What are your names?
Jesse Silkie and Simon Belanger
Tell us the story behind the name ‘ ANZU’.
Honestly neither of us can remember exactly how we landed on it, we were definitely looking for band names on the internet and we liked the sound of it. It was short and simple and sounded good to us. It means apricot in Japanese, according to Wikipedia.
What is your genre of music?
We’d call it house, or french house, or nu-disco.
Give us a little bio about you as a duo and individuals.
We started ANZU back in 2012, but we’ve been friends since we were kids. We spent a few years playing DJ sets while developing our sound and our production techniques. We released the odd single online along the way but we purposely held off releasing an album or something like that because we didn’t want to rush into releasing something big. It’s really easy when you start a new band or project to want to release your first couple songs right away, but more often than not they’re not very good and you end up hating those recordings so we just decided to bypass that part. 6 years later we’re finally releasing our first EP.
Are you signed?
You have released your first single ‘ (When I Was) Loving You’ from the upcoming EP, tell us more about it.
‘(When I Was) Loving You’ is a disco track with a retro vibe but a modern mix. We wanted to release something warm sounding and upbeat as the lead single. The main influence for this EP is the early french touch sound of the late 90s early 2000’s.
What was the writing and recording process like for this?
The track was heavily inspired by Todd Edwards’ microsampling style of production. Taking short, unrecognizable clips of audio and building something completely new out of it.
Describe it in two words.
Your set to release a series of EP’s, first up is dubbed ‘Without Love Vol. 1’, tell us more about it.
We took a break from DJing and spent most of 2017 writing and recording a ton of new songs. We ended up with more than enough tracks to fill an album, but didn’t want to release it all at once and decided to release a series of EP’s.
What was the writing process like?
It was quite a departure from our previous way of writing. We started getting into sampling and writing new parts around our samples. We focused around samples that emotionally and thematically worked together and felt cohesive as a set of songs.
What was the recording like?
It was entirely recorded and mixed by us in a home studio in Edmonton. It was mastered by Sam John at Precise Mastering in the UK.
When will it drop and where can we pre-order?
The EP drops Valentine’s day on all streaming platforms and you can pre-order it from our bandcamp:
What can you tell us about about Vol. 2? Give us some insight to how it will follow up on Vol. 1 if you can.
It was mostly written around the same time as Vol. 1 and has a similar feel although we started to experiment with the arrangements and samples a little more. Once we felt we had a certain formula down we definitely wanted to see what other directions it could go so that it sounds fresh and not too much like Vol. 1.
Will you be touring or have any shows this year?
We’re playing an EP release party in our hometown at Chvrch of John with some of our favorite DJ’s. Other than that it’s pretty up in the air, our focus is definitely on our productions and finishing Vol. 2 in time for a summer release.
What made you go in to music?
Edmonton is a pretty isolated town, it gets cold. Pretty much every musician from Edmonton will say that’s a big factor in why they got into making music. We love music and hockey, pretty much the only things to do here.
Do you play any instruments?
We both contribute keyboard and bass parts as well as drum programming to all the songs.
Who are your influences?
Alan Braxe, Fred Falke, Justice, Sebastian, Daft Punk, Armand Van Helden, Todd Edwards, Likelike, Amtrac.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Our biggest and most recent influence on our tracks is a particularly awful 2017 we both experienced.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Still making music together. Producing for other artists would be something we’d like to eventually get into.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
We’re on the same bowling team.
Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
Shaw Conference Centre, we’ve seen a ton of bands and been to quite a few raves there seeing everyone from Tegan and Sara, Bloc Party to Deadmau5. It’s just a giant room that typically has a massive sound system. There isn’t really a magical venue like Fabric where we live sadly.
If you could collaborate with one UK artist or band who would it be?
If you could collaborate with one US Artists or Band who would it be?
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Choosing one song that had the most impact is very difficult, the french house sound touches on so many great era’s.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t play shows for free or take exposure for payment.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Don’t release your first tracks, they suck.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
I read Giorgio Moroder say in an interview that if you have an idea for a track and it’s not going anywhere after 2 hours then you should move on. It’s good advice, generally if there isn’t some magic in a track we’re working on right off the bat we scrap it and move on. You can usually tell pretty quickly if somethings there or not.
Where is the go to place to go in Canada?
Montreal, the pacific ocean or the mountains.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Earplugs, headphones, cd book….can’t really go wrong with that!
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?