From the seemingly time-faded photographs that decorate his MySpace page, to the harmonious resonance of his finger-picked acoustic guitar, nearly everything about Anthony Fiumano’s music can be attributed to the past. After a quick listen, one would assume that Fiumano’s recordings could be easily found pressed between copies of Bob Dylan or Neil Young LPs at any vintage vinyl store.
Fiumano has embraced the folk rock genre while melding timeless tradition to suit the modern world. Delve into his music and you will discover poignant music wrought with heartfelt sincerity.
The Signal: Your music has a distinct vintage appeal to it and it seems that you draw inspiration primarily from 60s folk acts. What acts in particular have inspired you to create music?
Anthony Fumiano: I do draw a lot of inspiration from the music of the ’60s and ’70s. It was a great time for music, and if it wasn’t, people wouldn’t still be listening to it … There were fewer regulations back then, and I think artists, in general, felt a little less pressure on having immediate success so their music was more honest and lasting.
The people that inspire me are the people that are making honest music outside of any restrictions. Growing up, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles, Hendrix, The Stones and all those classics all made me want to pick the guitar up. Then once I did I fell in love with the blues. I’d play along with Muddy Waters albums. Then I started listening to a lot of folk-based music. I’ve kind of gone through this chronologically backwards progression, but it’s cumulative.
S: What got you into song writing? When did you start?
AF: Growing up, I was immersed in music. My father was always in bands and they would be practicing in the basement and I’d be sitting on the steps, taking it all in, kind of amazed of how it all came together.
Also, going to church as a little kid. The church we went to had live gospel music with a whole band playing right next to me. I can remember being 3 years old, sitting there with a toy guitar in church and playing along with the band.I thought I was part of it. I wasn’t there for any kind of message; I was there to jam.
I started to write songs a few years ago. I already knew my way around the guitar a bit, so it just came as an extension of my playing.
S: Your songs convey an endearing image of home-grown music. What is your creative process?
AF: My creative process is to kind of not have one. Writing songs is something that just happens to me … It’s almost as if you’re a big antennae that’s waiting to get hit by a signal. Not to say that I don’t get inspired by something or that my songs are completely non-topical, but my inspiration is more subliminal.
Some writers have a very different method. They’re trying to get to the chorus before the track gets to the 30-second mark or they’re working with a formula and slaving over a hook or bridge. I don’t really get too caught up in that kind of thing. I think it’s obvious if someone listens to my music.
S: The folk rock genre is particularly expressive. What makes it so appealing to you?
AF: The songs are minimalistic, but at the same time, they can be unbelievably complex. That’s one of the things that first drew me into playing folk music. It’s organic and pure and just feels important to me. It’s something that’s been around a lot longer than me, and while I don’t consider myself a folk musician, there is a folk component to what I do.
S: In what direction are you taking your up-and-coming full length debut, “When Strangers Say Hello”?
AF: “When Strangers Say Hello,” is a very unplanned record. A lot of bands spend a lot of time mapping a record out before they record, and that was never my approach. I didn’t really see a good reason why I should have a different approach in the studio.
What it comes down to is that I play music, and regardless of whether the microphone is going to a P.A. system or it’s going on tape, I’m playing it more or less the same way.
I’m hoping that when this record comes out it’s an honest depiction of what I can do live, because at the end of the day I’m really a live performer. There’s not going to be a whole lot of bells and whistles; it’s just the songs the way that I hear them in my head … I think people are going to hear that and I think they’re going to recognize it.