The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon by The Anderson Council | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney

Just when you think rock and roll is a thing of the past, a band comes along that catches you by surprise! This week's artist, The Anderson Council, is one of these bands that certainly caught me by surprise with their modern power pop sound with a nod to 1960s power pop with their harmonies and guitar solos. Their new album, "The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon," has something for everyone! From power pop to occasional country western, you will not be bored listening to this album. In fact, they will leave you wanting more! If you're looking for something fresh to listen to that doesn't sound like ordinary pop music and happen to love or just appreciate vintage rock and roll, The Anderson Council will become your new favorite band! Let's dive in and see what The Anderson Council is all about!

Hey, The Anderson Council! Congratulations on your most recent release "The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon!" As a musician who writes vintage sounding rock and roll tunes, I was blown away by your music and your sound. Your music is truly reminiscent of 60s power pop. Tell us a bit about how you guys got together and how you developed your style that clearly doesn't sound like anyone else today?

We have been a band since 1999. I (Peter) am the only original member left. The Council grew out of my love of those bands from the mid-to-late 60's who managed to put out maybe one or two singles, before fizzling out. However, those singles were AMAZING. They threw everything at those songs to make them what they were, but nobody listened. Oh well. That doesn't diminish the power of the songs, luckily. The premise of this band was to try to capture that era of POP music when psychedelic touches were creeping in, but before the psychedelic bands started to take themselves too seriously...

You were on a few different record labels until you eventually signed with JEM Records in 2016. How has your experience at JEM been since you signed with them?

Marty at JEM has been very helpful and keeps us on track when we're behind in getting our releases together... He also knows (and talks to) everyone, which is a bonus...

All the songs on this album are extremely catchy. Yet, the arrangements in these songs are very interesting. For example, the first song on the album, "Tarot Toronto," has a time change near the end where you go from 4/4 time to 3/4 time and then back to the original feel. Most music today doesn't do that. Who had the ingenious idea to change up the time feel at the end?

We like songs that get in, state their purpose, and get out without too much fuss and bother, which is why most of them are so short! We also like songs that have cool twists and turns. Tarot Toronto is one of those songs. The waltz-y bit in the middle was there from the time the song was written. I never tried it any other way, as this way just kinda felt perfect to me.

The single you released from this album, "Alone With You," is such a catchy power pop song. It's got a great mix of old and new rock n' roll sounds! I loved the way you change from a standard chord to what sounds to be an augmented chord and back in the verses. That certainly creates interest and is a hook of the whole song alongside memorable harmonies! What is the story behind the lyrics of the song?

My pal Dawn Eden Goldstein (who I co-wrote the song with) came up with the initial idea of the song, and I came up with the intro/outro, bridge, and the last verse. She trusts me to add or subtract bits and pieces as needed. Sometimes we have ideas simultaneously, like when we both had the same idea for the countermelody in the chorus. As far as the lyrics go, Dawn wrote most of them, and while they may be relationship based, it's up to you to determine who wants to be alone with who...

"Give It Time" has it all: memorable harmonies, an incredibly hooky 12 String sounding riff, a perfectly crafted guitar solo, and fantastic drumming! Is that a 12 String in the verses and where did the idea for this song come from?

It's definitely a 12-string in there. Michael Temkin (who I co-wrote the song with) and I thought this song had somewhat of a Hard Day's Night vibe to it, so the guitar licks had to be done on a 12 string, naturally! This was another song where the pieces fell into place pretty quickly. The music played itself directly out of my guitar, and Michael fit lyrics in where I had none. It all worked out rather well, I think!

"Untrained Eyes" reminds me of country western mixed in with the vibes of the early Beatles. The harmonies are also fantastic. Where did the idea for the song come from and what intrigued you to do something completely different from the power pop tracks on the album?

Untrained Eyes was another song where the feel pretty much suggested itself from the time it was written, and we never really tried it any other way... Guitar player Mike also wrote a part on his pedal steel, so it definitely was going to sound like a Country & Western song no matter what! If the song tells you what it's supposed to sound like, you have to go with it!

"Buying A House" is another song that is reminiscent of old 60s music with hints of modern songwriting. From the catchy harmonies to another equally catchy guitar solo, you guys pack it all in this one. What gave you the idea to write a song about buying a house?

Why write that song? My partner and I live in an apartment! One needs to have goals in life, right?

"Jump Right In" is not only the longest song on the album, lasting for nearly 6 minutes, but is also the most psychedelic track. It has vibes unlike the other tracks and has an incredible guitar solo at the end. What made you want to write a psychedelic rock song instead of another upbeat power pop song?

When this song was first written, we knew it would be one of the more psychedelic sounding numbers. The tempo couldn't be faster than it is, so the song was always going to be on the slightly longer and slow side. It originally didn't have the solo section at all, much less the 16 or 24 bars of guitar solo it now has. I lose count as to how many bars there are...

The Anderson Council have worked and performed with numerous artists such as Chris Butler of The Waitresses, The Weeklings, Lisa Loeb, The Smithereens, and The Romantics. Are there any artists that you would love to work with in future?

We will play shows with anyone and everyone. Isn't that what it's all about?

You have a few shows coming up very soon all over New Jersey, including Garwood, Scotch Plains, Paterson, and your hometown of Highland Park. Along with those, you have one New York show at a venue called Berlin. Are there any shows coming up later this year and/or the future?

7/22 Crossroads, Garwood, NJ w/ Thrill Ride & The Melancholy Kings
7/29 Drew's Place, Ringwood, NJ w/ The Midnight Callers
8/04 Prototype 237, Paterson, NJ w/ The Melancholy Kings, Key Party
8/12 Smoke Out 2023, Scotch Plains, NJ w/ a bunch of bands
8/18 Shillelagh Club, West Orange, NJ w/ The Cucumbers
8/26 Pino's, Highland Park, NJ w/ KANAK & Dogpile On The Rabbit
10/27 Berlin, NYC, NY w/ The Glad Machine & The Bishop's Daredevil Stunt Club

After I heard the new album, I couldn't help wanting to hear more new material from The Anderson Council! Do you guys plan on writing and recording more original music down the line?

We have over 20 songs demoed towards our next record, so we're definitely working on it!

Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers?

Thanks for your support.

Artist Links:


Artist Bio:
We play Psychpowerpop. We hope you will enjoy our craft.

About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on all platforms.

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