‘I listen to a lot of the Menzingers and The Hold Steady, so it only fits that we could be grouped into that. Throw in my obsession with Bob Mould, John K. Samson, and the Replacements and it is easy to see how we got here. I take it as an honor to be compared to those bands.’. It is Joe Anderl speaking about his band The 1984 Draft.
But there is a lot more to it, check it out!
‘Wedding’ is such a beautiful song. How did that one come together?
‘Wedding’ was written the night before my wedding. We had just finished the rehearsal dinner and I headed home to get ready to go meet two college friends for a beer. Amanda came by the house to pick up a few things before she headed to the hotel with her parents. We sat and talked for a little bit and she left.
I immediately picked up the guitar and that song came out. I had never played with the chord progression or the lyrics for that song. It literally just came spilling out. Probably the fastest song I’ve ever written.
I just remember feeling so grateful and fortunate that I was about to marry such a cool, sweet, and giving woman. I’m lucky that I have that moment captured in a song. Every time I hear it, I can completely picture that moment she left. Lucky for me she showed up the next day and said yes.
Midwestern Melodic Punk. That does make sense, doesn’t it? But somewhere between The Menzingers and The Hold Steady makes even more sense to me. Hope you take that as a compliment!?
I do. I think there is a definitive midwestern sound. You can’t quite explain it but when you hear a band you can tell if they’ve ever spent a long time in the Midwest. It has a sort of dark grit to it. It might feel a little sloppy, but you know it is honest.
I listen to a lot of the Menzingers and The Hold Steady, so it only fits that we could be grouped into that. Throw in my obsession with Bob Mould, John K. Samson, and the Replacements and it is easy to see how we got here. I take it as an honor to be compared to those bands.
And the please pick 5 of the question you like best, from this list. Have fun!
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
I look at this two ways. I could put the five songs on there that I know she would like to get to date two or I could put my top 5 on there and if she didn’t like them I would know it wouldn’t be right. It would have to be a 10-song compilation of both. I know some of my choices will sound weird, but I also know the songs that might get me to a second date with the only person in the world I would want a second date with (my wife).
1. Sugar – Hoover Damn
2. The Lassie Foundation – Blow It (Away)
3. Chamberlain – Go Down Believing
4. Pomegranates – In The Kitchen
5. The Smoking Popes – I Know You Love Me
6. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
7. Kris N – First and 10
8. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – I’m Worried
9. Jawbreaker – Accident Prone
10. Blame it on the rain – Milli Vanilli
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
This is hard for me because I have a little bit of a problem accepting success in my own mind. I would like to say and would probably tell my children that you reached success when you were able to write, record, and put out into the world a group of songs that you got the chance to play with your best friends. There is something to that. I got to spend 100’s of hours with my 3 best friends in a basement, bashing out songs that we enjoyed. We got to hone our craft, get better, share jokes, have a few beers and escape for a couple hours each week. I think the moment we all said together this is good enough to put out is when we reached success with this.
The icing on the cake is that we get to play these songs for people and they pay us for it.
The dream level stuff came when a label wanted to work with us and put our record out on vinyl.
The never in my wildest imagination stuff is playing with bands you idolized, being filmed for an NFL films documentary, and being included in so many awesome publications, getting to do interviews and receiving positive reviews.
I guess I achieved success 20 something years ago and everything since has been the stuff dreams are made of. I told my older brother last week that my 20-year-old self would be totally jealous of my 40-year self. I truly believe that. I wish I was better at sitting back and just taking in how lucky I have been to do this so long. The opportunity isn’t lost on me. I am extremely grateful. I also don’t know how to stop.
Can you still recall the moment music became important to you? What happened?
It’s always been there for me since I was a kid but I can 100% tell you the moment I wanted to be in a band. The 90’s in Dayton were a special time. The bands coming out were awesome. You could go to a different show every weekend and we did. I was seeing kids my own age or a little older destroy small rooms with a musical power that still makes my heart pump.
The moment for me was Brainiac at The Lithuanian Club in Dayton, OH. My older brother and his friends took me to the show. This band walked on stage. They had keyboards and weird guitars. They were all dressed like what I would have called at the time fashion models from New York. They were larger than life visually. They then spent the next 19 minutes destroying every sort of expectation I have ever had from a band. They were spastic and engaging. They were all over the stage. The drummer was destroying his kit with his power. They were loud, cool, and weird and in 19 minutes left me with a performance that has gone unparalleled in my entire life. That is when I wanted to be in a band. I wanted to make people feel that way. That was the night I realized how powerful of weapon music was. It COULD completely change your life. One show could do that.
Ever since I have been chasing that. I want to leave people every show with that feeling that they just saw something special. That is what we work week in and out for.
Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?
Sugar – Hoover Dam. Every time I hear that song I am transported to the basement of my friend Paul’s house in Athens, OH circa 1997 / 1998. There is the warmth of the opening and then it just kicks in…” Standing on the edge of the hoover dam”. It has such a sense of urgency. I hang on every single one of Bob Mould’s words. Then you get to the instrumental breakdown. It sounds like Rush or Yes became a 1990’s indie rock band and builds and builds and then you are hit with the outro. Still to this day, my ears perk anytime I hear that intro. Someday I hope to write a song that nails you so hard off the bat you spend the rest of our song still catching your breath. When that happens, you are just forced to listen to it over and over. That to me is what makes a good song. I find something different every time I list to that song.
A close second would be “Accident Prone” by Jawbreaker. It’s just heartbreaking in the best way.
What would change if Disney would call and tell you they are going to use your song in their next movie?
My kids would think I am cool. I’m not sure what they think of their Dad playing music. They know it’s something I do. They come sometimes. I can never really tell if they think it is good or not. Maybe that would finally give me validation from them. They would at least have something to tell their friends.
In all seriousness, I used to work in a movie theater from 15-21 years old so I had the chance to hear every Disney soundtrack during that period. I am huge Elton John fan so when he did Lion King I was stoked. That is until I had to listen to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” four times a day, 7 days in a row for 2 months. That’s a little much.
Phil Collins did some good song work as well. I think for me, it would be an honor to be asked and to be in that company.
Personally, I would like to be included in a Pixar film. I know that’s Randy Newman’s territory but to ever be uttered with him in the same sentence that would be awesome.
As for what would change, I’m not sure much. I would make sure everyone in the band got paid. Then I would put some money savings, do something special for the kids, and maybe go on a cool vacation. I’m a pretty simple guy. As long as I have my wife and family I am content.
The 1984 Draft is –
Passionate, Dayton, Ohio-based indie quartet The 1984 Draft, who channels alt-folk sensibilities through a ’90s emo and indie lens, is recommended for fans of The Replacements, Beach Slang, The Smoking Popes, Sugar and Cheap Girls.