By Joshua Sheppard
VANCOUVER – One of the most visceral and explosive bands of the Vancouver metal scene and self-proclaimed “worshippers of death,” ANHA have always found a way to shift and change organically throughout the band’s 10-year existence. BeatRoute caught up with the band’s drummer and creative force, Anju Christofferson, who has experienced the continued shift and mutating face of Vancouver.
“The city has changed dramatically,” she says. “Different ‘scenes’ are experiencing different types of changes, and of course over 10 years, we as a band have changed. If I had to choose one common thread among all of this, it would probably be resource constraints — rehearsal spaces, underground venues, and access to vehicles etc. The city is becoming brutally gentrified and developed, and the cost of living is very high so for bands to have vehicles, a place to practice and cool spots to throw gigs where bar sales and profit is not the main M.O. is very rare now. In 2008, our rent for rehearsal time was literally almost one-fifth of what it costs now, and we are still in one of the most affordable DIY run spaces in the city.”
With time comes experience and the technique of Christofferson’s drumming has evolved with the band, making her one of the most ferociously precise drummers in the metal scene. But the fine line between technicality and musicality is a challenge most musicians face. To not let your skill, overshadow the intrinsic emotional core of your music.
“My technique has evolved to be more focused and precise,” she says. “Precision is a high value to me in my playing. It’s always important for me to hit hard and to play loud, but I think the biggest development in my drumming over 10 years is asking myself if my playing is still musical. It’s fine to be a technical wanker if that’s your goal, but I want technical skill to support the musicality, not overshadow it.”
The idea of capturing a specific sound in your music is ambiguous at best. Bands like ANHA never set out to achieve a certain identity to their sound, opting for a more organic approach to their song writing.
“AHNA didn’t start out to create a specific sound – we instead decided to experiment and push ourselves to our limits. I don’t know if we have found the sound we are looking for, and I don’t care. I want us to continue to keep making music that maintains sincerity, worships death, is always self-critical, and that prioritizes pushing boundaries.”
ANHA is performing at the Astoria on November 23.