In her latest video, Ania shreds her way through the streets and stages of Los Angeles.
The heavy metal singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso released a gritty new video today for “Doors Close,” a 4.5-minute banger filled with fast alternate picking and arpeggios against a raw bassline and driving drumbeat.
“We wanted to show a modern rock band playing, and we went around LA and filmed in public places and highlighted the rock-grunge scene,” said Ania, a University of Southern California (USC) guitar student. “We also filmed some of it at USC in our songwriting theater where we have a tiny stage and wanted to showcase that we can play instruments, have fun and rock out.”
Ania eloquently demonstrates her electric guitar chops alongside USC classmate and drummer Megan Adcock on stage while simultaneously wandering the nighttime streets and sitting in front of a rainbow-colored graffiti wall. Bassist Carson Rhode also plays on the track, but isn’t featured in the video.
While the “Doors Close” video artistically captures dingy LA nightlife, the single politically tackles the complications of Catholicism in Ania’s native Poland.
“I just wanted to write a song that changed the key signature, and it’s funny because the song is about Adam and Eve and how the whole Catholic thing is very weird,” Ania said. “We grow up, and we’re like, ‘Wow, religion is just kind of fake,’ and everyone has a different perspective.”
Ania developed her own perspective about religion and music after moving from Koszalin, Poland to Chicago with her mother at age 15. While growing up near the Baltic Sea, she watched Polish MTV and longed to play electric guitar.
“I didn’t play instruments until I moved to the States because where I come from in Poland we never had music schools,” Ania said. “It would be impossible to play electric guitar or be in a rock band. There was one music school, and all the kids that went there had been trained since they were four years old.”
Once she moved to Chicago, Ania started listening to Deftones, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and Soundgarden and enrolled in a local School of Rock. While learning electric guitar, her School of Rock teacher introduced her to the Riot Grrrl punk rock movement, including L7, Joan Jett and Lita Ford.
“I did an ‘80s femme fatale show there too because we would learn songs and perform them as a band,” Ania said. “That’s kind of when I realized I have this love for guitar.”
After graduating from high school, Ania moved to LA to attend USC and initially studied architecture. Her academic course quickly switched to playing guitar, shredding her Ibanez and studying guitar heroes Jennifer Batten, Nili Brosh, Nita Strauss, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani and Uli Jon Roth.
“Going to guitar school here I felt kind of unwelcome since I’m a girl and that girls can’t play guitar and learning in that environment was very hard. With my music, I really want to show people that women can play guitar, and that’s what inspired me to learn how to play really well,” said Ania, who will graduate from USC in December. “Now, I’m studying jazz, and I’m trying to do what all my guitar idols did, too. I’m trying to combine how Lita Ford plays guitar with Nine Inch Nails.”
Back in May, Ania released her gritty, intelligent debut single and video “Runaway” to strike a power chord with heavy metal fans. It features a Judas Priest-esque guitar riff that crunches throughout the 3-minute British heavy metal reverie – “There’s a place out there where one could hide/Where the flowers bloom we become wide-eyed/Far above the dusty clouds/The only way to be free and get out.”
“At the moment, I was young and started working, and it was summer, and I was like, ‘Wow, what if I could just run away from all these problems?’ School was definitely kind of weird for me because I’m more of a rock person,” said Ania, who snuck into her school’s studio to record the track. “I just think that the time I wanted to do music, but I had all this homework, and I entered the adult world slowly.”
As for the “Runaway” video, Ania demonstrates her electric guitar prowess while running away from a jewel thief while Adcock drums in the background. She teamed up with Paul Phou, a cinematic arts major at USC, to record the video for his class project.
With the releases of “Doors Close” and “Runaway,” Ania plans to release two more singles, including a dark poppy track called “Poison.” Inspired by St. Vincent, “Poison” will feature heavy synths and textures while her fourth single will revert to her signature heavy metal sound.
“I have two other songs and that’s gonna be my EP. I’ve been releasing it as singles, and I feel like these songs are just a taste of what I’ve done at school. When I’m done with school, I’m planning on just sitting there and writing full concept albums,” Ania said. “I think these first four songs are me just trying out different concepts and things and what I’ve gathered and randomly created being at school.”