ANSON Open Up About Their New EP: "Writing These Songs Took a Lot out of Me."
ANSON's upcoming EP, To Be Or Nothing At All is only their debut effort as a three-piece, but by the time you hear it in full, you'll feel as if you already know them. Consisting of an array of introspective songs about life and discovering who you are as a person, To Be Or Nothing At All is an incredibly personal release, especially for vocalist Anson Li, who only this year teamed up with fellow bandmates Zack Mueller (guitar) and George Tello (bass) to round out the band. Together, the three found commonality in self discovery, strength, and empowerment to take a risk in life.
To Be Or Nothing At All is out this Friday, September 29th. Until then, learn more about the band and watch the video for their single, "Hailey" below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about ANSON for anyone who might not be familiar?
Zack Mueller [guitar]: We are an alternative rock band from Los Angeles. I would argue that we are heavily influenced by 2000s emo but have a modern sound.
The band originally started as a solo project - when was it that you knew that you wanted to collaborate with others to form a full band?
Anson Li [vocals/guitar]: I wanted to collaborate with others and do a band project since I was in middle school. I’ve always been the solo artist guy because I never found the right people to do a project with until I met George and Zack. I actually spent 6 months auditioning and looking for musicians for this band and gave up on the idea after that. The funny thing is 4 months after those auditions I met George and Zack. Life has a funny way of making things happen.
This month, you’ll be releasing your debut EP, To Be Or Nothing At All. It being some of the first music that many people will hear from ANSON, what goals did you have in mind for these songs?
George Tello [bass]: These songs are all stories, they all have their own meaning. They all have a story the listeners can relate to, so the point being making relatable music our fans can listen too and feel something.
To be Or Nothing At All is a pretty personal release - what inspired the EP?
Anson: The EP was inspired by my self doubt and constant search for self identity. Writing these songs took a lot out of me. It was an adventure trying to figure what kind of artist I wanted to be now and what’s important to me. I had to do a lot of soul searching and diving in deep to explore my inner demons.
Did you come across any challenges when working on the EP?
Anson: I came across many challenges while working on this EP. First picking what songs would make the EP and the artistic vibe was a struggle. I also had issues with production. Each song went through extensive changes and have been re-recorded a handful of times. I’m a perfectionist so getting everything just right was hard. Next record I strive to do even better.
Now more than ever, people in the public eye are speaking out about depression, anxiety and mental health in general. What do you hope that To Be Or Nothing At All can contribute to this conversation?
Zack: With this track we hope that people will see that everyone goes through lows or get sad sometimes, including ourselves. It's hard to see in the moment but there is always people around who love and support you and even though you feel alone, that is not the case. I personally hope that people will identify with that fact and have the confidence to reach out when they need help, and conversely, if you see someone struggling, I would hope it inspires you to reach out to them.
What do you hope listeners take away from the EP?
George: I want the listeners to know it’s okay to not be okay, and self doubt is okay. Life's a journey and we all have our stories and battle scars to go with it.
You just recently released a video for “Hailey” from the EP. What does this track mean to you?
George: This song hits home, it’s about being in a toxic relationship and always being brought back to it. Like being treated like nothing but love draws you back.
With To Be Or Nothing At All out soon, do you have any other big plans coming up? Any shows or tour dates?
Zack: We are looking to get on the road as soon as possible! Stay tuned for those updates! And we are currently in the process of putting together a wild, EP release show in October!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Anson: Thank you for wanting to interview us! Really means a lot that you are giving our band coverage. For all of you fans out there, thank you sooo much for reading, you are what keeps us alive and we hope you like the record when it comes out on the 29th!