I have to start by saying I am not one to complain publicly about anything in particular. In this case, I sincerely want to express my feelings about a particular topic…the music scene!
There is no getting around that getting into the music business was always difficult. However, booking a show in music’s hay day was very different. Venues had their own built in crowd! You didn’t have to bring people down or sell tickets to 100 of your own people. What is the goal in that? If I sell 100 tickets to people who already know my music, what purpose does it serve? The point of playing out, is to gain exposure to new ears. When venues back when had built in crowds, that’s how you gained exposure. AND a promoter, would actually..PROMOTE! I know, crazy right? It was their job to pack the place out. Not the artists! That’s why you are called a promoter, because you promote the venue and the gig and pack it out with the appropriate crowd. “Promoters” these days, all they do is collect money. They don’t promote at all. And if they do, it’s in their venue which has no traffic otherwise. Even better is when they book acts that shouldn’t be on the same bill. I like, hip hop, I like hard rock, but you should not have two acts like that back to back. Now you are lowering the chances of exposure to the suitable demographic, and weakening the chances at a successful show in general. But from my experience with many venues and many “promoters” this is how they all operate. Because they don’t care if you get exposure, they don’t care if you have a great show. The only thing they care about is how much money they walk out with personally. For them it’s really easy to say “you have a 20 minute set, sell 100 tickets at the door for $15 each, and I’ll give you $150.” Which is pure horseshit, because you just made $1500 off me busting my ass day and night, and you did nothing! Pure fact is, they’re getting paid for doing nothing. If you want the big cut, then you should be doing your job. Otherwise stop calling yourselves “promoters” start calling yourselves “thieves”, or just admit your only job is to shake hardworking people down. How about you work on promoting your venue enough where it gets it’s own built in crowd every night, and just start hiring bands that belong on the same bill for purpose of entertainment for your guests. Nah…why not just keep screwing over every band you meet, seems smarter right? Ya douche!
Then there is the actual music business itself! Back in the day you actually had to be good in order for people to listen and sign you. Now, all you need is a social media following and you my friend got yourself a deal! I legitimately sat down with a very important person in the music business, and they had ZERO desire to even listen to the product. Artist Development used to be real, they would find you based on quality, buff the rough edges off, and send you out on the road to gain a real following. They’d get someone to book you across the country opening for big acts with a similar style. Now, artist develop is seeing if you already did that on your own so they can come in and scoop up all the credit and all the money.
There was also a great way to find new artists, the radio! Now, that doesn’t exist, unless you choose to listen to A.M. radio, which let’s be honest, nearly nobody does. The way it was for older generations, you’d go find a disc jockey, shove a bill or two in his pocket..then he’d give it a spin or two and if they got requests for it he’d obviously play it again and again. This going on until someone obviously hears it at another station, plays it also..then your name goes around like wildfire! That’s when the record companies started coming around seeing what you had to offer as talent.
In current times, if you have a million views on youtube, a bunch of followers on facebook, and a good amount instagram fans..well shove over..we don’t want to hear what you sound like, what for? No need! You suck? Oh well, let’s autotune you. You can’t entertain worth a dam? Whatever! We’ll just throw 20 dancers on stage to mask the fact that you aren’t worth watching. Because obviously, that’s what makes talent! “Uh, let’s put an extremely repetitive mind numbing beat behind this person, add a ton of auto tune and effects on their voice..sweet now let’s go influence the youth of the world and increase stupidity! Cool? Cool!, print it!”
You can’t get your foot in the door, unless you’re already represented, and you get represented unless your foots already in the door. Catch 22 much? It gets to the point where you realize, you’ve been digging in the trenches so long, that you’re actually just burying yourself. Putting all your eggs in one basket, just see them crack. Everyone’s blowing smoke at a rat race to no where!
Something has to change! The industry needs a change in the right direction. There is real talent out there that gets squashed and shit on every day by the big wigs of labels. They even know how to find great talent and make it worse, I don’t know how they do it, but it’s the worst kind of magic spell to cast on anyone. It’s the icing on the cake that’s been baking too long.
That would either lead to just general interest, or something mutual beneficial for both of us. Bartering is a great technique to advance your network and gain things that may not have been afforded to you otherwise. Not everyone is sitting on a pile of money, as a singer/songwriter, most of us are struggling to make ends meat. And if you are struggling, many things to better your success are not easy to get a hold of. You need a website, music videos, properly mixed music, merchandise, and the list goes on.
Now, I am lucky enough to have bartered my first website and become genuine best friends with the designer. I have the ability to do voiceovers, she needed one for another website she does, I traded her the voiceover for a basic website. From their our friendship blossomed and she luckily provides an enormous assistance. Music, I reached out to many people to find the best product for the best buck. A technique I have found very useful for merchandise/apparel is find a sponsor who can benefit from placing ads on your items, they pay for the advertising space and you have stuff to hand out. My other network branches are very similiar stories which I personally am beyond lucky to have found. My best advice for building a network is be personable and sincere. You don’t have to be a genius to sense insincerity, if you are humble and kind, usually people are willing to help.
Attend events, post online, just spread word verbally like wildfire.]]>
When I got into high school, I started imitating my favorite artists for two hours a day every day. I mimicked every artist I listened to, Elvis, Billy Joel, Tom Jones..artists who are strong and successful. I would record myself, listen to it back,examine the differences, and correct them. You have to figure out the breaths needed, volume and accents. Now that may not be the best method, but it worked for me. Through doing all that I gained vocal strength, lung capacity, vibrato, and developed my very own style.]]>
Over the last few years I have had various encounters with friends and such who have inspired songs completely. To give an idea on my inspiration for one song I wrote for this album. About two years ago, a friend of mine who is a “masseuse” of sorts, had a client fall in love with her. This particular client would pay her to literally sleep in his bed with him, nothing more. So I began to write a song from his perspective. Acknowledging that although he knows what she does for a living, and that she’ll most likely never love him back, he continues to pay her for her company. That then became the first track on the upcoming album, entitled “Come Here Tonight”.
Another was a personal expierience of mine with a girl I was dating. I complained to another friend of mine in regards to this girl disappearing for days on end. My friend then said to me, “She’s M.I.A.”. To which I replied “yea, she’s Miss M.I.A.”. That right there lead to me to write a song out in 15 minutes with that very title. The song is all about my particular insecurities and suspicions in the matter. But this tune truly became a favorite of mine.
The rest of the album includes three songs written by my father in 1985. Songs which I have always been a complete fan of, and I want to share with others ears. The album’s title, “Indecisive Station”, is meant to get a vision across of someone who can’t choose what radio station to listen to. Each song has something different to it, almost a different era and genre to each. I had written a song “New York Tumbleweed” in 2007, and it didn’t fit on the last album release. So I am rearranging the song a bit, and putting on this album. The song tells a sad story of a woman all alone with no where to go.
Aside frm that there is a song by written by my producers titled “Dirty Little Things”, I loved the vibe and the subject matter almost immediately. And one co-write with my producers and I “Burn Down” originally titled “Disaster”.
Since my last album I have become friends with Richie Cannata known best for being part of Billy Joels Band. Richie and I discussed his involvement on this upcoming album, and I will have him on a few tracks, which makes it all the better!
I’ve recorded alot of music, but this particular album has me excited. I genuinely am proud of all the material. And I know everyone else will enjoy it.
Indecisive Station :
Bonus Track – Midnite Blues (C.Rich)]]>
For me my occasional trouble is scheduling a drummer. My one drummer Will is a police offer in the NYPD, and his schedule is sometimes tough to figure out. My other drummer Al just so happened to have a drumming course for the entire week that he could not miss. At this point I began to get a little nervous, because this was an opportunity I simply could not pass up. After going back and forth, turns out Will would be the drummer on this show.
Now with my mind clear, I have to figure out a proper setlist for this particular show. I know alot of the crowd is going to be slightly older so I want to cater to that as best as I can. Within the 25 minutes the venue is giving me, I have to leave an impact and a lasting impression. I didn’t really wind up changing all that much, mainly just placed emphasis on songs like “Johnny B. Goode” which I normally perform anyway. The set list went as is
The song Hot Rod Lincoln is a song I have my band perform while I throw out complimentry tee shirts to the audience. Not only is the song alot of fun, but it seems to bring alot of energy to throwing out tee shirts. You wouldn’t believe it until you saw it, but every crowd seems to go crazy.
On May 31st I get a call from Will telling me his schedule is being switched. He is now being placed in Coney Island where his entire schedule and days off will now be different. And he wouldn’t know his hours until June 3rd. Now this put me right back into sweating bullets, because I know Al can’t do the show, and now Will may not be able to do the show. Clearly it’s far too close to the show to get a fill in. Basically, I have no choice but to simply wait it out.
June 3rd rolls around and Will calls me and tells me he will be getting out of work at 4:30PM in Coney Island. Which is about an hour away from Huntington Village. Load in for our show is at 5, so I decide I will take his drums to the venue. Seems like things worked themselves back on track.
June 7th rolls around now, and the day is one giant rain storm! Unfortunatley this rain storm seemed to want to drop in buckets.
If you drove a regular car, it was going to take you a while to get anywhere. So the one hour trip it should have taken Will is now taking closer to 3 hours. Showtime is at 8:00pm sharp, so I am back to sweating bullets and walking back and forth out of pure nervousness. Finally at 7:10 I get a call from Will that he’s down the block, the band and I took one giant breath of air. It was going to be alright, thankfully.
Will gets in and tweaks whatever needed fixing on his drumkit, while everyone is getting dressed and ready.
We all get onto the stage and look at whatever people we can see past the lights. A certain energy just seemed to generate throughout the room. I think it could have been the energy that was just going through us, playing the biggest stage in the area. We open up with “Too Close” by Alex Clare, and it seemed as if the crowd immediatley knew what it was, and you heard a small roar come over the room. By the end of the song that small roar turned into a much larger one.
The 25 minutes we had on stage felt like an hour of greatness. If anyone had ever doubted that my band and I could rock the house, they were certainly proven wrong that night.
I then went to show face with a few friends who came to see the show but missed it due to the massive flooding and traffic of Long Island. Within doing that I got to sit and watch Eddie Money perform. I was singing along to all his songs like everybody else! I did however get the backstage advantage and watch from behind the curtain. A very surreal moment to watch a rockstar you admire from the stage.
After the entire show was over I got to sit down with Eddie’s band. What a great group of guys, they gave me some wine, gave me some pizza, made me feel at home. The venue itself was so kind and hospitable aswell. As a kind gesture they brought a case of beer to the dressing room, which some may see as small, was actually a grand gesture.
A little while after I mingled through the crowd and talked with friends, recieved great compliments from new fans and such. I caught wind Eddie was leaving very soon, because he had a very early morning ahead of him. I quickly dashed to the green room so I could get a word from him. When I entered the room he stood up right out of his seat and walked over to me. We both extended for a hand shake, and I said “Pleasure to meet you Mr. Money, I opened for you tonight.”. His response “I know, I heard you did great!”. Now whether he was just being polite with no true knowledge of performance, or if he truly heard, it was still very cool to hear. We grabbed a quick photo together and he went on his way.
The night was a true success! I thank The Paramount and all its staff, aswell as Eddie Money, his band, and crew!
Most people remember him as a country star in the 1970’s, I think of him as a rock and roll star, who then became a country star. The early hits he recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis are nothing less than spectacular. Wanting to hear more of his work that I was’nt as familiar with I searched itunes. Clicking on every song to hear the samples. I then clicked on “Midnite Blue” from an album titled “Three of A Kind”. This particular album featured Charlie Rich, Jim Reeves, and Don Williams. The song had these beautiful vibe to it, medium tempo and an interesting concept in the lyrics. I thought to myself “this is a song I would love to cover”. After having decided to cover this, I wanted to see who else had covered it. Turns out no one but Charlie Rich himself had covered it. The version I had heard was actually his remake of his own song “Midnite Blues” he had recorded at Sun Studios in 1962. The original had this AMAZING opening bass/drum combo, and I was hooked.
I immediatley contacted my producer, Sean Power, and decided on a route to take this song. I very much wanted to combine both versions, but really tap into that 1962 take. I wanted to make this song extra special, so after talking to my producer I reached out to Charlie Rich Jr. In the email I explained to Charlie Jr. that I was a long time fan of his fathers, and would love nothing more than for him to play on this track. After a few days Charlie Rich Jr. got back to me and was beyond happy to play on this track. Lucky for me he lives about 30 minutes from my producers studio in Nashville. It killed me that I couldn’t be there myself to talk and record with Charlie. He cut solos far better than I could even imagined.
“The Midnite Blues cut is totally awesome. I’ve never heard a better cover of
any of my Dad’s songs. Period. I know he would have loved it and I certainly
do.” ~Charlie Rich Jr.
I released my cover of the song on December 14th, 2012. Tt would have been Charlie Rich’s 80th birthday, and the songs 60th Anniversary year. I wanted to do all I could to honor the song, and the Rich family! Charlie Jr is one of the coolest, kindest men I have ever had the pleasure knowing. He was generous with his time, and kind with his words. A true gentleman! I only hope I did the song and family justice with my take on it.
One of the biggest honors I have had in recording is knowing Charlie Jr. was on one of my songs, a song his father wrote! The song is the type of song you can drive fast to, a real Rock and Blues cocktail!
Just like Elvis Presley had Col. Tom Parker, all these current acts had Lou Pearlman. It was apparent that this man could turn dirt into gold.
The level at which I was, I had zero means to contact him. On May 21, 2008, Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding. It occurred to me this was the best chance I had at reaching out to Lou. Although his name was and is a bit tarnished, it does not by any means discredit his legitimate skill set. A good analogy would be to use Mike Tyson, a boxing champion! He bit a man’s ear off once, however you would still take boxing advice from him, perhaps not his preference in delicacies.
Anyway, I then emailed many new reporters all around the country who had covered Lou’s story, in hopes of receiving a mailing address. I finally contacted Helen Huntley of the Tampa Bay Times, and she assisted me in getting a mailing address for Lou. I wrote a letter addressing my interest and what I felt was urgency. In the letter, I explained my awareness of his managing and promoting genius, and how I could certainly use his help and advice. He kindly replied and obliged my request. We had sent about thirty letters back and forth, and he gave me some solid advice.
In the summer 0f 2010 I had scheduled a trip to Memphis,Tn. My agenda for the trip was to see Graceland, Sun Studios, and other tourist attractions. I then also scheduled a professional recording session at Sun Studio. For later in the week I had set up an appointment with The Federal Correctional Institution, Texarkana in Texas to sit with Lou and have a face to face meeting. I drove four hours from Memphis,TN to get there.
Upon arrival you need to present a passport, a drivers license and a form if I remember correctly. They scan you down, check your pockets, and explain the rules. Once I was sat down, Lou was allowed to go through the courtyard and enter the cafeteria/visiting room. This particular institution also clearly for a higher grade of incarcerated individuals. From my understanding there were ex cops and things to that nature, people who may not be safe elsewhere. Everyone in this facility including inmates were very nice people, no one outspoken, a lot of families.
Lou and I had already been speaking for sometime so formalities were nonexistent. We got right to talking about things, went through the casual, and dove right into professional advice. He naturally told me his side of his story, which was of course welcomed. The man hands down has genuine gift for marketing and business. Whether he did or did not commit the crimes he is now incarcerated for, the man has skills. He told me a bunch of plays like a coach would tell his player. And from that day forth I still email him once every few weeks for updates and advice.
Some may consider him a tainted criminal, a ponzi schemer, or what have you. I however look past that, because it has nothing to do with me. Even if the convictions are 100% true, people make mistakes. I consider Lou a very close friend , and a true mentor to me. He has given me advice that has helped me day in and day out in my career thus far.]]>
Been a while since I’ve written a blog, I figured I would do it about the ZEISS GIRLS.
Having once modeled, and a strong appreciation for the field, I felt featuring one girl a month would be a great thing. It obviously has multiple purposes, it’s also a good way to continue to grow viewers/fans. Each female I feature has a diffrent following of friends, so that is that many more people exposed to Zeissofficial.com The plan originally involved Elmer Escobar as the photographer, but due to his change in location, could not be done. Elmer then forwarded me to his good friend, the talented, Filippo Barbarotto. Fil and I did about 6 shoots, and luckily while he was away on vacation Elmer came back to NY for some work, allowing us to feature two new lovely ladies.
My first model was my go to girl, Jillian Clarke, a sexy girl, who never lets you down. This is a girl that, no matter what I’ve ever asked her to be part of, she gladly agrees. So in December 2010, Fil and I brought Jill to this great location Fil knew about. And even though the location was messy and broken down,it worked perfect. Shots came out great, and blew peoples minds at how attractive she is. Jillian is a show-stopper for sure, heads turns,knees buckle, people simply crowd around just to get a look. Whether you like a beautiful face,or a perfect body, she really has it all.
Next on the model list was a lovely lady who danced in my music video, Shanta Lewis. We actually had her on the same day as Jillian Clarke , figured it would be easier to get two shoots done at the same time. Shanta had left an impression from the moment she showed up on set for the video, with her luscious lips and beautiful curves, she was hard to forget. Such a seductive vibe comes from Shanta during each pose, you just fall into the mood.
Next on the list was the “Marilyn Monroe – like” Doris Cano. I say Marilyn Monroe like, because to me her face just glows with that same vibe. In my opinion she has such similiar features. Doris showed up, and was just flawless, so petite and beautiful. To be honest one of the most lovely ladies I’ve ever laid eyes on. She was up for getting a little dirty and into the muck for the shoot. With every shot you could hear both Fil and I let out a little “wow”. She’ll be a classic one day, just like Marilyn.
Nora Mancini graced our eyes next. I approached Nora about modeling after having seen her through mutual friends. She is simply stunning, and irresistable to just about anyones eyes. Unfortunatley for Nora we chose one of the coldest days in the winter season to shoot. Nora could barely keep her eyes from tearing the weather was so bad. But she was tuff and worked through it. During her last outfit change, she chose a back less shirt, and the cold just blew right through everyones bones, major props to Nora. Non the less, the shots came out great and Nora remains irresistable.
On multiple occasions i asked “Bomb Shell” Michelle to model as a Zeiss Girl. Bomb Shell just has this overall sexual essence about her, I believe “oozes” sexuality is the way to say it. Being her very first photo shoot, she came in and treated it as though she was a professional. Most models who have tattoos, just do not wear it well, but Bomb Shells just came off so edgy and beautiful.
The day of my music video shoot, I was walking through the hallway when this beautiful girl goes “should i switch into shorts, i brought them incase”, and i replied “yes”. Well that girl turned out to be a hip shakin beauty named Anna Jadanova, and I asked her right away to be a Zeiss Girl. Over time certain things came up preventing the shoot from happening. During the month of July, Elmer returned to Ny, and had planned a shoot with Anna, so it became mutual understanding I would then use this as her Zeiss Girl shoot. After having seen the shots, i picked out my favorites and was wowed everytime. Between Elmers amazing work, and Anna’s beauty, it was a great mix. She just has this thing about her, between the smile, the eyes, the HIPS, and legs…what’s not to love. She carries this class about her that is just so magnifying, and im honored that she is a Zeiss girl.
Elmer still in Ny, we decided to do a shoot. Through Bomb Shell, i found the Ana Merida, a young lady who looks like the perfect example of a human Barbie. This was Ana’s first shoot, and you would never guess it. Ana is just stunning, you look at her and just think “oh my god”. From face to body, there is no disappointment, she knew the faces to make and the emotion to deliver. We did three outfit changes for Ana, and each one more mind blowing than the last. She is as lovely and nice, as she is beautiful, shoot looks like it was out of the highest end magazine you could find.
With Elmer now back in California, I remembered a stunning girl I met on a photoshoot a few years back now lives in Hollywood. Danielle Baker, who I personally met in NYC, is wowing from the second you meet her. She’s kind of like a punch in the face, if punches in the face felt good; You see it coming, but then BAM,”woah thats right, she leaves an impact”. So I asked Elmer if I could get a model by him, would he be willing to photograph her. Once he saw a photo of Danielle, he agreed of course. I then asked Danielle if she’d be interested, to which she responded “I would love to”. After Elmer and Danielle had connected, they set up a shoot etc and asked me for details on clothing and location . Basically I wanted to emphasize that fact she was in Hollywood Cali., and being I’m not too familiar with the area, I left it to them. They chose a rooftop, which is very cool, because the last shoot Elmer and I held was a rooftop, but in Manhattan NY. These shots are just phenominal, each photo has it’s own wow factor, plus Danielle’s wowing qualities. Danielle Baker is classic Hollywood beauty, stunning from head to toe, and a dancer/singer to boot. Couldn’t have asked for a better turn out with this photoshoot!
One photoshoot prior to Danielle Baker, Elmer and I had done a shoot with Ana Merida. Knowing Elmer was coming back to New York for a few weeks I figured I would reach back out to Ana and see if she had any friends who would like to do a shoot along side her. Ana brought her friend/roommate, Martha Wasser, to my attention. I of course agreed. For this shoot I wanted to style something classic, vintage, but still sexy in a modern way. The concept behind my album was a huge influence. After having been told about Automat Restoration in Hicksville New York, I kindly emailed them asking if we could us their facility, to which they quickly agreed. Martha came in and went to it like a pro, and allowed Elmer to really capture some fantastic shots! One of my favs.
Toward the middle of November, Fil and I decided to set up another shoot. So i reached out to a gorgeous girl I saw on Facebook, Diana Scherillo. I asked her if she’d be interested in a photoshoot, and she was 100% down for it. Then it came down to finding a theme, i thought a pool hall would be cool. So I called up Mr Cues Billiards in Lindenhurst NY, and asked them if they’d mind a sexy girl crawling on their tables and pranzing around, they of course had no problem with the matter. I think Dianas shoot may be my favorite of all to this point, because I love the colors, and the concept, and the story telling that comes through some of the darker images. Every thing came out amazing.
Approaching the completion of my debut album “Last Train to Rock n Roll” it seemed to be the best way to promote it would be by filming a commercial for it. It took a long while to cast the perfect actress to play the role of the simple girl, turned into a bombshell. After going through alot of options I was at a Bar and Grille one evening and spotted this gorgeous girl. After some conversation she introduced herself as Mikaela, a beautiful name to match the rest. We continued to talk, and after leaving we found each other online. I approached her with the idea of starring in my commercial, she happily agreed. Having never modeled before, I was thrown back by how professional she handled it all. She went through the motions, and really gave it her all. Filippo Barbarotto did me the favor and came down to take some great photographs. While Jon Onderdonk and Sean Dahlberg filmed what is sure to be an amazing product! Mikaela certainly made the commercial what it will be.
Each and every Zeiss Girl has my deepest gratitude for being with me.
My Feature in Bella Petite Magazine
So about a year ago I started speaking with the beautiful/lovely model Jennifer Bollinger, and she simply could not be a nicer person. We began speaking quite often in fact, and following each others endeavors. After months of being friends, Jennifer mentioned to me that she was involved with this fantastic new magazine for petite women, called “Bella Petite Magazine”(www.bellapetite.com). Upon doing minimal research it was clear this magazine was a very high end publication both on the internet and in print. Jennifer told me that Bella Petite also had a radio show, and that I should speak with her friend, Ann Lauren, the owner of Bella Petite, In order to get a radio spot. The radio show was/is primarily talk radio, no music, but it would still be an opportunity to reach more people. A few things interfered with the first time we had scheduled me being on the show, just simple miscommunication. Ann Lauren then sent me an email regarding the next date to be scheduled on the show, and we agreed on a date.
On February 16th at 4pm Eastern time , I received a phone call from Ann Lauren and we spoke for nearly an hour. I would assume the phone call wasn’t intended to last that long, but we simply just kept the conversation rolling. She was basically trying to see if I could sustain an interview, but it became a real conversation. February 22nd at 1:28pm Eastern time , I had my full radio interview, Ann Lauren was nice enough to save the final slot for me, and I am thankful. We got to talk for about 20 minutes I believe, and it flowed easily. Ann Lauren asked me to sing live on the air, which was difficult because I could barely talk from a nasty winter cold, but I chugged on. I chose to sing the opening lines of Frankie Valli’s “My Eyes Adore You” , she seemed smitten, so it’s my hope the rest of the listeners were as well. The conversation hit many topics, all a pleasure to speak about.
In the interview Ann Lauren asked me why I chose “That’s All Right” as the song I would launch myself with. And with all honesty I said it was because I was going to Memphis, why not record at Sun Studio, and why not record the song everyone connects with the beginning of Rock and Roll. Now all this being discussed in regards to the fact that she said I have an “Elvis” way of speaking, which isn’t necessarily untrue, but isn’t entirely true either. The way I speak is just relatively relaxed I assume, and being my voice is deep it may have that vibe. This not to discredit Elvis as a major influence on my life, because he certainly is a large part of it. “That’s All Right” is a rock n roll tune, and I just wanted to celebrate Rock N Roll by redoing what I consider the origin of the style we as Rock N Rollers play today.
– My particular brand of Rock N Roll is “manufactured” with major blues influence in it’s core. The main goal here for me is to recreate what I feel music has lost, and that’s its soul, and belief and its feeling all around. In it’s hay day, the reason Rock N Roll was such a problem is because it was music that you felt, and the way it made you feel was like you had to get up and just move. It was the power of the blues that made you feel that way.
About two days after the radio spot, Ann Lauren wrote a sweet little feature about me in her magazine, a true honor.http://bellapetite.com/rock-n-roll-singer-matthew-zeiss-men-prefer-petites.html
In the articles intro she ends it with “…because Zeiss is his own artist, determined to blaze his own musical trail with a powerful voice and a captivating stage presence.” . It’s my hope that people are able to focus on those specific words, opposed to any comparisons that people may gather. I think after an artist redoes another artists song, it’s only natural they be compared in some way, whether good or bad. However “That’s All Right” will actually not be included on my debut album, it is only available to listen to through watching my music video :
To this listen to the actual interview, please go to Itunes and search for the Bella Petite Hour from February 22, 2010, in the pod cast category .
Thank you ,
So this is my first blog, and frankly, I’m going to blog about just what’s on my mind. Which is Zeiss! No, not me, the Super villain to Batman. Most of what people know about me is my love for music , specifically music that was before my time. A large influence on me growing up amongst many others, was Elvis Presley. Aside from music, a lot of my childhood fun was reading Batman comics, or enjoying Batman movies/cartoons etc. Now although I had a ton of Batman comics, I had never actually purchased one for myself, most of what I owned was from my parents. On a nice day, I have always chose to go for walks to the local stores around the block, and I did just that this one fall day in Oct 2000. While strolling through the local Eckerd I came across a Batman comic that caught my eye:
Batman : 582 (Brubaker . McDaniel)
So I figure why not, I loved the way the cover was draw, the way Scott McDaniel captured every motion of the story was/is flawless, very Matrix-esc in my opinion. McDaniel also used what is my favorite Batman costume, whether it be a dark blue cowl or a black cowl, that design is my favorite. After buying the comic I immediately went home to read it; And to my surprise I find a super villain with what is in my opinion Elvis like hair, named Zeiss.
Zeiss (Philo Zeiss)
So after many years of forgetting about this character I ran across his name in a Google search. It got me wondering, what made these people develop this characters looks, and call him Zeiss. The illustrator, Mr. Scott McDaniel, was kind enough to answer what he could on the character, as well as send me a scan of the original design for the character (which I don’t believe would be right to share).
“I just don’t recall the specifics from Ed (Ed Brubaker) about the inspiration for this character. You’ll notice my visual design sheet is dated 4/00, so it goes back quite a few years! Maybe Ed can supply that missing info! Visually, the idea was to present a stylish but simple contour, and a realistic outfit for a street killer that moves in and out of the shadows. His goggles were to be his visual ‘tag,’ so I cleared his head of hair that would interfere with that distinctive band”
I then asked Mr. McDaniel what inspired him to give Zeiss that particular hair style, his reply :
“I wanted his contour to be clean, so I used his hair to articulate some energy and movement. Keeping his color scheme, naturally his hair would be black. And as a wild man at heart, his hair would wildly flow, not restrained to styling!”
Mr. McDaniel was more then helpful, and for that I thank him. While looking at the original designs, I noticed a few things, one being that Zeiss is 6’2. Zeiss being that height is further ironic, because …so am I! Then I take notice to the fact that he’s listed as 185 lbs, which I know for fact I weighed that all through high school when I bought the comic.
Major choices were also listed on the character, such as possible names, none being Zeiss. But what is there is little things like color of items, weapons he conceals, and the color of his “lenses” that are on the goggles he wears. It is my guess the name “Zeiss” was taken by the fact that he needs lenses, and Zeiss is one of the biggest lense companies in the world. If Mr. Ed Brubaker can shed some light on that, I will correct or confirm this blog.
Sum up, just very ironic to me that the first comic I buy myself for my favorite hero has a villain by the name Zeiss, who wears Elvis like hair.