Sunday, 10 March 2013

March Music in the ESP Spotlight Interview with: ANAVAE!

For the first feature interview of 'Creating' Music Week, I wanted to tell you about a band full of ingenuity and so much promise it is actually ridiculous.

When I first met Rebecca Need-Menear back in 2011, I saw immediate evidence of her HUGE talent. She was photographing the Spring Summer look book for vintage fashion label Deer Oh Deer, and you could tell instantly that her eye for visuals was out of this world. That's why when I needed a huge talent to cover the Lulu Liu AW13 Catwalk Show at London Fashion Week recently, she was the first to come to mind. As we waited for the show to start, I got the chance to grill her on the topic of Alt Rock Band Anavae;  a name I had seen popping up online more than a few times over the past year.

Recently signed to Lab Records alongside the likes of Hellogoodbye, Katie Sky and Charlee Drew; Anavae have just released their first single on the label - Storm Chaser, which racked up a jawdropping 54,000 YouTube views in three weeks! Listening to their latest EP - Into The Aether, it was immediately apparent why though, and so I jumped at the opportunity to include them in this month's March Music special...

Meet Rebecca and Jamie of Anavae...

Welcome Rebecca and Jamie, I'm really excited to have you both on, so a massive Thank You for your time. I'm going to dive straight into the good stuff...

1. I remember hearing quiet things about the group last year through you Rebecca, but can you give me the official rundown of how you met, who Anavae are and how the group came to be?

Jamie and Beccar of Anavae
We were in a band previously to Anavae for a couple of years, but the writing process just didn't feel organic so the pair of us broke off and created something brand new. We wanted a completely fresh start and we’re now creating and sounding the way we'd always envisioned with people we love.

We spent months looking for the right guys to play with us and the time spent getting it right was completely worth it

2. Now what does the name 'Anavae' actually mean? I tried a little search and I couldn't find a definition?

'Anavae' is actually a word we created ourselves, which is why you won’t be able to search anything on it. It's derived from the word 'Enervate'... which means to feel weakened and drained.

'Anavae' is the ANti, the opposite of 'enervate' - to feel strong and powerful, to move forward, to DO!

It means absolutely everything to us.

Now as you know, it’s March Music in the ESP Spotlight – this entire month is dedicated to the ultimate music journey, from Understanding the artform’s psychological effect, to Creating it, to Performing and finally Promoting. You lovely talented folks are kicking off the second stage.

3. One thing that I always think is hugely important to establish early on, is the part that training and education has played (or not) in any career path, so that readers can really understand what it’s taken for you to get where you are. Have either of you had any formal training? If so, what in and what impact do you think it’s had on your music and career so far?

Neither of us have had formal training so to speak, nor do we have any music qualifications. We definitely don’t think that it’s hindered us in the slightest.

There is only so much you can be taught. Learning to teach yourself is just as valuable.

4. For a band who have been together less than two years, you have done a heck of a lot! What’s been the most unexpected part of your journey so far?

We've experienced lots of exciting turns. Being featured in Rocksound, Kerrang magazine, as well as getting our own VEVO account has been amazing.

Most exciting of all has to be signing with LAB records who we've been fans of for many years.

We're extremely excited about going on our first tour next month with Red Bull Bedroom Jam winners 'I Divide'.

5. I got the best surprise when I listened to your EP, because I love the rawness of your lyrics. For a majority of the population, releasing the most base of our feelings is one of the hardest things that we can do, but it's also one of the most therapeutic. Who's responsible for the songwriting and what inspired you to first pick up a pen?

Beccar: I'm the lyricist of the band. I've always found my head gets stuck far too deeply into books. I find spewing thoughts to paper is one of the best ways of working things out mentally. It’s like a form of therapy for me.

6. It’s quite difficult for most artists to create a sound that is totally separate to their peers or inspirations. How would you describe Anavae's sound and how did you go about creating one individual to yourselves?

We like to consider ourselves to be a bit of a mish-mash. We don’t set out to sound a particular way, or to fit a certain genre. We write how we feel.

We’re incredibly inspired by movie soundtracks, sound effects, delay sounds and drones.

7. Whilst you are a breathing, singing demonstration of where the hard work can take you, with your upcoming tour and the success of your viewing numbers to date – the core is what your fans are lining up for. How are you ensuring that everything else that is happening is not messing with the foundation of your artistry – that is, the art that you’re creating first and foremost?

Anavae's first single on LAB Records is available on iTunes now...

The foundation is what keeps us going - without that, everything else would be completely pointless. What we’re creating is just as important and rewarding, if not more so, than 'everything else'. 

8. One thing I find in most true artists, is that there is always something that you want to do differently in what the everyday person will hear as a brilliant work of art. At what point do you say stop trying to better something and accept it’s ready for the world? Have you had an occasion yet where you've held anything back on those grounds? If so, how did you tackle it?

Very interesting question - as yes, this is an issue we’re faced with on a regular basis. Sometimes you do just have to step back and stop, otherwise you’ll continue working on it forever. We've held back or put ideas in the 'future' envelope when we feel like we can’t do them justice at a particular time.

9. You've released two EPs now. What do you know now as writers that you didn't before you penned your first track, and what advice would you give yourselves if you could?

Download 'Into The Aether' from Bandcamp...

That you have to work through all the crap in order to get to where you want to be. The first songs you write are pretty terrible - you have to work through those learning curves, you have to learn to analyse what it is you’re doing and really have the drive to improve.

All we could really say is “Be patient! Keep going!

We still have so much more improving to do and so, so much more to say.

10. Last one! What's the biggest message that you try to communicate when you write? Has there been an overall message that you've tried to send lyrically or visually that you didn't manage to get across in quite the way you wanted? The floor's yours to give 'The Creator’s Viewpoint'!

Lately we've found ourselves writing a lot about progression, pushing forward, about being trapped in the confines of your own mind, escaping, the constant battle between the two, etc.

One of the many, many things that our new single 'Storm Chaser' means to us is the idea of 'participating'. To not waste life doing the mundane, and the routine, and the 'that will do's'.

The only thing stopping you from achieving is yourself.


I don't know about you all, but I absolutely loved this interview -  talents like these two are a good chunk of why this platform exists! Thank you Beccar and James for a great insight into what you're doing!

Download Anavae's latest EP - 'Into The Aether' straight from their
Bandcamp Page (I have and it's my fave of the moment!)

Then connect with the band via their Social Media Catalogue:

As you read earlier, Anavae are out on tour this April. Find out when they're coming to a city near you here.

Now it seems only fitting that I set today's 'Lost In Music' competition around these guys, don't you think?

As mentioned early on in this interview, Anavae's lead singer and lyricist Beccar also has another massive talent, which led her to work with me at a recent London Fashion Week event. Today's question, that will win you a FREE #ESPspotlight Review (usually £12.50 and somewhat favourable) is:

The forename of the designer's show that we attended is shared by a well-loved Scottish Singer  - Name her and her biggest hit...

Deadline for entries is 20:13 this evening and entries are accepted by email only. See Terms & Conditions below for full entry instructions. Don't forget that you can claim a ridiculous 50% off of ALL Music Reviews booked during 'Creating Music' week (ending Thursday) - provided you quote #MarchMusic at the time of ordering.

On Friday I asked you to 'Name Michael Jackson's first SOLO album'

For the very upset people who didn't get the question right, the correct answer is (not 'Off The Wall', but) 'Got To Be There' (1972)!

Enjoy your Mothering Sunday folks!
ES ;)

'Lost In Music' Competition Terms & Conditions:

  • Only one entry per person, per day.
  • Prize refers to ONE single/EP/Album ONLY.
  • Entrants MUST complete all stages for entries to be eligible.
  • Answers should be submitted via email, with confirmation of entry tweets containing the #MarchMusic hashtag sent to ESP Ltd. on Twitter.
  • Entrants must LIKE the EricaSharlette Promotions Ltd. Facebook Page for entries to be considered eligible.
  • All methods of entry should contain the #MarchMusic hashtag.
  • The #MarchMusic promotional code must be applied to claim the 50% discount.
  • Entry deadline is 20:13 each day, winners will be notified via email within 24 hours.