With an emerald Ibanez, Ania strums toward a new antidote for personal and societal toxicity.
That antidote appears as her latest melodic pop-rock single, “Poison,” which combines slow, vibrant electric guitar, delicate cymbal taps, rhythmic bass, steady drums and swirling synths into a soothing remedy with bassist-drummer Matt Ward.
“This song was about me letting go of a toxic relationship. Lyrically, I wanted to be vague and express how this relationship broke me. This relationship literally broke my ‘shit’ in a grunge way. I feel as if I lost my sense of self and who I am,” said Ania, a Los Angeles heavy metal singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso.
Throughout “Poison,” Ania cathartically sings, “Complications come from meditation/Your privilege gets me down again/Dusky skies are filling up with poison/And we keep breaking our own shit/Air is filling up with poison, and you keep breaking my shit/Air is filling up with poison, and you keep breaking my shit.”
“I tried to create a dark pop song that’s similar to ‘The Hand That Feeds’ by Nine Inch Nails. I also wanted to incorporate some synth electronic modern textures that I have been hearing in St. Vincent’s music to make the song more current,” she said.
Ania will extend her personal undertones of “Poison” to growing societal struggles in a new video out June 26. Wrapped in vivid shades of neon pink and green, the “Poison” video transports Ania to Hollywood’s infamous Melrose Avenue where she laments society’s self-destructive tendencies.
Throughout the “Poison” video, Ania adorns a white long-sleeve T-shirt, pink pants and black combat boots while shredding her emerald Ibanez, smashing records on alley walls and battling an evil Trump-masked drummer. This contrasting mix of vivid and muted colors also symbolizes Ania’s lingering frustrations with the superficiality of life and image of perfectionism in Los Angeles.
“I wanted the ‘Poison’ video to expose the inauthenticity of the beautiful and vibrant image that many people associate with Los Angeles. Hollywood glamour is part of the city, but it’s got an angsty side, too,” said Ania, who teamed up with filmmakers Will Milvid and Alex Ioanoviciu for the video.
“We all have an impact on the world around us. I want people to wake up and think critically for themselves and understand that we can all fight for change if we aren’t absorbed in our own image. Sometimes we’re blinded by it, but if we look up from our phones, we can fight for change and a better future.”
“Poison” also serves as the third single and video from Ania’s upcoming debut EP, Ania in Chains, which will drop later this year. In November, she released a video for “Doors Close,” a 4.5-minute banger filled with fast alternate picking and arpeggios against a raw bassline and driving drumbeat. The track politically tackles the complications of Catholicism in Ania’s native Poland while the video artistically captures dingy LA nightlife.
Before “Doors Close,” Ania released her gritty, intelligent debut single and video for “Runaway,” which features a Judas Priest-esque guitar riff that crunches throughout the 3-minute British heavy metal reverie. The “Runaway” video also demonstrates Ania’s guitar prowess while running away from a jewel thief as bandmate Megan Adcock pounds on the drums.
“I want to show people that shit happens to everyone. Life isn’t as perfect as people think. We all go through problems, and we all suffer in different ways, so it’s important to be human to one another,” she said.
Ania developed her own thoughts about life, humanity and music after relocating from Koszalin, Poland to Chicago at age 15. After moving to the Windy City, she started listening to Deftones, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and Soundgarden and enrolled in a local School of Rock to learn electric guitar.
While learning electric guitar, Ania’s instructor introduced her to the Riot Grrrl punk movement, including L7, Joan Jett and Lita Ford. Once she graduated high school, Ania moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California and major in architecture.
However, Ania quickly traded architecture for guitar and started shredding away while studying Jennifer Batten, Nili Brosh, Nita Strauss, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani and Uli Jon Roth. Those influences have fueled her evolution as an emerging heavy metal singer-songwriter and guitarist.
“I hope I can inspire humanity to want and fight for change and a better future for all of us. That’s why I hope I can keep starting conversations about injustices in the world through my music,” Ania said.
Ania’s personal vision for a better future also includes supporting women in the music industry – an ideal she’s materialized through Gritty in Pink. This growing collective of LA musicians seeks to empower women via all-female live shows and livestreams.
“I really hope my video for ‘Poison’ wakes people up, makes them shocked or strikes some kind of emotion. Hopefully, this will make people stop and want to know what’s happening in our society,” she said.