After the success of its 2007 album “Cities” and a new major label recording deal, “the pressures were immense” as the Florida modern rockers Anberlin made their latest release, “New Surrender,” according to frontman Stephen Christian.
So the singer did what anybody does who’s having a “minor breakdown” — he ran away to New Orleans.
“I called it my Brian Wilson moment — I grew a beard, I hid from everybody ...,” Christian, 28, says with a laugh. “I have never been so uncomposed in my life. I like to pride myself as a person who has it all together, but, man, the pressure was hard. It was heartbreaking and earth-shattering.”
But even though New Orleans, a city known for revelry, might seem like the last destination for someone seeking solace, Christian says the trip there “completely cleared my head” and allowed him to come up with even more material for “New Surrender,” which debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 after its Sept. 30 release.
“I tried to put the fans out of my head, the label and the pressure and the expectations and walk away from it,” Christian recalls. “I wrote the song ‘Retrace’ there, which I feel is one of the strongest on the record. And then coming back, I was refreshed and had a whole lot of new ideas.
“I just had to realize that at the end of the day you can’t please everybody. But I still have to go out there and put everything I have in there — my heart, my soul. After that I really don’t know what to do. As long as inside I know I gave it all to this record, almost to the point of mental collapse, then it’s all I can do and, knowing that, I could handle the pressure again.”
Anberlin, Scary Kids Scaring Kids and Straylight Run perform at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 24) at Clutch Cargos, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Tickets are $17. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.livenation.com.
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