Editor's note: In its origins, the TASTE OF CHAOS tour was frequently deemed “Winter Warped” by both fans and organizers. The 2006 road show took place in the late winter and early spring, featuring lineups populated by some of the most diverse voices in the scene, including bands like My Chemical Romance, the Used, Underoath, Killswitch Engage, Deftones, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold and 30 Seconds To Mars. For the next few weeks, we are going to go back in our time capsules to revisit some of the names that not only cemented TOC as a formidable adjunct to Warped Tour's summer mania, but as a festival of great merit curated on its own aesthetic terms.
As the reactivated TOC begins its next chapter with a touring lineup of Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin and many others, we'll be starting this weekly special “Taste Of Tuesday,” where we'll look back at the bands participating at the point of their original zeitgeist. This week, we’re rewinding to 2002, when we caught up with THE ANNIVERSARY after they switched up their style once again on 2002 release Your Majesty. Labelmates to Dashboard Confessional and Alkaline Trio, the Kansas garage-rockers were in good company on the early 2000s mission to save rock 'n' roll.
The Anniversary: Royal Treatment
Story: Leslie Simon // Photos: Hesse McGraw
Album: Your Majesty (VAGRANT; www.vagrant.com)
Headquarters: Lawrence, KS
Sounds Like: A magical mystery tour de force. Half psychedelia, half old-school garage rock, all heart and soul.
Kindred Spirits: The Get Up Kids, Promise Ring, the Beatles
Literary critic John Gardner once wrote, “A good fiction writer creates a vivid and continuous dream in the mind of the reader.” It’s the “vivid and continuous dream” created by the Anniversary that proves the same could be said about good songwriting. If fiction ends with the last word on the final page, a well-crafted album like Your Majesty has the potential to be timeless and eternal.
Originally known as the Broadcast, the Anniversary changed their name when they solidified their lineup of Josh Berwanger (vocals/guitars), James David (bass), Christian Jankowski (drums), Adrianne Pope (vocals/keys), and Justin Roelofs (vocals/guitar) back in early 1997. On their 1999 release, Designing A Nervous Breakdown, the band sounded more like a throwback to classic ’80s synth-pop than a rock band. They opted to spend more time making Your Majesty, hooking up with producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Saves The Day) and allowing their sound to evolve naturally.
“In all honesty, there’s no way that a band like us could save rock ’n’ roll. I don’t think any band could.“
“On the first record, each song’s completely different,” Berwanger says. “It doesn’t have any theme or concept behind it. Each song was its own thing. I think on this record, there’s definitely a theme to it. We wrote some songs, and they ended up having a kind of royal theme. It just kind of came out like that.”
With the eyes of the world seemingly set upon labelmates like Saves The Day, Dashboard Confessional and Alkaline Trio, Berwanger was asked if his band could save rock ’n’ roll, to which he bellowed an emphatic “yes.” However, after much deliberation, he retracted his answer.
“In all honesty, there’s no way that a band like us could save rock ’n’ roll. I don’t think any band could. In music today, it’s not about music or a band saving music anymore. It’s all up to you guys—you guys at magazines and in entertainment. It’s whatever you guys say. That’s gonna save rock ’n’ roll. If you guys start saying you want everything to be real authentic and start putting good bands on the cover of magazines, then that is how rock ’n’ roll will be saved. I think it’s just all up to whoever has the money and whoever says what’s cool.”
Guess this is a start. alt