Fusing metal and music, Anthony Janicki is the ultimate punk-rock tradesman
Anthony Janicki is not your typical punk rocker. During the day he’s busy at his welding job, while his nights are occupied playing the guitar and drums in two different bands. He says he also considers himself a huge nerd in punk rock culture.
It all started when he was a preteen. Inspired by albums such as Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell and anything by Tom Petty, Janicki says he really wanted to learn how to play electric guitar.
To save up for his first instrument, Janicki got a job at a public library. Making $5.90 an hour, he worked and saved up money, and after five months, he could finally purchase his first electric guitar.
Janicki says he taught himself to play by sitting in his room for hours trying to learn songs by Iron Maiden, Nirvana and the Misfits. He can also play the drums, which he says he learned in a much more unconventional manner. The drummer from his former band, Conniving Cadavers, would leave his drum set at Janicki’s house and he would try to play them.
“He would leave his drum set in my room, but he would have it set up to be left-handed,” Janicki says. “I didn’t know how to set it up to be right-handed. Now I play with my left foot and my right hand, which looks all weird. And sound guys hate me. They have no idea what the hell I’m doing.”
Janicki has been drumming for the band Deluge for three years, as well as playing guitar in the band Black Earth.
Smashing guitars and televisions on a regular basis, Black Earth’s live shows give an idea of just how wild Janicki can get when playing for others.
Janicki breaks the mold in other ways as well. Nerd culture isn’t often associated with punk culture, but Janicki doesn’t hide his love for comic books and sci-fi — he can recite the entire Star Wars trilogy (the original trilogy of course).
Produced by Kyle Pura and Hannah Cawsey
“People seem to be pretty okay with the fact that I’m a nerd,” Janicki says. “In high school, I might have tried to be with the cool kids and hide the fact that I really like Transformers and can tell you everything about the Decepticons. But eventually, I was just like it sucks that I have to hide what I like, so I’m just going to be who I am.”
On top of playing in two different bands, Janicki also works as a welder, which he admits can be challenging because of how busy his life can be.
“It’s a constant challenge every day,” Janicki says. “I have to work nine hours a day, and work has to come first because without it I can’t do anything else. So that always comes first, and then the band and everything else comes after that.”
Amidst splitting time between music and working, Janicki says he sometimes asks himself why he does what he does. He admits that it’s because they are things he loves, and that money has nothing to do with it.
“I really like the idea that if I were to die today or tomorrow in a car accident or something, my obituary would have something to say about me,” Janicki says. “It would say I’ve played in bands, and I was a musician in the Calgary scene.”