ANTI-HERO is a band on the rise. With little promotion they sold loads of copies of their independent release within months of forming. With their record now distributed by Universal Music, the band is casting their net a little further. Their lively stage show enabled them to be part of the Warped Tour…twice, no small feat for a band from London, Ontario Canada. I spoke with the group founder Rose Perry recently to find out what the band was up to and what they’re all about.
Morley Seaver: So your record was first recorded in 2005. How does it come to be re-released in 2006?
Rose Perry: Basically what happened is we’re still fairly independent because we do all of our own booking, our own management, all that kinda of stuff. Basically we’re now signed through our record label called Addictive Records that offers us distribution on Can-North a subsidiary of Universal Music. But what happened is because we started out as a DIY band, we all came from previous bands in the city that are well known and really had established contacts, so we didn’t really start from the get-go. Like literally within six months of being a band, people were demanding that we get a record out there so we had a lot of pressure on us to kinda deliver because they knew what our track records were as band members from previous acts in the city. So we went into the studio fast to record this thing. I had my own record label through which I handle all the management stuff so we released this independently. We were extremely successful. Within two months we sold 500 copies, which is pretty awesome for an indie band considering we hadn’t toured anywhere. This was just strictly at, you know, kinda local shows in and around South-Western Ontario. And like it wasn’t in stores or anything; it was strictly at shows so that was really awesome for us. And then basically this last summer, Universal was looking for new acts to give a chance on its roster and if they can, you know, I guess perform they’ll be able to extend you a great contract and get more services from the label. So they sought us out through online correspondence and were interested in what we had. And put out our CD and the rest is history.
Morley Seaver: Since you’re going to school right now, does the band do many shows?
Rose Perry: It really depends on the time of the year that it is. Like we just finished a huge, huge touring spree this summer so we’re all fairly exhausted to be honest. (laughs) We do have some shows coming but we’re keeping it on the low down because the rest of my band members work full time. I’m in school full time and like I said, because we had so much extensive touring in the summer we’re pretty worn out at this point. We’d like to have a chance to just kinda regroup, work on some new material then get things going again like we feel like it essentially.
Morley Seaver: Does that make it difficult to do shows playing material that is over a year old? Or I guess what I’m saying, do you feel at times you’ve outgrown the material?
Rose Perry: Yes. Absolutely. Like, obviously, you know, I did write the lyrics and I wrote the music so I am attached to it. I still very much contest? And believe in what I was saying in those songs when I wrote them and they’re still dear to my heart but it does get frustrating sometimes singing “I feel so damn un-pretty” for the umpteenth time. (laughs) I’m sure you can understand. And you know sometimes you need to take breaks from specific songs because you just feel like it’s getting monotonous and boring and you can’t really give it your all in terms of performance so because we have all that old material as well as we’ve been working on some new stuff, we kinda mix it up for shows depending on what we feel like playing, we’ll play that day.
Morley Seaver: To me, your record is very much a less-poppy Live On Release mixed with tinges of a more-polished Distillers. Your guitars are mixed a bit more up front than LOR. Would you agree with that?
Rose Perry: Yeah, you know what? I find that everybody who listens to our CD has a completely different perspective. No two reviewers have ever said anything that is consistent with each other. Everybody kinda hears something different which is cool. Obviously that means that the diversity in our influences is shining through. We’ve had comparisons anything from Smashing Pumpkins to No Doubt, to Distillers, to Veruca Salt to Joan Jett. We get quite a lot. We’ve been called—I’m sure you saw the 21st century Nirvana tag. It’s kinda all over the place. For that matter, some people have even classified us as borderline screamo or metal band, so it really entirely, I think, comes from what the person hears themselves based on their own preferences in music. But I think it’s cool we have such a capacity with our music and if people hear it and they like it and whatever they relate it too, that’s all that matters right. That’s cool.
See the links below for parts two and three of this interview with Rose Perry of ANTI-HERO