How It All Began: The Story of Love Anarchy

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Hello and welcome, my name is William J. Rogers and I’m the founder of Love Anarchy.

If you’ve found your way here then you may be asking yourself what exactly is Love Anarchy? Let alone this outlandish concept of a ‘LovAnaverse’…

Well if that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve written this blog post to provide you with the answers that you seek.

The short, official version goes something like this:

Love Anarchy is a grassroots entertainment company from the United Kingdom, responsible for Love Anarchy Records & the LovAnaverse Music Universe.

But if you really want to understand what this is all about, then let me take you back to the beginning…

Me as a baby, infatuated by the guitar.

I founded Love Anarchy in 2017 as a 21 year old musician with no experience in business whatsoever.

All I knew is that I couldn’t rely on external factors anymore to determine a chance at success.

Having grown up obsessed with music from an early age, I began teaching myself guitar around 7 or 8 years old.

I dreamed of becoming a rockstar and dedicated my life to music, forming countless bands and projects throughout my youth.

But for a long time I believed that the only way was to try and find that all elusive record deal that would save the day and make my dreams come true.

Well surprise surprise, that deal never came.

And like many creative people, my personal problems also got in the way. Depression, anxiety, perfectionism… you name it.

By 20 years old I was already a jaded alcoholic struggling to see a way forward.

That’s when I knew I had to make a choice.

Having hit rock bottom there was simply nothing left to lose. I dug myself out of that rut, got clean and founded the Love Anarchy company.

In all honesty, I had no idea what I was doing at first, especially in regards to running a business. But I was willing to learn and do whatever it took to succeed.

Dreaming big at a gig in London.

However, I must admit, one of the biggest struggles I faced was choosing exactly what to focus on

My first love was undoubtedly for my band Flavour Nurse, formed in 2014 with my childhood friend Toby Cozens.

For years we had nurtured this project as our dream rock band and it was really that which had given me the inspiration to even get this far.

Flavour Nurse – the seed that started it all. The bands music can be described as a progressive & mystical blend of grungey symphonic rock.

But I knew that there had to be more.

As diverse as Flavour Nurse was intended to be, I had always suffered from a creative itch to work with many different kinds of music and a wide range of collaborators.

I could never settle for just one project or sound. And this ideology wasn’t limited to music either…

Another key passion of mine was for storytelling, especially in the realm of sci-fi & fantasy.

I was always drawn to artists that incorporated characters & concepts within their music, the likes of David Bowie, Kiss and even virtual bands such as Gorillaz & Dethklok.

Fictional Death Metal band Dethklok, from the animated series ‘Metalocalypse’.

© Cartoon Network / Adult Swim

But as great as these artists were, I had never seen a case where more than one artist came from the same universe – in the way of franchises such as Marvel, DC & Star Wars.

Of course it would be very difficult to achieve, but if done right, this notion of a musical universe could surely be the greatest thing imaginable – at least in my mind…

Poster from Avengers Infinity War – Imagine this with rockstars instead of superheroes.

© Marvel / Disney

Naturally, I shared this love for music and pop culture with my friends…

For years Toby and I would muse with our other best mate Robert Darlington about nonsensical characters and fictitious rock bands.

It was really just something we did for fun growing up, creating a ridiculous new idea for a band, maybe writing a silly song or two.

Rob (Left) & Toby (Right) onstage with Flavour Nurse as their alter-egos Grundle & Sobias.

© Mike Garnell

So naturally, when discussing ideas for the company, the idea of a ‘Love Anarchy Universe‘ seemed like a lot of fun.

There had already been a concept in the works around Flavour Nurse for quite a while, so that gave us something to start with.

Early Flavour Nurse concept art by Hazel Cozens, circa 2016

We consolidated pleminary stories, characters & adhoc lore of things we had created over the years and began to create an archive for what would become known as the ‘LovAnaverse‘.

For a while it would remain mostly between us, manifesting itself primarily through Flavour Nurse, which would include Rob’s controversial ‘Grundle Bumfist‘ character as a staple in our entourage and live show.

‘Grundle Ride’ theatrics – a set piece where I would perform a guitar solo on Robs shoulders.

© Darren James Kern Photography

But as things began to pick up with the band, the LovAnaverse took a back seat.

Having been somewhat of a nervous introvert for quite some time, I decided to use the ‘Gaius Black’ persona as a way to conquer my inhibitions instead.

For the next couple of years I would embrace the gothic glam aesthetic and be known solely as Gaius, establishing myself as an eccentric artist in the London live scene.

Living as Gaius Black, 2017 – 2018.

© Down At The Front

Every night I would go out in search of like-minded creatives and artists to network with, making tonnes of friends and connections along the way.

Our home became like a sanctuary of talented artists and crazy characters alike, as our entourage grew, collecting new people from gig to gig.

During this time, I did not see Love Anarchy so much as a business, but really more of a grassroots movement

After show party at the Love Anarchy house in 2017.

I was really passionate about supporting other artists that I loved and believed that if we all worked together, we could raise each other up.

However, I was very much still a naive artist at this point.

There was a lot more to be done to provide real value to both myself and the artists I was looking to support if there would be any chance of us making a living from it.

But still, this core value of community and collaboration remains.

Photo taken at one of our ‘Love Anarchy Sanctuary’ events in 2017.

From left to right: Jack Ilott, William J. Rogers, Arron Sans, George Todd, James Ray

As time went on, I would become increasingly more jaded, as the prospects for up and coming bands on the live scene seemed to be getting us nowhere.

So instead of going out to gigs each night, I opted instead to visit the theatres of the west end, where night after night I would witness creative spectacles in the form of musicals, opera and classical performance.

London Coliseum, a wonderful venue I have had the pleasure of visiting many times.

© User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons

It was certainly a palette cleanse from the years of local rock bands, one that reinvigorated my calling to pursue something of a larger scale. 

As Wagner put it, I wanted to create a "gesamtkunstwerk" - a total work of art.

And if anything presented such an opportunity… it was the LovAnaverse.

Conversations intensified, as the three of us gathered our lore once again and set upon the mammoth task of fleshing out the universe.

There was much work to be done.

And as I continued to make drastic shifts in my life, the prospect of maintaining the Gaius persona alongside Flavour Nurse gigs seemed to no longer serve.

Reflecting inside the Royal Albert Hall, London.

It was clear to me now that the way to reach people is online – and with many new musical projects in the works, gigging just wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

Flavour Nurse retired from the stage and marked the end of an era. But it was never intended to be the end for the band. In fact, it was only the beginning…

Whilst gigs were winding down, my life took a turn for the better when I met my future wife, Maria.

Maria and I in Istanbul, Turkey, 2019.

Not only did our relationship provide the stability and perspective that I needed, her plethora of skills as a creative individual formed the perfect partnership for us to get Love Anarchy off the ground.

We moved in together and setup our own home studio. There I began focusing my efforts on music production and online marketing, with Maria providing artwork and visuals.

We set up our own LovAnaverse project together, the Oriental Fantasy Metal artist Yarimā. Creatively driven and fronted by Maria, the project ended up being our first to get some real traction online.

Maria as Yarimā – a character based on the concept of a dark elf samurai, performing a unique blend of fantasy metal infused with traditional Japanese instruments.

During this time, we also extended our skills to working with other artists, establishing Love Anarchy Records as a way to distribute our own releases and provide extra support to those that we worked with.

We have since offered a range of services to help support up and coming artists; including music production, graphic design, management, mentoring & marketing.

With Røyaltee in 2019, at the release show for a record I produced with them.

Having spent so much time and energy learning skills and gathering resources for ourselves, it’s truly a passion of mine to be able to share that with other artists.

However, I believe that the old ways of record labels are outdated, which is why even the artists distributed through Love Anarchy Records keep 100% ownership of their work.

But that aside… this time was of course also spent demoing future LovAnaverse projects – including the long envisioned comedic death metal band fronted by Grundle, Black Tongue Bile.

Black Tongue Bile – The Blurdskrerm Opera – A metal opera slated for release in 2022.

Finally, in 2020, on the brink of lockdown – we quit our day jobs and made the jump to working on Love Anarchy full time. A scary decision, but one we’ll never regret!

It was an intense whirlwind of a journey from there, I’m not going to lie, but that’s a story for another time…

In the end we left London and setup a better home and studio in the north of England – where we could focus on our efforts in peace.

Recording the debut Yarimā album, The Strings of Fate, in our home studio.

There we would finally start to experience the culmination of years of hard work paying off…

Finally free from the shackles of how things are ‘meant to be done’, we were ready at last to make our mark on the world.

In 2021 we released the first two full length LovAnaverse albums, Yarimā’s ‘The Strings of Fate’ & Flavour Nurse’s self titled record.

The debut LovAnaverse albums, available at Love Anarchy Records.

Both were produced in our home studio and released independently on our own record label – solidifying the concept of multiple artists from the same universe.

But as proud as I am of this landmark, it is the fact that people have enjoyed these records and chosen to support us that means the absolute world. 

Really, you are the most important part, as none of it would even be possible without you. So thank you for being here and showing your support.

Humbled – At home in 2022.

Now with the foundation in place, Love Anarchy is set to release a plethora of new creations from the LovAnaverse and beyond.

It is really an exciting time and I can’t wait to share more of what we have in the works.

Rest assured there are whole new worlds of music to come – and here’s to hoping you’re a part of that journey.

So please, leave a comment below or drop me an email and let me know how you feel about this post, what you think of the music you’ve heard so far, or even just to say hi! It would mean a lot.

Thank you for being a listener and making it all matter.

Yours truly,

WJR ❤

If you’d like to hear the most recent milestone of this journey, click here to listen to the self titled debut album by "Flavour Nurse”.

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