreal, Salt Lake City was probably the best show of the tour. It’s always a beautiful day when you’re in the Pacific Northwest… we blew a tire and were stuck in the Arizona desert for a few hours, San Francisco was incredible… the list could go on.

NYS: Your setlist seems to be completely different for every show I’ve seen you play in Vancouver. Do you do the same on tour, or is this something you make a conscious effort to do for local audiences?

RH: We have a lot of fun playing with our setlists at home, not only the sake of flow and balance, but because we’re at the point where we have way more songs than we can play at any given show, so we like to rotate through the roster, you know? On tour though, we usually develop one setlist that is as representative of us as possible and get it to the point where it’s as tight as possible and stick pretty close to that.

NYS: More often than not, you’ve opted to play on the floor of a venue as opposed to the stage. What is it about performing in this way that appeals to you?

RH: Floor shows are just way more fun and intimate. It just feels more real when we (the band and the audience) are all there screaming and moving and sweating together. It’s like the performance version of a hug, and playing on stage in a handshake. We’re a hugging family.


NYS: You seem to have a mix of lyrically light-hearted songs and ones that deal with heavier or more personal subject matter. You don’t really seem too concerned with fitting a specific mould when it comes to being a certain type of hardcore band, yet there’s still a certain cohesiveness to it all. In terms of the music, what are the influences you have in common? Which ones might surprise our readers?

RH: Yeah, in the Venn diagram of our influences, we still have a pretty wide range of music that we respect and maybe draw from. It’s difficult to say where precisely these bands fit, but I’d say The Bronx, Every Time I Die, Title Fight, At the Drive In, mewithoutYou, Touche Amore, moneen, Propagandhi, Bane, P.O.S. and Doomtree, La Dispute, Converge, The Chariot, Hot Water Music… Tegan and Sara, now and forever.

NYS: Is there a particular approach you take when it comes to writing songs?

RH: For us it usually starts with someone bringing in a riff or a beat and then jamming on that. Once we establish the core or main body of the song, I’ll write the lyrics and we’ll usually end up tweaking bits and pieces until we get the song exactly where we want it to be.


NYS: This is your opportunity to plug any music-related ventures you have outside of the band.

RH: Ricky is a killer graphic designer, he does our albums, merch and lots of our show posters. He also plays guitar in a doomgaze band called Bloom. Chris has done all of our music videos and a few for some other local bands as well. Keenan has a solo project called Good Comedy. Keenan and I will be starting a hip-hop project soon.

NYS: How do you feel about the present state of the Vancouver music scene? What developments have you noticed?

RH: I think the Vancouver music scene is incredible right now! There are so many incredibly talented bands filled with brilliant and wonderful people who are putting so much energy into the city. Anciients being nominated for a Juno is pretty outstanding, and that should certainly bring more national attention to the aggressive music that’s coming out of Vancouver. - Not Your Scene



It’s time to settle this matter for good! Settle the island of Catan that is…

Here to help me are the members of the post-hardcore band Anchoress. As known board game enthusiasts, I thought it would be a great idea to conduct the interview while the band played a game of their choice. As you may have already guessed, they chose the infamous Settlers of Catan. “Anchoress is all about the farming games, like Harvest Moon,” explained Ricky. The more I looked at their choice, the more it made sense. A band that can spend hours playing Catan together is a band that sticks together; they’re close, they get along, and that definitely comes through in their music and their live performance.

That night, armed with a couple of cheese pizzas, some beer, and some great tracks off of Rob’s iPod, Anchoress and I set out on an adventure, an adventure filled with resources, roads, and settlements, and somewhere along the way (a few development cards and a few beers in), we discovered some pretty great stuff about the band and their new album.

Keep reading folks, if only to find out who wins. One hint: it sure wasn’t Ricky.

“This game is going to break up the band.”


So tell me, how do you guys all know one another?

Chris: Ricky and Rob met at a party over a Ruiner t-shirt. The next thing I knew, Ricky grabbed me and was like, this is Rob and we’re starting a band, and thus, a band was born. Ricky and I grew up together in Mexico so we’ve known each other since we were kids.

Ricky: And we met Keenan through Rob. He was a friend of one of his roommates.

So Ricky and Chris knew each other in high school? How was that?

C: Shitty! I was so emo with a really nice haircut [sarcasm]. Ricky was mopey, the exact same, pretty much. [laughter]

Keenan, what was your first impressions of these guys?

Keenan: Haha, it was definitely an odd experience. For some reason, they were filming a documentary at the time…

Rk: To explain, Chris and I lived at a film house a while back and, at that particular moment, they were filming a mock documentary about a fictional rock band with us as the actors. That was the day that Keenan came over for the first time to meet us.

K: They were all talking in fake British accents and shoved a camera in my face immediately. [laughter] So much energy! But then you all left for some reason and I remember standing in the living room alone until Ricky came and introduced himself.

C: All I remember is you [Keenan] plugging in and jamming for the first time and it felt really great and productive.

Rob: We wrote “Curses” that day, our very first jam together.

Rk: And it’s still one of our favorite songs to play.

Rb: Does anyone know where the hot sauce is?

So what would you guys say is everyone’s best feature?

Rb: Keenan’s eyes.

Rk: “The eyes of Anchoress.”

C: They’re like the oceans – dark and mysterious…

Rb: Have you ever gazed into Keenan’s eyes like we all have, Sarah? [laughter]

C: Rob is handsome.

Rk: Rob’s eyebrows, they’re fantastic and expressive.

Rb: The caterpillars are coming out to play. [wiggles eyebrows]

C: That just made me uncomfortable. [laughter]

Rb: Can that be the name of the interview, Sarah?

Oh most definitely…

K: Chris’ is definitely his high energy. [everyone nods head in agreement

C: Ricky’s is the hair. It’s great. It’s lustrous.

Rb: That photo of Ricky at the lake? You’re just like “bang!” [laughter]

Rk: It’s ’cause I don’t shower.

“Did you get your wood Keenan?”

So you’re stranded on a deserted island. Who in the band would you choose to be stranded with and why?

K: Probably Ricky because he would talk the least.

C: Because he’d talk the least! You are totally right! [laughter]

So you two would just live on opposite sides of the island.

K: If it was one of you two [Rob or Chris], we’d probably have a better chance of getting off the island, but if it was Ricky and I and we were content living on the island, it would probably be better that way.

Rb: I think I’d choose Chris because he’d have tools, you know, like a utility belt.

Chris is like Batman.


Rb: Haha, any time he travels he’s like, whoo, here’s my tool belt!

C: Hahaha, it is tough because there are good things about all of them.

You have to pick one, Chris. You can’t be with the whole band!

Rk: There is a plane crash and only one of us gets to survive!

No, we aren’t killing off band members, Ricky. Hahaha.

Rb: Yes, Chris, Sarah wants to know which one is your favorite. Which one of us gets to survive?

C: I think, in the band, Rob has the most positive way of thinking so I’m going to go with Rob.

Rb: Yeah! We’ll just be positive together. We’ll be OK!!! We have a tool belt!!

He’d be your Robin to your Batman, haha. Ricky, how ’bout you?

Rk: Now I think I have to pick Keenan because I’m not down with the whole Lord of the Flies thing. We’d just be on separate sides of the island.

K: Yeah, we’d be the Settlers of Catan, ladies and gentlemen! [laughter]

Rk: We’d see each other in the forest once in awhile and be like, hey!

So what you’re saying is that Ricky and Keenan would settle the island and Rob and Chris would try their best to get off the island?

K: Yeah, pretty much. In fact, I’m going to buy a settlement right now! Haha.

Rk: See! He’s already settling.


Haha, now let’s bring the conversation around to the music. What stage are you guys at with the new full-length album?

Rb: It’s half recorded and half in the process of being written.

K: We currently have a bunch of song instrumentals recorded with Jesse Gander with more time booked in June!

Rb: Yeah, we have vocals in probably five of the seven songs recorded.

Rk: It’s been a really cool process. First time we’ve worked with Jesse Gander from Rain City Recorders, so it’s been really fantastic.

C: It’s cool. For the first time in this band’s career, we get to take our time with writing and recording the album. It’s difficult for me being I’m so used to doing it in a whirlwind, like a week, but it’s really cool to be able to sit back and digest the songs and really think about where we want the new songs to go.

“Whose turn is it? Rob, seriously do something!”

Thoughts about the new material? How will the new album be different from the previous ones?

C: It is different. A different animal all together. It is definitely the collection of songs I am the most happy with. It’s the most honest, the smartest, and rawest songs we’ve written. It’s the sound of us embracing things we’ve been tentative to embrace in the past and exploring what we’ve been afraid of exploring. This album is brave, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.

Rb: The new stuff we’ve been writing is a lot more thought out. They’re a lot longer songs, but that’s not too hard when our first album was filled with songs between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. I think they’re much more emotionally weighted and they’re easily the best material we’ve written.

Rk: Rob ain’t wrong. 2 years of processing did these songs a whole bunch of good. As much as we hated to wait to record them, we couldn’t be more stoked. Our new album is sounding the way I think we all want the band to sound like. It’s our most unified effort and it shows. Since we are recording in 3-4 song segments throughout the year, we really get to hash out songs and make them ours. We are not Anchoress, the hardcore band, on it anymore. We are finally just Anchoress.

K: I think the new music is light years ahead of our old stuff. Individually, we have developed into better musicians and every song is a very “full band” effort. On my part, there are far less outrageous guitar lines and drop D riffing. “Less is more” seems to ring true with many of the new songs, as we are dialing back the crazy and creating more in-depth music… In short, the Barenaked Ladies would be proud. [laughter]

Ricky doing the new graphics?

Rb: Yep, we don’t have to pay him! [laughter]

If you could have any local musician feature on the new record, who would it be?

Rb: Courtney Karg – [laughter] – since she will be!

C: Nardwuar. That would be sweet. [laughter]

K: For me, I would say the late Tim McGuinness. The way he played guitar was a huge inspiration for me. But, alas, he has passed away.

Rk: I think it would be cool to feature someone with no connection to us or the style of music and really allow them to be their own entity within the song. That would be great.

Rb: Like the female lead singer in Hey Ocean?

Rk: Yeah, something like that.

“There isn’t anywhere on the board where you can f*ck both me and Ricky.”

Tell me about some of your favorite shows you’ve played so far?

Rb: Probably for me, Salt Lake City.

C: San Diego was really fun. We met a lot of great people there.

Rk: How about Bagelfest in Edmonton? [laughter] It was a huge house party. So much fun!

C: Haha, we played in the middle of a big living room and bagels were everywhere.

K: For me, probably Spokane. That show was just really, really cool. It was part of our tour we did with Balance.

Rk: How about that show with Mike the Black Knight? [the entire band breaks into a fit of laughter]

OK, fill me in guys.

Rb: It was at The Lair in Yakima, central Washington. The venue was empty except for a few teenage volunteers. The decor was crazy, like dragons and shimmery materials everywhere. The stage could be moved into all sort of shapes. The best part was that there was two thrones in the center of the venue. One that Mike the Black Knight sits in during the show and the other, his pug Flavius sits in. So there was pretty much no one there and we finished our set and this guy from his throne hollers, “You should play one more!” It was hilarious.

Rk: The pug really liked Keenan.

K: Mostly because I had a piece of pizza, haha.

Keenan, what would you say is everyone’s role in the band?

K: Well, Ricky is the heart because he just cares a lot. Ricky also really loves music. Having that keeps our direction as a band in the right place. I would say Rob is the mouthpiece but he is a lot more than that; let’s say the brain! Chris is the spirit for sure. He just has so much darn energy. And, well, I guess I’m the nervous system. I kind of help all those parts keep moving.

Awwww. Heart-felt answer. Since we’re getting sappy, what is Anchoress to each of you?

C: Anchoress is my outlet. It’s my brotherhood. It’s the source of some of my best stories. It’s something I have the privilege to do with some of my best friends.

Rb: Anchoress is where I get to play music with my best friends.

Rk: I don’t know what Anchoress is to me that they didn’t cover already. It’s the greatest part of my life. I’m in a band with three of my closest friends who also happen to be some of the most inspiring creative individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. It’s one of the most defining things I have ever done. I fell in love with being in a band and writing music because of this band. It’s catalyst to any other musical-related excursions I’ve set out on.

K: Anchoress is a labor of love.

Next show?

Rk: Our next show is the SBC Skateistan Fundraiser. We are stoked to play it; the cause is amazing. Look it up. And we get to play on a skate ramp! We love SBC. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play there again and get matching tattoos, haha.


Final question: so who is going to win this game?

Anchoress: [In unison] Rob, for sure! - Red On Black Music


Anchoress Is Ruining My Life -- Oct 4, 2016

T.E.P.F.K.A.L. -- May 10, 2016

Crime & Compass -- Aug 12, 2014

Set Sail -- May 14, 2013

Party Hard single -- Mar 11, 2013



Anchoress came to be in 2010 and hit the ground running. Just months into their existence the band, consisting of vocalist Rob Hoover, guitarist Keenan Federico, drummer Chris Lennox-Aasen, and bassist Ricky Castanedo, pulled together their first full length, Set Sail. Anchoress quickly followed the release with a cross Canada tour. After the exhausting trek, they went right back into the studio to release their double-EP-turned-full-length album, Crime & Compass on File Under: Music. By the release of album #2 Anchoress became a staple of the Vancouver punk scene. Their infamously wild live show and their unique mix of hardcore punk aggression and post-punk versatility grew a substantial fan base that packed venues, record stores, and basements throughout the rainy city. Though most at home ripping apart local haunts, they are no strangers to bigger stages. They have opened for acts such as Gallows, Baptists, Single Mothers, Guttermouth, Cancer Bats, Trash Talk, Nu Sensei and many more. Since the release of Crime & Compass, Anchoress toured up and down the whole West Coast, Western Canada and the prairies (again), and stayed active as a local band in the Vancouver punk scene.

Last year, the exhausted but determined quartet holed themselves up in their practice space once more to write the 12 songs that would eventually become their recently released EP T.E.P.F.K.A.L. (The EP Formerly Known As Lemonade), and their third and most ambitious effort to date, Anchoress Is Ruining My Life. With their third full-length record the band ventures into challenging and unfamiliar territory, opting to write a record that was loud as opposed to heavy, that transcended the post-hardcore / punk tag they had called theirs for so long. Taking cues from bands such as Title Fight, Touche Amore, and Drug Church, AIRML tears through the best and most dynamic 10 songs in Anchoress’ discography. From the introspective epic that is opener “Live On The Air” to the punk ferocity of tracks like “Your Career Is Over,” and into the shoegaze drone of “All Colours,” the album bends and blends genres together seamlessly, sounding like something familiar but entirely new all at once — Undefinable but surprisingly relatable punk. Lyrically, the album stays true to its diverse nature, touching on subjects such as the vapid hole of social media, police brutality, chronic illness, and life as an independent band in the modern age, all siphoned through Hoover’s critical eye and enthralling story telling. The album was recorded at Rain City Recorders in their hometown of Vancouver, BC with Jesse Gander (White Lung, Blue Monday, Subhumans) behind the board, giving it his own trademark clarity and energy.

Band Members