SCOTT SOTO BAND
MELODIC ROCK MUSIC FESTIVAL
Morris Performing Arts Center
South Bend, INDIANA
Saturday, October 6th
the title of vocalist JEFF SCOTT SOTO’S second solo album
released in 2002; it also appropriately characterizes the
Brooklyn born singers colorful career to date.
JSS has been an integral component in the music industry
since nailing the lead singer slot in an open audition for
guitar virtuoso YNGWIE MALMSTEEN back in 1984.
Since then the versatile vocalist has accrued an impressive
Rock ‘n’ Roll resume while fronting EURO fan
favorites TALISMAN since 1990.
His chameleon like singing style has afforded JSS to
scale the gamut of musical genres from Rock to
Metal, Funk to Punk with the
“Essential Ballads” in between.
In 2001 JSS would take his piercing pipes to the big
screen for the movie “RockStar” starring MARK
WAHLBERG and JENNIFER ANISTON. JSS along with
ZAKK WYLDE, JASON BONHAM, and JEFF PILSON would be
the band behind the actor; recording songs for the soundtrack
for the fictional group “Steel Dragon”.
In the summer of 2006 as JOURNEY were only a
few dates into its co-headlining tour with DEF LEPPARD
singer STEVE AUGERI feel victim to serious vocal
problems. Instead of canceling the tour NEAL SCHON
turned to his SOUL SIRKUS bandmate JEFF SCOTT SOTO,
as “Lady Luck” would have it he was available.
The tour went on to be one of the top grossing of the summer
with fans both old and new raving about the smokin’ young gun at
the helm. It looked as though the band was headed toward new
“Frontiers”, as they asked JSS to “Stay
Awhile”. Unfortunately just a few months in the band
announced through a press release that it was going its “Separate
Although disappointed JSS is right back at it; making
new music with his solo band and is ready to take to the road
once again with a renewed determination.
The NIGHTLIFE Rock Rapport had a chance to chat with
JSS from his home base in
as he was putting the finishing touches on
rehearsals for his world tour that extends into the end of the
JSS, Thanks so much for your time, greatly appreciated. In
checking out your website (www.jeffscottsoto.com) I was blown
away at the impressive Rock resume you’ve amassed
at the relatively young Rock ‘n’ Roll age of 41.
you, it’s my pleasure. That’s the cool thing about my career to
this point is the fact that I’ve been fortunate to work in so
many great musical environments.
*The experience of working with such talented individuals
like MALMSTEEN, the guys in TALISMAN, and most recently NEAL
SCHON and JOURNEY is invaluable in growing as an
Ross CAT-Lets get right
into the recent “Arrival” and “Departure”
*Fans here in
witnessed first hand what a spectacular job you did stepping in
to salvage the 2006 summer tour. Worldwide fans and critics
alike accepted you with “Open Arms”, which by the
way is quite the accomplishment considering the STEVE PERRY
fans await “Faithfully” for his return.
*Following the tour it seemed that your addition to the
JOURNEY line-up would allow the band to blaze ahead to some
new and exciting musical ventures. Was there any
indication that this alliance would collapse before you entered
the recording studio?
absolutely not, in fact it was quite the opposite it was all
positive. Let me put it to you this way they didn’t ask me to
be the permanent singer in the band for nothing. It was all
about moving forward musically and adding to the already mighty
legacy of JOURNEY.
was obvious that the chemistry was in place as far as the live
performances went, did you get to the point of actually writing
new songs together?
Oh yeah, NEAL was actually at my place for
a few days after we got off the road, we had well over twenty
ideas in place for songs, unfortunately we didn’t get to see
them through. Speaking in terms of myself I had every intention
of embracing this musical endeavor.
on that subject I wanted to commend you on the class that you
showed following the unexpected announcement of your
“Departure” from the band. It certainly seemed it could
have been handled a little differently on their end.
JSS-I appreciate that,
anyone that knows me knows that wouldn’t be my style. As I
mentioned before I’ve had the honor of working in many different
musical environments in my career and I take pride in being a
*First and foremost I’m a fan of the music of JOURNEY; STEVE
PERRY was someone that influenced me as a young singer so I
respect the bands legendary status. I’d be lying if I said that
it wasn’t disappointing that things didn’t work out, ultimately
it was their decision on what direction they wanted to go, I
wish them luck.
*I’m looking at this as a new chapter for me in my solo
career, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about the new
music I’m working on and the guys I’m playing with right now.
nothing else the tour with JOURNEY certainly raised the
awareness of your unquestionable talent and stage presence,
especially here in the
JSS-No question about
it, the response I’ve gotten from fans worldwide has been
overwhelming. That’s what this string of dates I’m doing over
the next few months is all about. After being in the
amphitheatres and arenas with JOURNEY I’m really looking forward
to introducing my band and new music in a more intimate setting.
It’s great to
see that you wasted no time getting back to recording new
music. Tell us about the JEFF SCOTT SOTO Band that will
be taking the stage with you this weekend at the MELODIC ROCK
guys are an awesome group of players. As a matter of fact we
have a couple of homegrown BUFFALO boys in the band. Guitarist
HOWIE SIMON, anyone that knows HOWIE knows he’s a unique
individual and his diverse playing style is second to none. Also
from BUFFALO is dynamic drummer DAVID DZIALAK and on bass is
GARY SCHUTT. GARY has been with me since the “Prism” record and
his talent is endless both on and off stage.
*All these players possess adaptability a quality that isn’t
easy to find, something that these live shows require. They can
deviate from disco to metal and everything in between.
*On this current tour we are playing songs from all the
different eras of my career including the new stuff. The songs
and the music have really been flowing for me this past year;
it’s an exciting time for me.
I got a
chance to listen to a couple of the brand new songs you posted
on you’re “My Space” page. I especially like
“21st Century”, it really
revolves around the musical spectrum.
Yeah I have quite a few songs ready
to roll maybe too many. I’m sure most songwriters tell you this
but every song is like a child it develops a personality as it
grows, it’s impossible to choose which one you like best.
me it’s about versatility and variety, I try to stay away from a
theme when putting a collection of songs together. I like to
have every album shine a different light on me as a song writer.
*By changing things up song to song I create the element of
surprise, not to mention the challenge I put upon myself to keep
evolving as a song writer, basically expect the unexpected.
Ross CAT-Is the new material
freshly composed songs, or are they songs that you had been
working on before you hooked up with
JSS- No, this is all brand
new material that I have written since my split from JOURNEY.
With the way my career has gone working with so many different
artists it’s not always easy to present songs into a certain
situation so I always end up with songs that never see the light
*This is probably the most important record of my career so
I’m really taking my time on deciding on how I want to
distribute the material.
know that you had announced a farewell tour with TALISMAN
following the release of “7” last October,
is this really the “End of the Line” for that band
or is the door still open?
has been through many ups and downs and line-up changes through
the years. With everyone branching out to other projects I kind
of thought that “7” would be a fitting way to close out that
chapter of the band.
*I’m really looking forward to settling in with my band; for
better or worse I’ve always kind of bounced around from venture
*If my experience with JOURNEY taught me anything it’s that I
want to focus everything I have into my solo career, I think
this current group of guys can help me flourish as an artist.
*As for TALISMAN that band has been an important part of my
career and they are a great group of musicians so the door will
never be completely closed.
At the age of eighteen you answered an
audition call advertised on MTV to become lead
vocalist for guitar virtuoso YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, tell us
about that experience?
hard to believe that was almost twenty-five years ago; before I
joined YNGWIE I was a huge fan of his music, I loved the “Alcatraz”
record. I remember making tapes of just his solo’s on the albums
and thinking how amazing it was that someone could generate such
sounds from a guitar.
*At eighteen years old it was a huge undertaking, I got the
call after they heard my audition tape and within three weeks I
got the gig and started laying tracks for “Rising Force”.
joining JOURNEY you had previously worked with NEAL
SCHON in a band called SOUL SIRKUS, that
collaboration lead to the recording of “World Play”,
a solid body of music. Is there any chance of working with
SCHON outside of JOURNEY again?
been one to stay positive and open minded and I’m the last
person to be burning bridges with anybody, but at this point as
far as NEAL and I are concerned the door seems to be quite
* I’m in a great frame of mind to move forward with my band.
We’ve been looking forward to taking the show on the road since
we started recording the new tracks. We are really stoked about
sharing the stage with the amazing talent that ANDREW McNEICE
has assembled for the MELODIC ROCK FESTIVAL.
NIGHTLIFE Rock Rapport is also looking forward to
attending this momentous event. While
may be known as
the home of the “Fighting Irish” of
NOTRE DAME it’s also the locale of the inaugural
MELODIC ROCK FESTIVAL (www.melodicrock.com).
show is really going to be an incredible Rock ‘n’ Roll
extravaganza. The event commemorates the 10th
anniversary of the pre-eminent music information site created by
our AUSSIE BUD ANDREW McNEICE.
*Once again the show is Saturday October 6th at
the beautiful Morris Performing Arts Center and
will include some of Rocks elite performers. The
show is also being co-sponsored by
Entertainment Group BACK II BACK (www.biibent.com);
tickets are still available at
the MelodicRock website.
*Other artists appearing on the day long bill will be
SCRAPMETAL featuring MARK SLAUGHTER, ERIC MARTIN (Mr.
BIG), The NELSON Brothers, and KELLY KEAGY of
*In addition to that all-star band others performing will
be former DEEP PURPLE/RAINBOW frontman JOE LYNN
TURNER, former SURVIVOR members JIMI JAMISON
and JIM PETERIK, and last but certainly not least
JACK BLADES (NIGHT RANGER).
certainly ANDREW has been a great friend to me and to all my
peers that you mentioned. He works really hard to help us
promote our music, it’s our turn to help give back to him and
the phenomenal promotional tool that is MELODICROCK.COM.
*ANDREW works tirelessly at the expense of his family and his
own personal finances to keep this site up and running for both
musicians and fans. It’s our turn to plug it in for this Rock
and Roll advocate.
*I always hear fans here in the STATES complain that all the
cool Rock Festivals are always in EUROPE, well now its you’re
chance to step up and support this cool cause and share in a day
full of great music. Hope to see everyone there.
E and Harmonies****************
B.B. KINGS Blues Club
NEW YORK CITY
September 27, 2007
of music's most defining and enduring voices belongs to PAUL
peerless pipes have fronted some of Rock ‘n’ Rolls”
most respected and influential bands including FREE,
BAD COMPANY, THE FIRM, and most recently QUEEN.
He led the band on its first world tour in over twenty years
swinging his mic to the rafters throughout EUROPE,
is the total package as a musician
penning some of musics most prolific songs and belting them
out with an unprecedented passion for the blues. RODGERS
is also a “Rock Steady” multi-instrumentalist
and has been wowing crowds worldwide with his stage presence
and charisma for nearly four decades and shows no signs of slowing
*Since the end of the QUEEN tour in
spring 2006 RODGERS has been “Movin On” with
his illustrious solo career touring throughout 2007 in support
of his recent CD/DVD release PAUL RODGERS: LIVE In GLASCOW.
This collection of songs is a “Rock &
Roll Fantasy” for any music lover. It is a true
testament to the all around talent RODGERS has possessed
throughout his storied career as a composer and performer, a
must for your music collection.
*RODGERS has created a unique vocal
style through his love of the Blues and this Thursday
night at B.B. Kings Blues Club he will be
giving back a little to one of the great Bluesmen of
our time BO DIDDLEY. BO was originally scheduled
to perform on this date but due to recent health issues had
to postpone, PAUL graciously agreed to step in saying,
“It is truly a pleasure and honor to help out a friend
like BO. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see
him on the road again soon.”
*RODGERS will also be participating
in the upcoming “Concert of Hope” honoring the
legendary B.B. KING in his quest to put an end to “Youth
*Be sure to check out the interactive
PAUL RODGERS website at (www.paulrodgers.com)
to purchase the CD/DVD as well as tickets for upcoming live
gigs through the end of the year.
*Tickets for the B.B. KING benefit
which also includes GEORGE THOROGOOD, TAJ MAHAL and many
other national acts can also be obtained at the PAUL RODGERS
*The NIGHTLIFE Rock Report had
the distinct honor to share in the company of one of musics
most salient songwriters and the purest voice in “Rock
‘n’ Soul” history PAUL RODGERS.
Ross CAT- Greetings from
you so much for sharing some of your valuable time with us.
Your last visit to town was St. Patrick’s Day 2006
as you where fronting another great “Rock ‘n’ Roll outfit”
*It was a tremendously powerful performance
in so many ways as BRIAN MAY and ROGER TAYLOR
of QUEEN are able to bring their classic catalog to life
on stage once again. You really did an outstanding job
stepping into the band without stepping on its legacy, a daunting
task to say the least.
*The arrangements on all the vintage QUEEN
and BAD COMPANY classics were extraordinary; even
more impressive was the way you fused your signature tonality
without compromising the songs. Tell us about your approach
in this collaboration?
you so much for the kind words. Initially BRIAN wanted
to split the set half my material and half QUEEN; my feeling
was that since they hadn’t been on tour in over twenty years
we should take the show out QUEEN heavy, and so we did.
*They completely opened up the entire QUEEN
catalog to me which really gave me an instant comfort level
with the material.
*I knew that the demand for the classics
would be high so it was great for me to dive into songs like
“We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions”, they where great songs
for me to cut my teeth on.
*When it came to some of the more complex
songs that FREDDIE MERCURY left us like “The Show Must Go On”
I really had to dig down deep. I tapped into the great
influences in my career like OTIS
SAM COOKE; they taught me that music is all about interpretation.
*So what I tried to do with the QUEEN material
was to step into the song and feel it the way I would feel it. Songs
can and should be interpreted on different levels, it’s really
about the connection; I think we accomplished that without compromising
the integrity of the original material.
Ross CAT- Like the song says
“The Show Must Go On”, your vocal versatility
has given BRIAN and ROGER the chance to perform
these great songs live once again.
I think so, another reason that
the tour was so incredibly successful
was the fact that
the fans readily embraced the whole idea. Some many fans
both old and new have heard the wonderful songs but never had
the chance to see them performed live; this collaboration gave
us the opportunity to bring them as close as we possibly could
to the original
*When we first played together there was
no intention of actually joining forces together, it wasn’t
until we had performed on a television program that the idea
came to life. Following the performance that night we
came off stage and immediately agreed we should work together
again, that’s really how it all got started.
Ross CAT- That
leads perfectly into my next question, word has it that a new
album of original material is in the works. Tell us about
the next chapter to the QUEEN and PAUL RODGERS story?
Yeah it’s very exciting; we’ve been in the studio
twice so far and we are heading to the
to record again in October. We’ve put down some nine tracks
thus far and it’s gone really well.
The whole idea of this musical meeting of
minds is to let things develop themselves organically, so there
really isn’t a time table to speak of.
Let’s talk about the current
solo trek you’ve been on in support of the amazing new DVD/CD
PAUL RODGERS: LIVE In GLASCOW; which by the way
is burning up the charts worldwide this summer.
Soundscan has the new live solo performance charting at #1
in CANADA and #3 in the U.S.
*The selection of songs is stellar in this
performance, a retrospective of your storied career with FREE,
BAD COMPANY, The FIRM, not to mention paying tribute to
the blues influences in your music.
*Tell us the decision making process in choosing
the songs for this disc when you have so many to choose from?
RODGERS-Well the songs
vary from time to time and place to place. For example if I’m
playing in the U.K. there is a huge love for the band FREE so
I will lean a little more on that music when playing there.
*I generally like to take a walk through the songs
I’ve written with all of the bands adding in my solo material
both old and new, and as you mentioned I never stray to far
from my blues roots.
*Personally I’ve always tried to write my
set list as if I was writing a song. I try to create an
atmosphere with my live performances, you always want to please
your fans but you also want to keep moving forward artistically.
Ross CAT- Speaking
of new material there is a poignant new song you perform passionately
on the new live disc titled “Warboys (A Prayer for PEACE)”.
It starts with an acoustic urgency and comes to life
as the band joins in tell us about that song?
PAUL RODGERS- You
look around and one has to wonder where the human race is going.
I understand that in life sometimes we must fight fire with
fire, but I have to question the wisdom of some of the decisions
that are being made for us as a whole.
*I really wonder whether we ought to be putting
our resources into seeking out different solutions for power
sources. The problem we all face now is how do we put
the lid back on this thing, we’ve already blown it wide open.
*I’m by no means a politician but I do know
that we have to take better care of our environment and this
war isn’t the way to go about it. This song is really
more then about being critical of the dilemma we find ourselves
in, it truly is a (Prayer For PEACE).
Ross CAT- Aside from being
an elite songwriter/singer you’re also a multi-instrumentalist,
including playing all the instruments on your 1984 solo debut
“Cut Loose”. On what particular instrument
do you compose your songs?
PAUL RODGERS- That’s
an interesting question, I find that each instrument gives me
a different take on the music. Piano for instance is an
intriguing instrument to compose on; the left hand deals with
the bass, the right hand deals with the chord structure, between
the two you have a rhythm to throw your vocals on top of.
So it’s quite a complete instrument in terms of songwriting.
*When it comes to the guitar I tend to write
on the acoustic as opposed to the electric and I even been known
to write on the bass as well. As I matter of fact I wrote
the FREE song “Wishing Well” on bass.
That’s very cool. Back
to the DVD I noticed a special guest in the show a young lad
named STEVEN RODGERS performing an acoustic number
*As they say the apple doesn’t fall
far from the tree, tell us about his future in the music industry?
PAUL RODGERS- STEVEN
has a load of talent he’s written some great songs; he’s a bit
shy about putting himself forward, he seems to be more of a
musician then a showman. He really has a great voice and
is an extremely talented songwriter, I do try to steer him in
the right direction but ultimately he’s got to do it for himself.
*My daughter JASMINE is also a musician,
both of them were brought up with music all around them and
have been writing songs since they were quite young.
*I’m very proud of them, they have both pursued
other interests outside of music as well. JASMINE has
a degree in zoology while STEVEN has other projects as well.
Although I think you will be hearing a solo CD from him in the
Throughout you career you’ve been showered with so many accolades
from fans and critics alike, most recently being honored with
PAUL RODGERS week in
*Beyond the recognition of the outsiders
in the music biz you’ve been revered by your peers, JIMMY
PAGE says, “PAUL RODGERS has been, and still is by
far, one of the finest talents of our musical genre”.
Most recently BRIAN MAY explains, “Simply
the Greatest Rock/Blues singer Alive”.
*That’s some pretty high praise from
a few of the worlds elite guitarist.
of all the
week was a beautiful experience. It was the most wonderful
meet and greet I’d ever done sharing some amazing time with
some five hundred youngsters.
*It was sponsored by FENDER and a group of
aspiring pre-teen musicians called THE IGNITERS performed “Rock
& Roll Fantasy”.
*As for the kind words and compliments from
my band mates and peers, it truly is gratifying when it comes
from the consummate players in your profession.
*I’ve been so blessed to jam with so many
great artists in my time like PAUL KOSSOFF, MICK RALPHS, PAGEY
and now BRAIN MAY, believe me the respect is entirely mutual.
ROCK REPORT would also like to give a shout out to the
current PAUL RODGERS Line-up who also jammed on the CD/DVD.
*HOWARD LEESE(HEART) guitar, seventeen
year old guitar sensation KURTIS DENGLER, bassist LYNN
SORENSEN, and drummer RYAN HOYLE (COLLECTIVE SOUL).
*Thanks to Jane Yin of
JSY Public Relations for hooking us up.
*The NIGHTLIFE/LIGHTHOUSE Rock Report
is also available online @
as well as the 107.7 The
IT FOR DEAN” Benefit
MARK FARNER (Grand Funk Railroad)
Saturday September 8th, 2007
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL FOR THE PEOPLE…..One
of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s most prolific power trios was
born right here in the U. S. A. in Flint,
Michigan. During the 1970’s GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
would dominate FM radio selling over twenty-five million
albums with such classics as “Some Kinda Wonderful”, “I’m
Your Captain”, “Bad Time”, and of course their #1 hits
“The Loco-motion” and rock anthem “We’re
an American Band”.
*While the band was steam rolling the Billboard
charts it was their potent live performances that hit fans like
a runaway freight train, packing arenas and stadiums worldwide.
In 1971 the band sold out “Shea Stadium” in a
record breaking seventy-two hours a Mark that
still stands tall today.
*Singer/songwriter and expert guitar engineer
MARK FARNER would strap it on and let it rip night after
night as GRAND FUNK would earn the reputation of being
loud and proud.
*FARNER and his unbridled enthusiasm
has spent his entire career sharing and caring for people
through his music with both GRAND FUNK RAILROAD as well
as his successful solo career. FARNER and the N’rG
band show no signs of off heading off the tour tracks
They will be headlining the “DOIN IT
FOR DEAN” Benefit show this Saturday September 8th
at CLUB INFINITY
The Rock Report had the privilege to speak
with MARK from the road about his upcoming stop here
in Buffalo this Saturday.
Ross CAT- Thank so much for taking
sometime out from your FARNER family vacation, we really
at all brother, my pleasure. I just got back from a walk up
in the REDWOODS here in the
Sequoia Mountains with the grandkids and it was
*It’s times like this with my family that
I cherish, getting back to mother nature. It gives me
the strength and clearness that I need to keep up with the business
end of the industry. More importantly it gives me a mental
balance that keeps me passionate and connected to the music
and the fans.
Nightlife was fortunate enough
to cover the recent Classic Rock Cares Tour for
the JOHN ENTWISTLE
tour at B.B. Kings
in which you where one of the artists to donate there time and
*The set you performed was absolutely inspiring
talk about that and what it means to you to represent the foundation?
For all of the generously
talented musicians involved on the tour it really is important
to give back in anyway possible. It’s a responsibility
that everyone in the foundation takes very seriously.
*Music is a communicator that has an unparalleled
freedom about it; the spirit of music allows artists to broach
the soul, we can reach people and places that mere words can
*Every show that we played had a magical
vibe to it; although this little tour has ended we are all looking
forward to getting back out again on behalf of the JOHN ENTWISTLE
*As you mentioned the talent on the tour is unquestionable,
but to me it’s the heart of each artist that makes it something
Ross CAT- I
noticed that you had the chance to tour with JOHN ENTWISTLE
during the 1995-96 RINGO STARR All Stars Tour.
What was it like sharing the stage with “The
MARK FARNER- That’s
right, I’ve been blessed from day one in my career to be able
to surround myself with extraordinarily talented musicians.
That’s something that I’ve never taken for granted, when given
the opportunity to share that by helping others I’ll be there.
*JOHN was of course one of a kind as a player
but more importantly as a man. He was a wonderfully kind
hearted soul; I can’t imagine he would want anything else then
for us to be doing what we are doing on his behalf. I
consider it an honor to help keep his spirit alive through the
Ross CAT- Let’s talk about
your illustrious career; your accomplishments with GRAND
FUNK RAILROAD have reached legendary status, I was really
impressed with your last solo record in 2006 “For the
People” where once again you Rock with
passion and relevance.
*You’ve become a voice of a few generations
through your music does it get discouraging as an artist to
see our leaders continue to make the same mistakes at the expense
of its people?
right in that respect, it’s almost like déjà vu with the current
situation in the Middle
*I truly am a PATRIOT and a proud one at
that so that is a role that relish with great earnest.
-*We need to feed back into THIS country,
to keep the power of freedom and truth among the people who
covet it the most.
-*For those of us who still put our heart
and soul into this land we do so to give our children growing
up here the chance to experience the American dream.
I noticed that you dedicate an
entire page on your official website (www.markfarner.com)
to the veterans and the active soldiers.
*I think it’s awesome that you recognize
those who are put in harms way through no fault of their own
to protect our freedoms.
MARK FARNER- Thank
you for saying so; that something that’s been in my heart since
I lost so many friends in
Vietnam. The reality of war hit me very
hard as a young man watching my childhood friend’s leave and
never return home.
*That really smacked me in the side of the
head and jarred something in me to try and compel people, to
provoke them to think about what is happening to our young men
and women, and for what.
*It’s our responsibility as AMERICANS to
question why so many lives are being lost and that’s what I
do every opportunity I’m given.
While there is no appropriate
segue from such a serious subject lets talk a little about the
amazing run of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD.
*The band enjoyed such enormous success
in a short period of time (1969-1976) with the chart topping
songs and dynamic live performances, how did the band manage
to keep focused on the music at such a young age?
FARNER-Like most things
in life timing had a lot to do with it, we all had the same
intent back then and things just kind of popped for us.
*We really had a great promoter in the late
TERRY KNIGHT, who was our first manager. While honesty
wasn’t one of his best traits he sure did promote the hell out
of the band.
*Like many bands from that era we didn’t
always reap the rewards of our hard work and creativity like
we should have. Being so young and naive we didn’t have
a clue about publishing rights and things like that. Yet it
was that youth and naivety that was the artistic passage that
lead to all the wonderful music we made together; so it was
kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time.
The summer of 1973 would see GRAND
FUNK steam roll to #1 on the Billboard charts
with the albums title track the immortal Rock ‘n’ Roll
anthem “We’re an American Band”.
*The band enlisted the abstract musical
mind of TODD RUNDGREN to produce that album, what
did he bring to the studio and the production of this beloved
body of work?
MARK FARNER- Todd
brought GRAND FUNK a freshness to the production, something
I think we had been missing from the inside. He managed
to change the sound of the music without changing the overall
tone of our band, which is no easy task.
*In my own personal opinion TODD is a musical
genius; I really dig his stuff both as an artist and producer.
He really put some magic in that record and made it something
summer you had quite the busy year with the release of the GRAND
FUNK RAILROAD Greatest Hits CD/DVD package. What was
it like compiling the footage and reaching back in time especially
revisiting that famous day at “Shea Stadium” in
was a unique experience, while watching the tape I could flash
back to being on stage and looking out at the sea of people.
I remember being able to hear the audience over my amplifier.
*That day will be etched in my memory for
as long as I live it’s an indelible feeling. That visual
even brought back the euphoric feeling; I remember thinking
“all these people came to see US”?
also released a solo record last year ample titled “For
the People”. The new songs embody your signature
soulful guitar grooves combined with your salient
songwriting resolve. Give us a little insight on that record?
always enjoy the creative process of making music. A lot
of those songs I’ve had ready to go for quite sometime but just
never got around to recording until last year.
*The songs are taken to another level with
the consummate band of rockers the N’rG (energy) band kicking
it with me:
LAWRENCE BUCKNER on bass, HUBERT CRAWFORD on
drums, and PAUL O’JIBWAY on Keys and Sax.
You have such an extraordinary
history with your original GRAND FUNK band mates DON
BREWER and MEL SCHACHER is there any chance of the
three of you ever taking the stage together again?
one thing I’ve learned in this business is to never say never
again. In fact I was hoping to put the original line-up
back together last summer to promote the Greatest Hits CD/DVD
but it was rejected.
That’s O.K. I understand, at least I know
in my heart I was willing to try to give our fans what they
deserve while we are still able to do so.
Mark, once again “Your Some Kinda Wonderful” when
it comes to helping out others. You will be headlining
the “DOIN IT FOR DEAN” Motorcycle Run this
Saturday at CLUB INFINITY in memory of the late
DEAN BROWN who passed away earlier this year.
Proceeds will benefit the
BUFFALO HOSPICE CENTER.
MARK FARNER- It’s
these types of shows that really inspire me. I lost my
Mother to cancer some fifteen years ago and to this day my Step
Dad has taken that loss and turned into a positive helping other
I’ve always enjoyed my visits to the
Buffalo area and we are looking forward to helping the BROWN
family honor DEAN’S life. Hope to see everyone there.
The ROCK REPORT would like to thank MARK
and LESIA FARNER for being so gracious with their time in helping
make this event a huge success.