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Robert Berry

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Robert Berry from 2019

MSJ:

It's been about a year since we've interviewed you. What's been going on in the world of Robert Berry?

Well Gary, first off I want to thank you for your long time support of my music. I feel like we are definitely old friends.

 The last year has been a year full of dreams come true. After losing my dear friend Keith (Emerson - ed.), the album we had started together got released, as you know. What has been truly amazing is the overwhelming response to 3.2 - The Rules Have Changed. Not only did it sell out in five countries on Amazon by noon the first day, but I am still doing about five interviews a week nearing a year later. I have a new manager, have put the 3.2 band together, and have a tour planned - bout five warm up dates on the west coast and 20 dates on the east coast to get us launched. All that was happening while I finished up the brand new Alliance album Fire and Grace and some live dates with the Greg Kihn Band. All I’ve been missing since we spoke last is sleep.

MSJ: What can you tell us about your new album?

Alliance, Fire and Grace I believe is our best album yet. I have a few songs I wrote on there that I’m very proud of. Not only the song itself but Gary (Pihl - ed.) has done some really tasty guitar work. David (Lauser - ed.), as always, lays down a very deep groove. There is a song on the album called "Time." As life goes on you either feel like time has passed you by or that you feel the same as you did when you were young. This song is about us who feel the same as we always have - still reaching for that dream. Check it out.

MSJ:
What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?
I have heard from a few people that certain songs got them through a rough patch in their life.  What I love about that is the connection I made with those listeners through a song that touched their inner being. It was quite an honor.
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Because I produce so many artists in all different styles it is hard for me to fill in that blank. I think any rap guy that only raps with no singing, has vulgar lyrics just for the sake of being a jerk, and dumbs down music in general. That guy would be, and, is the arch enemy of real music.  Then of course there are guys like Eminem that are quite good.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?

Drums: John Bonham

Bass: Chris Squire

Guitar: Jeff Beck

Keys: Geoff Downes

Vocals: Lou Gramm

I’m not sure what sound they would make, but it would be an amazing thing to see.

MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
I record and produce every day in my studio when I’m not on the road. I mostly listen to the artists I’m working with. I am currently mixing the new Fragile album and finished producing an artist from Malaysia named "Dehjare." They are on my car stereo and on  my phone headphones constantly.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
I rarely read. When I have that kind of down time I write songs.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Man you probably think I’m crazy. I don’t go to concerts often. The last one I saw was Sammy Hagar and the Circle. I have to say it was completely for selfish reasons. I play and pre-record the keyboard parts for the Van Halen songs they play. The set was Sammy’s history from Montrose, solo years, Van Halen and some Zep since Jason Bonham is the drummer. They were fantastic.

MSJ: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?
I bought two microphones - a Telefunken C12 for the 3.2 album vocals and a U47 for the Alliance vocals. Both mics brought texture to my voice I haven’t been able to capture before. 
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

If my 3.2 featuring Robert Berry tour comes close by please come out and say hi. I have put together a set of music from my 30 year history - songs from GTR, 3, Pilgrimage to a Point, Ambrosia, my Magna Carta tribute series ("Roundabout," "Karn Evil 9," Genesis)  and, of course, 3.2. 

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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