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Progressive Rock Interviews


Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Doug Rausch of Rausch from 2018


I know I interviewed you for Poetry of the Air, but in terms of Music Street Journal interviews, it seems that it's been about seven years since we did an interview. What's new in the world of Doug Rausch?

Thanks for having me back, and it was an honor to be included alongside some real heavyweights in your book! In some ways absolutely nothing has changed; I’m the same person I was in 2009, let alone well before that…I devoted myself to music in my early teens, and that was that. I continue to spend every waking moment possible on the creation process of the very best music I have to offer, and it just so happens that enough music finally got completed (as in, recorded/mixed/mastered completed!) to put out this second album at long last. As with the debut, it’s quite the well-rounded meal in and of itself, if I may… As I’ve been saying in other interviews, the tragic thing is there’s always a solid “four more albums” ready to go in my head. The harder part (big shout-out to ye olde “current state of the music industry here,” but I digress) is birthing them into the fixed final product they deserve, but now I can at least proudly state that eighteen songs have officially made it out alive. The past seven years have been one long recording session, 2011 literally feeling like yesterday.
MSJ: Looking to your new disc, what similarities are there with your previous work? What are the differences?
I think that I think they are more similar than most other people may think, on account of some real mammoth “ten-minute epics” this time. Oh, there’s also a real Steinway Grand Piano on there now! But as I just alluded to, so many songs have been getting worked on all along the way, there’s no real distinct separation for me, the way there will be for everyone else who listens. Take Axl Rose with “November Rain” or “Don’t Cry” for example, in that those songs could have made the Appetite album, but they simply weren’t ready. On this new album BOOK II, one of my personal favorite tracks – “Irked” could have/would have/should have made the debut, but at the time it didn’t make sense to wait even longer to release Album I (a little tune called “The Pros & Cons of Linear” had caused enough delays! [laughs]). So I allowed “Irked” the time it needed to be properly completed, and the piece is all-the-more dynamic from that. I will say, somehow this new album does indeed seem to take RAUSCH to a whole new level. At the time of the debut, I thought I made the best record possible, but I’m always one to admit when I’m wrong…
MSJ: What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?
“Queen on steroids.” Someone in the industry said that to me at a conference out in L.A. I like it!
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Other than continuing to write and record and perform as best I know how, I don’t have a crystal ball. But I’m chomping at the bit to get out there and play. That’s for sure.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Life is a juggling act between keeping up with what’s new versus catching up with what’s not, and above all staying focused on one’s own music. Technically not a purchase, but I received the super deluxe 40th anniversary edition of Queen’s News of the World for Christmas (shout-out to Mom of RAUSCH!) and can’t wait to dive in. Otherwise, some of my latest obsessions would be the new Pain of Salvation (masterfully executed) and still Opeth’s (two albums ago) Pale Communion, a masterpiece that hasn’t left my active rotation since its 2014 release. I’m also finally digging into Dvorak, Zappa and Scriabin bigtime, not to mention branching out into more diverse ethnic territory for inspiration as well - and I’m always juggling about 50-70 albums at any given time. I love music.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Besides yours? (laughs) Great job, by the way… How to Make it in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand - required curriculum….
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
No free time! I missed seeing Tom Petty this year (thus ever), and especially given the ensuing tragic loss, I now officially have my first true life regret. That said, I did make it to see the reunited GN’R tour. That’s something that was important to me. It’s tricky to get out to many shows when I’m preoccupied with my own music, but one artist with whom I have an unhealthy obsession with – and always make it a point to see (they do come all the way from Finland after all) is Sonata Arctica.
MSJ: Do you remember your first concert you attended?
I do, and my expectations were severely out of alignment. Stopping there...
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Listen to music. Then listen again. Buy music. If you stream, pay for the premium accounts. Go to shows. If you like it, let your friends know. That should beat the dead horse with enough ad nauseam clichés… but it’s true, nobody can afford to be passive in the new era of mandatory DIY. Like it or not, we’re all in this together. Don't let it die!...and thanks again for the support!
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at
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