Tony Saxon is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and poet from New Milford, NJ. He has recorded five studio albums and currently is the bassist of the band The Battery Electric as well as Boots Electric & The Daydreams. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Born Anthony Saxon Netelkos through in vitro fertilization on October 23, 1990 to Atlantic City and Las Vegas lounge singer/ nightclub entertainer Tony Saxon and Constance Rovetto at Saint Mary's Hospital, Passaic, NJ.
During his early years the family resided in Atlantic City, NJ where his father sang "oldies" and played saxophone on the casino circuit, appearing regularly at Trump Plaza and The Resorts Hotel & Casino, among many others. In 1994 the family moved to Bergenfield, NJ until his parents separated in 2001, then moving with his mother and brother Matthew to New Milford, NJ. Despite being able to read proficiently at 2 years old and testing above the national average, Saxon was diagnosed at an early age with multiple sleep disorders, ADD, ADHD, and ODD to which he admits was "...made worse by the sheer volatility of my parent's divorce" resulting in the expulsion of two Catholic schools sparked by his unwillingness to complete assignments and uncontrollably wild behavior. Settling in public school, Saxon developed an infatuation with the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He taught himself to play guitar and began to take singing and songwriting seriously at age 11. After attending high school in New Milford, He began forming bands with classmates and much older musicians from the North Jersey Pop Punk / Emo scene which led to gratuitous drinking, partying, and school truancy. Saxon dropped out of high school in 2006 at age 16 to focus on music and attended night classes at Bergen Community College to study recording; a short-lived stint which led him to teach himself how to play piano and to begin composing the material which would later become his first studio album by breaking into empty rehearsal rooms instead of attending his classes. By the age of 17, Saxon found himself homeless; mostly due to a tumultuous relationship with his mother, living at many of his friends houses and later in his minivan. At age 18 Saxon joined Ringwood, NJ hardcore band The Murder & The Harlot as a bassist. Though never recording with Saxon, the band completed four US tours and signed to Hotfoot Records, until the group disbanded; reforming a year later without him by his choice. After his departure from the band, Saxon continued composing his first studio album then briefly joined singer-songwriter Reese Van Riper for a US tour as lead guitarist, subsequently leaving the group during the recording of The Paper Mache Bandits EP citing "creative differences".
No Profusions of Silk or Silver (2011)
Tony Saxon's first studio album, with the majority of songs written by Saxon at age 16. Recording began in 2008 at Twain Recording in West Milford, NJ with former Polydor Records producer Bob Both. The production was put on hiatus after only a few sessions due to personal complications and financial difficulties. Nearly a year later in 2009, Saxon recruited high school friend Kyle Cassel as drummer and production moved to Kaleidoscope Sound Studios in Union City, NJ where Kyle had just been hired as head engineer. Saxon self produced the album and recorded all vocals, guitars, piano, organ, banjo, omnichord, harmonium, and bass for the album with Kyle Cassel as drummer and engineer, Pedal steel guitarist Michael J. Pfeiffer ("Rest With The Sun") and Tony Saxon Sr. on saxophone ("Title Track"). After all the instrumentation was recorded, production halted for another year again due to personal and financial difficulty and recording completed in 2010, but again due to financial difficulties post production (mixing, mastering) took a year to complete. The album was self released in October 2011. Saxon self funded the album mostly by borrowing money from friends to buy and sell cars and musical equipment. The title was taken from Malcolm Cowley's introduction in the book "The Portable Faulkner" (Viking Press 1972). The album is a combination of Alternative/Indie Rock and Folk, inspired heavily by Neil Young, with various different styles of arrangement, all composed around Saxon's introspective poetry. The album was re-released through Mint 400 Records in the Fall of 2020.
So God Damn Over It (2013)
After nearly two year's hiatus from playing and recording music, a tumultuous time during which he worked as an event DJ, Saxon again began composing songs and writing poetry. He soon after met drummer and recording engineer Jon Perrelly, who he formed a working partnership with. Saxon, more confident in his singing, began recording his new batch of darker, acoustic songs at Perrelly's home studio in Elmwood Park, NJ over the course of March 2013 while living between New Jersey and Philadelphia. The majority of the album's songs were recorded live in one take with Saxon on guitar and vocals simultaneously, a "free Craigslist piano" was moved into Jon's garage to record the songs "Never Canonized" and "Poison & A Prayer" live with 100ft cables running between the garage and attic studio, and "Young Man, Old Van" features a cameo from drummer/singer-songwriter Matt Olsson (Frank Iero & The Patience / Brian Fallon). The rest of the songs feature minimal overdubs. The album was picked up by, and Tony Saxon signed to, Long Island's Hotfoot Records, and was released in March of 2013. The album has since been re-released by Mint 400 Records in the Fall of 2020.
"There are no bells and whistles here, just a collection of well-written stripped down songs each with very personal, introspective lyrics" - from a May 2013 review of So God Damn Over It by Bruce Moore of PureGrainAudio.com
Cardinal Sin (2013)
After the successful release of So God Damn Over It, Saxon began performing the material solo, occasionally backed by Perelly on drums, in many nightclubs, venues, house shows, and coffee shops in NJ, NY, and Philadelphia. He began to work on a new album with Perelly in the spring of 2013 and the two put together a band consisting of Patrick Tobin on bass and Igor Vuk on lead guitar. The original concept for the new album was to have half the songs continue in the indie rock/ acoustic vein, and the other half of the songs take on a heavier, rock n roll sound inspired by groups like Iggy & The Stooges, as Saxon also began to miss the energy and fun of performing with a full rock n roll band. The initial title of the album was Shadow and Act, and explored the concept of duality. The group, under the working title "Tony Saxon & The Wendals", began recording over the summer of 2013 at Patrick Tobin's house in Orange, NJ which was rigorously converted into a recording studio. Tensions began to mount between Saxon and Perrelly over the idea for the concept album, thus resulting in the "Shadow" portion of the album featuring all the full band/ heavy material being dropped. The original concept for the album was abandoned and the remaining full-band Indie Rock style songs from "Act" portion of the album; "Wreck", "Pass", "Mean Disposition and "Young Man, Old Van" became Cardinal Sin after Saxon recorded 3 more acoustic songs for the album in the fall of 2013 ("Unceremoniously", "Cardinal Sin", and the improvised "Indian Giver") as one take, solo acoustic live tracks. Perelly recorded all drums for the album. "Pass" and "Wreck" are the only two songs that feature Tobin and Vuk. The live recording of "Mean Disposition" also features Tobin on bass, but "Young Man, Old Van" features Saxon on bass. Saxon regards Cardinal Sin as his best album. The album was partially released by Hotfoot Records in 2013 but due to a major technical error it was soon after withdrawn and tensions between Saxon and Perrelly began to skyrocket thus resulting in a major falling out between the two. The album has since been re-released by Mint 400 Records in the Fall of 2020.
Old Souls & Long Term Goals (2018)
Dissatisfied with performing solo and the release of Cardinal Sin, Saxon took another long hiatus from music between 2013 and 2016; spending most of that time period in Philadelphia where his drug usage spiraled out of control before he hit "rock bottom" and moved back to New Jersey to get clean and get his life together, started a business buying and selling antiques and briefly opened an antique store in Nyack, NY. In 2016 he decided to reconcile with Perrelly, who had since been living in Austin, TX. The two decided to put aside their difference and make an album inspired by Saxon's love for 1950s and 60s rythym & blues and garage rock. Saxon drove out to Austin to begin recording with Perelly on drums and engineering, the two weeks of recording sessions that followed in Austin yielded the songs "Black Hearted Gypsy Woman" and "Shake Off Your Dust" written by Saxon, a stark departure from the early Tony Saxon material. Tensions over creative differences began to once again mount between the two, and Saxon returned to New Jersey before the album was finished. On his way back, Saxon then called drummer Matt Olsson (Frank Iero & The Patience, Brian Fallon) to finish the songs from the Austin Sessions and the new duo began rehearsals the following week. Saxon wrote three more songs during rehearsals with Olsson "Want Me" "Pissed Off A Fortune Teller" and "Up To My Hips" and entered North End Recording Studios in Passaic, NJ to record them live, joined by studio co-owner JP Dalpan (Chained To The Dead) on bass. After recording the first five songs and a brief hiatus (partially due to Matt's busy touring schedule) Saxon then reconnected with original drummer Kyle Cassel and together with JP Dalpan formed a garage rock trio and began performing around the Tri-State area. The trio, under the name, Tony Saxon were signed to Mint 400 Records and performed the new fun and upbeat garage rock material from the Austin / North End sessions and a selection of covers from the 1950s & 1960s. In the winter of 2017 the trio recorded 4 covers at Kaleidoscope Sound Studios in Union City; "One Night" by Smiley Lewis, "Slow Death" by The Flamin Groovies, "Shakin' All Over" by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, and "Honky Tonk" by Bill Doggett as well as an original surf rock composition "Slide Into Hell". The album features more lead guitar work from Saxon than any of his previous releases. Black Hearted Gypsy Woman was released as a single by Mint 400 Records in 2017. The songs from these sessions were released with the original songs from the North End/ Austin sessions as a "two part" album named Old Souls & Long Term Goals by Mint 400 Records in early 2018.
"Saxon draws influence from the early, experimental days of rock music and embodies that spirit so effectively throughout this album, which was tracked live in it’s entirety. In today’s digital age, it’s pretty uncommon for a piece to be so raw and untouched which truly adds so much to the authentic feel Saxon creates and is just one example of the risks taken and rules broken throughout Old Souls & Long Term Goals.A true accomplishment, despite being so heavily rooted in a specific time period and style, the album never feels like a retread. And yes, you may have heard this all before, I hope you have, since the first half of the album (Old Souls) are tributes. But to the contrary, with the current abundance and over-saturation of pop-punk, shoegaze, math rock, and electro-noise bullshit, in a way being so dated that 60’s psychedelic blues rock makes Old Souls & Long Term Goals one of the freshest albums to be released on the indie scene for some time." - Adam of NJRacket.com 2018
“Tony Saxon encompasses everything I love about music in his approach to songwriting, He has a wealth of knowledge about rock ‘n’ roll from its roots and how it grew through the ’60s and ’70s, and then he takes that knowledge to write edgy garage rock tunes that encapsulate the last 50 years. Live, he has this extra added element of showmanship that you may not get from the recordings, almost a manic, crazy vibe that just emanates from him.” - Neil Sabatino of Mint 400 Records, 2019.
Manic Depressive Idiot Savant (2018)
After a successful year of shows with the trio, highlighted by an appearance at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, Saxon began writing and recording his next album deciding to make a studio only album as a solo effort in an attempt to showcase more of his abilities as a multi-instrumentalist, incorporating analog and digital keyboards and horns played by himself, while also paying homage to the rock n roll and r&b music of the 1960s Manic Depressive Idiot Savant, would be his 2nd full length in less than a year on Mint 400 Records.
Saxon wrote arrangements for and recorded all instruments (all vocals, guitars, bass, Omnichord, tenor, alto sax, Lowrey micro genie synth, harmonium, Vox Jaguar, drum programming) except for drums which were played by Matt Olsson and his 75 year old father (Tony Sr.) recorded tenor sax solos on tracks 4, 6, and 9. Track 8 is a cover of "Teenage Depression" by Eddie and The Hot Rods. All songs were partially recorded by Saxon at his home in Nutley, NJ and also by multiple Grammy award winning engineer Brian Chirlo in Wallington, NJ who also mixed. Mastered by L. Nix studios in Memphis. "I call it “power pop/garage/surf/psych/soul&roll”. Every song is different, using almost all the same instruments for consistency." Saxon in his own words "Think of the songs as “mood swings”.... The title of the record is a quote that someone said about me which I found both complementary and insulting. Wanted to incorporate more varying instrumentation, still record in real time (No MIDI & minimal edits), and keep a“Digi-analog” old school feel. Recorded from June thru August 2018 with a relatively limited budget."
"The common thread that seems to run through the nine songs on this new full-length LP is a brightness. There’s just a certain quality in these songs, likely partly due to the tone of the keyboards and the amount of reverb used in the mix, that just makes these songs sound sunny. The individual songs range from garage to surf to psych to even retro top 40.....I think one of the things that attracts me to this record is how each of the songs sounds pretty different from the others, yet they all share a common feel, too, so the album is quite cohesive.... Favorites include the opener, “Retrograde,” for its cool 50s lounge sounding keys blended with a retro rock feel, the lively surf instrumental, “Sarcophagus Juice,” and the raucous rock’n’soul track, “Butt-Dials from Shlomo.” I also like the dream-lounge stylings of “Ghost of Windows95.” This album is pretty different, pretty quirky – and if you like different and quirky, like I do, then you will enjoy this. - Manic Depressive Idiot Savant review by Paul Silver of JerseyBeat.com, 2018.
Shortly after the release of Manic Depressive Idiot Savant, the Tony Saxon trio disbanded on good terms. Saxon continued to perform the albums' material solo by means of live looping until briefly starting a new project, a heavier and progressive rock n roll band called Serpent Worship, with drummer John Manna. The duo, featuring Saxon on vocals guitar and bass through an elaborate system of effects pedals and amplifiers, performed live across the Tri-State area and a five song EP was recorded in 2019 at North End Recording in Passaic, NJ which has yet to be released.
Tony Saxon is also an avid collector and DJ of 1950s & 60s soul, rythym and blues, and garage rock 45rpm records. He has DJ'ed many Soul and R&B events throughout New York and New Jersey, and has held residencies as a DJ at nightclubs and venues in Beacon, NY and Jersey City, NJ. He is also a record dealer, selling rare 45rpm records through his business SAXONWAX and continues to share his love and preserve the history of R&B and Soul by uploading rare records and DJ mixes for streaming on his YouTube channel.
In June of 2020, Tony Saxon moved to Los Angeles, CA to join rock n' roll band The Battery Electric, originally from Asbury Park, NJ on bass and backing vocals. The group is currently working on their next studio album. Saxon also plays bass and performs with the band Boots Electric & The Daydreams featuring Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal as well as Ron Santee and Brent Bergholm of The Battery Electric. His first three studio albums were reissued by Mint 400 Records in the Fall of 2020 and he is currently working on releasing an album of previously unreleased solo material.
- "Tony Saxon". Pirate!. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
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- Journal, Jim Testa | For The Jersey (2019-03-06). "N.J.'s Serpent Worship adds heft to ferocious rock 'n' roll". nj. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
- "Jersey Beat | Reviews by Paul Silver". http://www.jerseybeat.com/paulsilver-2018archive.html. Retrieved 2020-12-22. Unknown parameter
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- "Throwback Tony Saxon Releases Old Souls & Long Term Goals". New Jersey Racket. 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2020-12-22.