Impressed is how you’ll likely come away from experiencing Victoria Anthony’s just released latest album New Disaster. You’d probably be doubly impressed if you didn’t already know that Anthony is reaching such songwriting highs at only the age of 17. With an already polished vocal style and a very capable multi-instrumentalist, the Vancouver-based singer-songwriter has packed a real punch into these 13 new masterfully written tracks. Much of the album focuses on the ups and downs of your life when you are coming of age, feeling a lot of angst about your current existence and trying to figure out where you belong. The general approach to the record is to tackle life with fearlessness while never straying too far from who you are.

New Disaster is the follow-up to Anthony’s 2020 debut full-length Real Life. It’s a more mature-sounding record than its predecessor, cohesive but also raw and edgy, both musically and thematically. One of her primary objectives with this batch of songs was to be as relatable as possible to the highs and lows of life as a young person. The intense emotions mimic how most older teenagers feel as they transition to a new time of their life. With its pop appeal and rock n’ roll spirit, it’s an album that would appeal to anyone at any stage of life.

Today we are joined by Anthony for a thorough conversation about New Disaster, her creative process, how her sound has evolved since Real Life, touring Europe, and much more.

You have just released your new album New Disaster. What can you tell us about it? What was your experience of making it? Any notable behind-the-scenes moments that stand out?

Victoria Anthony:New Disaster started as a concept album about the novelty, fear, and excitement that comes with youth. I wanted to create a time capsule through music for this period of my life. I wanted to capture the intensity of feeling and doing things for the first time. I brought this album to life with my producer Ryan Worsley. We had so much fun working together, writing music with so much life to it.”

How was making this record different from making your debut album, Real Life?

“On the last album, I worked with a few different producers. For this album, I chose to work with one producer, Ryan Worsley. I wanted to find my sound, and Ryan helped me with that. Since my first album, I’ve made a conscious effort to lay myself more barely on the page, expressing my feelings with vulnerability and truth. I spent a couple of years experimenting by trying different sounds with different singles. This was a huge help in moulding how I would approach the album.”

How would you describe your creative process?

“I start every writing session by talking with Ryan. I tell him about my week, my friends, and my love interests, and we make a Google doc full of my secrets. Slowly, we pick lines or sayings we love, thinking of a concept for a song. He then starts creating a track, and I start with melodic and lyrical concepts. I love starting with the chorus, then moving on to verses, then the bridge.

“I then lay down whatever we’ve written, seeing how it sounds on the track. When doing this, I make little tweaks to melodies and lyrics until the song feels perfect. Sometimes I’ll even sit with a demo for weeks until I decide to fully rewrite the chorus. That’s what happened with the title track, ‘New Disaster.’”

You are not only involved in the writing and recording of your music, but also with other aspects of the creative process, including co-directing your music videos. Can you tell us a little about that?

“I’ve always believed that if a song had my name on it I was going to be involved in every aspect of the process. I had been conceptualizing my music videos from the very start, taking those ideas to the video producer/director and letting them flush out the idea, and making it come to life.

“Eventually, I decided to step into the co-directing role and approached Brock Newman, who had directed a few of my previous videos and asked him to co-direct the video for ‘Breathe Underwater’ with me. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how he would react, given that I was only 14 at the time, but he said yes immediately. We ended up co-directing four videos together.

“The last few videos made for singles from New Disaster were co-directed by myself and Anna Baker. The video for ‘New Disaster’ was shot while I was on tour in the UK and Europe, which made for an amazing backdrop. The collaboration with Anna has been incredible. She is a very talented filmmaker, and we had so much fun traveling together.”

Can you tell us about the evolution of your sound over the past few years?

“I took time to figure out my sound. I released several stand-alone singles between my debut album and New Disaster that helped me find out who I was as an artist. Musically, I’ve tried to develop a sound that stays cohesive, but properly reflects the meaning of the song.

“For my more angsty and angry songs, I’ve worked with my producer Ryan Worsley to create a pop punk/guitar-heavy sound with a catchy pop flare. It combines my love for a great hook with my desire to bring emotional passion to a song. With my more slow songs like ‘You Don’t Love Me,’ we’ve worked to use live instruments like piano, drums, and strings to add emotional depth to the lyrics through the sound of the song.”

Victoria Anthony ‘New Disaster’ album artwork
Victoria Anthony ‘New Disaster’ album artwork

Which do you enjoy the most: writing, recording, or playing live?

“I’m so torn between writing and playing live. To me, they’re so interconnected because I think of one while I’m doing the other. I write music in hopes that rooms full of people will sing the words back to me, embracing me and my feelings. I play my songs thinking about how I was feeling at the time of their creation, proud of what they’ve become. It’s a bit of the chicken or the egg for me, but I love writing the most because that’s where it all begins. I’m always so proud to call a song mine.”

Last fall, you toured the UK and Europe with Leah Kate. What can you tell us about the tour?

“The Leah Kate tour was the time of my life. I performed on 15 sold-out shows in 14 cities across a stunning continent with incredible people, doing what I love to do. I don’t think many 17-year-olds are given opportunities to tour like this, and although I had toured in the U.S. previously, this was a whole new experience. Playing to Leah’s fans every night was the biggest treat!

“I got to play a few songs from New Disaster, test out what people loved, and garnered loads of inspiration for the rest of the album. On the tour, I got to visit castles in Scotland, the Eiffel Tower in France, and cathedrals in Germany. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’ll never forget it.”

What was the highlight of the tour for you?

“I think the biggest surprise for me was that many fans attending the shows already knew the lyrics to my songs. I really wasn’t expecting that! The fans were incredible and would line up to take photos with me at the end of the show. They were so enthusiastic!

“One of my favourite off-stage moments was on the way from Zurich to Barcelona. We stopped the tour bus at a beautiful French restaurant on Lac D’Annecy. We had a great meal, then afterward, our driver Ollie jokingly suggested jumping in the lake. I was like, ‘I’m in!’ A group of us quickly took the plunge into the chilly water. This was a questionable decision as we didn’t have any big towels and still had a four-hour drive ahead of us, but it was 100 percent worth it.

“It reminded me of home; I am no stranger to Vancouver’s glacial water. I felt so awake, basking in the freezing water. It was such a bonding experience for me and my band, and we just loved it.”

What was your favourite city or venue to play on the tour, and why?

“Amsterdam was pretty freaking cool. We played at the Melkweg, which someone told me used to be a milk factory. The crowd was as lively as ever, the venue was stunning, and the city was my favourite to explore.”

How was touring the UK and Europe different than previous tours you have done in the US?

“Touring the UK and Europe is much different than touring in the U.S. The cultural shift from country to country was so unique and something I had yet to experience firsthand, so I learned a lot. It was also so cool to hear all the different languages spoken, and I got to practice my French, a bunch!”

What is the one greatest lesson you have learned since you started touring?

“Taking care of yourself as a singer and artist is the most important thing. Keeping your voice healthy and getting as much sleep as you can, even in sprinter vans, is key to giving the best show to the audience every night. Touring has also taught me so much about time management. I missed a whole month of school (including AP Calculus) during the UK/EU tour, so I quickly learned how to catch up on work like never before.”

Do you have any rituals before you hit the stage? If so, what are they?

“I keep things super simple. I drink some water, check my microphone, then dance to my line-check song before it’s time to go out. Sometimes I also fidget with my lucky bracelet to remind me that I’m wearing it.”

What’s next for you now the album has been released?

“For the next few months, I will be concentrating on promoting this album. I still have a few more singles to come out, and I hope to be doing some shows before the end of the summer so I can perform the whole album live! I look forward to continuing to make new music to share with everyone!”


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