Every Tuesday, Ania breathes a sigh of relief.
The Los Angeles heavy metal singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso slowly exhales after getting through another manic Monday.
“I’ve found that most people are tired and angry on a Monday. By Tuesday, they seem lost and ready to procrastinate again. I make it a point each Tuesday to escape a bit and visit a local hiking spot to get through the rest of the week,” said Ania Thomas, aka Ania.
Boisterous Black Sabbath-esque electric guitars, galvanic bass, propulsive drums, crashing cymbals, fuzzy synths and delicate strings instantly release inner workplace tensions and rejuvenate weary minds throughout the 4.5-minute therapeutic banger.
Ania calmly sings, “And the road, and you climb some more/To find that one path about you/Still shines down on you/Are you forgetting it?/Climb, climb to get to the road you once knew/Where it shines down on you/Stairs are up the way, you know.”
“I think ‘Tuesdays’ bring a sense of relief by sharing a positive message, especially through the lyric, ‘You’re gonna find a way.’ It’s all about wanting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and staying positive while living through our current times. For me, nature has always brought a sense of healing both physically and mentally,” Ania said.
“Romantic and transcendentalist poets created a movement in which freedom and emotion were favored over intellectual growth. True inspiration is beyond our human reasoning and intelligence can only take us so far as people. There is more to life than just intelligence, including freedom of self-expression, intuition, inspiration and the pursuit of truth. It’s really a matter of taking care of ourselves in a spiritual way.”
Along with director Joseph Cordova, Ania beautifully conveys the spiritual power of nature in a compelling video for “Tuesdays,” which features breathtaking overhead shots of Los Angeles’ Runyon Canyon Park against a hazy city backdrop. A gold pocket watch slowly dangles in the video’s opening sequence to symbolize the gradual passage of time in an isolated world.
“Joseph and I went to one of my favorite places that I regularly visit whenever I feel down or need a break from the world. It’s my favorite hiking spot in Los Angeles,” said Ania, who climbs throughout the hills while shredding her green Ibanez.
“We used a pocket watch because I wanted to show the concept of time and how it’s always running away from us as creative people. At the same time, it’s also a social construct. It took us a year and a half to finish the video due to complications from the pandemic, but finishing this project proved to me that you have to keep going in spite of what else is happening around you.”
Like the video for her latest track, Ania also spent considerable time writing and recording “Tuesdays” with a host of musicians and collaborators. Initially conceived in 2019, Ania teamed up with Seth (drums), Philippe Mark (bass), Vito Vincenzo Sicurella (keys) and Barry Fowler (strings) to record the track. Together, they joined Dylan Wright at the Musicians Institute as well as Mark Karapetian at another studio.
“The track ended up getting recorded twice in 2019. The arrangement and recording ended up being a wild psychedelic song, but I wanted it to be more of a rock song with a more organized song structure. It took me a while to figure out the guitar and vocals parts and the overall arrangement of the song,” she said.
“Later that summer, I was studying at the Musicians Institute and met Dylan, who wanted to be an audio engineer, and he mentioned having access to a studio. Eventually I worked out the arrangement and had the song rerecorded later that year.”
“Tuesdays” also serves as Ania’s fourth single and video since first releasing “Runaway,” a gritty ode to escaping everyday troubles, in May 2019. Both heavy metal-driven singles, along with the Catholic-pushback anthem, “Doors Close,” and the melodic pop-rock antidote for toxicity, “Poison,” appear on her visual debut EP, Ania in Chains.
Ania in Chains eloquently showcases the musical and creative evolution of a prolific female singer-songwriter and guitarist making waves in Los Angeles’ male-dominated heavy metal scene. Ania started writing and recording the project’s tracks while studying guitar at the University of Southern California (USC).
“When people see and hear Ania in Chains, I hope they witness a young person making the transition from teen to adult while figuring out how to write songs. I believe these songs helped me become a better writer and a better version of myself artistically and personally,” she said.
Ania started her musical journey after moving to Chicago from Koszalin, Poland with her mother at age 15. While growing up near the Baltic Sea, she watched Polish MTV and longed to play electric guitar.
Once she settled in Chicago, Ania started listening to Deftones, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and Soundgarden and enrolled in a local School of Rock program. As she learned electric guitar, her School of Rock teacher introduced her to the Riot Grrrl punk rock movement, including L7, Joan Jett and Lita Ford.
After graduating from high school, Ania moved to Los Angeles 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 John Roth.
Those influences have fueled her ongoing evolution as an emerging heavy metal singer-songwriter and guitarist. With four singles and videos as well as a visual debut EP under her guitar strap, Ania plans to write, release and record new material and await the return of in-person live music.
“I’m releasing a tiny shred solo video that I filmed this summer called ‘Chicken Pick.’ I’m also planning to release music I’m recording right now for my next EP, and I’m currently collaborating with some drummers, bassists and a producer to record and release my music sooner. This next EP will have more synths and better songs,” Ania said.