Animal Years on the rise, will play The Gramercy Theatre
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Apr 29, 2015 | 7120 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo credit: Spencer Kohn
Photo credit: Spencer Kohn
In 2013, Brooklyn-based Animal Years released their EP “Sun Will Rise.” Since then, the Americana influenced roots-rock band has been on a cross-country adventure. Besides gigs on the East Coast, the band has also been touring in California, performing at South by South West (SXSW) and getting ready to release their new EP this summer.

The band consists of singer and guitarist Mike McFadden, drummer Anthony Spinnato and bassist Anthony Saladino. I spoke to McFadden about touring, new material and their upcoming performance at The Gramercy Theatre on May 1 at 7 p.m., where they will open for the legendary Martin Sexton.

So how was touring in California? It was great. We drove across the country and we played a lot of really cool shows. We played a sold out show in Los Angeles, played a really awesome show all the way up north in Humboldt County for a radio station that’s really supported us. And we went everywhere else in between, like San Francisco and Long Beach. It was a blast. We did really well there, especially since it was our first time. So, we’re definitely trying to get out there again.

Did you have any favorite performances?

Humboldt County was pretty cool. There was such a small town called Arcata and this little radio station just picked our album up half a year ago and just started playing it nonstop. People were so appreciative. It’s not a town that fans hit all the time, so they were really appreciative. They kept thanking us for making it out there and it was so packed. Everyone knew all the words to our songs. It was an experience that we weren’t expecting. I think that was the highlight of the trip.

Do you notice a difference in performing and the audience from coast to coast?

We’ve grown our fan base here but I think it’s cool to play music for people for the first time out there. There are music fans wherever you go. There were definitely some intense crowds out there and it was really nice to see that. We’ve never been there before so it was surprising to see the fans as intense and dedicated as on the East Coast.

You’ve performed at SXSW a few times, how did it go this year?

This year we did eight performances over 10 days. We had a blast. The year before we had only done one performance. To go bacj and just have so much more to do is awesome. It was experience. Being there for 10 days, we couldn’t really afford a hotel or anything so we slept in tents. That was interesting.

While you were in your tent for ten days, did you have time to come up with any new material for any upcoming projects? I’m always writing and thinking about ideas from our experiences but I don’t think I’m going to write any tent-related songs anytime soon. The whole experience was cool and it all just gets logged. I’ll sit down one day and think about something and write it. I wrote a whole bunch of songs on the whole experience of this and how crazy it is. It all inspires me. The trip was great and I’m sure it will come in at some point in my writing.

Is there a concrete date in the future when the band will be releasing a new EP?

There’s nothing concrete. We’re in the process of recording right now. We’re actually pretty close but it’s just taking us a while. We’re hoping for summer for either a EP or a single. It’s tough but we’re trying. We’ve just been gigging so much. It’s been a struggle.

You’ve got to be excited to perform at The Gramercy Theatre and with Martin Sexton. We’re definitely excited. I’ve never actually been so that will be a cool experience. I’m a huge fan of Martin Sexton, I’ve seen him in concert four times. His concert, like ten years ago, was one of the first ones I’ve been to. When we found out we were opening, it was pretty surreal.

You’ve already got your music video for “Forget What They’re Telling You” which stars Bailey Noble from “True Blood.” Any new music videos coming out?

We had scored a bunch of songs for an indie movie that was filmed in Long Island. We had played the music and she had heard some of it. After the movie was done, we got in touch with her and we asked her if she wanted to get involved. She said sure so we shot the first half in Los Angeles an the second half in New York. It just got us a lot of hits, which was pretty cool.

Our next music video will probably be for a new song on our new album. We’re so close to putting out our new stuff that we’re going to wait for it.

Do you think your music has evolved over the past year or so? I don’t know. I could think about it but I really don’t. You move so gradually that I don’t think we really even think that we sound any different. You just keep writing stuff and that’s it.

Tickets for Animal Year's performance at The Gramercy Theatre are on sale at

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