FR: Iâ€™ve heard that you never expected Anika to become as popular as it has- at first, even questioning whether or not to actually release it. I find this interesting because it defies exposure- which is practically the opposite of why most musicians record albums in the first place. What motivated you to lay down these tracks?
ANIKA: I think the answer to this is that there are too many musicians making music for the wrong reasons. I don't think you should make music because you want to be famous. Often whilst in the process of creating something, you don't quite know the answer as to why you are. It is often only in hindsight and when you are distanced from something that you are able to join the dots and appreciate why or even how. I still struggle with the how. At the time i was even a little annoyed to be grabbed and prevented from pursuing my path as Political Journalist. I had just moved back to Berlin and started a job as the UK Higher Education correspondent. I enjoyed my life there and so the idea of exchanging it for an impoverished life in Bristol was less than appealing. The reason i made the record was because i was frustrated with the play-it-safe attitude of the British general public. I hated the fact that "politics" was such an unpopular word amongst the young and educated and even more so amongst musicians.
"Keep calm and carry on" was the British slogan, revived from WW2 days. The music scene, which i personally think should provide a platform for social and political frustration was dominated by easy listening, inoffensive indie, carved out by musicians, often reluctant to release darker, riskier music in fear of it being ignored.
I never wanted to front a band particularly but now i've found it's actually really a special thing to be and that it gives me a rare platform to voice my views or at least challenge what people perceive as normal. I don't think it is my place to tell people WHAT they should think, merely that they should think and question.
ANIKA: It is very personal. People think that the record and performance are quite cold but this is by no means the case. It is very personal. I used to always say writer first but slowly the boundaries are being blurred. I have had to assume the role of musician more over the past year and have had to adjust priorites and such. I think there are equal parts musician and writer for definite. The mind and the heart perhaps. I just neglected the musician side for quite some time.
ANIKA: Not really no. I think it's a personal thing. I personally really enjoy playing vinyl. It's probably purely nostalgic. There's just something about the smell of vinyl and the excitement of finding certain vinyl or stumbling across a rare 7" in the most random place. It's just a form of collecting really.
ANIKA: Music has always evolved and adapted to changing needs or demands. It will save itself. The idea of 'saving it' just means keeping it at the place it is now or striving for a nostalgic ideal of the glory years. One should never rest on their laurels. It's always been around in one form or another and i think if people make music for the right reasons, then the form of it doesn't matter so much. Obviously musicians have to survive but if there's a will, there's a way. Hopefully the consumer becomes a little more open minded but i think that is bound to happen at some point.