Since a fairly young age, I have played guitar. I grew up in a musical household - both my parents and my three brothers all play various instruments - and it was just a natural thing that happened for all of us. None of us ever had any formal music training, but there were always all sorts of instruments laying around the house and so when my brothers and I would get together to play music, we would just play whichever instruments we felt like playing and eventually in time we each gravitated towards our own staple instruments.
For me this was guitar, and although I learned to play a few other instruments - piano, mandolin, banjo, bass (but admittedly, none of them particularly well) - my focus over the years has been on the guitar as my instrument of choice.
My father, R.G. Anstey has written and recorded a considerable collection of musical material. As someone who I've always looked up to all my life, I enjoy working with him and my brothers in recording music.
When I was quite young, perhaps in grade three or four, my father began teaching me a few chords on the guitar. While this basic instruction initially sparked my interest in music, self motivation proved to be among my strong points and I found myself continually striving to learn new chords and styles. Of course, in these days my musical influences were not exceptionally diverse, and most of what I listened to and played was based on acoustic instruments. However, this proved to form the foundation of my musical style as so often one's early influences radically shape their future.
In 1990, my father bought a banjo, and a while later, a mandolin. I studied both of these instruments with a passion that continued for a number of years. In the end, my interest had given way to my encapsulation with the guitar, and it recaptured my interest with renewed zeal and fascination. And although guitar had always been my primary focus, I never truly saw it explicitly as a tool for personal expression, and I believe most of my recordings, especially the more recent, reflect this attitude. As a result of this, my creative adventures involved a significant number of instruments which, for the most part, demonstrate that diversity impacts your subliminal perceptions more than typically realized.
I bought my very first guitar, an El Degas 12 string acoustic, somewhere around 1991 at a swap meet in Washington state. This was the very first guitar I had ever personally owned, which I suppose considering my age at the time wasn't overly suprising. The El Degas further influenced my style, and I wrote and recorded dozens of songs during the time that I owned it. It musically proved to be the perfect match for me at the time, and even today when I listen to old recordings, I am suprised by the impact that that instrument lent to the material.
Throughout my highschool years my influences and motivation changed dramatically. A lot was happening in my life, and I was definately undergoing the growing pains that musicians inevitably experience. I was introduced to a diverse array of music from Zeppelin to Ozzy, which unlocked a part of my musical consciousness that had gone unrealized for most of my life. The notion of fast paced, complex guitar rhythms and solos which had so predominately ruled the 80's proved almost overwhelming to my undernourished musical inhibitions.
Deluged in a diverse ocean of musical liberation, I found myself struggling to form a new foundation encompassing all that this ever-changing landscape had revealed to me in the past few years. Throughout the remainder of my teen years, turmoil was analogous with my music and style, and is reflected considerably in the music and recordings of that era.
My musical inspiration is drawn from few artists: Brian May, Eric Johnson, Nuno Bettencourt, Steve Vai, Tom Scholz and Randy Rhoads. However, my guitar playing really doesn't sound much like any of them - I've always tried to develop and maintain my own sound and style.