Interview by Alexander Laurence / Photo by Angel Ceballos
Anika aka Annika Henderson used to be a political journalist and travel back and forth between Bristol and Berlin. She also went to college in Wales at some point and organized shows there and was a DJ too. As she was booking and promoting bands for clubs in Wales , Anika decided to try out for a band Beak> that was looking for a singer. The fellows in Beak> decided to stay instrument and to create a whole new record with Anika. They recorded the Anika in twelve days with no overdubs. They picked a bunch of cover songs including “Terry” by Lynn Ripley, “End of The World” by Skeeter Davis, “Masters of War” by Bob Dylan, “I Go To Sleep” by The Kinks, and “Yang Yang” by Yoko Ono. There were a few original songs like “No One’s There” and more. The stark confrontational style was very apparent. Anika was in the US early this year as a DJ. But now she is touring with a full band and even playing some festivals like ATP and Moog Fest. I got to speak with Anika right before she started her tour in America.
AL: How are the shows going?
Anika: We had one so far at Le Poisson Rouge in New York. It has been going reasonably well. We are on are way to Princeton. We are playing with Factory Floor and Dirty Beaches. We added a show at Glasslands since we are coming back to NYC anyway. We have toured extensively in Europe. We played a lot of festivals in Spain, France, and Switzerland. It’s harder to come over here because you have to deal with visa issues.
AL: How has the response been to music? Is there much difference in playing France and America?
Anika: It depends on what people like. You get cultural differences across France the same way you do across America. It will be interesting to see what happens when we play different parts of America. It was a surprise to see how exciteable New Yorkers were the other night. We will see how the LA shows goes.
AL: I heard that people were yelling out between songs in New York?
Anika: Yes. It was mental. It was crazy.
AL: When many English bands come over here, it’s often singers like Coldplay and Keane. It’s like emotional English ballads…. When someone doesn’t do something like that….
Anika: Actually some of our songs are based on stuff that Keane and Coldplay do. We want that kind of atmosphere. It’s great. [...]