‘Vital’ signs 

Eleven years in, and few
alternative bands can claim the sort of consistent success and stability
that Anberlin has. With six successful studio albums and tours with 30
Seconds to Mars and Taking Back Sunday under its belt, the group has
enjoyed a smooth ride.

lot of bands can’t keep together a year, let alone 10,” lead singer
Stephen Christian said. “It’s really cool, and I feel really lucky.
We’re all five equals. Whatever one gets, the other gets. It’s beyond
people in a band. It’s a brotherhood, and people don’t want to leave

But if anything
negative comes out of consistency, it’s tediousness, which is why the
Florida five-piece — much like a married couple — is shaking things up;
Anberlin currently is on an acoustic tour, stopping Friday at The

seems like we play the same songs and the same sets for years on end,”
Christian said. “We don’t feel challenged in our own music anymore. On
top of that, we wanted to give fans something different. It feels a lot
more instant.”

The shake-up doesn’t stop there, either. A similar mindset took Anberlin into its sixth album, Vital, which hit shelves in late 2012. The title choice wasn’t an arbitrary one.

was a goal,” Christian said. “It wasn’t supposed to be the title; we
just set out with that in mind: to make a vital record ... something
vibrant and alive. We accomplished that.”

Vital received
some of the group’s most positive reviews to date, which Christian
claims is due to the return to longtime producer/collaborator Aaron
Sprinkle (Relient K, Deftones) and an extended stay in the studio.

allowed ourselves to explore, be it horns, electronics or just
distortion pedals,” Christian said. “We did whatever we felt like doing,
and we had the time to afford that.”

Anberlin aches to get back to recording, eying some time later this
year after fall’s trip across the pond with The Maine. Still, Anberlin
can rest easy — if it so chooses — knowing the alt-rock outfit made the
mark it wanted.

you look back in time, there’s got to be that record you go back and
show people,” Christian said. “We wanted to make that record that
Anberlin fans in the future would use as a gateway for new listeners …
and I think we have.”

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Deftones interview 

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