For thrash band Anti-Hero,making music is a collaborative effort. Lead vocalist and guitarist Calvin Adrian usually comes up with the riffs and the band shapes them into a song. Lyrics tend to come after.
But not always.
The title song from their debut 2019 EP, Rolling Thunder was written while Adrian was still a student at Salinas High School.
“At 17 I felt stranded and didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he recalls. “I found my identity in punk and heavy metal.”
While attending local punk shows in Salinas, Adrian also found Sal Cisneros, a guitar instructor at Wise Music. And after three months of intensive practice, a schoolmate took notice.
“He asked me if I sang and, of course, I didn’t,” Adrian says. “But I wanted to be in his band, so I told him that I did. Later, that band broke up and we formed another one.”
That new band, Anti-Hero,would cause Adrian to think seriously about a career in music. So much so that after graduation Adrian moved to Hollywood and enrolled in the Musicians Institute there. At the institute, Adrian recruited a new lineup including guitarist Neil Metcalf, who he met at a party.
While Anti-Herocontinues to shape a home in Los Angeles, Adrian remains connected to his roots. In June, the band toured alongsideSalinas thrash bandPhantom Witchwhosedrummer, Quentin Minor, also managesAnti-Hero.
If Adrian has a message for Monterey County, it is a simple one: “Check out your local bands because they’re probably pretty good.”
And his hopes forAnti-Hero?
“To stay on tour,” Adrian says. “Playing music is what we want to do and ultimately it’s music that matters most.”