Full Throttle Rock: ANAKA
Article By: Sara Liberte
Originally Published In The August 2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Lately the rock music scene has been so uninspiring, mostly loaded with guitars fighting rhythm to outshine the other; something I haven’t been able to find any connection with. These days it’s not very often you come across a band that can deliver intense brutal guitar riffs while maintaining a solid beat that is melodic and rhythmic. I have finally found a band that can carry that rock metal anthem on. Go figure that it’s another New York based band that form a tight unit of rock ‘n’ roll aggression. Let me introduce you to ANAKA. Founding member, guitarist Peter Pallis, took some time to fill me in on what makes ANAKA really unlike any other band drilling the scene today. I have to say it’s not only because their music is good, but it’s because these guys are the real deal, they are living it, they are artists with no doubt true intention, and when you combine that passion with talent, there is no stopping you. If you haven’t heard ANAKA, I could describe them as a combined influence of Megadeth and Alice in Chains with maybe an early Soundgarden feel. The rhythm section is dialed into thunderous; Tony L Heredia on drums and Karl Andressen on bass lay it down hard while keeping the beat interesting and continuous. The guitar from Peter is tight and sometimes reminds me of Glen Tipton from Judas Priest with the way he can swing from one rang to the next. Jimmy Pallis (Peter’s brother) throws down a wide vocal range that some would say is reminiscent of his musical influences Layne Staley, James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine. Combine these talents together and you got a sound that you want to hear more of. While speaking with Peter during our interview, I learned that ANAKA has been together since 2000 consisting of Peter, Karl and Tony with Peter writing all the lyrics and belting ‘em out. It wasn’t long before Peter realized he really wanted to focus on playing guitar and writing vs. singing, so in 2001 he invited his brother Jimmy to join the group knowing that he could trust him to deliver his lyrics the way they were meant to be. You see Peter writes from the soul; his music is a life experience.
“We are all here on this planet together, finding ourselves, facing each other, believing, suffering, living, dying, hoping, dreaming, seeing, creating, and achieving. These experiences shape who we are, they help us evolve and grow as people. These experiences effect us, some may save us, some may hurt us, but they all, in their own way, teach us. Writing music that others can connect with is all about being honest. Many people fear being honest because they do not want to expose what they feel is their weakness to the world, which I find ironic because fear of self exposure is a weakness in itself. I have nothing to hide about who I am. I am what I am, and I’m proud that our music speaks to people. Weakness dealt with and turned over becomes strength. We are all born with a massive potential in life. It is up to us to go out each and every day and justify that gift. Understanding that makes you a master of living. For us ANAKA is that justification,” stated Peter. With such honesty in his lyrics, I asked if he was comfortable being up on stage. Did being up there laying it all out make him feel vulnerable? Peter answered, “The stage for me as a musician has always been a safe haven. Ironically, I find refuge in playing music in front of large crowds of people. We are in our glory on that stage.”
In spring and summer of 2010, ERASE by ANAKA, the music video directed by Kevin J. Custer, had a great impact on MTV, MTV2, MTV Music, Music Choice Video On Demand, VH1, SPIKE TV, and many others. ERASE reached #1 on MTV Music’s TOP 100 Music Video chart for a number of weeks. The video also hit the TOP 10 on Music Choice Video on Demand under the entire rock category. These major achievements have further solidified ANAKA’s position amongst major artists in the Metal/Hard Rock scene. ANAKA’s new album, The Glorified Crusade, made a crushing impact on hard rock radio in the summer of 2009 by hitting #18 on FMQB Commercial Metal Radio charts, and also Top 20 on CMJ Loud Rock radio charts. They shared that position with metal giants such as Killswitch Engage, Devildriver, Five Finger Death Punch, Shadows Fall, etc. Currently, the members of ANAKA are in the studio recording a full acoustic album, something Peter told me is taking a different path, but it’s still ANAKA and the message is just as powerful as their heavier work. “This record is really going to turn some heads and show how our band can really go anywhere musically.” The CD will have all brand new songs, so make sure you check their sites to stay up to date on that release.
Peter said it would probably be sometime in the fall. In spring 2011, ANAKA celebrated their 10 years as a band by releasing their first album Down Devil’s Road (10th Anniversary Edition) as a re-mixed and re-mastered version of their original debut full length album, released in 2001. “Rereleasing our first record has been great. We remember our beginning and our roots are important to us. We established a foundation through our friendships and brotherhood that had withstood the test of time and we have slammed down some monstrous boundaries as a band. That means a lot to us,” said Peter. Peter went on to tell me that because of ANAKA, he had the opportunity to meet a childhood hero, former World Wrestling Federation Champion, The Ultimate Warrior. “Imagine having posters of your hero on your wall as a kid and then one day you get to meet him and become friends. The guy is really intense about living life to the fullest. I can totally relate to that. He is the real deal, no BS, if you want something go out and make it happen kind of person. One day in mid 2008, he contacted me and told me he was returning to the ring and asked if ANAKA would create the theme music for his return. It was an honor creating that music for him. Seeing him run to the ring and shake the ropes in front of 22,000 fans to ANAKA’s The Ultimate Return was an amazing moment in our history.” ANAKA is the real deal metal band, with no egos, no attitudes, just a band of brothers doing what they do best, pouring out their art lyrically, rhythmically, and always heavy! You can order ANAKA’s powerful music today at iTUNES and also from www.cdbaby.com/artist/ANAKA