They met back in 2012 and started playing together. In February this year, they released their debut album ‘Sea State Pictures’ brings together everything The Hundredth Anniversary are known and loved for by their fans, Eleanor’s warm vocals, Dem’s rigorous drum playing and Chris’ bright guitar lines.
Although the Brighton-based three-piece is quite busy at the moment, we managed to get hold of Chris and Eleanor for a little chat about their band life, their new album and their plans for the future.
How did you three meet each other?
My brother Billy got us together. At the time, Eleanor was the singer in his band ‘Tyrannosaurus Dead’ but wanted to put her own songs out with a different band. I was leaving a band at the time and needed a new project, so that part was easy. Dem was working in Vans at the time. One day, Billy went in to buy a pair of sandals and a vest and they got chatting. Billy told her that we needed a drummer and they ended up exchanging numbers. We then met at Brighton Electric to jam and The Hundredth Anniversary was born. (Chris)
Why did you choose the band name? I can’t remember why we chose it. We had a few options but Hundredth Anniversary just stuck, I really like it. It suits us. (Chris)
How was it for you in the beginning given the fact that you didn’t really know each other?
Really fun. Eleanor had a bunch of songs and we all worked on our new parts and how to develop Eleanor’s foundation. We’ve all become much better musicians now and totally get each other. It’s as fun and exciting now as it was at the start. (Chris)
And what is your band life like now? Is it sometimes hard to combine it with your individual lives?
Our band life is really chilled but we all work, so we don’t get to do as much rehearsing as we would like. However, being in this band definitely is the most creative thing I do in my life. We’re always trying out new ways to push and develop our sound to keep it fresh and to become better musicians. (Chris)
Do you sometimes have different opinions when it comes to your songs, gigs…?
Yeah, all the time. Dem always says the opposite to me. (Chris)
So, has there ever been a point where you felt like you couldn’t continue as a band?
Not really. It’s tough sometimes with life but it’s the best hobby to have. I mean, I get to hang out with my pals and write music and drink beers. Why would you give that up? (Chris)
When you get together as a band to write a song, how does that work?
At the beginning, Eleanor had the songs done from start to finish. Nowadays, it’s more collaborative. Dem will have a beat she likes and we will build from there. That goes for all of us. (Chris)
Where do you take the inspiration for your songs from?
Anywhere! The last time we wrote something was because I was listening to an amazing SZA song on the way to practice and wanted to try and write something of the same vibe together. Other times, it’s been from a book I’ve read, or a beat Dem plays… so loads of stuff really. (Eleanor)
What is the most amazing experience you have ever had on stage?
For me, it probably was our album launch earlier this year. The room was packed full of so many great people and I felt really proud of what we’d done… I remember moments of us playing and catching each other’s eyes and just feeling really happy. (Eleanor)
You released your first album “Sea State Pictures” back in February. How long have you been working on that album?
Too long! We didn’t have label pressure, so that was a bonus. We had done a few EPs and singles but when it came to making an album, it needed to be right. We had to scrap loads of songs to be happy with the final tracklisting and with the recording aspect. We kept going back and adding new ideas until it was where it needed to be. We’re super pleased with it. (Chris)
What tracks do you especially like?
For me, River Unwelcome is the best. Lyrically, musically, structurally… it’s perfect. I love songs without a chorus. (Chris)
Where did the ideas for the album come from?
It was a really collaborative writing process, so ideas came from each of us. We talked quite a bit before we started writing to roughly figure out the direction we wanted to take. After that, each of us came up with little musical ideas that the others could build upon. (Eleanor)
Why did you choose the title?
I’ve always loved and, at the same time, been really scared of the sea, which is a fun combo! Sea state pictures are images that illustrate each state of the sea, so sea state number 1 is super calm, number 9 is really stormy… and the images tap into my love/fear feelings! I really like how the phrase sounds too. It just felt appropriate for the record. And of course, lots of the songs refer to the sea or water in some way. (Eleanor)
Are you already working on a new album at the moment?
We are, but only in the early stages. I think we have five or six songs so far. (Chris)
As a band, what are your plans for the future?
Record more, play shows, tour, meet nice people, carry on having fun! (Eleanor)
Are you planning on playing in Brighton anytime soon?
We’ve got a few things lined up but nothing announced just yet. So keep your ears out! (Chris)