One for the Team
What people enjoy about pop music is, for the most part, that it exsists to make them smile. You play it at parties, you bop your head along in the car, alone or with friends music fills your life and brings a joyful escape. You ride the sounds away from work, problems, life, and dance all night. So how does a musician or someone heavily invovled in the industry escape? Well in the case of One For The Team's, Ian Anderson he decided to start another band in order to let loose and dance around.
Forming in 2006, at the time Ian was already in a band (Aneuretical), running a music label (Afternoon Records), and running a blog (MFR). The band immediatly recorded its debut album Good Boys Don't Make Noise, and now two years later the bands returns with Build It Up (Militia Group). The music on Good Boys... was a fun and energectic guitar-driven collection of song touching on love and life. Since its release, Ian has started a PR company (Vitriol Promotions) and has written a book (Here Come The Regulars, to be published by Ferrar-Strauss in 2009). Oh, did I mention he is only 23?
One for the Team recently embarked on a massive tour, but Ian Anderson and Grace Fiddler were kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
Orange Alert (OA): One for the Team recently signed to The Militia Group, leaving Afternoon Records. What prompted this move? What does Militia offer that Afternoon might not or is this more of a separation of duties type of move?
Ian Anderson (IA): We left Afternoon because it just felt like the right time. Obviously, we've been a part of the AR community since we started and are very invested in it and all of the people involved, so it would have to be a pretty special label with some great people working together to motivate us to move. Militia Group has a lot of resources that we didn't have at Afternoon, but most importantly, it provided the opportunity for me to let the workload shift. AR is my passion and I love working for the bands on my label, as a result, sometimes I neglected my duties as the main band guy for the Team, which isn't cool. Having TMG involved is simply wonderful because we have a whole group of people helping out and caring about the project as much as we do.
OA: Your sophomore album, Build it Up, with be released in August. How will this album compare to Good Boys Don't Make Noise?
IA: Build It Up will be out on August 19 and we're really excited about it. It is a very different record than "Good Boys" and I've honestly been having a hard time describing it to people who've asked about it. When I recorded "Good Boys," we weren't really a band yet. It was more of an outlet for Elliot, John and I to get out our giggles and write some pop songs. Plus, most of what you hear on that record is actually just me goofing off on a Saturday night when I was bored – it wasn't really a group effort. Not to mention that we made that record in January 2006 and I just feel like a completely different person now than I did then.
The biggest difference on this record in my opinion, however, is that One for the Team is now complete. With Grace and Bill, we've finally achieved the perfect familial-bonded atomic-orbiter balance that is really satisfying as musicians. Plus, Bill has like 17 solos on this record, which are all just huge, and Grace and I only sing a handful of words without each other. The thing that I think is so cool about the record is that I wrote "Build It Up" mostly in my bedroom on acoustic guitar, which resulted in some pretty soft and gentle songs, because I'm a soft and gentle guy. However, the band likes to rock, a lot, so we turned those songs into loud, sunshiny pop jams heavy on the riffage. That transformation was a process that allowed everyone to build upon the original ideas with their own, because of this, I think these songs reached a maturation level that was not evident on "Good Boys."
Beyond having everybody contributing, another big difference is that with "Good Boys" I was still learning how to write pop songs. Granted, I am STILL learning, and you never really stop learning, but with this record, I am more confident with what ended up on it.
Grace Fiddler (GF): The difference is that I am on it. Haha. Kidding, that's obviously not the only difference, just the one most apparent to myself.
OA: 180 tour dates! Do you enjoy touring? Aside from Minnesota, what city do you look forward to playing this summer?
IA: We do like to tour. Maybe me a bit more than everyone else because I'm a little cracked, but we're planning on being in a van from August to January! We have a lot of cities that we like, but a couple of my personal favorites are St. Louis, Denver and Eau Claire.
GF: Being in a van that much and on the road so much is incredibly intimidating and exhilarating. I have played so few shows outside of Minnesota that I can count them on my fingers. So I'm going from that to the on the road no skool no rulezz lifestyle. Hopefully I will enjoy it. Aaaah!
OA: You seem to be a busy man with the label, the pr company (Vitriol), the band, the incredible blog, and you have been involved in the outlets from an early age on. When did you know that you would want to play such pivotal role in Minnesota music and in the music industry in general?
IA: It never was a conscious decision and I'm not sure pivotal role is the right way to put it. I am fortunate to be a part of strong musical community and I take pride in making an effort to help that community grow and have fun. I really like to work hard and I have a lot of fun working with music, so goes well hand-in-hand.
GF: What he said. I too do not know how I manage to run Ian's label, blog, PR company or life without letting out the secret that I actually am Ian Anderson.
OA: As a blogger and a label owner, what are your thoughts on the effectiveness of new media as it relates to records sales?
IA: New media is by far the single best and most effective way to sell records for independent labels and artists. No question.
OA: Does the "hype" translate to sales, concert attendance, etc.?
IA: In my personal experience, hype translates into attendance and more illegal downloads. Sales, not so much. But that can be rationalized if people keep coming out to shows.
OA: What's next for Ian Anderson and One For The Team?
IA: Total world domination and we're trying to get Phantom Planet, Tilly and the Wall and Justin Timberlake to take us on tour with them. Keep making records, keep touring. And I'm coming out with a book next year called "Here Come the Regulars" (Ferrar-Strauss). And watching a lot of "Spain: On the Road Again" with Maria Batalli and Gweneth Paltrow.
GF: Ian stole that PBS TV show from me just now. He only wrote that because I was reading about Mario Batali online. Jeez Louise he didn't even spell Batali right!
Listen to: Best Supporting Actor (mp3)
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee, and where is your favorite coffee spot?
IA: No coffee for me, I am a crazy insomniac.
GF: Medium dark roast to go, no room for cream.
OA: I don't think you have time to read, but what was the last great book you have read?
IA: I'm working on a Benjamin Franklin biography, written by that one CNN correspondent and, since we're about to head out on tour, I'm about to revisit Emerson's Essays, specifically his thoughts on self-reliance.
GF: I just finished Julia Child's autobiography. I read the whole book in her voice.
May 23 2008 6:00P Bela Dubby - All Ages Cleveland, Ohio
May 24 2008 8:00P Tammany Hall - 18+ Worcester, Massachusetts
May 25 2008 5:00P Sound Fix - (Special All Ages Acoustic Show) Brooklyn, New York
May 26 2008 8:00P Trash Bar - 21+ Brooklyn, New York
May 27 2008 8:00P Rehab (formerly Club Midway) - 18+ New York, New York
May 28 2008 6:00P Modern Formations - All Ages Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
May 29 2008 8:00P Beat Kitchen - 17+ Chicago, Illinois
May 30 2008 8:00P High Noon w/French Kicks, Frightened Rabbit Madison, Wisconsin
Jun 2 2008 8:00P The Record Bar w/French Kicks, Frightened Rabbit - 18+ Kansas City, Missouri
Jun 3 2008 8:00P Blue Fugue - All Ages Columbia, Missouri
Jun 4 2008 6:00P Box Awesome - All Ages Lincoln, Nebraska
Jun 5 2008 6:00P Vaudeville Mews - All Ages Des Moines, Iowa
Jun 6 2008 8:00P Castle Hooks w/We All Have Hooks For Hands - All Ages Vermillion, South Dakota
Jun 7 2008 6:00P The Nestor - 21+ Fargo, North Dakota
Jun 24 2008 4:00P Eclipse Records w/Headlights, Now, Now Every Children - All Ages St. Paul, Minnesota
Jul 23 2008 8:00P July 23 -August 13: West Coast Tour Seattle, Washington
Aug 19 2008 6:00A "Build It Up" out on The Militia Group universe-wide Everywhere, Minnesota
For more information on One For The Team please visit their website.