Anthony J. Foti - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Percussion, ..............................Keyboards, Composition & ProductionRick Troise - Drums, Percussion, Bass & Musical Direction
Brian LoBianco - Bass, Keyboards, Trumpet, Drums,
William Seyfried - Lead & Rhythm Guitars & Backing Vocals
Joe Nielsen - Rhythm Guitar, Drums, Percussion, Bass
CLOSENUF is the brainchild of Anthony J. Foti, a Bklyn, NY Singer/Songwriter, who comes from a family of vocalists including his mom, grandfather & cousins. Privately trained operatically (Vocally) in youth & adolescence & with a Concentration in Musical Studies (Songwriting) at Pace University, where NYC musical sage, Professor Hannah Hall gave him the speech every young aspiring artist longs for, to pursue the realm of a professional career, "He's got what it takes." By 1994, he was actively playing the NYC club circuit with his original compositions, co-founding the record company -- Wreckords Records, Inc. (ASCAP), to release & track his work.
He released his 1st album in April 1994 with the acoustic progressive rock duo, “Blackwood & Foti,” whose EP was produced by Dave Greenberg (Van Morrison), & Al Greenwood (Foreigner), with drummer Vinny Conigliaro (Joe Satriani) & guitarist Al Pitrelli (Asia) guest starring. The power ballad on the work was saved to be produced by Steve Jerome (Neil Diamond, The Left Banke) & John Abbott (Dionne Warwick) & Anthony's father Frederick D. Foti (1924-2013) with guitarist Jeff Munzert (Jim Messina) guest starring. This single, "In the Eyes of the Rose (The Jerome Mix)" was released on 9/14/94 by Bill Jerome Promotions, with 7% of National U.S. Radio Stations airing it on their Top 40 Play List Rotation (MO, WY, KY, GA, SD, TX).
In October 1996, continuing to record with the Jerome/Abbott team, he released his 2nd album, the solo EP “Fourword” – 4 songs based on 4 words: The Man, His Music. It carried over the single, as well as “At Night,” with its earsplitting Al Pitrelli guitar leads, both from the duo’s EP, (the tunes which featured Anthony’s writing & lead vocals), & added the piano version of Anthony’s mom’s favorite tune of his, the angelic “Alive Forever,” & the saxophone version of “Music Man (The Barlotta Mix),” featuring 'Screamin' Steve Barlotta (Gary U.S. Bonds) on sax, which with this release won on 7/15/99, an Honorable Mention in The 9th Annual Billboard World Songwriting Contest. During the years that followed, he played the Village Scene from the New Music Cafe to Kenny's Castaways, amid the boroughs of NYC, Albany, NJ, RI, & PA, had articles in newspapers & magazines from NY to Switzerland, been commissioned to sing The National Anthem accompanied by organist Eddie Layton, worked with Terry King (Drifters, Temptations), has done freelance vocal work with songwriter Alan Baboff (Chaka Khan) & for famed NYC Broadway/TV/Film Score Producer Michael Kingsley, was offered solicitation by entertainment attorneys Eve Nelson & the firm of Jacobson & Colfin (Toni Braxton), & in Sept. 2004, was named a Semi-Finalist in The NE Independent Music World Series with “Fourword.”
On 9/12/01, despite the tragedies of the time, Anthony launched a project with other local singer/songwriters forming CLOSENUF, the next Singer/Songwriter Rock Band to attract a fan base from The Beatles to The Stones, from Dan Fogelberg to Billy Joel; a multigenerational love-fest of melody & good clean stage oriented Rock & Roll. In April 2005, they released their self-titled debut LP "CLOSENUF," guided in the studio by Steve 'Woody' La Cerra (Blue Oyster Cult), with whom the band continues to collaborate. The band through its grass roots efforts became a staple on the NYC music scene, as well as performing live from LI to Philly to Atlantic City, were featured in publications from The Village Voice to 20th Century Guitar Magazine, appeared on The Joey Reynolds Show on WWOR NY Radio, The Dr. Lou’s House of Blues Radio Show on WNJC NJ/PA Radio, & on The Media Factory Show on PATV CT TV who chose the band's tune "Buy The Boat" to appear on Netshows TV Soundtrack Unique Series Program Compilation #11, & received four 2005 Garageband.com Reviewer Awards.
In 2006, CLOSENUF’s music video was nominated for The 2006 IMMIE Award (Independent Music Award) for Best Indie Music Video of the Year, & by DigiFestival for an Absolute Winner 2006 Edition Award in Italy. In late 2006 into 2007, Pic Hitz Entertainment released CLOSENUF music to CHR/Pop (Contemporary Hit Radio) & AAA (Adult Album Alternative) Radio Stations for National U.S. Airplay (NM, TX, OH, KY & VA). They performed in The 2007 Original Sessions National Band Search Series Competition in NYC competing for 3 rounds, were chosen to perform in The 2007 Goodstock Festival in WV (promoted by Artie Kornfeld), as well as GoodTimes Magazine’s LI Music Festival & M.E.A.N.Y. Fest 2007 Competitions, signed rights & clearances for usage of their compositions in a 2008 Independent Film Documentary, as well as offered solicitation by Octobertunes for additional TV & Film usage, participated in The 2008 Make Music NY Festival (co-sponsored by Time Out NY Magazine), & performed at The Woodstock Trading Company’s Great Lawn in Cherry Hill, NJ. Also in 2008, CLOSENUF were chosen as Semi-Finalists in The NE Independent Music World Series, making Anthony’s 2nd appearance in this competition at this level!
Like most projects of such extended life, some member shifts are inevitable, but on the 15th anniversary of the record label, we celebrate with its latest June 2009/2013 LP release, “CLOSENUF…to a new beginning,” it captures all of Anthony’s writing & lead vocals from the band’s established repertoire, as well as new selections with the fresh sounds of the band’s current line-up (as always, all talented NY Musicians in their own right), as well as alternate mixes of fan favorites with special guest players including saxophonist Robert Randazzo (Marvin Hamlisch) & award winning coloratura soprano Phyllis Falletta. In Aug 2009, Mojo Alt 94.1FM Radio 2 in Macedonia, Europe started spinning tracks regularly from the release.
In October 2010, Anthony was given his own 1 Hour Special on Blog Talk Radio on NYC’s Roman Midnight Music Show focusing on his career. In the Summer of 2012, members of CLOSENUF had the pleasure of jamming at The Bitter End, NYC with saxophonist Richie Cannata (Billy Joel) & noted actor John Stamos on drums. On June 1st, 2012, CLOSENUF released their first cyber-exclusive release: the EP of "...new beginning's" highlights: "CLOSENUF...to our universe." On 11/15/13, CLOSENUF was nominated for a 2013 LadyLake Indie Music Award for Best Independent Music Artist of the Year! And on 12/7/13, CLOSENUF was chosen to appear in Terra Rising's Independent Music Film Documentary: "Universal MusiCARE: The Music Therapy Experience."
On 6/10/15, Anthony & CLOSENUF released their 4th product, “In The Eyes Of The Rose – The EP” including the single, “In The Eyes Of The Rose (The Americana Mix)” given a fresh take in honor of the true roots of American Music “Country.” Anthony brought in guest players for the remix including the international award winning Irish Folk fiddle player Cady Finlayson, as well as Philip Sterk, noted Nashville/Memphis session player on pedal steel guitar. Accompanying the single is 7 other versions for a “true study in song.” And on 12/1/15, Loveable Lola, LLC, a company which creates & markets cartoon doggies that spread inspirational messages & releases children’s music has acquired multiple compositions from Anthony’s catalog & published them as part of their 2015 album & video releases “Loveable Lola – Songs To Love.” Anthony is credited for penning half the album, as well as a Christmas single, in addition to lending vocal, percussion, production (co-producing with producer Nick Price (Wu Tang Clan/A Tribe Called Quest)), arrangement, video editing & package design duties. The company is part of a 501(c)(3) where sales are scheduled for charitable endeavors, & Anthony is taking no proceeds for his works.
They write it, they play it, they rock it! Musical Perfection? CLOSENUF!
Anthony J. Foti - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Percussion, Keyboards, Composition & Production (2001-Present)
Anthony J. Foti was born & bred in Brooklyn, NY. He has been vocalizing & songwriting for over 30 years. He has a Concentration in Musical Studies from Dyson College of Arts & Sciences, Pace University, NY & while attending, was the college's Music Club President producing many shows for charity. While playing the club scene of Greenwich Village, he started the “Drug-Free” independent record label "Wreckords Records" to solicit local music. Through these efforts, he has been nationally published, has had national top-40 rotation airplay, became twice Semi-finalist in the Independent Music World Series, & is a Billboard World Songwriting Contest Award Winner. A founding member of CLOSENUF (lead vocals, percussion, composition, production & arrangement), he has guided the act through its various incarnations, album releases & drove the act through 9 Grammy Ballot Placements, 3 Independent Music Award Nominations & a dozen more accolades & recognitions from colleagues & the industry. He is the main songwriter for the act as well as a freelance songwriter for other music projects (ASCAP).
Rick is a brilliant musician hailing originally from Peru and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Aside from having been the rock solid bass player for the band, he is also a mean drummer & currently plays that role (and guitar player on the side). His talent is all natural but his flawless craft comes from years of lessons, taught by the best musicians at Norm’s Music (a Brooklyn staple for years). The amount of effort Rick puts into his musicianship is admirable as he is not only precise in his playing, but he uses his self-trained ears to help perfect the music of the band with arrangement and notation skills. He is also an accomplished songwriter and composer and rounds out CLOSENUF's crack rhythm section. As a multi-instrumentalist but with drumming his primary passion, Rick moved on briefly to concentrate on his career as a drummer, only to return when the position reopened. Welcome back Rico!
Brian LoBianco - Bass, Keyboards, Trumpet, Drums,.Backing Vocals, etc.
Brian is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Sheepshead Bay, Bklyn. At the age of 6, he learned some chords on the guitar from his uncle. After a few weeks, he started teaching that uncle. Brian was born with Perfect Pitch which allows him to denote the musical pitch or chord or key to any song. Brian is able to hear a song & then play it almost right away. With this musical gift, Brian can now play up to 18 instruments & he has composed over 300 songs. These songs span from as early as the Gregorian era through today. There is not a single genre that Brian dislikes, loving all music from around the world. There is always music playing & being created in Brian's head. Brian has a wonderful stage presence & is absolutely excited to be playing bass & singing backing vocals in CLOSENUF!
William Seyfried - Lead & Rhythm Guitars & Backing Vocals
William is a guitarist from Brooklyn, New York. With much appreciated assistance from his family, he picked up the instrument by age 15 at the recommendation of a close friend who was learning piano so they would be able to play together. Like many who had made the discovery before, the music & instrument became his vice & guarded his passions. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College with degrees in History & Education (both forms of storytelling), but music still best captures for him this endeavor. With over 7 years with the instrument he has recorded & performed with various musical projects, is himself an accomplished songwriter & vocalist & is quite happy to be currently working with CLOSENUF. Together with Roberto Ciraudo in 2011, he formed the double guitar section of CLOSENUF known as "The Talent Twins." He left the band in 2014 on a journey to find himself & his true musical direction but returned in 2016 to grace our stage again!
Joe Nielsen - Rhythm Guitar, Drums, Percussion, Bass & Backing Vocals
Joe has been playing percussion & guitar for over 30 years. He started with the jazz rock band, "Blood Intersection" playing the NY Parks circuit from Prospect to Central Park. He then moved on to recording with the southern rock band "Major Minor" covering the NJ & Village Club scenes. His next venture was working with Charlie Isola in the heavy blues project "Friends of Friends" which eventually evolved into "Cuts & Blueses" which became a mainstay in the NYC Blues & Village Club circuits. Hailing originally from Costa Rica, this semi-retired Brooklyn native has not only been the band's drummer but guest stars on guitar & bass (with backing vocals, too) carrying on his rich family history as the true rhythm of CLOSENUF, and is a welcomed special guest star filling in & sitting in at various concert appearances!
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