Emerging Oakville punk rockers Weigh The Anchor are releasing a new EP this month called Right At Home, loaded with catchy pop-punk rock tracks with a style that has already gained them 550,000 Spotify plays.
Guitarist Brad Gresko checked in with 519 excited to chat about the new release.
How have you been doing during the pandemic?
Been getting by just trying to take things day by day. I’ve been lucky enough to still be working and not having to worry about paying the bills as they come out. But yeah, no, I was just trying to keep my head on straight not being able to see people anymore.
We’ve spoken with a few bands that were on the road and had to pull out of tours when the pandemic hit Canada. Where were you guys?
We were already at home, actually. We had just finished recording this new EP. We got in, in late January, early February. And then, so we were just waiting on final mixes and stuff and planning out the rest of our year. We had finished booking a big summer tour that we were supposed to be leaving for in two weeks. That will probably not happening now.
A pandemic seems like a great time for a heavy rock band to write some aggressive music. Have you been writing a lot?
Yeah, we have actually, it hasn’t been planned at all. After coming out of writing the songs and recording the EP, we still just had the juices going, I guess. And then planning out the year and not being able to actually do any of these things it seems like 2020 is just going to be a wash for shows and tours altogether. We’ve been trying to focus on, not focus on writing, but it just happened kind of naturally. And we’ve got a couple of things going, trying to see where that takes us.
Let’s talk about the new EP, “Right At Home”. It gets released on July 10th It must feel like an odd time to release new music.
Yeah, absolutely. We were contemplating that as well. After getting the songs back and planning out when we were going to release it and then all of a sudden everything changed. And so we really had to sit down and ask ourselves, “Do we wait to release music? Do we do it anyways?” And I feel like we made the right choice in going ahead and releasing things because right now bands are just sitting here, not sure what to do with their hands. And they’re sitting there waiting for the next thing to do. And we’re able to be continuing to release music and trying to stay relevant, especially as a smaller band trying to grow and move up the ranks so to speak.
Tell me about the EP. What inspired this one?
It’s kind of hard to say what exactly inspired it. It was more of a very quick decision to write some new songs and we want to get into the studio and release some new music as soon as possible and move forward with where we had been and just try to establish a little bit of a change of direction, a little bit of a new sound and new elements. We wanted to get that out as soon as possible so we talked, the three of us and decided, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do.” Then we just actually contacted our producer, figured out when we could get in the studio and it turned out we had a two month window before we were his first and only day availability for the year was going to be. And so we just buckled down, wrote the songs in two months and then recorded them.
We weren’t really sure if it was going to work out the way that it did, but it honestly, as different as it was for us, it was kind of nice just to have like that hard deadline and really just have that fire lit underneath us to put everything we had into these songs. And so they came out just very personal and very in the moment. It wasn’t like a span of six months and a range of emotions. It was just what we were feeling at that time and we ran with it.
So far, fans have had a chance to hear three new tracks. Let’s talk about them and what they mean to you. The first one is Medicate:
Medicate was an interesting one. It was the last one, I think that we started working on and the first one that we finished, it just like I said, we just ran with it and poured out of us and we finished it really quickly and it ended up being a song for us that, as the band is going through a bunch of changes and a lot of stuff on the personal side of things, ended up being a song that was about just seeing those changes, understanding that we’re going to get through them. And then just being better on the other side of it.
Abrasive was the in between of the start and end of Medicate, where it was instead of just moving past all the issues and things that we were dealing with, we’d be experiencing them, feeling angry and just dealing with those emotions head on.
Clandestine, this one isn’t as personal to me, this one was more our lead singer, Andrew, he took the reins on this one. But my understanding is that it was just very much about growing up and understanding how things change throughout your life and not being stuck in any one decision. And even if you feel like you are just trying to establish new ground to move forward on.
Is there an underlining message or feeling that you guys wanted to capture with this new EP?
I think so. I think by the end of it, whether it was intentional or not, it came out of being a story of battling through things and just not focusing on the negative side of things and doing what you think is right and the best for you and your situation.
Where was the cover photo shot?
I believe it was in California. That was actually a picture that we got from a photographer we know. Oh, I’m going to mess up his name. We know him by Danny D that’s his Instagram handle. But yeah, he’s a photographer that tours with a lot of really cool bands that we’ve been able to play with and he’s shot for us before. And we really like his style. He likes shooting in a real film still, so it gets out really natural, grainy effect in the album. We hit him up and got him to send us over a couple of things that we got to choose from.
With no live gigs in the near future, are you doing anything to celebrate the release?
We’re not really sure yet on what we can do. As things are starting to open up and we’re allowed to actually get to at least smaller groups now, we’re thinking about having us all on some kind of live stream just to, like you said, commemorate the release.
The band has changed and refined its sound over the years. Is the new sound what you’ve been searching for?
I’d like to think so. I guess that that answer can change as time goes on. But I think so far, at least for us, we’re really proud of these songs and I know it’s a cliche, but we really do think these are the best songs we’ve ever written. And honestly, being musicians were usually our own biggest critics and coming out of the studio, as soon as you hear songs and you’re like, “Oh, I’m proud of them.” It lasts for like five minutes and then you start picking them apart and wishing you did something a little bit differently, but on these ones, we hear them and sure there are tiny little things that we wish we could do differently, but overall we’re just really thrilled with how they came out. And I don’t think there’s really much we would change.
Last question for you, what’s ahead for the rest of this year and what does it look like going into 2021?
Going into 2021, we’re really hoping that some shows will be back. We would love to continue touring. We’d love to actually get on the road and complete the tour that we booked that was going to be out to Vancouver and back, like all the way across Canada. As for the rest of this year, that’s still a little up in the air, whether we’ll be allowed to play shows. But we’re definitely planning on keeping up with our online content and we want to be interacting with fans the best way we can and just really trying to stay relevant and stay in people’s minds.