Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Pop Geek Heaven's Bruce Brodeen interviews... ME!
Bruce: PGH is all about helping artists highlight their most recent projects, so let us all know what your new project is - and tell us about how it come into the world. What has the initial feedback on it been like?
Doug: Buddy Love's latest CD is called "Buddy Love", not to be confused with the yellow album we released in 1982! Feedback from it has been great. In fact as a result we have been signed to a global distribution deal with Innsbruck Records.
Bruce: The Recording Process - there are so many interesting ways that music projects coming into being these days compared with what artists encountered years ago. Take us on the creative arc of how this project came into being and any wisdom that you learned along the way. Also, what were some of the obstacles or struggles that you encountered when you were working on the project?
Doug: After the reformation of Buddy Love's "classic" 1980 lineup in 2006 and the release of our 1st "post reunion" CD in 2007 (which consisted mostly of 25 year old songs that we performed but never recorded the first time around) I felt the band needed an injection of more "mature" material. We spent a considerable amount of time choosing songs from my catalog and began the process of reinventing the band to reflect our current point of view. The process took a little less than two years. One of the great things to come out of it was the putting aside of decades long arguments and grudges. We are now all grown up!
Bruce: Are there any particular songs on this project that are special to you or communicate a message that you'd like to share here?
Doug: The song "Crying Town" has gotten a lot of attention. It felt different from the moment of conception but after it was recorded we all knew it was going to be something special. Another one that people seemed to really like is "Almost In Tears". Both songs reflect our more adult approach toward making pop music.
Bruce: As we all know, the music industry has been devastated for many reasons over the past 10 years, what are you thoughts on these changes and are you finding some of them helpful to you with getting more people to hear your music?
Doug: If I knew the answer to that I'd be a rich music industry bigwig instead of a struggling musician! LOL Seriously though, our record company is targeting film, TV and commercial uses for our recordings. You'd be surprised at how much can be made from one well placed song.
Here's an example; before Buddy Love I was in a punk group called MAN-KA-ZAM. Sometime in the mid 90's a MAN-KA-ZAM compilation CD was released, a small batch distributed and then forgotten, just like the band was in 1978. Somehow a producer at the TV show "House" heard it or already knew of it and chose one of the more forgettable songs to be used as background in a scene involving a punk singer with a brain disorder. I made more money with that one placement than with all my other music business income combined!
Bruce: Along the lines of this discussion, it would be really interesting to get your thoughts on what you think the future of 'music enjoyment' might look like? How do you personally enjoy and 'consume' music? Any trends you've noticed with your own habits?
Doug: First of all, I NEVER Listen to the radio. IT BLOWS! This is how I "consume" music; I hear about a group on one of the blogs I like to read or via a friend. I then download EVERYTHING by that group and put it in my iPod. With my iPod on shuffle in my car (where I do most of my listening) I skip the songs I don't like. If something comes on that I do like I never know who it was until the next time I sync up with iTunes. The ones that got skipped are (most likely) removed. The ones I like are noted. That's how I hear new music.
Bruce: So many artists are wrestling with different ways to approach the recording process now - I would love to hear what your plans on with your next project - Are you going to a full CD, an EP or just release songs as you finish them. Release them digital only or combine physical with the digital or what?
Doug: We have a great batch of new songs that are as different from each other and from what we have previously released as from what we released in 1980 vs. today. We are probably going to release them one at a time digitally and if people continue to buy them that way we'll assemble the tracks onto a CD or an EP. Probably...
Bruce: What are you finding that is working well for your music right now that others may find interesting to hear about?
Doug: We added a keyboard player (Dave Stoler) who adds a great dimension to our sound, especially live, where it was always hard being a power trio (plus a lead vocalist). His addition has created a new depth to our sound. Thanks Dave!
Bruce: Okay - time for some light humor: Spinal Tap Moment - dig deep. Locate. Relive. Share that special 'trauma' with all of us! :-D
Doug: This is especially embarrassing but here it is; way back in 1979-1980 we had a rehearsal space in The Music Building on 8th Ave in NYC. If you don't know what that is let me explain; a 16 story building with four or five rehearsal spaces per floor. Outside on the street the most incredible cacophony of sound could be heard a block in each direction from the site. Our manager at the time also managed a young girl who was leading a three piece punk band. When we were using the space she and her bandmates would be in the stairwell practicing their vocals or something. She was very driven and dedicated to her craft but the bottom line is they sucked, big time! (easy for me to say as we were just as nowhere as they were at the time). I remember saying to my associate, "There's no way in hell this girl is ever gonna make it."
We found out that she had been evicted from her corner of a loft on 36th Street where she was sleeping and so was living in our rehearsal space! FYI, no showers anywhere in the building. When we found out what she was doing we threw her out and changed the locks. Of course it was quite a dramatic scene. Six months later she had transformed herself into a disco diva and was beginning to climb the charts. Her name was Madonna. DOH!
Bruce: Is there a particular musician you'd love to collaborate with - and why?
Doug: My friend Tommy Byrnes who (among other things) has been Billy Joel's guitarist for the past 20 odd years. Besides the fact that he is AWESOME, the one time we ever collaborated we wrote "Crying Town". He also produced it and the recording is fantastic. I learned so much just standing over his shoulder during those sessions.
Our collaboration produced something magical and I don't think it was an accident. I'm sure if we ever had the chance to work together again we would again make something fantasic. The only problem is that he is so busy and now lives far away so between those two facts, the point is moot.
Bruce: Advance apologies: the 'classic' questions. What other artists and bands have influenced your music and any particular reason why? Also, push come to shove: "Your Top 5 Albums Of All Time"? (Pop Geeks really are interested in this, trust me!)
Doug: Obviously The Beatles, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Jellyfish, George Gershwin (yes, Gershwin).
My top five albums are; Revolver, Skylarking, Bellybutton, Pet Sounds and Forever Changes.
Bruce: We're always trying to find new music discover here at PGH - what are some of your favorite music releases from 2011 or anything that strikes you hard already in 2012?
Doug: I don't know when these things came out but I love Freedom Wind by The Explorer's Club and 21st Century Junk by Dynamo Bliss. Otherwise I am woefully out of touch.
Bruce: Yes, it would be great if most indie musicians could work on music full-time but the reality rarely the case for most of them. I always am asked by music fans, what are the careers or full-time jobs that the musicians of the music they are listening to do...so 'what's yr main gig?!' ;-P
Doug: I'm a computer consultant, nerd extraordinaire!
Bruce: We're taking an informal PGH poll of all musicians: Do you own a IPad, Kindle or Nook - or don't give a rip? Any thoughts on what reading books looks like to you?
Doug: I love reading, mostly science fiction but recently I read the first two Bourne books in pdf format on my iPhone. I found it very easy to read from.
Bruce: Okay, last question: Where can we learn more about your music and any other releases you have?
Doug: Please go to our webstore, http://buddylove.us/Webstore/html/BuddyLove(2011).html