An obsession with songwriting has been a constant in Osachoff’s life, through all the ups and downs. Songwriting is an addiction for him. He continues to make sacrifices to have the time to write and perform. The possibility of writing a great song, he says, helps him take on the mundane tasks of life.
He writes prolifically, recording songs in his Nissan (and scaring passersby). He listens the them endlessly, obsessing. He doesn’t love many of them in the end. Time sorts out the weaker from the stronger ones. And he has had a lot of time in these last two years - waiting for his producer to listen to his new songs and get back to him, waiting for rough mixes, waiting to sing the vocals - that has tested his resolve and patience, but the result was excellent: over 100 acoustic demos, and a ten-song record, Relationships 4 Dummies, released September 4, 2010 on iTunes.
Tom Harrison of the Vancouver Province said Anthill’s last album Waiting for the Sun (2006) was “a quantum leap above” 2004’s Ascending. Their song “Pastel Rain” won Anthill honours at the Southern California Music Awards in 2006 as the best International Act. Relationships 4 Dummies is Anthill’s next step. In it, Osachoff puts a memorable Indie Pop spin on the ins and outs of a relationship. The journey of these last two years started out pop, got a bit Bittersweet Symphony, but now it’s back to pop,” he says. “I don’t mind sounding a bit desperate. But I want the audience to connect with the song and move to the music. Performing, for me, is all about having fun with a little desperation.”
The popular-live “Backwards Song” is an Indie take on the awkward process of expressing yourself to your love partner. It’s honest, but by no means evolved - immaturity that ultimately ends in an understanding of the need to communicate.
“Grass is Greener” was written upon returning from a tour in England where Anthill performed at the London City Showcase. This was the first foreign tour for Anthill, and the trip went well, but upon returning home Osachoff began to wonder if the investment had really been worth it. “Grass is Greener” was his answer. It was used in the 2010 Indie film Rain Down, in the climactic car scene.
Relationships 4 Dummies was produced by Brian Minato (Wild Strawberries, Blue Alarm, Sarah McLachlan). (It has been bass players, Mark says, that have pushed him to write the best songs possible, and Brian is no exception.)
The record was mixed by Blair Calibaba ( No Means No, Sum 41) and Paul Forgues (NIN, Slayer).
The latest incarnation of Anthill is Mark Osachoff on vocals, Jeff Younger on guitar, Joe Cruz on guitar, Shane Wilson on drums, and, of course, Brian Minato on bass.