Glenn Hughes (1998(


Glenn hughes is one of those legendary vocalists that others measure themselves by. I have been a fan since several years ago, I was introduced to him by my bud Peter, who joins me in this fairly open conversation with the man himself. I had zero questions written out, instead opting for an open chat which hopefully you will find equally as open and honest. Glenn Hughes it seems...is on a mission!

Now what's going on man?

Well have you got some time to chat?

Great that'd be awesome.
My best buddy here, like I said is a 20 year fan, he's just popped out and hopefully he'll be here before I get off the phone because if he doesn't get a chance to talk to you he's gonna absolutely bloody kill me!
So how's things?
Man they're never better for me. Things right now in my life are possibly…well I guess you've heard people say this before 'oh man things are going great', but you know it's like when everything is good, it's not just like the music's good, or your relationship with this person is good, for me right now it's a most spiritual time for me and that's very important.
I'm not about religion. It's the inner peaceful feeling we get when we come to grips with life I guess.
You know philosophically speaking, some of us in life don't get to benefit from the rewards in life of crossing over that big hurdle. You know a lot of rock and rollers live that excessive lifestyle.
You see we are given this fucking gift in life and the gift is to actually live a design to life, you know a special way of living, which we all have to figure out as we get older. Some of us never get it, some of us live in fear all our fucking lives and what I am trying to tell you is you asked me a question yes I feel great.

Well I was going to say you have had one of the most colourful, not only careers but lifestyles in over 20 years.
Yeah I have. I've lived life to the excesses. Some of us don't get to make it but you know I'm writing right now, probably the most amazing music I've ever written, so it's…. I'm just really really grateful to be alive.

Obviously in the last half a dozen years you're health has been great, but is there points in darker days, were there times when you thought you may not get out alive?
Well I always said you know, there was a cut off point for me when I said I would stop partying…you know I'll stop this year or I'll stop next year.
You know I never could stop and I never could quit because you know what, you're taking about that part of the lifestyle that is a disease. You know alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease. We don't grow up saying 'Hey mom I wanna be a fucking drug addict when I get older'.
You know we are born with the addiction…you now whether it be fucking chocolate or fucking pussy or whatever, I don't know.
But for me I had to go down that road…take a fucking beating…you know, a good fucking beating until I had enough of it. I'm talking about a real surrender.
You know poor old Michael Hutchence. Bless him, he was crying out for fucking help that poor guy. Now I understand why, how Michael died…he was untreated addict and alcoholic…untreated. I really feel for him and his family, and anybody that dies in the guise of that addiction you know or whatever it was.

Was there a single event that made you think shit this is it, this is my last chance?
Yeah well many events, but I think for me, it was the humiliation of not being able to go to England to visit my family. I was living in America, like I do and I was too fucked up and I couldn't tour either, because Number 1- I was incapable of doing a show, a concert because I couldn't leave LA, and 2 - I wasn't in shape. I was 50 pounds heavier and you know I was just not in shape. And you fucking gotta be in shape to do what you do. A lot of great creative people that live on the edge you know, but I didn't want to be a statistic and die. I'm gonna be doing this forever - like fucking Frank Sinatra. I'm doing this when I'm 80 years old. You know so it's like I'm writing music right now that is so cool.

Tell us about what you're writing.....
What I'm doing now is like an addiction. I've been writing for two years what I consider to be like a quest for my next record. It's not gonna be just another record, it's a big part of my history. So I didn't wanna make just another rock album. I wanted to make an album, which says something from my heart. Some of the albums I've done in the last 5 or 6 years have been for record companies that wanted that specific record. You know pigeon holed in to say doing a blues album, then we'll do like a variety of stuff then we'll do a rock album then we'll do an AOR album and you know, the real Glenn Hughes has now been transformed. Now everybody that knows me has been trying to tell me to make an album that I really really wanna make myself.

Sorry Glenn to interrupt you, but my buddy Peter has just picked up the line and is going to listen in if that's alright.

G'day Glenn, how are you?
Fine man

So you were saying?
So yeah, I'm writing, I'm making music now that will be on my next record which I consider to be closer to the real Glenn that we've had in a long time. You know I just can't compromise anymore. I gotta live in my own skin.
I don't wanna have to please some suit anymore. I've been lucky to have made enough money or money coming in to take care of the bills, so it's not like I'm saying it with an egocentric attitude. I've come to a point in my life where I gotta please myself first musically. So that's where I'm at today. I'm gonna start actually going in to the studio next Tuesday.
Oh I've been in the studio the last two years doing this shit.

Oh OK. Who's it for, are you recording it for a label?
Nope, I am doing it on my own money and I'm gonna…well of course I'll eventually shop it. But I'm not gonna start shopping it till I know what I have is the right thing. I mean a lot of people go in and do a 3 song demo and they start shopping it You know for me I've wrote maybe 30 or 40 songs so I'm going through the songs going this is good, maybe this one's not so good.
You know I'm using my touring band rather that using like a producer coming in. I'm using my own band now to make my records, rather like I normally use a producer.

And who's in the band at the moment?
Well the drummer is Gary Ferguson, he played with me in Gary Moore and he also played with John Hiatt for like 3 years and he's very very very good...very funky. And my guitar player played with me on an album called 'Feel' and his name is George Nastos, he's from New York. Extremly funky which is a big word with me. The keyboard players' name is Hans Zum…um…whatever. A German American guy! (Glenn can't spell it and I can't pronounce it!)
I could describe it as…if you could imagine…before I joined it you'd probably heard a band called 'Trapeze' from a long time ago.
This music I'm making now is what 'Trapeze' probably would've been doing in 1998. It's totally uncompromised - all the stuff that's from my soul… and my gut.

So you're not going to rush it Do you know when it might be out…next year?
I would imagine next year. I told people it would be out this year but, you know I did some work at Stevie Salas' house and I've catalogued that…and that's very very interesting.

What's happening with that project?
Here's the deal…you gotta understand this…when I make my albums I find it difficult to reproduce some of it on stage unless I have the same cats playing with me. And Matt and Stevie don't wanna tour the world doing this project with me. They wanna do a few one off shows.
And most of the promoters who wanna book me next year, want me to do them with the band I play on the record with so…I took a look at that and I said you know, the guys I have in my band right now are the most fluent players I have ever worked with and they understand the big picture of Glenn Hughes. They understand funk, they understand pop rock and jazz, and those are the four elements that make the music. So when I say jazz don't let it frighten you, it's just my voice that goes into jazz territory, but its not like there's a lot of jazz going on…it's just that's some of the stuff I like. You can't really describe it, it's music that, it's extremely funky but its not white man trying to be black funky. We don't like that…it's not really appropriate.

Was 'Feel' an indication of it?
'Feel ' definitely is on the right road to it.

And the future of the Matt Sorum and Stevie Salas project?
It's on ice. that album will be made. It could be made in the same month I make my other record, but right now the priority is to make the album with my band and go out and play live behind that album.

So this other album won't come out in the meantime?
No. Stevie, Matt and me have just recorded 3 songs. The rest of the album has been written and I've got it all at my house on demo form.

What's your address we'll be around to steal it!
No no (laughs). I'm also doing another project in Switzerland, which is another thing I'm doing with another guy which is very good. It's more of a dance album.

Who's that?
A man called Manfred Ehlert.

Oh you've done stuff with him before right?
Yeah…but it's not like anything you've heard before. We've got some really hip programmers and its more club orientated music. It's more for the disco thing. Not like disco disco, it's for the club thing.

Does it touch back on the KLF thing you did?
Yeah it's sorta like that but it's very trip hop, hip-hop, jazzy, pop music.
But you know for the real Glenn Hughes fan. What I get from people that write to me is that they like what I do vocally, and I'm never gonna do anything like the Partridge Family you know, or something.

Hey Glenn, it's Peter here. You don't sorta have to justify to us what you're doing and what you've done you know, we've sort of been following your career...you know what, I've got a 'Medusa' still in a plastic cover.
Oh lovely. Some people that haven't met me before I get a little bit defensive cause I have only a few really heavy hard rock fans that don't get the real Glenn. And I'm losing those fans because you know, I noticed on my last tour in Europe in April that a lot of guys that would come and they'd bring their girlfriends and their girlfriend's were a lot younger and they were, saying to themselves 'Oh my God I'm gonna have to listen to this heavy metal shit…and half way through the show the guy's shaking his head going what is this and the girls were dancing. They just can't believe it. My band is so funky. Even the songs like 'Stormbringer' and 'Muscle And Blood'…they've turned into extreme funky songs.

I was over there with a label called MTM in Germany and I just missed your tour by 2 weeks. I was really disappointed. I wish I could've seen it.
Some guys that saw it said it was pretty amazing vocally.

Well it wasn't heavily promoted, which is a bit of a bummer, but you know it was ok because I was just trying out new stuff and old songs but new arrangements. And the guy that promoted the tour was so blown away that he's going to book a whole European tour by the end of the year. You know I really would love to come play over there.

We were both thinking earlier actually that are there any plans for Australia?
Well there's always been talk but here's the deal…the last 5 or 6 years in sobriety, my recovery, I've actually just been taking care of my health. And I've been making these albums that you've probably heard and you know I've been quite comfortable, but now - and I've never said this before now - this year 1998 I decided, not just overnight, I decided that I am now taking this shit serious.
You know this is not just make an album, put it out and see what happens.
Let's find the right label, let's find the right manager, the right agent, and the right everything to go with the package.

That was something you said a couple of years ago after the release of 'Addiction'.


Yeah but that's been a 2 year absence cause I have been really toying with the idea of shall I make another rock album for the money, or should I take a couple of years to write the real record. Yeah so that's what I've been doing, I haven't, I didn't want to rush out and make an 'Addiction' album again. Now you see those albums might sound good to you guys but for me 'Addiction' was an album that was very very square and dark and it was ok.
But its not really breaking any new ground. I've gotta break new ground, I gotta keep my old audience, most of the audience I wanna keep but I wanna have 80% new audience of people that are into different things.

Well I can tell you something, I used to work in a hi-fi store and when 'Feel' came out the song we used to demo speakers and what have you off was 'Coffee and Vanilla'. We sold 10 discs on that alone. I mean obviously not huge numbers but there were people who had never heard of Glenn Hughes. We demoed the sax intro on 'Coffee and Vanilla' and they brought!


Well that's great. the next record that I'm doing, actually the album ready right now has got a song like 'Coffee and Vanilla'. That kind of vibe.
It's very very funky. I mean I'm writing it as we speak. Actually it was in the car 20 minutes ago, I was just fucking with it. It's my lifes work. I think if you guys have read anything I've done, I always sorta say, because my publisicst says I have to say this is the best stuff I've ever done, but 'Feel' was a fucking great album. The one I'm making now really is the follow up to 'Feel'. I mean I had to get away from my record company because they just couldn't fucking stand 'Feel'!

What happened to the Zero label?
Look those guys are really super guys but they're absolute idiots. They can see the Japanese market's falling in heavy metal. I mean heavy metal pur se is dying now and you know, the thing is the market was pretty big in Japan and now it's losing that ground. And I said to them 2 years ago, this heavy metal thing is really dying here and…don't get me wrong…you know for me I'm a rock singer and I can't keep making those albums. If you can understand it doesn't allow me to grow as a human being.
You know I am actually a real soulful person who sings and loves just to fucking sing. you know I do this because I love it…but when I made 'Feel ' I said this is the closest I've been since ' play me out' to where I want to be. So when the record company heard it they went 'Oh my God there's not enough rock'. I said well fuck you. I mean, what about my feelings. The last 2 years I had to take a cut financially. It's not been the best couple of years for me but I am so happy cause I'm making the music I wanna put out.




On the production side of things, I mean all your albums especially, probably the one I like the most from a production point of view would be 'From Now On'.

I reckon that's just awesome. With this new project and I don't know if this has been suggested to you before or not, I'm sure it has but have you ever thought of approaching or hopping on the greyhound to Minneapolis and camp out on Prince's doorstep?
Where Im going right now musically is somewhere he would be really familiar with.

Maybe as a producer or engineer?
I'm producing the demos right now. I'm sure when I get them signed to a label they will come up with a producer for me. I need a co-producer in the dance pop format.

He is in my opinion someone who would understand your crossover.
The crossover between funk and rock. I mean you listen to Prince and you could do that sitting on your head.

I heard that last record a while ago. my band the one I'm touring with at the moment and in the studio is so fucking awesome and we can play funk and that kind of groove all night and I said when I got home off the German tour we gotta get together and start rehearsing and jamming. And that's what we've doing the last couple of weeks. You know I've come up with some fucking incredible stuff. It's just beginning right now.

Andrew spoke to Ian Gillan recently and he was saying that the way the current Purple works, when it comes to recording, they go into the studio with absolutley nothing and just jam until something comes up, is that how you work?
The answer to that is no. With this particular project, this new Glenn record I said to the guys in the band it would be really nice for us to get together every afternoon or every other day and I'd give them an idea of the type of song I want to write and then we actually start talking about it and we start making it. Rather than me come in with an idea on the bass and that we'd get a groove and I'd put the bass down and then we start layering it. It's pretty much like how Purple do it but the there's more pre production.
I'm not relying on record company funds anymore that's the old-fashioned way. If you've got the money for what you want to do I think you should just do it.

The internet offers a way for people to view their opinions and it seems there is always a comment "Glenn Hughes should do this...." Do you think it's time for you to do just what you want?
When I was cutting 'Addiction' I had a pretty bad flu so I gave Mark the ball
and the album smacks very heavily of Mark and hIs writing and playing, as I gave him the ball after writing the music and lyrics. It was a dark album.
On this particular album I'm writing right now and even with Stevie Salas,
it's stuff I really want to do. It's stuff I can't slip through the cracks. You know I'm going over each persons part, like the drums and the guitars and
I'm deciding is that appropriate for Glenn Hughes right now.
Like when Trapeze on 'You're The Music' all the stuff that Mel played is stuff I wrote for him to play. And with Pat you know we had a team so on this particular project this is the most, this album will be produced either by me or someone who understands me.

That's where the Prince question came from.
Yeah and that would be great. Yeah there's a possibility of me getting something to him. I'm actually going to play something to his old manager and so we'll have to wait and see.

That would be huge Glenn. Something pretty different.
Well you know I am getting real adventurous with my career now. I'm not going to sit on the fence anymore. There's just no point in cutting a record and giving it to a Japanese label who sit on it and then license it through the rest of the world and nobody gets to hear it except the die-hard fans.

Yeah it is so hard to find some of them.
Yeah I know and to be honest with you, can I tell you it's a little bit embarrasing and insulting. You say that I have the greatest voice…
All I can tell you guys is that I love to sing and I know God sings through me. I don' t say that I have the greatest voice in the world I just have a gift that God has given me. And I tell you something when I go in the studio I just open my mouth and shit comes out that I have no idea whats happening.

I was going to talk to you about that. I'm a Christian and I know you had a pretty amazing conversion here 6 or 7 years ago. I just want to encourage you with it that's all.
You know for me I get up in the morning and I ask God's will, you know whatever your will is for me to do I will do. I don't ask for money prestige
or all that other stuff. I am happy in my own skin. Now don't get me wrong
I'm living in a lovely house, I'm just so fucking happy.
You know if I can't be at one with my creator and that would offend a lot of people and I don't care. I know where I am and if someone says oh Glenn Hughes is religious. It's not religious I'm just really into my higher power.
There's someone bigger than me and someone who creates and controls my life.

The only people that would say that would be people that don't understand.
All I do is get up in the morning, take a shower and let God do the rest.
You gotta get out the way and let him run the show. I don't run the show anymore. I do is go play with my band, do the best work that I can, I'm nice to the people around me, good to my fans, I'm accessible and you know there are good guys that finnish first. I've got a 5-year plan now. I'm looking at the next 5 years being the fruitful ones.

It sounds like you're going around things the right way Glenn.
A lot of fans are saying 'God we won't to see Glenn play, we want a new record'. I'm going you gotta be patient here cause I won't you people to understand the next record I put out is something really special from me. They are all special but you know the last one from me 'Addiction' was made under the gun a little bit, because the company wanted an AOR record and I was not happy about that.

Well what happened with that? I know Magnus who signed you and I know it was an AOR label.
Magnus is a big AOR fan. But Magnus would tell you there is so much more to Glenn Hughes than AOR.

Yeah Magnus said that was the kind of record they wanted you to make at that time. I certaintly love the record.
Well, hey if somebody plays it and I'm in the car I'll go along with it and say that sounds good. Eeverything I do I'm really in to, I never do a bad performance, it's just I have to be really selective where I go directional wise.

You've made plenty of guest spots over the last few years?
What's the go there Glenn?
Oh i'm not too happy about that (laughs).
Simply because I do favours for people and I get caught up in the session mill and the thing is if I'm gonna do sessions it should be with more higher profile people. Don't get me wrong I love Stuart Smith, he's a good friend of mine, the track with him I did is ok, but it's nothing groundbreaking for me. It's not things that are going to bring me into your household.

Do you think prospective record companies look upon that as maybe not good?
No, don't give a shit.
Most of the labels my friends don't even know its out. The deal is the stuff I do for my friends, you know I charge them or do favours for it. It's basically
something tongue in cheek. None of the major labels even know that shit is out. It's not fucking with my career. It just upsets my die-hard fans saying why is Glenn doing that? Between you and I don't dig doing em. It's not like there's a lot of dough doing it, I get coerced in to doing it cause I'm such a bloody idiot.

What's it like Glenn then for yourself when people are saying we need you on a record to sell it? For your pride?
I get great reviews, everyone picks up one of those tribute albums and goes the best thing on there was Glenn Hughes. It's really nice to read that. And I say to these mother fuckers that hire me why don't you give me the best song you got on the record instead of giving me the last song. Why don't you start of giving me the top song, it makes sense. Like the fucking Alice Cooper tribute they wanted Meatloaf to sing the lead song which is 'Only Women Bleed' right. I said why don't you give me lead cut and they said no - we want Meatloaf to sing it. They've been waiting 2 fucking years for him to sing it. I don't need to sing that fucking song. Don't get me wrong I love everybody, I'm one of these guys that aint got a bad word to say about anybody even that band 'Men At Work'.

Ah come on...! Now you've got on to Australia again. Remember Sunbury Pop Festival, 1974? I wasn't there but my brother was.
Just recently there was an article in a local newspaper down here that area, the actual paddock you guys played in, they are going to turn it in to like a national monument for Australian rock n roll.

You know I don't remember much of that show cause it was raining.

AC/DC were on it I believe?
That's right but I don't remember too much about it…I don't get in to fracases you know but I was in a nice hotel in Sunbury somewhere. I was playing pool with this Western Australian guy and I was beating him and he took a pool cue to me.

He hit you on the head with it?
He fucking did, and it really upset me. My bodyguards weren't happy about that.

Please don't take offence with Australians!
I was sick to my stomach, cause I retaliated and I must have punched the guy or something and I got so sick to my stomach that I'd actually hurt another human being, one of God's children that it affected my performance and I was very bitterly dissapointed with that trip. You know because if you give English, American, anyone too much to drink and we're gonna get stupid. A few of us anyway. We're all God's children for God's sake. I think Australia is a fabulous country.
You know something my friend I'm gonna make a commitment to myself that I'm gonna get there. I did South America last year, so now Australia and Africa are the only 2 continents I haven't been. So I think I should get over there Here's the deal - it's going to be difficult. So you know if I come do maybe 5 or 6 shows in Australia and do maybe 2 big markets and maybe 2 or 3 small markets I know the people will get excited if I keep coming back.
I'm gonna leave this up to you guys I need more guys like you turning on people's doors to say why don't you get Glenn Hughes.

You know it must be horrendus for you, it's frustrating enough for us, for people who want to hear your stuff.
I have to swallow my pride and realise that you know whatever you guys think and my fans I know I'm blessed with talent. I've got to be very very selective of who I go with now. you know I actually do have a record company that is taking care of me at the moment but between you and me I am actually gonna go and find a new one. I'm gonna take a while, it may take six months to find that. I've had a few offers coming in. one american and one european who are a lot better than what I have had but you know the old Glenn last year would have said let's take the first one that comes along. I really want to make it right. there are artists that you know that don't come out with records between 3 and 4 years you know. I've been making a record every year for the last 5 or 6 years. I'm due for a little break. I want to make a record that is totally glenn. or as near as I can.

We want you out here, but obviously there's no sense coming out here unless you've got a deal and you've got records in the shop, because you'll know what they'll do, the same thing they did with Gillan when he tours with his projects. It's like the 'voice of Deep Purple' or the 'voice of Black Sabbath'.
To come out to Australia and I'm understanding more of what's going on out there, the hard rock thing is dead anyway, I wanna come out to Australia with a brand new thing. Yeah I don't want to sound like anybody, but my record sounds more like Jamiroquai than anything. But its not got any horns yet…it's more the psychedelic trippy thing.

Just before we finnish what about the Tony Iommi record?
Your gonna trip when you hear it cause I cut 6 or 7 songs with Tony and we're not done yet. Tony wanted me to write music with him and play bass so what you get here is you get the Iommi guitar and you get like Tony's music with my music combined in to it and yes folks it is kind of funky.




Dave Holland's playing drums so you've got that understanding…it' s as heavy as 'Seventh Star' but it's as melodic…dramatic…and sorta soulful. People must understand this isn't Black Sabbath it's Tony Iommi So he gave me the keys to the car so I basically produced it, he let me produce it. And its very fucking cool man. And there's a very trippy type Beatles song on there…like a Sgt Pepper type thing that we did. There's a couple of really cool ballads, a mid tempo one, an intense rocker. It's a variety. More variety than 'Seventh Star'. Tony wanted to stretch himself so there's a snatch of jazz on it, because Tony is a jazz player whether you know it or not. so when I say jazz it frightens people, but its just different.

Little bit sort of Kings X-ish?
Yes, it's just adventurous. I sat with Tony in his house for about 2 months
and…and I gotta tell you Tony, I gotta tell you I love him like a brother, he is a super guy.

When's that coming out?
After Sabbath has died down. When I say died down, there will be a live record coming out, I've heard that it's pretty good. I say by the end of 1999.
Tony and I are very close, we talk all the time. It will happen and Tony is trying to twist my arm to going on the road with him and I'm sure I probably will. But you remember this - I have said goodbye to rock in my solo thing, but it doesn't mean I have to say goodbye totally to it. Unless I have some mega mega mega hits from it in 1999. If I do work with Tony it's gotta be more than for friendship cause Tony and I are so tight. I would like to go on the record to say that I owe…it's an unfinished business project…because in the Sabbath thing when I fell ill on the road and I couldn't fulfil my comittment and people never got to see me sing wth Tony and I think I owe him. It's unfinised business for me to go out and show how great it could be.

I had tickets for the Dallas show.
Oh dear.

And you didn't make it.
I was a bit…really under the influence and God said to me in a dream on one of the shows 'You don't need to do this anymore'. I lost it and all the life had gone out of me and I just couldn't sing. Now I can sing anything.
I couldn't sing a note. My throat just went off. Like someone had just turned the motor off.

You've got to believe what you're singing too don't you?
I can't sing devil music…I can't sing it. I can sing rap, soul and stuff but I can't sing white peoples music unless its my own.

Well Gillan had the same problem on the road, he just couldn't get in to the stuff. you gotta be a da you know, let's face it.
I'm a chameleon in my own world… but I don't do this for money guys. My primary purpose is to do this and be sober and healthy. If I start doing shit for money or singing Devil stuff I'll be drinking again. And that aint a pretty sight.

No so I've heard.
7 years without a drink and a drug is a good foundation for the rest of my life…to stay in this program.

That's tremendous.
That's fantastic.

I don't ever have to think about doing that again. You know I'm now a very healthy, fit guy that prides himself on maintaining a life of sobriety. You know that's the way it is for me. And I'm crazy about soccer…I get up at 5 am.

And what about your crazy mates over there, the English supporters?
Hey I have nothing to do with those guys. We have a thug element they're not a bunch of soccer fans…they're thugs…and they should be fucking hung, drawn and quartered. They are idiots.

Well Glenn thank you for your time, it's been a great chat.
Once again guys there will be a time when you know I would like to come out there, but its got to be financially feasible. Like ten years ago maybe longer there was a chance of an all star band coming to play there, I was going to be involved with it, but I didn't do it. I think I just want to come to Australia and just be on the cabaret circuit.

Ah, you'll know what they'll do. they'll promote you as the voice of Deep Purple, they will. They've done it for the 3 last solo Gillan tours.
Yeah, but when I come to play in towns the hardcore fans come and their jaws drop. Cause I've changed the arrangements, changed a lot of the stuff around. they are coming to hear the heavy stuff, what they get is a funky super charged group. And even the hard core fans of Glenn Hughes, the metal freaks still dig it. You can't knock it.

We come for the voice Glenn.
Yeah well thank you bro. Well its in good shape.
All right chaps.



Joe Lynn Turner (1998)


Joe Lynn Turner: The Usual Suspect.
Joe Lynn Turner talks about his new solo album, life with Richie, nursing Yngwie and some other great stories!
Thanks to Ron Higgins for his work transcribing this interview!



Hey Joe, Nice to talk to you.
Right. I appreciate your time.

No, I appreciate your time. I mean, what took us so long to get on the phone and do an interview? I'm not sure.
I don't know, because I love your site. I'm always on it.

Thank you.
I'm always checking things and checking new releases and who's doing what to whom. Honestly I am because I really do appreciate your take on what's good, what's not good, and so on.

Well, hopefully I get it right most of the time.
Oh, I think you do. That's what I mean, most people get it wrong most of the time, so you're on the other end of the spectrum.

Thank you, Joe. I appreciate that.
I mean that. No kidding. I'm not just kissing your ass. I'm not. I'm just saying, I check and see what you do. I listen to sound bytes and I go, “Hmm, I think Andrew's on it.” You're really a music person, so that's why it's great to talk to you.

Thank you, Joe. I appreciate it. I've been a fan for a long time, so the feeling's mutual. I have to say as someone who's bought your records from the word go, I'm very pleased to say that I think The Usual Suspects is up there with some of your best ever.
Well, I appreciate that. I was holding my breath, waiting to hear what you were going to say about it. I do appreciate that, Andrew. I thank you. I didn't try to make it my best or worst, I just got something else kicked into me and I said, “Let me get back to some commercial rock some melodic stuff. Melodicrock.com, huh?

I belong on that site for sure. No, honestly, that's what happened. I had about 4 or 5 different tracks suited and I just said, “All I'm doing is making another blues rock record and I said, “Nobody gives a shit, you know?”
I said, let me write some songs that have some structure and that's when I got into it and I think the body of that combined with some of the older sounding, more bluesier sounding stuff works.

I like what you've got. You've got a rocking start. A little soulful sort of blues ballady sort of middle section and then you rock again at the end, so it flows well.
Exactly. It's a quilt.

It does. It flows well and I don't think the record is a great departure from anything you've done before but I think the songs are just spot on.
I appreciate that because that's really what I wanted to do, I wanted to get back into crafting some songwriting that I know I'm capable of that I've been writing for other people here trying to get deals and what not, and I said, “I should use this songwriting talent on myself again. This blues thing, people are getting the wrong idea. Oh, just another album from Joe. Oh there he is swimming in circles. I read it all, you know.



And I try to be above it, but it's difficult.

I'm much the same. People give me some stick sometimes with the things I do. And it's hard to take criticism sometimes when you feel so passionately about it. How do you handle it?
Well, Ritchie, I've got to give Ritchie credit again. When I was a young thing coming up, well I wasn't all that young, but I was immature that's for sure. I didn't know the ropes and Blackmore taught me the ropes. He always said one thing to me and it stuck.
We were in Germany at the time and I was reading a review and somebody had said, “Sure Joe Lynn Turner can sing, but can he sing for Rainbow… and he's a bit on the gay side,” and all of this. And in the meanwhile, I'm not gay at all, I'm the furthest thing from that and some of my best friends are gay so I have no problem with gayness or homosexuality or any of that. It was just like, “What the fuck does that have to do with music?” And I started to go off and Ritchie said, “Settle down. He said look. If you believe a good review, then you've got to believe a bad review so henceforth, don't believe any fuckin' review. You know exactly what you've done. You know if it was good or bad of if you challenged yourself in any way. So throw the paper away.

That's an interesting take.
I never forgot that. If you believe a good review, then you've got to believe a bad review. Don't believe any reviews. He said, “What do you care for? Ritchie is a true… Voltaire the French revolutionist, I'll share this with you, he said that he had contempt for his audiences because he said that audiences are like cattle. They bring you up, they bring you down, they push you around, they criticize you, they adore you and then they leave you flat. When you get too old they kick you to the side. And this was coming from Voltaire and I said, “Wow, that's pretty deep stuff.” And I try to look at the public as just people who…they're much like relatives, you know, they're always telling you, “When are you going to get a job, you're not doing this right, you're not doing that right <laughs>. So you've got to take them with a large block of salt. When they don't like something that you've put up or something you've said or you've quoted or you've given certain things to, you're going to get a lot of that because, first of all, it's your site.

So fuck 'em! <laughs> That's what Ritchie would say. It's you doing it. But secondly you take into consideration how they feel, but at the same time, if you did that, it wouldn't be your site. And it's the same with the music, it wouldn't be my music. Do I write… I always credit the fans for this. I say look, “Without you guys, I'm unnecessary. If you didn't want to hear me sing, if you didn't want to hear me do this, who the hell am I making records for? I'm certainly not making them for me. You don't. If I were to do this for myself, I'd make completely different types of albums.

If it was just for me. I know where I've come from, I know where I've been and I think you've said something before, which I will interject here, you said in an oblique way, they don't want you to really get outside of that corner, out of that pocket. They want you to be the same.

And you've got to try and be the same.
Yeah. They remember you a certain way so they want to remember you that way. If you depart from that, then they say, “What in the fuck are you doing?” You, know? <laughs> It's almost like the mafia. The more they let you out they try to pull you back in. That's an old phrase around here. It's hilarious because that's the one I use, “They pull me back in. Here's the melodic song.” I love all this stuff, but you just can't do what you want to do. It's impossible.

And you've got to try to be different while being the same as well.
Isn't that strange?

It is. It is.
Do they call that a dichotomy of sorts?

It is. You're absolutely right. It's always a popular topic of debate on the message boards. When somebody tries to do something different. Should they have? You know.
Well, here's the thing that I don't agree with, and I must share this with you, I don't agree with people like, and it's happened in the past with good friends of mine like Skid Row, they went completely over to like this whole grunge thing or some other bands that have tried to not be themselves. That is something that I don't agree with. That is unauthentic. You're not that. You didn't start as that, but now you're trying to be that. No matter how you cut your hair, no matter how many piercings you get, that's really not you.

I couldn't agree more. Something I quite often bring up myself, I'm all for everybody sounding and moving forward, and I hope bands do, but name me one band that's been successful changing their stripes.
Look, I look at AC/DC. They never change, and they never will.

And that's them, and fuck everybody. I love them. Everybody loves them. You know what I mean? They're just it. They're just a hard rocking band, and they don't give a shit. No frills. They're not going to do stuff just because you like it. I say stick to your guns, and they do. That's the only thing that I disagree with. They say, “You could've been more modern.” Modern how? Copy Pearl Jam? Oh, they're not modern. Let me think. Linkin Park? You want me to rap?

Yeah <laughs>
You know what I mean? It's very obvious when you depart from yourself.

I think you've been very true to yourself on Usual Suspects.
Thank you.
You know, someone likened it to a quilt, “I hear Fandango, I hear Rainbow, I hear…” You know, it's all you but yet it all works, whether it's “Jacknife” which is the old slammin', blistering rock and roll thing, or if it's the sort of melodic “Rest of My Life” with the R&B, you know, it's all me.

So, it's a quilt. It's a patchwork quilt. I think, and I hope, Andrew, and you can benefit me by this, I hope when people listen to it, it's an eclectic album, but yet at the same time there's a thread running through it.

Oh yeah. Definitely. I can hear little bits of everything and I was really pleased with that. I just thought that the song quality was extremely high.
Thank you.

I'm looking forward to reviewing it.
I appreciate it. It's about time I got a good review, well I haven't got a bad review, but it's been a long time since I've got an excellent review, anyway.
You know, it pissed me off because I know what I can do. I think, between you and I, I've dropped the ball a few times in the past and I didn't quite come up to the goal line. I'd be all around it but never quite cross it and it was kind of because I just went “fuck it”, you know. I'm not trying to… what do I have to prove and all this kind of crap. But I said that's not it. My attitude was wrong, Andrew. I admit that and I say to myself, this time I just said, “You know what I've got to do? I've got to write a record that I like.”

If I like it, other people will like it because I like music. Hello. And stand back from it. And also, I got nudged by people like yourself and journalists and managers and record companies and even Serafino got in my face about it. He says, “People love you as a melodic rock singer. That's what you're known for.” I said, “But I was always blues based. With Ritchie I was always blues based. That was the magic of Rainbow. We had a hard rock sound with a blues kind of singer who could transcend all of that and people just sort of go, “Well, that's different, but yet the same, but not.” And that was the magic about it. So they said, “Look, come back a little bit to center.” And I said, “You're right. So I scrapped 3 or 4 songs and I wrote 3 or 4 new ones and that's when the songwriting quality came up and I must admit I was tickled just doing this. This is great. I don't care if the songs are too sappy. Fuck it.

You've done well. Stuff like, “Power of Love” I think will be a fan favorite. Nice little anthems. Good strong vocals. Some great melodies.
You know, I was really wanting to hear what you had to say out of everybody. I've talked to journalists before, but I really keep abreast of what you're doing and I respect what you're doing so therefore I respect what you say.

Thank you, Joe!
I mean that, Andrew. You've put up one of the best sites. It's in my bookmarks, I refer to it constantly. I check out new things and I read what you have to say and your reviews and I get the sound bytes and all of that and I use the site as a meter of my music, of what I'm going to buy and what I'm not.

Well, I get a lot of great feedback, and that's all that I can ask for.
You've done marvelous things.

I had no idea where this site would go when I first started it. I'm still amazed that it is what it is. <laughs>
Well, I think that you're authentic. That's what really touches people.

Well, I don't hide behind the site... I want to talk to others that love the music too. You try to make yourself available, don't you?
I sure try to. I really do. There's nothing worse than being inaccessible. I don't mean that about like Ritchie because I thought that he was a very accessible person, but just misunderstood.

I mean that. I mean, he's always accessible when you want him. But at the same time he just didn't like many peoples approach to him.
So he backed off because he felt that he didn't really want to put himself through this.

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.
It does. I'm totally accessible. A journalist asked me the other day, he said, “What do you think of this album. I think it's the best of your best. Have you reached the mountain and the top,” and all of that, and I went, “What? Mountain top? Best of the best? I don't know. Yeah, I think it's a good CD and I like it, but they're like children. I love them all but differently. Maybe this is a special child.” He said, “What's your quote?” I said, “It's not for me to quote.” It's up to you to quote. That's why you're calling me, right? It's my opinion but if you want me to say, “It's the best fuckin' think I've ever done,” I read other artists quotes about their own stuff and I have to laugh. You know, “…Now I can die happy, it's the best fuckin' thing I've ever done and it'll blow you away,” or something crazy and I go, “Really? Can you say that about your own stuff?”

I'm glad you said that because that does kind of annoy me too, because then they say that the next interview you do.
That's what they always say, “It's the best thing I've ever done, I've reached the pinnacle of my profession,” and I'm always like, “Look, I don't know,” I said, “You listen to it. You tell me.” I'll respect your opinion and your critique and I'll keep it as just that, an opinion and a critique. We all know what opinions are, so…but anyway it's just great to talk to somebody who actually knows what they're talking about <laughs>.

I hope so. I hope I can bluff my way through it.
It's like they say, “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

It works for me sometimes!
It works for me as well. <laughs> I've been sliding by for years on that. Seriously though, getting down to it, putting the accolades aside for both of us, I'm glad you liked the record, I really put some time into this one. I did the vocals at my house, so I've got the dog running around and phone calls interrupting me and everything. So I think that's part of the magic of it, because I felt so comfortable at my house in the studio here as opposed to being in a clinical studio. It makes a big difference to me because I was doing most of them barefoot and my wife talking to me and I'm going, “Yeah, honey, I'm doing a vocal.” You, know. Normal. Natural.






You've got your long time buddy Bob Held there with you. How important is he to the process?
Well I'll tell you, I answered this question once before this weekend, it was in a different manner, but Bob Held knows who I am. He likes the polished product. I could get many different types of producers or produce it myself but Bob gives me a hard time. For example, “Power of Love” had a completely different lyric. Similar melodies, but a whole other song. He said, “This is not up to your par.” I said, “What are you talking about? It's my favorite song on the album.” He goes, “No. We need something that's going to reach, that's going to give hope, he says, you don't have that on the record and I kind of resented it for two days, I'm coming down to the end of the album, it's the last vocal I did and I'm like, “you always put me in this position,” but I always respect what he says.

Again I knew that if I pushed myself it's like you said, it's an anthem and I like it much better. That's one of the sparkling traits that Bob has He can push me to the point where I want to punch him yet he's right about me reaching more of my fulfillment of purpose. You don't find many people that (a) you can trust, and (b) that can stir you to the point of long time friendship violence. You know, best friends can say anything to each other and that's what Bob fills the role. He'll say, “I don't like that vocal there,” and I'll say, “But I love that line. That was a great line. Lou Gramm could have that line, Paul Rodgers could have that line,” all of my favorite singers you know, I'll bring them up. I'm bringing up Elvis, I'll bring up everyone from the dead if I can to support my argument and he'll go, “Nope. I want one more,” and I go “You're killing me here! I fuckin' sung it 12 times,” and he goes, “I need one more I need it to have that thing,” and I go, “What thing?” “That Joe Lynn Turner thing.” He goes, “I don't believe it,” I go, “You don't believe it? All right, well, believe this,” and I'll sing something and he'll go, “That's it. Next” And I'll go, “You mother f…you cock sucker…” <laughs> That's the importance of Bob Held. He knows how to push my buttons the right way so that I don't settle.

Is that the same as working with Ritchie.
Yeah, Ritchie was like that. He'd just raise his eyebrows at me and go, “Is that it?” and I'd go, “You're right.” And then I'd go in and realize what I had done. I might have sang it better, but I didn't believe it when I sang it and he can always pick up on that. He was the first one to come in, I'll never forget, with “Street Of Dreams”, we were in Copenhagen and, first of all, the song evolved mythically because the music was 4 different jams, and I put these 4 pieces together because I sat with the tapes and said, “All right, let's put this piece with that piece and this piece with that piece,” and he goes, “Okay.” And then I come up with the title and melody and hook and sang, I might say, one of my better moments and he came in to the kitchen of the studio… hang on a second…..so Ritchie came up to me and he says, “I can't play. I can't play the solo.” And I said, “What do you mean?” and he goes, “The vocals are intimidating me.” And I go, “What?”

This is a true story. I said, “What do you mean?” He goes, “Shining moment for you.” I went, “Well, thanks,” but I go, “But Ritch, come on.” He goes, “I don't know where to start, I don't know where to go, I'm all confused.” I went to the refrigerator and grabbed 2 Heinekens and said, “Sit down mother fucker let's get into this. You've just got to go in there and be an extension to the song. You know you're a song man, you know you're not full of guitar pyrotechnics, you don't give a shit about that, you can do it, but you don't care about all of that.” He played the most melodic solo after that.

I can still sing it to this day. And that's what it's about. He was like that with me and I think at that moment I was like that for him. They say the greatest gift you can give someone is that self revelation, you know? I think I at least gave it back to him a few times.

Absolutely. You're whole history is sort of linked back to where you started.
That's true.

You guys did the best, his work as well. It still acclaimed as some of the best stuff that was ever done, isn't it?
Well, I think we had a magic and chemistry. Look, I love all the other singers, Dio was great, all the Dungeons and Dragons themes and all that stuff is great, but I think we came into a modern age that elevated Rainbow, whatever was between us, the tension, the mutual respect, whatever it was, we had it and it worked and I still believe it could work today.

Do you think that you would ever try it again for old time's sake?
If he was up for it, I'd be there in a heartbeat. It's really up to him because I know what we had and I miss that. That's like a hole in you soul. There was the eternal partner, there was my match. That was like a soul mate. We were also very connected on other dimensions such as all of the supernatural and paranormal stuff. We both loved that, it was incredible that ran through our lives. I just knew that we had this connection. The blues and so on and so forth. And perfectionism. Not settling and besides I had a real affection for him as a mate because he really took me under his wing and grew me up. He protected me, he was always on my side if somebody was coming down at me. He threw himself in the way of critics and band members. You've got to love somebody like that if they'd do that for you.

I'd like to see it happen, but obviously Ritchie's in his own spot isn't he?
God bless him because I know he's doing what he wants to do.

He's making records for himself isn't he?
He really is. And he couldn't give a damn about anything…I gave a little bit of a tribute for his birthday on I guess it was the other day an e-mail, somebody that's got blacker than purple. I think the last comment I said was, “I just want to say, Cheers mate,” I'll paraphrase it, “To many years of great music, to a man who follows no one and nothing but his heart.” That's true. He follows no one and nothing but his heart. He loves to do that Renaissance music. So be it far from me to say you've got to come out and do this. But you know what? It's not that I want to take him away; I just want to add to it. I'm lucky enough, I hope they… Candice and himself, they offered me a duet on the next record.

I did hear that. Yeah.
That was fabulous. That came out of Carol Stevens, they wrote me an email and said, “We always liked you, Joe. The rest of them we couldn't give a hoot for.” <laughs> I was very impressed with that. I just wrote back and said, “Well, we've never had problems.” Really. Ritchie and I never had problems.

That's something to look forward to then, isn't it?
Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I told Carol Stevens, I said, “Look, when you get ready for the material if they want me to co-write, if they just want me to sing, I'm available because I like to stretch out as well. I find it difficult that people allow you to stretch out, and I think this would be an educational process for everyone including me. So yeah, that would be great. I'd love to get back together. I don't care if it would be for just one album or what, but I think we could write some great songs.

I do too.
In the meantime, I try to be reminiscent. In my own material, I try to say, “Well this is where I come from, and it was a large part of my life. How would Blackmore approach this and how would we do it if we were in Rainbow?”

Yeah, I think you've definitely got some of that in the new record.
Yeah, it's definitely got some Rainbow-esque stuff on there.

For sure. Someone also mentioned that your work with Yngwie is probably regarded as probably his best album ever.
I think so.

That's 2 for 2 then, isn't it? You must be proud at least of the legacy of that.
I am, Andrew. Honest to God. Again you can't talk about my life without Yngwie. Odyssey is a pinnacle. I love it.

It's my favorite album that he ever did.
It's one of my favorite albums that I ever did. Again it came together and I think that when I get together with these ornery guitar players – I used to be an ornery guitar player, I am one – I was a guitar player first and a singer second so I think I understand these guys. I don't know, I just get a whip and a chair and I go in there like a lion tamer and I try to bring something else to the table. One thing I must mention to you, a journalist I spoke with this morning from France or somewhere, they said “Crystal Ball” sounds so reminiscent of Joe Lynn Turner yet there's no credits of you. And I said, “Oh no. He's at it again because there was a time there when Yngwie was taking my name off of all of the publishing credits.

Oh, really?
Fuck yeah. I was like going, “What? Where is this happening? What is this about?” I said, “You better go and check the original credits because you'll see that I am co-writer of Crystal Ball. Melody and lyrics. Hello. That's probably why you hear me. So I think he's up to his old tricks that Ying Yang.

That's sad.
I don't know what's up with him. I mean, I saved this guy's life. I was there. I was the elder in a mass of confusion when he wrecked up that Jaguar.

I only vaguely recall that. What happened?
Oh, well geez, Andrew. I was there getting ready to do the Odyssey record and I flew back to New York to get 6 months worth of clothes to fly back to LA to do the record, and by the time I got back, it was May Day weekend, May 7, or something like that, it's a big weekend in Sweden. They were drinking and doing all kinds of cheese and the drugs and all of that. He went out about 8:00 in the morning when the 7-11's would sell beer again, I suppose there was a curfew on it or something. He was coming back with oodles of beer to continue the partying and he wrecked his Jaguar with Thomas his good friend and a friend of mine as well that I became friendly with, and they both ended up pretty banged up.

Here is the thing, I'll just give you the highlights. His manager Andy Truman, he used to manage the Bay City Rollers, was taking all of Yngwie's money, he was taking all of the advances so Polygram put me in as a spy and said look you've got to get involved in this. Now, here's a guy that's doing tons of cocaine he's got guns all over the house, he carries guns with him, he's out of his fuckin' mind, he talks in the third person every time he said something it was like, "Well Andy says," because his name is Andy Truman, and I said, "Well, aren't you Andy?" and it was really freaky because, you know, you hear somebody talking in third person, you think, this guy's a wing nut.

Yeah, what's up with that?
You fuel that with cocaine and booze and everything else and guns. He tells me, "Yngwie, he's going to be all right, and he's had a bit of an accident.” He picks me up at the airport, right, so I go, "All right." I dress up a bit and shave and put on a jacket and say, “I'll go to the hospital a little later.” So when I get to the hospital, he's straight up to the ICU. I said, "He's in the ICU? The intensive care unit?" And they go, yeah. And I'm like, man, he's in a bad way. I look in through the glass and his head is 5 times the size.

Oh, wow.
And he just looks like some beast. He's not responding. He's not talking and the doctors say he's in a coma. I go, “Coma?” Andy Truman never told me he was in a coma! He said he was a little banged up. That was it. So a couple of days later the administration -- I'm there every day, of course with Jens Johansson and Anders Johansson and everything, and I'm sorting out, because these poor guys, Yngwie wasn't paying them really well, or at all, and they were living on the floor in a one bedroom apartment. They didn't even have enough money to buy any underwear. It was unbelievable.

So I'm trying to sort them out and get them a living space that's more humane and also trying to deal with the hospital and the administration and stuff because I was the older of the bunch and had more experience and they needed $80,000 or they were going to pull Yngwie out of ICU. Andy Truman is all in favor of this because he doesn't want to spend any money, does he? And I said, "Andy, if you pull him out of ICU and you bring him down to LA Country which is where the "common” people go, because Northridge was a very select hospital and he lived close to Northridge so they flew him in on a chopper. That's how bad he was. They had to use Jaws of Death to get him out of the car and fly him in because he was going to die right there.

So this is really serious, right? So Andy doesn't want to do this because he's full of advances and out of his mind and doesn't even realize that if Yngwie dies, there goes his meal ticket. So this is all just absolutely surreal to me and absurd. So I get $80,000 from Polygram wired to the administration to keep him in Northridge. Meanwhile, Andy is trying to get me to go down to County Hospital to say, "Oh, it's nice down here, everybody down here is great." And I'm like, "Andy, its death down there. You walk in and you smell death. I've been there. I know what it's about. No, he can't leave. Even the doctor said that if he leaves for an inferior institution he's going to die.” So meanwhile, Polygram's got me watching Andy Truman, they're trying to get rid of Andy. Andy doesn't know that I'm a spy reporting back to Polygram. I could've been shot. This is real intrigue. This was 007 shit.

To make a long story short, Yngwie comes out of the coma, I don't know how many weeks it is, but he finally comes out. We were there every day. He had bleeding in the brain which could've been retardation. Sometimes I think maybe he did bleed in the brain. So he actually recovers from this, now he's on powerful medication, and of course I'm trying to monitor him and he goes out one night and starts doing cocaine and shit so, as big as he is, I grab him and slam him up against a wall and said, "Look, you fuckin' die on your own 24 hours, not on my watch!" I said, "I'm just so sick of this bullshit." I threw him up against the wall and jumped back in the car and sped off. I was livid that he would actually do this. So he got the message and he's kind of straightened out a bit but other than that he was going to die without anybody caring for him.

That's amazing. Whatever happened to the manager?
They got him. They finally pulled all of his power away from him, they didn't give him another nickel, they re-routed Yngwie's funds, I think that's when Jim Lewis was still with Polygram and became Yngwie's manager (and that's a whole other story, the way they broke up) and really Jim went to bat for Yngwie and the last I heard was that Andy's wife left him and stole everything, including the Roller, she took the Rolls Royce, everything, and he was trying to track her down. At one point, Andrew, I must interject, we had a 24 hour security guard, fully armed in front of Yngwie's house, this was for over 2 months because we were afraid of Truman. He would drive by and some of his other compadres would drive by and we would see them peering into the house trying to see what was going on. We were afraid that they were just going to come in blasting away one day. And, of course, Yngwie's got guns, so he's like, "I'll shoot them and kill them," and I'm just like, "Just calm down, man. You're not going to shoot anyone."

No wonder you only did the one record! <laughs>
Well, yeah. And the other thing was, originally, we were supposed to have Eric Singer as the drummer, Bob Daisley as the bass player. It was going to be a super group. It was all looking really good. As you can see, Bob did play on a few tracks, but Eric unfortunately got pushed out, but he did all right for himself.

And he's a fabulous drummer and a wonderful guy. A very funny guy. We're friends to this day. What I'm trying to say is that Yngwie just wanted to have full control of everything. I think, personally, he could've gone much, much further in his art and music if he would've just let other people in. Yeah, but he was going to die. Like the doctor said, if he does not come up from this coma, and he was bleeding from the brain, in 3 days, they said if it didn't stop and it stopped now, they said it's over for him.

He will be brain dead and we will keep him on the respirator but he will be a vegetable.

That's awful.
So I kept him in that hospital, made sure the administration was paid, because hospitals have no heart, they just have money, money is where it all comes from, at least here in the states. To make a long story short, that's why I claim, quite humbly really, that I was instrumental in saving his ass. That's why I can't understand why he's got this bone of contention about me.

That's probably why, isn't it?
It might be. That seems very psychologically normal. Love and hate's a fine line. But anyway, I wish him well but I wish he's stop taking my name off these songs.

Well, we won't hold out for a reunion then. <laughs>
<Laughs> No, I don't think so. I told him last time I talked to him, I emailed him, "Good fuckin' luck, mate." But apparently he seems to be doing all right.

Yeah, not too much bad press from recent times.
So that's the story.





You went on to work with Bob not long after that, so what's the story?
Right. We did Mother's Army.

What a great set of albums. I love the first one.
You know what? I got an email from Jeff Watson who emailed Aynsley Dunbar, and I emailed Bob and we're all starting to think about maybe putting that all back together.

Yeah, do it because Jeff's a wonderful, wonderful guitar player, isn't he?
He is, a wonderful writer, guitar player, a great guy. Bob is too. Lyrically Bob and I, those albums were hard rock, man. They were really deep profound stuff.

Not commercial at all were they?
No. they were meant to be a Pink Floyd twist to them.

I still love the first one the most.
Yeah, “By Your Side” and all those great songs, yeah.

You changed your voice somewhat for the first album, didn't you? There were some comments that, “Oh, Joe's voice is shot,” but that was never the case, was it?
No, I can be a lot of different characters really.

Yeah, when you listen to The Usual Suspects, you're as soulful as ever, but your voice was really raspy on that one, wasn't it?
Yeah, we kind of tried to want it to be, during that period of time the raspy vocal was sort of in. To be honest, there was a lot of pressure to try and at least make this stuff fit in. I said, “Well, if that's the case I'm going to sing a bit gritty.” Maybe the grit button was up too much.

Oh, I love it. I thought it was great.
Yeah. Here's the thing. That's what Ritchie always liked. Ritchie always liked that I could do this operatic shit, pointed, clear as a bell, but then I could growl at the bottom.

I love the growl. I hope you do another record. That would be really interesting.
Well, we're toying around with the idea now. It's in the e-mail stages.

That's great I do talk to Jeff every now and then. We've done a couple of interviews and stuff. A longtime fan of Night Ranger. That would be great.
Did I ever tell you about the time JLT toured with Night Ranger?

No, I don't believe I've heard that.
We got kicked out of Tyler, Texas. It was nasty. It was the Joe Lynn Turner band. My bass player was going out with a stripper and he decides to bring her out on the road. She decided to try a designer drug one night in Tyler, Texas and we were opening for Night Ranger. Well, my set was relatively free of incident, but I guess she was getting off during Night Ranger and right in the middle of “Sister Christian” she comes out and does her act.

Oh, no.
She took this huge flashlight and did preposterous things with it. The cops came. There were children at the concert. They surrounded us and made us sign disclaimers that we would never come back to Tyler, Texas. So we got kicked out.

Terrific. The life of a rock and roller.

That's great.
It was really funny because Kelly was throwing sticks at her and Brad was coming over to the side of the stage to me and saying, “You better get her off the fuckin' stage and I'm saying, “What do you want me to do? Walk out and pull her off? Get one of your roadies to get her off”. So finally Jeff just gets frustrated and picks her up and walks about 20-30 feet and dumps her on the side of the stage.

Now if only somebody would've bootlegged that on video. That would've been great.
I wish we had it. It was hysterical. Yeah, I hope we get that thing back together. We had no luck with that band. What I mean by that is we had no apparent management. Carmine's manager Warren Wyatt, I have nothing nice to say about this guy.

Yeah, I've had some dealings with this guy too.
I don't know what your experience was like.

Not great.
Ours was terrible. He actually took the money for the record. We couldn't finish the record. By the time we got the lawyers on it and found the money. He gave it all back minus his commission, like he was owed a commission! What balls does that take? He takes all the money and he kept saying, “Well the Japanese don't like what they've heard so far so they haven't given me the rest of the money,” but he had the rest of the money in his bank account. So if we do it, I'm not going to do it without proper management and a record label and all of that. Because that's when it goes awry. Everyone's got an uncle in the business. Carmine brought Warren in and we wouldn't even talk to Carmine after that because Carmine sided with Warren and that's when Aynsley came in.

Yeah, Aynsley's a great drummer. That's a good pick.
He just emailed back and said, “I'm up for it. That's great. Let's do it. I can't wait to see everybody again.” We'll see.

That would be awesome. I should also mention while we're here the Hughes/Turner was a couple of pretty nice albums for you. I talked to Glenn a few months back. Are you done with that for now?
I haven't talked to Glenn for a month of two but I know that he's doing the Iommi thing and he's got Soul Mover out now, which is a great album, I'm happy for him. So HTP has to be in hiatus. I would never say that we wouldn't get back together for another album or two and I hope he feels the same way.

Yeah, you two, your voices are just a great match for each other.
Thank you for your words. It had never been done to my knowledge and never quite that good.

Yeah, especially the first album, I really still enjoy it.
Me too. I have to tell you. It was quality stuff. I think we both sort of raised the bar. Together we gained inspiration in our own solo careers.

I agree. I think it gave you new momentum to your solo career. You were just doing an album for Japan but it's really shifted to the European side now hasn't it?
Yeah, I just signed with Yamaha in Japan as well. That's a good label there. They're going to try to do other things with me over there like bring me into their sound products and their commercials for their motorbikes and things like that.

Yes, so I was and now I'm full blow into Europe and looking towards this record release in the US.

Yeah, Stu [Stuart Smith] mentioned that, he was going to talk to you about that.
I appreciate your thoughts on that. I think we're going to do it. Getting back to Glenn. I love him like a brother. We just put a couple of years together, it was phenomenal, now it's time to sit back, breathe, and do other things.

Well that's cool. In a couple of years time you can get back together again and hopefully there will be a third album.
You know, somewhere down the line I do too because it was magic. I'm just so fortunate to be hooked up with such wonderful people in my career, for the most part anyway, including Malmsteen, the guy's brilliant regardless if he can be an asshole sometimes.

He makes some great music, no doubt.
He's brilliant. I'll always give that to Yngwie. He was a forerunner. The guy's just crazy good. But I would love to do it with Glenn, but I wish him all the best with the Iommi thing and he's got Sanctuary here for the Soul Mover and I hope they can do something with that. He really deserves it, he's such a fantastic singer and he's a great person.

Absolutely. I love talking with him. He's always full of life.
He sure is. He's one of the funniest guys I know.

You've recently, you've probably seen it, but Rescue You got a CD released in America, that was a good move.
Can you believe that Wounded Bird?
I can't. So many people told me, “You've got to re-release Rescue You and all this stuff, and I'm like, “Do you know what that entails?” You've got to go there and wrestle the people at Mercury and Electra and they're not going to press this record if it's 20,000 copies.” They won't. That's the reality of it, isn't it?

So then this Terry goes along and whatever he did, I love him for it, because now you can actually buy Rescue You on CD and it's a damn good record.

Yeah, I've got the original Japanese release but I think that even that was only out for a short time wasn't it?
Absolutely. It was never meant to be released for much longer. I've got 2 copies of that one that's still in the packaging and I'm not even touching them.

I don't blame you.
Because that's the only place that you could buy the CD -- Japan. And vinyl, of course. I still see vinyl popping up every now and again. Regardless. I think that Wounded Bird thing is a great outlet for stuff, he's got some Yes things on there and Allman Brothers.

Some old acts. A lot of great stuff.
You can't get it on CD.

There should be more of it. There should be less resistance from the majors to license it off for someone else to do it because they're not going to do it, are they?
No, it's just collecting dust.

You know what. My manager had gone back a few years ago and looked into it and they just laughed and said, “If it's not going to sell 150,000 albums, then we don't give a shit.”

Yeah. Isn't that sad?
He said, “I know it's not Joe's day anymore but at the same time there are plenty of fans in the US and everywhere that would love to hear this record. It's not going to be crap, but no, we don't expect to sell 150,000 records. They just laughed and said, “It's not worth it.” However he did it, and whatever he did, and whom he paid to get this… some day I'm going to email him and just say, “Terry, give me the low-down.”

And based on what you've said there, I guess you do have one unreleased album still in the vaults, don't you? The follow-up to Rescue You.
Oh, yeah.

Is that right? That's never been released anywhere, has it?
Well, no. You know what's happening though. One of those drunken nights on the road, somebody must've been in my party room and nicked one of the tapes.

Uh, oh.
Serafino had it for years. He's been getting different artists to do different songs of mine from that era. <laughs> And I find it really funny because I never got to record them properly myself. And he's always, can I get Terry Brock to do this song, and somebody else to do that song. And I go, “Sure, go ahead if you want.” And then he wanted me to do those songs on this album and I said, “No, no, no.” Look, that's a different time. If you want me to do an album like that from that time then I'll do that album. Now's a different time. Really, yeah, there's an album there, but I'd do it as an album.

Because you can't just put “Forever Now” the song in the mix with the stuff I've just done. I don't know, maybe you could, I just hear it. Yeah, that was strange because the tape got around and the next thing you know, people are all going, “When are you going to do this song? What about that song?”

You're like, “Where did you hear that from?”
Yeah, I'm just amazed and then I go, drunken stupor, that was it. Somebody nicked the tape.

You'll have to release it officially now then won't you?
It wouldn't be a bad idea if I at least got commissioned to go and do these 8 or 10 songs and call it Demos.

Yeah, exactly.
Call it Demos.

I'll look and see what I've got in the can. I'll see what I've got on the 24 track. That's almost ancient, isn't it?

Yeah, exactly. You could put an album out in between and just say here's a collection, or compilation. That would be great.
Yeah. I think so. I might just have to do something like that because I love those songs and all. They're a real big part of me.

Exactly. And just like people want to hear Rescue You, they want to hear anything, don't they?
Yeah, they want to hear what it was once, what it was then. A return to their youth, or a return to the good times, whatever you want to call it and I can't blame them because that's what I do. My daughter is 15 so I'm up on all the new stuff.

Oh, great.
Forget about it. Thankfully, she was brought up on Beatles and Hendrix. She's got a great ear, plays classical piano, and now she's learning guitar. And she's bitching at me because I don't have time to teach her so she's learning on her own and she's humiliating me. I go, “Where are you learning from?” She goes, “The internet.” So I'm like the absent father. I'm going, “How about on Monday?” but then Monday comes and I'm like, “I'm too busy right now.” But to make a long story short, I'm up on all the new stuff but I go back to all the old stuff because it just makes me feel good.

Of course.
Plus, it was great fuckin' music! I mean, what am I supposed to listen to? Ashlee Simpson?

Please. Arrghh.
<laughs> What they call talent is unbelievable.

I know. It's sad isn't it?
It really, really is. I mean, hello. And this is, she sold 3.5 to 4 million records.

I know. It's depressing isn't it?
It is. We're all struggling to sell 20,000 records. It's absurd.
This classic rock thing is sort of returning though.

I think so, yeah.
I hope you see it on your end. Because I'm feeling it with the little feelers that I put out. But who's to say. Everybody's been saying that for the last 10 years. I think this time it really starts to feel like people are getting sick and tired of the crap. All we want to do is just get a bit of nostalgia and look back and say, “Ah, that is when people could play and sing and write songs.”

Yep. Exactly.
You're doing a lot for that with the site and all because there's a place to go, like a haven. You're almost like a shelter for me because nowadays it's like just go to Melodicrock and you'll find out. All of your buddies are over there.

I'm just happy it's working…I've had some really crappy visions in my years! <laughs>
<laughs> Haven't we all. I've written some pretty shitty songs as well. It's splendid to talk to you, really...

Thank you, Joe. Look I've really enjoyed this time on the phone.
My pleasure Andrew!






Danny Wilde (1998)

If given the task of listing my favourite ever songs, there is almost no chance of it happening. But I can name a few of them. Those are the songs that no matter how many times I play them, I never ever tire of them. One of these such songs belongs to Danny Wilde. 'Time Runs Wild' is a one in a million tune that made me a life long fan of Danny. So it was quite a great pleasure to be able to catch up with him on the release of his new transitional album. Here's what happened:

Hey Danny, it's Andrew from Australia
Hey Andrew…. how ya doing? I wasn't sure what time you were going to call.

Yeah ( laughs ) I kinda left it a bit confused in Jill's mind there. Because it's pretty early….and I thought I better stick to the time she set up for me!
So what time is it there then…like 5 in the morning?

Yeah 5am. So how are you?
Great, fine. I saw your webpage. Looks great.

Great, so you're online then?
Yeah. Did you ever see my web page?

Look I did, I got a sampler of the album from going and visiting it, fantastic. Are you online yourself?
Oh yeah a little ego page.

It's great to be able to talk to…I have been a fan since 'Time Runs Wild'.
Is that right? That's great. There's not too many of you out there. It's nice to know it wasn't all in vain you know what I mean.

Now for a few questions about the new record, how's it going?
Oh it's going great. You know radio is looking good, we were third most added on the new single on Triple A. Hopes are high at this point.

So what tracks are you adding?
Well the first single on radio is 'Long Walk Back'

I first got a sample of that from your page…an mp3. I think it's great to see artists using them - much better than the old telephone quality.
Right yeah. Well I made the mistake when I first started experimenting of putting on the whole song on there, about 2 months before the record was due out and the record company had a shit fit. Man dumb old me! So I changed them and put up to the first chorus and that was it. Hey I thought you know, I'm not a stingy guy, let them have it.




So you are going with 'Danny Wilde and the Rembrants' this time around?
Yeah right…

Actually I think it's quite fitting… as the songs do sound like a mix of the two.
Well I was half of the Rembrants and I think what I brought to the table really was the Rembrants sound. You know there was the real sort of 'Americana ' feel to my songs, a folky side, a rock side I was doing with my solo career I think that the two of them really melded well together. Now it's even more so, having complete autonomy. I no longer have any borders. When you have two guys writing you inevitably end up with like 25 songs for each record and only 5 or 6 of yours can get used.


So this time around was it nice to have a voice on every one?
Yeah, like the old days. You know I miss Phil, I miss his guitar playing. It just wasn't meant to last forever. Like I had hoped it would, but having said that I felt while I had invested 8 years of my life in the band there was no reason to lose at least the marquis value. The recognisability of the Rembrants. So it's kind of me with one foot out the door and we'l see what happens on the next album if this one is successful.

I heard you may just go back to the Danny Wilde tag?
Yeah well I wouldn't mind doing that actually. I feel like with the Rembrants I've kinda been there and done that and this way it's a transitional thing for me right now. Also for the fans to realise it's not gonna be that different. I felt it was a safe way…a safer step in the next direction.

And what's happened to Phil he just decided he'd had enough?
Yeah he's had it. I mean it was very road weary and he wasn't enjoying himself in the last 4 years, he was always threatening to quit and finally he just said' that's it I'm not doing it anymore'. I don't really know if he's even making music anymore. I wish him the best. I can't imagining him mot making music though but I haven't talked to him in quite a while.

what band have you got together for this album?
Well it's the same cast I've had for like the last 2 and a half years. From the touring version of the last record there's a drummer called Dorian Kroje,
and a bass player called Graham Edwards. And a new guitar player named Mark Karen. It's really guys I've played with for a long time, with the exception of Mark. Mark came in after we had already tracked the album.

You've got a big fat sound on the new album!
Thank you.
Most of it was recorded, tracked live with minimal overdubs.
We really felt that coming of a 2 year tour that we wanted to go in and capture that kind of live vibe. It's really the first time that the whole album was really tracked live, the first two albums were basically Phil and I playing to a drum machine and then we'd have Pat put on drums after the songs were basically musically done.

I'll take you back a few years if you don't mind.
The record 'The Boyfriend'…a few years ago now…still hard to find!

You know it never came out on CD. When the album came out I was on
the label Island and at that point I had moved straight from Island to Geffen. Geffen brought out my Island deal and I remember some friends of mine just had a solo album out and because they stayed on island they got a cd! So I thought shit, I should've waited a couple more weeks (laughs)!
But I have had a lot of requests on the web page, people and DJ's who were fans of the record going "God, can we ever get that on CD". You know Geffen brought out the Island stuff, so who knows maybe one day they'll re-issue it.

You had a hit straight off that album didn't you, 'Isn't It Enough'. A classic.
Yeah kinda had good luck that way. Out the door, it was a big radio hit here. Didn't sell me a lot of records but it did get me another rung up the ladder. In the sense Geffen were really interested and then the 2nd abum out had the 'Time Runs Wild' on it and that did fairly well for me.

I love that song. the 'Dream A Little Dream ' soundtrack is where I first heard you. Did the exposure help you from having that song on there?
Not really because that song had been a hit in the States a year before that soundtrack ever came out. Maybe not quite a year but it was definitely over radio wise before that soundtrack came out.

That's funny 'cause it never would have been released in Australia… so that Soundtrack would have been the first taste of your music for Australians.
How funny? It's a great big world out there and with the friends theme 'I'll Be There For You' we had been off the road for 6 months recording the new album in the Bahamas and that song had just been released on Friends and it was like No. 1 for three weeks and we had alreasy practically finished the new album so sometimes it takes some a little longer to catch on.





'Any Man's Hunger' was recorded in London, any reason for that?
The producer Pat Moran, that I was really into at the time, he did some Tom Cochrane albums that I really like. He had just finished about 4 months with the guy from Foreignor, Lou Gramm and I said "look man I want you to do the record" and he said he couldn't cause he'd been away form home for so long and he lives in Wales. There's a historical studio there called 'Rockfield', like all the Foghart stuff was done there. Tonnes of great records done there in like the 60's and you know right through to the 80's they're still making great records over there. So I said 'Yeah cool, let's do it there'.
So we went to Wales and tracked it at 'Rockfield' and then mixed it in London at Master Mix studios. It was a great experience for me and the band and it was great to get away from Southern California for awhile.

He's a cool producer Pat Moran.
Yeah he is.

And how about your self titled solo album with Geffen and 'Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of'.




That album was produced by the man who produced my first solo album 'The Boyfriend', Peter Coleman who was from Pat Benatar fame.
And he's just a great friend of mine. We really hit it off and when it came time to make the 3rd solo album I said I wanted to work with Peter again.

I think that's probably your best solo album?
Do you really? Wow, that's nice to hear. You know what I'll have to listen to it.


Yeah… I just really get in to the songs on that album.
Oh that's great thank you Andrew.

And when I was courting my fiancee , 'Cut From Stone' was one of the tracks that I played her.
Yeah I though that should have been a radio hit. I was dropped from Geffen two weeks after that album hit the stores.

That quickly? That's pretty merciless!
I can remember David Geffen sitting in the office going I don't care if it takes 12 albums you're the next Bruce Sprinsteen. I'm going great I never really cared to be the next Bruce Springstten but he having said it, I'm safe here. Two weeks after that 3rd album was released, son of a bitch if I didn't get dropped.

I'd like to know how they can tell in 2 weeks if an album is going to be a hit or not?
I just think they didn't feel there was anything on it that was going to get me anywhere. It was that time of the year where they cut their losses.
I didn't think that the 'Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of' definitley not my first choice for a single…um it was odd too as it was getting a lot of radio at the time. We were opening up for Joe Cocker and we had only been on the show for 10 days and came through LA…. started off up in Washington and by the time we got to LA the gig was off. Off the label, off the tour. Yeah, but it's ok, I'm an optimist if it wasn't for that happening Phil and I wouldn's have got together.

Look, your 'The Boyfriend' album was practically the line up for the Rembrants. So what led you back to working with Phil and calling it 'The Rembrants '.
Well I had been working with Phil a long time on and off throughout the years, we had a band together in the early 80's called 'Great Buildings' out on Columbia.

Oh yeah, gee I should look that up.
Good luck finding it.

Yeah it took me about 4 years to find 'The Boyfriend' on LP!
Well this will take another 4 or 5 (laughs).
Phil was living in LA at the time. We were in the process of making our 2nd album for Columbia and once again Phil had decided he had had enough and quit. And I just said at that point fuck it and I'm just going to go and do my own solo project. Being young and stupid it took me another 5 years to get a record deal and I didn't even know I was still signed to Columbia and in 1983 I got a release letter in the mail. You know I had no management, no lawyers or anything and I wasn't really doing anything except for just concentrating on writing. I wasn't shopping it or anything. You know it's just funny how it all just worked out. And then in '85 Phil and I got back together when I was doing my solo album and he played on that as well.

Why go with 'The Rembrants' name?
We thought it was really funny. We thought it sounded sophisticated and maybe catch people's attention. There would be no confusion as to who we were as musicians. At that particular time back in '89 - '90 there were metal bands and hair bands and we wanted to completely go the opposite direction. And be a little geek band, sort of like the 70's skinny ties and all that. You know, a power pop band. One of those names out of a 100 that worked.

And you got some radio play out of that single?
'Just the Way It Is Baby'? Yeah that was a really really big hit here in the States for us. You know we sold a lot of records of that, put us on the map. And then the 2nd album came out, we had a top 30 hit with 'Johhny Have You Seen Her'.

Oh ok.
How about the next album…the self titled record. How did that go for you?
That was the last album recorded in my garage. The first album was the demo that was released as a record. The label loved the demo and wanted to master it and put it out. The 2nd album they said go ahead and do the same thing. So we recorded it in my garage, mixed at a proper studio and that was the end of those days. On the 3rd album they said we're getting a producer in, you're not producing them yourselves anymore. I guess because the 2nd album didn't do so well they felt we needed some guidance.
Which is fine, cause you know I always get my 2 cents in there anyway. I feel everything I've ever done I have co-produced.




The 3rd Rembrants album…I enjoyed that. I was in the states when the 2nd album came out and I liked that too, but I've always liked your solo stuff more than the Rembrants. However I like some of the classic simple ballads like 'Don't Hide Your Love ', also off the 1st album, there's a killer track on there called 'Show Me Your Love '.
Oh yeah…that ones a classic. Yeah that's one of my favourite Rembrants songs of all time.

Yeah also 'Confidential Information'
That too… thank you.

And then, what happened after that..well the rest is history with the TV show and all that.

Yeah I was going to try and avoid that question!
Well you know it was a double edged sword. It helped us get the bulk of our music out to people who may not have heard it or had the opportunity to hear it, but what it did in the long run was turn us in to the band who did that TV show theme.

Did it sell records for you?
Oh yeah, it sold 2 million. Yeah it did quite well. So you know if 2 million people brought it and got to hear the rest of the record that's all I really care about.

Fantastic. And I guess a benefit was a little bit of financial securtity?
Yeah… it's amazing how many people get a piece of it though.

You're the last one to get the cheque right?
What's left of it. I don't need a lot of money, I'm in to the simple things

That's cool. what's on next for you Danny?
Well, touring. We're working on, we just got a first list of dates for the States. We are headlining theatres and clubs.

Okay then Danny...Thanks again for your time.
No problem Andrew. Thanks.




Ian Gillan (1998)


I was sitting at home when the phone rang. Andrew please...Yes, that's me...Ian Gillan here....sure Ian, yeah how are you?...

Now that caught me off guard big time, but I managed to compose myself 2 days later for an interview. Ian was one of the most intelligent and interesting people I have spoken to. I would love more time someday to discuss things in greater depth, but for now, see what you think!

Hello Andrew. Have I got the right time?

You bet! How are you? Where are you calling from?
I am looking out of my hotel window over the Bay Of Naples.
I am in Italy.

Yeah, it is pretty spectacular. I am actually recovering. They make a brew here called Strager. It is a liqueur, and it means the witch! I think it had one too many last night! haha.

One too many Witches?
Yeah, one too many of the Witches brew. haha.

So you are out now on the Deep Purple Abandon tour?
Yeah we just kicked off in Istanbul, where I called you from the other day. We are going to be on the road for a year I guess. Maybe 15 months.

That's amazing.
Yeah wonderful.

Is it hard to be on the road that long?
Not really. The first week is hard, because you have to get back in to match fitness.
After that it is great. Ian Paice's hands are bleeding for the first week, and I have a few aches and pains, from leaping round in an unfamiliar way, that I haven't been doing for 6 months or so.
You knock the gremlins out, and after a week or so everything's fine.

You guys seem to be, the longer you go on, the longer your tours are getting.
I think the band has always been very international. I don't know what it is. We do like playing, so it seems to make sense.
You get a new record out, and off you go.

Is the band more revitalized in the last few years?
Yeah, you could say that. The last five years has been fantastic.
We were in a terrible state around the beginning of the 90's. It was just awful. I think we were in a nose dive really, and approaching terminal velocity I would say.
Things were very bad, very miserable.
Then Ricky Blackmore left, and we haven't looked back since. It has been great.
It seemed like a big blow at the time, but in fact it was one of the best things that could have happened to us.
Then we had Joe Satriani for a year….

That was an interesting move. How was that?
Just fabulous. Joe is a real pro and a good buddy, so he came and helped us out of a spot, so then had to find somebody permanent. The first phone call we made was the only guy we really wanted, which was Steve Morse, and he has been with us now….second album, second tour, it's been great.

Well Perpendicular actually became my favourite record of Deep Purple's.
Oh great, great. Have you heard the new one yet?

Only got to playing it yesterday, but it sounds like a natural progression from the last record.
It will grow on you, yeah. I played it to a friend of mine when I first got it back from the studio, and he said it sounded like your first record, and it does!
That's the thing.

It's very fresh…
Yeah, very natural. It sounds like it was recorded in the 60's or 70's - or yesterday. It's natural Deep Purple, that's the thing that appeals to me.

So you guys are pretty pleased with it?
Delighted. We have never done so many songs from one album in the show before. We are doing six songs from that album in the new show, and they fit in with Strange Kind Of Woman, Smoke On the Water and Woman From Tokyo and Speed King and Highway Star.
They fit in just perfectly.
The reason we do albums really is so we can freshen up the stage show. That's the reason we write songs.

And you have your solo record out there as well?
Yeah, well that's kind of a hobby! Haha.
Not really a hobby, you know. But I write everyday and do something everyday, and that is one of the things, that when I was pooling around between Purple jobs and everything over the last couple of years.
I put it together with a friend of mine over in Liverpool. And I am very pleased with it.

It is typical of your solo career - never straight forward, or conforming to the norm.
I think what you have to do….there is no point doing the same sort of stuff as Deep Purple. It would only be an inferior copy.
I have always found it strange that people expect you to do exactly the same thing all the time.
In fact there is an awful lot of music, and it can be expressed many different ways.
I did a similar type of thing with Roger Glover back in 1989.

Yeah, I have a buddy that compared the record to that one.
That's right. The whole idea is to get away from the band structure, because that is quite limiting.
The writing process is totally different. When you are with a band, for instance when Purple was in Orlando, we would be in on a Monday at midday, work through till six o'clock Monday to Friday, just jamming and improvisation. We don't go in with a single thing written. Every single song comes from an improvisation. After a few days something will rear it's ugly head, and you will have the beginnings of a song.
The very last thing that happens on Purple songs, are the vocals. The tune and the words before that.
Whereas the other stuff, the tune and the words are the first thing that comes, and the music is arranged around it, which is perhaps a more conventional way of writing.
But the thing with Purple is the groove. That's why I think these last couple of albums, have been much more natural, than perhaps the stuff that we had been struggling along with Richie with. Although the songs were good, there is more of a flow now.

But the Dreamcatcher stuff was written completely differently. My friend Steve Morris lives up in Liverpool, and we get ideas, and we develop the songs just between us.
We send tapes back and forth between the post. And he does a bit of an arrangement to something I have written, and then I will develop it a bit further.
When we have got enough to put in a weeks work, I go up to Liverpool and we go in the studio there.
But it is only the two of us on the record, and it is more of a song writing kind of thing than a band thing.

How do you manage to keep your voice in shape on the road, given your long and grueling tour schedule?
Um, well I don't drink doubles! And I don't smoke until after the show! And I don't really have a problem on the road. The only time there is a problem is when you get a cold or get sick. Then it is pretty difficult. As long as you sing everything in the right key, there should never be a problem. To sing is what you are there for really.
I would like to sing every day of the week. But we do five or six shows a week in different towns, that's good fun.
I don't normally have a problem. I have never really thought about it, but if you sing within your range, then you should never strain your voice.

You have a great range then!
Well, yeah. There are bits that are difficult for me, I do recognize my limits. As far as the normal range, the screaming part - that's easy. That's just natural.

Dreamcatcher takes in a lot of influences and variety of sounds. On Toolbox, you went for that straight-ahead hard rock sound.
Well again, that was born out of circumstances. I had a great band at that time. The band evolved out of the studio. I took them out on the road and called them repo depot. We even took them down to Australia actually.
Phenomenal bass player, great guitarist and mad drummer. They kind of shaped the music in the studio. Even though I wrote it with Steve Morris, the style will be dictated by who ever turns up in the studio.
When you get that sound, you have to perform it in a certain kind of way, otherwise it is not compatible.

And at the time of Toolbox, the Purple thing wasn't happening for you!
No I was out of the band and I wasn't particularly keen of getting back in it either. There was quite a lot of pressure in that direction.

What made you go back to record that album, 'The Battle Rages On'?
A combination of things. Just pressure really. I am a sucker for a bit of flattery.
The simple thing was, they made an album, and the record company rejected it, and everyone in the industry rejected it, and they aid we are not going to release it unless you get Ian back in the band.
And I said I would rather slit my throat than work with Richie. He was a pain in the arse.
Eventually my manager found me and everyone gathered round and said 'look - handle it this way', and as a result, I said I would give it a shot.
And I never do anything unless I am going to give it 100%, so when I came back it was all or nothing. I think that is maybe what brought things to a head.

One of those sort of tense moments was captured on the last live video that band did of that tour.
Yeah. Haha. I haven't seen that actually. Heard about it obviously!

There are rumors of the band being inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Do you think Richie Blackmore would turn up if that happened?
I shouldn't think so, because he is not the guitar player in the band anymore.
We are going to an awards show in London in a few weeks for the first time in our lives. As far as we're concerned, the guitar player in the band is Steve Morse.

For sure…
There is no doubt in our minds that Richie played a big part in our history.
If somebody wants to recognize him for that, that's fine.
I have no real axe to grind as far as Richie is concerned. The whole episode is over. I think it would just be ridiculous. Steve is the guitar player in the band. Richie has had his day and made his decision. And we are all going to stand by that.
I am not particularly enamoured with this whole Hall of Fame thing anyway.
It doesn't really appeal to me. It's like the Olympics of rock n roll.
To me music is music and I don't want to be too highly principled or anything but its like being stuck in a museum. I would rather they did that when I was dead.
Do whatever you like then!
But it is like saying 'that's it boys'. It's not what we got in the business for anyway. It is a very American thing. I don't want to criticize it, but I never say myself as part of it.

You are not into everyone patting themselves on their back and telling themselves how good they are?
Makes me want to vomit really.

I said before you sound revitalized, and you have this mammoth tour ahead. Is there a life span on Deep Purple, or will you play until you drop?
We have never thought about that. We never set out to be stars. Going back to the Hall of Fame thing - the thing I dread most is being reduced to the status of celebrity. I think I would quit the business if that started happening. It's not why we got into it. You get a band together and it's great, next thing you know, you are on the road. Then it's even better.
You express yourself through the music and I don't know, I have never understood much about the money side of it, the business side of it.
I just like the music, and I share that with a lot of fans. I am a music fan myself, and that's why I do it.

So who and what do you like in music today?
Well what do you say to that? Um, last two records I was listening to was Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins, and the Chili Peppers. Plant - I love him. God, there are so many things you can talk about.
Anything by Chrissy Hinde. There is a band in Poland called the Acid Drinkers, that I think are unbelievable.
There are a lot of bands I see around the world that I can't remember their names. There is a lot of bands in Liverpool in England. I just go and watch them every night.
There is a lot of crap on the radio here in England that you really have to pick and choose who you listen too.
And Lenny Kravitz is great too. Great stuff. Bob Marley too. I don't just like rock music.

In your autobiography you said the Gillan band '78-'82 held some of the most treasured touring memories for you. How do you compare that with touring with Purple today?
It's different you know. We have things a little easier with Purple. Also that was nearly 20 years ago! And I think to be honest, the touring I did in '89 through '92 with the Gillan band, in the Soviet Union and all around South America - that was pretty spectacular as well.
I tend to work a different way to Deep Purple. I think Steve Morse is very much the same way with his band. Purple is a big thing you know, when we go out on the road there is fifty crew and three busses, five trucks and goodness knows what. When I go out on my own, the last time there was only eight people and that included the band!
There was four in the band, a tour manager and three crew. We had light and sound provided as we went.
We played in big venue's too. In the Soviet Union we played a football stadium for a week, then move on to another Stadium and play there. But these were in pretty obscure places. Right through from the Black Sea to the Caspian.
And playing such places in between like Bolivia. Incredible places.
The thing is we travel more in an informal way, because there is not such tradition. We take the scenic route; we get off the highway and have some fun.
The amazing thing is it is a very procreative situation. You find that you are living such a fascinating and interesting life, and meeting so many people, that you have an endless supply of material for your next record.
Not only that, but you inspired. And you see how different cultures are intertwined and you see how music is important.
I could talk for hours about the crap you see on TV, and the reality of life in the universities in Tablici, and the Russian soldiers coming back from Afghanistan armed with train shovels to put down the nationalists. And they are cleaving heads in the main square, and all this is being woven into a tapestry over the course of years as big as the whole wall of the university. So vivid that you know it is going to be hanging there in 1000 years to remind them.
And yet they write folk songs about the latest football match or the local Joe that got married last week. There are these wonderful national singers with magic harmonies and yet they hardly have two pennies to rub together.
They grow their own food and they make wine and beer and live good, you know. And music is a vital part of it.
And in the middle of the night, sitting with the Cosecs, under the cosec tree, on the river Niepra. Two hundred clicks down from Kiev you learn so much about these people and you realize that our culture is pretty pathetic by comparison. It has become so sterilized.
I often think back if I want to rationalize things. You see it on CNN, 'now we are going to this war here' and they spend five minutes on each war, or famine or earthquake. The fact is these great cataclysmic events actually mean something to the people that are involved in them.
It is not just a passing thing on TV.
People that are struggling for freedom are up to their necks in it.
So it goes into their music, and it lasts a lot longer than a soundbyte on TV.
I think that is the wonderful thing about touring. It is a very rich experience and it makes you feel very humble.

Is there anywhere you haven't played then?

So are you getting there this time around?
Nope. Not this time. There is also a few North African countries we haven't played yet. And we haven't played in Vietnam yet either.
And haven't played China yet.

Any solo dates for the Dreamcatcher record?
No, no time for that. Maybe when the Purple tour is finished I can squeeze in a couple of dates. Hahaha!
I may do a few dates, but the album will be a year old by then.
It is quite a departure, quite a musical statement, a cameo and it's a fun thing.
The great thing about these albums I have noticed, if I compare it with the Gillan Glover record - if they have it, if a person owns it - it is the type of record they play a lot.
You can play it in the background and it's gives off a nice vibe.

So not everybody will have it, but those that do will appreciate it!
Yeah I think so. Well, I think everyone in the world should have one! Haha.
You need one of these things for the ambience of your house!

Absolutely. Okay Ian great talking with you.
Okay then matey?
Nice talking to you. I expect we may get down to Aussie with the Purple package, as soon as the bad weather starts up here, in the Northern Hemisphere. That's what we normally so. I think we are doing Australia, South Africa and South America early on next year.

Well, we would love to see you guys down here.
Yeah, I have your number here, so I will give you a bell. So if we are over there - come and have a beer.

I'll be there in a shot! Thanks Ian.
Alright buddy, Cheers.



Neal Schon (1998)


Neal, how are you man?

I'm fine how are you

Fantastic thanks. Its great to talk to you finally!

How's the tour going?
The tours going great, we had our first show in Marin County - a little dress rehearsal. It went really great, and people were really raving about it.
And tonight we start our first show here in Tokyo.

First show tonight is it?

You must be really buzzed then?!!
We are really excited about it, and we got so much great feedback from the first show, that now I am not so much worried about it.

I got some great responses myself.
So it has been 10 years off the road. Suddenly you have a new singer out front. What is it like?

It's a little like we are reborn again. The guy that we got, we couldn't have got a better replacement. Actually because we have so much old material that we need to play, that the fans want to hear, otherwise I don't see the purpose of going out and doing Journey.
Our 'Greatest Hits' is probably the biggest record we ever had. And it continues to sell and be played on the radio. That's what fans want to hear, so it was very important to find someone that could cover the older stuff and do it very well, and Steve Augeri definitely is that.
Then besides that he is very much of a chameleon in that a lot of the new material that we are writing, he is able to take us some new places that we weren't able to go before, which is a fresh new outlook on where the band can go.
He is more of a rocker I think.

I have had amazing feedback on the whole Journey thing, and I think people want to hear the band rock again.
Well that's where we are going. That's what I have been writing, sort of where I have wanted to go. Even on our last record, the Trial By Fire record, a lot of the rock stuff just got shelved and ended up being like 20 ballads, I don't know how many ballads.

Too many!
It was sort of a snooze for me.

I said to Jonathan though, on the tracks where you did get to shine, there was a lot of guitar on those.

Just not enough of them?
Yeah, on the tracks that I got to do something on, I tried to stretch it out a little bit, but still, I don't know, for a record I would prefer that if you have 10 songs on a record, I would prefer to have 8 rockers and 2 ballads.
Because we have so many ballads from our other repertoire, the other records, we have to play those songs anyway in the set.
I can't see writing a bunch of brand new ballads, so that your whole set is going to be full of ballads. Right now we have a pretty cool set that w come out rocking, and rock for 4 or 5 songs, and then we do a ballad thing in the center, then we rock out all the way through the end.
So it is pretty cool. And when we can mix in more of this new stuff we have right here it is going to be exactly what we need.

Can't wait to hear it. I have heard the new track - it's a great song.
Yeah, we like the new song. All the rest of them that we worked on at the same time are as good as that or even better, so I am excited about it.

If I can I take you back a little bit…You have had a 10 year break almost and you get it together for Trial By Fire, was the excitement there at the start, did you think this could be great?
Well, we all thought the whole purpose of doing a new record was so that we could go out and play again. And when it didn't happen, pretty much all of us were dumbfounded.
You know, why did we do a record, if we weren't going to go out and play live?
You know what I am saying?
Steve Perry decided…If he had of decided up front…well it was kind of hard to know that he was going to get these problems with his hips and everything.

That was only half the problem though, wasn't it?
Yeah. But it didn't happen and we waited around to see if he was going to get hip surgery and all that and that didn't happen, so we just decided, you know what - we want to go out.
It was time just to move on.
We are very happy that now we have come to an agreement with him that we are able to do this now.

Now this was long and complicated and difficult wasn't it?
Well, I think anything in big business is. You look at the business aspect of it, and there is a lot of things that remain that will never change - the whole catalogue.
There is a lot of loose ends that have to be tightened up so that you can create a new ground to walk on.
And yeah, I wish it had of gone faster, because we were all chomping at the bit to go, and it seemed to be moving like a snail. But now it is done and we're here and you know, we start playing tonight!

There has been a lot of stories and hearsay, so maybe I can throw a few of these at you to clear up for us.
Did Steve Perry just want to be a studio band?

I don't know what he had in mind, but it wasn't what I had in mind. You know!
I really don't know. I was confused at the end of it - at the end of Trial by Fire.

Were there problems during the creation of TBF?
Not really, it was relatively painless. The band went in and cut seventeen songs in two weeks! We were done with all the tracking and then Steve started singing, and the rest of the time spent in there was for string parts and vocals.

At what point did you loose some of your guitar tracks?
All the songs had to run by our A&R guy at Sony, John Kalodner, and the rest of the company and you know, I think Steve Perry is more prone to sing ballads than rock n roll, more the R&B influence in there.
So a lot of the rock stuff that I had written was a lot harder and he's never been able to rock into that as well as some of the other people I have worked with.
So it wasn't a natural thing, and the stuff is still sitting there on the shelf and I have been throwing them at Steve Augeri, and he just jumps right on it!
I have an abundance of material that is just sitting there and a lot of it is very very strong. So I am very happy, I am not searching for ideas.
It's like a brand new start and everyone is really happy about it, and the coolest thing is that everybody gets along really easily now.
Back to a democratic type situation. We are a team. The whole band is a team and there is not one person trying to run the whole thing.

How about the story that Steve Perry would record the new album, and Augeri tour with it?
No, that was something that was talked about and I couldn't really see the purpose in that.
You know, in the end.

So that was debated though?

So now Steve has made a clean break with the band? He has signed away the name?

I guess that's the way it has to be?
Yeah, the way it has to be. We all put a lot of time and effort into this band and I spent half my life building this band.
I started this band way back in '76, and we were together 5 years before Steve Perry even joined.
So I really felt like the name was mine, even though he helped build the name to what it became. I felt that since I started it, it was my name.

I guess he has been an interesting guy to work with?
Yeah, well people change. Things happen.
I have been divorced three times now, nothing ever stays the same. Nothing is a shock to me. You have to move on and pick up the pieces and put it back together and I'm happy with it.

Can you explain why the lack of information available on the band over the last 6 months or so? Was that a management thing?
Well you know, all this stuff has been going on while we have been trying to settle stuff with Perry. It is very difficult if you start talking to people and you say something that someone doesn't like, then it is going to take an extra 2 months to get them to agree on something else.
It's just a touchy situation.

So you had to do blackout then?
You know where I am at with it, is that I am happy where I am at right now, I hope he is happy where he is at now. Everybody in this band is just really happy right now. I don't want to fling mud, I don't want to do anything like that. I saw this whole situation develop with Van Halen. It just becomes stupid and ugly.
In the end fans don't even care about it. They like going 'shut up already', just get on with it.
I sort of feel like, if I haven't got anything good to say I'm just not going to say anything at all.

Didn't Steve Perry bring Irving Azoff to you?
Right, Herbie Herbert had retired as a manager and has his own record label music.com on the internet. He has his hands full so Irving was brought in, and he is still managing us now.

Are you happy with that, because it was a hell of a job getting info out of them!
I am, I like Irving a lot.
He definitely knows what he is doing. He's got the track record and he has been really good for us.

That's fair enough.
Tell me how many people and who you auditioned for the new singer position?

There were only really 2 that we had checked out.
We had played with Kevin Chalfant a long long time ago, and we kind of felt that since Kevin had done The Storm thing, that it wasn't the right thing to do.
We felt that The Storm was a mini Journey band.

Well it was close, with Gregg Rolie and Ross Valory there…
Yeah, and it had Smith at one point and then he quit. I just felt like I wanted to start on fresh grounds. When we met Steve Augeri, he was from Brooklyn New York, I am from the East Coast, and he is Italian. So now we have three of us in the band which is real great!
He just had the right personality, he looks really good on stage, he has his own little vibe. He is not pretentious, he is not a poser type of singer. He just gets up there and does his thing and he really pulls it off.
He is a super guy. The guy definitely has his feet firmly planted in the ground.
He is a well-rounded person. A very classy individual.

John West was also another you looked at….
John West we tried out. He sounded amazingly like Perry too. We just decided he was not the right guy. Personality wise and I didn't think he fitted as well as Steve did.

How many other suggestions did you get?
We tried out the guy from Queensryche.

So you did do that!
We tried Geoff Tate, yeah. He came out and we actually wrote a pretty cool song with him but he was not the right guy to cover the old material.
When we tried playing the older material it obviously was not the right guy.
But a super nice guy as well.

And another rumor…Glenn Hughes...
Glenn I thought about for a second. And we felt instead of getting a guy that has been around and around forever, we wanted to find somebody that had a fresh face.
The main thing was, when I was in Hardline I was living in LA and we were driving around and the Tall Stories record comes on the radio when they were getting a lot of airplay.
And I felt like this guy really kicks my ass!
It sounds like a rocked out version of Journey. Which is where I wanted to go and I always just remembered that and I said that if it ever gets to putting this band back together and Perry is not involved, I want to call this guy.
This is like 6 years later, and it has come down to that.
I talked to Jonathan and it just so happens that one of my close friends also from Brooklyn NY Joe Cefalu, he had a tape of Steve Augeri with his number because we didn't know where to get hold of him.
So we called him up and he didn't believe that it was me on the phone. He though it was one of his buddies pulling his leg.
I said we really want you to come out here and audition and sing on some of these new songs we have and sing on some old material.
And he said I gotta tell you, I have pretty much retired. I stopped singing 2 years ago because of the state of the music industry.
It is very tough for people. If you don't have a tracks record like Journey, it is hard to make a living by it, very difficult to get going again.
So he was doing other work on the side and he said he hadn't been sung for 2 years, so I just said 'well you better get singing'.
So he sang for three weeks and got his pipes back in order and came out here and floored us all.
And that was that. Very simple, which was even more beautiful about the whole situation. If we had to have looked and looked and looked for a singer I would have said I think I am juts going to start something else.
Because it happened so fast and so naturally, it is meant to be.

Did you try a guy by the name of Hugo?
No. We listened to a tape of his and even remember him being in a band a while back when I was doing the Hardline thing called Valentine.
And I remember seeing him in a video and he looked exactly the like Perry which I thought was really weird.
I said if we are going to get somebody with him looking exactly like Perry, I though that was a little too weird!
And also I just think that Steve Augeri as a singer was a lot more happening.

Now you wrote Remember Me with Jack Blades.
Yeah Jack was great. It was the first time that I had hooked up with him and Jonathan and he came over. Actually we wrote a few songs together within two days. Jack was excellent to write with. He was very fast and energetic and moved as fast as I do in a studio, which I love. And what comes out of that is when you are just jumping on it with someone that is right on the same page as you are, it just comes out because it is not over thought.

I am a huge fan of Jack and his writing and the bands he has been involved with.
Yeah, Jack is a really great guy.

Any chance of you doing something more collaborative with him later on?
Absolutely. We worked together so well that he had called me the next day and wanted me to go up to his house and work on some stuff for him, for Aerosmith or whoever because we just collaborated so well together.

You two guys should make a record together or something?
Maybe so! Down the line I would love to do that.
Right now though, I have my hands full. I have a full palate here and really just want to concentrate on Journey. I am not going to think about any solo projects for quite some time, until we are up and running and we are back where we left off.

In your frustration and down time with Journey, you have had a lot of side projects that have tried to emulate being in Journey - Bad English, Hardline, the album with Jimmy Barnes.
Yeah, and I have done the Abraxas album with the original Santana guys, I have done some solo records that were more jazzier, you know I have been staying busy.
I have been really wanting to get Journey back happening because that's where I really belong I feel.
There is a connection there between Jonathan and I. You know we wrote a lot of the material anyway. We started writing while we were trying to settle all the stuff with Steve Perry and get on with it.
And Jonathan and I were actually writing all the songs and he and I were singing on the demo's, because we didn't know who was going to be singing, and it still sounded like Journey!!
You know, neither one of us can sing like Perry, but we had the melodies!

But I like both you guys voices anyway! Late Nite is one of my favourite all time records.
Oh thanks. I listened to some of the stuff a while ago. It is pretty funny to go back and listen to that again.
It is kind of like all over the map, musically.
In retrospect when I go back and listen to it many years later, it is kind of where I was at in my head too! Hahaha.
It is a reflection of what you are doing at the time and what kind of lifestyle your having and that was a little crazy and I was whacking it a little hard and you know that is why the music was all over the place.
But there were some decent things on there.

There were some musically very intense things on there also.
Yeah well that's the other thing that we are doing now. Journey now is going in a much more adventurous musical place. The instrumental sections n the songs themselves are much more stretched out as I have a lot more room to play and I don't have people breathing down my neck saying there is too much guitar.
I've got more an open range to really express myself and we are sort of writing the material like that, to set me up.
There are so many guitar players out there now, like Satriani or who ever it is, that the music is completely set up for the guitar player.
I feel like I am a decent enough player to be in that position to have the band set me up in certain songs. So it is more of a guitar song.

Great, great! I want to hear that.
Yeah, that's what I want too, and now I am finally getting that. That's why I am really jazzed about this.

So how many tunes have you got written for the new record?
We have written like 12 or 13 songs right now and we are not done. I think we have like another 5 to write. And then we will pick the cream of the crop.
But we are sitting in a good place.

Any song titles yet?
You know what - I could say yeah, but who knows if they will stay and end up like that. You know what I mean?
With lyrics, we will sit there and tweak them throughout the whole project.
I would rather hold off on the titles because who knows what they are going to end up to be.
But there are great lyrics written already.

And is Steve Augeri getting in on the writing also?
Yes, he has started contributing. A lot of the stuff, like I said, Jonathan and I had been working together for about six months working just a couple of days and week and not really pressing it hard like we had to come up with stuff, we just did it for fun. And the stuff was just flying out just effortlessly. When it starts happening like that, you get in this prolific vein where you are not thinking too much, you just go in and play the first thing that is on your mind each day. Music is not rocket science. Rock n roll certainly isn't. if you think about it too much while you are writing, and you have to think about the song you are writing, you know, let's put this but here, do that there, it just becomes too scientific. It is just supposed to make you feel good.
The best songs just some out immediately.
You don't have to think about them that much, it's just natural.
You can hear the energy in it, the freshness in it, there is more of a rock vibe and a party vibe to it.
Since we starting playing again, I want to create a concert where it is a giant party.
It should be a party, a celebration. Something that somebody wants to come to and have fun and cut loose a bit.

Not like a wake then?!
Exactly! You can water it down and have these ballads with deep deep lyrics, but there is places for that stuff. Otherwise it should be more of a fun thing.

And what happened to Steve Smith?
Smith just decided that he wanted to pursue his jazz career.
That was fine because I had my old friend Deen Castronovo sitting in the wings ready to go and he is just kicking some ass. He is more of a rock drummer.
And he sings his ass off.
So now every member of the band sings. Deen has a strong high voice, he actually sounds like Perry.

He sings like all the high stuff in the choruses.

So you guys are going to have some cool melodies?
We have great vocals right now. Better than we have ever had. Definitely background vocals.

One of my favourite records you have played on is the 'Hardline' record with Deen there too.

Yeah, killer hard rock.
We had fun making that! Haha. It started out as me producing these guys. I ended up playing on it. Bad English had busted up in the middle of working on that, so I decided to hang out there for a second.
In the end what happened was that the band were way too young for me. You know what I mean? In every sense.

All the guys were much younger than myself - they had not gone through some of the things that I had gone through and I didn't care to go through those things again.
I felt like playing with people that had been though as much as I have which is a lot!
The only place I could probably really find that is in my old mates that I played with in Journey.

Go back to your roots then?

I saw Hardline with you at the Marin Center in 1992.

Yeah, with Mr. Big and Electric Boys. I have one of Dean's drum sticks.
He's funny, a great guy.

Tell me time line for the next six months for Journey.
Well what we are starting to do is wait to see what happens with this single that comes out of the soundtrack to Armageddon.
If the song is a hit, we have the chance of going out and doing some sheds you know. Otherwise if the song is not a hit, or doesn't get played on the radio enough, or Sony doesn't let us do a video for some reason - with the situation of having a new singer and a new drummer - I feel that we will need another fresh record to mix with our old stuff. But we are going to play some shows in between. We have these state fairs that are lined up.
Now that we have got together and rehearsed and we have a set together, and everybody knows their stuff, all that work is done now.
So if we get a call and someone wants to add us to a big outside show this summer, then we are going to do it.
But as far as going out and headlining, without this new songs, if it doesn't get out there far enough, I think we will hang and work on the record in between playing a few gigs here and there.

How behind the band is Sony?
We are about to find that out tonight. We are in the land of Sony right now! Haha.
To be honest, they were real skeptical of us even continuing without Steve Perry.
And then we played this show that had a lot of international people at it and they got on the horn the next day, and all of a sudden they are excited again.
So they will be coming to these two Tokyo shows and taking us out for dinner tomorrow night, so we should be able to feel what is going on after that. Because I feel that if we kick ass here and do the right job, I think that they are going to give a call to New York and going to say we have to do this, let's jump on it right now.

Any chance of an Australian leg of the tour?
Now that we have a band that wants to work….we never really pursued playing.
It was always just in the United states or Japan.
Now we want to become a worldwide band. Definitely we have the catalogue to do it and Trial By Fire sold a million records in Europe without doing anything.
So the window of opportunity is definitely there and we are going to put in the time and do it.

And when will the new record be out?
We are going to go in and slam this thing out. We don't anticipate taking any longer than six weeks.
We are really well prepared. Having the material is everything. We only have to go an rehearse for a week or two and we will just go in the studio and play it live like we used to. That was it just comes out what you are really are. Painless and fast and we will just be in and out.

Well you guys are experienced enough to know what you have to do….
Yeah, I hate spending a lot of time in the studio, I really do.
I am very fast in the studio for solos and that. Especially if I am playing live, it's usually the first or the second take.
If I try and do any more than that, it goes down hill.
I know myself like that and I am better like that.
My motto is - if you are thinking - you're stinking! Hahaha

So we could have a record in September then?
Yeah we would love to do that.

And a producer? Kevin Shirley again?
Yeah Kevin Shirley. He is amazing, we love him. We call him the spank master!
Cause he just spanks it hard! Hahaha
This last single we did Remember Me, we went in with him, you know when Jonathan and I sent the demo to John Kalodner we thought it would be great to get one of these new songs on a movie before we do the new album.
So we sent the demo and he called back and said I love the song - you are flying to New York tomorrow.
So we jumped on a plane, everyone gets to New York and we cut the song in a day and a half.
And it was painless and so much fun, just because we have such a good working atmosphere again.

Where will you cut the album?
In San Francisco some place.
We are going to check out the Record Plant. Metallica's new room is down there; we haven't checked that out yet. But I want to get an old console.
I also want to get my bigger cabinets in the room this time so they can breathe a bit.

One last quick question…was John Waite ever considered?
Not for Journey. But I went back and listened to some of the old Bad English stuff, and it sounded very cool.

They still sound great.
Yeah, I like the first one better than the second.
Waite, Jonathan and I had talked about musical direction. I wanted to go more towards this rock and funky sort of Small Faces direction and he wanted to go with the Dianne Warren thing, the smash hit single thing.
It is not really where I wanted to be and not what we talked about so I lost interest in it.

He always talked about getting a live record out.
Yeah, the band played great live.

Any chance of that still happening?
You know what? I'm busy! Hahaha.
I feel fortunate that I have a full palate right now. To start this machine up and get going again.

Okay Neal, I think that's it!
Okay, you know we can talk more down the line.
Get you some updates on what has been happening with our live shows.

That would be great. I appreciate your time.
Okay, great. Bye bye.




Dare - Darren Wharton (1998)


So Darren, great show.

Well, you know it was something we had only put together in the last couple of days. We were trying to get the whole band to do it, but it was all a bit too...

Yeah! well, we would love to come out and do it as a whole band, but it is the financial side of it, and the rehearsal side of it, obviously you need a lot more rehearsals with a full band, and we only got this together in the last couple of days.

Great response from the crowd here.
Yeah, very kind, yeah.

So the record has got chart entry in Sweden, things are looking good?
Yeah, it's okay. Doing a record like this with people like Mario is great because all you can try and do is your best. it's not like a massive budget, and we are all trying to do things to do it, because we believe in it, and want to do our best.
It's not like an A&M sort of thing, where you have unlimited this and unlimited that.
I really do appreciate being with people like Mario and Magnus, because they are in it for the right reasons.
No accountants pushing the buttons, and lawyers and shit - it's all for the right reasons.

Yeah, it's not too often you deal with the label's managing director one on one!
Yeah, that's beautiful, he picked us up at the airport and it's lovely to work in the environment where the people really know the songs.

Has there been a lot of pressure to get this record out, given the cult status of Dare?
The only pressure I have really had is from Mario! haha
That is very nice of you to say there is a cult following of the band.

Well there absolutely is!
It's very nice, it's lovely! I have really been living in a different world these past 7 years. I have been bringing up a son, and building a studio, just having a good time and enjoying life, doing the Lizzy thing.
It has just flown by. I have been writing material all the time, I just haven't given it a great deal of thought.
When we left A&M in 1992, and I haven't really gone 'Oh God, let's get the next Dare record out'. Life went on.

Things kind of fell apart after that point?
A little bit yeah. I just had other things in my life that I had to pay attention to.
I had my son and my family, and I wanted to spend a bit of time with them.
You know, you are talking about someone that had spent the last 15 years of my life on the road. Which I had.

Is that how long it has been?
Well I joined Lizzy when I was 17, and I did that for 5 years, and then we did Dare, and that went for 5 years.

Is it a strange way to grow up?
well it's not growing up as such, but it is a strange way to live your life. We did Blood From stone and I totally didn't see my son till he was nearly 5 months old.
They are the greatest thing in the world, and I felt very strongly about spending some serious time with him.
It wasn't a conscious thing to forget the music or anything, cause I never did, that is all I have ever done, I just wanted to take a step back.
That Blood From Stone album, we think, in hindsight, was a mistake.

I wanted to ask you about that. The first album was so original, and the album is so special to a lot of people.
Was it label pressure that lead you to change the style so dramatically for the second album?

Well, I could easily turn round and say it was the label, but really it was the band.
I will tell you what it was exactly Andy.
When we made the first album, we all used to love bands like Mr Mister , and Journey and Foreigner. Nice music! We were very proud of Out Of The Silence.
But the luck of the draw, just as we released the record, Guns And Roses just broke, and everything was like rock, rock, rock.
We couldn't get a break because the heavier scene was in.
I think it was our desperate attempt to get noticed!
We loved what we had done, but practically the week we put it out, we were old hat. It was all heavy, all Guns N Roses. What we should have done was say, 'okay, it's just a fad'.
But it was so important to us, because we had worked so hard to get to where we got to, we sort of felt that if we go heavy now, we will be right!
And we fell foul to it.

Just like in late 1992, everybody thought, 'Oh we'll go grunge now'!
Yeah, we should have stuck to our Guns.

And I distinctively remember reading in Kerrang at the time, when it something worth reading in it, you we're so frustrated, you said the UK AOR scene was dead.
Well it was! People were smirking at bands playing stuff like us. They were taking the piss out of bands like us.
It was degrading and it was humiliating. In all fairness, about Blood From Stone, looking back it may have been the wrong decision to make, one thing I do appreciate what that record did for us, apart from we all think it was a mistake; it showed a lot of those arty farty magazines in England not to take AOR bands for granted. We were the only band at the time to get a 100% mark in Metal Hammer!
Richie Sambora got like 90%, and we got 100%. To me that made a mockery of the whole thing. I love rock n roll, but I think you have to leave it to the people that live and breathe it - like Metallica, Bon Jovi ect. They are suited to it and do it the best.
We do what we love to do, better. We just do what we can do, and hope that people like it.
And what we were trying to do there is prove that we could write a rock record.

Well it was a great record, just radically different!
But it was a mistake that we probably had to make because it was a weird period.

And now you have corrected it!
Yeah, we have some great stuff.

Where did you pick up Richard and Andy from?
The guys have been with us for a while now. Richard and I are old friends.
Richard toured with us on the Blood From Stone record.

And Andy?
Well Andy is just a young bloke, we were very lucky to find him. He was just advertising it the paper for a job.

What? He was advertising in the paper?!!

He is a superb player. I told him earlier that I was a fan of Neal Schon and I felt that his style was similar.
He is a superb guitarist.

Now you have to tell me how many layers deep is this record?! There is a hell of a lot to listen to!
Well you are probably right! There is a lot going on. You are going 'what the fuck are they doing there?!!' hahaha.
Well these couple of Dare records that are coming out, this one and the new one before Christmas...

The NEW one? What no record for ten years, then 2 of them?
Yeah, we are back on the scene now.
We have a great new record coming out. It is a different set up for the new record, it is called 'Belief'.
It is very much in the vein that you are talking about. Very atmospheric songs, very deep songs. Really cool musically.

Was Deliverance a hint of that? That was different to the style of the rest of the record.
It is not really like that. It is weird I think. I hope it will be our best record yet.
It is really unusual, but it's great.

And the Calm Before The Storm record is a couple of years old, is this new record newly written?
It is all brand new stuff, maybe less than a year old.
Some songs come in a day, some in a week, some in a year.

That's fantastic. Okay Darren, I am not going to keep you talking all night, you have done enough interviews already! Thanks for talking.
Pleasure Andy, no problem.



Toto - Steve Lukather (1998)


Hey Steve!
Hey, what's happening?

Not much actually, what about yourself?
Just sitting here playing my guitar.

Cool, thanks for taking my call.
No problem man.

So what did I catch you in the middle of, in the studio?
I am just about to start something. Some weird project for John Kalodner. Actually it's a Christmas thing. Christmas in April!
You have to do these things way ahead!
But I am doing a track with the Lobotomy guys, Garfield and Phillips. We are doing a strange version of Chestnuts Roasting On The Open Fire, but kinda how Metallica would play it or something.

Sounds different!
Yeah, we're just having fun with that, and writing songs for a Toto album we are supposed to start recording in the summer. And I am trying to finish the Jeff Beck record, but who know's if that is ever going to get done.
We haven't done anything on that since the end of October, stuff needs to be done.
He takes 10 years between albums, now I understand why.

I heard that you had taken up with John Kalodner.
He is a really good friend of mine, he has been a very big supporter of me and my career, and all that sort of stuff.
He is going to walk us through the next Toto record, we are going to go back to the original concept of the band.
Stylistically speaking. Over produced, super obnoxious, stuff the critics will hate.

Great, stuff the fans will love!
Yeah, you know, five part harmonies, triple guitars, all the stuff that pisses them off.
Sort of making fun of ourselves, but making fun of it.

Good, piss them off then.
Yeah, we've got the this record coming out next month, that is 20 years of unreleased material.

Yeah, I have the track listing here. It looks good.
It's quite a good record. I am actually surprised, we dug up some cool shit.
I am listening, and going fuck, why didn't we put that on the record?!
Some of it was unfinished, so I would throw a guitar solo on that was missing, or some background vocals that were missing.
Most of it was already done.

Where have most of the songs come from?
We have got hundreds sitting in the vault. Some great stuff with Jeff Porcaro.
For Jeff fans, this will be the record to get.
It goes through most incarnations of the band. Stuff with Bobby, Jo, and a lot of stuff with Dave singing. There are a couple of live tracks on there too.
Even some from our first original demo. We haven't touched them up at all.
We have done some cool liner notes too.
Other than that, I have a bunch of stuff to produce and work on, life's pretty good at the moment.

You are a busy guy - you seem to play on a stack of records each year.
You know, I am not doing that too much anymore. I do one or two, but nothing like I was doing 10 years ago.
I would rather do my own projects, you know, solo records and Toto, and write and produce for other people.

I am a big fan of your solo records.
Thanks man, I wasn't too sure if you were getting that stuff in Australia.

No we're not, but it's all available on import.
Well, you know, we get no support whatsoever from our Record Company down there. Sony kinda shits on us there.
So that's why we can't afford to come down there.

Yeah. It has been about 6 or 8 years since you were here last.
We get no support from the record label, and most promoters think they are going to loose their ass. Very conservative.
A lot of people I know haven't even been there before. My bud Eddie is there soon for the first time.

Yeah, I have my Van Halen tickets right now. Be here next week.
Ed and I are like family, you know. He called me up from Hawaii this morning.

He played on your first solo record.
Yeah, that's right! I sang backgrounds on their records.
They are the last great rock n roll band left, except maybe for Aerosmith.
At the end of this decade, they are going to flush the toilet on the whole 90's style.

Yeah, it's like okay guys, this was the decade of lets play and sing bad.
There was some great stuff too, but it was hard to get through a lot of it.
Maybe because I am 40 now, not 20.
My kids play me a lot of stuff. And my girlfriend, she's like 26!
There is just so much that is forgettable. None of them will have long careers. It's like they will break up or die!
They won't get a gig with someone else, because they don't know how to play.
That's not being crusty of cynical, it's just the facts.
Ha ha. When the media picks up on that it's not cool to play that kind of music again, what are they going to do?
I watch this MTV shit, which I really hate. They have single handedly ruined the entire art of music. Turned it into a huge fucking McDonalds commercial. No imagination at all.
I remember they way it was, when you used to look forward to digging a new album, a big album, a LP you know! You didn't need a magnifying glass to read the album credits.
You used to think, wow what were these guys thinking of when they recorded this, and maybe if you were lucky, maybe once a year you saw them live.
Now it is shoved down your throats so much, that people just don't care anymore.
It's like, music, oh yeah…great.
What is going to happen now, though, is that it is going to change. It's time.
I am looking forward to it.
I have survived three decades in the music business.
What's cracking me up now, is the return of the 80's! Like disco came and went again. It just shows you that there is nothing new, it's just dressed up differently.

What about the style for the new Toto record, you say you are going to go back…
Yeah man! We are just going to do what we do best, and be real obnoxious about it. Over the top production you know. Lots of synthesizers, guitars and solos, percussion and all.
At the same time as making a good record, we are just going to take the piss out of ourselves.
John Kalodner is going to be involved, and check our choice of material. He has done a lot of good for bands like Aerosmith and Journey.

And what about the vocal duties?
Well, I think we might throw it around a bit. Dave is going to do some, I will do some, and who knows, you might see an old familiar face or something like that.
It all depends on how this record goes, this new old record.
We are all going to get together and go to Europe, if it all works out, with Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams and Bobby Kimball. We are going to play a few secret shows to just see what happens.
We have buried the hatchet, nobody is mad anybody anymore. That was 15 years ago, what am I pissed of at, you know?

Just get over it, eh?
Yeah, like come on, life is too God damn short.
To be honest with you, I am just really happy to be making a great living still playing music.
I am in my 22nd year of making music.

Is that right?
Yeah, I have just turned 40, and life is good to me.
I get older and my girlfriend's get younger.

Ha ha, so how many records have you played on then?
They tell me between 600 and 700 records.

Are you serious?

So there isn't much chance of me getting the entire Steve Lukather collection then?
Nah man, why would you want to?!

Ha ha ha.
No man, seriously, some of it's crap, you know. When I was just a session man, I was doing something like 20 sessions a week, I didn't even know what record I would be playing on next.
Hence the years of drug abuse!
I would get so fucking bored playing on all these crappy records, it was like 'wow, I got to get high or something here'.
Don't get me wrong, it was a great time to be playing. Even if you were on a shitty record, musically you would be playing with the best cats in the world, so we had some fun, we tried to make the most of it, and give it out all, but it was very forgettable stuff a lot of it.
The great ones were the great ones, and they still hold up, you know.

Some of your singers had problems with substance abuse, didn't they?
Well you can't do that shit, and sing man! It's as simple as that. Anybody that has ever done that shit will tell you that.
Really it isn't good for anybody, but at the same time, if you are a singer and you do something that numbs your throat out, and you scream because you can't feel it, and you trash your voice and can't sing anymore.
That's like me sticking my fingers in fucking acid and trying to play.
Eventually you won't be able to do it anymore.
But all the guys have got their shit together, and they are clean and they don't do it anymore.
I like to drink and have a joint, I am over 21, my kids don't know that, but hey!
I went through a period where I was completely straight, not a drink, nothing, about 8 or 9 months.
I said, well that was cool, I can do that, I will have a little drink and hang out, that's cool.
There was never a point that I was blowing it or something, it just became a pattern, because everyone around me was doing it around me.
You don't really realize, it creeps up on you. It's when you start feeling shit all the time, it's time to chill.
But everyone that lived through that era was into it, and if they say they weren't they are lying.
Ha ha - or a freak of nature. I am just glad I have missed the heroin decade, the 90's. That shit you don't mess a round with. Apparently it is one of the best high's, but I have seen it destroy a lot of people.
The drag of it is, they make it cheap and affordable, so the kids can get into it.
So fuckin' stupid.
But you know, my daughter is going to be 13 soon. Don't think I am not thinking about all this. The advantage is I have lived through it, and I can recognize the signs. I have a brutally open dialogue with my kids.

That's probably the best way to be.
Yeah, they are going to do what they are going to do, so a lot of knowledge helps.
Anyway, enough of that shit, what else do you want to talk about?

Well I have a buddy of mine here who is a mad Toto fan, so can I put him on to throw a couple of questions at you?
Yeah man sure!

How's it going Steve? Richard here.
Hey Richard, pleasure to meet you.

I just have a couple of general questions I would love to ask you.
Sure, shoot!

Who is your favourite vocalist singer, who would you would like to jam with?
Oh man, there are so many great ones.
Peter Gabriel, Steve Wonder, Paul Rogers. Aretha Franklin, people like that, real singers.

I heard a rumor that you may produce Def Leppard?
Ha ha, here's the story with that. I am not producing their next album.
Rick, the drummer, is my next door neighbor, across the street, and we used to hang all the time.
At one time he and Phil come down to my studio and we talked about maybe doing a track or two together, but it never materialized.
And they are in the studio with some one or other, I haven't seen him for a while.
I love those guys, and that was that. Rick's a good friend. We all come from the same place.

So living next door, you have an instant jam session when ever?
Yeah, it's interesting, my son play drums, and Rick used to have two drum kits set up and he would go over and jam with him.

That was my next question actually, wondering if your kids have picked up any talent from their dad!
Oh yeah, my son's a drummer, and my daughter play keyboards and sings her ass off. She plays a little guitar also. She can play anything she wants.
She's going to be thirteen soon, I am about to have a teenage daughter, how fucking scary is that?

One question that has always bugged me - the Toto sword/rings logo - who came up with that?
I guy called Phillip Garace came up with that. He also designed the Grateful Dead's logo - the one with the skeleton playing the violin.
He also did the penguin logo for Fleetwood Mac.

Another question, do you see James Newton Howard much?
Well he writes scores for every 'A' movie coming out of Hollywood. He is even up for an Academy Award this year.
I haven't talked to him for a while, about a month ago. He misses the rock thing occasionally, but doesn't need to do it.

Well it has been a pleasure talking to you Steve, thanks.
It has been a please also mate.

Hey Steve. I have a couple more things to throw at you.
Are you still hanging out with Brett Walker?

Brett! I really want to do something with him at some point. We just can't seem to get it together. You know he is a really sweet guy, very talented. I hope he gets the break he deserves. Really cool music.
We keep threatening to write a tune, but not yet. We spent a little time together last year.

Yeah, he said you were a very cool guy, and it was great to hang out for a while. He said it was a real honor.
Oh shit man, I ain't no big deal.

Do you see Fergie at all anymore?
Shit I haven't seen him in years. Last time I saw him was in Minneapolis in '93.
I have no bad feelings or anything, he's a nice guy.
He didn't have a substance problem. He was freaked out in the studio man.
He could not sing in the studio. He was fine live, once he learned it he was fine.
But getting a vocal out of him in the studio was really like pulling teeth.
It became incredibly frustrating. It would take like weeks one on song to get a lead vocal.
He is a great singer, and maybe he isn't like that anymore. We were too impatient I guess, and the more we pushed him, the more freaked out he was and the worse it became.
He was kind of a nervous guy, and he lost his voice out on the road a lot.
I don't why.

Do you enjoy the singing live?
Yeah it's cool. I have gotten quite used to it. I haven't lost my voice once, because I take good care of it.
It doesn't freak me out at all anymore. I wouldn't mind sharing it around a little though. I don't have a big ego, you know, whatever is best.

On the 'Absolutely Live' album, you have shared it around a bit.
That is my least favourite record. Don't listen to that record at all.
I don't really listen to any of my records though!

My favorite is probably your debut solo record. I paid around $40 for that.
Why is that? You should be able to get that through Sony at the same price as anything else.

Yeah, it was import only at the time.
Fucking record company! We still sold like 20 million records, and they are embarrassed that we are on the label.

Hopefully Kalodner will be able to turn things around for you.
Yeah, there is stilll a stigma that surrounds the band. Each territory has a choice to release it or not. Even though they are supposed to they don't.
Get us in a non English speaking country, and we are huge.
We have been the band to hate for 20 fucking years!
The only person that has to take more shit than us is probably Michael Bolton!
They have just about killed him here too. He's just about over.

The negative press is catching up?
Yeah, you like to think it doesn't, but if people keep reading how un-cool something is, then…
Everyone wants to be cool!
The people that like us really like us, and the people that don't, really hate us a lot.

When are you going over to Europe?
I am going over twice to promote this record. Once in April myself, then May 26 I think, we are all going over to play.
All of us on stage together for the first time in 20 years, it will freak people out.

That will go off!
Well, I don't know if it will be any good or not! Ha ha!

And the next studio album will be out when?
Starting it in the summer, and finish it toward the end of the year. We will be on the road through 1999.
We would love to get down there. I had a great time last time I was there.
Supply and demand. You guys are a long way away.
It costs us like $60,000 just to get out gear down there. We don't show up and play on rented twin reverb, you know. We are sticklers for the sound.
A lot of people just got out any play along with their record, you know! Really scary. People that mime the lot.
I have seen people with all this digital shit behind the stage, and I go 'Well, what's up here?' and they go 'Well, we can't pull this shit off live!'.
There is a lot more Milli Vanilli going on than you think. A lot of people don't even play on their own records!

Alright Steve, thanks for talking to us.
Sure man, I gotta blow, great talking to you.
Bitchn' say hello to everyone down there, and call up our record company and bug them!

Very cool! Will do.

And that people, was Steve Lukather!


Jack Blades - Interview 3 (1998)

Hey Jack, what's happening?

I'm just sitting here waiting for you to call!

I appreciate you taking the call Jack.

I just want to touch on Neverland for a minute. Last time we talked I had it on the way, but it hadn't arrived yet.
It is a bloody fantastic album!

Why thank you.

It is a very mature Night Ranger wasn't it?
Yeah it was. I think this new Night Ranger is more immature Night Ranger. Ha ha!

Yeah, this one is a lot more fun. I think you are really going to enjoy this one.

Neverland was a pretty serious album.
Yeah, this one is pretty not serious. This is a pretty fun record. The Japanese called me last night. They are flipping out over it.
They are really excited.

I am really pleased, and even surprised to see another album so quickly.
Well, so am I.
Actually we just got off the road, and I started writing a bunch of songs, and we thought well, lets go in and cut them.
And Zero said they would like another record. So we said okay, let's do it right now.

So the band must really be smoking right now.
Actually, if you think about it, we are releasing about one year from the last one. Which is really amazing!

I just wish more bloody bands would do the same these days.
Yeah, it normally takes two, three or four years. It's a joke.

Absolutley. Trends come and go between records.
It's like the old days, where The Beatles put out records every six or so months. Know what I mean?

Even you guys - in the early days '82-'84.
Right, right.

Yeah, a tour an album, a tour, and another album.

I guess you can burn out on that after half a dozen years or so.
I think so. This time around it was a lot of fun doing it this way.
We got an engineer by the name of Noel Golden, who mixed Sammy Hagar's last album 'Marching To Mars'. That's who we brought in as an engineer, but he did such a good job, we decided to have it a co-production thing.

There is a Rolling Stone interview you did. Brief, but you said press in 'American doesn't give a shit', but you are glad to be doing it anyway.
Yeah, so true.

I didn't recognize the producers name.
Yeah, he is more an engineer. He is from Canada.

And you guys know what you are doing anyway, eh?
Yeah, we've done a few of these before!
It's pretty easy for us to make a record. And we did it up here in my studio.

I was going to ask if you recorded on the Ranch.
Yeah, it turned out pretty nice.

I have a few of the tracks here. The track 'Let Him Run' pops up.
Yeah, yeah. We did 'Let Him Run' with Fitz playing the keyboards.
Instead of Jeff playing the guitars, we had Fitz play the keyboards.
You know, the Japanese love that shit.

They sure do!
They love remaking stuff. It is kind of neat. It turned out really nice. Kelly sang it. It seamed much more like the way we perform it live, which I personally enjoy.
Makes it sound fresh again.

The other thing this Rolling Stone blurb said, was that you wanted to ship 'Panic In Jane' to radio without the band's name on it - to eliminate any pre-conceptions.
Yeah, that would be something interesting.

Cool song?
Very cool song.

Different for Night Ranger?
Different, yet definitely us.

Can you describe the overall sound of the '7' record?
Well the sound of the album is much more rocking than the Neverland CD. It is much more like in your face rock n roll.
The songs like 'Panic In Jane', 'Kong' and 'Mother Mayhem' - those three are probably my favorites.
'The Sign of The Times' is a real, like furious straight ahead rocker, like 'You Can Still Rock In America' type song.
And um, 'Sea Of Love' is a great rockin' tune, straight ahead, a real pounder.
But the album rocks a lot harder. It rocks more than say the 'Neverland' CD, because we simply wanted to make a raw straight ahead, in your face record.
The last album was very precise and perfect, and I enjoyed it, but I also enjoyed making this record.
It was different also having another person at the helm. Like I said, with Noel throwing all this stuff in the works, making this record the way we wanted it to sound.
It kind of wound up really nice.

Ron Nevison is a very technical producer isn't he.
Yes he is, where as this way, you would admire our adherence to low tech! There is no high tech on this record!

Night Ranger has always had the signature vocals, and 'Neverland' in particular had many layers of vocals.
Have you still retained those features
Oh yes, it is differently Kelly and I singing big choruses.
And you know, we brought up a friend of mine Jack Russell. He sings with Great White.

I am glad you brought that up. I was going to ask you about him.
Yeah, Jack came up for a couple of days and sang backgrounds on the whole album.
You will hear his voice in there a lot.
'Panic In Jane' and 'Kong' especially. He is a good friend, and said 'Yeah. I'll help out'.
Originally it was going to be Tommy Shaw, but then he started doing a solo album - which I have ended up last week in LA playing on six tracks.

Tell me how that came about.
Well, he was making this record, and wanted me to play on it. It was like song after songs and I ended up playing on over half of it.
Playing bass. Unfortunately I didn't get to sing on it, I was too busy and then I had to leave.
He is doing vocals now.

Almost a Shaw/Blades thing!
Almost, yeah! Which is nice, as I love the Shaw/Blades thing.

Who else plays on the record?
We brought in Michael Carabello, the conga player for Santana. He played some conga's and percussion on some of the songs.
That's very cool.
My friend Pat McDonald played some acoustic guitar on 'Mother Mayhem', we co-wrote that song.
He used to be in a band called Timbuk 3.
And Tommy, Mark Hudson and I did the background vocals on 'Kong'.
So it is pretty neat.

And it is out through Zero at the end of March.
Yeah, the album's called '7'.

The name was in question there for a while?
Well in Japan, it is our Seventh studio album, so we thought we would call it '7', and then we were thinking 'Panic In Jane', but he label wanted '7', so that is fine with me.
Maybe people will go in thinking they are buying the Garth Brooks album, and end up with the Night Ranger album. Ha ha.

They will get a culture shock when they get home!
Oh boy will they!

What about a US release?
Probably in the summer time. Early summer.

Looking pretty good to have Legacy get it out?
Well yeah, we are signed to Legacy, that's out Label.

Will they change it around like they did the last one?
It all depends. I gave them a song order.

I got the US version of 'Neverland', and found the running order much better.
It's much better. Much, much better.

I only found it a little strange to have 'Forever All Over Again' kicking off the album.
Well, Legacy wanted to focus on that ballad to take it to radio.

I think it was great adding 'Walk In The Future' to the record.
Yeah, that was on the Japanese EP.

You know 'Neverland' only got released officially in Australia in October of '97.
Oh, my God, really?

Isn't that funny! Here we are getting ready to do another album!

I ran into a mate I hadn't seen for about a year, and was filling him in on Night Ranger, saying you know, you had a record out, and he's going nuts, saying play it to me.
I just said sure, and they have another one out next month!

Ha ha. That's funny! Really!
This album is fun. I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks about this kind of music or that, as long as it's fun, that's what counts.
A good song is a good song, and there are plenty of them on the new album.

Cool Jack, thanks!
Well all right mate! You think you got enough?

Hey - before you go, there are still rumors of Damn Yankees doing a record. What do you think of that?
Right now, there is a lot of talk between the people. Betwee the band members. We would like to do another.
I would think there is going to be another. I think it will be this year.
We could start work on it as soon as a month or two.
So anyway, I think that could happen!

That would be great.
Yeah, THAT would be FUN!

All right! Bye mate.




Jack Blades - Interview 2 (1998)


Well, by now a lot of you have heard Neverland and given it you're verdict. But for the rest of you who haven't.....the good news is that it is coming your way in July. But for now, here is some more insights into the reunion record.
It was also time to get the lowdown on the Night Ranger rumour mill. So I called up Jack Blades to get a fill in, and while I was at it, quizzed him on each track from the album.

How's It Going?
Real good, the single comes out here June 9th and then the album comes out July 15th.

Great Stuff. What is the label you've got?

Is that right? Is John Kalodner in there somewhere?
John Kalodner is in the middle of it all. The new single was mixed by Bob Clearmountain. And we put a fifteen piece string section on the song 'Forever All Over Again', and had Clearmountain mix it, and it got mastered last Friday. Now we're getting everything ready, getting ready to do some radio promotion and all that kind of stuff.

Well I hope that will be big, it's a killer song.
Yeah, we're very happy. That's gonna go real good. Anyway Clearmountain mixed it, it sounds unbelievable.

Well, I thought you had a sharp sound with the Ron Nevison production!
Well, Ron did a great job, and the only song we re-mixed was 'Forever All Over Again'.

So you guys are counting on that being the big summer release over there, eh?
The new order for the album is Forever, Neverland, As Always I Remain, Someday I Will, My Elusive Mind, New York Time, A Walk In The Future, Slap Like Being Born, Sunday Morning, Anything For You, I Don't Call This Love.

And how about touring?
We are going to do a couple of weeks worth of shows in the middle of June, and then start touring hard and heavy in August.

How's the band doing now?
Everybody's very happy.

Okay Jack, a comment on each of the songs on the Neverland record.

New York Time.
Good rocking track, basically has a vibe of New York, stuck in traffic all the time, chaos and congestion.

As Always I Remain - A classic Night Ranger acoustic driven tracks.
Right, right. As Always is really one of the more Night Ranger type songs, you know, signature Night Ranger.

Yeah, a great driving song, a real killer song. It's a love story, you know, I wrote it over at the castle when I was there, it has that castle vibe to it. It is a modern day love song, set in a kinda dream.

Slap Like being Born
Is a real kick ass rocker.

You have a southern tinge to it.
Yeah it's like a real good time American rock n roll thing happening with it. Man, sometimes you need a slap like being born , like when a baby's born, you need somebody to slap you on your butt, to breathe some air into your lungs, get a life, that's kinda what that songs about.

I Don't Call This Love
Sorta darker, it's what you want from a person but it's sure not what you are getting. What she's doing to you sure don't call love. You may think I'm strange but I don't call this love.

Sunday Morning - one of the killer tunes on Neverland.
It's really a kick ass song, it's about being with someone and waking up in the morning, and seeing what's been going on.

Anything For You
Kelly and I wrote that while we were watching the presidential election races, how those guys are liars and will say anything to get elected. That song is like 'promises promises step inside my head'

My Elusive Mind.
Just a good time fun song. A straight ahead good time. It's just about being crazy in the head, there is this woman who is going to help you out. It's just the whole idea that you're mind can wander, like when you party all night and you wake up in the morning with a hang over and the phone's ringing -it sounds like the devil singing. It's like 'oh God!!'

Forever All Over Again
A great sorta love song, about rediscovering somebody. Sometimes you let a person go, and you swear if you get her back you will never let it happen again, you just want to get that person back.

Walk In The Future
Is a bit of a dark song, about a girl that is kinda in her own head, you know, living in her own world. She needs to take a walk in the future, need to live her life.

Don't Tell Me You Love Me '97 and (You Can Still) Rock In America '97
We didn't do those on the American record, it was for Japanese only.
Yeah, over the years you play those songs so many times and you add little parts over the years as you're playing it, you think to yourself, gee I wish we would have done that when we originally recorded it, so we thought we would put all those little things in and put them on the Japanese record.

They sound heavier and tougher and rawer.
Right, right.
Okay Jack, what about the live album coming out?
Right, yeah, it will be out in July, we just finished mixing and mastering that.

What about the rumored Seven Wishes Live album, for the States?
Haven't heard of that one, that's a new one on me.

And I keep hearing that Ted Nugent has absolutely convinced himself to do a Damn Yankees album.
Yeah, that's the word out, that they want us to do another Damn Yankees record. Right now there are no plans to do it.

But you will be on board if there is one?
Well of course!! How could it be Damn Yankees with out me? Ha ha.

I totally agree!!
Okay Jack - thanks once again for your time. See ya.


Gary Hughes (1998)


Gary Hughes has established himself as one of England's premiere singer songwriters. In a few short years he has managed to be involved in some mighty AOR releases including Hugo's solo debut, the monsterous upcoming Bob Catley debut and not to mention 4 albums with his band Ten and now a second solo album. So here's Gary on upcoming events, past records and a sometimes fickle press....

Gary, great to finally talk with you!
I am not going ask what's happening, because you have to be one of the
busiest guys in the business!

Yeah, I guess that's true, but to be honest I like to be busy. I enjoy my work and now I have a schedule where I work like a normal job wherever possible. That is, Monday to Friday and try to be home for the evenings with my
When we recorded "The Robe" it got crazy towards the end and I almost made myself very ill. I find that I can be fresh to the projects if I don't overdo the
amount of work each day and I get to switch off in the evenings and at weekends.

OK, so how do you relax and when do you relax?!!
I do most weekends to spend with my family. That's my main relaxation. I have two wonderful children, one boy (Scott) and a girl (Hayley) with my wife Zoe and the time we spend together just being a family is my favourite relaxation.
I also enjoy watching films and TV, especially sci-fi stuff. Also, I'm really into Egypt and other ancient cultures. I guess that comes through in my lyrics.
Of course, being English, I'm a big football fan. My team is Manchester
United and Zoe is a Manchester City fan. So there have been a few frosty moments there as you can imagine!

So how is the response to your new solo record?
I've been really pleased with the response both from critics and fans. I must admit that I was a little bit worried about the critics as they all love to stick the knife in whenever possible. We had several journalists over to the studio
when we were mixing the album and we were worried about what they would say. I guess because I ended up using Vinny and Greg on the album, I was expecting the criticism that this was just TEN under a different name. But, to be fair, every one of them said how surprised they were as to how different to a TEN album it sounded.
Obviously, there will be some similarities, but I think in the end we managed to make the album a worthy release in it's own right.
The funny thing is, it would be a really stupid criticism anyway. Solo albums on the whole sell much less that the main band of any artist. What would be the point in releasing an album under my name when a TEN album would sell more?
I guess I just have so many songs and I want as many as possible to be
heard by people.
I have a few different styles to my writing and that allows me to do different

Tell me what your plans were for this album, style wise?
I ask that because you have noticeably taken a step back from the big
epic sound that Ten has come to be known for.

That was intentional. With TEN I feel we have now developed a style which
is quite unique and recognisable as the TEN sound. As such, I had a lot of material which I didn't really think would fit into this style but I felt was very strong material. As I used to be a solo artist prior to TEN I had always wanted to keep my solo career going and this was a way to do just that.
We don't want to change things too much with TEN as we feel that what we do is genuine and really giving the fans what they want. With my solo material I can be more laid back and romantic I guess.
As Vinny would probably say, with TEN we are giving the kids what they want so I guess with my solo records I'm giving the older brigade what they want. Ha, Ha.

This album has a more laid back approach...Did you purposely change your vocal approach for this album, as there are a few really nice variations?
Yes, as it's a solo album and I'm a singer I guess I concentrated on making all the songs very strong from a vocal point of view. With the band sometimes we can make other instruments the focal point of the song. With this material I had to make sure it all featured very strong vocals in one aspect or another.
Thanks for your words. I appreciate it when someone takes the time to listen closely to what is going on. I think sometimes people mistake screaming for singing. I'm very influenced by people like John Waite and early David Coverdale.
There's so much fantastic phrasing and emotion in their voices, I guess that's what I'm trying to capture elements of in my solo work.

I really like the couple of big ballads. You seem to be able to pull those off with ease!
I'm just a big old romantic you know! No, truthfully, I have absolutely loads of ballads. I seem to write 3 to every rocker. At one time we contemplated making a complete album full of ballads and going for the more adult market, but TEN took over. I'm glad it did really as it has afforded me the opportunity to do so much more.

And the other really nice laid back track, Precious Ones, tell me about that one.
I'm so glad you like that track. It's very special to me. I wrote it initially about my family.
They are the precious ones which I sing about it in the song. But, as the song developed I felt it also took on another meaning. I now think that it could apply to our fans as well. They are also the precious ones. I hope this doesn't sound too corny, but we are so grateful to all our fans around the world. Of course, in Japan it's amazing. We are treated like THE BEATLES or something.
But we get letters from all over the world and that's incredibly pleasing.
We have started to get a lot of mail and chat on the internet coming from the U.S. The people over there who have heard TEN really seem to `get it`. They can see that we aren't just another Brit AOR band trying to be American.
We are staunchly British and proud of it. When we started the first album we made a point of keeping everything British.
The musicians, the location of recording, the co-producer.
We wanted to make British music which seems to have been forgotten by many bands these days.
We grew up listening to DEEP PURPLE, THIN LIZZY, UFO, RAINBOW etc and that's what we want to be-the 90`s equivalent.
I guess, to go back to your question, we feel a very close relationship with our fans and appreciate them very much. "Precious Ones" seems to sum that emotion up.

Don't Ever Say Goodbye sounds like it could have been a Ten track, not
to mention the use of that fraise on the Live record - was that a Ten outtake?

Not guilty, your honour!
No, it's a total coincidence. I already had the song written when we chose that as the title for the live album. I was recording the solo album in between other things, so it actually goes back a long way. It was Bruce Mee, of NOW & THEN, who came up with the title for the live album.
He pointed out that it was the last thing I said to the crowd each night and seemed a poignant statement.
Again, it sums up our feelings to the fans. We never want to say goodbye when we meet them-especially when they are buying the drinks!

Any other proposed Ten songs that were used, or was it all solo material?
I`ll let you into a little secret here. TEN was originally just me making a solo album to follow up the self titled release on NOW & THEN. I had the bones of around 30 songs recorded and then we brought Vinny in to play guitar on the album as a session. When we heard him and he heard the songs it was like magic.
He didn't want anyone else to play his solos live and we couldn't think of anyone who could do anyway. It was obvious that this had to be a band. At that stage we had chosen the rockier songs and had what became the first two TEN albums done.
There are a few from that time, which are now on my solo album. The most well known is "The Night The Love Died". That's a very special song again and Mark Ashton, of NOW & THEN, wanted it to be saved until I was a lot more well known than I was back then.
He really believed in that song and wanted as many people as possible to hear it. There are a couple of others which we used on the EP in Japan, "The Miracle Is You" and "Be My Fantasy Tonight" which are from those sessions as well. They are two great songs. The only reason they aren't on the solo album is because they are ballads and we already had enough for the album.
I could have saved them for the next solo album, but I know I`ll have some more killers by then.

You have worked on a couple of other albums with Mark Aston and Now And Then....How did you get involved in the Hugo project?
Killer AOR record, I don't think that I heard anything but great reviews for it.

Well, that was a great album to be involved in. I had told Mark that I wanted to get into production work and if he could put anything my way I`d be grateful.
He was in touch with HUGO, who wanted to make his album away from the distractions of the U.S. music scene. I think he was a bit worried that no-one wanted AOR any more as all he heard on the radio was modern crap.
So, he wanted Mark to be close to the recording of the album and asked about recording it in England. Of course, Mark jumped at this opportunity and suggested doing it in Manchester, with myself, Vinny, Greg and Ged playing the instruments. We did get a bit of criticism that it was NOW & THEN cashing in on the success of TEN, but anyone who has a brain can work out that the album was actually recorded around the GODS appearance that HUGO made in `96.
The first TEN album came out in April `96 at which time HUGO was in the studio with us. How can anyone be cashing in when we didn't know how the TEN album would sell? We were flattered that NOW & THEN chose us to play on and
produce such a great album by a great singer.
I was chosen to produce the album and along with Mark I made the decisions as to who the musicians would be for the album. We needed a guitarist in the Neal Schon/Steve Lukather/Michael Schenker style. Why search the world when we have the best already here in Manchester? It was just a great record to be involved in.

And you may appear briefly on the second one?
I don't think I will be involved personally as HUGO is having to record in the U.S. this time because of work restraints. I think there's a plan to get THE VIPER (Vinny) to play on the album though. As I said earlier he just wants to give the kids what they want!

How about this new Bob Catley record? That must have been quite a challenge, writing the material with a specific aim in mind.
It has been just about the greatest experience of my musical life. I have, been a huge fan of Bob for years through his MAGNUM days. Mark still finds it funny that when we were making the first TEN album, I went to see MAGNUM in a small local venue and spent the next few days talking about nothing else.
To then have the opportunity to work with this guy was fantastic.
The actual challenge of writing for Bob's vocals was really interesting. I actually had one song, "Far Away" which I was considering for my solo album. When Mark and Bruce heard it they freaked out. They couldn't believe it, going on about how MAGNUM it sounded. At that time they contacted Bob about doing a solo album and told him that they had me in mind to write and produce the album. After hearing the TEN albums he agreed to do it.
It's so funny. He's become a huge fan of TEN. He loves "The Rainbow", that's his favourite.
Once he had agreed to do the album I held "Far Away" back and wrote more in that style for him. The directive that I was given was to write the album that MAGNUM could have made between "Storyteller's" and "Wings Of Heaven" if I was in the band and Vinny was playing guitar.

You have always till now sung the material you wrote. What was it like writing the songs but for another singer?
It's something that I have always dreamed of. Having someone else sing your material is a really strange thing. Sometimes they change elements of the song which takes it away from what was originally intended. I think you have to learn to be a little less precious about things. When it someone as great as Bob Catley though, the changes he makes usually improve the songs and give them his particular character.

Mark said it was amazing watching you two create in the studio!
I guess it would be for him as he's such a fan anyway. It was funny at first because I didn't really know Bob before we started and he's a hero to me, so I found it hard to push him in the studio. By the end though I realised that's what he liked, so I was giving him a lot of stick to bring out the best in him.

Some of the tunes sound like they could have been for a Ten record, but most of them have a very Magnum feel. What did you listen to to get your head into that form of writing?
I think that only two songs, "Scream" and "The Tower" could really have been used by TEN at this stage. But they both have MAGNUM elements to them as well. We didn't want to just make a MAGNUM album as that's pointless for Bob. We wanted to explore some new ideas vocally and musically for him. A song like "The Tower" rocks harder than anything he's ever done before, yet "Deep Winter" is almost completely acoustic and has a Richie Sambora/Jon Bon Jovi feel to it.
I must admit though, I dug out all my classic old MAGNUM records and they inspired me to write in this style for Bob. Tony Clarkin is such a great writer.
I think he`s one of the most underrated writers around. Songs like "Les Morts Dansant" and "How Far Jerusalem" are simply stunning pieces of songwriting.

And any favourite tunes from the set that is being used?
It's hard to say. They're all my babies and special in some way. I really like "Far Away" as that was the first. "Scream" is a great classy song and Bob does it really well. "Madrigal" is very special as it's such a big production job, with tons of stuff going on all the time. Vinny`s guitar work on that track is killer. To stay acoustic when everyone expects a big electric solo was so cool. Bob's favourite is "Fear Of The Dark", which I love as well. He kept going on about it being at the end of the album as he loves it so much. He wanted it to be the opener, but both Mark and myself knew it had to be the album closer as it's such an epic.

I personally love Dreams, Scream, Deep Winter and Far Away the best.
Any songs that were written that will appear on the Ten record?

Well, it's funny you should ask that. Maybe at some point I will have ago
at some of the tracks. I'm not sure if it would be for a TEN record or a solo
album, but I'd love to sing those songs, for sure. Let's just say that it isn't impossible for that to happen and looks more likely than not.

Do you think there is any chance of some live dates with Bob?
Definitely. Bob is in this for the long run. The deal he signed with NOW & THEN was for several albums, not just a one-off. They aren't interested in that kind of thing. They want to develop artists and work with them over a period of time. Once Bob got to hear these songs he was already talking about some shows.
I`d love to see it happen because then I could be in the crowd for a change and enjoying it. I think he will play THE GODS in November and maybe do a few more shows in Europe.

Have you ever written a tune for Bob and though 'No I will save this for Ten - it's TOO good', or written a tune with Ten in mind and thought 'I will keep this for my solo album'?
I asked this because I think there is a similar pattern to all your work, yet enough diversity to be able to break it into different blocks (Ten, Solo, Bob ect.) Do you agree?

I think that there is some similarity throughout my work, but that applies to most songwriters. You can recognise certain traits in all songwriters who actually write a lot of songs. I'm a big HAREM SCAREM fan, but listen to the FIORE album and tell me it isn't obviously them? That's great though as I love their style.
I think I have a few twists in my writing now though and that helps me decide where a song will go. I think I can feel when a song will be a TEN song, a solo song or a Bob song. I already have half an album written for my next solo album and about the same for Bob. It's becoming more and more clear who each song will suit.
I have a lot of other songs which aren't suitable for TEN, GARY HUGHES or BOB CATLEY and I`d love to get the chance to work with other people as well. I have a ton of material that would be perfect for a female artist, like VIXEN style, so if you can suggest anyone I`d be up for it!

I want to talk about the four Ten albums so far. Quite a body of work in
5 years!

Yes, but it's only because bands like DEF LEPPARD take forever making
their albums that our output seems a lot. If you look back to THE BEATLES, they were releasing two albums a year and no-one criticised them. The best music KISS ever released was in their early years and they were putting out two albums a year. The longer they take over an album, the worse it is.
With the scene for melodic rock being limited these days as well, there isn't the need or possibility for huge world tours. So, we are around at home a lot more than the likes of DEF LEPPARD etc. That makes it easier for us to spend time in the studio. If we didn't we'd only end up causing trouble on street corners. Idle hands, you know!
Look at Jack Blades (another top geezer!). He's on every record being released at the moment from NIGHTRANGER to RINGO STARR to JOURNEY.
Why not? Good luck to him I say. I guess it's only a matter of time before we make an album together as there won't be anyone else left to work with if we both carry on at this rate.
Hmmm, now that's not such a bad idea is it?
We are on the same label in Japan you know.

And what of the critisisms that the albums have sounded too familiar?
I am guilty of making the comparisons, although I do think they each have their own feel.

I can understand the comment, but can't see why it's a criticism. I think we have all become a bit used to bands making one album and then splitting up.
There aren't many bands making three or four albums these days. When a band makes several albums they must surely have familiar elements to their sound. Otherwise, that band has no identity and is simply probably following trends.
Listen to SURVIVOR, FOREIGNER, THIN LIZZY, UFO etc. They had a `sound` to their music which was all through their career. They had variety of course, but I think we have that as well.
No-one can tell me that "Eyes Of A Child" is anything like "Wait For You" or
"Someday" or "After The Love Has Gone" or "Arcadia". I think there's sound which can be called `TEN` but there's lot of variation on our records. Sometimes we don't get the credit we deserve for trying different things.
On our debut we ended the album with an 11-minute ballad which was half taken up with a guitar solo.
Who else has the balls to do that? We then open our very important follow up album with a 90 second intro and a song which is way heavier than anything on our debut. "The Name Of The Rose" was very different and brave, yet critics didn't give us any credit-funnily enough though it was voted BEST SONG OF `96 by the readers of the worlds biggest rock magazine, BURRN!
On "The Robe" there was criticism that the album was just the same as "The Name Of the Rose", but I don't hear anything like "Arcadia" anywhere
else on our albums, or "Someday" or the horns on the end of "You're In My Heart" or even the choir on "The Robe" itself.
It's funny though, in the UK where we get the most flak, naturally (It's a British thing to knock success) one writer was talking about "The Robe" and saying "Has the backlash started" as if to put thoughts into people's minds. This was just before THE GODS last year. We turn up and play the show, everyone goes wild and we sold 85 T-shirts in one day. That doesn't seem like a backlash to me. It seems to be primarily the journalists who have it in for us. I just wish people
would give us the same critical listening that they give to other acts. That's all we can ask for. Yet, sometimes it feels like we get grief for something that someone else gets praised for.
I don't want to be down on people though. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion and we know that everyone can't like our music. I just think it's unfair on the people who might actually like us but are being put off by unfair press.

Mark once said to me - Status Quo would be killed if they varied their pattern of song writing. Do you think that it is almost a no win situation?
Definitely. Look at HAREM SCAREM. They change on every album and it seems like it's the fans who have the "Mood Swings"(Pun intended). They love "Mood Swings", they hate "Voice of Reason". Why? Because it doesn't sound like "Mood Swings". Then all is forgiven on "Believe" because it has elements of "Mood Swings" in it. The new album, "Big Bang Theory" is getting a lot of bad press again, because they have changed their sound. So, everyone wants HAREM SCAREM to sound like "Mood Swings" every time they make a record, but Ten should change every time they make a record. You're right-you can't win!
we just have to do what we believe in, which is exactly what I'm sure the guys in HAREM SCAREM do and I wish them all the success in the world. Hey, they do a lot of outside work as well. Hmmm, Jack Blades on Bass, Pete Lesperance and The Viper on guitar, Harry Hess and me on
vocals. I can see it now. We'd get slated by all the press!!! Ha, Ha.

And is that why you record solo albums? Does that give you the chance to vary the approach or try something different?
Exactly. I think that now my solo album is out it has maybe shown people that TEN has to be the way it is. If TEN makes a mellower record then what it the point in me doing a solo record. It would have to be heavy and epic in order to be different. All that would have happened then is that we would be swapping the names on the front of our albums. TEN is about epic, grandiose themes. Classic Rock for the 90`s is what we are about. My solo career is about more intimate lyrical themes. It's as much about the lyrics as the music for me. Again, I don't
want to go on about it, but I think TEN has some pretty good lyrical ideas, which we never get credit for from the press.
Our fans are always writing to us and asking us about the lyrics. Songs like "The Name Of the Rose", "Goodnight Saigon", "Eyes Of A Child", "The Rainbow", "Arcadia", "Wait For You" and "The Robe" really have deep meaning. They aren't just AOR love songs. On my solo albums I can be more personal and write from
that perspective, but with TEN I write about bigger themes.
Oh God, now I sound pompous. Well, the fans will understand what I mean.
I'm really glad you've given me this chance to express our side of things actually. It's usually just the critics who get to voice their opinions and the artist rarely gets a chance to put their side. I hope I've made it easier for people to understand what TEN is about and what we are trying to achieve. It's great to see people like yourself running such a great site and the people who surf in giving you such support.
It makes you have faith that there could be a comeback for rock music, which is surely what we are all trying to achieve anyway, isn't it?


Mark Mangold (1998)

Mark Mangold seems to have a magic AOR touch. Excuse the pun! He has been involved in two cult AOR acts and is currently launching a solo career and what could also become a classic AOR release - Mystic Healer - unreleased works from his prime AOR days. So here is the man behind Touch and Drive She Said.

Hi Mark, great to 'speak' with you.
You seem to be at the start of a resurgence in your career! You have got a
few things coming up, but first what have you been doing since the last
Drive She Said record?

The Best Of D,SS, if that is what you mean by the last D,SS record, is out now in Europe and Japan. We worked on 5 new tracks for it as well as compiling the various tracks, etc. I've completed a solo record which is out now and am presently working on getting that out there, performances, interviews, etc.
as well as just completing the second video for the song "42nd Street".

Certain AOR acts tend to take on a cult status, but you have been fortunate enough to be in two different acts that have achieved that tag - Touch and Drive She Said.
Well, thanks so much for saying so.

What is it that has made these two bands reach that point?
It's certainly got to be the music. We never set out to do anything like that, only to make the best music we could, the music we really love, as best as possible. I think the attention to detail, and trying to keep every moment as good as it could be, is part of it.

How do you compare the two bands?
It's hard, really. Though I do see common threads in that both have very strong singers and harmonies and much attention is paid to melody, and good playing.

And comparing them again, what events has brought them to both have first
time on CD re-issues at the same time?

Well, I met some people (Steve Harrell and Toshi Aramaki at Avex in Japan and Mario Riso and Serafino Perugino at Frontier in Italy) who believed in the music and were wonderful enough to release the records.

So first up - the Drive She Said compilation - great looking package!
I said in the review that I never gave D,SS a lot of credit, but now listening back to the songs on the best of, they sound great! I think I may have missed the point previously.

How about the unreleased tracks - what archives did they come from?
Well, Road to Paradise, Fallin' Again and Suddenly Closer are brand new. Look At What You Got and Water From A Stone are older songs. "Look" was written with Michael Bolton for the Everybody's Crazy record and ended up on the B-Side of a single. Water From A Stone was written early 90's with Cher in mind, after she had recorded I Found Someone. She never did the song, though I always thought she would have done a great job with it. It seems to be a number of people's favorite song on the Best Of CD, and it's straight ahead AOR.

Are there any other old songs unreleased?
No, not really for D,SS, though we could create some real quick if asked.

And how about re-issuing the original albums again?
I think that may be happening if the 'Best Of' warrants it, as well as the possibility of another D,SS record next year. WE'LL SEE????

To the Touch re-issue - again some bonus tracks. Any more there also?
No, the record is called "The Complete Works" and it is truly everything we ever did, including some "demos" that showed where we were going, even "I Found Someone" which Cher eventually recorded.

And who push to get this re-issue done?
Again, it's the guys at Avex and Frontier, bless their hearts.

Has there been much demand for both your bands to have theses re-issues done?
Yes, there seems to be a "cult" demand for Touch. D,SS was more something that I pushed for because I always saw us having a 4th CD and wanted to place all the "singles" (or "should have been" singles) on one record.

Any favorite tracks that still do it for you?!
Revisiting all this music was fun. The entire body brings back a lot of
memories, and with Touch I still love the playing and that we were trying to do interesting-player oriented music, the rich harmonies and especially live oriented songs like Is It Really Me, My Life Depends on You, and that self-indulgent weird stuff.

You recently issued a solo record in the States. Can you tell us a little about that?
Well, it's piano oriented, very different from the "rock" direction. More coming from an inside, spiritual place with many world influences, as well as Native American and New Age influences.

How has the response and sales been for it so far?
It has been going very well. We are trying to spread the message that this world can be a better place, and our lives can be whatever we want them to be,
if we realize we have the power to create it--it is a Mirror Image of ourselves.

One could be excused for thinking Drive She Said were English, given that all your sales and publicity was generated by the English and your record label for many years was Music For Nations!
Was it frustrating to not be able to get a big hit in America?

A bit, with D,SS, though Touch did do OK here.

And on top of the solo record you have a new band project in the works,
Mystic Healer...
Can you tell me a little about that?

Mystic Healer was the idea of Magnus at MTM who asked me if I had songs from "those days" when I was working with Michael Bolton on Everybody's Crazy and
that style of music. Yes there is LOADS of stuff. So we picked a number of them. I had the good fortune of meeting Todd Googins, a great singer, and we put it all together.
Many of the tracks are years old, recorded with major players from Bruce and Bob Kulick, Tony Bruno, Al Fritsch, Chuck Burgee, Chuck Bonfante, Aldo Nova, Etc. and we just did vocals, tweaked guitars and drums, etc. And it sounds great. We are just about done and it should be out within a few months.

Who is in the band?
Me and Todd.

And the style of the record? Big AOR?

And Europe is still leading the way with melodic rock aren't they?

Any other projects in the works?
Possibly a record with Fiona, for Now and Then, and my second solo record.

Any chance of new material being recorded by either D,SS or Touch?
D,SS yes, Probably not for Touch because the band members are not doing music any more except for Doug, Hi Doug.

And what is the future for both Mystic Healer, Mark Mangold?
On wards and upwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Stream - Peter Scheithauer (1998)

An Interview with Steam founder and guitarist Peter Scheithauer.

So how long was this project in development?
Stream is my solo project. It exists for the last 10 years but for this CD it happens by the end of 1996.

Who wrote the songs?
I wrote the main riffs except Camouflage. And after Bob helped me to arrange and added some parts like lead breaks, end of songs. David did all
the lyrics/melodies. Camouflage was two different riff that Eric had on a
tape we made a song out of it and added different parts. The instrumental
is totally different I wrote 100% of it, it's an old session that the label liked.

What did you have in mind to achieve in the beginning?
Right from the beginning Stream is my project and my goal is to play with people that I admire. Plus I wanted to find a way to have different influences on one CD kind of the 70's meets the 80's meets the 90's. All the musicians I played in Stream with I own their CD's saw them live when I was a teenager. I'm very fortunate to have the possiblity to play with those guys.

How did the other guys get involved? Have you known them for long?
I knew Eric through Dave Spitz and when it was time for me to record Stream I called Eric if he would have time to play on this record.The timing was perfect and he asked me who might play on bass.Than he asked me if I would be interested to play with Bob Daisley. I saw Bob with Gary Moore, Ozzy and had Ozzy, Rainbow and Uriah heep CD's so you could imagine what would be my answer. At the end we needed a singer and I asked Bob if he kew David as well as I asked Chuck Wright than I called David, we tried two songs and everything was ready to rock.

How about Eric Singer's involvement?
Eric is a guest on my record I always wanted to make a record with him because I think he's one of the best hard rock drummer ever. We are good friends and i'm thanksfull that he played on my record.

The album is incedibly heavy! Was that the sound that you were after? Heavy and modern, yet it retains plenty of melodies.
I was looking to get a mixed of the heavyness of the 90's with the 80's melodies and the creativity of the 70's. I think I did a big step to this direction or at least I hope.

What other albums have you worked on, if any?
I did two other Stream before. More melodic. Plus an album with a band
(which was more hard rock / blues oriented ) called Lazylly.
One of the Stream was a band with Bodo Schopf (MSG).The other was with a
lot of guests.

And are there any plans for Stream to play some live dates?
I don't think I'm gonna tour with this Stream but who knows? It will depend on the sales hopefully you'll see Stream on tour. With the next one most definitely a tour will be pending.

How about plans for a US release?
Yes it will be release in the US by Saraya recording in a few days as
well as the second Stream with David Reece, Dave Spitz, Stet Howland, Jay Schellen.

Any favourite tunes from the album. I still like the first track best...
I love Snake Eyed Moon, Chasin' The Dragon and Bed of Fire.

What are you listening to right now? And what influences you?
A lot of old bands like Kiss, Angel, Judas Priest....
But right now I'm more into heavy stuff like Pantera, the new Slayer, the
new Priest...
I listen to a lot of music from Pantera to Foreigner.

And what musical challenge is next for yourself?
Well I have a band with Joey Belladonna (Anthrax). I already wrote all the music and we are actually in the studio.
It's a lot of heavy riffs a la Megadeth, Metallica, Priest with melodic vocals.
On drums you'll find Stet Howland (WASP) who's (to me) the Keith Moon of the 90's. It's a real band we 'll be on tour.We kept
the name Belladonna but fortunately it has nothing to do with the old band and music.It's very fresh and I can't wait for people to hear it. It will be release by the end of October follow by a tour.

Any chance of another Sream record or was this a one off project?
A new Stream?

Sure by the beginning of next year you should be able to hear it. It's gonna be more melodic with a strong 80's vibe. It's gonna be a different line up but may be not 100% different. Wait and see......

And will the line up stay the same or is that undetermined until the time it happens?
The second Stream will be with David Reece, Dave Spitz, Stet Howland, Jay Schellen......










Harlan Cage - Larry Greene (1998)


Thanks for your time Larry.

Thanks for your interest and support. I enjoyed touring around your web site last week. It's nice to see people responding to the kind of music we like.

The new record Double Medication Tuesday is a proper band project. You must be happy with the result?
We're very pleased with the way the album turned out. There are always things you wishes you could have done differently, but that's usually the case. We felt the best way to paint the songs with a live feel, was to use a full band. It's also a hell of a lot more fun

The whole album seems like a step up - better songs, better production, better singing even!
Well thanks. We're glad you like it. The first album was more of a collection of songs, as opposed to a wire to wire project like this one. I think there's more continuity this time around.

Is this the way you intend Harlan cage to remain, with this line up?
This is a great band to work with. Both drummer Michael Lawrence and bassist Jamie Carter had been working together for several years in a band called Sun 60. They're quick to learn and fun to jam with. Billy Leisegang is the piece of the puzzle we were always missing until now.
So to answer your question, yes, this is the line up we want to stay with.

Are you going to tour anywhere with this album?
There's been talk of Europe and Japan sometime this summer. We'll be doing a few shows around the Los Angeles and San Francisco area in the next couple of months as well. It really depends on how the new CD does.

I am impressed with the quality of the songs on DMT. How did you go about writing for the album?
Roger usually gives me a musical idea and I'll come up with the lyrics and hook. Then we'll get together and ether finish it or trash it. Pretty simple really.

The debut album a few years back was mainly the two of you wasn't it?
Yeah, we originally didn't want to do a band deal. Too many problems.
But that has changed withthey guys we have now.

Even with the debut record you had a great sound!
We had top session guys on that first album. I still work with some of them on other projects.

How does Harlan Cage compare with being in Fortune? How did the whole project get put together?
Fortune became just 'too much music to play', if you know what I mean. Too many lawyers, accountants, A&R guys, all with too much time on their hands.
It's a scary thought! Harlan cage is easy.
Magnus Soderkvist got a hold of me through a publicist and asked if I'd like to do another album on a label he was getting started. Since Roger and I had been playing our songs around town in a band called Big City, we decided to so it. Not much to loose, eh?

On the first record you covered 99 In The Shade, and now you have covered Dearborn Station. Why re-record the older songs?
We had a lot of songs to choose from. We did '98 In The Shade' and 'Dearborn Station' at the request of the guys in Sweden and Japan.
Basically we're just a band and they caught us on request night!

There were a couple of impressive names collaborating on the debut - Tom Whitlock, Steve Porcaro, Billy Liesegang and Aussie Brett Garsed.
Is there any stories you could tell from working with these guys?

Tom Whitlock and I go way back. We worked together on 'Top Gun' and 'Over The Top'. I love the song 'Kiss Of Fools' we did on the first album.
That's the first song I heard of his without Georgio Moroder involved.
He and Terry Wilson wrote it and when he offered it to me, I recorded it that week.
Steve Porcaro's like a brother to me. I'm close to the whole family. He's pretty much involved in film and television now, so it's tough to work together on a steady basis.
Not much more to say about Billy, he's a great guy, great player. He's good on taking abuse too. I mean, he has worked with Nina Hagen for years, what's that tell you?!
As for Brett Garsed, I met him through my brother who owns a studio. We only worked on one song together, but he's a fine player and has a real diverse style.

DMT has been out a couple of months now, are you happy with the response?
I hear it's doing good. I hadn't realized it's been out for two months. It seems like we just finishes it. Imagine that!

Can you tell me something about some of the songs?
Blow Wind Blow - I think this song is a killer. You never overuse the chorus.

Yeah, it is one of my favourite songs. It's basically about giving up trying to control your life and letting the wind blow where it may.

My Mama Said - A particularly strong vocal performance I thought.
That songs was originally titled 'Sunday Clown'. It's pretty easy to figure out. Love brings everyone to their knees at least once.

Defend This Heart Of Mine - Another strong track.
I wrote that in San Francisco. A guy on the street asked me for change, and being in a pissy mood, I told him I was one check away from where he was and might need it back. He refused to take anything. He defended his heart at the expense of his stomach, or most likely, his habit. Anyway, it stuck with me.

Halfway Home?
It's about unfinished business. It's a pleading kind of song. Probably Roger's best keyboard performance on the album. He really created the mood.

You have a fairly unique sound. Does that come from anywhere special?
Roger comes from classical training, as a kid in Ireland. I come from a blues background in Chicago. I guess if you mix the church and the gutter it's bound to sound unique, if nothing else.

Do you favor how is used to be, or where you are at these days? What are the differences?
Of course when melodic rock was the mainstream, the money was better. Now it's easy to see who does it for the love of music. So in a way I suppose things are better now. They have to be. What's the alternative?

Absolutely true. So where to from here for Harlan Cage?
We'll continue to write and perform with the band. Hopefully we'll be doing shows in Europe and Japan, if all goes according to plan. We're having a lot of fun with this , s we want to keep it going.

Any other projects you are working on?
I'm working on a film called 'Glass Cage' with Eric Roberts. Roger's producing a fine R&B singer called Gigi, and we're both hoping everyone will buy the new Harlan Cage CD.

I am sure they will Larry. Thanks for taking the time out to talk.
Say hello to all our friends in Aussie land, and thanks again.




Paul Gilbert (1998)


First off, all the guys in Mr. Big have found side projects or are making solo records - where does that leave the future of Mr. Big?

Mr. Big is currently on hiatus. The future is unknown at this time.

I will come back to Mr. Big, but first to your solo record - Congratulations on a fine album!
In the lead up or approach to this album, what were you looking to do?
In my approach to my first solo album, I wanted to introduce myself as a
singer/songwriter and still keep interesting and heavy guitar

How long were you writing for the record?
The songs were written mostly a few months before I began recording, but
there are some old favorites of mine too.

How long did it take to record?
The album was recorded in 3 months.

I see you enlisted the help of Bruce Bouillet. Are you two buddies?
Bruce Bouillet is a very good friend of mine! We worked very hard
together while recording and still had lots of fun.

So how do you like the outcome?
I am very happy with both the recording experience and the finished product.

I know of your love of the Beatles, and there is certainly influences of them the record, but I thought the record may have been a more acoustic feel.
I was actually pleasantly surprised at how rocking the album was!

I am very influenced by the Beatles and much of the music from the 60's
and 70's.
I am glad that you liked my direction on the record. Most of
the time I prefer to rock!

Your vocals are sounding great. Were you nervous to sing, and be featured on the whole album?
I felt good about singing because I made sure to write songs that fit my
voice. Plus, I have been practicing a lot!

Tell me about some of your favourite tracks on the album. I love the first 4 especially.
I like the first songs on the album too. I like "Champagne" because it
is up tempo and has lots of different drum beats. Plus, the electric 12
string is always fun to play. I like "Vinyl" because it has lots of
tom-toms. I also like the lyrics and the vocal harmonies.
"Girls Who Can Read Your Mind" was written a few years ago, and after doing several demo's, I finally found the right key and arrangement for the album.
"I'm Just in Love" is the only track with me playing drums. Plus, it has
big heavy guitars and a surprise flamenco solo!
I think my other favorite is "Streetlights". It sounds live to me even though the parts were over dubbed.

And I hear there is going to be a US release of the album shortly.
Yeah, "King of Clubs" should be released in the U.S. on April 21.

So how have you enjoyed the ride with Mr Big?
Mr. Big was incredible! I was able to tour all over the world and make
some records that I am really happy with. Everybody in the band is an
incredible musician!

Japan has been the first release point for most Mr Big albums, and your solo record - how have you found the Japanese and their dedication to hard rock and to Mr Big?
I feel very lucky to have people listen to my music ANYWHERE! I'm not
sure why, but there are a lot of people in Japan who like my music. This
is fantastic for me because I love Japanese food and Japanese people. It
is a long way to travel and I wish I could do more touring in the
States, Europe, Brazil and anywhere they will let me in!

I have to ask this! Do you have any control over the amount of live albums released in Japan, or is that purely a label decision?
We do have a lot of live albums! We usually put a live album out while
we are touring since we don't have time in the studio. Plus, Mr. Big is
best live!

The song 'Unnatural' is written and sung by yourself, can you tell me a little about the lyrics? The first verse seemed to be applicable to the last question.
"Unnatural" doesn't have a specific lyrical theme, but it is
occasionally about me wishing that I had a voice like Aretha Franklin!

Okay, on the lighter side, have you been talking to the guys lately? What are they up to?
I played a few solo's on Pat Torpey's upcoming solo album. He flew out
to my studio in Las Vegas to produce me. We had fun and it was good to
see him. I haven't seen the other guys lately, but I live in Las Vegas
and they live in California.

Do you have a favourite Mr. Big gig?
Some of the most memorable Mr. Big gigs were the benefit for the Kobe
earthquake victims, our show for 100,000 people in Brazil, and the time
that I got the drill caught in my hair in Atlanta!

Yeah! Ha ha. And a favourite Mr. Big song?
My favorite Mr. Big song is probably "Green Tinted 60's Mind".

So where to from here Paul?
I am currently preparing for my solo concert tour. I have a show in West
Hollywood at the Troubadour on March 4, and then a week of shows in
Japan. After that, I hope to go to Europe...probably in May. Also, I
hope to record my second solo album this year!

Damn! No rest for the wicked! Thanks Paul for taking the time out to answer some questions.
Thank you again for listening to my music and I hope I answered your

You bet! See ya.




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