#CMchat Exclusive Interview: Anthony Tullo

Singer/songwriter Anthony Tullo has quite an impressive resume. Actor – television/film. Check. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu medalist. Check. Screenplay author/director. Check. Canada’s Music called him ‘the Bryan Adams of country.’

Canada’s Music called you ‘the Bryan Adams of country.’ Did Adams influence your music?

“Bryan Adams had the biggest influence on my music. As a song writer and live performer, he is top notch! From the first time I heard Cuts Like A Knife, I was hooked.”

How did music find his focus? The road, like his resume, has had many winding curves, but it has always been a big part of who he is.

Tullo started acting at a young age, with credits in a number of television shows and films, including Liberty Street, Mutant X, The Relic Hunter, Resident Evil, Road Rage, and Bickerman’s Grove.

Having started his acting career at a young age, Tullo took a break to study Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He opened a small school in Brazil to teach beginners the martial art while saving his money to produce a screenplay he had written. (side note: he went on win a bronze medal in the Worlds in Brazil and the gold in his native Canada.)

The screenplay he was working on became the film A Secret Cross. The movie, for which he is billed as the writer, director, and lead actor, won the International Award of Excellence at the Los Angeles Movie Awards in 2012. It was also selected to be a part of the Moving Images Film Festival in Toronto and won Best Independent Feature Film.

How do you balance music, acting/producing TV and movies, writing and being a gold medal champion in martial arts? What are some career highlight moments to date in each?

“I don’t consider myself a gold medal champion. I am just a guy who won a couple medals in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Guess you can say they were highlights and it felt good at the time, however, it was never what I really wanted to do in my life. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was something that started as a hobby and turned into years of hard work and taught me a lot about the game of survival.”

Music may not have always played the starring role in his career but it’s always been there. His debut album, “Switching Tracks,” including “Back That Truck Up,” “Oil,” and “Ten Seconds To Sundown“, was released in 2014. Another song from the album, “One Day,” won the LA based 2015 Akademia Music Award in the Best Country Pop/Rock Song category. He was nominated for the 2015 and 2016 Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best Country Artist, and finished Top 2 at the Ontario Back Roads Country Talent Search. His performance for The Next Country Music Star – Havelock Country Jamboree, earned him a headlining spot at the Ranch Resort Music Festival in Bethany ON last year.

Last fall, The Anthony Tullo BandTullo, Ed Stepanic (rhythm guitar), Jack Wilczynski (bass guitar), and Joe Bartello (drums) – performed a set of songs at the Canadian premiere of Bickerman’s Grove (another side note: remember the list of acting credits above – he starred in the movie).

Around the same time, he released Rebel With A Song, his FACTOR funded sophomore album, for which he wrote all the tracks. Tullo co-produced it with CMAO Producer of the Year Award nominee Peter Linseman of Music Mentor Productions (the CCMA nominated recording studio and independent record label he is signed to) and it was released through ILS Group/Universal Music.

Gasoline,” the first single, had its video debut earlier this year. Tullo describes the song as

“Capturing the carefree magic of ‘that summer’ when life was simpler, the beer was colder, and you held onto your girl like you would never let her goApart from documentaries, the ‘Gasoline’ video contains the world’s only supernaturally unexplainable ‘crop circle’ found in multi media history.”

Watch the video filmed on a Kitchener Ontario farm here.

Tullo said the album’s title track…

“Is the most personal song on the album and is about growing up in a small town with aspirations of being someone successful in the entertainment business. In the big picture, it’s everyone’s struggle to achieve what they want, whether it’s being a rock star or someone fighting for world peace.”

You stated that “Rebel” is the most personal song on your album. Was it difficult to write about aspiring to have a career in show business, one that would take you away from the small town you grew up in?

Rebel is the most personal song because it’s about me and the struggles of the business I’m in and the will to keep fighting against all odds. I would say it has nothing really to do with growing up in a small town.”

Watch the song’s video here.

The Anthony Tullo Band is on tour in support of the new album.

Tell us about your current tour. What has been your favorite venue to perform at?

“My Rebel Tour is very exciting with a lot of hard work. My best shows are going to be my next two coming. Headlining in Sudbury Ontario and performing at the Venue Concert hall in Peterborough Ontario. Can’t wait!”

The concert schedule can be found here.

After the tour ends, where will the road take him next?

“I spend most all of my time on music. It has taken priority in my life, however, if the project is right and a part in a film grabs my attention, I’ll be there one way or another.”

Follow the winding path with Tullo on Twitter – @anthonytullo1.

Author: Donna Block

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