About: They say trees that grow the tallest are usually those with the strongest roots. If that’s true up-and-coming Phoenix, AZ pop-rock band Anarbor will likely see great heights. Guitarist Mike Kitlas and singer/bassist Slade Echeverria have been friends since kindergarten, giving the band a foundation beyond just making music and playing shows. Mike and Slade met Greg in middle school and spontaneously decided it would be fun to form a band. Guitarist Adam Juwig, whom they met through a friend, and was added to the mix shortly thereafter. “From that moment on we were like ‘Okay you play the drums, you play the guitar, you sing,’” Mike explains. “We just picked our roles and then two months later we all had our instruments and we were jamming.”
Although Slade says it “took a while” for the group to get good at their instruments, Anarbor was solidified in a real band with big plans. Once high school rolled around, the band found a balance between music and their devotion to completing their education, sometimes skipping school to play shows around the West Coast with bands like My American Heart, The Rocket Summer and The Higher and trekking to Austin for the South by South West Music Festival. “We would unfortunately have to sacrifice some time at school to get to those events, but in the end it was worth it,” Mike says. “It’s amazing some of us made it through school. We were absent a lot.”
But they made it through and instead of stressing over college applications, the members of Anarbor spent their senior year of high school showcasing for record labels. The band began playing shows in LA, attracting the attention of numerous record companies, particularly Hopeless, who signed Anarbor shortly before they were fitted for their cap and gown. And now, as their former classmates pack boxes for college, Anarbor has packed their van and headed out on the road in support of The Natural Way, their new four-song release.
The band recorded the new songs in June with producer Mike Green (Paramore, Good Charlotte, The Higher). Although it’s only four songs the release offers a tantalizing taste of what’s to come when Anarbor settles down to record their debut EP in a few months, revealing a band that hopes to break the musical mold and come at rock songs from a new angle. Their new song “Love Instead” is propulsive and dynamic, combining a large range of musical tastes and influences to create something wholly unique that resonates with the band’s genuine nature, while “Right There With You” is an edgy, memorable track that doesn't exactly sound like the product of a bunch of recently graduated teenagers. It’s just enough to make you wonder what’s to come.
“We want our music to stand out,” Slade adds. “We’re trying to do it our own way. And we want to show people that you don’t have to fit into the mold of what’s popular at the moment.”