DVD Concerts, Episode Four — Tony Island Baby performs 5 songs (Curse of November, Talking in Your Sleep, Daddy Never Knew, Hits Hits Hits cover by Fat White Family, and I Know a Place) and talks about his process on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full performance and story he shares on this episode of DVD Concerts.
Tony grew up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He worked on the boardwalk and would bring his typewriter with him to write stories to stave off boredom. He grew up in the shadow of Bruce Springsteen and the desolation of the surf city. So making music on his own came natural.
As a child, he won a writing contest, which he was awarded with a pizza party at his Teacher’s house. For some reason the teacher whispered in Tony’s ear that he didn’t belong there, which he thought was odd since he already ate his slices. But what did she know? The eight graders who judged the contest believed he deserved his pizza prize and they outnumbered her. Although, Tony admits, this did leave a lasting impression.
Not long after beginning to make music, Tony set his sites on New York City. CBGB‘s, The Ramones mythology and music scene of Greenwich Village called to him and was compelled to answer. He would visit on weekends, underage until he finally moved up to begin performing in bands and DJing in clubs. After 15 years, he still calls NYC his home.
Writing is a daily practice for him, sometimes two pieces a day. When Tony writes a song, he begins with the words and the story, which later is put to music. When he is on hold, it is a good moment to come up with some chord changes that marries well with his verse.
I thought I heard some Conor Oberst, which Tony confirmed he had collected all of the Bright Eyes records, even ones you had to call up the radio station to get. Bob Dylan was a clandestine influence (Uncle Robby as Tony refers to him) as he found The Best of Bob Dylan record in a snow bank. It must have been fate.
Tony Island Baby is putting out a new album entitled “I Let The Dogs Out” on December 19th, 2020 – to celebrate the 35th anniversary of his birth.
Grateful for having Tony Island Baby for the fourth episode of DVD Concerts. Watch and listen to the music videos “I Know a Place” and “Daddy Never Knew“, two selections from his set. Follow Tony Island Baby on Instagram and SoundCloud.
Dan Victor Does — Art + Music + Mental Health: Performances, Interviews and Commentary on how creatives achieve mental well-being through their craft. Support the podcast.