LINKS TO INTERVIEWS (CLICK ON NAME):


BANDS
AUGUST INFINITY (aka SHE SAID FIRE)
BLACK SHAPE OF NEXUS
KALLING
MILITANTS
THERAPHOSA

SINGER-GUITARISTS
RAYMOND BALLY ..... (The Renegades)
REV. DR. BILL GRAM ..... (Killing For Christ)
PHIL JONES ..... (Phil Jones Band)
THEO CEDAR JONES ..... (Swaybone)
SCOTT KELLY ..... (Neurosis)
SETH MAJKA Interview 1 of 2
SETH MAJKA Interview 2 of 2
SAM PARSONS
UNCLE BOB NYC ..... (3tles, Volunteers Grateful Dead tribute band)

GUITARISTS
J.D. BRADSHAW ..... (Debbie Caldwell Band)
MATT CHABE ..... (Bangtown Timebomb, Chapter Two Marketing)
PAUL CROOK ..... (Anthrax, Meat Loaf, Sebastian Bach)
MATTHEW MEADOWS ..... (Rango The Dog)
JAMES NICKERSON & SARAH NICKERSON ..... (Bangtown Timebomb)
DAX PAGE ..... (Kirra)
MARTY PARIS ..... (Paris Keeling, Permanent Reverse, Barbarian Way)
RUINED MACHINES & MICHAL BRODKA ..... (Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 1 of 2
RUINED MACHINES (aka KENYON IV) ..... (World Of Rock Records, Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 2 of 2
CHRIS SANDERS ..... (Knight Fury, Lizzy Borden, Nadir D'Priest)
TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY & DAMOND JINIYA ..... (Rebel Pride Band, Under The Gun Project)
ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 1 of 2
ERIC STROTHERS & ZACH LORTON ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2 of 2
CHRIS MICHAEL TAYLOR ..... (Carmine & Vinny Appice's Drum Wars, Sunset Strip, Hair Nation)

VOCALISTS
A.L.X. ..... (Love Crushed Velvet)
GRAHAM BONNET ..... (Rainbow, Alcatrazz, Graham Bonnet Band)
BRANDYN BURNETTE
JOE DENIZON ..... (Stratospheerius, Mark Work Rock Orchestra Camp, Sweet Plantain)
LESLIE DINICOLA
TOMMY FARESE ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Kings Of Christmas)
ANGIE GOODNIGHT ..... (Fill The Void)
CORNELIUS GOODWIN ..... (12/24 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute)
DAMOND JINIYA & TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY ..... (Savatage, Diet Of Worms, Retribution, Rebel Pride Band, Under The Gun Project)
STEFAN KLEIN ..... (Dethcentrik, Dod Beverte, Dod Incarnate Records)
GUY LEMONNIER ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Kings Of Christmas)
ZACH LORTON & ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2 of 2
SARAH NICKERSON & JAMES NICKERSON ..... (Bangtown Timebomb)
PARK SIPES ..... (Sunset Strip, Barbarian Way, Standout, Tune In To Mind Radio Kelly Keeling Tribute album)
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 1 of 2
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 2 of 2

KEYBOARDISTS
SHAYFER JAMES
SCOTT KELLY ..... (Wizards Of Winter)
ERIK NORLANDER ..... (Asia Featuring John Payne, Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane)
DOUG RAUSCH
MICHAEL T. ROSS ..... (Lita Ford, Missing Persons, Raiding The Rock Vault)

BASSISTS
CHRIS NUNES ..... (Ornament Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Orchestra)
JOHN WETTON ..... (Asia, King Crimson, Roxy Music)

DRUMMER
RAFA MARTINEZ ..... (Black Cobra)

SONGWRITER
TROY MONTGOMERY & DAMOND JINIYA & TOM SPITTLE ..... (Under The Gun Project)

MUSIC AUTHOR
ALISON TAYLOR & RODNEY MILES ..... (365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes Book)

MUSIC MARKETING
MATT CHABE ..... (Bangtown Timebomb, Chapter Two Marketing)
JAMES MOORE ..... (Independent Music Promotion, Your Band Is A Virus Book)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

"I never write a song for the sake of writing a song" An Interview With MARTY PARIS

Click here to visit the official website of Marty Paris.

June 2011 (live broadcast via phone, Roman Midnight Music Podcast Episode #46)

Guitarist, producer, songwriter Marty Paris might not be a household name, but to the musicians he's worked with his is a respected name. His work has found him in bands, such as Paris Keeling with singer Kelly Keeling, & Permanent Reverse with members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Baton Rouge. While on the other hand he's known for helping other musicians. This work has included the NYC-NJ based Skulls Project, along with the budding careers of younger musicians like guitarist Chris Michael Taylor of the Carmine & Vinny Appice Drum Wars & vocalist Park Sipes of the EP Tune In to Mind Radio: A Tribute To Multi-Talented Vocalist Kelly Keeling, Since this interview both Paris Keeling & Permanent Reverse had become closed chapters & Marty has been focusing more on Christian music, such as through Barbarian Way with Sipes, which is hinted about at the end of the interview.

One day a friend asked if I knew the band Paris Keeling whose album End Of Ride Revisited that included guest guitarist Al Pitrelli. I said no & as a Pitrelli collector hunted up the album. This album would also be my first introduction to Kelly Keeling, namesake along with Marty Paris, who sang with Pitrelli in Trans-Siberian Orchestra but who I had yet to hear. I ended up listening to the album & then putting it aside. I later came across an interview with Marty & thought he was interesting. I went back to the CD, re-listened & realized the listeners of my 'Roman Midnight Music Podcast' would enjoy the flavor of this band. Researching his music I also discovered his other band Permanent Reverse. Their album Darkness & Light was another great find. It thus seemed only right to have Marty on my podcast. The result was an in-depth history of his musical endeavors & the people he'd played with & more than I asked for.

*****

MARTY: Aaron, glad to be here. Glad when you reached out & looking forward to sharing my music with you. Thanks for having me.

AJ: I want to start out chatting about your most recent project & that is PERMANENT REVERSE. You have this described on your website as: "Take a guy from the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, another from PARIS KEELING, another from the band BATON ROUGE, the mad axeman from MARAUDER, through in a bad-ass bass player from N.C. & what do you get?" Marty, what do you get? What is PERMANENT REVERSE?

MARTY: I'll tell you, it was a very interesting project & it was an awesome thing to put together. It was a very unique experience as a musician & a producer because we really got together as 5 guys. We left the egos at the door. Everybody contributed. Everybody wrote for the album. We all sing on it. We all play on it. It was a fun project & I think it was very different from anything that is out there today. I think when we wanted to do this project we wanted to do just that. I think we did it. So, I was very excited about it & very happy to be part of it.

AJ: We have you on guitar & vocals & I know you play a little synthesizers. I said Maxx Mann is also there behind the mic. Who else is joining you in this outing?

MARTY: Corky McClellan from the band BATON ROUGE, which for those that don't know that was Kelly Keeling's first band. They got signed to Atlantic Records. They were actually, for historical sake, the last metal band signed to Atlantic Records. It was right about the time NIRVANA was making their way into the music scene & it was kinda the end of the era there. An incredible band. Corky is an amazing drummer. I was a BATON ROUGE fan prior to meeting Kelly. When I first met Corky [Kelly & I] were recording the End Of Ride album & Corky came in & played drums on the song "End Of Ride". So, I knew Corky. He actually lived in N.C. & I got to meet him. He's just a sweet guy, incredibly talented. So, we had that in place. I met Maxx down in Houston. I was at the TSO show. After the show I was hanging out with [pianist] Jane Mangini & [guitarist] Al Pitrelli & Maxx & Kelly. Maxx walked up to me & I said, "Loved your vocals. Very unique. You can sing R&B. You can sing just about anything." & we kinda made the introduction. About a year later I reached out & said "I want to put together something new, something fresh." & he was all for it. The other guitar player, the mad man Cos. His name is Greg Cerenzi & just a phenomenal shredder. Really great lead guitarist. In a lot of my earlier projects I wasn't really open about handing free reigns to another guitar player because that was kinda my territory. But, Greg is just an amazing humble guy, really great player. Definitely took a lot of pressure off the album, because everything he did he did in aces. The album really came together because of his style. He showed me a lot of things. He's a younger guy. A great addition. Then Mike Arrington. We call him White Chocolate. He has got to be the funkiest white bass player I have ever heard. I mean, he could play with EARTH, WIND & FIRE. He can play with a country band. He can flat tear it up. That introduction came through Corky. Corky & Mike had worked together, actually Mike lives up in the neck of woods where Corky lives now. When Corky came back from L.A. after BATON ROUGE he settled back into his home turf which is N.C.. So, it was kinda a neat chemistry. & we all got together & we wrote the album & recorded it & it just came out phenomenally as well. & very very happy with the guys in the band & very happy with the finished product. It was really neat & a great opportunity & I'll always remember it fondly.

AJ: What was the inspiration behind doing something? Obviously, you had these connections, but what was the click that made you say you wanted to do something now?

MARTY: I think for the most part, Maxx had never done his own album before. Maxx is a quadruple threat. His original gig was as a ballet dancer in NY. He came from the Bronx. A true blood New Yorker. He's a singer. He's an actor. He's been on Broadway. & he'd never done an album. When I met the guy I just fell in love with him. I said to him, "We'll right the material that fits with what you do." He was a big part of the writing process. He brought this whole R&B thing. If you listen to the track "Harder", it's got almost like a LINKIN PARK kinda rap feel to it. It was very exciting, because I'd never worked with somebody with his type of diversity before. It was cool. So, when I started to put the band together Corky & Mike were just a natural choice. Because of geography they could come into the studio, just hang out & we could work. Greg is in the Baltimore area. It's a funny story about Greg, too. He actually found us through Michael Schenker's son. He's a Michael Schenker fan & I think they were friends on facebook or something & he just reached out. "Hey, what's your dad's best album? I'm looking for something to dig into, something I might not have heard of." He was telling them about Michael & then he said, "You need to check out this band PARIS KEELING. He checked it out & he loved the album. He actually just reached out via e-mail one day & said, "Love the album & just wanted to let you know that." I e-mailed him back & said, "That's awesome. Send me your album. I'd love to hear it." He sent me one of his solo projects & I was just blown away. I was thinking this guy was like George Lynch & Eddie Van Halen wrapped into one. He was such a phenomenal player. When I started thinking about adding another guitar player he was my first choice. I reached out & he was on board. I would say within 30 days we were all together. We played a show out in Boone, Iowa. It was a benefit for the troops. It was America's Heroes. We came together, we rehearsed. We did like 3 days rehearsals & we did this show out there. We started kinda really tracking the album in our heads on the way back. The next thing you know we're in the studio recording it. It was a fun story & it was something we'll always remember. It was a very special time for us.

AJ: You just said that Maxx had never done an album before. Was this his first time in the studio & if so, did it have any challenges for him?

MARTY: Not at all. He had done some projects. He had won the American Idol the Latin television show they had done. They'd been recording. He'd recorded some stuff with TSO with [producer] Paul O'Neill. He certainly wasn't a rookie in the studio, but he did have something that was his own, which was a band that was centered around him as the frontman. I was honored to do it. I was like, man, I'll do it if nothing else to be the guy that produced Maxx's first record. He's a sweetheart of a guy, too. It was an awesome thing. He's a pro.

AJ: As we were talking before, he has a very distinguishable voice. You totally recognize him. & he just totally cuts across the music, too. He just pulls himself out.

MARTY: Absolutely, & I'll you, he's got a soft side, too. I flew him down to N.C. a year before we even started the project. I just wanted to get to know him a little better. He came down & hung out. We grilled out & just kinda did what musicians do, kinda hang out & kick around the studio. I wrote the song "This Child." The melody just came into my head. We put a mic up & all of a sudden out of this guy came this very soft angelic voice. I was like, "Wow, he can do anything." "This Child" was kinda the cornerstone for the project. That was the first song that we did. It's my mother's favorite song of all time.

AJ: Really?

MARTY: I've never seen a mother that has children that doesn't tear up when they hear that song. It strikes a chord with mothers. It was a neat song to write, because I don't have children, so for me it was like I wrote it from the perspective of what would I feel if I had a little girl what would I feel like. I wrote it based on that.

AJ: Then it was perfect for Maxx's soft side.

MARTY: Then once I said, "Hey, man, show us what you got." He brought all kinds of dimensions to us & we were able to fit it nicely on the record. So, it's a very eclectic album. You can hear one song & then something completely different that sounds like a different band. But, that's what makes it neat, I think.

AJ: There was something you just said that has been going through my head. The album is called Darkness & Light. You've also got it divided into 2 parts. The first part is labeled "Darkness". The second part is labeled "Light." Then each section has some bonus tracks. This looks like a vinyl album with side A & side B. This doesn't look like a CD. Marty, can you explain what you guys tried to create here?

MARTY: You hit it on the head, Aaron. That's exactly what we wanted to do. We kinda drifted back to the 70's where it's not necessarily a concept album, but it was more like a 2 sided record. In fact, at one point we considered putting it on 2 discs, but we were able to fit it all on one. It's a pretty long album & we were able to get it all on one. But, the idea behind it was the first side of the album is the dark side, we call it. It's a heavier, darker sounding ... "Healing" was a very very hard song for me to write. It's a dark song. There's not another way to describe it. Then on the Light side we got into some of the more power ballads. We did more singer-songwriter sort of stuff. We even did a version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." & we finished it up with "Amazing Grace", so it really was like turning the corner. It's like there is where we came & this is where we're going. So, it was purposely done that way. The guy that created the album cover for us his name is Gary Kelly. We worked with him in PARIS KEELING in the past. He actually coined the name of the album, because when I talked to him he's an artist, he said "Let me get a feel for what you're going for." I kinda explained it to him & he goes, "I'm kinda thinking like a darkness & light." I said, "Bingo. That's exactly what we want to do." So I thank him for that. We ended up, when we went into the studio to master the album, Dave Harris at Studio B did the mastering, & it was a bit of a challenge, because we were running some of the darker stuff through tape, which isn't done a whole lot these days. But, there was a sound we wanted to get. Then on the Light side it was much more upbeat, you know, happy-go-lucky kind of stuff, so it's like mixing 2 different records. That is exactly what we tried for, so I'm glad you picked up on that.

AJ: That means you did something right, Marty.

MARTY: I guess I did!

AJ: I was listening to the album before this interview & there's a lot of great songs. One of them just hit me. One from the Light side was "Baby Beautiful".

MARTY: That song was written by Maxx & was one of the ones he contributed to the album. When we heard the demo for the album & he kinda sang it, we were all very excited & we all really really dug into the song. It turned out great. I would say it's a great example of what we did as 5 guys coming together & kicking out a pretty good song. It's definitely one of the favorites.

AJ: Marty, we've talked a little bit about the band, but we've got to share something very important. Where can people go online to find out more about PERMANENT REVERSE and your activities.

MARTY: Very simple. If you want to find the PERMANENT REVERSE album you can go to permanentreverse.com. There's a link there to get a hard copy on CD & also a link to itunes. Another good place to always check on my projects & things is martyparis.com. There's a lot of links there & it's an easy way to keep up with us.

AJ: Thanks, Marty. Have you guys toured?

MARTY: The PERMANENT REVERSE tour has not happened. We are talking about doing something in the fall.

AJ: Have you performed live at all?

MARTY: We did the one show live in Iowa that kinda kicked it all off.

AJ: Obviously, everyone has projects they're doing, so you're working around 5 guys schedules.

MARTY: Absolutely. Then you throw in family life these days & we're not as young as we used to be. But, we'll definitely get it together. The good thing about the chemistry on the album & because it's our material we can probably get together for a couple days & rehearse & get it out quickly. So, just keep your eyes peeled.

AJ: One thing I noticed when listening to the album is there's ... I don't know if it's deliberate on your part as composer or lyricist or if it's just the feeling that comes off of it ... but, there seems to be this sort of spiritual underpinning on it. I was having flashbacks, a little bit, of TSO of their Christian & Christmas motif, particularly as Maxx was in both bands. I don't find a lot of rock albums these days that have any sort of spiritual feeling. Is this me, or is this something that's in there lyrically that is supposed to be there?

MARTY: Absolutely there. I'm very deep in my faith. Everything I do is based around my faith. So, yeah, you will definitely pick up on it here & there. When we talk about the PARIS KEELING stuff, when you listen to that album a lot of the stuff that was written & recorded, at the time we didn't even pick up on it as much as when we went back & listened. So, it's almost a subconscious level thing. Absolutely. You're not picking up on that by mistake at all. We're all pretty grounded & it really influences every aspect of my life, so absolutely.

AJ: I know many of my friends have commented to me how it's a really powerful album. While even with a lot of songs on it, it doesn't get too heavy or feel too long. There's also a lot of variety that keeps it fresh. It's a really great ride through different emotions & different experiences.

MARTY: Like I say, too, I never write a song for the sake of writing a song.

AJ: What do you mean?

MARTY: I've said this on many interviews I've done in the past. Every song I've ever written means something to me & it's typically a life experience. I don't sit down & write a song for the sake of a lyric or a melody. I always connect with it very deeply from a songwriter's side of things. So, that's a compliment.

AJ: Do you see yourself as a songwriter or a guitarist or a singer, or whatever?

MARTY: I don't know. I'm kinda a jack of all trades & a master at none. I love producing. I'm a writer. I think I'm probably, maybe in my mind, a better writer than anything else, but I've been playing guitar a long time & it just kinda comes natural. Where I've really dug in & really found a lot of passion was producing. I think just being in the room with creative guys & seeing the energy & the passion & being able to direct that in an environment where it ends up into a product is very exciting. So, I would say, I'm equally matched at all of them, but I think where I'm really feeling led right now is on the production & producing side. & I'll always right. I've been writing songs since I was very young. I've written songs for other people. I love writing songs. It's a way for me to express. A way for me to get experiences out. To tell stories I might not tell otherwise. The song "Life" on the PARIS KEELING album is very personal to me. I mentioned "Healing" was a very personal song to me, too. So, for me, it's a way to get it out there without having to tell the story. It's a neat thing.

AJ: I want to turn now, because we keep hinting at it, let's talk about PARIS KEELING, the project you did with the great vocalist Kelly Keeling. Can you tell me a little bit about how PARIS KEELING happened?

MARTY: It's an interesting story, actually. I was working with the SKULLS PROJECT. I was up in the NY area. I had written a song on 9-11. I was living in the city on that day & it was very unsettling for me. In fact, a girlfriend that I had at the time was actually in front of the World Trade Center when the first plane flew in. She called me & said "A plane just flew into the WTC." I look out my window & I've got a good view of the city & I see a smoking hole at the top. I'm like that's strange. It's like it's probably some sort of a private plane or something, because it didn't look ... the hole in the original building didn't look that big. It didn't look like a 767 or whatever it was. I ended up walking outside. The second plane actually had kinda come over the bridge. You know it did that massive bank behind that building & I kinda lost view of it. It was very confusing for me. & my phone rang again. She said to me "This is intentional. We're being attacked." I could not process. It was very unsettling. Within 2 hours I went upstairs & I started writing the lyrics for "Tears Of Heaven". It really helped me to deal with the situation. The terrorists state, their Holy War. Whose god are they fighting for? I was very confused. I couldn't believe in someone killing & murdering in the name of God, because it doesn't typically work that way. So, the song was written out in a very real way. I kinda shelved it. Then on 7-7 when they had the terrorist bombings in London on the buses & the subways, it was like ... I was like at it again. So, I revisited the song & I actually recorded the song as "7/7". I had another singer in NY. His name is Roger Butterly. actually did the original vocals for that song. There was a label in the U.K. that wanted to release the track as a single, because it was called "7/7". It was a twist on the 9-11 attack & the 7/7. So, when we started to look at the track, Rick Van Benschoten, an incredibly talented guy, producer, bass player, just an amazing amazing guy, we got together & started to revisit the track. "You know what, I really want a more powerful vocal on this." We agreed to start looking & I reached out to Joe Lynn Turner [of RAINBOW] at the time, his manager up in NJ. He was tied up in a project. I think, I want to say, it was [his solo album] The Usual Suspect. There was an album he was working on & it was going to be some time before I could get with him to potentially do it. So, I had literally, about 3 days prior to that, I had bought the Furious George cover album, which was George Lynch's cover album that he did. The vocals on that album just really blew me away. I really didn't dig into that much. But, I found myself with that CD one night & I picked it up & I said "Kelly Keeling, that guy can sing." & I can tell you, there's not a better rock singer anywhere, as far as I'm concerned. I reached out to his management. I would say within a week he & I connected. It was on New Years Eve we were chatting & I sent him the track. He responded pretty quickly with definitely wanted to do the track. So, he was in NY very soon after that. That's when Don got involved. Don Dokken actually wrote the chorus for that song. We were struggling a bit. If you have a copy of "7/7" which came out in 2005, it was released. You can get it on itunes. Then you listen to "Tears Of Heaven", the chorus took a very different direction & that was all Don. We were in the studio that night & we cut the vocals for it & the song really came home. It was like this is what's the song's supposed to be. & Kelly & I had a really good relationship working together & we decided to work on another track & then the next thing you know we're writing a record & that's where PARIS KEELING was born. Rick Van Benschoten was actually my professor at NYU, which is odd enough, but we became friends & he's one heck of a fretless bass player. When I said we needed a bass player he joined right in. Then Gintas Janusonis, who is the drummer on that album ... incredible drummer. He's worked with Carlos Santana & he's worked with Tony Bennett. He's just an amazing NYC drummer. I knew him through a friend of mine Robert Mueller who is kind of a jazz fusion keyboard player & I'd seen him out doing shows in the city & I loved his style. So, brought Gintas in & the band was really formed right then & there. Then Matt Goeke, whose a philharmonic player, he's a cellist, I wanted to do something with strings. I just didn't know what. He came in & the band was born. It was just an amazing project because we did some things that were a little different. That's how PARIS KEELING came about. It all started on 9-11. That sounds odd, but that's exactly what happened.

AJ: I notice some of the songs on the album you've written, some with Kelly. Obviously, you have Dokken in there. How did you figure out ... was there a plan, like "You've got some songs. I've got some songs." Or, was it just this organic thing where you each had stuff that worked together or ... ? I guess, how did you divide the album up, is what I'm trying to ask.

MARTY: It was a little bit of all of that, really. "Free", which was one of Kelly's songs brought to the album, that was all Kelly. Amazing track. We ended up dedicating that to the troops. There was a slide show put up on youtube for that song & it really connected to what was going on, because, you know, the Iraq War was imminent & a lot of things were going on. The only thing I really added to that track was Matt came in with some string players that we hired & we scored it & we did that. "Morning Song" was a demo that he'd done that he brought to the album & that made the record. Then the rest of the stuff we kinda co-wrote. The song "Color Blind" was a track that was on another album. It was called "Girl." It's actually, if you can get a copy of that song & listen to it, it's the actual same track except for vocals. We were in the studio one night & Kelly's like "We can do something better with this, I think." I'd written that song when I was like 14. It was very sophomoric, because that was the period when I wrote it. We pinned that song about 3 o'clock in the morning. We cut the vocal that night & it turned out to be brilliant. So, it was definitely organic. There was a lot of things Kelly had in the can. There was a lot of things I had in the can. So, it was us coming together, really, & us just kinda cranking it out. So, it was a very fun project.

AJ: Now, you hadn't worked with Kelly before, right?

MARTY: Not until the End Of Ride album, which was the album that came out in 2006. That was the original release of that album. No, we had not worked together. The first time we worked together was on the "Tears Of Heaven" track.

AJ: Kelly has quite an extensive resume. Don Dokken, Michael Schenker & TRAN-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, Carmine Appice, Erik Norlander. Did you learn anything working with him?

MARTY: Absolutely. Kelly is an amazing musician, first & foremost. He can play anything. If it plays music he can play it. Incredible writer. Great singer. He really opened a lot of doors for me, too, because obviously with his body of work that had been out there opened doors for me. I mean, [prog keyboardist of ASIA FEATURING JOHN PAYNE] Erik Norlander got involved. Actually, it's a funny story. The "End Of Ride" track that ended up being the title track was actually 3 different songs & Kelly had recorded the intro for that on his own. That's actually his guitar track on there. We kinda had it. Then the end part was recorded in a studio in Atlanta. It's hard to understand if you're not familiar with a studio. But, we had to come in & we took these tracks, we got them into the console & we had to carve this place in the middle for "Middle Of The Road." We couldn't figure out how to do the click track, because the tempo was changing, it was 3 different songs. We called up Erik, "Erik, we need help." Erik is a genius. Programming, keyboards, recording, he can do it. He sent us, literally that night, it was really early in the morning, he sent us a click track that actually lined it all up. So, we did & then we sat down & dug into the middle part of the song & we recorded that. Then we literally put it all together. The guy who helped us to produce that track his name is Bob Engel & he works out of Reflection Sound Studios, which is now closed, but legendary studio in Charlotte, NC. I'm sure you're familiar with it yourself having lived in the area, but R.E.M. cut their first record there. A lot of things have come out of that studio. So, we're in that studio & they were able to get it all together where it ended up being very cohesive & it was cool. & Gintas was tied up. Kelly was so excited about this track he's saying "We've got to cut this track. We've got to cut this track." So, we call up Corky, because they were band mates in BATON ROUGE, & Corky drove in & did the drums. So, that introduction there is what tied together PERMANENT REVERSE in so many ways. So, yes, learned a lot from Kelly. Just his energy level & his willingness to do what it takes to get it done. He inspired me for sure. Just an incredible musician. It was a true honor to work with him.

AJ: It's interesting to say that he inspired you, because I'm reminded of one of the tracks on End Of Ride Revisited, the reissue with bonus tracks, one of Kelly's compositions "Head Straight". I'm looking at the lyrics now & it's very much tied into what you just told me about him inspiring you & also about writing "7-7" & having your head be anything but straight in the midst of this terrorist attack. I feel like this is a song that ties together many things that were in the pot that brewed up PARIS KEELING.

MARTY: I asked him about those lyrics, because if you bust out those lyrics on that album, most of the songs are very straight forward & you kinda get the message. When you read the lyrics for "Head Straight" it's kinda like, "Wow, where'd that come from?" I asked him about that, actually. He'd written that song several years prior. He was out in San Diego & he was stopping to pick up a pack of gum or something at a news stand & it was like the National Enquirer was there & it said the aliens are coming to do something. He was inspired to write that song. Carmine Appice plays drums on that track. Unmistakeably Carmine. It's one of my favorites.

AJ: On the reissue you have a live version of that song, in addition to the original studio one from the original album release. I prefer the live one. You guys just let it go. It's very relaxed & that shows in the fun opening banter introducing yourselves.

MARTY: I'll tell you what makes that song different from the studio version is one very critical thing, really, is Rick Van Benschoten played on that version. He did not play on the original studio version. I think the bass on that really made a difference. He was playing like a ... he's a fretless player & that song did not lend itself to fretless, & he was playing my Fender Mustang, which is, for those guitar players out there, it's like a guitar player's bass. It's a very small bass. It was plugged in & had this very distinct growl to it & that's really what made the difference. But, you have a choice. You can listen to either version on that album.

AJ: I know what the difference is, but let's explain to those who might look up PARIS KEELING & find this End Of Ride album & then they see End Of Ride Revisited. Obviously, the difference is that one has some bonus tracks which include [guitarist] Al Pitrelli [of TSO, MEGADETH] & Erik Norlander & your version of "Telephone Line". But, how come you did 2 versions of this album?

MARTY: That's an easy answer. When we released the original album it was right before Kelly went on tour with TSO for the first time & I was very anxious to get it out & available. Because, one thing about TSO is they touch so many lives. I could tell you what city Kelly was playing to that night by tracking sales of the album because people would go to the show & they would say "Who is that guy?". Then they'd google him & they'd find the record. For me it was very important to get it out, so what we did was we independently released the album really earlier than we probably would have planned on doing. I was actually contacted by Surgeland Records a couple years later who really liked the album. We're musicians. We don't do PR necessarily. We will, but it's not our bread & butter. They wanted to re-release the album & actually get it out there for distribution. It went out on Koch, which is the largest distributor out there & the record label really brought us a way to sell the album. Whereas, when we first released it, it was a self-release. We sold it on our own website with our t-shirts & it was very different. A lot of people say it was remastered & all that, but I can tell you, because I produced the album, we didn't turn it up. We didn't make it louder to re-release it. What we really did is we brought it back together. I sent them sound recordings. They changed the order to make more sense. & they wanted to add bonus tracks to give the folks who had the first version incentive to buy it. The only track that's different ... well, there's 2 differences for those that are trivia hounds. On the original release "End Of Ride" was 3 tracks. It was "Welcome", "Middle Of The Road" & "End Of Ride." On the record label release, Revisited, it was one track & it was called "End Of Ride Suite." So, there was no breaks. & then on "Free", for those who really want to dig in, if you listen to "Free" on the original album the guitar goes mono at the very end. When it's just Kelly's voice, the strings are gone, & he says "We'll always need the light", if you listen to the guitar real closely there it goes mono because we lost one side of the track so I panned it in the middle. If you listen to "Free" on Revisited it actually is fixed. But, other than that, the tracks are exactly the same except for the bonus tracks.

AJ: That's pretty hardcore trivia, Marty.

MARTY: Yeah, for those that really want to dig in that's the only difference. & I can tell you that the second go round, obviously with the distribution deal, it made a lot of difference. I would like to think the original version would be a bit of a collector's item, because you can't find them. When the original albums were pressed there were no more ever done.

AJ: Tell me, as we near the end of our time together, Marty, what are you working on now & what's in your future?

MARTY: I have a new band I'm putting together called BARBARIAN WAY & It's more of the Christian genre of rock. It's new guys. I can't give away too much.

AJ: That's alright.

MARTY: But, it's a guy that you'll see out doing some big things in the very near future before the album releases, so you'll definietely get to know him. He's a young kid. He's from the area. He's getting ready to go off & do some big things. We're going to be recording the album when he comes off tour. It's really very new stuff. I'm experimenting with all kinds of different ideas with sounds & production & it's exciting. It'll be out next year & it's called BARBARIAN WAY.

AJ: You said it's Christian. Obviously, it's rock'n'roll, but what's the style? Might it be like what we've heard from you?

MARTY: No, it's going to be different. I've got to change it a bit. It's very different. It's a much more modern, I think it's going to be a modern take on what's going on today in the music biz. But, interesting. In fact, I should probably have the teaser track done soon. It's a much more modern current kind of rock. It's definietly for the ones that like the harder rock.

AJ: Excellent. Marty, I appreciate you spending your time sharing your work with me.

MARTY: Glad to do it, Aaron. Thanks for having me.

AJ: Is there anything else you want to share that we haven't gotten to?

MARTY: You know what, you asked some goods questions & I got to tell some neat stories, so thanks for letting me do that.


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