Steven J. Athanas

Steven J. Athanas

Curmudgeon Extraordinaire?

January 24, 2013

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Creative Native Steven J. Athanas has been playing music and making art since his formative years in junior high. His work is an extension of himself, whimsical with a touch of snark (just check out one of his 2013 calendars for a look inside his artistic, political mind). Still rocking with the Homewreckers almost every week in Toledo and spending significant time in his studio in the Secor Building, SJA never skips a beat. When he's not focused on creative endeavors, you might finding him walking his pooch or searching for hidden gems in the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. We reached out to see what he's been up to as of late.

Tell us more about some of your past projects?
The past feeds my future and it's an ongoing endeavor, one that (hopefully) continues to document my growth as a human bean.

What current projects are you working on?
I am starting to integrate light into some of my work, and hope to also start using sound. I hope to start soon on a series of lamps, as well as continue with my mobiles, pomes, etc.

What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?
The two things that help are the area's relatively inexpensive cost of living, and the proximity to larger hubs.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.
Besides my two sons, I would hafta say the time spent in many of the area's top bar bands, over 3+ decades--damn, I'm old.

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?
I have an inner muse that I keep hoppin', but aside from that I draw from Nature and wine.

Tell us about your background.
Started my 1st band in 8th grade (Jell-o), majored in Art in high school (DeVilbiss), got a BSA in Art Ed (UT), been playin' with those ol' farts, The Homewreckers for 28+ years ... 'at's it from one perspective. From a medical perspective: tonsils out @ 10, wart removed from my thigh @ 8, broke my wrist playin' football in 6th grade, started losing hair in high school, broke my ankle while on rollerskates trying to impress a girl ...

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?
Used to be, "That which gives off light must endure burning" ... but I burned out on that one. I do like Warren Zevon's "Enjoy ev'ry sandwich."

Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . .
Its public library, an amazing burrow of information and enlightenment.

My favorite place to chill locally is . . .
My studio.

My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . .
I dunno, either Ottawa Park or my backyard

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . .
Never "always" but frequently walking Ghoti (pronounced "Fish") the wonder dog in various places where I can get away without a leash (on him).

If you could change anything about the current landscape for creative, progressive people . . .
More progressive thinking, less "Sweet Home Alabama" mentality.

Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about?
It's always a gas to work with the likes of Richard Reed, Jan Thomas, or any number of other artists. And The Homewreckers allow for a certain amount of pent-up release.

Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.
Captain Beefheart aka Don Van Vliet, but I doubt if he would've.

Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.
I wouldn't say "can't live without," but rather have changed my life. CD: Captain Beefheart "The Dust Blows Forward and the Dust Blows Back," BOOK: "The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll," WEBSITE: NPR ... but all these could change in an hour.

3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .
Popliteal, poppysmic, farragic.

Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.
"The Beatles Box Set" (cheatin', I know), the aforementioned "Dust Blows Forward ..." Captain Beefheart, "& They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness" by Olafur Arnalds, "Scraps/Workshop" by NRBQ and "Fear of Music" by Talking Heads.

My biggest vice is . . .
on the table in my workshop. I use it to hold my wire pieces while under construction.

I’d like to see __________ in Toledo.
A huge aquarium.

What’s the last dream you recall having?
Two nights ago, I dreamed my band was hired to play at Dave Yonke's house, who lived in Bowling Green, there were other bands, and nobody was there. Later I was driving a golf cart.

The last lyric that moved me was . . .
"Goo Goo G'joob, I am the Walrus ... "

One movie character I identify with is . . .
Frank in "God Bless America" but without the guns!!!!

The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .
From my Mother: Life (even though I was an accident).

My most inspiring moment was/is . . .
Once I was singing "Rosalita" onstage (Ottawa Tavern?) and it felt transformative.

I want my last meal to be _______________.
In 50+ years


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