ANYONE was originally founded in the late 80's by Riz Story, Taylor Hawkins (Later of Foo Fighters) and Jon Davison (Later of YES) in Laguna Beach, California. The band would go through many name changes including BLASH METH, REAL, SYLVIA DREAMS OF ANGELS, CINNAMON WIG, and SYLVIA before settling on the name ANYONE. Riz Story and Taylor Hawkins formed the solid core of the band and members came and went around them. Of these incarnations it was the lineup of Riz Story (bass & lead vocals), Taylor Hawkins (drums) and Sean Murphy (guitar) that would prove to be the foundation of what the band would become. It was during this incarnation that the band developed and defined the sound that would become known as MAXIMUM ACID. This mixture of heavy psychedelia, hard rock and progressive rock was highly original and bore no resemblance to the sounds coming out of the Southern California music scene. The band drew their influence from acts like RUSH, JANE'S ADDICTION, PINK FLOYD, HENDRIX, THE BEATLES and YES. After years of developing their sound, recording demo tapes and playing live the influential lineup splintered in 1994. The split came just as the band were putting final touches on a groundbreaking full-length studio debut album. Most of this unreleased material which had been developed by Hawkins, Murphy and Story would be re-recorded and released in later years.
The founding line-up of ANYONE (Left to Right) Jon (Juano) Davison, Riz Story and Taylor Hawkins. Circa late 80's
Riz Story quickly recruited drummer David (Nipples) Murray and bassist Damon Buerhaus for the lineup that would finalize the ANYONE sound. The band recorded the album 'Rats Live on no Evil Star' which was released independently on a limited scale, with only a few hundred copies being pressed. Buerhaus was replaced by bassist Static (Timothy Rachal) and the band continued their quest for a major recording contract.
The RoadRunner line-up of ANYONE (Left to Right) Riz Story, David (Nipples) Murray and Static Circa late 2001
The new lineup built up a sizeable following in the Orange County scene with their psychedelic alt-rock sound, resulting in the release of their self-issued debut recording, 'Live Acid', in 1999. The band also recorded a live acoustic album entitled 'TogethermenT' which was never released.
ANYONE - Running Dry (Official Video)
Led by Story's bewitching stage presence, ANYONE had developed their live show into a tribal ritual that entranced and dazzled audiences and soon their shows began to sell out. Anyone concerts stood out in the Orange County music scene due to the highly elaborate productions they presented. The band would take over a venue such as The Rhino Room in Huntington Beach or Club 369 in Fullerton and transform it into a highly ornate setting, draping the entire place in tapestries, flowers, artwork and abundant 'eye candy' such as mannequins, surfboards, clothes, jewelry, candy etc. Riz Story would prepare hundreds of small colored pieces of paper with messages and poetry and scatter them all around the venue for ANYONE fans to find. The idea was to create a setting similar to that of the ANYONE DEN, which was a modest 2-bedroom apartment in Huntington Beach that Riz and the band had transformed into something resembling the inside of a genie's bottle.
Riz Story in his bedroom inside The Anyone Den - Circa 1999
Photos by Greg Waterman
The band was associated with a clear message; one of freedom of thought, world peace, conservation of nature and humanitarian causes. Indeed, Story's lyrics in the opening song of their major label debut (Giving Thrills) encouraged fans to 'Join me in the movement' before the chorus explodes into the lyric;
Come on, turn on - The time is here!
Come on, turn on - I have no fear!
Come on, turn on - I want you all here!
Riz Story performing 'Giving Thrills' - 2004
Based on their explosive live performances and the spreading hype generated by the release of 'Live Acid', ANYONE was named 'Best Band' at the Los Angeles Music Awards in 1999. A heated bidding war amongst record labels broke out which included KORN'S label Elementary, with Roadrunner being the winners. RoadRunner stated that ANYONE were "The most innovative band of the new millennium" and signed them to the largest record deal in the history of the label up to that point. The trio went to work with renowned producer Rick Parashar (Pearl Jam, Blind Melon) at Seattle's London Bridge studios in May of 2000. A year later, the group's self-titled debut was released by Roadrunner Records in 14 European countries. The ANYONE record enjoyed overwhelming critical acclaim including a five-star review from ROLLING STONE'S Adrian Zupp. The band toured throughout Europe playing the major festivals including THE REDDING FESTIVAL, LEADS FESTIVAL, LOWLANDS FESTIVAL and PUKKELPOP FESTIVAL as well as extensive touring throughout the United States. ANYONE dazzled audiences at venues like the London Astoria and appeared in heavy rotation on European MTV with their video for 'Don't Wake Me'.
ANYONE - Don't Wake Me (Official Video)
Metal Hammer's David Ling proclaimed, "ANYONE were the highlight of the festival" in his review of the bands stunning performance at the Redding Festival. The band came in at #9 on Metal Hammer's Top 20 of 2001 chart, edging out such luminaries as Ozzy Osbourne and Incubus. With his unique and colorful appearance and captivating persona during interviews, Riz Story became the darling of the European press and BILLBOARD MAGAZINE stated that Story was 'A true renaissance man' in reference to his many talents. Reflecting on the explosive impact the band had upon Europe, RoadRunner Records A&R man Keven Estrada told Ryan Rainbro of the Meep Meep Podcast, "The reviews were unbelievable. It was kind of like the whole GUNS AND ROSES thing, how they took over England."
ANYONE had arrived and seemed unstoppable.
PEOPLE MAGAZINE - Riz Story and Ozzy
Photo by Greg Waterman
In the midst of their meteoric rise to prominence the band were 'cancelled' in the wake of 911. ANYONE was deemed too controversial for the volatile political climate of the post 911 world. Clear Channel, the organization that controlled the vast majority of radio in the US had issued a memo banning a long list of songs that were pulled from rotation the day after the attacks on the Trade Towers. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE were banned from all Clear Channel stations - The Dixie Chicks were cancelled for uttering a single sentence expressing their disgust for George Bush. RoadRunner withdrew the highly acclaimed debut album from circulation and declined to release the album in the US, making it a rare and valuable collector's item to this day. The band were unceremoniously dropped from RoadRunner Records. Kevin Estrada of RoadRunner explained to Ryan Rainbro, "911 really had an impact on my bands... ANYONE were huge victims of 911. The label said, "Thats NOT coming out!" - That was devastating to me. I couldn't wait for the world to hear that record. I couldn't wait for the world to find out who Riz Story was. To this day I'm still confused by the whole thing."
ANYONE's banned self-titled debut album
Undeterred Riz Story pushed on independently. Riz Story assembled the next prominent lineup of the band which would consist of Miles Martin on bass, Miki Black on rhythm guitars and Mike Boano on drums. This version of the band would release 'A Little Sip' in 2006 and perform frequently in the mid 2000's. It was during this period that noted guitar virtuoso Gretchen Menn joined the band for a string of live shows. Other musicians who played with the band include drummers Brendan Murphy (brother of Sean Murphy), Johnny Ransom and Lincoln Nesto who performed drums on the hit song 'Fly Away'.
ANYONE (Left to Right) Miles Martin, Lincoln Nesto, Riz Story and Gretchen Menn - Circa 2004
Photo by Tyler Sheilds
It was during this period that the music industry crashed. The record companies stopped signing bands and dropped major acts in droves. Rock n' Roll also began to lose its decades long grip on the charts and become overshadowed by rap, hip-hop and urban pop music. Despite much label interest in the band no new record deal materialized.
ANYONE dis-banded in 2006 when Riz Story decided to focus on film making and writing and producing for other artists, as well as film scoring. "I didn't want to be on a sinking ship, and I could see it was going down", Riz explained to Ryan Rainbro. Story also focused on heading his film and music production company, TogethermenT which had been founded in 2000. Story's debut feature film 'A Winter Rose' spawned 6 Top Ten Singles (BILLBOARD Hot Singles Chart) All of which he wrote, produced and created, and the film was considered an indie film triumph. VARIETY's headline read, "Riz Story embodies the indie spirit."
A Winter Rose - Written, Produced, Filmed, Edited, Scored and Directed by Riz Story
ANYONE reemerged in 2014 under the name INFINIKA with the 'Echoes and Traces' Full Length Album. The band had reformed after KORN drummer David Silveria approached Riz about starting a new band. The band splintered after a highly publicized feud (Loudwire etc.) erupted between Story and Silveria regarding politics. Story, a staunch progressive, was reportedly disgusted to discover that Silveria was a supporter of Donald Trump. Story immediately withdrew the album from circulation and replaced all of David Silveria's drumming with his own drum tracks and rereleased it in 2016, fully remixed and remastered, and under the name ANYONE. The single "Fly Away" reached #6 on the BILLBOARD Hot Singles Chart and #1 on the DRT National Rock Chart (National Digital Radio) becoming the most listened to rock song on American digital radio. The song is one of 5 by ANYONE to be featured in Riz Story's big screen debut feature film "A Winter Rose". Silveria's appearance on the bands single "Beautiful World" as well as the music video is all that remains of the collaboration.
ANYONE - Beautiful World (Official Video)
In 2020 ANYONE began a new phase characterized by highly progressive albums of music performed solely by Riz Story, the only remaining member. 'On the ending earth...' was released to widespread critical acclaim. The album features a guest appearance by founding member Jon Davison (YES) who performed fretless bass on 'Thought I Was'. The album also featured guest appearances by former member Miles Martin and Story's longtime girlfriend Ethereal on piano. The album contained longer more complex songs like 'All That Lives Is Born To Die', 'A Brief Sparkle in the Nothingness' and the brooding 'Fade to Black' that would hint at the highly progressive music to come. Despite the warm reception and praise from music critics there was no tour or videos released. Riz explained to Jerry Lucky of the Progressive Rock Files Podcast, "I grew weary of social media, and the affect it has had on music. I'd rather cater to that small group who listen with their eyes closed."
Riz Story recording 'On The Ending Earth' - Circa 2019
Next came what many critics agreed is ANYONE's magnum opus, 'In Humanity' (2CD Set). The ultra-progressive concept record was released in October of 2021. The album was originally conceived as a soundtrack for the film concept and unpublished novel of the same name and was a decade long in the making. Story had intended to hold back the release of the record to coincide with the production of the motion picture but was convinced by former drummer Johnny Ransom that it must be released as soon as possible, and to release it under the name ANYONE. The album was highly praised by critics who cited Riz Story's unprecedented virtuosity on many instruments, as well as his mastery in composition, producing, mixing and mastering. Critics were amazed at both the highly original new sound and the adventurously experimental command of a wide range of styles being performed by a single musician. The highly influential and prominent PROG MAGAZINE wrote:
“Sprawling comeback album - Riz Story has pushed the boundaries of his “Maximum Acid” sound. The contrasts and stylistic jackknife turns keep coming, but while Story might bamboozle as much as he bewitches, he’s certainly never boring.”
No less than legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock acknowledged Story's unprecedented musical virtuosity when after hearing the song 'The Pale Blue Dot' he marveled at the song's incredible complexity and avant garde sound and commented, "I've never heard anybody else do that, play all those instruments on that level." This from a man who has performed with the likes of Miles Davis, Mingus, Coltrane, Jaco Pastorius, Alan Holdsworth, Prince, Stevie Wonder and a long list of the most highly respected musicians of all time.
ANYONE - The Pale Blue Dot (Official Video)
With the masterful 'In Humanity' album Riz Story had cemented his place as the musician's musician of the highest caliber, the man to beat in terms of sheer virtuosity and talent.
In June of 2022 ANYONE announced the release of 'The Sylvia Sessions', a loving tribute to founding member Taylor Hawkins, who passed away on March 25th of 2022. Riz Story, who had been best friends with Hawkins during their time working together, expressed his grief in a moving video press clip. The album, which was originally recorded as a demo tape in 1993 is of historical significance in that it contains the earliest recordings ever released of the legendary drummer. The album contains three songs that would later appear on ANYONE's major label debut, including 'Real', 'Dear Sylvia' and 'Peace Love and Toxic'. This archival release serves as a fascinating glimpse into the origins of ANYONE and is notable for it's highly unique sound and youthful energy, fueled by Taylor Hawkins visceral drumming.
ANYONE - The Sylvia Sessions (Press Clip)
The past decade has seen Story immerse himself in the world of ocean conservation. To that end he has embarked upon the production of OCEANA, an adventure reality feature film that has taken him around the globe in search of the last remaining pristine coral reefs. Years in the making, OCEANA is an epic adventure that brings together Riz's musical talents with his passion for cinematography and filmmaking as well as his commitment to conserving the natural world.
In the summer of 2023 ANYONE announced that a new 2 CD concept album, "Miracles In The Nothingness" would be released on November 30th. Riz Story revealed during an interview with Jerry Lucky of the PROGRESSIVE ROCK FILES Radio Show, that the new album will be the most progressive, virtuosic and experimental music yet released by ANYONE. Aside from a guest appearance by YES vocalist Jon Davison, Story again composed, performed, mixed and mastered the album entirely on his own.