The Anima Construct
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The Anima Construct

Arlington, Texas, United States | SELF

Arlington, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Center House"

The venue is sketchy.

There’s trash on the floor. The carpet is stained. The place is a mess. There are more cats present than people, and the people who are in attendance are huddled outside in small groups talking about another show, the main show from a different venue. Inside, there is no mic. There are no speakers. When The Anima Construct, a local band, got up to start, they don’t have to go very far. There is no stage, there’s only a living room. That’s because Center House, an Arlington live music venue, is just that – a house.

As The Anima Construct began to play, the music filled the small room and flooded out into the night air. Then, like a wave, the people poured in.

“It was crazy,” Dean Adams, a member of The Anima Construct said. “We’d played shows before, but this was the first time people got into the music. They connected really well. Definitely good atmosphere.”
Located on Center Street, this venue was created by three guys to give local bands a place to play in Arlington.

“There was nothing like this while I was growing up,” said Avery Taylor, tenant and co-founder of Center House. “You had to drive up to an hour – Ft. Worth, Dallas, Denton – to find anything at all.”

Taylor and his co-founders Stevie “Papa” Skeen and Joel Flores are heavily into the North Texas music scene – Taylor plays in local punk band Empty Dots. But the prospect of heavy traveling for a music fix was steadily becoming a nuisance.

“One night I went to see a traveling band in Denton,” Taylor said. “They didn’t have a place to stay for the night, so I offered them the house.”

When the band, Joyce Manor, drove down from California, they decided to hold a show. That way, the people from Arlington who couldn’t make it up to Denton for the original show could come to Center House and see them for free. The housemates took donations at the door, giving all they earned to the band for some extra travel money. Afterward, the band slept in the living room and in the morning, Papa Skeen cooked them breakfast before they headed out to their next city.

“Small bands all book their tours themselves,” said Taylor. “If you look at their schedules there’s a bunch of cities that say TBA (to be announced). How they get those places are through people like us.”
Since then, Center House has held shows almost every weekend. Shows are free, but donations for bands are welcome.

“There’s always a friend who knows a band that needs a place to stay,” Skeen said. “Most of the people who have played at the house we’ve never met before. Sometimes they just show up randomly, but that’s fine too. You can stay however long you want. If you’re hungry, we’ll feed you. It’s a generous and humble environment, a self-sustaining community of fun.”

The feedback from the community has been positive. Local Arlington bands flock to shows, happy to finally have an outlet in their hometown.
“Center House has to be my all time favorite show I’ve played other than (our first) at Health & Harmony,” Adams said. “The atmosphere is like being in a total frat house filled with adorable domestic cats running wild, which is fine, because that’s the essence of punk rock, right? Raging hormonal youngsters rebelling against societal pressures and screaming their angst into a mic? I’ve never met anyone who has cared about the mess because everyone is there for the social connection between people and the music.”

Around a hundred people piled into the intimate little living room that night to see The Anima Construct in all open, friendly, and fun environment.

“That’s what Center House is,” Taylor said. “It’s just fun.”

Though the house only recently became a venue, its name has made the rounds through the mouths of indie bands across the country. From word of mouth alone, Center House has already showcased more than 10 local acts and over six bands from out of town in just five months.

“Even after a rut, we’re still trucking,” Taylor said. “Nights here are my getaways from a shitty ass life.”
The “rut” is Center House’s recent bout of financial instability. Even now the housemates who run it are in a constant struggle, working jobs as waiters and baristas to make ends meet. But through it all, they have the shows.

“Our shows are an escape from struggling,” Skeen said. “Even if we had to move out, we’d still do what we’re doing. We’re lucky in that we can do what we want, and we have ridiculous fun doing it.” - Summer Berdin


Freshman Release: Progress is Doing, Not Completing.
Can be streamed at (order is also available here.) for free.



Originally formed from a bass and drums duo, The Anima Construct has made quite a bit of progress since their inaugural show on New Year's Eve 2010. After just a few shows of the duo of Dean Adams (drum set) and Jack Simmons (bass guitar), local jazz guitarist Ben Garnett asked to join. After a few jam sessions, the experimental noise band became something different, something the local music scene had never heard before. Combining complex meter change and technical aspects in the vein of progressive rock giants with an intensive jazz influence in every song, The Anima Construct can only be described as unique. Each song is intended to tell a story through music, and the lack of vocals allows for the listener to determine their own interpretation of the music. Their inaugural release, Progress is Doing, Not Completing, showcases all the aspects from which each musician is from. And, after a listen to their original demo, the progress is good, and is far from complete.