Entering the studio to make one last album is an unusual concept for a band after it announces that it’s splintering. But that’s what Anberlin decided to do in January after explaining to its fans that it would call it a day after a dozen productive years.
The Orlando-based band has a solid fan base and has sold more than a million albums. Anberlin has recorded seven consistent alt-rock albums, including its latest, “Lowborn,” which was released Tuesday.
“We knew that when we started this that no band can go on forever,” drummer Nathan Young said during a phone call from Eugene, Ore. “So we decided it was time for Anberlin to come to an end. We had enough inspiration for one last album, and I think I can honestly say we’ve said everything that we can say. It’s time to move on. We exceeded our expectations, and we thought it was a good time to stop when people still cared about us.”
Anberlin, which will perform Friday at Vinoy Park, is on the first leg of its farewell tour. The initial stop is on the Warped Tour, where the band has played twice.
“We’re thrilled to be able to go back and play the Warped tour one last time,” Young said. “It’s the greatest tour. One of my greatest memories is playing Warped back in 2008. We had so much fun with the camaraderie. It’s like that again. Part of what’s great about the Warped tour is that every band plays for a half-hour and then it’s a question of what you’ll do the other 23-and-a-half hours. That can be an issue when you’re on the road on your own. But that’s not so on Warped. We’re hanging with our friends in Bayside and Yellowcard. We have barbecues with those guys and other people and we’re playing cornhole until 2 a.m.”
After the Warped tour concludes in August, Anberlin will embark on its last tour as headliners.
Considering the circumstances, the band won’t render much of “Lowborn,” which mirrors prior releases with its blast of emo meets pop-rock.
“I think its a healthy mix of all or our records,” Young said. “We didn’t try to make a single, just music that moved us. As far as what we’ll play live, we debated this back and forth. We’re playing stuff just from our six albums on the Warped tour. And we’ll play some new but primarily older material when we do our own shows later in the year.”
According to Young, Anberlin, which also includes vocalist Stephen Christian, guitarists Joseph Milligan and Christian McAlhaney and bassist Deon Rexroat, will not have a change of heart after the tour.
“This is final for sure,” Young said. “This is not a hiatus. It’s not as if we didn’t have a good run. We had an amazing run. We have seven documents of what we did in the studio and so many great memories touring. Why drag it out and milk it when you’ve already done your best work? We’ve done all that we can. We’re proud of it and we’re really pleased when we look back at what Anberlin accomplished. There are no regrets.”
The Carrollwood resident admits that it hasn’t hit him completely that Anberlin will be a memory in 2015. “I’m sure I’ll feel very differently next year since we still have about six months of touring,” Young said. “We have a lot of Anberlin business to tend to, but that won’t be so in a few months. It’ll all change, and that will be alright.”
Expect Young to continue to be a musician, but he will also try his hand as an entrepreneur. Young will launch King’s State, a coffee company, in Tampa.
“It’s a new challenge that I’m looking forward to,” Young said. “I’ll still play drums, but I need something else. I think we all need that challenge, and I’m going to go for it.”
Young grew up in Carrollwood has no plans of ever departing. “I live 10 minutes from my parents, where I grew up,” Young said. “I love Tampa. I’ll be sticking around for the long haul. It’s such a great city, with so much potential. It’s home. I love going to the Tampa Theatre to see movies and the Ritz to see bands. Those venues are run so well. And now I’ll be part of the Tampa community full-time. There is life after being in a band.”