"I don't know if I was in ten bands if I would ever be satisfied with the amount of things I want to do and say in music." It's a revealing comment coming from Anthony Green. "I need to get everything out. I couldn't be in enough bands or have enough time to do and fully express all the things I want to with music. It's my nightmare."
Give Green credit for trying though. The man has been around forever, and counts Circa Survive, Soasin, The Sound of Animals Fighting, and a current, super-secret side project to his resume (that's just the tip of the iceberg too). He also recently released a solo album titled Pixie Queen, which is why the Pennsylvania native recently popped in for a Baeble NEXT Session. Performing four songs ("From What I Understand", "A Reason To Stay", "You'll Be Fine", and "Cellar") from the album, Green's knack for putting his most personal narratives and emotions out into the world is on full display. In addition to touching on some of the inspirations behind the new album, Green also spoke rather eloquently of his ungodly, musical work ethic. "I love making music," Green declared. "So if you enjoy people that love making music...making your music, I'm your guy". It's true. He is totally our guy.
What's the lyrics? Ah, I got it. I'm Anthony Green and I'm in several musical projects: Saosin, a project called Sound of Animals Fighting, Circa Survive, a super secret side project. Yeah, I can't say the name. Okay, don't tell anybody about that. My band which is just my name, Which I feel weird saying. I'm in Anthony Green. I'm in Anthony Green. Release my arrow, but I forgot to aim. It burdens me to think that I'll never get to start. Deciphering the words from what I understand. Don't come down on me. I didn't want this. It's a disaster. And please don't think of me, Love, like I'm your captor. What are you after? You drink yourself to sleep and wake up in a daze. The past is there to show. Why would I ever want? Divided and away from what I understand. Don't pretend with me like your an actor It's a disaster And please don't think of me, Love, I didn't want this. What are you after? The way that it works when I see the end and I couldn't comprehend, you ask me to go. Without me you're free but I couldn't let it be The way that it works when I see the end and I couldn't comprehend, you ask me to go. Without me you're free but I couldn't let it be Don't come down on me. I won't put it past her, it's a disaster. - I don't know if I was in 10 bands if I would ever be satisfied you know, with the amount of things I want to do and say in music. Maybe it's just because that's all I want to do everything in music. I want to be singing or playing or being involved in music. I didn't do the solo project because I thought, "Oh, I need to get this out. " Which is I need to get everything out. There isn't enough band. I couldn't be in enough bands or have enough time to do and fully expressed all the things I want to with music. It's my nightmare, living the life of constantly trying to figure out new ways of doing the same thing that I love so much. I've gone out too far, may not make it back. How will I get through if you cringe at the sight? And if I had something you wanted, you would stay. It's just the horrifying way I see it. Shame. Ooh . Screaming like a whale from the love I've failed. Dreaming of a way but you know my hands are tied. Falling to the floor in a restless state picking at my skin because you know I can't be saved. Ooh I may lose myself. Know you will be fine. And if I had something you wanted, you would stay. That's just the horrifying way I see it. If you really mean it, if you really mean it, you never have to go. That's all I want. Burning like a candle from both its ends Shining really bright but the warmth won't last the night. Falling to the floor in a restless state Picking at my skin cause you know I can't be saved. Ooh . You said you needed more. I know you wanted more. Doesn't mean a thing, mean a thing to me You said that you had changed but everything's the same. It takes too much for me. It takes everything. Shame. Ooh. Screaming like a whale from below my belt. Dreaming of a way but you know my hands are tied. Falling to the floor in a restless state Picking at my skin because you know I can't be saved. Ooh - For like eight years now, I've been doing stuff like under my own name. But it was originally stuff that I wrote for Circa Survive and it sort of... Circa sort of went in a direction and it felt like the songs I was writing were more personal, anyway. And so those were the guys that sort of almost, in an indirect way, suggested that "Well, these are sort of new songs and not really Circa Survive song," and I thought, "What does that mean?" In this album, we sort of took everything. We took the ingredients and we tried to make the album sonically cohesive without having it be all the songs sounding the same. And I think, we killed it with doing that. I'm just really happy with it. Yeah, the album's called "Pixie Queen" and it's like a joke that I have with my wife who I love and I always call her like the Pixie Queen because she's so tiny and all that petite, little thing. I've always kind of tease her about it and the album is sort of loosely based on our relationship from the beginning to end, yeah. it and now it's right there. - Yeah, that's right. - And she was on board? - No, I can't say she was on board. She didn't even know what's going on. She's yelling at me for playing guitar too loud. We would stay up 'til quarter to three We didn't mind. It was only you and me. We would stay up late, midnight was long. Then we would hide when the sun would start to come. Lay your hands on me. Is this what you need from me? We used to feel alive running through the night. Holding on to me so I couldn't get away but I don't have a reason. I just need you. We would get bored then we would get high. I didn't mind, it happened all the time. We'd stay in bed 'til quarter to three. We didn't care, it was only you and me. You lay your hands on me. Is this what you need from me? We used to feel alive running through the night. You're holding on to me so I couldn't get away. But I don't have a reason to stay. We used to feel alive. And I believe in Running through the night. Being on our own Holding on to me so I couldn't get away. But I don't have a reason to stay. I just need you. Bam bam bam bam ba Bam bam bam ba ba ba ba Bam bam bam bam ba ba ba Bam bam bam ba - "Reason to Stay" was a song that I wrote in the studio and like the idea of the album was all there and some of the other songs were there and I thought like, "I haven't really said anything. I haven't really written anything nice and happy. " But that portrays the actual feeling of hope that I have. Sometimes when things get really tough, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. There's always a we-got-through-this-together-fuck-yeah. You know, high five-ing. You know, eat-the-finish-line type of feeling and I really conveyed that on the album. So, I really lyrically wanted this to be like a thing where it's like, "Yeah, maybe we're both really fucked up and maybe we don't even like each other like half the time but I don't know what the reason is. I just love you so much," type of song. And it came out. Maybe it's just because of just the way I was raised in music but I can't really... I mean, all the stuff I've ever written about her like the most personal things to me because it's the easiest thing for me to know. And I like writing songs about you know, my life and I feel like it makes me feel better, being all kind of authentic in that way and not trying to put on some show or write some story that's not mine, you know. I won't be the one to hold you close Monday morning, all day. I can see the sun is on the rise faced with all I need to know. I can see it in your eyes. I can see without compromise, you're all I need. I can hear it in your sigh. I can hear without compromise, you're all I need. I won't be the one that hold you down Monday morning, all day. I can see the sun is almost down faced with all I need to know. I can see it in your eyes. I can see without compromise, you're all I need. I can hear it in your sigh. I can hear without compromise, you're all I need. You're oooh, oooh, oooh I can see it in your eyes. I can see without compromise, you're all I need. I can hear it in your sigh. I can hear without compromise, you're all I need - I love making music so if you enjoy people that love making music, making the music, I'm your guy. You may not like it you know, but I love it so much so there's always a chance that you might. I guess. Cool. Hey, this is Anthony Green. You're watching Baeble Music.
Love doesn't look the way you've imagined it. It is about joy, but it is also about suffering
and heartache. It is a choice to keep holding on to love, especially when it's hard, especially
when it hurts. This is the sentiment on which Anthony Green's fourth solo album centers. The
eleven intimate tracks on Pixie Queen, a follow-up to 2013's Young Legs, are love songs, but
they are unlike any love songs you've ever heard.
Anthony started writing the songs on Pixie Queen two years ago while Circa Survive was
creating their 2014 album Descensus, happening on the theme almost accidentally. "I ended
up with all these songs about my wife, who is the love of my life, and about how difficult it is
to have a relationship and be a parent and be a touring musician and to have mental health
issues and be a recovering addict," Anthony says. "It's really difficult to be in a relationship
with someone like me. I started writing more songs about that and compiling them into a
record. It's about not being sure whether you're holding on to a relationship or whether it's
fate. I wanted to put all those feelings into one place."
Much of Pixie Queen was solidified in early 2016, just before Anthony headed into the studio
with producer Will Yip (who the singer refers to as "his Nigel Godrich") to lay down the
tracks over two weeks in April. In the studio, Anthony enlisted the help of Good Old War's
Tim Arnold and Keith Goodwin, who played drums and keyboards on the album. The songs
are primarily acoustic, with no electric guitar appearing on the album, and Anthony's sonic
goal was to create a "campfire album" where every track retains the warmth and intimacy it
was written with.
"It feels like a shift away from my last solo album," Anthony notes. "I wanted it to feel like
you were listening to a real band. I wanted to keep that sense of the acoustic guitar and vocal
without having it be too boring. I was nervous to put drums on it because I didn't want to take
away from that campfire feel, but everyone managed to compliment the vocals and hug the
rhythm of the guitar. You can taste those elements, but they're not overpowering."
There is a sense of hopefulness throughout the album, despite its moments of introspective
sadness. "East Coast Winters," a soulful, stripped down number, is the last song Anthony
wrote while on heroin. The musician was compelled by his tumultuous state to pen the lyrics,
which deal with his wife's steadfast support despite how badly he was going through
addiction. "Will It Be," a buoyant ballad, centers on missing his wife and three young sons
while on tour. "It's about not being sure if I'm doing the right thing by being away from
them," Anthony notes. "It is destroying our relationship or is it creating the ultimate bond?"
As the songs unfold, from chirping opener "You'll Be Fine" to its lush self-titled closer, Pixie
Queen asks questions it can't necessarily answer. And that, to Anthony, is the point. "A lot of
the record is about confusion and trying to understand whether something is worth holding on
to," he explains. "When you're on a mechanical bull the longer you can keep holding on the
easier it becomes to navigate its movements. It makes you stronger, but sometimes it's really
hard and it can be way easier to let go and get flung off. None of it comes with a clear yes or
no it's a choice you make. Love is the opposite of what you think it's supposed to be. It's about how strong you are. And when you do make it through there are moments that are
undeniable and you're so grateful."
For Anthony, who rejoined Saosin for their latest album Along The Shadow, which came out
in May, these solo albums are a place for him to delve into the most honest and most intimate
aspects of himself. He isn't interested in music as a means of showmanship or theater.
Whether it's his work with Circa Survive, who will begin work on their sixth studio album
later this year, or with Saosin, Anthony wants that everything he creates comes from a place
of real sincerity. That openness is especially evident on Pixie Queen, which is raw both in its
lyrics and in its musical execution. "I can't pretend about anything," the singer notes. "The
only way it feels good to write and perform music is if it feels almost embarrassing."
In the end, Pixie Queen is a story about love in all its variations and complexities. It doesn't
sugarcoat or idealize what it means for two people to find each other in the world and hold on.
It's a reminder that we get to choose whether to stick it out through the storms and that
deciding to stay can yield the perfect moments we've always imagined.
"These songs aren't just about how my wife and I love each other," Anthony says. "They're
about how we hate each other sometimes. We don't just help each other grow; we've held
each other back. Love is not one thing all the time. It's beautiful and it's wild and it's free and
it's hard. There's all these peaks and valleys. It can be creative or destructive. But the only
way you'll ever feel anything remotely like the fairy tale ideas of love is by getting through