Check out the new song from Anthony Presti – Let’s Dance, France
Give us a brief history of yourself and how you got to where you are today as a musician.
I grew up in Washington state, mostly around Seattle and lived there until I was about thirteen. I moved back and forth between my mother and father, adapting a variety of musical influences. The 90′s grunge scene was taking off and bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple, and Red Hot Chili Peppers frequented the radio and had heavy influence on me. My father introduced me to bands like The Who, AC/DC, Robert Palmer, and Don Henley (to name a few).
When I was with my peers, they were listening to an entirely foreign style of music, gangster rap. Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, and Onyx taught me all my cuss words. It was a great era in all genres to grow up. At about age twelve my uncle urged me to pick up one the guitars strewn across his living room. He taught me Back in Black and Smoke on the Water and I never put the guitar down. My other uncle, who played in a blues band, would take me to his practices.
They were all having so much fun and were so passionate, I vowed to dedicate my life to reach that happiness and love. I moved to California at age fourteen, joined a hardcore band, Derge, and played numerous shows until I was about twenty two. After that I took break a from music until I revisited my first love, an acoustic guitar. After a couple experimental albums and bands I recorded God’s Ugly Teeth, my most proud effort to date.
What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
In the near future I hope to acquire a backing band to help me record my next album, Clarity in Hindsight. I love being an independent artist and hope to book another tour across the U.S. and eventually a European tour.
What separates you and your sound from everyone else?
I think I have a unique sound that embodies all my influences from grunge to indie to hip hop to country. I play emotional, melodic acoustic music but it carries a different tone than most that fit the genre. My lyrics are honest and most times tell a personal tale. Since I learned how to play guitar on my own, aside from my uncles guidance, I created my own style. I always valued songwriting over “shredding” and I feel I’ve accomplished that.
What are some of the greatest challenges you face in your career?
Being an independent artist. It’s been the greatest challenge of my life but the most rewarding endeavor I’ve pursued. I’ve never had a manager and I book all my shows and tours myself. I do all the recording solo along with songwriting and promotions. It allows me to be very creative and artistic in multiple realms, but it’s very exhausting and challenging.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
When my band Derge broke up. It was all I knew for seven years. We recorded multiple albums, played several tours, and we were at the peak of our songwriting. The break up was a bit unexpected and there was a lot resentment on my part. I spent almost a year not playing music. I needed time to figure out who I was as a musician and where I wanted to go.
Being in a band is a lot like being in a romantic relationship, when you break up it’s very trying and emotional. It’s easy to lose your identity. In hindsight, it was the best things for me. The only way I knew how to release and deal with emotions was through my guitar. Since I didn’t have anyone to play with electrically, I finally picked up my acoustic guitar. There were many built up feelings that all spewed out.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
False management, pay to play venues, booking agencies, and some record labels. There are always people trying to exploit musicians. One shouldn’t ever have to buy a number of tickets to play somewhere unless they are completely sure they can sell them. Also, there are a lot of talkers out there who can’t back up what they say. Be weary of them, there are tons of flakes in the music industry too.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
If you don’t love what you’re doing, you’re in the wrong profession. Music is a passion and there is no guarantee of success. The self satisfaction and reward is greater than any price tag. One must be very determined and not easily discouraged. Just keep plugging away and you’ll have some of the greatest times of your life.
What is your favorite method of promoting your music?
Social networking pretty much trumps any other way of promoting. I give out free CD’s all the time with my website on it. Flyers are a good way to get your name out there. When people stop at a light or walk down the street, they’ll see the poster. They might not necessarily go to the show, but the name will unconsciously stick in their mind.