M A K I N G I T U P A S H E G O E S A L O N G b y H A N N A H M c Q U I L K A N
Music has almost always been in Anthony's life. At the age of seven he told his parents he wanted to learn to play the piano. His mother told him if he could find a piano he could have lessons, and thus his music career began after finding a classified advert selling a fully-working piano - for a dollar.
However, he quickly discovered that learning an instrument the traditional way was not for him. The joy in music that came from simply playing, disappeared with learning theory. He stopped the lessons, preserving the excitement of discovering an instrument and learning it intuitively, which had just begun. Luckily for Anthony and everyone else, he has a very good ear.
At sixteen his girlfriend bought him a guitar, which led to a couple of teenage bands, Betatest and Hotel Raphael. Banished to the garage, they created the usual angst-driven songs of hormonally-tortured teens, the latter band recording an EP at SAE studios. Around this time one of his friends wrote a computer game called Skidmarks, but when Anthony heard the music for it, he thought it "sucked". Undeterred by the fact he had not actually been hired, he wrote a new track. While the existing musician had already been paid, the software company liked this new track so much that they hired Anthony instead, even begrudgingly agreeing to his insistence on a royalty. The game went on to reach #1 in the UK charts.
However, surviving as a musician in New Zealand can be challenging at the best of times. Reeling from the overnight death of the Amiga computer platform upon which Skidmarks and its follow-ups depended, Anthony attempted several other career paths. He climbed his way up from data entry to managing a computer department, worked professionally as a self-taught computer animator, and freelanced as a web designer and branding consultant. The incessant career-hopping wasn't so much a lack of focus as an inevitable outcome of spending too long not doing any music. Realising this, Anthony decided to commit to music no matter what, and simply make the best of it. At the time he had just moved to Waiheke Island, the perfect environment for nurturing a creative career. He began regular solo performances as Kid A, belting out passionate lyrics accompanied by a badly-beaten, three-quarter-size, nylon-string acoustic guitar. Then with three others, he formed Taos, a band that made up all of their music on the spot. They became popular and toured New Zealand, entertaining audiences with fresh funky beats and personalised freestyled vocals from the amazing Billy Fluid.
Anthony began composing music for picture at the turn of the century, pioneering the choice to work almost entirely in software for reasons of speed and flexibility. Thanks to the internet he was able to compose music for high-profile international productions between beach swims and bike rides, from a home studio on Waiheke Island.
He is presently at large in Europe, where after a long quest he discovered the best audio speakers ever made by humans. From humble beginnings, Anthony has produced an extraordinary amount of music, and now finally, he can hear it.
This revelation lead to the culmination of an ongoing collaboration with fellow musician and good friend Jonathan Dower - who also bought a pair of the same speakers. Across their respective home studios, they created two albums of electronic music together, as Prisoners of Neptune. The debut of which reached #1 on the Finnish iTunes store within days of its release.
Hannah McQuilkan has worked as an improvisational performer, a Clown Doctor at Auckland's Starship Hospital, owns and runs a natural health centre, and is Anthony's #1 fan.