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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Expose`- 'Seasons Change'

But leaves turn brown and fade
Ships sail away
You long to say a thousand words
But seasons change

If you've been reading Daily Boom for awhile then you already know that I'm a really unapologetic fan of many of the 80's girl groups, like Expose`. Today's throwback just so happens to be their very first number one hit, "Seasons Change", which topped Billboard's Hot 100 on this very week back in 1988.

"Seasons Change" was the fifth single off of Expose's Exposure album which was released in January of 1987. Since the girls were primarily marketed as a dance band and are often credited as freestyle artists it seems that maybe the team behind them didn't expect a ballad to chart well. Either that or they knew that they were saving the best for last.

This song drags me right back to that first high school breakup and I bet it takes a lot of you guys to a similar place, right? Nearly 30 years later I love how timeless "Seasons Change" is. The only thing that gives a clue that it might be an 80's track is that now infamous sax. Back then every great song had a sax solo and honestly, it's one of the things that I miss the most from 80's music!

Oh and an interesting nugget of nostalgia from this video. Gioia Bruno had just found out that she was pregnant with her daughter shortly before filming this!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Animotion- 'Room To Move'

It's not that I don't love you, oh no
It's just that I, I've got to have room to move
That's all I need, that's all I ask for
Room to breathe, room to move

That's all I need, that's all I ask for
Give it to me, room to move
Everybody needs, room to move

You guys remember Animotion, right? They had that hit song called "Obsession" that will now probably be stuck in your head for the rest of the day simply because I mentioned it. Well, back in 1989 they also had another hit, "Room To Move" which featured Cynthia Rhodes (ex-wife of Richard Marx) and Paul Engemann on lead vocals. It was featured in the 1988 science-fiction comedy film, My Stepmother Is an Alien and reached number 9 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Believe it or not the lineup on "Room To Move" is almost entirely different from the group that first broke through back in 1984. The original band, led by Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams, has reunited
in recent years and continues to perform. The lineup that featured Rhodes and Engemann was short lived but they did produce a great song so check it out below!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: Blondie- 'Heart of Glass'

"Once I had a love and it was a gas 
Soon turned out, had a heart of glass." 

A few lines in and I'm standing in my parents' very first apartment where my love of music all began. It's a few days before Halloween and my parents were throwing a party for all of their friends. The night before was my kiddie party in our basement. I wore a Wonder Woman costume that was so NOT a Wonder Woman costume because it had a skirt and no lasso. I remember a punch bowl and bobbing for apples and little else. But my parent's party, well that was the real deal. There was neat lighting, a table full of sweets that I was never allowed to have and all of our doorways had beads hanging from them that you were supposed to walk through. 

I was 7 years old and beginning to develop my own taste and thanks to my dad's music obsession disco was a big part of it. When I was about five dad started to train as a DJ at a local radio station and his little record collection on a tiny cart with wheels suddenly took over a whole wall of our living room. Even in that small apartment dad's stereo was front and center. His love of music turned into an educated love of stereo equipment. He spent two hours without fail every night cranking out tunes, everything from Pink Floyd to Blue Oyster Cult to ABBA and all the while he was fiddling with levers on all sorts of boxes that were supposed to somehow enhance the sound. I didn't know if the “woofers and tweeters” did any good but the day that he played Chic's “Le Freak” my life immediately changed.  

The last song of every evening was picked out by me and by the time 1978 rolled around I was choosing things like “Ring My Bell”, “The Hustle” and “Disco Inferno”. I also waited anxiously for Saturday afternoons to roll around because, thanks to cable television and WPIX in NYC I had discovered The Soap Factory, a weekly dance show.  A few weeks before my parent's party we were all watching as Blondie performed a song called “Heart of Glass”. I was mesmerized by the lead singer's blonde hair, bright lipstick and her turquoise pants suit. My dad always watched The Soap Factory with me, but this time even my mom stopped to check out Debbie Harry. I mean, how could you not? 

My mom spent the next week or so in party planning mode. She would fill the bathroom sink with water and bubbles and I'd spend an hour in there playing with all of my Fisher Price Little People. I loved having them swim and ride in their boats every night after dinner and I can remember my mom on the phone in the next room on the phone night-after-night making plans for this bash. My dad was always the laid back one and seemed to have little involvement. She hung sparkly decorations, made food and spiked the punch all while dad was engrossed in his albums. Neither of us realized what he was actually up to and as it turned out, dad's involvement was actually monumental because he was preparing to put all of those newfound DJ skills to good use. 

My mom had a surprise or two up her sleeve as well. The creativity was always flowing in that little apartment and so for the week leading up to the party when dad and his music was taking over the living room, mom was in her studio. It was a small room with her easel and mountain of art supplies on one side and her Singer sewing machine on the other. Beneath a window was a big cushion with built-in pillows to nap on. That was my spot to read or draw when mom was busy drawing advertisements for our local newspaper. Dad had thought that mom was working on extra assignments for art school when in fact she had been busy at her sewing machine making a turquoise satin pants suit, just like Debbie Harry's. She had decided to put her blonde wavy hair and 100-pound frame to good use and transform into his new favorite singer, gold cuff bracelet and all, for their Halloween party. 

 This one night, in particular, reminds me that at one point in time my parents really, truly were on the same page. They really did “get” each other.  As mom shocked dad with her costume he was just getting the party started. Dad was the man, but his music collection was the true star of the evening. His friends were all on the floor in front of his racks of records, flipping through everything in amazement and helping him to decide what to play next. Dad's dedications were also a hit because the songs that he played weren't just for particular people but he also had hilarious reasons for his selections.  

An hour or so into the party dad pulled out a surprise record that he was really excited about. It was Blondie's “Heart of Glass”, an extended dance mix that wasn't available in the states yet. When he ordered music for the station he would also add a few import records from the UK for his own collection and Blondie had just become available. It was a song that no one else knew until he played it that night but everyone loved it. Even the guys that had been downing their Michelob beer on the floor in front of the stereo all night were finally dancing. One spin of that record led to about 20 more before the night was over. 

At first, I might have been the only one not in costume and that was because there was no way that I was going to put that fake Wonder Woman thing on again. My aunt (mom's younger sister) decided in the middle of what looked like a Soul Train line dance that I needed some makeup at least. She grabbed me and her purse and hauled us both into the bathroom. There Aunt Elaine pulled out her black eyeliner and within a few minutes had transformed me into “Cleopatra”. I wasn't sure exactly who that was but my eyes looked like I belonged on The Soap Factory so that kinda sorta made me Debbie Harry for the night too, right? 

Everyone left after midnight. I remember my dad explaining the concept of time to me and how the digital clock turning to 2:01 am meant that it was Sunday morning even though it still felt like Saturday night. Truth be told it was far later than that and somehow I was still awake. My mom tried to make me go to bed but when I begged for one more spin of “Heart of Glass” my dad put the record on before she could even bother to protest. My room needed to be cleaned up anyway because my bed was where everyone left their belongings upon arrival. They and their coats might have been gone but my toys were all over the place and my precious Little People were scattered all over the room.  

 I swore that I would help clean up if they let me stay up but instead I climbed into the green recliner that had been temporarily moved into my room during the party. The French doors to my room were open and I curled up there, watching as my parents dragged garbage bags around to clean up the wreckage. My mom told me that I had 5 minutes until she was putting me to bed and so I closed my eyes as Debbie Harry sang.  

Who knew that nights like this one actually existed? If beaded doorways, little packs of M&M's and unexpected dance battles were what it meant to be an adult then I really couldn't wait to grow up. I closed my eyes tighter as I heard mom approaching and when she whispered to dad that I was asleep I stayed extra still until she went back to cleaning up. Eventually, I really did drift off to sleep in that chair and woke as dad was carrying me across the room to my bed. As mom tucked me in and kissed me goodnight she did the only thing that could have made this night any better, she took off her shiny cuff bracelet and put it on my arm.   

Monday, October 15, 2018

Currently Booming: Monday Morning 80's Playlist

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Bell Biv DeVoe- 'Poison'

If I were you I'd take precaution
Before I start to leave fly girl
You know 'cause in some portions

You'll think she's the best thing in the world

She's so fly, she'll drive you right out of your mind
Steal your heart when you're blind
Beware she's schemin', she'll make you think you're dreamin'

You'll fall in love and you'll be screamin' dreamin'

One of my favorite groups from the New Jack Swing era is Bell Biv DeVoe, If you remember, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe decided to branch off from their success as members of New Edition and BBD was born. Their debut album Poison made a pretty big splash back in 1990 and had a few singles that landed in the top ten on Billboard's Hot 100. The first track, also titled "Poison" was a huge hit thanks to MTV showing heavy rotation favor on the video. Check it out below. I'm pretty sure that you'll remember this one!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Soundtrack Sunday: Dirty Dancing

One of the things that I remember best from the summer of 1987 was the release of Dirty Dancing. Somehow, in spite of the internet not being around to generate tons of buzz, the advance promotion for this film was crazy. By the time August 16th rolled around everyone and their posse of friend's was dying to buy a ticket to what would become one of the most iconic film's of the decade. Check out the memorable closing scene below and then scroll through the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. So many great songs came from this movie!

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Kate Bush - 'Running Up That Hill'

You don't want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware I'm tearing you asunder.
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts.

Is there so much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don't we?
You, it's you and me.
It's you and me won't be unhappy.

I've always been a bit of a Kate Bush fan but I think my appreciation for her has definitely as I've gotten older. Back in 1985 her video for "Running Up That Hill" was in pretty heavy rotation on MTV and it featured Bush doing an interpretive dance to the haunting song. It was quirky and kind of unusual which helped to make the song memorable. Supposedly when it was first released record executives worried about how people would react to it. The original title was "Make A Deal With God" and they flipped it to "Running Up That Hill" to be safe.

The lyrics were what were in question and eventually Bush explained the song, proving there really was no reason for concern. The gist of "Running Up That Hill" is that relationships are hard and if men and women could make a deal with God to switch places even for a little while the result would be pretty enlightening. That notion still holds true now, more than thirty years later!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Nu Shooz - 'Point Of No Return'

You guys remember Nu Shooz, don't you? Husband-and-wife team John Smith and Valerie Day fronted the pop group, which dropped four pretty popular albums back in the 80's. 1986's Poolside brought us such singles as "I Can't Wait" and "Point of No Return", both of which are probably burned into the memory of most of us that were teens in the 80's.

In case you somehow were unfamiliar with Nu Shooz, Target latched on to "I Can't Wait", using it as part of the retail giants 2015 holiday campaign. That is helping to bring Nu Shooz to a younger audience and the timing really couldn't be better, because Valerie and John just released a new album, BagTown, a few months ago.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Van Halen- 'Panama'

Jump back, what's that sound
Here she comes, full blast and top down
Hot shoe, burnin' down the avenue
Model citizen zero discipline
Don't you know she's coming home with me?
You'l lose her in the turn
I'll get her!

Sounds a little suggestive doesn't it? As it turns out, "Panama", the third single off of Van Halen's 1984 album was in fact written about a car, not a chick. If you remember back to the summer of 1984 this was one of the most popular songs on the radio. Van Halen was kind of basking in the success of their sixth album and it was right before David Lee Roth decided to leave in favor of being a solo artist. Between "Panama", "Jump" and "Hot For Teacher" barely an hour passed without MTV showing a VH video and truth be told they were one of the groups that you could never get enough of.

1984 was such a great year in music history and Van Halen certainly played a big part in making it so memorable. Check out "Panama" below and tell me, was it your favorite track off of the album?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Kim Wilde - 'Kids in America'

Kim Wilde

"Looking out a dirty old window.
Down below the cars in the city go rushing by.
I sit here alone and I wonder why.
Friday night and everyone's moving.
I can feel the heat but it's soothing.
Heading down, I search for the beat in this dirty town.
Down town the young ones are going.
Down town the young ones are growing.
We're the kids in America.
We're the kids in America.
Everybody live for the music-go-round."

Let's kick this week off with an 80's classic that just makes you feel good- at least for a few minutes. Kim Wilde's "Kids In America" was actually first released in the U.K. in 1981 and it took it another year to break through, in America. It was intended to be a feel good anthem and it succeeded almost immediately. The chorus was one that everyone sang back then and I think it's fair to say that if you know it, then to this day you'll find yourself singing along. Check out the video below. I'm pretty positive you'll be singing along too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Quarterflash- 'Find Another Fool'

I don't believe that I deserve this ride
You took me for my very heart and pride
You let me down and now your hand is out
Well, here's some spare change you can count

"Find Another Fool" by Quarterflash almost feels like a lost hit to me. When everyone thinks of Quarterflash I think "Harden My Heart" instantly comes to mind, right? I happened to catch the video for "Find Another Fool" the other day and remembered that THIS is the song by them that I loved most.

Rindy Ross' vocals and then sax playing is just everything and this band was pretty rock solid. Quarterflash first formed in Portland back in 1980 and within a year or so they hit it big. This live video performance was filmed in 1981 after they were already playing to huge audiences. Am I the only one that misses the saxophone making a regular appearance in currently trending music? 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Janet Jackson- 'If'

"Allow me some time to play with your mind
And you'll get there again and again
Close your eyes and imagine my body undressed
Take your time cuz we've got all night, oooh
You on the rise as you're touchin my thighs and
Let me know what you like
If you like I'll go
Down da down down down da down down
I'll hold you in my hand and baby"

The early 90's were pretty damn emo. If you weren't walking around in a state of chronic melancholy you almost didn't fit in. Not that any of us really ever felt like we fit in. Douglas Coupland's Gen X novels reminded us that we were born into confusion so feeling like a misfit was par for the course. I had traded in my hairbands for Bush, Pearl Jam, Afghan Whigs and just about anyone else that was closer to Seattle or Portland than they were to the east coast. And then Janet Jackson reinvented herself and her sound.

Her self-titled album from 1993 stayed in my cd player for probably months straight. I was obsessed with the music, the videos, her abs- just everything. It was all so well-packaged (flannel shirts included) that it probably helped pull me out of my self-induced funk within a week or two.  It was all so slick and between the videos and MTV's behind-the-scenes footage I really wished that I was one of her "kids" (dancers). I mean really now, they were just awesome. Check out the video for "If" below. It is still my fav and dear god, 25 years later I still remember the choreography!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Currently Booming: Top 40 Hair Metal Songs

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Night Ranger - 'When You Close Your Eyes'

Related image

"A girl in love 
With a gleam in her eye
I was a younger boy 
All dressed in white
We're older now
Do you still think about me"

When I think back to middle school musical artists like Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper had everyone's' attention. They were like the top flight of what you heard every few hours on the radio but there were also a lot of solid rock groups in the mix too. Journey, Foreigner, and Heart did a great job of breaking up the pop music. So did Night Ranger, the powerful rock band formed in San Francisco back in 1979. They were building steadily and getting decent airplay and then "Sister Christian" broke through and became one of the biggest summer songs of 1984.

It seemed impossible for the band to put out a better song but they did, by chasing "Sister Christian" with "When You Close Your Eyes". Singer Jack Blades wrote the song about reflecting on an ex-girlfriend and apparently, a lot of people could relate to wondering if an ex ever thinks of you. The chorus is infectious and whether you're 15 or 50, the sentiment will inevitably strike a chord. When it first came out I was at an age where everyone around me, myself included, was going through some sort of breakup and so the song sat at number one on the local evening radio request countdown for a really long time.

Looking back on Night Ranger's work now I think what I like the most about it is how truly timeless it is. Songs like "When You Close Your Eyes" could be released now and still have the same gut-punch effect. Check out the video below and you'll see what I mean.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Exclusive Interview- Steve Lukather of Toto (Listen)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: New Order- 'Blue Monday'

Those who came before me lived through their vocations
From the past until completion, they'll turn away no more
And still I find it so hard to say what I need to say
But I'm quite sure that you'll tell me just how I should feel today

Any idea what the most successful 12" single of all time is? That honor belongs to New Order's "Blue Monday", with its many reissues, remixes and dance club vibe. While it was first released in 1983 and became an underground dance hit, it was "Blue Monday's" reissue in 1988 that seemed to launch the song into orbit. Suddenly every DJ played it and we all loved it because it was different. The sound is totally unique and so rather than blending in with the house music that was taking over the late 80's, New Order's songs stood out in a good way. 

"Blue Monday" has lived on since its 80's introduction because numerous artists have either sampled or covered the tune. I know that you've heard it often, but have you ever actually seen the video? Check it out below!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Whitesnake 'Still Of The Night'

(Photo: David Coverdale/Twitter)

See that guy up there? Well, my teenage self was pretty obsessed with him. David Coverdale first formed Whitesnake in the late 70's after fronting Deep Purple for several years. They released a handful of albums but it was Whitesnake's 1987 self-titled release that ultimately turned them into a household name. Songs like "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love" soared to the top of Billboard's charts and Whitesnake was considered to be one of the best bands to come out of the 80's hair band era, mainly because they could really play.

I still remember the first time I saw this group on Headbanger's Ball  (don't lie, you watched that show too). "Still of the Night" was the very first single off of Whitesnake's self-titled effort and it was like nothing else from that era. The first two minutes absolutely kicked ass but when it slowed down I was totally sucked in. I also realized that Coverdale only had to mumble the words "oh baby" and I was a goner. 

Has anyone else ever played their bass onstage with a bow? Not that I can remember but that effect helped to propel "Still of the Night" onto the list of top rock songs of all time. The video introduced us to the hotness of Coverdale and also one of the most popular video chicks of all time, Tawny Kitaen. Truly something for everyone in today's throwback clip so enjoy it!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Currently Booming: NEW Steve Perry- 'Traces' Has Arrived! (Listen)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Steve Perry - 'Oh Sherrie'

"You should've been gone
Knowing how I made you feel
And I should've been gone
After all your words of steel
Oh I must've been a dreamer
And I must've been someone else
And we should've been over
Oh Sherrie, our love
Holds on, holds on
Oh Sherrie, our love
Holds on, holds on."

When I think of Steve Perry's first solo album, Street Talk, I'm instantly transported back to the summer of 1984. I was heading into 8th grade and my days were spent laying in the sun with my best friend at her grandmother's house, boom box blaring. We were obsessed with Q-102, a new radio station and listened non-stop. They gave away albums every single hour and we were on a mission to win. Steve Perry's album was one of the coveted prizes and at the time "Oh Sherrie" was played on the radio every 3 hours and MTV had the video in heavy rotation as well. Such a great ballad, one that to this day I'll stop and listen to whenever it pops up on the radio.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Exclusive Interview: Marq Torien of BulletBoys Dishes on Hair Nation Tour, His Solo Project and More


When I mention BulletBoys most rock fans will immediately think of a hard-driving band that is known to all but blow the roof off of a venue while leaving absolutely everything that they had to give on the stage. That's a pretty accurate description of any performance that you'll happen to catch by Marq Torien (Vocals & lead guitar), Nick Rozz (Guitar), Chad MacDonald (Bass), and Phil Varone (Drums) these days. Not content to rest on nostalgia, BulletBoys have released a string of albums over the last thirty years that have shown off the band's musicality and ability to evolve with the times.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend a bit of time with the band's loving and gracious founder, Marq Torien this week and he was oozing with excitement and joy over everything that the BulletBoys are, and the things they have planned. Check it out below.

Cate Meighan: I have to admit, I was really excited to learn that BulletBoys would be doing the Hair Nation Tour this fall with Enuff Z'Nuff and Jack Russell's Great White. How thrilled are you?

Marq Torien: We're really ecstatic about it and we thank Live Nation for approaching us to do this. It's the three different bands (BulletBoys, Enuff Z' Nuff and Jack Russell's Great White) and we're all guys that are still putting out records. Jack's amazing and then Chip Z'Nuff and I have been friends forever so it's really cool. Out of the three, we are definitely the hardest band that will be playing on this tour so I think people will be counting on us to blow the roof off the place, and that's exactly what we'll do (laughing). We're kind of like the villains and we're okay with that, we're happy villains (laughing). Even though we're older we still know our place and really roll with that, it's part of the charm of the BulletBoys (laughing). People know what they're going to get with us, they know that we'll be out there just throwing down. We go out there and just blow the stage apart and the biggest gift for us is knowing that we can surprise and win people over based on that performance.

We're pluggin' away kind of like a Zamboni (laughing)! Just slow and steady and if you're going slow and steady, the race is already won. 

CM: You released From Out of the Skies earlier this year and I'm wondering how you feel about that record now that the dust has settled and it has been out for a while.

MT: I'm very grateful that it has done so well and that people are still gravitating towards the record. In all honesty and I'm trying to say this very graciously, I wish we would have had more support from the powers-that-be with this record. I don't know why that wasn't facilitated but it is what it is, and we are who we are. I'm just very happy that people have loved it and the fans have given it amazing accolades, but I wish more support had been there. The BulletBoys camp has worked very, very hard just to be out there on social media doing our part and the fans have been so very loving to us. Our fans and friends are just magical in the way that they've supported this record and I'm glad because we were really trying to do something special for them with this and I think they understood that. 

CM: It really is such a solid record, with so many good, deep songs on it.

MT: Oh, thank you so much. There was definitely a letdown on our side and even though I really do appreciate everything that is ever done for the band, I just wish somebody would have heard this thing the way that the fans have. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink and thankfully there are a lot of beautiful horses out there that came to drink with us at the troth. 

We've received accolades from artists that I revere very much in this business and then also from people that put on their hard hats and head out to work every day. Those are the people that I really want to touch. As a band, we took a risk with this music and people were touched by it. We live in a world where we almost expect everything to be heavy and the fact is, not everything should be. I think that I've crossed those bridges many times vocally and this time around I wanted to do something out of love. The result was a record that is more diverse and it shows off our musicality, so I'm really happy about it. 

CM: I know that you've said that you feel like your writing is more honest now, why do you think that is?

MT: I really think it's because of the people that I have around me. They are wonderful, magical musicians of different genres. I always wanted the BulletBoys to be able to grow musically and when you look at other bands like Aerosmith for example, they've been able to do different things and write different kinds of music. When they did "Janie's Got a Gun" it was completely out of the box for them, we had never heard anything like that from them before and it was a big hit. They took a lot of criticism at first but then also got a lot of love once people understood what they were trying to accomplish. Bigger bands have the freedom to grow musically but for some reason with bands in our genre, fans really like us to keep the same sound and for all of our stuff to sound kind of similar. You want to honor the fans, but at the same time, it can be difficult when as a musician you really need to grow. 

I think that when you're an artist you sometimes have to be a little selfish with your creativity and do what makes your heart smile. Then you just hope that when people actually listen to the record in its entirety. they'll get it. I've never wanted the BulletBoys to just be known as a sex joint band that's constantly facilitating songs about sex. I mean, that's amazing and I love it (laughing), but at some point in time as an artist, you need more. That's not what I got into the business for- the drinking, drugs and sex, I got into it to write music that would move people. 

I also love Chad MacDonald and Nick Rozz with all of my heart. I can honestly say they are my brothers and family now. After almost nine years of performing together, there is a real comfort in being around them and trying new things with them as well. We've done a lot of touring together and we just have a lot of trust, which is such a beautiful thing.

CM: Growth as a band seems to play a recurring theme with you guys doesn't it?

MT: We have always taken steps to grow. On our second record, Freakshow, we were taking bolder steps and doing things a bit more out of the box, even by releasing "THC Groove" as our first single. Everyone else was doing ballads and we weren't going to just follow along instead, we wanted to push different buttons. Then by the time we hit the third record, it did feel a little like we were trying to chase the success of the first one and I just wasn't into it. My favorite song on that record was "Mine" and I really ended up wishing that we had done things more in that vein so when I reinvented the band years later it had to be different. The BulletBoys sound had to be consistent and familiar but I really needed to write songs that tread on different musical waters and into some new waters. I think that we have been able to really bring the band into the now, into 2018, and I really believe that's why we're still semi-relevant (laughing). 

The places that we play, people know what they're going to get, we're a plug and play type of band.  We don't have the budget to facilitate grandiose light shows. No frills, no tricks, there's no soundtracking it's all real vocals and real guitars. It might be a throwback to some in a way, but we see it as straight rock n' roll with a mix of some punk and hard rock. That's what we serve up and hopefully, it'll sound great or maybe it won't (laughing). You never know what's really going to happen when everything is live but there is always that same magical feeling that goes hand in hand with experience of a live show. We like to keep people on their toes too so you never know what we'll be wearing or saying or whatever else. Those things are part of the fun, both for us and for the fans I think. 

CM: I feel like the light shows and bells and whistles often seem to be there to distract from what is missing performance-wise.

MT: I see bands with all of the theatrics and the old footage of them from years gone by rolling on a screen behind them and it almost takes away from it, for me anyway. No disrespect to the bands that do these things and some of the fans love to see that footage, but for me, I just want to watch them play, stripped down and straight away. I think it moves me more as a musician to see an artist playing, mistakes and all. It pulls me in and makes me more interested in what they're doing. I want to watch the band interacting on stage and see the authenticity in the moment. 

It's one of the reasons why I like watching Foo Fighters. There's not a crazy light show or anything, it's about the individuals performing their music. I love to watch my friends in Eagles of Death Metal play because they just are who they really are. The facial expressions are electric and the sweat pouring off his brow is a real reaction to how hard he is performing. I like to go and see bands like that.

We've got some really great bands out there now like The Struts or of course the band of the moment, which is Greta VanFleet, playing their asses off. Rock and roll is definitely not dead, people are coming to shows all over the place. Venues are just packed with rock fans and I love that these bands are really into the performance that they're giving each time out. I love when people are focused on the entertainer rather than a rad light show. 

CM: Authenticity is also crucial for you, isn't it?

MT: Oh yes, things have to be a certain way. I'm kind of a perfectionist and I know I can go a little overboard so sometimes I have to let things go and let the universe take care of it (laughing). That's where I'm at these days, do the best that you can and take things to the highest level possible and then let it go and have some faith. 

CM: I know that you've always been into soul and funk, do they still influence your musical style?

MT: Oh yes absolutely. Even though I play in a rock band I've never really thought of myself as a metal singer. I'm not a Rob Halford, who I love with all my heart because he is just so magical, but I'm more of a soul singer who has real range. While I'm able to sing hard rock, I think I'm naturally more of a 70's style soul singer. I gravitate to soul and R&B music, and also a lot of hip-hop as of late. If I had to choose to listen to either a Kendrick Lamar or Marvin Gaye record then I would choose to listen to Marvin Gaye. I was raised on Motown and actually signed on with them as a young artist, so I'm actually part of the Motown family. That is just such a humbling thing to even say, that's how much I adore that kind of music.

I gravitate towards a lot of different things musically. I've always loved Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and other American rock groups. I love the backstories of what these groups went through in order to become great and I find myself listening to a lot of what I grew up on these days, especially as I'm getting ready to step into the solo realm.

CM: So you need to tell me about your solo plans then- will it be more of a soul-infused sound?

MT: I'm very excited to do my own thing with my own twist and it'll ultimately be my solo project. I've never ever attempted to do one before and so I'm excited about it. I've already got some amazing people lined up to work with me and it's going to be very funky and danceable. That's actually what I've been working on right now and when it's ready, it's ready.

CM: Do you see yourself releasing a full record?

MT: I think this time I'm looking at doing singles'. I've written three BulletBoys records within the past eight years and so I think with this I'm going to step out of that box and do it differently. I'm really excited to do something on my own that will be different from what everyone has already heard me do. 

CM: Does this project feel really freeing for you?

MT: It's actually really scary (laughing), I'm terrified! The thing is I love a challenge and that's what this is, so it's good for me.

CM: What would you like to tell your fans that are counting down the days until the Hair Nation Tour?

MT: That I love them with all of my heart and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for being there as friends and as fans. I love them so bloody hard and I do this for them, as a band, we do this for them. I also want to tell people to try and lead with love. I know it's really hard and some days I don't want to do it either (laughing) but lead with love. Don't gossip because it kills peoples' hearts. If you have something mean to say, just don't do it and instead try to uplift the artists that are still around. I've had a lot of my friends die lately, good people that loved others and tried very hard to perform and make people happy. We're getting older now and we really are on borrowed time so if you love an artist, let them know it. Just love each other, you can never spread too much love in this world, especially now.

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