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Progressive Rock Interviews

Paul D’Adamo

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Paul D’Adamo from 2012
MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music?

I was born with music as the life force running through my veins. At the tender age of six, I was listening to Sinatra and formally singing, at seven. I was playing piano and my classical training continued throughout my teens. During that time, I also taught myself how to play drums. The music played in my house covered many different genres, from big band to opera, and from that, I forged a deep appreciation for many different styles of music including classic and progressive rock!
MSJ: You teach music. What do you think a music education does for a musician?
Well, it teaches versatility, technique through proper structure, simply appreciation for performing and learning to read. While that is all well and good, nothing can teach passion. It’s the passion for music that lets a musician explore the depths of creativity and that same passion is what connects them to their audience. Also I would imagine it would be difficult to teach musicians aeronautical engineering.
MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
I’d be a chef, listening to Italian Opera while I cooked. If not a chef, then something in the food and beverage industry.
MSJ: You’ve got some impressive musicians on your disc. How did you recruit the various players?
I threatened to cook for them. No, really, it wasn’t planned, word just got out and it was synchronicity from there.

It was all about the music. Brad Cole was a very important part in getting nine members of Phil's band/Genesis to be a part of this. The two years of working with all of the 25 musicians that played on my album became my biggest rock and roll fantasy camp! They were certainly great musicians, but more importantly great people! To also have Charlie Morgan from Elton John's band, Grant Geissman from Chuck Mangione's band, Phil Kaeggy, Darlene Koldenhoven from Pink Floyd certainly was a high point for me as well! Leland Sklar, Luis Conte, Gerald Albright, Daryl Steurmer, Chester Thompson, Brad Cole, Arnold McCuller, Amy Keys, Lynne Fiddmont…Seriously? Does it get any better than that?

MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
Sinatra, because that’s where it all started, then Italian singers, opera, and the music and musicians from the 70s and 80s. Phil Collins, Jon Anderson, Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Earth Wind and Fire, Genesis, Rush….etc…the list can go on and on.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Making music and hopefully touring. I have a new album coming out this year called “Rawfully Organic,” and am looking forward to live performances and connecting with the people. Spending time with people has always been a great thrill for me.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
I think we have something for everyone. A blend of a little R & B, a little classic rock, progressive rock and fusion and then some.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
Yes! I wouldn't mind obviously working with the musicians who played on the Tell Me Something album. It's really hard to answer a question like this, simply for fear of leaving somebody out.
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Well, you know, musicians need to eat too. The thing is, is that individual downloads don’t give listeners the true scope of the music as a whole CD. It is cut and paste, so to speak. I've never been a fan of people taking advantage of other another's livelihood. Music is all about passion, and sometimes that passion to a musician comes at a price. So, buy the music!
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
Since they have already paid to see a show (remember the eating thing), sharing gives us that much more exposure. Certain things you can't stop. In today's market you have YouTube. There's good and bad in that. If good music goes viral, then I guess it's a good thing.
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Large record label executives. The one’s who love you one minute and won’t return calls, the next. I'm thrilled to be signed to a family Independent label. I'm with Melodic Revolution records and the communication and promotion is outstanding. I truly feel like I'm part of a family there. But if I was going to be a super hero, I'd be Iron Man, just because of the song!
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?
Once again, one of those really difficult questions. To be simple about it, I would love to see Genesis in two forms…The Gabriel era, and Collins era.
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
Genesis/ Phil Collins, Yes, ELO, Steely Dan, Tower of Power, Beethoven, Hendrix, Joplin and Mama Cass.and oh yeah, The Paul D’Adamo Band
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Peter Gabriel with the New Blood Orchestra.

Boz Scaggs, Hits

Steely Dan, A Decade of Steely Dan

Genesis, Wind and Wuthering

Pure Funk Volume 1

Rush, R30 Live

Those are the discs currently in my CD changer in my car!

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
No, unless they deal with music theory, dog training or the Japanese martial art, Aikido.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Peter Gabriel and the new Blood Orchestra
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
When I was doing a live show, I introduced a song only to find out that three members on stage heard three different titles and started the song with three different introductions to three completely different songs!

It happens to the best of us I guess. Everybody at some point has their Stonehenge. I'm sure mine is right around the corner.

MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Beethoven, Phil Collins, Sinatra. All them of them put so much emotion into their music. That would be a life lesson in and of itself.
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Gluttony, too much food. But I would have a sorbet Intermezzo to cleanse our palettes.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Yes. I think people need to go back and realize what music is for. Music creates the soundtrack for the best and the worst moments of your life.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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