When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver, 303-487-0111
More info: themarquistheatre.com
Luke Silas would rather look forward than back. It’s a surprising sentiment from someone in a band that just released an album made with Nintendo hardware, but to hear him explain it, the idea behind Anamanaguchi starts to make a lot of sense.
“It’s future nostalgia. It’s that kind of longing desire for the rest of your life to come,” he said. “There’s this overarching, I guess you could say, exuberance. There’s an obvious emotional theme of joy and nostalgia and taking all these feelings that you would have from a certain time and place in your life and recontextualizing them into this driving force in every thing that we do.”
It’s not a simple task, making 8-bit music without being brushed off in a time of intense nostalgia fetishism. Silas pointed out that it’s hard for Anamanaguchi to get press beyond “video game rock stars that sound like Mario,” and between the music’s NES roots and low-tech accompanying art, that’s not surprising. The album, Endless Fantasy, is ripe for it’s time by not being entirely of its time. But the band really, really wants us to dig past the surface.
“People get so trapped in [nostalgia],” Silas said. “Every time I’m on Facebook and I see people posting another article from fucking BuzzFeed that like, ‘If you’re from the ’90s you’ll remember this.’ And its like, yeah, I guess, but there’s no point in that.”
So, what is the point? Sink into Endless Fantasy and there’s no mistaking that Anamanaguchi is pushing for something more meaningful. It’s a vast electronic landscape that turns soulless bleeps and bloops into something more beautiful (and danceable).
“It’s this overwhelming positive mental energy, I guess,” Silas said. “And, I mean, sure, you can find that from looking back and thinking, ‘That’s exactly how I felt when I was playing a video game back in the day, but there’s so much more than that. To relegate that feeling to one point in your life that is tainted by a potentially faulty memory is way less exciting than attributing that feeling to anything in your life that could be coming.”
Anamanaguchi has learned a few things about exciting possibilities since they released Endless Fantasy. The guys launched a Kickstarter campaign to make it “more than an album.” They started out with a $50,000 goal and as of Wednesday, with four days still to go, they’ve raised $237,486.
The first thing they did was make a music video in which they sent a slice of pizza into space.
“Let’s say you wanna spend about a $1,000, something like that. There are a lot of ideas suggested, like lets take the van and go through a bunch of different drive-thrus, so it’s $1,000 cheese burgers, but we already wrote that off as disgusting,” Silas explained. “Eventually Ary [Warnaar] brought up sending something into space, which we’ve seen people do with a lot of stuff — burgers, beers, bobble heads. We looked at it and said, ‘Well, it probably should be a pizza.'”
The highlight might be the last moments of the video, which Silas said is a completely unedited video of the pizza hanging out above Earth, while an iPod Shuffle and a small speaker plays the music. It’s raw slice-in-space footage.
Even with so much excitement for the future, Anamanaguchi lives very much in the moment, not looking far ahead in a concrete sense. Silas said they’re still working on ways to use the Kickstarter money — making new videos, enhancing the live show, making remixes — but they’re still stunned by success.
“To be honest, a lot of this still has not registered to me yet,” he said. “I feel like maybe I won’t really know what any of this means until after the fact. I won’t know what this Kickstarter turns into until we’ve spent the money. I won’t know what the records turn into until we’re on another tour.”
For now, it’s one thing at a time.
“We’ll go out for a nice dinner tonight. That’s about as far ahead as you can get: We’ll probably go someplace cool and local for dinner tonight.”