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Anberlin's hit a surprise to frontman

of the Oakland Press

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Florida modern rockers Anberlin have had a nice run with “Impossible,” the first single from their fifth album, “Dark is the Way, Light is the Place.”

The song hit No. 6 on Billboard’s Alternative/Modern Rock chart and the Top 20 of the Rock chart — much to the surprise of frontman Stephen Christian.

“Just a few weeks before the album was finished I hated (the song),” Christian, 30, says with a laugh. “I was like, ‘I don’t want that. I want that off the record.’ We had done so much to that song I felt like it had lost its ... allure, its luster. It had gotten lost in translation.

“But there were people who felt like we had to do something, that the song had to stay. So we went back and rewrote the entire introduction with the guitar picking and added a lot of ethereal, low backup vocals, and we switched some parts around. And then, taking a second listen, our A&R man was like, ‘That’s your single!’ And I was like, ‘No way ... .’ But greater minds prevailed, fortunately.”

One of those greater minds, Christian says, was producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Stone Temple Pilots), who after being introduced to Anberlin’s music by his daughter approached the group with an offer to helm “Dark is the Way.”

“Our manager called us and said, ‘Hey, I’m not joking ... Brendan O’Brien wants to meet with you guys,’” Christian recalls. “It was kind of disbelief, like ‘There’s no way ... .’ He came to the show in Atlanta, where he lives, and hung out with us after the show on the bus and said basically, ‘Hey, I want to do all the rest of your records.’

“We were just blown away, y’know? We were debating between producers, but after meeting with him, there was no other decision to be made.”

Anberlin, Crash Kings and Civil Twilight perform Monday, Oct. 25, at Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $26.50. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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