Inside Anamon's collective head is a beehive of activity and calamity. It's a lush refrain pasted across a rock 'n' roll canvas. It's got singer-songwriter panache that disguises the chaos brewing between breaths. Anamon is a narcotic lullaby for insomniacs.
At the heart of it all is guitarist-singer Ana Monaco, who sings with the shared truth of her haphazard guitar. The band is forceful and urgent, which only intensifies when they wind it down. There's chaos in the quiet.
Anamon — Monaco, bassist Benton Sillick, drummer Aaron Mika, and producer and guitarist Sam Snyder, the band's newest member — has been prowling the scene for a little over a year. With one album, "Stubborn Comfort," to its credit and another due sometime in the fall, Anamon has solidified itself with a musical juxtaposition falling somewhere between ragged and sweet.
The band, minus Snyder, stopped into CITY to discuss chaos, maintaining its edge, and feeling alone. An edited transcript follows.
CITY: How did Anamon come to be?
Ana Monaco: I had a bunch of songs that I'd written over a bunch of years. I was asked to play a solo show, but I figured it would be better as a full band. So I asked Benton and Aaron and it came together quite nicely. So we decided to keep rockin'.
What are some non-musical elements in your music?
Benton Sillick: Heartbreak — lots of heartbreak. Self-doubt.
Aaron Mika: That's a far out question. There's a lot of lyrical contact to the past.
What about chaos?
Monaco: We're trying — I hope not too much — to not do the obvious, so there's room for some surprise elements and maybe some chaos.
How much is too much chaos?
Monaco: I don't know.
Does your audience get what you're doing?
Mika: Sometimes they see us and make assumptions after the very first song. We'll play a punk rock song, then we'll play a country song, then we'll play a poppy rock 'n' roll song. We kinda keep people on their toes.
Monaco: I'm pretty open with my feelings. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Do you feel alone in your own genre?
Monaco: Yes. I don't think there's a specific genre we can say we are other than rock 'n' roll, which is pretty vague.
How do you write?
Sillick: It just comes. I think we've thrown out like one idea ever. Usually she'll be warming up, jamming to some riff. We'll play along, and if it catches, we'll save it on our phone or record it right there.
When playing a new song, how do you keep it from getting too clean or losing your primitive edge?
Mika: I just think "too clean" is something we're not capable of.
Monaco: We're not refined people.
Describe an ideal Anamon show.
Monaco: The stage has to be the right height. The vibe's got to be right.
Who is that up to?
Monaco: All of us — as long as nobody gets hurt. People don't really move to us.
Sillick: Yet. The music is very inviting.
Mika: I like to see a nice, happy, attentive audience. Everybody's paying the cover charge ...
Sillick: It's kind of a joke. We named a song after it, "Exactly What I Like." It's what we run our band on: Is this exactly what I like? We'll be playing a song on stage and I'll think this is exactly what I like, this is what I want to listen to.
What's something you want to do but haven't done yet?
Mika: Play on a late-night TV show.
Monaco: That would be cool.