There was a time when Rock music was the voice of protest, unity, and liberty. Yet, today it seems like our entire culture revolves around words that break us down. What happened??? It’s certainly a mystery – some would even say ‘conspiracy’ – worth exploring. Southern California based Rock band, Antehero, does just that in a new four song album.
#unsane is the third studio album by Antehero, released independently in 2020. It is the band’s first album with original members Paul Anthony, Vinay, and Jeff Thal joined by new member Erik Piazza, and featuring music written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Antehero began work on the album following a string of successful shows in 2019 opening for Blind Melon, Foghat, and Blue Oyster Cult. The songs capture the same complexity of the band’s earlier works, while showcasing the group’s newly evolving guitar-riff driven style.
Lyrically, the album is outspoken about fear mongering and conspiracy – topics that were at the forefront in the U.S. during the album’s inception. Originally planned as eight songs, the band chose an earlier release of four periodically throughout the year to better represent in real-time what was occurring socially and politically during this difficult period of change and upheaval. In urban definition, “unsane” means “being past insanity”, aptly setting the tone for the album’s content.
Although exploring social issues through music is nothing new, one has to wonder why more artists today aren’t doing so. Where are the Bob Dylans and Pearl Jams of the twenty-tens to stand up alongside Rap artists who’ve, in some cases, made their careers in exercising free speech? Antehero vocalist and lyricist Paul Anthony thinks the recent cancel culture trend is a culprit in this. “Having a opinion about something instantly makes you a target. It’s the ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us’ attitude. We’re just censoring each other, and there’s no chance of anything constructive coming from that.”
Shomee’s choice for Artists To Watch In 2020, Antehero got their start playing the local club circuit in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Their music fuses soulful vocals with sophisticated arrangements that capture the spirit of renaissance periods of Rock music, galvanized with a contemporary edginess. Within only a few short years, they leaped from playing in front of “literally, four people” to thousand seater venues opening for names like Ace Frehley and Jefferson Starship. The band attributes their rise in local stardom to hard work, professionalism, and an unbending belief that their music must be heard.
When asked why the band won’t do cover songs – a typical tactic to get thousands of ‘likes’ on social media – guitarist Vinay explains, “The musical personalities in this band are so strong that even if we try to play someone else’s song, it ends up sounding like us. We think that’s a positive.” Bassist Erik Piazza adds, “We’d much rather spend our energy trying to get people to give what we’ve created a chance. That’s what all art deserves.” Self-affirming words, ambition, and a willingness to take the risk of artistic exploration is a formula that seems to be working for the band. And if things keep going their way, they’ll perform their first live show since February with Buckcherry in early 2021.
#unsane is available now for streaming and download now on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon. Even if you don’t agree with every song’s message, there’s nothing saying you can’t turn it up loud!