Interview With Weigh The Anchor's Andrew Zamora
Weigh The Anchor, a pop-punk band from Oakville, Ontario, has released their propulsive third EP, Right At Home, on July 10th. I spoke to singer Andrew Zamora just before its release and talked about the group’s origins, the new EP, making relatable music, and why the band is better than ever before.
Weigh The Anchor was formed in Oakville in 2016. They released their first EP, True Colours, in 2017, and they followed that up with the EP, Different Ways, in 2019. Now the band has undergone some lineup changes, with former bassist and backing vocalist Andrew Zamora moving to frontman and lead vocals. The current lineup is rounded out by guitarist Brad Gresko and drummer Brendan Lennard. The band was ready to get right into the studio after Andrew assumed vocal duties, and the result is the dynamic Right At Home EP. “We went through a lot of changes, so we wanted to get this out right away and have something new,” Andrew states, “We just wanted to take this seriously, and when you’re surrounded by a group of guys that want the exact same thing as you do, it makes everything so much easier.”
Andrew started playing guitar when he was eleven and knew shortly after that he loved writing songs. “I always love writing, I always knew I wanted to play live. I even went to school for recording music, and it just didn’t really engage me, being behind the studio, the desk, and I realized that I wanted to be the one on stage, the one always writing, collaborating with people.” So when looking to start Weigh the Anchor with Brad, he was flexible, willing to do whatever it takes to get the project off its feet. Noticing a void, he picked up the bass and assumed backing vocals for the fledgling band. Now circumstances have thrust him into lead vocals, and Andrew is up to the task, bringing his eclectic musical influences to the forefront in order to bring Weigh The Anchor to the next level. The new music noticeably packs a punch and features heavier styles. “It definitely evolved naturally…I come up from, being younger, really loving hardcore stuff, really heavy music, but as I grew up, I’m glad I became a lover of all genres. A good song is a good song. I definitely draw inspiration from all types of genres. We definitely try not to sound too much like a pop-punk band. We want to sound like ourselves,” says Andrew, also citing Knuckle Puck and The Story So Far as inspirations that really set him down his musical path.
The first thing the band did after the reorganization is hit the studio, which they had booked before even settling down to write the songs. This time around, they tried something different -writing in the same room and having each member contribute to each part. “It was really the first time together…coming up with either a riff that caught our eye or that really stood out to us, and really just figuring out what sounds good and recording the audio and building on top of it…so it really is a different experience, but it really feels that everyone is in the same mindset and that we contributed the same amount, and it brought a different kind of energy to the song,” Andrew explains candidly about the new songwriting process.
The lyrics on Right At Home deal with themes of growing up, dealing with life changes, and overcoming adversity. Speaking on this, Andrew explains, “Some of the songs that are more upbeat, really kind of capture what we’re going through at this time of our lives, just giving a kind of abstract view of what’s going on with us and some of the hardships that we’ve faced… I was sitting down to come up with ideas for the lyrics, I really wanted to cut through the bullshit and reflect on that point of my life. Having to deal with every day, you never know if you’re making the right decisions for yourself or your future, but everyone has to find a way to push through the hardship.” This lyrical exploration combined with the confidence the trio gained from sharing songwriting duties lent itself naturally to the EP’s title, Right At Home. “It really felt natural and it captured our visions and our emotions in these songs, and so it really felt like it was our home when we were in there. So these songs are about being comfortable and making us feel right at home.” Andrew also tells me about the fascination he has with talented people. He’s currently working through the backlog of great music from the ’80s and ’90s, seeking out the greats of the day. “We owe them so much, and it’s so crazy to hear some of these really raw songs, and it just comes out, especially sometimes it really is just a person singing into a mic with a guitar or a piano; some of the stuff that really inspires me is the stripped-down stuff, someone just singing or playing the guitar and blowing someone’s mind, just seeing the talent that one person can hold,” he gushes enthusiastically. You can tell it inspires him; shortly after he mentions how the act of creating something from nothing is a skill set he holds in great esteem. “So many people have different paths and people will blow your minds with what they’re good at, so what really keeps me going is just hearing something I love, and really drawing people to that in a way with what we’re putting out there too.”
Weigh The Anchor is constantly writing new music, and if faced with the opportunity, would head back into the studio to record an album’s worth of songs. “You definitely have to make a decision when you’re doing this about how you can make the biggest impact that you can…I kinda like the idea of pumping out an EP of four or five songs, and having to release new stuff quicker, as our lives are changing, being able to have really short EPs or a couple of songs here and there, that really evolve with us with what we’re going through…especially with Spotify and everything online, the public is in love with the single now, it’s easier to promote song by song. You don’t want any song to go unmissed or unnoticed because every single song we put out, we put everything we have into it,” Andrew tells me passionately. The guys were supposed to be embarking on a west coast tour this summer, but obviously, COVID-19 has put an end to those plans for now. “Everyone says we’ll always find a way to push through, and who knows what might happen, but we’ll get there I’m sure. I think I’ll be at a show every day once we start back up,” Andrew says, laughing. Once touring starts back up, Weigh The Anchor will hitting the road in the US and Canada to support their new music. They’ll be using a touring bass player for their live show. “We have a ton of good friends that are amazing musicians that will jump on stage with us, we have a ton of stuff to play live, there’s some stuff we haven’t played live before, I wanna play in front of a bunch of people that are all there to have a good time, they’re a community, we’re the entertainment.”
Right At Home is available on streaming services now, and be sure to check out their previous two EPs as well, so you can be well versed in this visceral pop-punk band when they eventually tour your city!
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