Anberlin speaks to The Villanovan

Justin Rodstrom

Anberlin frontman Stephen Christian recently sat down with The Villanovan to discuss tours, new albums and new names.

How has the tour been with big names like Motion City Soundtrack and Mae?

Yeah, the tour has really been awesome. We’ve all learned a lot from those guys – how to interact with fans, get everybody pumped and everything.

This tour is a real well-oiled machine. The talent are all real entertainers in the truest sense.

Has Anberlin attracted any new followers from this kind of exposure?

You know, that was supposed to be the point of this tour, but we’ve got a lot of regular fans showing up to every show; we’ve had a lot of support from the crowd. And although we’re here to support the opening acts, so many fans already know our songs and sing along.

Your newest album, “Cities,” has recently exceeded the 100,000

copies sold mark, according to

Billboard. Is that a dream

come true for you guys?

Well, it’s obviously good to get your music out to the fans, but we never had a real numbers goal going into the project.

For us, it’s all about following your dreams; appreciating life, success, fans, time with friends; and making music you love. That’s really how we gauge success.

It looks like you’ve got some very different solo stuff coming out under the name “Anchor & Braille” with the producer from Copeland. How has that been different from Anberlin?

“Anchor & Braille” has been very different for me as a songwriter. Think Ryan Adams meets Sigor Ros and you’ll get the idea.

As the main songwriter for Anberlin, I knew these songs weren’t Anberlin songs. They had a friction with what we’re doing for Anberlin. It’s all acoustic guitar and piano-based tunes as opposed to the more electric feel of Anberlin’s stuff.

Anberlin also has a new release coming out, a B-sides collection titled “Lost Songs.” It has some covers of greats like Bob Dylan and Radiohead. What can fans expect from this?


“Lost Songs” was more or less released as a contractual obligation with our former label, Tooth & Nail. Now don’t get me wrong; I love Tooth & Nail, but we signed our contract when we were young and dumb and just trying to figure things out.

We fought against doing a greatest hits compilation, but this is the best we could settle on.

Anberlin is all about quality releases and the fans, but our old label is essentially a business, and their interests lie with their investors and the contracts they have.

We owe it to the fans to make good music.

We’re most interested in what they have to say, not what somebody up at Rolling Stone has to say about the article, because at the end of the day the voices that really matter are the fans blogging on iTunes and

Now Anberlin is signed to Universal – how’s that going for you?

The people at Universal are all hardworking people.

The good thing about the environment at Universal is that they don’t set deadlines in the same way other labels do.

Their aim is to get great albums out of their bands, as long as that takes.

If you come to them with an album and they think you could do better, they’ll send you back in the studio to rework things.

They really push the artists to put out good albums as opposed to meeting deadlines.