ERIC ANDERS & MARK O'BITZ
Northern Californian singer-songwriter Eric Anders and southern Californian guitarist-composer Mark O'Bitz have been working together since before Eric's 2003 debut release, Not At One, which, like most of Eric's seven solo releases from 2003-2017, was mostly made up of Anders/O'Bitz songs.
The two started releasing music as a duo in 2018 with Of All These Things. They followed that up with Ghosts to Ancestors in 2019. Their 2020 album, American Bardo, was their first time working with producer Mike Butler and was listed in Popmatters' top Americana albums for 2020.
All of Eric and Mark's releases after Ghosts to Ancestors in 2019 were produced by Mike Butler, including So Far Gone (released 8/22), both volumes of Bardo Hauntings (released 10/22), and their latest release, Answers Belie, where Eric and Mark return to their usual singer-songwriter style with a touch of Americana.
Eric, Mark, and Mike are currently working on Answers Belie, due out in 2023. This will be a collection of songs done in Eric and Mark's usual singer-songwriter style you can hear on albums like Not At One, Of All These Things, Sirens Go By, and Variant Blues.
Mike, Mark, and Eric released their 9-song Americana project The Loss We've Won in May of 2022. This album was done in a more straightforward Americana style inspired by the work Mike did on "Careful Now My Son." For more on The Loss We've Won, see Eric's blog post, "The Loss We've Won."
Eric and Mark are proud to have also worked with Basque artist Joseba Elorza (Greenday) on their award-winning 2021 music video, "Searise." You can read more about Mike, Steve, and Joseba below.
Eric and Mark finished their four-release, critically-acclaimed "music in the time of coronavirus" collection in late 2021: three albums and one single all done remotely during the pandemic.
To hear a "best of" collection of Eric and Mark's Americana music from 2003-2022, see their Concord Songs playlist. See their Small World Abide playlist for a "best of" playlist of the duo's music from 2017-2022. To hear the best of Eric's 2003-2011 solo releases, see Big World Abide. Morton's Pillory Plea is a collection of their many political songs over the two decades they have been making music.
Mark (left) and Eric during the 2017 recording sessions for Of All These Things at Electrokitty Studios in the Wallingford area of Seattle
Mike Butler produced American Bardo (2020), This Mortal Farce (2020), "Searise" (2021), the four releases of the 30-song collection "music in the time of coronavirus" (2020-2021), The Loss We've Won (2022), So Far Gone (2022), both volumes of Bardo Hauntings, and their latest release, Answers Belie. Mike is currently working with Eric and Mark on making music videos with Eric and Mark performing live.
From producer/mixing engineer, Mike Butler, San Diego:
"I got my start as an assistant engineer at the legendary Record Plant Studios where I had an opportunity to learn from some of the biggest and best names in recording. Later as an independent engineer and mixer in L.A., I was lucky enough to work with some amazing artists including Ray LaMontagne, The Pretenders, Five For Fighting, The Shins, Fanfarlo, Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Colbie Callat, Death Cab For Cutie, Norah Jones, and many more. I also did extensive mixing work for famed Japanese producer Tetsuya Komuro that earned several number one spots in Japan. Since relocating to San Diego in 2010, I have mixed and/or engineered for hundreds of independent and national artists including tracks for Phoebe Bridgers, Jessca Hoop, Night Beds, Diet Cig, Brent Knopf (El Vy, Ramona Falls), Katrina Parker (The Voice), Radio Moscow and Active Bird Community."
From Joseba Elorza:
Hey! My name is Joseba Elorza.
I was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, a small city in the Basque Country, Spain. I studied to become a sound technician and later spent a couple of unfruitful years in art school. It was all this synesthesic hodgepodge where MiraRuido sprang from; I used to spend the morning as a sound thechnician in a radio station and the evening working on collages. Sight gradually took over hearing, and presently I’m making a living as an illustrator and animator. I’ve done illustrations for clients like Wall Street Journal, Esquire or Hollywood Reporter and animations for National Geographic, Amazon Studios and Green Day among others.
And what does "MiraRuido" mean?
Well, it’s just the union of two Spanish words:
“Mira” = “look, see”
“Ruido” = “noise”.
Steven Jess Borth II
Over the course of 20+ years, Steven Jess Borth II has been involved in music on both sides of the control-room window.
Starting off his career in the late ’90s, Steve has now toured over 30 countries in such bands as Link 80 and Rx Bandits. In 2010, Steve made the move from his home state of California to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he started to work more in the studio and now he runs two small record labels, IAAI Music and Sons And Daughters Records, the former with Walshy Fire of Major Lazer.
His broad taste in music holds a common bond with a love of classic Jamaican sounds, dub being the foundation of almost all of his productions.
He is also known for collaborating with many top artists around the world including serpentwithfeet, Gunnar Olsen (Bruce Springsteen, Puscifer), super producer Ricky Reed, and avant-garde drummer Zach Hill (Death Grips.)
Jonathan Frahm Interviews Eric Anders in For Folk's Sake 5
"Eric Anders and Mark O’Bitz’s American Bardo begins with ‘Matterbloomlight (Revisited)’. Earlier this year, For Folk’s Sake premiered and praised the single for its complex, cyclical themes and the profundity of its arrangement. Now, much of the same can be said of the duo’s full album—out now, each track on the album is a “reading” to one of the characters in the Mann-Booker Prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. An individualistic conception in and of itself, the album incorporates synthetic and organic musical elements alike to form its cerebral folk and Americana.
One half of the inimitable collaboration, Eric Anders, is the latest to take on our ‘FFS 5’ interview series. Within, Anders offers morsels on his background as a Californian artist, the academia that informs his songwriting, and what his perception of artistic success is."
Indie Music Discovery Interview with Eric Anders & Mark O’Bitz – Comes And Goes:
"In this interview spotlight, Indie Music Discovery chats with Eric Anders & Mark O’Bitz about their collaborative music project, the latest releases, challenges and more."