Anthony Fama Bares His Soul in His Lyrics and Hopes for Redemption

The Redemptions' album cover.
The Redemptions' album cover.
Photos by Anthony Fama and Danger Paul Balasz

Like so many musicians before him, Redemptions front man Anthony Fama is trying to use his music as a vehicle to a second a chance to right all of the perceived wrongs in his life. Whether it be his personal financial mistakes, the missteps against past lovers, the wrongdoing against his family, or the mistakes made by him that added to the downfall of his previous project Doctor Bones, Fama doesn’t shy away from any of it in his tunes. His biggest mistakes were even a determining factor in the name of the band.

“The name The Redemptions is kind of a nod to The Temptations, but it’s also how I feel about my life thus far. I've been a pretty shitty person to a lot of the people closest to me and a fuck-up in general. Especially after the amount of nervous breakdowns I had in Bones. I just wanted to be an adult and get something meaningful done in my life,” says Fama.

For their debut record, Broken Hearts and Shattered Glass, which is actually being released four years to the day after Doctor Bones released its debut record, Fama has focused the lyrical content on his follies in love. While he doesn’t shy away from his other mistakes, like flipping out on drugs at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and having a whole wing shut down due to his behavior. It’s his selfishness in matters of the heart he decided to highlight in the group’s freshman release.

“I've taken advantage of the women that cared about me. Letting them take care of me, buying me nice things because I was self-centered and obsessed with ‘how important my art’ was” says Fama. “The general impetus of the way I do everything is rooted in the idea of me making up those mistakes. The songs aren't really a biographical narrative. They have truth in them, but the songs are more about me reaching out to the universe to see if people feel the same way I do.”

With the intention of writing punk songs to beg his question Fama wound up with a rock ’n’ roll band that is just this side of folk and country. The frontman with the “rugged good looks and smooth hip motions,” according to himself, says that a lot of the band’s musical style comes from how much he looks up to what a “badass” his grandfather was.

Even though tones and tempos of The Redemptions are far from what is generally considered punk it does not stop Fama from referring to himself and his bandmates Konstantine Bosch, Paul Balazs, Solo Lounsbury, and Spencer Ferrarin as a punk outfit.

“We're just a bunch of fuck-ups who just want something more from life. Something with real value and real expression. So much of modern music is either nothing but filler or overly indulgent attempts at poetics that don't actually mean anything.I like songs that are really clear in how they want you to feel, and that's just a rare thing these days,” Fama says.

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