December 20, 2018 Interview – Anavae
Out of London, England, Anavae is an interesting Rock act paving their own way. A duo, consisting of Rebecca Need-Menear and Jamie Finch, their style has been ever evolving since their formation as their creativity continues to blossom with the consistent release of new music.
Building a following thanks to their addictive, melodic, and at times dark brand of Rock, Anavae turned many heads with their 2017 EP, Are You Dreaming?, and most recently with their latest single, “Afraid.” An independent act in control of their own artistic direction, they face the future with big plans ahead. Recently we caught up with the two musicians to talk the concept behind Anavae, new music in 2019, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – Anavae came together some 6-7 years ago, and the band would work diligently to release a slew of music including a bunch of EPs. What has the formative years been like for the band?
Becca Need-Menear – We were a different band in our early years. I can’t listen to our first releases as I think they’re dreadful. We were different people with different tastes, but you have to start somewhere.
Cryptic Rock – That is very true, we all grow as time goes on. The band’s sound is certainly heavy, yet quite melodic and at times dark. How would you describe your vision for Anavae?
Jamie Finch – Your description is pretty spot on.
Becca Need-Menear – Our vision seems to change constantly, from song to song, and I like that. It keeps things fresh and fluid.
Cryptic Rock – It is good to keep things progressing. The band has attained some success in your home country. Then you would go on to sign a deal in 2017 and release the Are You Dreaming? EP. Without getting too deep into the details of the business end of things, can we expect Anavae to try and make a push in the North American market soon?
Jamie Finch – With platforms like Spotify and YouTube, it’s easier than ever to get your music across to ‘international’ fans. We’ve never personally made a conscious effort to target a specific place. We release music and hope that it gets into as many people’s ears as possible. If North America will have us – we’ll head on over.
Cryptic Rock – Speaking of the Are You Dreaming? EP, five songs in total, it is a very strong collection. What was the writing and recording process like this time around?
Becca Need-Menear – Thank you! Are You Dreaming? was written over four years ago in a period of being unsigned, so there was no pressure or expectation from anyone apart from us. We actually re-recorded the tracks once we signed the body of work to a label. (Which is what has been released.) It was our first time working with Pete Miles and he brought them into a new light, and made them sound better than we ever imagined.
Jamie Finch – Are You Dreaming? was unexpectedly shelved (and for longer than we anticipated) before it was released. The way we write and record now is a lot different because of that. A lot of bands have no idea when their music will be released. Could be months after they’re ready – could be years.
Cryptic Rock – The end result came out well. Seeing you have not wasted time with writing and recording music through the years, are you already working on some new material for 2019? If so, what can we expect?
Jamie Finch – New material will definitely be out in 2019. Check out our latest single release, “Afraid.” We write songs that we like that sound of – that’s what people can expect.
Becca Need-Menear – We’ve just wrapped up a Pledge campaign which enabled us to fund new recording. Pledgers have been able to have an early listen of what’s to come next year. Like Jamie says, we just write what we like, and both of our musical tastes differ hugely, so our genre tends to slip and slide. The new releases will range from straight up Rock, to Pop, to Indie Chill.
Cryptic Rock – The latest single, “Afraid,” is doing well and the music video is also a great watch. You two have been the driving force of Anavae since the start. How would you describe your working chemistry?
Jamie Finch – We hate each other – but we acknowledge that after everything we’ve been through – we wouldn’t be able to do this with anybody else. That’s what makes it work.
Becca Need-Menear – People are always surprised to hear that we don’t write in the same room as one another. We use something called Splice which enables us to project share and take it in turns working on and adding to the same piece. Writing is such an introverted process for me.
Cryptic Rock – Interesting to hear. It can be a tremendous challenge for a band to make it in this modern climate. With people sadly no longer buying music, one can imagine how does an artist survive? That in mind, what challenges do you face as working musicians, and what lessons have you learned through the years?
Jamie Finch – I think people are consuming new music now more than they have in my lifetime thanks to Spotify playlists. I’ve always held the belief that as long as you’re writing good music, people will listen.
Becca Need-Menear – We were actually blown away by how many people supported us by buying our music via Pledge. Without that support we wouldn’t have been able to continue to afford recording new music as a now unsigned band. I understand running a crowd funding campaign isn’t always an option though, so making sure you have your own merch store, which you’re in control of and own all the rights to, is so important.
Cryptic Rock – Right, and it is great to have support of listeners like that. Let us hope the support keeps coming so Anavae can continue well into the future. Last question. On Cryptic Rock, we also cover movies, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi. If you are a fan of these genres, what are some of your favorites and why?
Jamie Finch – I’ve only ever seen one Horror movie in my life and that was Saw III (2006). I’m not sure that counts. In terms of Sci-Fi, District 9 (2009) and Ex Machina (2014) are my all-time faves.
Becca Need-Menear – Jamie is the easiest person to jump scare. I struggle to find Horrors that truly scare me, but As Above So Below (2014) came pretty close. Not a movie, but I’ve been really enjoying the series Haunting of Hill House lately.
There are so many great Sci-Fi films… Interstellar (2014) is probably my all-time favorite. There’s also Moon (2009), Donnie Darko (2001), I love anything by Brit Marling or with Brit Marling in it – I’m dying for series 2 of The OA. Coherence (2013) is great! The Arrival… There’s too many… Does Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) count? I love Sci-Fi’s with solid emotional character development!
Kind of on topic, but I’d love to recommend a Spotify playlist called Space Dreams. It’s full of ambient music which is 70% of what I listen to at the moment. Perfect for reading, travelling or sleeping.