I originally came up with the word anarchangel in some lyrics that I was messing around with several years ago. In the original context it was meant to mean an angel rebelling against God’s authority (I was attempting to read Paradise Lost at the time). Anarchangel, of course, is a play on the word archangel.
Fast forward to the end of 2009. Shortly after we formed, we were having some trouble thinking of a name. Everyone was jamming out something we were hoping would morph into a song, and I was just throwing out lines over them to see if anything stuck. One of them was the line I had written with the word anarchangel in it. I stopped for a moment to think about it while Anne Marie, Pat and Pete continued to jam (Deirdre was working that night). I motioned for them to stop, and said, “What do you guys think of Anarchangel for a band name?” The vote was unanimously in favor, Deirdre giving a positive vote via text message.
The meaning of the word evolved from just about a vague reference to Lucifer to me, and came to have a more developed idea behind it. It’s still a pun rather than a portmanteau, with more emphasis on the archangel and less emphasis on the anarch part. Anarchangel was never about anarchism, and none of us are anarchists (maybe Pete is, I don’t know. He doesn’t really make his politics known). This is why we never incorporated the anarchy symbol into our logo (that and it would have been clichéd and cheesy, we’re not a punk band, and it’s too convenient and obvious). If there were an anarchangel in the whole story about the rebellion against God, it would have said, “I will not serve… nor will I reign.” It is better to serve your own will and not the will of others. Conversely, it is better to rule yourself and not others.
Ok, maybe that sounds a bit like anarchism. But the intended meaning is “not an archangel” first, and the associated ideas that it brings up second. It’s supposed to convey an idea of grey area. Being not something or without something does not necessarily mean it’s an opposite. It’s more about the grey areas in life, rather than dualities. And let’s face it, there’s a lot of grey out there. Dealing with just polarities invites the risk to be lumped in with something that you don’t really belong to, just because you belong less to the other thing.
Of course we can’t really shake off the whole bit of anarch completely. People are going to see that first. And in a way it is fitting. We don’t have a lead singer. All of us fill that role except Pete, who refuses to. We don’t have a leader, since we run like a direct democracy. We each have our own way of playing music, and our individual influences and past experiences tie together into what makes our sound flexible. We each have initiated our own songs and our own lyrics, which the other members have expanded upon.
Anyway, for some reason I felt compelled to give an account of (probably more like ramble about) our band name, in case anyone wanted to know. And there you have it.
I'd like to thank everyone who listened in to us last night. We had a great time and it was a great experience being on the radio and playing our stuff acoustic. Also special thanks to Mandi, Simone, 51 Shortfalls, the Timlins, Katie from Florida, and mystery woman at the door trying to get in, all who called in and made the experience more fun. Also special thanks, of course, to Danny Martignetti for having us on.
We've started up a page on Reverbnation. For those new to us, we've been around for a little over a year. We will try to get Skinless up here soon, but as of now the mp3 file is too large for the upload. In the meantime, it can be heard through our Facebook page and our Myspace page. Feel free to go there (facebook.com/anarchangel13 myspace.com/anarchangel666) and listen to it. It's one of our strongest songs.