Sick Puppies' Emma Anzai

By Jay Oakley

You have a new record out, Connect. Did the writing and recording go well?

Yes, it was a long time in the making. We wrote a ton of songs to make sure we squeezed every ounce of inspiration out of us and the recording went smoothly as we worked with the same producers (Rock Mafia) that worked on our previous album.

There have been some mixed reviews which you can always expect on any new record but whats important is were you happy with the final cut of the record?

Yes, absolutely. We consciously took musical risks on the record, we did things we wouldn't normally do. It was refreshing for us but at the same time we checked into our fan base every now and again to get feedback on what they wanted to hear. Writing and recording for such a long period of time can feel like you're in a bubble so we made sure we popped it every so often.

Your second record, Dressed For Life, brought your first big hit in "All The Same" for the Free Hugs Campaign. Did that recognition make you excited for things to come or even nervous for the attention you would receive?

Definitely excited, we had waited and worked for a long time to even get over to the States, let alone get any recognition. It felt great and it came at just the right time. We were showcasing left and right when we first got to the States and were running out of money and the Free Hugs thing was just an accident. A happy accident. It got us recognition and we went from there.

Tri-Polar has been your most successful record which has shown the continued upward rise for your albums. "You're Going Down" and "Maybe" were so successful on the charts. When you have songs hit #1 do you look at it as a goal was met or happy your songs are so enjoyed and topping the charts was like a bonus?

Well, you never assume a song will go number one because no one can ever know that. So, going into it we were so stoked they got the recognition that they did and when we heard "You're Going Down" went number one, we couldn't believe it.

Emma, the Polar Opposite EP was your fans first chance to really hear you taking the lead on vocals for some tracks. Is that a direction that you might like to go with more in the future or was this more of a creative outlet to show your range as a vocalist?

It was an avenue that I wanted to explore at some point and especially during the recording process, you get to experiment with all kinds of different things and singing was one of them. I'm really surprised and glad that people seem to like it.

I would love to take a moment to hear about your involvement in the documentary Rock Prophecies about photographer Robert Knight.

Robert was the first contact that our manager, Paul Stepanek, had when it came to us coming to the States. He was one of the first people to like us and encourage us to come over. After we did, Robert would come and shoot footage of us on the road, in the studio and pretty much just everything and once he decided he was going to make Rock Prophecies, he told us that he wanted to put us in it! We were, of course, super stoked.

Your debut record, Welcome To The Real World, was only released in Australia. Has there been any talk or plans to release it in the States?

Not as of yet.

I wanted to ask you a couple of questions that I thought might be fun for your fans to hear. Has there been a tour or a band that you have performed with that has been you favorite so far?

Touring with Nickelback was actually very inspiring. Not only were they packing out sheds but they really were kind people and that goes a hell of a long way

When you're not performing and you're traveling or relaxing who do you have playing in your iPod or CD player?

I've recently discovered Blue Stahli, I cannot stop listening to them!!

I have one more question for you and that is who are your favorite new bands? Is there anyone that has come out in the last few years that you are really into?

As above, Blue Stahli. I'm not too sure how new they are but to me, they're new and awesome. Check them out.

Emma, thanks again so much for taking the time to talk and I want to wish you all the best of luck with the new record and I look forward to seeing you real soon in concert.

Thank you.