- The first time I’ve heard his songs I’ve just burst into laughter. But don’t get me wrong, it was because the guy was very, very funny.
John Anealio at Balticon, 2011
This guy knows what his audience likes. He sings about gothic girls that suddenly changes into a steampunk look, the bad relations among Steve Jobs and Flash, and even about diehard fans who doesn’t know when to stop stalking his idols. He is also, and it couldn’t be different, a very gentle, smart and fun guy to chat.
With you, an artist that I know will be a star, Mr John Anealio.
Octavio Aragão – The very first song of yours that I've heard was the highly amusing Steampunk Girl, a funny look into fashion and nerd culture. I was from a time when to be nerd was to be completly far from the very concept of fashion, but now - somehow - nerds became cool. How do you and your work fits in this "new universe"?
John Anealio – It's become much more acceptable to discuss nerdy things in public now. When I was much younger, it was embarrassing to discuss Star Wars or video games. A lot of my music is a celebration of that acceptance. People love when they feel like a song was written specifically for them. My lyrics appeal the new nerd universe, because a lot of current music is aiming for the masses. Mine appeals to a very specific group.
OA – I really love Empire State, a song that seems to show us a small piece of a larger pulp universe. Are you working on a kind of Pulp Opera Rock project?
JA – The Empire State was commissioned by Angry Robot Books as a sort of short story to go along with Adam Christopher's Empire State novel. There's a whole book there for people to enjoy! I'm a huge progressive rock fan (Yes, Rush, Dream Theater, etc.), I would love to write and record a full rock opera some day.
OA – The hylarious song George R. R. Martin Is Not Your Bitch is very critical about the hardcore fans. Don't you think that all this "nerd sensibilities" are potentially as dangerous as religious radicals?
JA – George R.R. Martin Is Not Your Bitch is based on a blog post by Neil Gaiman where he expresses that author's need to work at a pace that is comfortable for them, even if it disappoints fans. I was able to put the song together because I have strong feelings about people feeling entitled to anything. No one owes you anything. If you want something, work hard and make it yourself.
OA – The internet is your primordial way of distribution and divulgation. But how do you manage to work commercially your songs? And what about your musical agenda? Do you make any tours? Do you play with a band or do the musical work all by yourself?
JA – My songs haven't been released commercially via radio or TV, but I'm certainly interested in having my songs placed in movies and TV shows. I've been doing shows as a solo acoustic performer. Just one guitar that I play in various alternate tunings (DADGAD, Open G, Drop D). I'm performing at various Science Fiction & "nerd" conventions like Balticon, Confluence, Fencon and Nerdtacular. I hope to continue playing these shows as well as branching out into bigger venues.
OA – Your lyrics are highly original and fun, in a way contrasting with the more traditional sonority of your musical composition. What do you think about other Sci Fi driven artists such as bands like Rush, Iron Maiden and Queensrÿche, that makes a heavier and somehow "darker" music?
JA – I'm a huge Rush and Queensrÿche fan! Rush is probably my biggest musical influence, even though you may not hear it in my songs. I can definitely see doing something heavier and darker in the future. At the same time, I love a good folk or pop song. I also have a pretty good sense of humor. There are so many serious issues in our world. Some times you just need to take it easy and have a laugh.
OA – Thank you, John. Hope you hit the jackpot soon.