Anthony Cardenas - Anna's Brother

July 25, 2007

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I used to come see you guys whenever you played in Texas.

Texas in general was always good to us. People were always fun and enthusiastic. What else can you ask for?

People like their rock and roll.

Yeah, definitely. I canít wait to get out there. In fact Iím trying to get some dates going through Texas and Oklahoma in August with my new group. Maybe weíll get out there again pretty soon. It would be nice.

You were with Great White for a number of years. What were some of your best memories of being in that band?

I donít know. Probably simple little goofy stuff. Good times with the guys or with different bands. Itís really hard to nail down anything particular. Just like in anything there were good times and there were some rough times and not so fun times. Nothing in particular though stands out. I think I had a pretty good relationship with a few of the guys in the band and we had a lot of fun. Weíd do things together and go out and paint the town red every once in a while. It was fun. It was all good.

I know that being in a band is like being in a family of sorts.

Yeah, for the most part. A dysfunctional family.

Oh, absolutely. Theyíre the best kind.

Totally. I hear you.

Do you ever talk to any of the guys?

No, not often. Audie is the one that Iíve had the most contact over the years. Audie and I have actually played shows together and heís come out and helped me with different things. I talk with Michael once in a blue moon but yeah, thatís pretty much it. Theyíre doing their thing and I do my thing and thatís just how itís kind of worked out.

So Jack didnít ask you if you wanted to be back in the band when he decided to reunite with everybody?

There were some discussions. It was very brief though. Iíve been very busy with a company that I helped start here in Irvine, California. It just requires all of my time. I just canít leave for extended periods at all. Thatís what it was looking like at that point so I had to opt out. As much fun as it would have been, my responsibilities here with this company just outweighed that at the time. The company has been doing business for about five years now. Weíve done about six million CDs for emerging bands so Iíve got 35 employees. Itís a major undertaking so Iím a little distracted unfortunately but maybe someday in the future.

Yeah, itís called DiskFaktory and you started it in 2002.

Yeah, 2002 or 2001. Right around there. I partnered with Guitar Center and Musicianís Friend and basically the company kind of exploded. As soon as we started conversing with those guys, we just ended up growing like crazy. The company actually made it onto Inc. magazineís 500 fastest growing companies in 2005 so itís been a really interesting ride, thatís for sure. Itís a different world from the rock and roll touring thing. Itís been fun. Itís been fun in its own way.

What led you to start a company?

I donít know. Iíve always been a kind of entrepreneurial person and after I got out of Great White I started a couple of different companies. High tech type companies and I was involved with a couple of start ups and I like that. I like that kind of environment where itís an entrepreneurial thing and you just get out there and hustle and try to make things happen and develop products or services. Thatís just what I do I guess. Thatís my makeup for the most part.

I think thatís absolutely awesome. I had seen something on the Internet where they were talking about different entrepreneurs who had been in the music industry and you were one of them and I think one of the chicks from the B-52s and I think a guy who used to be a drummer for Blink 182.

Oh, yeah. That guy has a clothing line which I get. This is a different kind of similar endeavor. That was cool. Itís weird to get recognized. Not like somebody seeing you on the street and recognizing you but to be recognized for a different kind of achievement. More of a business kind of achievement which is cool.

Were you surprised to be recognized by that magazine?

Yeah, I guess so. Basically one morning I was at the gym riding a bicycle and I had this magazine and I was reading this business magazine. It was Inc. magazine and I saw this thing about 500 fastest growing companies. I saw all these companies listed in there and I went ďhell, my company should be in here.Ē We just submitted it and what happens is they actually go through quite an extensive auditing of your company to make sure that youíre for real and youíre not just a bunch of guys trying to get some PR out of it. They came and they audited us and they checked us out and thatís how you get in. Thatís how we made it in.

Thatís awesome.

Yeah, itís pretty neat. It was neat. Iím really proud of it. Besides I always have had the gold records and platinum records and those are nice little trophies. I donít mean to call them little to belittle them but theyíre trophies for the most part. So I finally got another kind of trophy which I think stands up as an accomplishment. It felt really good to do that. Iím still very involved with music. I just flew in yesterday morning from a session I did up in northern California for a couple of days with another artist so Iím still busy. I still play and try to keep my chops up so that I stay relevant as much as possible.

I did an e-mail interview with you many, many moons ago right after you left Great White and in the interim you had done a release called Tombstone Shuffle. It was cool to see that it was still available for sale.

Itís so funny you ask me that. Somebody asked me the other day about it. They asked me if they could have one and I said I donít have one. The only way you can get it I guess is on or Ebay.

Or CDBaby I think.

If somebody is selling it on CDBaby Iím going to be upset.

I think it was CDBaby. I could be wrong.

Either or, itís out there. The reason why itís funny is because I had a CD box of my own stuff. My little box of my musical accomplishments. My little archive. Everything I had done with other bands. Other studio work Iíve done. Everything Iíd done with Great White. All the hard to find imports that I knew that I was on. Live stuff. Singles. My own release Tombstone Shuffle. The Japanese release. The European release. My latest stuff with Annaís Brother. I had it all in this one box, right? And of course somebody out of either my car or my office lifted that one box. Stole my entire music career that I had this whole archive of. It just disappeared. It is gone and the only two copies I had of that record were in that box. Yeah, itís pretty funny. The only place to get it is to go on Ebay. I actually have to go on Ebay and buy it myself now if I want one. Itís pretty funny. Thatís Murphyís Law I guess. I donít know.

I think somebody needs their ass kicked.

Me too. There was some cool stuff in there. Itís just something. Itís just a material thing. Itís just memories but all the memories are in my head so itís all good.

Yeah, Iíve got some really cool shit. You guys did that Live In London show that Iíve got.

I had that.

Thereís the Live In New York show that I have.

I had that.

There was something that you guys released. The Blues EP. I have that. I have all sorts of wild shit. You guys were my favorite band.

Those are some good ones. Those were the ones that I had that I knew were pretty rare. You canít find those. Thereís the Live At The Marquee.

I have that one too.

Thatís a good one too. That was a good night. That was a really good night. The band was on. We were on point that night. It was pretty good.

Iíve also got two different versions of Recovery: Live. I think thereís another version floating out there now.

I donít know if Iím on any of the Recovery: Live stuff. Thereís one CD that was put out recently that was kind of a mishmash of some outtakes that we had done. We do ďLove Removal MachineĒ or something. That record, Iíve seen a couple of reviews. We didnít get very good reviews on it. It was fun. It was nice to hear it because it took me back to those days when we were doing those sessions. I donít know why we did those. We learned a bunch of songs just to have some different stuff to play and to get ourselves into the right mood for recording the next record. It was a neat little record, too. I have one of those I bought. I think I bought one off the Internet. What are you going to do?

I hope whoever stole that shit reads this article and feels very, very fucking guilty.

They should.

They should because thatís not good. You have this new band called Annaís Brother which I guess used to be called Revision 6. Why the name change?

Besides the fact that after a while all these bands started popping up with numbers in their names, that was kind of a drag. What made us totally make the change was a friend of mine had a video producer hear the songs that we did for Annaís Brother and he loved the band. He loved the music and said ďlook, I want to shoot a video.Ē I was like ďwell yeah, thatís great but whoís going to pay for it?Ē He said ďdonít worry about that. I just want to make a video for this music.Ē I said okay, so they proceeded to do an unbelievable video shoot. I donít know if youíve seen those videos on our MySpace page but theyíre shot in HD widescreen. Theyíre absolutely gorgeous. We did one song called ďUsed To BeĒ and then another song called ďSadieĒ with actually just animation. They just went all the way with it. We had a big video premier at The Whiskey and these guys were like ďgreat, weíve done these videos for you but your band name sucks.Ē They said they thought they had earned the right to force us to change our name to something better. My email handle has always been Annaís Brother because I have a sister named Anna and they said they liked Annaís Brother. I said okay so we changed it right there and that was it. Thatís the story.

I was on your MySpace and youíve got four songs on there. My favorite one is ďShoot For TuesdayĒ. I love that song.

Yeah, weíre really lucky. Actually thatís where I just was up north in that same studio working with that producer, Sylvia Massey.

That lady is quite a powerhouse in that field.

Yeah, sheís awesome. I really like her a lot. I went up there to play guitar on some tracks that sheís doing for this young artist. I tell you, weíre lucky to work with those folks. Theyíre really cool and hopefully weíll be able to finish the rest of the record with them pretty soon. Thatís what Iím hoping.

I definitely hope so because I love those four songs and Iíd like to get something solid like a CD into my hot little hands for a review. I really love that song ďShoot For TuesdayĒ and I also like ďNever Say NeverĒ. Itís just a good rocking song.

Yeah, well hopefully weíll get to Texas too and weíll get to play live for everybody out there.

When do you think the record will be done?

Well, itís one of those things. Itís a chick in the egg. Weíve got to make sure we have a place to sell it so thatís been one of the hardest things. Iíd imagine weíd get back up in the studio around October and hopefully finish it up before the end of the year. Thatís my goal right now but weíve got about six more tunes to round out the record and then see where it takes us. Itís going to be good. It really is. We put a lot of heart and soul into it. Itís a little bit different. I purposely started the band without any ties to Great White. I didnít use my name.

I noticed that.

I tried to make it really just a pure thing so it just would be its own thing. Not because Iím embarrassed or anything. Just because I wanted it to be a pure endeavor and itís gone pretty good. Everybody seems to like the stuff a lot so we just feel really lucky. Hopefully weíll get to finish it off and make it a real record.

I know what you mean. Iíve seen that so many times in the past like for example when Bruce Kulick left KISS and he started his band Union. People started bitching and complaining about how Union doesnít sound like KISS. It wasnít supposed to sound like KISS. It was supposed to sound like something completely different.

There you go.

Obviously you donít want to run into the same issue of people bitching about Annaís Brother not sounding like Great White. Well, itís not supposed to. Great White is Great White and you canít replicate that in any shape, form, or fashion. Annaís Brother is going to be Annaís Brother.

Thank you. Yeah, thatís what weíre going for. That genre of music and the whole Rocklahoma crowd is so specific. It doesnít lend itself to experimentation. My sister Anna had a studio in Huntington Beach and I used to go down there and play with these different bands. Alternative bands, Christian bands, alt-rock, grunge almost kind of bands, everything. The neat thing I liked about it was that they were always open to using different sounding instruments or just anything different. Thatís just the one thing I really wanted to get away from. From having to have this template that you had to have in that genre of music. What weíre trying to do is just make it the way it is and thatís why I didnít want to say anything about what Iíd done in the past. I didnít want anybody to have like what you just said any preconceived notion of ďwell, how come it doesnít sound like this? How come thereís not a guitar solo? Whereís the guitar solo?Ē Stuff like that. I just wanted it to be what it is and take it for what it is.

I havenít had the opportunity to get my little paws on that but how does this differ from that?

A lot. I think when I did Tombstone Shuffle, I was in a still very blues, hard rock head space. I had never gotten to play guitar on a professional recording. I shouldnít say that. I had done sessions and stuff but Iíd been playing bass in Great White forever and Iíd been playing guitar since I was eight years old. I can play and I wanted to make sure that when I made that record that people were going to hear it and go ďdamn, that guy can play.Ē Thatís where my head was at. Itís pretty guitar heavy so thatís the difference. But that kind of music lends itself to that. To guitar solos. Itís just kind of over the top guitar stuff so thatís what it is. If anything I got a lot of comments and even in the European press they would review the record and say ďwow, this guy sounds like a mixture between Sebastian and Jack Russell.Ē Iíd listen back and go ďwow, you know maybe there is a little bit of that in my voice.Ē I listened to Jack forever and heís a great singer. Some of that must have rubbed off and it definitely shows up in that record for sure. Once you hear it youíll go ďoh, okay. I get it.Ē Annaís Brother is a totally different thing. Itís more about the tunes. Itís more about the song quality.

I thought it was cool that youíre in the lead vocalist position now.

I like it. I like it because I can say what I want. When youíre playing your instrument only in a group, you donít get to have a say. Not so much to not have a say but your views on things just get to come across really. I at least get to put my views on things out there through lyrics and stuff. That is way important to me.

Youíve been doing gigs around California and youíre hoping to spread it out a little bit now.

Yeah, Iím at the point where I can do it so it would be nice. Weíll get out and play around but weíve never really gone out and played for several weeks at a time. That may be in our future. I really would like to get out again into places I know that the bandís going to do well. I think definitely in the Great Lakes area, Texas, and the South we would do great business. Iíve got friends that are out there doing it on an indie level and having a great time and making a lot of friends and doing pretty good business. I think I might jump in.

I definitely canít wait to see you guys.

Weíre really good.

I bet you are. Any other thoughts or comments?

Thanks to everybody whoís already been to the site and wrote nice things or have been to the shows. To those who havenít, by all means send them to the websites and they can hear the stuff and sign in and be our buddy. Weíll just keep everybody in the loop when weíre going to get out and play.

And no spammers.

Man, that makes me very angry. I think I turn down more friend requests than I accept. Iím not here for somebody else to advertise their show at Joeís Bar & Grill. I get tired of seeing that. I really do want to have friends and the folks who are on there for the most part I converse with. Itís nice to have a real list of friends. If you want to be a real friend, there you go. You can sign in and weíll chat.

Anna's Brother