Coming home to play

Anatomy of a Ghost: Local boys live exhausting life on the road

Anatomy of a Ghost, the Northwest’s newest post-hardcore band is coming home to Alaska. The five rockers, who grew up in the Mat-Su valley, will play the Alaska State Fair in Palmer on August 28 with local acts The Roman Candles and X-Nilo.

This summer Anatomy played the 2003 Vans Warped Tour with bands like Rancid, The Used, The Ataris and Simple Plan. And their album “Evanesce” has been selling all over the nation, since it was released in May. Now all the band members want to do is come home.

“I haven’t been back there in almost two years,” Dewey Halpaus (guitar, vocals) said over a cell-phone as the band was driving from Portland to a gig at Studio 7 in Seattle. “I’m looking forward to coming back and I hope a lot of people will know who we are up there because we have never played up there.”

All over the country people are singing along to Anatomy’s lyrics. Fans enjoy the band’s dark, melodic sound.

“Warped tour was really cool…just being on stage in front of so many people and actually seeing people sing along,” Halpaus said.

As the tour progressed more and more people were singing along.

“At first…there were like, maybe fifty people watching. But every state we went to there were kids that were like ‘we’re here to see you!’” Joe Simon (guitar) said. “And so that was really cool and then it started to get bigger and better. It just kept building up.”

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The momentum of Anatomy’s success is unreal. The band formed in the summer of 2002, when members Zach Carothers (bass) and John Gourley (vocals) met Haulpus and the Simon brothers, Joe and Nick (drums), in Portland, Ore.

Since then, the band has signed with Fearless Records of California and is moving forward fast, living an exhausting life on the road.

“(Warped tour) was really, really busy and a its harder than any other tour because you’re there all day from 8 in the morning to about 10 or 11 at night,” Carothers said. “And you don’t have any time to stay at somebody’s house or get a hotel. We just drive all night.”

The band’s fifteen-passenger van was always crowded and never the best place to catch up on sleep.

“We had a lot of people,” Carothers said. “We had some brothers and sisters from Alaska come down and help us out as far as packing, merchandise and stuff.”

The perks of Warped Tour made the lack of sleep well worth the fuss. Making friends with big acts was at the top of the list. Joe Simon said hanging out with well-known bands was a little intimidating at first but the members of Anatomy have developed a quick way to lighten the tension.

“We’d just walk up to them and slap their ass and stuff like that,” Joe Simon said. “I don’t know why, but everyone thinks it’s funny. It just breaks the ice when you grab someone’s ass.”

Everyone at Warped Tour seemed to respond well to the members of Anatomy. They left the tour when it stopped in Portland on July 6. By then they had made their way from a smaller stage to the second largest stage.

“A lot of the bigger bands were just really nice. They came and watched us and they mentioned what time we were playing when they were playing,” Carothers said. “They are all a bunch of sweethearts there.”

At the state fair Anatomy will play songs off their album, “Evanesce.” The band members said live shows are what they live for and they are psyched to play for Alaska.

“We just play our hearts out—we really do. Because shows are really super exciting to us,” Joe Simon said.

Check out Anatomy of a Ghost, The Roman Candles and X-Nilo at the Alaska State Fair Borealis Stage on August 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Carrs Tix or tickets.com.

For more information on Anatomy of a Ghost visit www.anatomyofaghost.net. �