Brad Delp Interview By Par Winberg
Back in March 1999 I did an interview with one of the greatest voices of AOR - Brad Delp. The interview was around the latest release of RTZ, but he also gave us some cool answers about his past with Boston and other cool bands... Please Welcome the man from Boston who returned to zero...
Hi Brad, thanks for a great RTZ record! What are your feelings about it?
Brad Delp: "Whats nice for me about this record is that I hadnt been thinking of these songs for a while when Barry called me up and said that he had interest from MTM in releasing them. The songs had been recorded over a period of time with hopes of putting them on a 2nd RTZ album here in the states. Even though I think Barry does a great job in his home studio (where these were recorded) they were done rather quickly as demos with a plan to rerecord (and polish them up a bit) later. Listening back to them, after not hearing them for a while, I think they have a certain immediacy that can come across in a demo and can, sometimes, be lost when you redo them for a record. When Barry asked me if I was interested in having them released over the internet I thought that was a great idea. Having put the effort into creating those songs, it was nice to know someone (besides ourselves) would have an opportunity to hear them."
Are you gonna release the album in the states?
Brad Delp: "I leave all of those decisions up to Barry. Ive heard from a number of people who ordered the album over the internet so people do have access to it if they search around a bit."
Is it possible in the future to see RTZ live or is this just a studio project?
Brad Delp: "Everyone in RTZ is involved in other projects at the moment. Barry is recording, producing and performing with The Lisa Guyer Band, Dave Stefanelli is recording and performing in a duo called The Beloved Few, Brian Maes has been busy performing and recording a number of solo albums the latest, I believe, is called Brian Maes, The Great Symphony, and Tim Archibald is playing and recording with many bands (including Brians). Im doing some work with Tom (Scholz) and playing out with Beatle Juice but well get into that a little more later."
Do you like to perform live?
Brad Delp: "Even though there can be a certain amount of anxiety associated with it (Ive had bouts with panic attacks over the years) Im still playing out regularly, so I guess the ultimate answer to your question would be yes."
Have you never thought to do a solo album? You write a lot of songs...
Brad Delp: "I have been thinking of (and at various times attempting) a solo album for years but I never seem to be able to get the sound Im hearing in my head onto tape, or any other medium for that matter. Perhaps some day Ill have to stop being so picky. Again, one of the things I liked about this RTZ project was its spontaneity. I think I over analyze my own stuff too much."
What singers have influenced you in the past? And what music did you dig when you where younger?
Brad Delp: "I was just turning 14 in 1964 (do the math folks) when the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show. That was a turning point for the whole country and, particularly, for me. I had always liked music; I used to play my sisters Elvis and Buddy Holly records but I never thought of being in a band up to that point. The fact that so much of what The Beatles performed was their own material was a revelation (and Revolution) and caused a lot of us kids to put down our baseball gloves and pick up guitars. Not only that but I was so caught up in that sound. I still remember listening to I Wanna Hold Your Hand on a little transistor radio that I used to listen to under my pillow at night, when I was supposed to be sleeping. Sometime later that year I ran into a group of local guys, when I went swimming at the YMCA, who were looking for a singer for their band. I auditioned and got the job. We played all the songs from the British Invasion groups of the time; Stones, Animals, Dave Clark Five, The Who, etc. but The Beatles were always my favorite group. Later, as I started to concentrate on my singing a little more, I really developed an appreciation for soul music. Sam and Dave, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and most of all Stevie Wonder. I think Stevie Wonder could sing the phone book and manage to make me cry. I wasnt as aware of him when I was younger but I also love to listen to Little Richard. I watched Billy Joels acceptance speech recently when he was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame and he more or less said that if it wasnt for the black musicians of the 40s and 50s there wouldnt be any white people in the Hall of Fame. I think I would agree with him. I think the Beatles would as well. Their heroes were Chuck Berry, Little Richard and other R&B artists. While Im thinking of it, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins also deserve a mention. I better stop there before I get too carried away."