Photo by Paul Bridgewater
ANR is a two-piece band from Miami, FL comprised of Brian Robertson and Michael John Hancock (MJ). Rising from various gallery and warehouse parties, ANR has become the beacon on the South Florida music and art scene with support slots for Yeasayer, Animal Collective, Gang Gang Dance, Neon Indian and No Age under their belts.
MJ and Brian met at The Frost School of Music at University Of Miami, by chance, at an audition for the band Empirical Mile. The two bonded over their love of punk, funk, and disco music and began writing and recording for their own side project which would ultimately become ANR. Each member enjoys Giorgio Moroder, Prince, and Parliament Funkadelic equally. Their various influences can be heard in their eclectic sound.
What makes ANR’s sound so innovative? Soulful vocals, soothing but powerfully emotive…somewhere between Sly Stone and Levon Helm of The Band, the modern instrumental and sonic dynamics of Depeche Mode, and intelligent observational wit and musical exploration in the vein of David Byrne. Imagine Goodie Mob’s Soul Food as played by Liars, fronted by Prince. ANR aims for the mind with subversive political dissent and the heart with beautiful, emotional interludes. Their tight live shows are dynamic and spontaneous, and are able to communicate an undeniable chemistry that has taken years to develop.
MJ grew up in Washington DC and studied classical voice at University of Miami. As a kid he read a lot of comic books, drew his own comic books, and played around with his parents’ tape recorder. Eventually he got out of the living room and into the garage, playing guitar in various alternative bands, frequenting local haunts such as the Black Cat and 930 Club.
Brian grew up in South Kingston, RI and is the son of a marine engineer (father) and medical transcriptionist (mother). B-Rob is a studied jazz pianist who started composing music for his school jazz band in 5th grade. Brian was always considered highly advanced by his teachers and often was the only person in the band that could follow compositions from start to end.
The Endless Field of Mercury video by Jamie Harley