Jon Anything

Jon Anything dressed in a white button up shirt and suit coat crouches in front of a disassembled piano and his grandfather's vintage tools as he gazes up to the right - photo by JGT

Jon (Jonathan Gill Thwaits) was raised to play violin and sing in the church choir before branching out to front an alternative rock band through his youth (Only Anything) and has played guitar, bass, keyboard, and sung in many projects since then. His original music up to and including his present work is now collected under the Jon Anything umbrella and is being self released chronologically on a schedule stretching into the first half of 2023, at which point the ship will be back on course and new music will continue (barring an untimely death).

Selected musical resume: 1993-1997 “Only Anything” – bedroom and backyard mayhem band. 1999-2000 “New Moves” – funky power rock trio. 2005-2006 “The Lancaster Project” – alt.electro explorations with long time collaborator Jon Stone. 2014-2020 “Gillwire” – Jon and a rotating cast of misfits bring eclectic melody and crunchy classics to Arizona. The in-between years were filled with home recordings and appearances in about 8 cover bands.

Old Haunts – the story

In the year 2022 Jon started the process of releasing his back catalog of compositions and recordings, some of which are more than 2 decades old and have never yet been distributed. We begin with “Old Haunts”, a collection of recordings mostly from the early 2000’s but they are being released for the first time on the 2nd of December 2022. Leading with the pop rock love song “Like Nobody Else” which was written for a 2002-2003 New Year’s Eve party where it was debuted in the last ever reunion performance of the band “Only Anything”, the youthful band that initiated Jon’s rock and roll borderline unhealthy obsession. The heavy mystery of “Lonely Eyes”, the simple acoustic cassette recording of the standard “Cry Me a River”, and the solo a cappella “Strollin'” are some of the top highlights of the collection.

Photo credit: Lisa Webb

Jon Anything on stage singing and playing guitar at Tempe Festival of the Arts - photo by Lisa Webb

The Silver Streak Story – in Jon’s words

At the time I released this it definitely was the best work I had done, a step up in production level and actually my first publicly distributed album. The culmination of 20 years of playing guitar, writing, and performing. It was 2016, the intention was to give everything I had, to pack in every trick I knew. It was meant as a musical showcase to cover all my passions and abilities in one comprehensive bundle so that if it happened to be the only thing I managed to share with the world, I would be content for it to represent me as an artist and show my peak abilities in melody, lyrics, arrangement, instrumental execution, and technical production.

It was a tall order, and with that in mind I attached a high level of scrutiny and dedication to it. This kind of self-inflicted pressure motivated me to produce the best recordings that I could. The recording process was very busy but exciting. As I listened back to the tracks I really liked the result, I felt that I achieved the sound I was going for and I got hopeful about where this would take me.

With an album that I believed in, I laid out a plan to build a music career around it, knowing and expecting that it would require relentless effort. I had been present in the public music space for about 2 decades at this point so I was not naive to the realities of the business. Not completely naive, but to pursue it at all probably requires a certain level of naiveté. And I did pursue it; rehearsals, gigs, promo efforts, a follow up album which fell flatter than the first, and professionally speaking, the well dried up. I got to a point where the whole project was clouded over with emotional disappointment and I perceived it as a failure and an embarrassment. Nearly 5 years after its release, I pulled the album from distribution, I ceased promotional efforts, and retired the band name.

Although disheartened, I never could consider dropping music altogether. I wasn’t abandoning those songs completely either, but I figured there must be something wrong with the album. I just needed time to strip away the emotions of failed hopes from the album so I could evaluate what I could salvage, and what I should do with the songs in the future. I imagined at this point that whatever I did end up doing with the songs that it would take on a drastically modified form.

Now as we approach 7 years since its original release, I have surprised myself with the decision to release Silver Streak again with only minimal change. If there is anything wrong with the album, I’ve decided I like it that way and it shouldn’t be changed, even if it doesn’t do anything for my career. But to be clear, I believe it’s a great album. After considering many possibilities of cuts, re-arrangements, and splitting songs off onto other albums, I’ve rediscovered what I initially loved about the album and I am happy now to reinstate it with a new extended ending to the title track. After all that fuss it turns out that “I’d have it no other way”.

Silver Streak Re-release date 27th of January 2023