Anders SG (Alphabeat, THANKS)

by Carl Wiser

Taking a break from Alphabeat, lead singer Anders SG has teamed up with guitarist Anders B to form THANKS. The high-energy Alphabeat sound is the foundation, but THANKS is a musical and visual progression for the Denmark duo. Their latest track is "Dizzy," a retro-funky boomer with a Decentralized Dance Party in the video.

Here, Anders SG breaks down the creative process and explains how they found the sounds for "Dizzy."
Carl Wiser (Songfacts): What is the songwriting process in THANKS and how does it compare with Alphabeat?

Anders SG: In THANKS the music ultimately comes from us, but the creative process is very collaborative. We have a studio in Copenhagen where we write songs and music with a lot of our friends, and just all kinds of people with different musical backgrounds, who are up for coming to our studio and having some fun.

In Alphabeat we did everything ourselves and very rarely worked on songwriting with people outside the band. So it's super exciting for us to work creatively with so many different people and being able to tap into whatever it is they're particularly good at.

Songfacts: Please tell us about creating the song "Dizzy."

Anders: The vocals on this track all came out of some sessions we did in Copenhagen at the beginning of October last year. We invited some of our friends and fellow artists/musicians to join us basically fooling around in the studio coming up with different small musical ideas and hooks. Afterwards we sampled one of our own old instrumentals that was lying around on our hard drive and we started chopping up vocals from the sessions to this track in order to make a song.

For the final version we used all the original vocal takes from the different sessions, instead of having one lead singer redo the whole thing, because we really like the energy created by these different voices coming in and out of the track.

Songfacts: How did you create the insane Paris dance party for the video?

Anders SG: We discovered Decentralized Dance Party and loved everything about the project so we hooked up with the founders Tom and Gary and asked if we could use footage from their parties around the world for "Dizzy." They were totally up for it so we started editing the video and the insane Paris party was just perfect for the vibe in the song. Go check out more about DDP at decentralizeddanceparty.com.

Songfacts: Please tell us about transforming Jill Scott's "Golden" into "Livin' My Life."

Anders SG: We stumbled upon an acapella for Jill Scott's "Golden" on YouTube. We didn't know the original song but to us the vocal sounded like a hook for a disco song. We finished "Livin' My Life" before listening to Jill Scott's version, which is superb.

It's kind of our take on contemporary house like "Need U (100%)" and "I Got U" by Duke Dumont. At the same time we have a chopped-up, funky, Nile Rodgers-inspired vibe going on.

Songfacts: Who is the star of the video?

Anders SG: Taveaus "DynaMc" Woods.

Songfacts: Lars from Asteroids Galaxy Tour told us that he likes writing songs in English because it's a "more poetic language" than Danish. What are your thoughts on this?

Songfacts: In our music the lyrics are more about a feeling than actual storytelling. It doesn't always have to make perfect sense but it's very important that it has the right vibe. We like writing songs in English because there's a more direct lineage to the music we love and are inspired by: soul, rock and roll, house and dance music in general.

Songfacts: What's the story behind the name THANKS?

Anders SG: Because the nature of the band and the music is very collaborative we wanted something that was almost an anti-bandname, something universal. With this name we're saying thanks, from the get-go, to our musical influences, our collaborators and our listeners! We weren't going for a super-deep name - to us happy has always been cool. THANKS is both something straight from the heart and sincere but it's also like "see you later... peace out."

Songfacts: What are the biggest challenges in writing and performing your music?

Anders SG: The way we write THANKS songs is challenging and exciting at the same time. The actual songwriting is usually very quick and spontaneous, but then turning it into a finished record that we're excited about often takes a lot of cutting and pasting different parts and hooks back and forth. Sometimes that's a long process but it's also super fun (most of the time!).

When we play live, we try to bring all the stuff we've sampled and chopped up back to life by playing it on samplers, MPCs and so on.

Songfacts: Which Alphabeat song is your best work?

Anders SG: We're very proud of all the stuff we've done with Alphabeat, songs like "Fascination" and "The Spell" are probably some of our favorites.

Songfacts: Your songs convey very strong feelings through the words and music. What techniques do you use to accomplish this?

Anders SG: Don't know if there's a technique, but we do like to push things to a kind of extreme where we feel the music communicates very directly.

Songfacts: What's next for you?

Anders SG: We have an EP's worth of stuff that is all coming out within the year, and then some new songs and collaborations in the pipeline that we're super excited about. Also we're expanding our live setup with live drums and some great singers, so we're ready to play a lot of our new music and play some festivals in the new year.

September 21, 2016
More Songwriter Interviews

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jimmy Jam

Jimmy JamSongwriter Interviews

The powerhouse producer behind Janet Jackson's hits talks about his Boyz II Men ballads and regrouping The Time.

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Sarah Brightman

Sarah BrightmanSongwriter Interviews

One of the most popular classical vocalists in the land is lining up a trip to space, which is the inspiration for many of her songs.

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The Devil

Five Rockers Who Rolled With The DevilSong Writing

Just how much did these monsters of rock dabble in the occult?

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

Best Band Logos

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.