Focus: Anywhere But Now | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
We’re Anywhere But Now and we’re a rock band from Newcastle, roughly. We’re Simon (singer), Matthew (guitarist), Tony (guitarist), Mark (bass player) and other Mark (drummer). 

What is it you do?
We write catchy tunes, then try to make them as kick-ass and interesting as possible. 

How long have you been doing it?
We’ve been friends for years. We started playing together when we were teenagers in the late ‘90s, did a few gigs, recorded a few EPs, and ended up with a bit of record label interest. Virgin had just formed V2 and signed Stereophonics (and Caprice, as we recall). Their finance director heard some of our stuff and wanted us to do a showcase, but it fell through for various reasons. It’s still our ‘what might have been’ anecdote all these years later. Shortly after that we all went to university, got jobs, moved away, had kids. Usual life stuff. We stayed friends though (Matthew and Simon are brothers too, which helps), and a few years ago we got back together. We started jamming, went through a few line-up changes, as you do, wrote a couple of songs we liked and then decided to make an album.

What inspires you?
Dreams, which revolve around making music as a collective, bringing together all of our varied musical influences, that people enjoy and that evokes passion and excitement, as well as unlocking the entertainer in me. 

Turning up to practice with a riff and then leaving with a completed song due to the amazing contribution of the other lads. When it clicks it clicks. Oh… and John Frusciante. 

We’ve been together so long that we have a really nice chemistry happening now. We know how we all approach things. If something isn’t working, we’re all happy to say “this sucks” and move on. Shouting “SCRAP IT!” within a minute of trying something new is a running joke in our band. But it’s that process of writing that inspires me. Hearing a riff turn into a fully formed song, Or writing something on an acoustic guitar into a phone, then taking it to the lads and working on making it better.

Tell us about your music.
I enjoy writing riffs and building songs in parts. Hearing them develop then recording demos gives me a chance to layer additional tracks and build melodies in the music to fill the sound. Different influences within the band help us create this “heavy pop” which, guitar wise, is led by big open chords and triads. It’s not flash but it works!

We really think about melody first. Songs that you can sing along to, with a sticky hook that you’ll remember. It’s usually not that complicated. We tend to stick to that verse-chorus-verse format, and make the choruses as big as possible. We’re ‘90s rock lads, basically. The challenge then is to add layers and little moments that make the songs interesting. A hook or a breakdown or a rhythm change or something.  

What have you got coming up in the future?
Our debut album Utopia will be released on the 27th October. You’ll find it on all streaming platforms. We’ll be gigging around the North East over the next few months. 

Where can people find out more about you?
Our handle is ‘anywherebutnowband’. You’ll find us on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Download our album on Apple Music, Spotify… or wherever. Just download it, and get in touch. We’d love to hear what you think.

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