Shane Chapman offers up a slice of Anacortes music memories that inform his new New York power pop sound, which is well worth a listen. He’s given the band a catchy name: anacortes.
anacortes was born out of a chance meeting between frontman/songwriter Shane Chapman, and drummer Ricky Watts at a street fair in Brooklyn. Shane needed a drummer to sub in for a Dolly Parton cover band set, and Ricky stepped up to the stage, given only the most basic direction. The chemistry was instantaneous, and the music that followed was seamless. Songs inspired by the quiet streets of NYC in a snow storm, and traveling back and forth to Shane’s hometown as his dad battled cancer. anacortes is a journey that explores the gray lines of disaster and disease, and the joy that follows from no one having expectations of you.
Early last year we talked about what kind of band we wanted to be in. I didn’t want to play anything that could be construed as pop. There is something unappealing about being widely accessible but as we started to work together we were reminded that a good song is a good song regardless of what kind of filter you put it through. We forgot about genres and accessibility and just started to have fun. I thought about all those 70’s bands and Captain Fathom and all of the 90’s Seattle stuff that saw me through a comically melodramatic adolescence and just started writing. The result has been one of the most rewarding musical experiences of my life.
There was also Nubert’s Circus. They were only one class ahead of us but they wrote amazing songs that were really catchy and harmonically interesting. I learned how to play their songs and appropriated a number of little tricks that I still use today.
Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam were a huge part of my musical world in middle school because I was alive at the time and it was inescapable. We started a band called Perfect Day and recorded an album at Jolt Studios with Doug Cassidy and Jon Eric. At the time and I suspect, ever since, Anacortes had an unusually large talent pool for such a small town. Captain Fathom was the greatest band around for my money. It was Jacob Navaro, Karl Blau, Brian Tottenham and Nick Myer and they were all incredible at their instruments. They had been on the scene a little longer and I remember watching them very closely, trying to learn how to be onstage. It was one of the great victories of my life playing a show with them on top of Cap Sante with a generator to a small crowd in the parking lot. You could hear it all the way from Commercial and the cops eventually came but it was brilliant.
So my dad’s stereo system was 4 and 1/2 feet tall with giant state of the art speakers (in 1992). He had this trick where he would subscribe to all those mailing list, cd of the month offers where you could get ten albums for ten cents and then he would actually remember to cancel before the monthly fee kicked in. Those albums were the beginning of my music education and if you go through the records that I’ve collected in New York over the last few years, it’s a lot of the same stuff. Bands like Foreigner, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Supertramp and Boston. So all the best stuff.
After I moved from Anacortes, I lived in Seattle for a while, travelled, etc… and moved to NYC 6 years ago. In 2013 I travelled home 10 times, I got married, started a new job for the NYC Guitar School, my dad passed away and we recorded this album which is kind of a little from all that stuff. We’re just about to announce the release date in February. Someone called it “Brooklyn Americana” which I love but it’s really just rock and roll inspired by and nostalgic for the bands I grew up listening to.
We just recorded this video. I started writing the song after a big snow storm in NYC a few years ago and when we had that huge blizzard recently we we’re able to head out to the park with zero budget and a flip camera to shoot with a ton of Brooklyn kids sledding in the background! We’re planning on doing a series of low budget but amazing videos for the album. That first video got picked up by the Park Slope Patch and then a couple other blogs and we got to 1000 hits in the first week! It also made it onto the Whale in Anacortes and KSDP 830 am in Sandpoint, Alaska! So that was cool!
Interested in the album? anacortes is proud to announce that the release of their self-titled debut LP was on April 13, 2014. Pick up a digital copy right now, or check your favorite physical vendors for a CD.
Looking for a sample? Check out “Homecoming” – the second track on their debut LP, available here.
10% of April album sales will go to the Lustgarten Foundation to support Pancreatic Cancer research – excellent music and excellent causes!
Read the album press release here.
Article by Shane Chapman
with introduction by Bret Lunsford