Can you reveal to us the artists that inspired you to compose your new album ‘The Art Of Pop’?
Wow ! That’s everyone in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s ! I absolutely LOVE pop music [always have] and these tracks, 24 of them, are my top picks that I enjoyed growing up. Let’s do some “name dropping” ! Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Dead Or Alive, Telex, Bowie, Eurythmics, Erasure, Robert Miles, Bananarama, Ramones, Yazoo, Buggles, Freeze [a,e,I,o,u], Giorgio Moroder, Michael Jackson, Irene Cara, Donna Summer, Madonna, The Normal [Warm Leatherette original version] … I could go on, but these are the artist we used for inspiration on this new album “The Art Of Pop”. I would like to mention that these are NOT remixed but true REMAKES of the original tracks from scratch. No sampling here. I went back to the original synthesizers that the original artist used and re-programmed their sounds. Of course I added my own new stuff to make it fresh, but you’ll definitely recognize a few familiar things and be surprised but some new twists and turns!
What does “The Art Of Pop” represent?
“The Art Of Pop’ is really about paying respect to a genre that most people take for granted. Yes I know… people roll their eyes around a many pop tunes, because they are so cheesy or un-cool, but in fact a well crafted pop tune is quite difficult to create. You’re bound buy “pop” guidelines, time [like 3 minutes 46 seconds] and song structure. It’s crafted to sound effortless, but it’s quite difficult. That’s why many groups have only a few pop hit songs. This for me was a big challenge to keep the original feel AND still keep the pop aspect. I’m paying homage to a genre that most people don’t consider important.
Can you reveal to us your favorite tracks from this album?
I programmed, played, produced and mixed everything, so it’s like asking “what’s your favorite child”. But a few that I really like are “Share your body down [Michael Jackson] because it’s a dangerous one to redo. When you do a monster hit, you risk ridicule, This one really works ! Also, Telex Moskow Diskow, FlashDance, Warm Leatherette, Situation for starters..!
What is your writing process like?
Varies on my project. This one, since I knew the tracks was LISTENING ! I know that sounds stupid, but if you can’t REALLY listen, break down not only the parts, but the feeling and movement of the music, you can’t recreate it with any quality. Once I FEEL the track, I usually do a sketch on my MacBook Pro in Logic. Sometimes laying in bed ! Once I get a good demo idea, then I got to my big studio and start layering sounds and playing parts to make up the track. THEN, and this is important, I sit back, make believe I never heard the track [usually a day later] and edit anything that rubs me the wrong way. It’s a hard one, because I love this part and that, but I’m not making this for myself. I’m making this for you to enjoy. Editing is critical. Then it’s mixing and mastering.
Did you collaborate with other artists?
Always, but in this album it’s Steven Jones, Corey Tut, myself and Mikey Redvenom for vocals. I did the rest.
Where exactly was this album recorded? How long did it take you to complete this project?
I have a place in Manhattan and in Florida. I love Florida because I can escape the craziness of the city, think and focus on work. So both places. I can work pretty fast, but these 24 tracks took about 6 months [with a week here and there for rest] to finish.
How different is ‘The Art Of Pop’ from your previous records?
Most other works have original content. This is the first album of ALL remakes. I’ve matured musically and I don’t think I would have been able to have done this 5 years ago. I’m quite proud of the “interpretations” that came out. Funny, these things have their own life. They seem to take on a personality and develop and I go with that flow and help it become realized. I know that sounds weird, but it’s how it works for me.
Are you planning to drop a music video?
YES ! We secured some amazing footage for VOGUE. It’s not Madonna, but it’s a twisted version of the original Vogue video. I thinks it’s going to be really cool !
What about live shows?
Since streaming came about, indie artist find it expensive to tour. Like $100,000 just to rent venues and sound systems and lights. That not even including a crew and hotels, transportation and food ! YES I WOULD LOVE TO TOUR, but we don’t have that kind of money. But if any one want to fund us, we’ll work out a very fair deal !
Any words of advice for those fearing with rejection in the music industry?
Yes… F*CK them if they reject you. It’s not meant to be. Seriously. Don’t go against the grain and try to force something the universe is trying to keep you away from. I know many artist that per sued big or glamorous deals, either to be rejected, or pushed themselves in those situations, only to fail.
In todays online world, you can be massive WITHOUT a manager, big label or producer. Do your THING, and if it’s pure and true to yourself, the world will notice.
Now…. Will that be instant or 10 years later, who knows, but it will be yours, pay you back for your hard work and YOU will be in control and never ripped off. Listen to me, I’ve been dong this for 45 years…!! One more thing. If you think you’ll sit back and be discovered, you’ll fail.
EVERY successful person, no matter what profession puts in log hours of work. Think of it this way [and here’s the real key] … Energy in – Energy out. Put in a lot of work and you’ll succeed. Just show up and wait to be discovered, and you’ll be waiting forever. No matter what you do in life. Much love to you, and now that you have the real info, go out and conquer the world!
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