Metal Wani’s Michelle O’Rance took some time out with Dan Cavanagh from Anathema ahead of their Australian tour to talk about the upcoming gigs, their last album and just who is really in charge in this band.
Anathema have had a hugely busy year, with the release of their eleventh album The Optimist and then setting off an epic worldwide tour which has spanned more than 50 dates across Europe, the UK and South America. So it’s no wonder when we got guitarist, keyboardist and back-up vocalist Dan Cavanagh on the line, he sounded just a touch exhausted, but in all, quite happy with the way things are progressing in the Anathema camp ahead of their Australian tour which kicks off this week in Melbourne.
“It’s a long way to go, but I am sure it will be good audiences again,” Cavanagh says of the tour, which is the third time they touch back on our shores in the last four years, a feat that is enviable for a lot of bands to have the honour of being invited here so often, but also one that makes you groan inwardly when you consider the travel to get down to our out-of-the-way country.
“It’s always enjoyable to come down. The only thing that gets me is the travel! I mean, we fly economy class!” Cavanagh laughs.
“That’s the most grinding part, the travel and the flights. But we are looking forward to it,” he continues.
The band will be here to promote their latest album The Optimist, which was released to fantastic reviews back in June, and it seems like the response to the album in the live arena has been going quite well for them also.
“It’s been good. I’ve really quite enjoyed this tour. It’s been long! Maybe a couple of weeks too long,” Cavanagh laughs.
“But the response to the gigs and the album has been good. People are liking and enjoying the music which is great. But to be honest with you, I couldn’t really care less what people think of the music! I like that they like it! But you know, WE like it and that’s what we do it for,” Cavanagh continues.
That thought process seems to be the driving force behind bands writing and releasing such incredible albums nowadays, as they are more and more upfront and honest with their music, writing it for themselves as a band, and not catering to the masses. That, coupled with taking the time off to write, to really immerse themselves in the creative process, is what seems to be working for Anathema.
Cavanagh muses that the band took most of 2016 off to write The Optimist and that they will attempt to do the same in 2018 or 2019 for their next record.
“We took about 9 or 10 months off and then we toured the new songs, before we recorded them, and that worked well for us,” Cavanagh says.
Touring the new songs also served as good practice for the band, as they recorded this latest album playing live in the studio, something that they had not done for years.
Capturing the energy within that live setting was what their producer Tony Doogan wanted and Cavanagh was quite happy with this method of working and is keen to give it another shot when they plan to head back into the studio for their next release, as he always thinking that far ahead.
“I’d like to do that again. I quite enjoy it really, but we’ll have to wait and see,” Cavanagh says.
“There are certain factions in the band and in the management that are push, push, push. There are people that veto and say ‘we aren’t doing it this way or this way’ and to be honest with you, I am looking forward to having that argument! It will be quite fun!” he laughs.
“It’s quite funny how this band works. Vincent [Cavanagh] gets a lot of interviews and a lot of attention and he likes to think that he calls the shots, but to be honest with you, it’s me!” Cavanagh continues laughing and you can almost feel him winking down the phone at you while his brother listens from another bunk in the tour bus.
Brotherly love aside, it will be great to see Anathema back down on our shores this month and to hear The Optimist translate to the stage. Don’t miss out, make sure you check out the dates and pick up a ticket now.
Anathema Australian Tour Dates:
Wednesday 6th December – Melbourne – 170 Russell
Thursday 7th December – Brisbane – The Triffid
Friday 8th December – Sydney – Metro Theatre
Saturday 9th December – Adelaide – The Gov
Sunday 10th December – Perth – Rosemount Hotel
Tickets Via: http://www.metropolistouring.com/anathema