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/// ON TOUR


PHOTO: PARKER YOUNG


ANBERLIN: M


OST MUSICIANS would kill for an opportunity to sign with a major record label. In 2007, when pop-rock outfit


Anberlin was offered a spot on the Universal Republic Records roster, rhythm guitarist, Christian McAlhaney, dreaded the thought. “My experiences with major labels were


not very good,” McAlhaney said. “I was kind of a doomsayer.” McAlhaney spent his early career with


pop-rock band, Acceptance. After the band signed with Columbia Records, it experienced what McAlhaney called “the perfect storm.” “Before we put out [2005’s Phantoms],


our management made a list and said ‘Here are the things we don’t want to happen,’” McAlhaney said. “Literally, all of those things happened.” After only a single re-


lease on Columbia Records, Acceptance disbanded. “It was a hard time for


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major labels in general,” McAlhaney said. “It was kind of the first ripples of the effects of the Internet and the music industry.” But Anberl in wasn’ t swayed by


McAlhaney’s fears. The band’s three-album contract with independent record label Tooth & Nail (which also hosted artists like Relient K and Paramore early in their career) had expired


40 | REVUEWM.COM | JANUARY 2011


Rock’s slow burning success story | by Kevin VanAntwerpen


after the release of Cities in 2006, and the group had higher goals. “For the other guys, they felt like they had


done everything they could do on an indie la- bel,” McAlhaney said. “Tooth & Nail was great for Anberlin, but there are just certain things that major labels are better at, like radio play.” Fast forward to December 2010. Anberlin had released two albums with


Universal Republic and McAlhaney became a believer. He said Anberlin’s time on the label was “not even close” to what Acceptance experienced earlier in the decade. “It really afforded us to do things we’ve


never done before. I don’t think we would’ve been able to record with a producer like [Grammy Award winning] Brendan O’Brien on an indie label. They just wouldn’t have been able to afford that.” While the future for any


artist is always uncertain, McAlhaney said he has no intention of slowing down.


“We’re five records in,” he said. “That’s a


lot of records. A lot of bands will put out one or two records and that’s their career. We’re not a household name, but maybe we’re on the brink. Who knows? It’s been slow and steady for this band. It feels like every record just keeps providing better opportunities.” n


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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