You might remember Tony Vincent from NBC's The Voice, where he was on Team Cee-Lo and blowing away the audience with his incredible voice and memorable performances. Since the show, Tony has been focusing on writing and recording his own music, and has recently released a single called Starting Over. Joonbug gets the scoop on how it felt to be eliminated, what Tony is up to now, and Tony's secret special talent!
America knows you most recently from being a contestant on The Voice. Tell us about that experience.
It was a really positive experience for me. Being with a coach (Cee Lo Green) who shares a very similar ideology about music was incredibly refreshing. I know he understood who I was as an artist/singer-songwriter/producer from our initial conversation-- and I knew that this relationship would be one that didn't stop after the show's conclusion. Also, the show has individuals-- from the producers-down-- who really believe in the show. This isn't just a "gig" for them. The care about the content, how the vocalists & artists are treated, and setting the bar very high when it comes to being professional from beginning-to-end. I believe that that's a big reason the show has become such a success.
How did you feel right after you got eliminated? Looking back, how do you feel about it now?
Like I said on the night of my elimination, if I was feeling or experiencing what Cee Lo articulated sitting in that Red Chair, I can't say I wouldn't have made the same decision. I still believe that. I also still believe he made a bad decision. I've viewed the performances from that night, and I honestly don't believe I should have been sent home.
You recently released a free single. Can we expect a new album soon?
I released a free download (at http://www.reverbnation.com/tonyvincentofficial) called "Starting Over" a couple weeks ago. It was a way for me to give back to the people who have supported me-- not just through the show, but over my entire career. An album is in the works... and we're looking towards a release this summer. I'm really excited about this project. I think people will really be surprised both musically and lyrically. It's quite different than anything I've released in the past. (I guess it's been a blessing to be in the artist's seat, the producer's seat, and the player's seat. This collection of songs is very representative of who I am as an artist and what I do when I'm left alone to create.)
How would you describe your music style?
I usually shy away from this question, because it's not my job to tell the listener what he or she should think my music sounds like. That being said, I've always been very influenced by European rock and pop music-- mostly what comes out of the UK. The Beatles have always had an effect on my music-- so have bands such as Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order and Oasis. Drums were the first instrument I started playing (at age 7), and I'm always very specific about how drums should sound on a song-per-song basis. I suppose people could classify the kind of material I write as quite "Brit-pop"/"Brit Rock" and frequently has overtones of melancholy and brokenness. It's epic in nature whether it's an in-you-face rock track or something that's much more intimate. I want the songs I write to take the listener to a special place. Not MY place... but a personal place that only they can go.
You have also performed in three different Broadway shows. What aspects of theater do you prefer over recording albums? And vice versa?
I've been fortunate enough to perform in very unconventional theatrical shows. Each has dealt with heavy issues (social issues in RENT, spiritual issues in Jesus Christ Superstar and personal issues in American Idiot). They have pushed boundaries in what the Broadway landscape has laid out and also have music that is in your face and much of the time rips your heart out. I feel that having the opportunity to create a role from the ground up (in an original company) is a very special gift. There are no parameters yet, so you get to play around... figure out who this character is that I'm going to embody 8-shows per week. That being said, there's nothing like creating your OWN story in the music that I write. This is why I participated in The Voice in the first place-- I want to focus my career back on my own music again (which is what I did before I moved to New York and started on a theatre-focused trajectory).
Do you have any secret talents you want to share with us?
I have an amazing palate. I've been a wine lover for a long time-- and have made it a point to use my travels to broaden my wine knowledge over the past 18 years. A few years ago I thought I would give up entertainment completely. Broadway's schedule of 8-shows/week was starting to wear me out. And an EP (A Better Way) that I put out in 2007 didn't get the attention that I thought it would. I was getting ready to be married. The ups-and-downs of this business were starting to do my head in and I wanted to be able to support my family in a much more "secure" career. So, I enrolled in a wine program/school and became a sommelier. After working in the wine-business for a bit, the pull to get back on stage and in the studio was too great to ignore. It was then that I got the opportunity to work with Green Day on American Idiot. This business may be crazy, but I'm hardly done with it! In fact, I feel more excited about what I'm doing now-- returning to being an artist/producer-- than perhaps ever before.