Raymond Anthony’s musical tastes and talents were formed in the rich melting pot of San Francisco in the 1960’s. His passion for music and production began at an early age, inspired by his father, Reno Bassi, an accomplished drummer who played the club circuit in and around the San Francisco Bay Area during that iconic era. Raymond followed in his father’s footsteps and started to tinker around on drums at the tender age of two.
His formal musical education began in the 5th and 6th grade where he learned to read music playing big band and classical tunes on the clarinet for the school band. At fifteen his focus returned to drumming, playing mostly with pads and sticks until he saved enough money to buy a drum kit of his very own.
Raymond saw an ad for the local music shop in San Francisco, “Don Wehr’s Music City”. Don Wehr was a childhood friend of Raymond’s father and is Raymond’s Godfather. Don and Reno practiced together in North Beach basements as boys, and both went on to work with many prominent San Francisco Bands. This connection amplified Raymond’s enthusiasm for music into an all-consuming passion. Through Don Wehr’s kindness, Raymond was now playing on a nice Slingerland red sparkle kit put together using miscellaneous bits and pieces. He continued to practice and learn as much as he could for the next 3 ½ years before turning his attention to playing the guitar.
In the early 1980’s he started working at Guitar Center in San Francisco, experimenting with various instruments while playing drums and guitar. Inspired by his love of 80’s New Wave music, he transferred to the keyboard department; where he dove deep into the world of synthesizers, drum machines, and Synthpop music. He had a passion for bands like DEVO, Human League, Kraftwerk, and Soft Cell as well as composers ranging from Mozart and Bach to Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and Kitaro.
On his first day in the Keyboard Department at Guitar Center Raymond hooked up four synths to a Commodore 64 computer that, running a very simple program, played Handle’s Water Music. He was completely hooked! Soon he started writing songs on a small Fostex X15 and an Ensoniq Mirage set-up. Later that year he started playing a combo percussion and synth set-up in a friend’s band called UHF. UHF played various clubs in San Francisco including the Hotel Utah and Last Day Saloon.
An opportunity to move to Montana enabled Raymond to work on writing music and lyrics for the band Lost and Found with Allen Whiteman (noted bassist for The Mermen and Joe Satriani). Lost and Found played around the Missoula, Montana music scene, recorded an album and had many favorable write-ups in the press. The band returned to San Francisco and parted ways paving the way for Raymond’s first real solo project, Two of Many.
His job at K&K Music instrument shop landed him an exciting new project, installing a music studio for the base player of Metallica. Before the installation project was over Raymond was offered the job of house engineer for Jason Newsted’s new home studio, The Chophouse. Over the years he produced, engineered, mixed and added musically to countless projects that came through the studio. Metallica was on tour much of the time, enabling Raymond to focus on producing, writing, and expanding his contacts with a lot of talented musicians.
Another great opportunity arose when Tommy G Entertainment asked Raymond to be Studio Manager and Music Director for their record label. Raymond worked on a large-budget album project for Tommy G in places like The Plant, Sausalito, CA; A&M Studios, Los Angeles, CA; and Sterling Sound in New York. He worked with George Marino mastering the Tommy G project. During this time he visited Skywalker Sound Scoring Stage, Warner Bros Studio, and the Eastwood Scoring Stage.
Utilizing experience gained at Walter Afanasieff’s studio Wally World, he acquired new techniques in orchestration, harmony and instrumentation, while scoring the music for an independent film titled “On It”. The idea of scoring film was not new to Raymond; he knew in time he would turn his efforts towards it. This exciting direction set his sights even higher towards a broadened horizon.
Raymond has been writing more lately. He sees himself moving in a new direction, explaining: “I am using more conventional instrumentation and less classic synth tones. My music has always been underscored by a wall of sound quality, but now I am trying to be more organic in my instrumentation”.
The blend of synthesized, classical and traditional African rhythms has always taken Raymond on a unique musical journey through time and history and to countries far and wide resulting in a sound that is uniquely Raymond’s. Currently performing acoustic arrangements of his material and exploring new territory the acoustic set is stripped of excess, painfully exposed and provocative.
Currently Raymond is applying the finishing touches to his new acoustic Album Blessed and Cursed to be released in the Spring of 2018 and a second Album Yesterday-Today, which is a collection of Acoustic Guitar arrangements of songs recorded as fully orchestrated tracks. Yesterday-Today is due for release Summer 2018.