BRIAN BARNHOUSE – CLARIFIED (interview)

And, I’m completely clueless how a song like “Gangnam Style” can have 2.5 Billion views on YouTube, and yet “Feel It Again” by Honeymoon Suite doesn’t even have a million views.

Last of the Runaways talked to Brian Barnhouse.
About his latest release “Clarified”, about good songs, Rick Springfield, Bobby Barth and Bon Jovi.
And a lot more. Brian is a talker. We like that at Last of the Runaways!


You get compared to Robert Tepper, Bryan Adams, Carl Dixon, John Kilzer … does make sense, does it? 



I’m always surprised when I hear comparisons to such great singers & writers. I really consider myself a “fan” first, and have a very hard time comparing myself to musicians that I hold in high regard. All four of the singer/ songwriters you mentioned have written really great songs…I feel I have written three or four “Good” songs…I’m still working on writing a “great” song.

The album has been recorded and released some time ago. Still being picked up by new fans. Nice and strange? 



Yes…it is very nice when I hear that more and more people are starting to like the album.

I was very fortunate to have so much musical talent around me for that recording: Bobby Barth, Bob Harris, Troy Johnson, & Jimmy Hunter…these are all very experienced and talented guys, and I look back now and am just thankful. I learned so much from Bobby…I really did. The bulk of the album was recorded in his home in New Orleans, and we’d work for a few hours per day, and then sit in his living room, and watch Game of Thrones or just chat. He’s one the most intelligent men I’ve ever met. I could have learned much more from him, but that’s a whole other interview. Lol

But back to your original question, I’m very grateful when someone likes “Clarified”…But, I’m really ready to start working on CD #2. I feel I’m writing some of my best material ever, right now. I’ve had so many humbling experiences in the last couple years, that I have new perspectives on a lot of things now…on Life in general….and plus, I’m still searching for that one “Great” song. I’m not 100% sure I’ll ever be happy with my song writing…It’s like my singing or guitar playing. It just hit me, that I need to lighten up on myself. I’m probably better than I think I am. lol

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not? 

I’ve never really understood the industry or the musical trends that come and go, or even how certain artists become so “BIG” and other much more talented artists are unheard of. To me, a good song is a good song, no matter the style of music, or the image of the artist.
And, I’m completely clueless how a song like “Gangnam Style” can have 2.5 Billion views on YouTube, and yet “Feel It Again” by Honeymoon Suite doesn’t even have a million views. I can’t make sense of something like that.

The biggest change I see is that not near as many people buy the physical forms of music anymore (CD, DVD, etc)…So, I think touring is much more vital these days for monetization.

But, for me, nothing has really changed…I’m still writing songs…and I’ll probably never stop. I once read that “writers have to write.” And, it took me a long time to accept that I’m a writer…In fact, every time I try to focus on another career path, I still have to write. It always calls me. It’s a curse and a blessing at the same time. There has been many times, where I spent too much time trying to work out a song idea, when I should have been focused on work stuff to pay the light bill….But, writing has gotten me through some tough times, too. It certainly helps to process situations and experiences, and kind of give them a home or closure.

 

 

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

This question was TOUGH, because there’s SO MANY great songs out there.
1: Affair Of The Heart – Rick Springfield

2: You Want To Make A Memory – Bon Jovi

3: Till It Shines – Bob Seger

4: Waiting For An Alibi – Thin Lizzy

5: Why Does Love Have To Change – Night Ranger

Sorry, I can’t help myself…Here’s my back-up 5:
1: Every Step Of The Way – John Waite

2: Talk To Ya Later – The Tubes

3: Big Machine – Goo Goo Dolls

4: Now Or Never – AXE

5: Barely Alive – The Jobson Brothers (Chris Stapleton)

I’m still missing a BUNCH of my favorite bands and writers. I could easily do a 50-Song mix tape. lol

If you could pick two bands (any) to tour the world with. Who? 

Without question, I would pick Rick Springfield and Bon Jovi. My mother took me to a Rick Springfield concert when I was 11 or 12, and it was the most incredible thing I had ever witnessed….The Guitars, The Lights, The Girls….It was my first experience with Live Rock n Roll, and I was hooked, instantly. He’s such an incredible song writer…I was horribly addicted to his “Living In Oz” album. I used to listen to that album so much, I never skipped over a song, back to back, over and over and over. It’s still my all time favorite album, every song is great, and the melodies, and harmonies, and guitar playing is all so incredible. His “Rock Of Life” album is just as good, too. I better stop there, as I could easily ramble on and on about Rick Springfield music. lol

Same sort of thing with Bon Jovi, except I never really obsessed with an entire album by them, but certain songs I would play over and over and over, “Silent Night,” “She Don’t Know Me.” Of course, “Living On A Prayer.” “Edge Of A Broken Heart”…I thought “Edge” was a Perfect Song. It’s so so good. Oh, and “You Want To Make A Memory”…That’s such a great song! They have several really, “Blood On Blood,” “I’ll Be There For You,” which is such an incredibly well-written song. I want to write one of those kind of songs, just one time.

What’s up for the next couple of months? Will you still be promoting the record? How?


I’m back in songwriting mode now. I’m hoping to start recording my 2nd solo CD in late May or early June, and hopefully have it released in July of 2017. I’ll have to talk to Ross at Concert House Music to see about the exact release date.

“CLARIFIED” will still be promoted a little bit. I’m hoping to have the song “Never Return” be edited for radio (an under 4 minutes version), and release that as a single a month or two before the 2nd CD comes out, and then do a full promotional campaign for the 2nd CD right when it’s released. I may even try to get some opening slots, and tour a little bit for the new CD, too. We’ll see what comes to pass, I guess.

BUY or buy directly from Brian’s website
LISTEN

THE RADIO SUN – OUTSIDE LOOKING IN (interview)


Last of the Runaways spoke to Stevie Janevski about The Radio Sun’s beautiful new record ‘Outside Looking In’, dedicated fans, the music industry and great bands like H.E.A.T. and Def Leppard.

To me, the new record is the best so far. Songs are great. What do you think?Those big choruses! Crystal clear sound! Nice! What did Paul Laine add to the game?


Thank you!! Our aim has always been to write strong ‘albums’ so I’m glad things are coming together. Paul Laine is an absolute champ. We have co-written a few songs together and his ability to add some vocal harmonies or small parts to make our songs even better is awesome. Paul is an amazing musician and great friend!!

WATCH HERE

What is like to be a melodic rock band in Australia? Do you feel part of a scene?

The Australian music scene for the music we play is small but there are some die hards that really support us whom we really appreciate!! That’s why we thank them on our cds. They come to all of our shows, sing along and buy our merchandise. I’d rather have 50 true die hard fans than 500 people bandwagon fans any day. Our die hard fans are just as passionate as us…and are on our journey with us.

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not? 

Great question. The music has changed a lot since i started playing in bands as a kid. Personally, I love the fact that social media allows you to spread the word about your music and enables us to be involved with our fans. It has allowed us to meet people from all over the world and develop friendships. It’s a lot easier to keep our fans in the loop…and allow them to feel a part of what we do…kind of like a interactive ‘club/team’ with online chats, live streams etc.

I’m not really a negative person …but illegal downloading of albums can really hurt bands….although I still believe that people that purchase their music do indeed enjoy it a bit more than those that don’t…I guess that it’s valued a bit more when you buy it.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

☆Julie (from our debut album Wrong Things Right)

☆Let’s Talk About Love (from our debut album Wrong Things Right)

☆You’re The One (from the Heaven Or Heartbreak album)

☆One In A Million (from the Heaven Or Heartbreak album)

☆Switch Off The World Tonight (from our latest album Outside Looking In).

If you could pick two bands (any) to tour the world with. Who?


Def Leppard – this is one of the bands that inspired me to want to play in a melodic rock band…great songs, hooks and layered vocals!

H.E.A.T – great songs & live act…I’m really lookin forward to their next move now that they are writing for a new album.

What’s up for the next couple of months?


We recently launched our new album Outside Looking In at Rock N Skull Fest in the United States to very favorable reviews…we pride ourselves on being able a good live band…it was awesome to play live and meet so many fans at our signing session. Next year we will launch the new album with shows in Australia, the United Kingdom and in Greece. We are also working on something in Japan….it’s all very exciting!!! ….and we have also commenced writing for another new record…Yay!!

BUY HERE

Who the hell is CLAY HOWARD? (interview)

John Borack writes in Goldmine about Who the hell is Clay Howard?: So, yeah – catch these classic-sounding classic rock sounds before they becomes classics. Or something.
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What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

 
The best part of making “Who the Hell is Clay Howard?” was being able to work with Brynn Arens, of FLIPP fame. Even though I’ve made almost 20 albums over the years, this was the first to have my name, and not the name of a band on it. SO, working with Brynn allowed me to really make these songs everything they could be. Brynn can play almost any instrument, and has great instincts as a producer and we used both of those things on this record…a lot. He also pushed me to work on my lyrics.


If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

That is a tough call. “Never Give It Away” was written to give my kids a positive song with inspirational lyrics, and I like to think that represents me well… but, “Biscuits Ain’t Rising,” is the most autobiographical song on “Who the Hell is Clay Howard?” since it tells the story of true incidents in my family history.


The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

The music industry has changed- a lot. The internet has made it much easier to promote a record, as this interview clearly demonstrates. I have had good press in Australia, Hawaii, Iowa, Spai, etc…. without leaving North Carolina. The other aspect brought on by the internet, is the near-death of “sales.” People stream music now, and the pay for that is dismal. To answer your question, the changes in the music industry brought me the ability to spread my music further, and make less from it.:)

When (and how) did you discover you had this huge rock voice?

Just now- you let me know.:)
I’ve been singing for over 26 years, and when people say something like that, it still humbles me. Thank you.
 

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixt tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

1- Voices- Cheap Trick
2- Baby’s Coming Back- Jellyfish
3- Don’t Say No- Billy Squier
4- Wouldn’t It Be Good- Nik Kershaw
5- Sing My Blues Away- Cheap Trick
(showing my age on the first 4, huh…)

6. What’s up for the next couple of months?

Let’s see…. I have recorded a follow-up record with Brynn , that we are going to release under the band name, DIG…. hopefully we can announce the details of that in the next few months.
One single is out there on youtube, watch it here
 The whole thing is a bit more “rock” than the last record, and I look forward to getting feedback on it. I also hope to announce some more live shows with my band, Clay Howard & the Silver Alerts!
For updates check the website
Check Clay’s YouTube

 

HUNGRYHEART – Dirty Italian Job (interview)

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Time stood still. “Dirty Italian Job” sounds like the AOR/Melodic Rock records sounded in the mid – 80s. That’s a big big compliment. Last Of The Runaways spoke with Josh Zighetti , Hungryheart’s singer.

What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

We had a tough time! Especially during the night sessions and believe me, it’s not easy to stay awake while recording and when you’re losing the rhythm you definitely needed a helping hand. So after a few beers (almost one for each track) we found that thing that some would say a perfect balance! That was fun! What was not fun was cleaning the studio later on!

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?

A song that represents and describes me, good question… there’s no doubt in my mind that Soldier Of Fortune from Stormbringer is one of those! The reason why is because it relates to the deepest part of my heart and soul. One the best song ever that has marked me for life

The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?

Artists have to be a bit careful now about how to keep their careers going if they want to continue in music. Some people say “The music industry is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free,and good men die like dogs”. Sometimes I felt like a dog that gets his food before dying. The truth is that big business controls the types of music and artists that get exposure and become popular. Much respect to all starving artists and independent companies, in which you are not forgotten and you are appreciated.

Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?

One of the most passionate, sensitive and open-hearted musician I ever met…my bestfriend and partner in crime Mr.Mario Percudani. We grew up, and we’re getting older together. You got to know his solo work via his stunning debut album New Day. It’s a bunch of songs that pick you up when you are down. But you shouldn’t forget that he’s also the mastermind behind Hungryheart 🙂 The whole world should know this great musician!

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixt tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?

It’s simple, but not easy, there’s lots of great songs! Maybe something about Garth Brooks, Don Henley, Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton,John Elefante. They wrote songs that get stuck to your head and go round and round, sometimes for days, sometimes for months. There’s always something incredible when we feel like we’ve made a deep connection with someone’s music. It’s just something that can’t be controlled and it can be very overwhelming for both of us. Anyway, here’s my personal list of top 5-song-mix tape:

Garth Brooks – The Change

Don Henley – The Heart Of The Matter

Bryan Adams – I’ll Always Be Right There

Michael Bolton – You’re All That I Need

John Elefamte – Where Does Our Love Go

I’m a little bit romantic, but I just wanna make her mine!

What’s up for the next couple of months?

We’ve some shows coming up just in time for summer, kicking off with this one in mid-June, mostly here in North Italy, and then ending in November at HEAT Festival in Germany. Then so never get up to late that day!

Check the Hungryheart website for update

VAN WILKS

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‘Bombay Tears’ is not blues rock, jazz rock, hard rock or acoustic rock but a wonderfully addictive combination of all those styles and more
“IF TEXAN MUSIC has a ‘sound’ then Van Wilks would be the perfect example.

Bombay Tears was released in 1980. What comes to mind when you think about the recording sessions?

So long ago! September 1979! Where did those years go?! We drove out to Los Angeles from Austin, Texas. And spent a month or so recording. We’d been touring constantly so we had the songs down tight.

Do the songs still represent who you are?

Yes to a certain extent.  I think they have held up rather well and are still relevant 36 years later. A few still really resonate with me such as The title cut Bombay Tears and Living on Borrowed Time. We re-cut Borrowed Time for my new record.

Rock Candy will re-release the album soon. Where you surprised when they contacted you?

Yes very pleasantly surprised! I was familiar with what they were doing and was happy to jump on board! They are very passionate about the music they release. Kerrang magazine gave a great review to Bombay Tears in 1980 and the writer of that review, Xavier Russell , did the liner notes for the re-release! Very cool ….

Buy Bombay Tears here

You just a released 21st Century Blues. The music business has changed a lot between the release of Bombay Tears and the new one. What did it do for you?

Yes! We are very jazzed about the new record and the reviews it’s getting around the globe! The songs on this record hit hard and really show my “Texas Blues-Rock style. It’s available thru www.vanwilks.com and CD Baby and Amazon.
The music biz has changed so dramatically that I don’t even know how to begin to tell you how it’s affected me and virtually every artist.  We just want the folks that like our music to buy Physical Product instead of downloading. The quality is so much better.

Is Bombay Tears the album people should listen too if they want to know you? Or should they start somewhere else?

If listeners want to get to know my music I think 21st Century Blues and Bombay Tears defines my style the best. But I like to leave that up to the individual…

What’s up for the next couple of months?
Same as always: playing live wherever they’ll have us!

MICHAEL STANLEY

Michael Stanley just released And Then. Expect the quality he has been offering since 1969!

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You have been making albums for a very long time and wrote a lot songs. Does inspiration still comes easy?

Inspiration…this far down the line I still find that it’s easy to come up with music that inspires me but after having written around 500 songs the big question these days is what to write about…what have I not addressed that I want to or how can I conjure up a new take when revisiting an old topic.

A song like “All Together Now” from the new album “And then” ranks among your best songs, I think. What do you think? Or is ranking your own songs not important to you?

“All Together Now”…thanks for the kind words. It’s one of my favorites on the album but the funny thing is that it’s a song I wrote about 30 years ago that somehow slipped through the cracks. I found an old demo tape and thought I’d see what could be done with it…and the band rose to the occasion! And no, I don’t rank my tunes…it doesn’t matter which ones I like, the audience will make the choices.

The music industry has changed a lot over the years. From your first album till now. What’s the biggest change?

It would take a book to list the changes in the music business since I made my first album back in 1969…hell, the recording consoles still had rotary dials…faders were few years away. The internet has leveled the playing field on one level but has also made it almost impossible to work your way through all the dreck to find the good stuff. But the biggest thing is that I think there are several generations of listeners who expect their music to be free…they’ll pay a plumber or an electrician but expect musicians and songwriters to ply their craft for free…and that only leads to musicians and songwriters who are looking for new jobs. Unfortunately I don’t think music means as much to listeners today as it use to.

Strange times, don’t you think? What is the best way for to promote your new album?

I’m afraid, I’m still a little “old school” with internet promotion. My late wife (a former VP at Capitol Records) ran our label and took care of all that but after she passed away I now find I not only have to come up with new product but also try and market it and that is not my strong suit. I guess I’m just hoping that the cream will rise to the top…but confidence isn’t high.

I think you recently added your music to Spotify. If true, what made you decide to do this? Where I live, The Netherlands, it looks like everybody uses streaming services (or buys vinyl) and more and more people are willing to pay for this.

We have a guy who deals with all the streaming options and I’m afraid I’m at his mercy.

Your voice gives your songs an extra warmth. When and how did you found out you could do this?

The voice? Well, it just is what it is…forty-five years of cigarettes and the road have left their mark. I certainly don’t have the vocal range hat I had in my younger days but i think I’m a far better singer than I use to be…in fact I’d love to re-sing a lot of the old stuff…that would be interesting (at least for me).

Did you ever tour Europe? Is it very difficult to do nowadays?

Tour Europe? I’m afraid not…but I’d love to at some point. We’ll see what the future brings.

What’s up for the next couple of months?

The next couple of months will be filled with gigs around the Midwest and finishing up a new album which we’ll start mixing the beginning of July…you gotta keep moving ’cause someone might be gaining on ya!

Please check out Michael’s website

Buy the new album here.

Here is a classic from the old days.

 

JOE LYNN TURNER

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Street of Dreams is a fabulous live recording. Can you still remember the gig? Did you always knew it was a special recording?

Yes, we knew that was a special night where we had a lot of synergy…both band and audience. It was circulating around as a bootleg for a long time and Cleopatra Records has issued the release because they felt there was a demand for it to be put out properly. It was recorded during the “Rescue You” tour. The set includes some Rainbow songs like “Stone Cold” and “Street Of Dreams.” There are some songs that were not on Rescue You like “I Found Love” and a cover of “Them Changes.”

You were the king of the world that night. How did that feel?

That night at the Boston Paradise, the band was on fire and so was the crowd. I can remember seeing the audience and I remember there was an awkward pillar enough to block some of the view. But the stage was an actual concert stage. Aerosmith and all those guys used to always play at the Paradise. I can remember how it felt because it was absolutely exhilarating.

Is it strange to you that they released an old recording?

Not completely. I knew it was very much in demand by fans and Cleopatra apparently thought there would be a market for it. I am glad they have released it properly and thank them for putting it out.

Were those the best days in music or is it me just being sentimental?

Those were special times for sure. More artists had actual talent, there was not a lot of “auto tuning” being used. If you were a musician back then, most of the time you had to have “chops” or merit. These days, there are more artists without a lot of talent that can become successful. Additionally, there was no internet like there is now. It was more exciting when an artist “came to town” and there was more mystique. Now, artists are all expected to interact with fans on social media and there are no secrets or mystery any more. It makes it all less exciting in my opinion.

What’s up for the next couple of months? And after that?

I am trying to play as many shows as I can! There are other things in the discussion stages that I cannot reveal right now but if everything comes to fruition it will be great. We just confirmed a couple of USA shows…in Las Vegas and in Hollywood.

“Edge Of Tomorrow” is the title of the forthcoming Sunstorm album and I recently filmed a video for it in Greece that is really spectacular. It is a song that is basically a lyric about the apocalypse that’s happening right now and the geopolitical situation in our world. So I went to Vikos Canyon, the deepest and longest canyon in the world, the canyon of the Gods.

The video director and producer Menelaos Sykovelis is an incredible artist. He knew that this particular location was where we should do this, where we should show the world what is happening in symbology, in symbolic form.

Do you still have goals you want to achieve?

Sure! I have been interested in doing more work for film, writing and possibly producing. But right now I am very focused on my current plans.

Who were (or maybe “are”)  in the best live band you ever fronted? And what made (makes) them so special?

They are all great in their own unique way. As for making the biggest impact on my career…Rainbow and Deep Purple for obvious reasons! Deep Purple, because they were a huge influence in my career. I played Purple covers when I was a young musician. Fronting them later in life was surreal. Rainbow, because I was involved in helping Rainbow achieve more commercial success and that was a major goal for the band at that time. Even though my previous band, Fandango, recorded several albums for RCA, we were well known in the USA but not as worldwide as Rainbow. Rainbow was my chance to truly see the world.

What’s the song you wished you sang (but you didn’t) ? And why?

How about a song I wished I had written…”Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley.

There is a Survivor song called It’s the Singer Not the Song. And there is a country dude saying Song is King. What do you think?

The singer can make the lyrics and song come alive and be more meaningful to the listener. By the way…great song by Survivor and Jimi Jamison. RIP Jimi…a great writer and vocalist and a world class person as well. I miss him.

I am from the Netherlands, we are cycling a lot. When I am alone on a bike I can’t stop singing. Always the same songs. It’s either Bird of Paradise by Snowy White, Luka by Suzanne Vega, The Outdoor Type by The Lemonheads or King of Dreams of by you know who. King of Dreams is a really good song, don’t you think? And don’t you get tired of people saying that it is from the best or the worst Deep Purple album? A love it or hate it album? Which I think is nonsense. You can’t hate the songs on Slaves & Masters?


It is a great song and also a controversial video came out of it as it was banned in some situations because of the theme. Ritchie always said “Slaves and Masters” was one of his favorite DP albums. I still try and include the song in some of my current setlists.

How did you realize your voice was something special? Was there somebody who told you you could sing?


I actually started out as a guitarist when I was in a popular local band as a young musician. When we found our band in a situation without the lead singer being able to sing, I took over and the rest is history.

Check Joe’s website

Watch the official Rainbow video for Street of Dreams

Or the video for Endlessly (featured on Rescue You and Street of Dreams)