The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon by The Anderson Council | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney
Just when you think rock and roll is a thing of the past, a band comes along that catches you by
surprise! This week's artist, The Anderson Council, is one of these bands that certainly caught
me by surprise with their modern power pop sound with a nod to 1960s power pop with their
harmonies and guitar solos. Their new album, "The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon," has
something for everyone! From power pop to occasional country western, you will not be bored
listening to this album. In fact, they will leave you wanting more! If you're looking for something
fresh to listen to that doesn't sound like ordinary pop music and happen to love or just
appreciate vintage rock and roll, The Anderson Council will become your new favorite band!
Let's dive in and see what The Anderson Council is all about!
Hey, The Anderson Council! Congratulations on your most recent release "The Devil, The
Tower, The Star, The Moon!" As a musician who writes vintage sounding rock and roll
tunes, I was blown away by your music and your sound. Your music is truly reminiscent
of 60s power pop. Tell us a bit about how you guys got together and how you developed
your style that clearly doesn't sound like anyone else today?
We have been a band since 1999. I (Peter) am the only original member left. The Council grew
out of my love of those bands from the mid-to-late 60's who managed to put out maybe one or
two singles, before fizzling out. However, those singles were AMAZING. They threw everything
at those songs to make them what they were, but nobody listened. Oh well. That doesn't
diminish the power of the songs, luckily. The premise of this band was to try to capture that era
of POP music when psychedelic touches were creeping in, but before the psychedelic bands
started to take themselves too seriously...
You were on a few different record labels until you eventually signed with JEM Records
in 2016. How has your experience at JEM been since you signed with them?
Marty at JEM has been very helpful and keeps us on track when we're behind in getting our
releases together... He also knows (and talks to) everyone, which is a bonus...
All the songs on this album are extremely catchy. Yet, the arrangements in these songs
are very interesting. For example, the first song on the album, "Tarot Toronto," has a
time change near the end where you go from 4/4 time to 3/4 time and then back to the
original feel. Most music today doesn't do that. Who had the ingenious idea to change up
the time feel at the end?
We like songs that get in, state their purpose, and get out without too much fuss and bother,
which is why most of them are so short! We also like songs that have cool twists and turns.
Tarot Toronto is one of those songs. The waltz-y bit in the middle was there from the time the
song was written. I never tried it any other way, as this way just kinda felt perfect to me.
The single you released from this album, "Alone With You," is such a catchy power pop
song. It's got a great mix of old and new rock n' roll sounds! I loved the way you change
from a standard chord to what sounds to be an augmented chord and back in the verses.
That certainly creates interest and is a hook of the whole song alongside memorable
harmonies! What is the story behind the lyrics of the song?
My pal Dawn Eden Goldstein (who I co-wrote the song with) came up with the initial idea of the
song, and I came up with the intro/outro, bridge, and the last verse. She trusts me to add or
subtract bits and pieces as needed. Sometimes we have ideas simultaneously, like when we
both had the same idea for the countermelody in the chorus. As far as the lyrics go, Dawn wrote
most of them, and while they may be relationship based, it's up to you to determine who wants
to be alone with who...
"Give It Time" has it all: memorable harmonies, an incredibly hooky 12 String sounding
riff, a perfectly crafted guitar solo, and fantastic drumming! Is that a 12 String in the
verses and where did the idea for this song come from?
It's definitely a 12-string in there. Michael Temkin (who I co-wrote the song with) and I thought
this song had somewhat of a Hard Day's Night vibe to it, so the guitar licks had to be done on a
12 string, naturally! This was another song where the pieces fell into place pretty quickly. The
music played itself directly out of my guitar, and Michael fit lyrics in where I had none. It all
worked out rather well, I think!
"Untrained Eyes" reminds me of country western mixed in with the vibes of the early
Beatles. The harmonies are also fantastic. Where did the idea for the song come from
and what intrigued you to do something completely different from the power pop tracks
on the album?
Untrained Eyes was another song where the feel pretty much suggested itself from the time it
was written, and we never really tried it any other way... Guitar player Mike also wrote a part on
his pedal steel, so it definitely was going to sound like a Country & Western song no matter
what! If the song tells you what it's supposed to sound like, you have to go with it!
"Buying A House" is another song that is reminiscent of old 60s music with hints of
modern songwriting. From the catchy harmonies to another equally catchy guitar solo,
you guys pack it all in this one. What gave you the idea to write a song about buying a
Why write that song? My partner and I live in an apartment! One needs to have goals in life,
"Jump Right In" is not only the longest song on the album, lasting for nearly 6 minutes,
but is also the most psychedelic track. It has vibes unlike the other tracks and has an
incredible guitar solo at the end. What made you want to write a psychedelic rock song
instead of another upbeat power pop song?
When this song was first written, we knew it would be one of the more psychedelic sounding
numbers. The tempo couldn't be faster than it is, so the song was always going to be on the
slightly longer and slow side. It originally didn't have the solo section at all, much less the 16 or
24 bars of guitar solo it now has. I lose count as to how many bars there are...
The Anderson Council have worked and performed with numerous artists such as Chris
Butler of The Waitresses, The Weeklings, Lisa Loeb, The Smithereens, and The
Romantics. Are there any artists that you would love to work with in future?
We will play shows with anyone and everyone. Isn't that what it's all about?
You have a few shows coming up very soon all over New Jersey, including Garwood,
Scotch Plains, Paterson, and your hometown of Highland Park. Along with those, you
have one New York show at a venue called Berlin. Are there any shows coming up later
this year and/or the future?
7/22 Crossroads, Garwood, NJ w/ Thrill Ride & The Melancholy Kings
7/29 Drew's Place, Ringwood, NJ w/ The Midnight Callers
8/04 Prototype 237, Paterson, NJ w/ The Melancholy Kings, Key Party
8/12 Smoke Out 2023, Scotch Plains, NJ w/ a bunch of bands
8/18 Shillelagh Club, West Orange, NJ w/ The Cucumbers
8/26 Pino's, Highland Park, NJ w/ KANAK & Dogpile On The Rabbit
10/27 Berlin, NYC, NY w/ The Glad Machine & The Bishop's Daredevil Stunt Club
After I heard the new album, I couldn't help wanting to hear more new material from The
Anderson Council! Do you guys plan on writing and recording more original music down
We have over 20 songs demoed towards our next record, so we're definitely working on it!
Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers?
Thanks for your support.
We play Psychpowerpop. We hope you will enjoy our craft.
About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New
Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne
Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with
generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure
to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on