Anthony Pivoda: Word per Word with the Lead from Verbatim

Written by on October 24, 2020

Anthony is one of our area’s ‘younger’ talents, but his talent is by no means juvenile!

He tears up a stage with modern hard rock and his screaming guitar.  We have so many well-seasoned performers in the area, it is great for me to see these guys ready to step in and carry on the local music tradition.

The new generation is a breath of fresh air, most bringing their original songs to the table.

RRX: Do you see yourself as an artist or an entertainer?

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

AP:  Entertainer.  We push hard to bring the best out of each other’s quality modern hard rock metal. We have drum solos, guitar solos, structured songs 2:50 to 6 minutes long, and sing along songs with catchy choruses are the best to come is a matter of if you like our genre of music. We play hard and go home ready to rock the next place loud and heavy!

RRX: Do you consider rock as a music style as alive and vibrant as ever?

AP: Rock music is alive!

RRX: Are you over the hill, or the best is yet to come?

AP: Although I didn’t grow up in 60s, 70s, or 80s I can’t ignore the fact those days where special for rock. It seems technology is helping produce and widen the experience, but at the same time makes it easy to ignore new avenues. An example in my opinion, which is just an opinion, is back in the day if Bill, Sue and John said we are going to a concert a week before a show, people went!!!!   They didn’t have the ability to Skype, email, phone tag etc. that they couldn’t make it!!!! They stayed committed to going to events! I could really write a whole essay of the pros and cons of technology and music but to keep it simple, yes, rock is alive! Yes there are good artists and entertainers out there fresh off the press and over the hill. The 518 music scene is flooded with talented artists old and young. And right now, cover bands and original rock blues metal hard rock need to band together during these times

RRX:  Do you see your lyrics as a form of poetry or as a collection of catchy lines?

AP:  Catchy lines with a hint of poetry. I first always look for the purpose of a song. What is the main message, is it love, anger, work, home life, a feeling? Then I develop the story which leads up to catchy choruses.

RRX: Who are your examples and inspirations?

AP: I have a lot of international inspirations but to be honest the most impact on my growth as a musician came to me in my home 518 music scene. At 14 years old I started going to local events with my father seeing people such as blues players Johnny Morse in Tugboat tavern.  Outdoor events seeing as I like and play hard rock metal music, I also followed bands such as Dead and Dying, Last Call, Brick by Brick, Section 8 etc. No particular order and many great other bands. Also connected with a couple people that have helped set me in a direction when I was a teenager, Ralph Renna, Mike Valentine, Joe Chaos all musicians and talented people in their own regard! Then the people that taught me to play even if it was jamming or just guide me in what gear to buy to perform the way I’d like to Tom Dion, Red, Shawn Matthew Hit and Run local, Larry Botto, Mike Liggoti, Tom Waters. I learn a lot from just watching and listening to these seasoned musicians do their thing whether it’s a promotional music related thing or how to play. And there are many more names local and regional.

RRX: What are your three favorite albums of all time?

AP: Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, System of a Down- Hypnotized, Blue October – Foiled.

RRX: How do you decide what to wear on stage?

AP: When it comes to picking out what I wear on stage depends on the image I’m trying to produce if I’m playing out with my band doing an original set you will probably see me wearing mostly black colored clothing, leather jacket, wing tip shoes and some slicked back hair. Never wear shorts always comfortable in a pair of jeans.

RRX: Are you over the hill, or the best is yet to come?

AP: There is a prime to musicians! It’s very simple, how you treat your body affects you later on! Practice is always key to a good future in taking what’s in your head and getting out them speakers! It’s not always about playing music, listening and exploring other sounds genres etc. is important but you also must put those skills to the test almost weekly at least. With other mathematical combinations ha-ha. It depends on what you play and how you treat your body keep your body yes, you can be shit-faced and write a good song and you can be sober and write a good tune but can you bring that constant drive every time I don’t know, man this is a tough question

RRX: What got you to write songs (childhood trauma, happiness, money)?

AP:  What got me into writing was a combination of good and bad! Never do I look at the bad and get knocked down by it! I try to take those experiences and write a killer rock song from it. I still (and have kept since I was 13 years old) just a three-ring binder with about 150 pages of paper in it to school and when a lick or idea came about I’d just write it down. Still do, no matter where I go I’m humming a tune or just thinking about a song, driving, in the shower while I work if it hits it hits I write it down and jam on it later!

RRX: Can you remember the first time you wrote a song?  Describe it to me.

AP: The first time I wrote a song I was listing to a lot of Dio.  But, unlike Dio, the song consisted of basic chords and a lot of screaming, ha-ha, you tend to lean heavy on your inspirations at first; then, as you developed your own experiences, your writing becomes more personal all in time!

RRX: Who gave you the support to keep writing in the beginning? Who did you play the early songs for?

AP: Mostly bandmates or people I was writing a song with.

RRX:  What do you feel like when you play one of your songs and people applaud, or sing along? Is it an affirmation or an irritation?

AP: It’s awesome to see people happy or emotional about a song! Never a bad thing to have people grab the mic and sing with yeah!

RRX: Do you see yourself more as a songwriter or singer?

AP: I am more of a songwriter!

RRX:  Tell me about a time when there were equipment issues that occurred during the middle of a song. What was the situation and how did you react?

AP:  Equipment failure and/or problems are not uncommon, it’s bound to happen at some point and the best way to recover is to have backups. I usually keep a couple chords on standby if I don’t like how my wireless responds or if I break a string I’ll have my back up guitar tuned ready to wipe.

RRX:  Tell me about a time when you had to handle an unruly audience member.

AP: The worst experience I had with an audience member is when I was playing in a bar out in Albany and someone walked off with my hardware case. I learned not to allow others to help you load or unload equipment!  Help is always appreciated but you have to respectively decline.


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