Interview: "246" - Anderson Hao
Photo credit: Joci Hinners
“246” is a lovely, poignant tune, and I appreciate how the guitar’s sharper, almost frantic-sounding notes emphasize the song’s lyrics. What does “246” mean to you, and what do you hope listeners gain from it?
Anderson: "246" was the first song I made off my upcoming EP and the first song I made with the music collective I work with, Harcourt Paloma. It was really special actually, I wrote it in my childhood bedroom when I went back to Ohio for Christmas. I posted it as an Instagram story and my friend (and producer), Ari Rivera, reached out and asked to work on it when I got back to LA. I am a firm believer in running the tap until it’s clear when it comes to songwriting and this felt like one of, if not the first, songs that came out clear. I am relatively new to music, I only really started writing songs at the beginning of 2022. 246 for me is about self-sabotage and naivety. It’s about getting honest with yourself about outcomes. Going back to the same person or habit that has hurt you over and over and expecting a different result.
How would you describe the experience shooting the visualizer video for “246” and what were some of your favorite moments?
Anderson: I shot and edited the visual for "246" by myself in my bedroom! I wanted it to focus on the lyrics because I feel like they provide a lot of imagery on their own, so the video was made to support them. I wanted it to feel a bit like a spiral in your bedroom because that’s truthfully what the song is. It was cool to try to fit as much personality as I could into silent clips.
A quick search of your Insta reveals that you play guitar and keys. Which do you prefer, and do you have your eye on learning another instrument any time soon?
Anderson: I think I reach for the guitar when I’m going to write just because it’s more accessible. I’m self-taught in both. It’s not great hahaha. I would love to learn slide guitar. I just got a bass and I have some synths but everything is really a means to an end. I Frankenstein-play when I am producing by myself, I’ll hear the sound in my head and then try my best to mimic it on an instrument. More than learning an instrument I should probably learn theory but typically I write to very basic chords, take it to Ari, and tell him he can find better chords because I’m more in it for lyrics and melody.
What was the best part about working with Lance Redeker on “Get A Grip”?
Anderson: I love "Get A Grip". Out of the singles on the EP, this song feels the most like me. Working with Lance was really cool, he’s great at melodies so I went over to his house and we wrote out this song. It was one of the first songwriting sessions I did. It was cool to get outside of my own experience in writing. It was supposed to be slower, more along the lines of Garden Song by Phoebe Bridgers with that low harmony. When I brought it in to Ari I reworked all the lyrics to make it more honest to my experience. I asked if Lance would still be willing to do the harmony idea and he was so he came over to track vocals with us at Harcourt.
Photo credit: Olivia Neil
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations and influences?
Anderson: Oh god, this question. I grew up following the 1975 on tour so I think even just on a subconscious level I am heavily influenced by their sound. I was also a massive Taylor Swift fan growing up so I think you can see that in the way I write a bit. Hayley Williams' solo album Petals for Armor was huge for me as well as the Such Great Heights EP by The Postal Service.
What comes next for you, and what should fans be keeping an eye out for?
Anderson: I have two more singles coming out, and then the EP 'What a Hard Winter!' comes out May 31st, on my birthday.
Interviewed By Vanessa Siebrass