Words by: Phoebe Blandford
With Independent Music Venue Week now over, we dwell on one of our Cardiff highlights of the week; Anteros! Made up of Harry Balazs (drums), Jackson Couzens (gutair), Josh Rumble (bass) and of course, the amazing Laura Hayden (frontwoman). This London quartet took Clwb Ifor Bach by storm with a sensational set that has really pinpointed this band as one to watch for this year! We were lucky enough to catch up with the band before the show!
How did you guys form?
Laura: Well, Josh and I met about 5 or 6 years ago, Josh was in another band at the time and I was doing my thing. We started writing but we didn’t really know what we were writing for or what towards, but we wrote a song called ‘Anteros’ and that started the band as we know it today. Harry joined the band about 2 years later and Jackson joined us last year.
Is that how the name of the band came about, because of your first song?
Laura: Yeah, the band name came from the song. It defined where we were and the direction we wanted to take things in. To be honest coming up with a band name is not much fun (laughs).
Why the name Anteros?
Laura: Well I think Anteros has a significance for us, it is a statue in the middle of London and it is sort of like a meeting point. For us that is what London is as we’re all from different places, that is where we all came together.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
Laura: We all come from really different backgrounds so we all have a lot of different artists that inspire us.
She tells me that Harry is the pop head of the group, while Jackson chimes in that Harry’s favourite time of the day is Kisstory.
Laura: Jackson is the northerner of the group, he’s not allowed to DJ in the car because his music is too depressing (a firm nod of agreement comes from Harry and Josh on this point).
Jackson: I do put on really depressing music, I don’t do it purposefully (laughs), it’s just what I’m always in the mood to listen to, and as soon as it’s on everyone’s like, Harry do you want to DJ?
Laura: I don’t know what my inspirations are, love a bit of soul, but I’m also an indie head and then I can’t not love my 90s and noughties pop. I mean, we get asked what is the first album you ever bought, and I can’t lie, it is Spice World, that is the first album I bought. Anyway, Josh comes from quite a Brit pop background, so I think that’s where it all comes together and where we get our sound.
You said that you (Laura) and Josh wrote Anteros, have you written all your other singles as well or was that all four of you?
Laura: Of course, we write all our own music. I think it’s quite interesting when you see interviews with other artists, often when you hear a good song and you do some research into the people behind it, you realise it wasn’t written by the artist at all. I don’t think any of us would be comfortable singing anything that we hadn’t written ourselves. Everyone inputs in our songs, Josh might write guitar parts, and Jackson might be like, “I’m not having that!”, but then I think that’s great because that’s what gives it a different feel.
Josh: When you write it’s actually quite basic. You’re trying to form something, whereas when you come to record something, that’s when you start thinking about actually what is going on and how the layers blend with each other.
Seeing as we’ve just come to the end of 2017, what was your highlight of the year?
Josh: The whole year was a highlight! So much happened for us!
Laura: It really was, we started off on tour with Two Door Cinema Club, which was amazing, and then we went on tour with White Lies, and after that a tour with Blaenavon! Then we did loads of amazing festivals, and we had our first headline tour. So much! It was a year of quite a few milestones for us as a band, and it was so exciting. I think there are a few milestones for us this year as well, like recording an album, which we can’t wait to share with our fans. (Sadly Laura couldn’t confirm a date for this album, though.)
You were on tour with several different bands, did your shows change because of that, depending on who you were with?
Harry: When you go on tour with different bands, especially like we did last year, it’s a bit like joining another friendship group. Over the first few nights you feel like you’re just getting to know the fan base and then after a few different places you can kind of feel what they like.
Laura: It’s so funny when you’re spending time with other bands like that, you can really see similar traits between each person, like the bassists will all be really similar and the drummers and so on, we’re all just essentially the same!
I’ve never seen you guys live before, but I’m very familiar with your music, what will be different about seeing you on stage?
Jackson: Live we are really energetic and a lot louder!
Laura: I think actually, it’s so interesting seeing how our music translates live because we released stuff when we hadn’t even played a gig yet, and to go from the music that you’re making on a laptop, which you tend to add a million things to that you don’t really need to be there, which people are getting more into the habit of which is such a shame. To go from that to what we play live now, we try and look at how the crowds react to what we play live and try and make that translate into a record rather than the other way around. At the end of the day we try and strip it to the basics because that is when you get something real and worth listening to.
If you could play anywhere in the world where would be your dream?
Harry: I would have to say Wembley Stadium, just because, you know it’s Wembley Stadium, that would be incredible.
Laura: I’m going to say Japan, I’d really like to play a festival there just because I lived there for a bit so it would be really nice to go back and perform there. Ooh, or Ally Pally maybe, and because that’s in North London it’s a bit closer to home. I can actually see it from where we live so it would be lovely to play somewhere so close to home.
Jackson: There’s a place called Red Rock in Colorado, it’s a stage at the bottom of a hill, and the seats are all carved into the hillside, that would be so cool.
Josh: Yeah somewhere in America would be amazing, or like Laura said, I’d love to play at Ally Pally.
If you missed their Cardiff gig not to worry! An endless array of festival appearances have already been lined up for this summer including:
Handmade Festival: 5th-6th May
TRNSMT: 29th June- 1st July
110 Above: 3rd-5th August