A good friend asked me why I bothered to go by ‘anoN’ a few weeks ago.
It’s a fair enough question. Not like most of you don’t know who I am.
And so far, I have answered it with something snarky. Like “Why not?” or “I wanted to.” I have also taken on the pseudonym as an ironic, paradoxical play on the anonymity of the Internet, which is our main source of band information.
And those responses are true.
I got a chance to reflect on that a little more this past week, when my Other and I went up to Victoria, Canada for a few days post-Christmas. It’s becoming a ritual; we’ve been up 7 times since we got married. And it’s amazing what sort of state of mind you can get into when it’s helped along by cocktails mixed from 100+ year old recipes. (Shameless plug: If in Victoria, get drinks and food at Clives’ in the Chateau Victoria. Have a sipper like your great, great grandparents used to enjoy. It will NOT be fruity and sweet; it will taste like booze. And you will like it.)
And I realized that the biggest reason I go by ‘anoN’ in this project goes back a ways.
When I first started writing songs, I wrote with a specific purpose and goal. I consciously shaped my artistic expressions around these values. And I did that for quite some years. The bands changed; the purpose and goal did not.
Times changed… I changed. Things that used to make sense didn’t anymore. And things that made no sense seemed less opaque.
And by the time Shai Azul came into being, I didn’t want to write with a specific purpose and goal anymore.
Thing is, this purpose and goal shaped a lot more than just music. It shaped ME. And not in a bad way. The person most of you know is who I am because of that journey.
I’m just… not sure how much of that applies anymore. Times changed. I changed.
And for some dumb reason, taking on a persona makes it easier to understand what all that means in the here and now. It certainly encourages creative freedom. Even were I to throw out all the false starts and half-written ideas, there’s 2 more discs worth of lyrics already to go.
To quote a Stevie Winwood song, I’m the same boy I used to be. Quick to smile and laugh; overly optimistic if prone to worry; enjoys a good drink; empathetic; wants to help; cares that his friends are doing well.
But the blood, viscera, and thunder that’s coming up on the next CD? That’s there, too. Always has been.
It’s just getting a voice now.
Happy New Year. I hope your 2011 will be everything you hoped and dreamed it could be.
-anoN, also known as Tony by some.