Hot off the Press

Deon Rexroat of Anberlin

by Cynthia Jo
– Columnist —

A farewell tour is always some kind of bittersweet for any band. For Anberlin, the decision to part ways was amicable and the Farewell Tour coincides with promotion for their final album Lowborn. The Florida quintet began their chapter as a band in 2002 debuting their alternative pop rock, often described Christian rock with Blueprints for the Black Market a year later.

Seven albums and 12 years later, bassist, Deon Rexroat sat down with Cynthia Jo at their final show at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip earlier this fall.


CJ: Welcome to sunny Southern California, Deon! Thanks for meeting with me. So let’s get started with the obvious question and the reason for tonight’s show—why is Anberlin ending?

DR: Personal lives were pulling the band members in different directions. I think if we didn’t put on the brakes and just keep going it would have affected Anberlin and after 12 years it would have been a disservice to our fans.

CJ: Let’s talk about your final album Lowborn here for a bit, for those who haven’t heard it what can you say about it?

DR: Going into it, knowing it was going to be our final album we wanted to make a final statement. There are definitely songs in there that are different maybe not what people are used to or expect for Anberlin but I think for us it was just about making an album about who we are currently in our career. There is stuff in there that is definitely Anberlin—maybe reminiscing of earlier albums, some experimental stuff whatever we wanted to do, we did it.

CJ: As a band or individually, did you feel any kind of pressure going into this album?

DR: First we kind of did because I think we were pressuring ourselves to really make this like an Aberlin album—you know, kind of giving people what you expect. That’s where a lot of the pressure came from but once we started the writing process, that took a lot of the pressure off and it just became an easier album to do.

CJ: Personally, my favorite album is Cities, I was a little late into the Anberlin game you know as it came out in 2007 but what has been your favorite album to record and perform?

DR: Actually, Cities. It was just a great time. We lived in Seattle for seven weeks working on the album. We didn’t have a car. We would just walk to the studio and every day we would live that album—getting coffee, work until two in the morning and hung out just to live that album. Cities is definitely up there, in terms of favorites.

CJ: Fantastic. The first time I saw you guys was in 2009 with Taking Back Sunday at the Grove of Anaheim—what band has been your favorite band to tour with?

DR: Definitely them. Taking Back Sunday was really great to tour with. Bands like Bayside, Story Of The Year we’ve known them for years so they’ve always been fun to tour with.

CJ: Favorite city to perform in?

DR: Obviously, LA is good, (laughs) but we’ve always done really well in cities like Salt Lake City, Detroit and Denver. There’s something about those cities that we just have some kind of big connection with fans there. They bring on some crazy shows.

CJ: So this might be the last time for fans to see you one last time, how do you determine the set list?

DR: We are trying to play the songs that we know people are trying to hear. We pay attention to social media and what people have been requesting. We are also trying to span out our career. We have seven albums to date and we want to play as many songs from each album as we can.

CJ: Any crazy moments on this final tour that stand out that you would like to share?

DR: Our last show in Brazil was one of the most incredible moments for all of us. We have some of the most passionate fans in Brazil. At the end of one of those shows everyone was holding up the crossed fingers (a reference from the Lowborn album artwork). I even traded shirts with a guy—I mean, people were just crazy!

CJ: What’s the one thing you’ll miss about touring with Anberlin?

DR: Just knowing when I’m going to see these guys because when you are in a band together you never have to make plans. You’re just always around each other and hanging out. A lot of the guys don’t live in Florida anymore so when this tour ends I don’t know when the next time I’ll see them will be. It’s kind of weird.

CJ: What are you looking forward to the most once this is all done?

DR: Sleep. It’s been a very hectic last tour since we started in June so I am going to be really tired by when the end comes.

The end is here. Anberlin will perform their last show not only to promote their final album Lowborn but as a band—not ever but for now on Thursday, November 26, 2014 in their home state. Dan went on to say that he wants Anberlin’s legacy to mean the most to their fans. He hopes that they can look back to their music and remember what it means to them—be something timeless that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

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