Persona / by Marcell Marias

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.