Folk Rock: Anders & O'Bitz, 'Answers Belie' (Review & Interview with Eric Anders)

Folk rock is said to have originated in the 60s, but is rooted in traditional folk music. Those sub-genres fall under Americana music but in all, these are genres with styles of experiences are well-worn. It's common for an artist to refuse to be boxed into a music genre but the Americana branding isn't something Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz shy away from. Like the politics in their music, they wear their activism like a badge of honor, as they do in their new release, Answers Belie. They also cover philosophical and sentimental issues, but as the title suggests, the answers these matters isn't forth coming.


It's bold when musicians tackle politics on their releases because, for me at least, there's the chance that it might date them. In fact, if it does, it's in the Americana music tradition to keep of history. I can’t name any that have other than perhaps some of the releases of the 60s but that’s only because we know some of the politics of that day. When I learned that the first 3 opening tracks were leaning toward the political, the sadness of what we’re going through today was more revealing being set to this music. Because I’ve recently thought about how much worse it’s going to be for all of us sooner than we know. 


My Initial Reaction to the ‘Answers Belie’ was Sadness


“Slow Movin’ Nightmare”

Anders refers to this as "a dirge for American democracy." This track describes the downward spiral of where we’re heading and how much of a weight it’s going to be barring down on the next generation. I say it alot that most of us are gonna live through this slow-moving nightmare long before we go. 

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“Force of Old”

As one thing follows another, this one has one foot in America’s civil war past and another in the civil war to come. This track also has some of the most inventive melodies and maybe even the most dramatic music I’ve heard in Americana music. It’s adult-alternative that feels edgy, real, and smart. But this theme carries on into “Long Ol’ Civil War’ which is an update to President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. 




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The Rest of ‘Answers Belie’ Got Too Close to Home

Up until last Friday, I had a job that I left after seven years as a caregiver. I felt that by this time, the relationship had grown toxic and I asked them to fire me. I felt the relationship between us had soured over time and I felt that I was being made to look like someone who was careless, a gaslighter, a buffoon, and all together, just a fuck up. This is where “The Hardest Lesson” comes into play, talking about what Eric sings about the repetition of dysfunctional relationships. 

As if that wasn’t enough, “Eyes, A Child, Bedside,” is where Eric sings about his grandmother who had developed MS. This is also the diagnosis of the person I was caregiving for. who I feel that I have abandoned to fend for herself. The guilt I have is all-consuming and is with me every day since. 

The final kick in the shins is “I Hope Time Will Be Kind” which sums up all of that guilt for me, making me feel even worse. But look, that just says how much of an impact this album has made on me, and there’s no escaping that fact. In a related way, Snowden’s ‘Anti-Anti’ did the same thing to me as it was the record I was listening to on my way to my grandmother’s memorial when she died in 2007. I think ‘Answers Belie’ will remind me of this moment in my life, forever in my memory for the politics of the day and the regrettable decision I felt I had to make after so many years. 

Maybe that’s one thing I can apply to this Americana music genre, where it “incorporates elements of American roots music styles” to my cultural experience as an American. Then again, we can't just leave it at that since we have...

...An interview with Eric Anders himself!




Wonderful. Look at that, cooking with gas. You got Eric Anders uh here uh gonna talk about the new release or fairly new release. 2020 22 or this year. It's this year. Yeah, it was uh I know exactly the uh I can't remember the date. It was probably in June. Yeah, June some and there's an obits a uh you got, oh Biz you guys is like uh been collaborating for a while. This is your eighth uh full length release, correct? You know, I've uh I think it might be more, I've lost count.

Um Yeah, I was actually looking at the, I was looking at your site on all the albums. I'm like, I, I had to, I lost count myself but you guys have been collaborating for quite some time now. We have been, it's been uh we started uh working together in 2002. So um um didn't have gray on my beard back then. Oh, look back at those pictures and you can track it like that. Yeah, it was, I was 113 at the time or uh 36 37 36 whatever. Yeah. So I started late I started very late in the, in the songwriting and singing um job.

But you, I mean, this is basically, this is your main, you, you probably had like other uh singing roles or musicianship uh in the past or is this collaboration the first time you've gotten into the, into the music, writing and the singing performing? Yeah, I, um yeah. And, and I've only done, I, you know, I did my solo albums. Mark was uh heavily involved in the solo albums, uh solo releases um Before we started uh putting this stuff out as a duo in 2018 with, uh with the album of all these things.

Um And uh I have basically only worked with Mark uh or as a solo recording artist. Um trying to think if I've ever worked with any other artists. I, I, yeah, I've done some projects where, you know, I, we, you know, I had other artists on the projects. Um But uh I, I've never actually sung with another band uh or wrote with another band, but it seems like from the get go, you guys hit it off pretty, pretty uh smoothly, pretty good. Yeah, we've got, uh Mark was doing a um a solo uh performance in this uh uh area of uh Pasadena called Old Town uh outside in some um you know, uh like, you know, outdoor mall area of old town right next to the, so people from Pasadena will know where that is. Yeah.

But, um, so I just walked by and I was like, oh, this guy sounds great and, uh I said, hey, you know, let's get together and uh work on some music together and he's like, great. And we got together at my, my place at the time in uh Pasadena. I was actually in psychoanalytic training at the time. So I was, you know, even then working on my day job most of the time. And then, um, uh, yeah, we just, we totally, uh, you could tell right from early on that it was, uh, you know, really good, uh, situation connection, uh, artistic connection.

And, uh, Mark, you know, was very, Mark has a, uh, bachelor's degree in classical guitar and he's been, you know, heavily involved with music for a long time. And, uh, you know, he was a professional musician and, uh, I was just, you know, this hobbyist, you know, who was trying to learn how to be a therapist and, uh, didn't really know that I could sing or write songs, but it was the writing songs that I really didn't know about it. Uh, Mark said, hey, you know, we should try writing some songs together and I was like, really, you know, and we did and, uh, that's where the most of the songs on the album, not at one, which is my first solo release are songs written by Mark and myself.

The other songs are written by uh, a friend of mine, Benny Balm who was going, who helped us with the pre-production on that project. He was in a band called The Sugar Plum Fairies and they had some good songs to early oughts. Now, when you guys, uh, when you and Mark got together, what uh what influence did you guys connect with? Because I, you got one of the things that I've been, uh paying attention to lately is the Americana genre and obviously, you know, that's a, that is a specific thing.

Um But uh yeah, like, what, what were your influences? I normally associate Americana with like stuff like uh I would uh what it says? Sure. And like southern culture on the skids, you know, uh like an alternative edgy kind of a kind of a, a move. Uh What did you guys connect with on that old Crow medicine show? We did, I did an old Crow medicine show on my last um solo album which was a Anti Trump album and um um the song is called, I hear them all.

That's a great old crow medicine show. Uh Song. I hope I do it justice. Um But the uh that's an interesting question is a good question because uh when we first got together we, you know, I was like, well, I don't know what to do, you know, and he's like, well, let's just try a song. What song do you like right now? And at the time. Um David Gray was uh kind of, he, he came out with uh one of his first albums at that time, he was huge at the time was like White Ladders or something like that.

White Ladder. That was the album. Good, good Memory. Um And uh yeah, I remember he hit pretty hard. I loved him. Love that album. It was a great, it's a great album. I still listen to it. And uh I can't think of the song that we did, but we just did, we just did a David David Gray song and it was, we recorded it actually. And so we have that recording. It's almost good enough to put up on, spot on uh on soundcloud. Um Yeah, I have actually on soundcloud.

I've got some of, some of the uh old covers that we did and uh I, I've got it on my website too. That's right. That old covers playlist. But yeah, they, but your Americana point was a, is a very good one. And I would say that my Americana, you know, my primary Americana influence is Bob Dylan, but, you know, when is doing that style. But the uh because I'm, I'm 59. So, you know, I'm technically, I'm a Boomer, uh which is not something I'd like to admit all the time.

But um I was born in 64 and so 64 is the last Boomer uh year. But so, you know, I've got a lot of those boomer influences. Um you know, a lot of southern rock, you know, Almond Brothers and stuff like that was really important to me. So we didn't really get into the Americana until our 2011 project, uh which was, was a solo release. But um two of the songs on there are uh songs I did with Mark and it was a uh was supposed to be an album uh in support of Leonard Peltier and, and ended up being more just a sort of general uh Native American rights um album.

And uh because Mark is a Mark is a um art Cherokee. That's why his name is so odd is because it's a made up name that his grandfather just kind of made up. No, I say, yeah, so his and his grand grandfather was uh uh all Cherokee. And so anyway, so Mark and I wanted to do that uh Native American uh rights album. So we thought that an Americana sound would be just, I don't know, it would just work better and I think it did. And um our producer at the time, Matt Brown uh was getting more into Americana.

And so, and I had always been into it. And uh so that's why I put together that playlist on the website called Concord songs. Um And uh anyway, I just, a lot of our songs are Americana and uh I'm very, I'm very proud of those songs and uh just what I wish they'd get heard more. Yeah. The sense I get off of this, this album is, and I say it, uh, specifically, uh, in my, in my article about it, uh, there's a, there's a certain amount of sadness that I get off of it and I'm sure that's intentional.

Um, at least what, what the first three tracks. So you describe that, it's kind of, I'm leaning more towards a political. I mean, those, those lyrics can be interpreted in different ways because they're somewhat abstract but, uh they're political, they're political. OK. We'll just go, we'll just lean right into it. Right. Yeah. The uh uh the first three songs are just um overtly political. Um And, uh the, the, the album title is, is more from the song that answers the, which is uh more of a course, sort of a philosophical song.

But, uh a lot of my songs are, are either, um, I have a, a background in philosophy too. And so, um, a lot of my songs are political or psychological, you know, kind of bring in my, uh, my work as a therapist and just my general interests in psychology and, uh, I don't know if your listeners or your viewers, uh, know that I'm a psychoanalyst and uh we'll establish it right now. Yeah. Yeah. I'm an ACA, I'm a psychoanalyst and an academic and I've, I've written on, uh philosophy and psychoanalyst, psychoanalytic theory. Yeah.

So a lot of that stuff gets, you know, brought into my lyrics. But, um, my, my, I think mostly my lyrics are political but it's sort of half and half. Um, because it's a bold, it's a bold move to make, uh, you know, I see the politics of the day. It used to be before this certain period that we entered in. I'd, I'd go back to 2016. Uh, that political leaning was basically something that people were very ignorant of and they were more easy to accept it if they didn't understand what it was.

And there was an opening there. Now it's more divisive of a, of a, of an effort to make because people see the dividing line and jump on one side or the other willingly and it's a much more aggressive. Uh, uh, how would you say, um, criticism against people who lean political one way or the other? Uh, so this is a new thing, right? Uh, that's the way I've seen it because, I mean, I've been political most of my life and so, you know how old I am?

I don't know how old you are. So, yeah, I'm 93. Ok. Well, that's good for you for just saying it right out there. So, you're 47. I, you know, I've got like, uh, 12 years on you but, uh, you know, I don't, I live, you know, uh, uh, I was in, uh, you know, uh, graduate school in the eighties. And nineties and, uh, it was, the, the politics was pretty divided then along similar lines. I think that with Trump it's just become more, kind of ridiculous, um, more kind of, you know, frankly disgusting.

And, uh, but, you know, it was pretty disgusting, uh, back in the day with Reagan. Um, and I was, uh, um, I went to the Air Force Academy and then I was an Air Force officer and so I grew up in this Republican uh family and uh was in the military for nine years and then I went to graduate school at Harvard and, uh, you know, had a massive turnaround uh with respect to politics because, uh even though Harvard, you know, gets kind of, uh, you know, people think about it as a sort of very traditional place.

It's actually a very liberal place and, you know, I went to talks with Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky and stuff like that. And it was just, uh, it was a big, a big awakening for me, Michael Albert in there somewhere. Say again, Michael Albert, I don't know, Michael Albert as uh he's the uh editor for uh, no, I'm thinking of, uh, anyway, I'm not sure who Michael Albert is. He did a book on, uh what is it? The, some kind of a uh uh participator economics, but he normally ran the uh Z com dot org or Z net network.

No, I used to get magazine all the time that I had, had seen his name before. But, yeah, you know, um, a lot of, uh, but that's interesting. I haven't seen Z magazine or talked about it for a long time. It's great that, you know about that. Um, you know, I'm in the Bay area now. So it's, uh, a lot of, you know, uh, the magazine back in the day was Ramparts and stuff like that here. It was a different sort of, uh, you know, political scene in, uh, Cambridge than it was and it is here.

Um, but, uh, anyway, I don't know, I've, I've been political since the eighties and, uh, um, you know, this, uh, disgusted by Bush and, uh, my, my, uh, 22,22005, uh, EP is called Songs for Wayward Days. It's an anti Bush. Ep my 20 album 22 250, which is the, you know, 259 211 was the day we found out that, um, Trump, uh, was going to emerge as the victor of the, uh, election even though he didn't win the popular vote. But the, uh, and it, it's an allusion to 20043 22004 because I thought that it was just as, you know, damaging to the country.

I remember making that a parallel too. So, uh, but anyway, so I don't think it's that bold to be political for, with music, you know, I, it's, you know, for someone who is an independent artist which means, you know, I'm, uh, I'm not in the industry and I don't make any money at it and, uh, there, there's no label trying to sell me, you know, since I'm not a, not a commodity. Um, it's not that bold. Yeah, I hear what you mean. And you have like a, you know, there's also the civil war leanings on, on those first three songs.

The sound, the, the tone of it just the way, just from the, from, from the first note that hits, I get that kind of historical, you know, uh framing uh because of that Americana sound and it matches perfectly to that subject matter. I was thinking just recently how bad things might get. I imagine that they're going to get even worse because more specifically, there was a thing where, you know, the Republican Party, whoever, even if it's not Trump, whoever ends up in the White House knows to go ahead and just start destroying the government to start destroying, destroying the system and they have a plan put in place for a dictatorship no matter who in the Republican Party is going to be.

And I don't know with them getting away with so much shit now, I don't know why they wouldn't be emboldened to do that. So I think that dictatorship is on its way and we're gonna be living through it. But you also explain how this is a hand me down to the next generation too. And it's a very bleak just a very bleak uh description of where we're going. Yeah, there's a lot of uh there are a lot, the idea of hand me downs, you know, I think in some ways my, you know, boomer guilt, you know, I have kids and I have three kids who are all uh Gen Z and uh you are Gen X and my wife is Gen X and uh you know, so I, I kind of identify more Gen X but, but technically I am in the boomer generation, which is, I think the boomer generation is it really lead the, uh, you know, leaving the world with, you know, uh a much damaged place.

Um But the, uh, so, you know that in my song, uh I don't know if you've seen the video that I did with um a Spanish artist. Uh You save a, uh a uh No, no, I got it right. Um But the, uh Sea Rise video is really worth looking at the artistically. I love the video. We won a bunch of awards. Um The, uh, I, I love the song too and I wrote the song with my daughter who, uh uh Evelyn, who was uh 22022 at the time and I wrote it with Mark too.

Um, but, uh, my daughter, Evelyn, both of my daughters, Lila and Evelyn sing on that album, but that, on that, uh record, the, uh, the song is about, you know, you know, what are we leaving? The Children type, you know, in terms of climate change and, uh it's called Sea Rise. And, uh my daughters sing on the album and my one daughter helped write the song. And so it's a lot about what two generation handy downs. But you mentioned the Civil War and specifically the most, you know, um civil war oriented song on, uh Answers Be Lie is uh Long Old Civil War, which is actually, which is definitely an Americana song, but it's also very influenced by uh like uh um psychedelic, uh more contemporary psychedelic rock, like uh the Dandy Warhols and uh Brian Jonestown massacre because they use that kind of guitar strum and that kind of rhythm in a lot of their songs.

And uh so we were kind of wanting to do something that kind of brought some of the Brian Jonestown massacre sort of vibe, but into an Americana sort of more pop or Americana type of feel to it. I think I know, I love that song. And so I'm, I'm very happy with it and the lyrics are just a uh they're a re, you know, re versioning of the, of the Gettysburg address, which I think is actually the uh I consider to be the, the founding doctrine of our nation, um you know, post slavery.

So, uh you know, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are totally marred by the fact of slavery. And uh and that's what the song is about, it's about uh how the civil war around that, you know, uh um you know, huge um glaring problem that, you know, all men being created equal and yet, you know, in the context of slavery just is, it just makes me wanna throw up and the fact, you know, people like DeSantis and, you know, and Trump are trying to erase that type of, uh you know, DeSantis is just blatantly trying to erase it, you know, in his grotesque black history, you know, uh stuff in Florida State.

I used to live in. Uh anyway, but, um, so the Civil War is definitely, it's also in my, on my uh other album in a song called um Wounded Son, which is a lot of that. It's, which it has a southern rock, it's influenced by southern rock stuff, but it's also Americana and that, that's one to check out. It's on my 210 release. It goes to ancestors. I'm very proud of that song, but it's, it's a lot about the civil war. It's a lot about um damaged male ego within the context of the culture wars. Yeah.

So, um but also I wanted to comment on, you said something about how bad it's getting. Now, I, I just, you know, you're 47. So you, you remember the nineties and, you know, 1995 there was the Oklahoma um the uh bombing of the uh Murrow building, Timothy mcveigh and crew. I mean, that's, that's pretty, uh, outrageous right wing terrorism. And, uh, so, you know, I don't, I, I don't think that it ever got so bad with January 6th or, uh, with anything, you know, like the, uh, right wing, um, crap that's going on in Michigan or, you know, trying to, you know, uh, kidnap the governor, this kind of stuff.

I think all of that pales in comparison to what happened in Oklahoma City And uh that, that kind of violence, that anti-government, you know, right wing violence has been around for a long time. And, um, you know, it, you, you know, it used to be, uh you know, it was huge during reconstruction. So going back to the civil war, you know, the, the KKK was just, you know, was right wing terrorism. And so, uh you know, there's a direct line between KKK, Timothy mcveigh and uh January 6th.

And so that's, that's what the, those songs are about. I know that, um, you know, if you want to look at the level of absurdity that, that they're able to inflict, I know that there's 1 January sixth, uh a person who actually fled to Belarus and uh because uh he's like, wanted so for him to like, you know, to do that, it's like, how far would these guys go? He's trying to escape the law and he went as far as to, you know, seek a refuge in Belarus.

So, which is interesting because the, uh, you know, I, you know, I spent my, uh, college years at the Air Force Academy, you know, um, training to be a cold warrior. And, um, you know, at the time the Soviets were the, you know, the, as a, what did, uh, the evil empire is, I think Reagan called him at one point. Yeah. Um, you know, this is Reagan who was, you know, making sure that, you know, Reagan was the one who started the war on terrorism. And, uh, you know, at, at the time what he had in mind was, uh, the A NC in South Africa he saw them as the big terrorists and then later in the year they, you know, they switched their allegiance up when they realized that the A NC was going to beat the apartheid, uh, Afrikaans.

Anyway, the point is, is that Reagan was this, you know, uh, um, uh, you know, uh, you know, he would do things like, uh, you know, uh, sell arms to the Iranians so that he could back the right wing militias and, uh, uh, Nicaragua, you know, the Iran contra scandal. He never, never got nailed for which he should have. But, you know, that kind of stuff to me is a lot worse than anything, uh, you know, than, uh, you know, uh, Trump did, uh, people don't talk about it, you know, they think Reagan was some great guy or whatever.

He was a total asshole. And racist and, uh, um, horrible, you know, person. Um, and so anyway, but, you know, of course Trump is as bad as you can get in some ways, but he's also incompetent, you know, he's like, he wasn't as competent as Nixon who was able to, you know, kill millions of Cambodians, you know, and get away with it. And, uh, so, I mean, I, I don't know, I see this, these historical figures as worse than what we're dealing with now but what I, what was I talking about before?

I lost my train of thought. We're talking about Dandy Warhols. Listen to me trying to change the subject. Dandy Warhols. And, uh, Brian don't, I don't remember what were we talking about? Oh, what were we talking about? I don't know. Uh, we're talking about civil war, uh, the, uh, I mean, I see one coming, you know, I don't know. I see one kind of civil war coming. Yeah. I don't know. I, I, you know, I had a few people in the studio talking about that and, uh, you know, uh, I don't know.

I think that, uh, I don't know, you might be right. I hope you're not. Right. But you, it's scary stuff. Yeah. But, you know, I don't know. My, um, II, I don't know. It's, it's hard when you think about how to, how do you make a political song? You know? How do you make a political album? There's this guy in the Frankfurt school, a dorn, you know, you talk about popular music is just basically commodities. And so, you know, how are you ever gonna have a protest song or a political song?

It's basically a commodity, you know, like, like the Scott, I think his name was, who said that, you know, the revolution won't be televised, you know, but it's also like the revolution is not gonna be uh encouraged by, uh or the uh civil war is not gonna be discouraged by uh you know, uh an old psychoanalyst who puts out an occasional pop song. But I, what I, you know, I, I feel like this is like a major, you know, aspect of being what it means to me to be an American.

And so this is what comes out and this is right. I like writing songs about and I share that sentiment too because the, the rest of the album actually spoke to me on something that happened to me recently. Uh my daytime job was a caregiver for about seven years and I felt over the years that the relationship had deteriorated where I was being considered to be thoughtless, careless. Uh I had my head and like, you know, I was like an astronaut in my head was in the clouds.

I wasn't taking care of business. I was like, and I'm getting, I'm getting older and being, being seen as this buffoon. And I finally just said, well, just fire me. You know, that's what it was that this was going to be, just fire Me. But you have a song on here where you talk about your maternal grandmother, uh, with MS and this person that I took care of had a MS type of disease or illness and she's pretty much disabled and I just feel like a complete failure, you know.

Uh, not being there. Yeah, that's, that sounds, you know, um, sounds rough. Zoe. And I, you know, um, if you want, you can call me back and we can, you know, I can help you with some therapy because, uh, because I'm a caregiver too in the way that way. And, uh, it is rough being a caregiver, especially when your care is not, uh, accepted. And, uh, or when, you know, you're giving care to someone who is, like, severely traumatized or something like that. And there's a thing called secondary trauma where you're the care giving, you know, or what you're getting care for is so difficult for the person that it's hard not to take on some of that stuff.

Um, the song is, it, it's interesting that you, you kind of made a little bit of a Freudian slip there because you, uh, you went from, uh, it, it wasn't, it was my maternal grandfather had MS. And how did you know he, oh, did you read about it on, did I write somewhere that it was about my grandfather with MS because I, I think it was the, yeah, I think it was, it's either on the band camp page or it's on the, it's on the pro, the promo that I got.

Excuse me, it's probably on the promo that I got because I read both of them and they seem to, no, but that, it, it's on the band camp and that's great that you did your research. And, uh, it's really nice when people understand or get the song that, that song is, uh, the, the song is called, uh, Eyes a Child Bedside. It has a kind of an odd title but, uh, it is about, it's about growing up with my grandfather, um, in a hospital bed, in our living in our, my grandparents living room and, uh, you know, my grandmother taking care of him because health care was bad and, and it's still bad.

But, you know, she just, they just, he was a California highway patrolman and, uh, developed MS and they didn't know what was wrong. He kept having these accidents and, uh, if he would drive one of those big Harleys, you know, that, um, in the forties and the thirties, forties and early forties. And, uh, anyway, so he, that, that song is, it's not a political song. It's a sentimental ballad. And, uh, it's a little fast paced to be a ballad, I guess. But it's, uh, oh, it's a ballad.

Uh, I love that song. And I'm, I'm proud of it and, uh, I'm glad that it, um, touched you in that way. And, um, and Mark, by the way, uh, Marco Bits who wrote the song with me is a caregiver. And, um, that's his day job right now. He has a disabled sister. And so, uh, and the, uh, he just, he can't find a way to get her cared for. She needs a lot of care. And, uh anyway, so that's, you know, I'm totally in admiration uh of Mark and how devoted he is to his sister.

And uh uh but anyway, the uh what you said about being a caregiver is uh it, it is, uh I mean, it speaks to me because, uh I mean, I don't know, I just just thought that maybe, you know, maybe the, the reason I became a therapist was part of the reason was because I just was so in awe of my grandmother and how amazing she was with my grandfather. Uh And how much that impacted me as a kid. But anyway, I'm glad that you um were drawn to that song because I've done um I was gonna put it up higher in the, on the album, but in some ways that it um I wanted to put the uh political songs first because uh I just felt like that they were, it's more, more where my head was at.

But also that song, Eyes a Child Bedside is uh it's more traditional, it's more, it kind of sounds more like a, an Anders Obits song that we've done before. And so I kind of felt a little bit like, uh, you know, but then II, I liked it so much. I just wanted to put it on the album. Yeah. Yeah. It's, uh, you know, I remember and I say so in the, in the, in the piece that, uh this album is going to remind me of that moment.

But then it's also current to the lot of political stuff that we got. So it's got a lot of mix of different things. I remember that the health care part of it is definitely, you know, massively political. And uh yeah, I was a Bernie supporter. You know, I really think that there should have been a public option when Obama was way in which he had a promised anyway. But, but I remember like 2007 when my grandmother died, we were traveling from Dallas to Abilene for the, for the memorial and I was listening to Snowden, uh not the, you know, political or the, you know, accessory there.

I don't know what else you'd call them. But uh this uh this band called Snowden had this album called Anti Anti. And the title track reminded me of that trip. So it has like, uh you know, there are certain albums throughout, you know, you uh throughout my life that remind me of certain moments this would certainly be one. Uh, you brought up a dandy Warhols, uh, earlier. I remember taking a trip to, it was the last minute, like, let's just go to Louisiana because it's right next door.

Let's go to, to, uh, New Orleans. So, we went over there and on the way back, we were just like blasting Danny Warhol's albums all the way back. I think they only had two at that time. Um, But yeah, all these uh uh your album included, uh will certainly have certain, uh remind me of certain moments and uh or phases of my life that I've gone through. And it's a powerful album. It's a powerful album. Thank you. You know, and it's powerful for you to hear that from a listener and, and, uh and really, I'm grateful and it's easy for me to uh picture that because I was born in Houston.

I spent, you know, my first five years in Texas, but my, one side of my family, Andre's side of my family is from uh um Lagrange. OK. So, and Alene is one of my favorite songs by Damien Gerardo. Um I don't know if you know that song, but if you don't, you write it down and go listen to it. Do you, do you listen to Damian Gerardo much? No, not at all. I think I've seen some of his stuff but I haven't, I haven't uh pulled the trigger on it, in my opinion, he is one of the best.

And uh it uh I worked with some people who worked with him in Orange County and uh um I was just so proud to be like two degrees of separation away from it. I, I just think he's a fantastic artist but check out his song, Alene and check out his song sheets. He's uh he's from Seattle where I used to live also. And so, um Matt Brown, my old, my former producer was uh involved with uh that scene pretty uh heavily. And so anyway, Damien is great and say again, OK. No, I'm in, I'm in a and check out Damien Gerardo.

And uh also, there's this, uh I'm not sure how to pronounce it. It's Filo, I believe F I and lo he did this uh kind of EDM like version of Damien Gerardo's song Ohio and that, you know, I'm not, I, I don't know much about that uh genre very much, but uh it inspired a whole album of two albums of mine, two pieces called Bardo Hauntings where um the uh Damien Gerardo remix of Ohio by Filo inspired this whole 202004 song uh um remix album. OK. And so it was like a uh in terms of his genre departures, it was a big one for Mark and me.

But uh American Bartle gets a lot of high praise right now. I saw some of the reviews on it. Yeah. Thank you. And uh yes, Thank you for looking at that. And American Bardo is our, um when we think about our two most artistically successful albums, we think of American Bardo and we think of our 2000, my 2006 release in uh called Tethered To the Ground. Those are um primary um those are what we consider to be our primary releases. Um And so we did Bardo Hauntings was the remixes of all 12 American Bardo songs.

Ok. So that's one to check out. I mean, I, that's, I mean, that's one of the reasons why, um, Mark and I are kind of slowing down because, you know, everyone, when, when people write reviews of the very prolific Duo of Anders and no bits, you know, because, because we are, you know, during that pandemic we, you know, we were just, we're studio musicians and so, you know, rarely play. I mean, we haven't played live since 2005. 0, wow. Yeah. So no chance of South by Southwest this next year.

I, you know, south by Southwest to me. I don't know, I just, I never, I don't understand that world. I don't, I, you know, I've never been invited. So, uh, you know, it makes me a little sad but, um, well I was talking to somebody about it that, er, uh, in an interview I did recently and, uh, he's like, yeah, I tried doing that before because he, you know, he, I think, uh, there's a certain window where you can sign up as well before they close it.

But he's like, but I'm, he said I'm tired of doing the 2 a.m. spots. It's like, well, that makes sense, you know, it's a monster. Yeah. And it, it, I don't know, I think you have to know yourself as an artist and, and I, I know myself well enough. I just, I've never felt comfortable on stage and I just know I'm not able to pull it off. So, um uh you know, I probably need to do more psychological work on my anxiety stage, right? And, but it's also, I, I don't know, it's, uh it's a, it's just a very different.

Um, I don't know, I, I feel very comfortable in my lane and my lane is musician, songwriter. You know, I come up with the melodies. Mark comes up with the music and um it just, uh, you know, that's, it's, it's worked for us and uh um we kind of, we know, you know, Mark's uh 50 I'm 59. We kind of, we kind of know uh we know what we do. Well, we, and we don't, I don't know, we just, we, we've just been doing it, but I was gonna say before that during the pandemic because we're, we, we could work so well remotely.

Um we were, and also I stopped working as a therapist. And so, uh because I just, I'm used to working in person. And uh and I could, and I was just fortunate enough that I could uh yeah, stop working as a therapist. But uh anyway, the uh pandemic was just a time of massive uh um production for us. We were just so productive and uh we came up with our, you know, music in the time of Coronavirus um series or, you know, the collection and uh it, uh we love it and we had a lot of fun doing it.

American Bargo was our last in the studio album and we haven't, it's also so expensive. It's, it's expensive to go to South by Southwest. You know, who's gonna close for the tickets, you know, who's gonna pay for the hotel when you're there. It's expensive to uh to go down to a studio and get together. So, you know, we end up doing all of our projects remotely. Now. We got so good at it during the pandemic. We're like, you know what? Well, I was like since I'm the, I'm the label.

So I was like, uh, you know, I'm gonna save some money and just, you know, it, you know, it's sad because I love being in the studio. I think that you can hear in American Bardo, there's something you can hear that about being together in the studio with Mike Butler. The, the producer, Mike Butler is a, an amazing producer. I've been very fortunate. I've been able to work with fantastic producers and I'll just mention them really quick. It's Matthew Emerson, Brown. Matt. Brown and Matt produced a bunch of my albums including 11 9 and the remains in me, which I talked about before.

But he also produced a tethered to the ground. I worked with Jeff Peters who, uh, used to do Live Sound For the Beach Boys. I traveled, used to tour with the Beach Boys and Jeff is in Pasadena and, um Jeff produced uh Ghost of Ancestors uh of all these things. He also produced uh songs for Wayward Days back in 2004. And uh but we uh last, I don't know, six or seven releases, maybe even eight releases have been with uh Michael Mike Butler in San Diego. And Mike is just, he's a genius.

Uh He's a brilliant guitar player and uh I love him. He's great and I just, I've enjoyed working with him so much. Something like that. You have like a sound that you're looking for when you look for a producer or was it just something that just ended up working well together? Well, Mike, Mike is able to do whatever he touches basically uh becomes amazing. Um I mean, a great example of, of Mike's um just uh you know how he's, he's eclectic and is he, he can do, I put out an album, Mark and I put out an album called um The Lost We've Won, which is, which is a collection of songs that had been kind of shelved because we, because like the song I as a child bedside, this, um, the songs on the loss we've won.

It are all I thought they were too sentimental to put out, kind of too traditional. So we said, well, hey, let's just do them totally Americana. Let's just, you know, let's, let's, you know, strip it down. Totally Americana. So the, the loss we won came out in 2022 and it's, it's our most Americana release. And, uh and it's because these songs almost felt too sentimental. We even revisited some old songs that we thought would work better this Americana approach. Um But Mike's, what I'm talking about is Mike's flexibility.

He's, I think he's extremely good at like uh rock blues, you know, if you look at our album stuck inside, which is mostly, you know, kind of leans towards a rock um genre and our album um so far gone is got a lot of, you know, serious blues rock elements to it. So, the, uh um but Mike was also able to do our uh one half of the Barrow Hauntings, which is EDM, you know, um we got reviewed as it being like one of the best EDM folk um combinations, you know, how many, how many EDM folk com com combinations do you hear out there?

Yeah. So, I mean, the, the problem with our, with our music is that it, it's, you know, if it's not, if it's Americana, it's kind of leaning that way more where it was like the last we've won our, our single that we put out called um Careful. Now, my son, which is my, I think is our best Americana Straight Americana. So careful. Now my son is, uh I mean, we, when, when we did that song, we were like, we're doing Americana, but most of our songs just end up somewhere between folk rock, indie.

You know, we're just, it's like what, I don't know what, you know, what to put it in, you know, stuff. It's a very versatile genre wise you could fit into and, and Mike Butler is versatile. That's a great word. Yeah. Well, Eric, look at that. We went down the gamut here on throughout the album. Uh But you said you guys are just kind of slowing down now as far as like putting out more releases because you guys have, like you said, you lost count of how many you've got.

Yes, we are, we are definitely slowing down. It's kind of like, uh you know, the pandemic has mostly ended. Um And so we, uh you know, I've gotten back to work. Mark is getting back. Mark has, you know, been really busy with his, you know, taking care of his sister, but he's also, he's uh taking on another career field. He's got getting into sonography for hearts. Yeah. So he's gonna be doing sonograms on people's hearts and so he's working hard. But, you know, the sad thing is, is that, you know, um, have you ever heard this song?

Everything is free by Gillian Welch. No, I haven't. You gotta, you gotta check that song out. It's a beautiful song and, and there's an extremely good cover of it by Father John Misty. Oh, yeah. Father John Misty. Right. Yeah. And that Father John Misty's cover of Gillian Welch's song, everything is free and everybody should hear it. It is such a great song. And uh uh but the song is about the music industry, it's about being a recording artist and how like we're fucked because everything is free.

Now, all the music is free and, you know, everybody expects us to, you know, uh to perform and to put out music and, you know, the, all the record labels, all the music industry have, have figured out that uh the, the great line in the song is that we're gonna do it anyway. You know that they know that, you know, they're not gonna give us any money because they know we're gonna make, make music anyway. Anyway, that's a great song. Please check it out. It actually, I do have that song.

I just realized it's been years since it came out and I actually put it on one of my podcast episodes and I had an internet radio station that I'm getting a licensing going for it that I was gonna put it on. So uh yes, I know that I know that track and he's like, it's a, it's a rocking song but it's also like, like uh you know, we're, we're just uh handing everything out and it is a hard thing to do. Uh So, yeah, I do remember that.

I do remember that Canadian artists, right? Uh Father Gillian Welch or Father John Misty or Father John Misty is he Canadian? I didn't know that. I think so. I'll have to look again, but I always think of him as L A just because he's, I think he lives in L A. But uh yeah, anyway, he's, I, he's a fantastic artist. Um So you got your homework now, I'm getting you. I got assignments. Yeah. All right. And uh and uh I can't thank you enough for the interview for the review.

And uh um I will thank you beforehand for the review because it sounds like it's gonna be a good 10 Yeah. One of the things that when, that's one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you is because when I'm going through listening to an album like this, you know, it's good to connect on rather than assumption on certain things to see if, if I'm getting the message correct. Uh Because sometimes the abstract nature of some of these things, you know, people always say, or artists will always say, oh, it's open to interpretation, you know, it's like you're gonna David Lynch it and, you know, you're not gonna, you're not gonna tell me what's going on but you know, it, that's, it's good to have this, uh, this discussion about it and, uh, you know, get a, get a more rich experience of, of, of the album, the music.

Yeah, I think that the, uh, you know, I think that for most artists it probably is that they, you know, when you put something out, you want, you want people regardless if they understand it or not, you know, you want them to be moved by it. So, you know, whatever they're reading of it, if they're moved by it, it's like fine. But the, but you're right. I mean, there, there's definitely the artist intention and, uh and so my, you know, my intention with those first three songs is definitely trying to, you know, uh portray the dystopia.

That is the American uh culture, war, culture, war situation. And also I'll leave you with this. The uh as I was just, I don't know, you making it, you gave me some assignments here. I got one for you a reading assignment since you were reading something there earlier. I don't know if you're familiar with the uh cinema philosopher, I guess he's an existentialist or deconstructionist. Uh Slava ZK. Yeah, he did a book called, uh it's or more like a paper. It's like, you know, categorized as a paper, published paper about the Lost Highway, his interpretation of Lost Highway and sometimes interpreting something to try to figure out what the story is, would kind of ruin it in a way in the sense that after reading that book, I said this is what Lost Highway is about.

It's no longer like a mystery to me and it kind of takes away from it. But, uh, I would, it sounds to me like that would be something in your wheelhouse. Uh, I think he's more, I think he's more like a la. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So, Z is, uh, um, an interesting figure. He's, uh, uh, but I, um, I write a lot about, I write a lot against Leon. So, um, uh, but it's complicated as to why. Um, I'm right that he is, he is a lean, right?

He is, that's his approach. OK. All right, Luca and Marxist. And, uh, um, he is not a, uh, therapist. He is, he's not an analyst. He is an academic theorist but, um, one of, one of his favorite, uh, titles I like is, is Enjoy Your Symptom. A great title. Yeah, it's catchy. It's catchy. But he, he's a lot about being catchy in my opinion. But, um, I started a journal called, uh, about Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis. So that's, that's what I do. Ok. That's my, um, that's what I've written on, I've been published in, in those areas and, uh, so what LECA and what it means to be LECA.

Is extremely complicated. Um And, but I am definitely gonna look up this lost highway paper. I have it here next to me under a pile of other papers, but I can't read it to read you the title, but uh it's a pretty good read. Sounds good. Um But again, thanks for, uh thanks for the interview. Thanks for taking and thanks for listening. And, uh this is actually the, I think the first uh video interview I've ever done. So hope it uh hope it works. Yeah, I'll be doing the editing today and uh you know, but I'm leaning towards that capture card, so we'll get that done eventually and, and uh you know, we'll talk more later on down the line.

So when the, when the, when the interview comes out, is it gonna be just me or is it gonna be you two on there? So I'm gonna look at the video and see what I got. Hopefully, I didn't run out of SD card space. But uh uh I'm gonna, I've been editing some other videos lately. I just saw the new, I did a reaction to the new Exorcist trailer that just came out. So I took all day yesterday to edit that video and put that up today and I'm doing more like that.

Uh Now that I'm, now that I'm uh formally employed, now I'm gonna focus on, you know, editing videos, editing podcast episode just basically doing that. And uh and writing. Uh so, but yeah, um I'll send you the link because what I'll do is with the article, I'll add the video to the bottom of it or the podcast link, depending on what's the better uh bundled kind of a package for the presentation. So, right. And uh Zoe, if you, if you, because you're in Dallas, so you, you got a lot of resources there. Yeah.

But uh you know, don't, you know, if, if this, uh, it sounds like this, uh, situation with, uh, your caregiving situation was pretty difficult for you. I mean, to take that stuff seriously because I think there are a lot of therapists, a lot of caregivers who, you know, just think about all the trauma that the nurses have gone through during COVID and, you know, I mean, it's, it, you know, people just don't, they don't, um, they don't realize how, how difficult it is being a caregiver, you know, a lot of times, you know, and one of the reasons it gets kind of shoved under the rug is because swept under the rug is because, uh, you usually the caregivers are females.

And so, you know, um, you know, when these female issues, you know, don't get talked about as much because we live in such a sexist society. But, you know, it, I don't know, just take it seriously and, you know, treat yourself to some care, you know, if you've got a friend or whatever you can, who can, you know, support you on these kind of things because it's, it's serious stuff. You know, I've got, I've been through some of it myself and was glad that I had a, you know, a supportive wife and supportive family and, uh, and my own therapist, you know, to help me through those situations and, you know, my best friend, uh, Marco bits also is very supportive in those situations and he knows about this stuff because he's a full time, you know, very serious caregiver.

His sister needs a lot of care. Yeah. Well, for me, how's John? Doctor John Daniels as a friend? Do you think uh think he helps? I, I don't know who Doctor Sean Daniels is. I'm feeling like I'm really, I'm striking out on my, on your references. Sorry, I was gonna, I was gonna walk you into that line from son of a woman where he says it's Jack Daniels. He said, well if it's, you know him as well as I do, it's John. No, John is not your friend.

All right, he will, he will betray you. Doctor Anders. I'll say you earned the title, right? I mean, you, you went to school for it. You're gonna doctor Anders. It is. Yeah, I liked your email or you're like doctor and would you be, would you be available for an interview? It's like like, you know, if it's for music, you can call me Eric. Yeah. Was being all formal and everything. All right, Eric. Thank you very much. Yeah, you're not. Yeah. Thank you for contacting and don't go to your friend John. Don.

All right buddy. Appreciate it. All right, thanks a lot. Uh I really appreciate it. All right, you too. Take care.



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