The Virginia based folk-rock trio The Anatomy of Frank explore nostalgia, relationships and mortality with the release of their latest album South America, out on 1st September 2017 via Polar Islands. Having formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2010 as a five-piece, in 2015 the band found themselves in a state of disarray with the departure of two members. As a result, Kyle (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Bullis (keyboards) and Max Bollinger (drums) decided to re-orchestrate their sound and breathe new life into the band’s identity.
Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We’re a band called The Anatomy of Frank. Two of us live in Virginia, and I (Kyle) live in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont, up in the woods near the Canadian border. For the past few years we’ve been steadfastly recording albums for our continent saga, first North America and now South America, each recorded on its respective continent. We’ve also been touring the USA and Europe a lot during that time.
How would you describe your music?
It’s essentially music from the Appalachian mountains (fingerpicking guitar, banjo) crammed into the envelope of post-rock.
Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
I grew up listening to Queen, Dan Fogelberg, old bluegrass, The Beatles, and Phish. Later on I gravitated towards Elliott Smith, Sigur Rós, Sufjan Stevens, and Sun Kil Moon.
What are you currently promoting?
We’ve just spent several months in the mountains of Ecuador, recording an album in an old farmhouse. It’s called South America, and it comes out September 1.
Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
The one that I’m vibing with at the moment is a track called “Andes,” from the upcoming album. It’s mostly a very simple song, just banjo and guitar, but it ends in this crazy, swelling build that we really dig into live.
What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been hooked on “Lose” by Cymbals Eat Guitars, “Thrill of the Arts” by Vulfpeck, and “DAMN.” by Kendrick Lamar.
And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
It really might be “Perils from the Sea” by Mark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle, but in terms of perfection, I believe Radiohead achieved it with “In Rainbows.”
What are your hopes for your future career?
I want to record an album for every continent and tour to new places all the time.
If money were no object what would be your dream project?
I’d tour with a 16-piece orchestra.
What’s the best thing about being a musician?
I think the thing we crave most is connection—there’s that warm, buzzed feeling we get when we connect with another human being. It can be really intense and inspiring. As a musician, I think I get to experience that feeling quite a bit. When someone cries or is moved by something you’re doing, it feels like you’re making a positive impact on the world.
And the worst?
I really hate having to deal with as much rejection as I do, but that’s the business. I look forward to the day when booking a tour doesn’t feel like a drag.
Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Get enough sleep.