Tea, coffee and Rob Anthony

By Jenna Cornell
Green Bay Music Examiner


Although winter storm Bob was one of the biggest news items the Fox Valley and Green Bay area encountered in the past 24 hours, musically, the most important news was centered on Rob Anthony.

The artist known for his humble, Midwestern  style came into the Copper Rock this afternoon in true Anthony fashion – basic jeans, thermal shirt, cut-off gloves, a quiet demeanor – and, a desire to have someone delve into more than just the surface level shenanigans of previous interviews.

While Bob’s wintry personality raged outside, inside brought an up close and personal look into Anthony as an artist.

Many fans know you used to play harder rock/heavy metal, but what changed along the musical road for you when you decided to go acoustic?

The main reason was the lifestyle. Heavy metal is a rough life; a lot of drugs and alcohol abuse. It’s a rough, tough life to live. I grew up listening to Mellencamp and the Eagles. I wanted to go back to my roots and didn’t want to live that lifestyle anymore.

You just finished a concert to raise money and awareness at Jam for Freedom and later in March you’re going to perform for the Red Cross. As a person who gives back to his community, where does that come from for you? Is it something you have always wanted to do or did it come as you matured?

<Chuckles> My mom said when I was young I was the kid who would buy candy for the neighborhood kids, but there is nothing better than reaching people with the music and having it help them reach their goals.

With “You Gotta Love”, I saw the need the Red Cross had with the Haitian relief after the disaster happened and knew there was a song that could assist them in their endeavors.

It is an awesome experience to write about something other than myself.

A lot of creative people describe their creativity as if it is a person. What is music and songwriting to you?

It’s everything. There is no greater feeling than to finish writing a song. It’s a high and is addictive. And, when people like what they hear, it adds to the experience.

How do you create? Where does it come from? Does it suddenly hit you in the gut and you have to create or do you set time aside each day to specifically write?

It hits you. Something inspires you; the TV, the weather, break-ups, adversity. “While the World Sleeps” came out of my experiences watching the news media.

Anthony adds…

With every adversity comes a seed of success.

Who are you influenced by musically? Any guitarists? Song writers?

When the Eagles reunited in the early to mid nineties I was influenced the most. There wasn’t internet and Vh1 at the time was showing old footage of them performing acoustically in the country-rock style. Seeing people like Jackson Browne and the Eagles perform and write their own material back in the 70s era inspired me.

Where is Rob Anthony headed in 2012?

<You didn’t just ask me that question…pauses…> I’m struggling right now as to where I want to go. The two disc set is complete and shows 10 years of music. It seems to wrap things up.

Is this the Plan, Anthony’s two-disc set gives the listener everything of who Rob is. Songs that connect on the inner level encompass much of the work he has created and who he is as an individual.

“Is this the Plan”, the song, sums up my path as an artist and where to go next as an artist.

As a final way for fans to connect with you, give me some of your favorites. Favorite musician? Food? Movie, etc? Whatever comes to mind? (I ask this because sometimes fans simply see artists as performers on stage; almost god-like and untouchable. I really want them to have a connection with you from the human side of things).

Being mistaken for arrogant or stuck up. I think the biggest thing I want fans to understand is my quietness comes from being shy. Personally, I’m a very shy guy. This is the number one thing I have tried to overcome in my life.

As our time was winding down, Bob changed his mind again and went back to snow. The dampness wanted to enter, but the warm atmosphere of the coffee house kept the storm at bay. And Rob Anthony’s down to earth demeanor coupled with his sincere interest to bond musically to those around him, lit up the cloudy haze of the afternoon.

It is evident Anthony is more than an artist for art’s sake, but a man in pursuit of music that cultivates, engages, and progresses as he matures. To learn more about Rob Anthony and to purchase his latest CD, you can visit his website at http://www.robanthonymusic.com.

♪♫♪♫ If you like this interview, click the subscribe button and receive instant notification via email whenever I write something new. You can also follow me on Twitter, where I give my normal and sometimes not-so-normal quips on the world around me. For those interested in my creative side, you can catch a glimpse of on my website. Finally, if you are a local band that writes and performs your own music, I would love to interview you. Email me at cornell.music.greenbay@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you. ♪♫♪♫


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