We can die happy after that," Laura Hayden exclaims.
Over the past year or so, Anteros have played sold out shows alongside Two Door Cinema Club, Sundara Karma and Blaenavon, all alongside working on their debut album, which is hopefully going to land before 2018 is out. We caught up with frontwomam Laura Hayden to find out what to expect.
Performing is a form of therapy for Laura Hayden, frontwoman of retro-tinged dream-pop four-piece Anteros. “At this time in life where everything that’s going on seems quite grim around the world, we don’t want to come onstage and just stare at our shoes and wallow in self-pity,” Laura begins, addressing the generally catastrophic events of 2017. Instead, she wants people to be able to forget about everything that they’re going through and “just let it out” at their gigs - a break away from reality, essentially.
Over the last year the Londoners – there’s bassist Joshua Rumble, guitarist Jackson Couzens and Harry Balazs on drums, too – have played shows up and down the country, touring with Two Door Cinema Club and Blaenavon. Despite having completed two summers of festivals, Anteros didn’t understand what touring really meant until they supported TDCC around the UK in January. “We went from being babies to being thrown straight into the deep end,” Laura continues. Performing for people every night who didn’t know their music was “a really bizarre feeling”.
“We began collecting all these people from different shows. All of a sudden they start coming to see you, bring their friends along and sing the songs,” Laura explains, citing Blur, The Cure, Fleetwood Mac, No Doubt and David Bowie as some of the band’s musical influences. Regardless of the size of their audience, though, Anteros enjoy the challenge of winning over crowds. “To see that grow over the last year has been great.”
The most surreal moment of their year, though, was playing Community Festival in London. “That was the point when we were like, ‘Oh shit’. London’s our hometown, but it can be a tough crowd because of the amount of music there is… We were scared and thought there’s not going to be anyone there. But we came onstage, and people were saying our name, moshing - even to the sad songs - and some were on each other’s shoulders singing our songs back to us was. It was great.”
It’s a sight they’ve come to recognise more and more over the last few months – especially following October’s Hopscotch tour with Stereo Honey and Yonaka – thanks to their energetic live shows. “The crowds react completely differently in the UK – you get the warm crowd that moshes and just doesn’t give a shit, and then you get the crowd that stands there. They’re enjoying it, too, but differently.” And that’s arguably down to the way Anteros subtly disguise their darker song lyrics through upbeat, infectious retro-pop production.
In terms of their sound, “it’s hard to stick it in a box” as Laura accurately puts it. She and the band instead prefer to meet their fans after the shows and get to know them. “I talk to them about everything from mental health to make up,” she laughs, adding that ‘Drunk’ was about dating an alcoholic – “but then you hear it you want to go and party… We write songs about things that have affected us - break-ups, things that you go through in your 20s. Singing about things that upset me makes me happier when I’m letting it all out rather than keeping it all bottled in just stood there.”
And what are their plans for 2018? Having started pre-production on album tracks, Anteros will record their debut next year. “It’s something we’ve dreamt of for a long time,” Laura continues. “You’ve got to take it one day at a time, but we want to make something we’re proud of, that is consistent and is a reflection of us. It’s scary, but it’s really exciting. We can die happy after that because it’s on the bucket list; after all, not many people get to record an album.”
Taken from the December 2017 / January 2018 issue of Dork, out now. Order a copy here.