Music News

Anchorage wants to shred your face and make you cry

Formed in 2008, Anchorage initially cultivated the metalcore sound heard on its first album, 2010's I Have Seen Further, and a follow-up EP, 2011's Truth in Adversity. But the limitations of the style didn't fully suit singer and founding member Kevin Gentry as he developed musically.

So last year, Gentry and guitarist Roy Catlin recruited their friend Scott Kelly, formerly of Kimber, as a second guitarist, and, when drummer Brice Job decided to move to South Dakota, enlisted Joe Hittle, who learned the drum parts in the month and a half between Job's departure and the already-booked recording sessions. In another fortunate quirk of fate, the group found Derek Arrieta to play bass.

The results of these additions can be heard on Patience, an album that has some of the musical trappings of melodic hardcore and metal but takes fascinatingly decisive departures from tropes of each art form. We recently spoke with the band about this shift and the process of making the new record.

Westword: How do you feel that Patience reflects the shift of musical direction you've taken over the past year?

Roy Catlin: I feel like Anchorage always had kind of a space vibe, and I feel like that has continued. We've always been melodic, but we didn't want to disappoint everyone who ever supported us.

Scott Kelly: We want to shred your face off and make you cry at the same time.

You've been through a couple of lineup changes this past year. How does that connect with the title of the album?

RC: I feel like this is finally the lineup we've been looking for — but that's kind of where the name Patience came from. We wanted to do it really bad, and we knew we had the talent, but it took time to get the pieces in place. The definition of patience is to endure through difficult circumstances and not give up on your passion.

You worked with Ryan Furlott at Rain City Audio in Portland. How do you feel that having a producer benefited the finished product?

RC: It's good to have that outside perspective, because sometimes you think something is really awesome, but in reality, it's kind of cheesy. He'd be like, "That drumbeat is cheesy," or "You need to change your solo." And I just rewrote it. I think another thing that helped was our willingness to work together and accept criticism.

Kevin Gentry: That's a hard thing for bands to do these days.

RC: I've got to give it to Kevin, because working with Scott and me is not easy. Singers are usually pretty sensitive, but he's open to suggestion. That makes the whole dynamic of the band work way better.

KG: We all just want to be the best we can be, and we help each other become that.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.