Interview: Paul Stanley

Interview: Paul Stanley
November 30, 2006 03:24 PM
by Paul Gargano
LiveDaily Contributor

In the world of KISS, there's no such thing as too much. While that line of thinking has served the band well for more than three decades, frontman Paul Stanley isn't afraid to admit that sometimes, less can be more.

Such is the case with his latest release, "Live to Win," his first solo album since the eponymous KISS solo efforts were issued in 1978. Absent is the bombast, pomp and pageantry that marks his full-time band. Present are the sweeping choruses and lavish songwriting that marked the band's more memorable late-'80s and early-'90s moments, as well as Stanley's signature vocal tone and unmistakable style.

Why "Live to Win," and why now? Paul Stanley sat down with LiveDaily to delve deeper into the new release.

LiveDaily: This is your first solo record in nearly three decades. Does the material span that time period?

Paul Stanley: Everything I wrote on this album was written for the album. I've never believed in recording old material, it's kind of like giving people old news, you know? I've always believed that, when you give somebody an album, it should be like a fresh newspaper, where you get ink on your fingers. It's today's news. So, for me, it's where I'm at now, things in my life, my perspective on my music as an individual.

Paul Stanley Live To Win -

You've got a core base of musicians on the album, but the lineup changes slightly, from song-to-song.

When I thought about doing the album, I wanted to approach it, partially, as the director of a film. Producing an album, for me, meant casting each song. As opposed to writing songs for a specific group of musicians, it was bringing in the right musicians to play on the songs. I had a core group that was really awesome and connected really well with me, and there was no reason to change the menu on every song. So the core remained the same, but it's a lot easier to stay true to form when you don't have to consider anyone else's opinion. I was very interested in what everybody had to say but, quickly and ultimately, it was about what I wanted to do, and my vision. What was really cool for me was that everybody who worked on the album not only understood the vision, but was fired up by the songs and what was coming out of the speakers. It was a labor of passion, and something where I was only concerned with turning out the album I heard in my head, without regard for having glitz and star power from other sources. It was purely about making the album I wanted to make. This was purely a labor of love.

Judging from a lot of the songs, it sounds like it was literally a labor of love, as well.

Well, you know, live and learn! [Laughing] I sing about what I know, what I experience. I try not to get too introspective and deep, but I think most of the things I sing about have always been fairly universal. Without making any effort, what I wanted to do on this album was purely sing about my life. My life is not that different than anybody else's. When you cut away all the trappings on the outside, life is life and it's ultimately what you make of it.

There seems to come a point in everyone's life where they strive to get back to the basics. Does this album reflect that?

Of course. In spite of all the folly of fashion, we ultimately find ourselves wearing our old blue jeans. What is there in life, and what is the core of life? It's relationships. Whether they're sexual, emotional, whatever the category, relationships are what make this world go 'round, and it's also what I think is most rewarding in life, the product of relationships.

With the overblown largeness of KISS, and the "Star Child" character, does it feel good to be able to express yourself outside those parameters?

Well, KISS is a facet of who I am, but it's not all of it. There is undoubtedly more freedom in doing something under my name and without either the politics or the dynamics and personalities of a band.

After decades of compromise in the band setting, did this album become a necessity?

Nobody should confuse being in KISS with compromise. It's a different format and calls for a different type of participation. It's not compromise at all. I wanted the freedom to explore my own abilities and boundaries, or break any boundaries I had and basically do what I wanted without any of the advantages or burdens of the history of the band. This was about me being free to not consider other people, not consider a balance of material from a band, not consider any type of equality, not to consider feelings of other people, just to make music. That's something you can only do under your own banner. This isn't about taking KISS fans someplace they haven't been, although everyone's invited along. This is really about me doing an album for me. First and foremost I had to please myself. I'd like to believe that, if I please myself, I'm going to please some other people. If you try and second guess the public or your fans, and you fail, you're filled with the sense of, "Why didn't I follow my heart?" I'd rather do things without any compromise, and if I fail, I still have that comfort.

A lot of the songs on "Live to Win" sound like they could have been on "Crazy Nights." There's a lush, melodic tone throughout the album.

I'm a product of a school of crafting songs. What's made KISS last, beyond the bombast and the iconic imagery, is songs that you can sing; that's what I'm comfortable doing, crafting a song. There's a certain comfort in hearing a chorus and knowing that the next time it comes around, you'll be able to sing it. Anybody can write a song, but that doesn't make you a songwriter. I know people that think because they've written a song, they're actually songwriters. Hate to break that disillusionment, but this is something I've worked my [entire] life on. I wasn't aiming for any kind of balance of material or type of material, but when I would write, I knew what I didn't want to hear.

"Live to Win," the song, has a "Rocky" or "Visionquest" soundtrack feel to it.

That's what I hear, that's what people are saying, we'll see .... Why's that the title of the album? My philosophy has always been to live with the philosophy that no one can get in the way or stop you from succeeding. You are either your best friend or your greatest obstacle. I'm living proof of living to win. One might say I'm lucky, but I tell you, the harder you work, the luckier you get. In life, you can either be a victim and bitch about the adverse experiences in your life, or you can take a deep breath and charge forward. If I had knuckled under to people telling me what was impossible and what I was capable of and incapable of, we wouldn't be having this conversation, there wouldn't be a KISS, and there wouldn't be a "Live to Win." Again, it's about believing in yourself, deciding what boundaries you have, and what life and goals you're going to strive for. My life has always been about, "You can go with me, or you can go behind me, but if you stand in front of me, you're going to be pretty sore." Obstacles are what you see when you lose sight of your goals.

Are the obstacles less, with the level of success you've achieved?

People ask me what I get from success and fame--I get freedom. I get freedom to do things my way. I've always done it my way, and that's what led to my success. At this point, my freedom is that much greater because what I have access to is that much greater. The ability to be able to go into a studio and go in and record without anybody telling you what you should do, or any direction or any feedback, man, that was worth the price of admission. And that's all it's about. In that way, that's what we all owe ourselves, to take care of ourselves. Be good to yourself, do what you can, do everything you want to do, because we don't get a second chance. This is the only life I think I'm going to know.

Live to Win is new the solo release from iconic KISS frontman Paul Stanley. The voice and songwriting force behind such KISS classics as "Detroit Rock City," "Black Diamond," Hard Luck Woman" and "Tears Are Fallin'," Stanley's career with KISS spans more than three decades and in excess of 100 million records sold worldwide.

Stripping all the legendary bombast away, what becomes starkly clear is that besides rocking relentlessly, the power of human emotion and conviction on Live to Win can rattle not only the walls, but also touch the heart and soul of the listener. "What I wanted to do on this album was sing about my life because my life is not that different than anybody else's," he continues. "The truth is, what we all deal with in life is pretty similar. You change the names and the story's the same."

"This album is purely a labor of love," says Stanley. "It is a labor of passion, and something where I was concerned with turning out the album I heard in my head, without regard for having glitz and star power from other sources. It was purely about making the album I wanted to make." While the heartfelt "Loving You Without You Now" was written without any outside collaboration, the remainder of the album reunites him with former KISS songwriting partners Desmond Child [Aerosmith, LeeAnn Rimes] and Holly Knight [Tina Turner, Pat Benatar], and introduces new collaborators including Andreas Carlsson [Bon Jovi, Britney Spears], John 5 [Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson] and Marti Frederiksen [Aerosmith, Faith Hill]. Seven of the ten tracks were co-written with Child and/or Carlsson, with Stanley and Child joined by John 5 on "Where Angels Dare" and Frederiksen on "Lift," and Knight teaming with the frontman on "It's Not Me."

Live to Win is self-produced by Stanley, who provides lead vocals, guitar and percussion alongside a studio core of guitarist Corky James, drummer Victor Indrizzo and keyboardist Harry Sommerdahl. Also performing on the album are former KISS bandmate Bruce Kulick and guitarist John 5.

"I've always believed that when you give somebody an album, it should be like a fresh newspaper, where you get ink on your fingers and it's today's news," says Stanley, who wrote and co-wrote the ten tracks on Live to Win specifically for the new release. "For me, this album is where I'm at now - This is where things are in my life, and my perspective on my music."

Entertainment News -- Network Archive


Restaurant Chain Launches New Country Music Collection

Restaurant Chain Launches New Country Music Collection

(NewsUSA) - Most people know Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores for their comfort food and gift items, but over the past few years, the chain has also become a player on the music scene.

Since launching its own music label in 2003, Cracker Barrel has sold more than 2.5 million CDs, including titles by Amy Grant, Sara Evans, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Johnny Cash, and the Charlie Daniels Band. Cracker Barrel has also introduced the Grand Ole Opry Live Classics series.

Using in-store play as a way to entice consumers to the cash registers, Cracker Barrel is carving a new niche in the music retailer sector. Its latest release is "Songs of the Year," which is available only at Cracker Barrel stores or

The collection features country music's top artists performing songs that earned "Song of the Year" recognition from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music or the Grammy Awards.

"Songs of the Year" includes Trisha Yearwood singing "Back Home Again," Trace Adkins performing "Sunday Morning Coming Down" and country legend George Jones teaming up with Dierks Bentley to deliver "Murder on Music Row." Deana Carter joins rock icons Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart for a potent version of Vince Gill's "Go Rest High on That Mountain."

Randy Travis, JoDee Messina, Blake Shelton, Lonestar, The Wreckers, Jack Ingram, Jamie O'Neal, Deana Carter and Michael McDonald are among the artists participating on the 12-song collection.

"This CD continues our tradition of connecting country music's past and present," said Simon Turner, Cracker Barrel's chief marketing officer.

Cracker Barrel collaborated with Vector Management on this project to generate support for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Cracker Barrel and Vector will donate $125,000 to the not-for-profit museum from "Songs of the Year" sales.

Interview: Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies

Interview: Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies
November 16, 2006 01:14 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

For 15-plus years, Barenaked Ladies have watched their fans become part of the band's family. Attending a BNL concert has become a rite of passage to some. The Canadian pop act, known for its witty and sarcastic lyrics, acknowledges this and honors those fans with the title of the latest album, "Barenaked Ladies are Me."

"I think fans feel a lot of ownership over this band," singer/songwriter Eric Robertson said. "They're very vested in what we do and how we do it. We see so much interaction from not just shows and our website but from the blog we maintain, and with the title we just wanted to reflect that.

"People feel we're their band," he added. "The people who come out to see us time and time again, it's their thing. It's what identifies them. It's gone beyond these five guys making music. It's people identifying themselves through it. We kind of wanted to reach out and embrace that a bit."

The band--which also includes singer/guitarist Steven Page, bassist Jim Creeggan, drummer Tyler Stewart and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn-- released the new album Sept. 12. It is the group's most mellow to date, marking a departure from its humor-filled collections that include songs such as "One Week," "Be My Yoko Ono" and "If I Had a Million Dollars."

On the eve of the Barenaked Ladies' tour, Robertson talked to LiveDaily about the change in tempo, adapting the new material for the stage and the potential downside of hosting a cruise.

LiveDaily: Are you looking forward to the tour?

Ed Robertson: Hell no. I'm excited about playing all this new music, but I'm very unexcited about sleeping on a tour bus again. It sucks a trailer load of a--. [Laughs]

I'm looking forward to hearing the songs from the new album.

We're all really happy with it. Oddly, I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's a very band-oriented record; we recorded it very naturally. All the stuff is translating really naturally to live. Where it seems like in the past the new songs took a couple weeks of rehearsal to kind of work them in and figure out how to play them, some of these songs, from the first time we played them, it was like, "Oh that sounds really good." It was a lot of work on the back-up vocals because we went a little back-up vocal crazy on this record. So that's been a lot of work. But I'm looking forward to playing them.

BNL Easy -

It must be really flattering to know that fans take such strong ownership of the band.

Yeah, flattering and frightening at the same time. There's this whole dominion of people who are in some ways reliant on what it is you do. At the root of it, you still need to be making music based on what moves you creatively, where your mood is at, what you're thinking about. Sometimes, it's daunting to realize that there are all these people listening.

Especially with this album. This seems like the most emotional album you've released so far.

I think for years, since we released "Maybe You Should Drive" [in 1994], every record we've put out, people say, "This is a much more serious record for you guys." It's just the fact that people don't think of us as a serious band. They only see us kind of clowning around and goofing around. That's certainly a huge part of who we are and who we've always been. Every time we release a record, people always say, "This is a much more mature record." For the first time, I think they might actually be right. This might be a more mature Barenaked Ladies record. We're older. We're 36 now. We're not 18 anymore. I think this record is more emotionally close, a little less guarded than records in the past. There's still wit there, but I think there's less sarcasm.

Why is that? Did that reflect the mood you were in at the time?

I think it's just where we are at writing right now, and what we wanted to say. It's a lot of music. We're thinking of it as all 29 of the songs [that were written for the album] that we released in various ways. It's kind of difficult to deconstruct and say what it's about. It's about a lot of things.

It's definitely a logical progression, though.

Yeah, absolutely. It felt really natural for us. That was kind of one of our main thrusts this time around--and to not worry about a collection of songs so much and not have to pare it down and say these are the 12 songs that represent where Barenaked Ladies are at right now. In the past, some really great songs have been left behind because they don't really hang with a small group of songs. It would shift the mood to too ballad-heavy, or too dark or too rock or whatever. This time around, it was very liberating to say, "We're going to work on all the songs and make each one as good as we can as a song, and we'll put them all out and not worry about it."

Was it hard to open up a little bit more, and make this a lot less guarded?

Um, yes. There are songs on this record that have been kicking around for a while that I was almost, maybe, too close to to finish them. There are some songs that are emotionally raw. Sometimes you just think, "Do I really want to go out there and play that song every night and talk about that song?" It was playing a part of one of those songs for a friend and having them say, "Wow, I think that's my favorite song I've ever heard you do." You realize sometimes things that are difficult for you as an artist or a writer connect the most. I think it was just not being afraid to let those songs in there. I know that some of the songs that I like the most are pretty emotionally raw. It was just having the guts or the abandon to let it go and let some of that stuff out there.

What song are you talking about?

Not telling.

BNL Wind It Up -

Fair enough. It seems like on this album there was a lot more of the sharing of the vocal and writing duties. Would you say that's true?

Yes. I think, if anything, it was a decision to not think about it too much. The one big sticking point on this record was a song called "Sound of Your Voice," which is a song that Kev wrote and, when we first recorded it, Kev sang it. Our manager came back to us and said, "Love the song. Steve's got to sing it." We never work like that. All that stuff, we do on our own. Like, take a song like "Too Little Too Late." I wrote it, and Steve and I finished it together, but I said, "You'd be a lot better singing this. Your voice is just stronger for this kind of thing." Those kinds of decisions happen very organically. Things that I sing, things that Steve sings. Songs just seem to be suited for one guy's voice or the other. When Kev brought "Sound of Your Voice" to the band, we all really liked it. We were playing it, Kev sang it, it was great. We were all really into it. And then our manager was, like, "Steve's got to sing this one." We were like, "Oh, that's, like, weird now. Now we have to have this whole discussion." Kev, right from the beginning, was like, "I don't care. Have him sing it. Yeah, it's great. I like the song. He'd be great singing it." But we were all weirded out that we were going to upset Kev. Kev totally didn't care. Steve felt he was stepping on Kev's toes. Kev didn't really care--or did he? That was the whole discussion. In the end, Steve sang it and it was f---ing great. I liked Kev singing it, and I was like, "I don't want to let management push us around." And then Steve sang it, and it was amazing.

Are you going to be selling live CDs of each show?

Yes, we are. We've got our main ProTools man with us. He'll be mixing every show and uploading it the next day. We're trying to find a way to be able to sell them that night as people walk out of the show, but it's really difficult to pull off. We want the mix to be better. To do it that night, it would pretty much have to be a board tape or a live mix on the fly. If Paul can spend more time with it and actually mix it the next day, I think people actually get a better product in the end. So that's the route that we're going. We'll see what happens. If we can get up to speed with him mixing it on the fly, that would be pretty cool.

Are you going to be playing any Christmas songs as you get closer to the holidays?

When we get closer to Christmas. Probably not on the tour proper, which goes up until about Dec. 5, I think. Then we're gonna do a swing of Christmas shows after that. Not a proper Christmas tour like we've done the last two years, but we're going to tour still the 5th through the 21st, I think.

I see that you're doing a cruise, Ships and Dip, with Guster and the Barenaked Ladies' side projects. That is becoming a popular thing to do among bands.

I haven't heard of anyone doing it like we're doing it though. After we do it, maybe no one will want to do it, including us. [Laughs] We'll see how it goes. The cruises I've heard about, people go on a cruise, they pull up to an island somewhere, they get off the boat, there's a rock show, and then they get back on the boat and it's like being on a normal boat again, and maybe there's some cool bands on the boat or whatever. Our idea is to be very present on the boat, doing poolside karaoke, Scrabble tournaments on the deck, jam sessions and songwriting workshops. Our plan is to make it be a fan--and especially a real musical fan--dream trip. It remains to be seen if it's stalkertastic or not. We have an area on the ship we can retreat to if we need a little privacy, I believe it's called the boiler room. [Laughs] We'll see how it goes.

Where do you see Barenaked Ladies heading in the next couple years?

My goal and the goal of the band is to be less record focused, and just put out songs when we have them. Not focus on spending all this time recording a huge group of songs. I think the time has come for releasing a song this month, and releasing four songs three months later. Just whenever we have them, record them and put them out there. I think it's a better way to do it.

15+ years after their winsome indie debut, Canada's Barenaked Ladies come full circle here, dropping off the major label merry-go-round to re-embrace a DYI sensibility with typically breezy aplomb. But, as this collection's strong songs and crisp production attest, that hardly means the band didn't learn a thing or three during its successful tenure in the majors. The gorgeous melancholy of "Adrift" is apt preamble to a collection that's more thematically balanced and graced by an expansive sense of artistic democracy. While mainstays Steven Page and Ed Robertson contribute such patently torqued, BNL-mirthful fare as "Bank Job," "Bull in a China Shop," "Rule the World With Love" and "Wind It Up," there's a growing maturity and sense of reflection in their work as well, as evidenced by Page confessing his own emotional disconnection via the evocative, banjo-accordion lament "Everything Had Changed." But it's the strong, equally literate contributions of fellow band members Jim Creeggan ("Peterborough & the Kawathas") and Kevin Hearn ("Sound of Your Voice," "Vanishing") that truly expand BNL's horizons at a career juncture when many bands are all too happy to rest on their laurels or hew religiously to the formula that garnered them.

Interview: Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach

Interview: Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach
November 09, 2006 12:13 PM
by Paul Gargano
LiveDaily Contributor

At face value, "The Paramour Sessions" may appear to be little more than a collection of songs that comprise the latest release from nu-metal survivors Papa Roach. But, below the surface, the album beats with a pulse as vibrant as the band that spawned it, and as haunting as the houses that made the recordings holy.

One of the most storied estates in the Hollywood Hills, The Paramour lent a sense of historic awe and paranormal fascination to an already tumultuous period in Papa Roach's decade-plus history. Long before the site played studio host to artists as varied as Gwen Stefani and H.I.M., it was the1920s home of silent-movie star Antonio Moreno and wife Daisy Canfield. But, when the oil heiress died in a tragic accident in 1933, it cast the property into a state of perpetual disarray, seeing time as both a convent and a school for girls before being devastated by an earthquake in 1987.

As Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix shares in the following interview, sometimes it takes one era's tragedy to help unleash another era's triumph. "Last Resort" may have tagged Papa Roach the poster boys of the nu-metal movement, but "The Paramour Sessions" cements their status as rock-and-roll survivors. From here on out, it's history in the making... ...

LiveDaily: You started gravitating toward more of a rock sound on your last album, and this record continues that evolution.

Jacoby Shaddix: Yeah, most definitely. When we wrote "Getting Away with Murder," we were trying to find who we were as a band. There was a level of confidence there, but after playing it live, touring, getting a solid fan base and getting our success back--not on the strength of hype, but on good songs and a good show--we went back into the studio and the writing of this record with a new sense of confidence. That was one of the key elements in writing this record, because we weren't scared of doing anything. We always wanted to live in a house together, because we're all Red Hot Chili Peppers fans, and watching "Funky Monks," the making of "Blood Sugar Sex Magik," when I was like 16-17, I was like, "That's a rock 'n' roll dream to be lived."

What were your expectations heading into The Paramour?

We went into that house knowing that we were going in to live a dream. It was kind of a rediscovery of who we are as a band, who we are as people, who we are as musicians... We wanted to write a real hard-edged, straight-ahead, four-to-the-floor, savage rock 'n' roll record. Then, when we started to jam, we had jam sessions that would last, like, seven, eight hours, and we tapped into something besides what we expected to come out of us. We wrote songs like "Forever," "What Do You Do," "Reckless," songs that are so far removed from anything we've ever done as a band. Stuff that's got a big-rock feel to it. There were moments where we were like, "F---, dude, what are our fans going to think of this?" but then the reality hit and we realized that we were doing something that feels right, and we couldn't not explore that side of our band because we feel we're going to disappoint somebody. We owe it to ourselves to explore, and that's the freedom of music. That's why I'm in this band. The way I look at it, the artists and the musicians that I look up to the most are the artists and the musicians that take the greatest risks to evolve, like Red Hot Chili Peppers when they released "Under the Bridge."

Did the house offer inspiration?

For us, this house had a spirit about it. There was something that was bigger than us. We have never jammed like we jammed when we got into this house. In the years and years that we've been playing together, we never stepped into a room and played for six-seven hours straight, just being creative. There were times I was just lyrically stuck, and I'd go down to Daisy's grave--the lady buried on the property there--and just write whatever comes to me. I wrote a song called "Forever" down there, and also "My Heart is a Fist." When I'd get stuck, I'd walk around the property and go find the lyrics.... We all went into the depths of our own fears and our own selves and ran from our fears, and faced our fears.

How was that?

We were in a pretty volatile state when we made this record, because a lot of us were going through a lot of personal s---. It all came out on this record. I'd say that this is the most personal band record, as a whole--there's love on this album, there's sexuality on this album, there's f---ing violence on this record, there's sex, drugs, and rock and roll, there's fear, there's f---in' strength. Every experience that we could experience as a group of people, we experienced in that house. We cried. We fought. There were sleepless nights. We kind of got scared of who we were for a little while in that house, and coming out on the other side of making the record, I think getting lost in ourselves was the best thing that we could have done.

How has your approach to writing changed with your evolving sound?

First and foremost, I want to write songs, lyrically and melodically, that you could sing along with. Going in with that intention and being able to execute that on this record was really f---ing cool. We weren't just writing heavy s--- for the sake of having heavy s---; it was heavy s--- because we wanted to write it. And good stuff, that you can sing along with, but with also a pop sensibility. We look at ourselves as the band that tries to walk that line between metal, hardcore, punk rock and pop music, you know what I'm saying? We do our best at trying to make it tasteful.

How has fatherhood affected your approach to the band?

My oldest is four, and my youngest turned two the day after the record came out. Those are my little sidekicks! Being a father is my rock. Being a father has taught me unconditional love, and that's extended to how I feel about the people in my band. I love them like they were my kids, in a way, you know what I'm saying? It doesn't matter what you do, I'm always going to love you. P-Roach, we put each other through the f---ing ringer. Go ahead and go off the deep end, and I'll still be here for you. And that's exactly what's happened lately. We have to look out for each other, and to that end, being a father has taught me a lot about being compassionate and understanding of people.

You're opening for Guns N' Roses now. How's that going?

It's going cool, man. We just jumped on and have done three shows so far. It's been a while since we've been on an arena stage, so it took, like, two shows to really become comfortable on that stage again. The first two shows were good, but the third show was magic, we f----ing ripped it up, the crowd was great, and the response was awesome.... In the beginning, we didn't know how we'd approach it, because we'd been in theaters for a while, but once we got the rhythm going, we slayed. To get back in that environment, it's like the carrot in front of the rabbit--I want to get here again!

Will that change your approach to your upcoming theater tour?

When we did our headlining run through Europe, we just had a killer set put together and it was a little bit different, because everyone's chanting "Papa Roach" and everyone's going off on every song and every vibe. To go from that to being an opening band again, it was like, "OK, how do we adjust?" So, when we go back to headlining, I think we're going to just go back to business as usual, because we ripped through Europe and had great shows. Going out and winning over crowds is fun, but headlining is where it's at. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be headlining arenas, but that's just not the case right now.

You were supposed to tour with H.I.M., but they canceled the tour at the eleventh hour. What happened?

They won't tell us... We got the news just as we were getting on the plane to go to Europe, and we were like, "What gives!" [Laughing] We still haven't gotten an answer--it would have been a good opportunity, but we've just got to roll with the punches.

What does your headlining tour hold in store?

We're taking out a band called Bullets & Octane, and Hed P.E. is our main support. It's cool; it's a diverse show. We're excited about this run, because we haven't done a headlining run in the States in a while now, and the ticket sales are going good. We're playing, like, an hour-fifteen; eight new songs off "Paramour Sessions," and pretty much three or four songs off each record. The new songs keep it fresh, then we flip it up a bit. Like, we give "Dead Cell" a more punk-rock feel. There's a good ebb and flow to the set. We just rip it up every night.

Interview: Cody Hanson of Hinder

Interview: Cody Hanson of Hinder
November 02, 2006 12:28 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

When Hinder penned the raspy rock ballad "Lips of an Angel," the Oklahoma City-based act immediately sensed it could have a hit on its hands. The record company, drummer Cody Hanson said, thought otherwise.

"You never really know if it's going to take off like it did," Hanson said via telephone from Boise, ID. "We hoped. But as a band we always felt it was a hit. The label, however, didn't think so. They didn't want it to be on the album. So we worked really hard and fought really hard for it to make sure it went on the album and to make sure it was a single."

Touche. "Lips of an Angel" peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs, No. 10 on Hot Modern Rock Tracks, No. 14 on Hot Ringtones, No. 3 on Mainstream Rock, No. 1 on Pop 100 and No. 3 on The Billboard Hot 100. The album ""that spawned the cut, meanwhile, hit No. 7 on The Billboard 200 album chart in September, nearly a year after its release.

Prior to his Boise show, Hanson talked to LiveDaily about Hinder's long-building success, working with Canadian producer Brian Howes and who's the cheater on which "Lips of an Angel" is based. (Hinder also includes lead singer Austin Winkler, guitarist/vocalist Joe Garvey, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Mark King and bassist/vocalist Mike Rodden.)

LiveDaily: How's the tour going so far?

Cody Hanson: [Laughs] It's been very busy. Ever since "Lips" hit Top 40 radio, it's been crazy. But we're accomplishing our mission of resurrecting rock "and roll.

Your goal is to resurrect rock and roll? That's a formidable goal considering there aren't that many testosterone-heavy rock-and-roll bands anymore.

A lot of rock bands are so dark. Half of the bands aren't really fun. It seems like rap has the party. We want to bring the party back to rock.

It took a couple weeks to set up the interview because Hinder has been so busy. What is a typical week or day like in the band's life now that "Lips of an Angel" has become so huge?

It's very busy. Today we went to five radio stations, did two meet and greets, a soundcheck party and a signing after that.

It's basically what it's like. It's just non-stop. But that's what we like to do. We like to go out and work, and meet a bunch of different people and shake the hands of the people who are supporting us, whether it's a radio station or magazines or whatever. It's something we like to do--say thanks.

You were talking earlier about "Lips of an Angel." Did it almost not make the album?

Um, [the label] didn't want it to. But, in our minds, there was no way that was going to happen. We knew the song had great potential. They tried to make it a B-side but we weren't going to go for that.

It's such a great song. It's such an obvious hit. And, it's sad to say, but I think everyone can relate to the lyrics about pining for an ex.

I don't think we were really aware of how many cheaters there really were. [Laughs]

So who's the cheater in Hinder?

Nobody's a cheater. Nobody's a cheater. [Laughs]

What was it like to work with Brian Howes (Closure, DDT) as a producer on your album?

Wow, man. He's one of my best friends. He's got such a great ear for the band's songwriting. He's just unbelievable. We were really big fans of his band Closure. I don't know if you're aware of them? We were big fans of theirs.

Were you friends with him before you recorded the album?

Before we recorded the album, we went out to Vancouver where we thought we were going to be [making] an independent album. It turned out to be demos. That was the first time we actually met. We got along so well and worked so well together. It was just kind of, like, undeniable. He's basically part of the band.

What is the songwriting process like with Hinder?

Well, on "Extreme Behavior," I would come up with a chord progression for a song. Then Austin would come up with a vocal melody. We get together and do the lyrics together. Once we have the basic structure of the song, we'll take it to all the guys and let them put their own little twist on things. For the most part, it's me and Austin creating the structure of the song.

Have you started thinking about a new album?

Yeah, we have, actually. We started writing a little bit. We've got a pretty good start. I think we have a lot better start than we did when we started writing for "Extreme Behavior." We probably won't go into the studio for another year, maybe. But we have a really good start with really good songs.

You said you're off to an easier start. Was "Extreme Behavior" difficult to write?

I just think we're more experienced songwriters now. We have more experience working with each other and writing with each other. Before "Extreme Behavior," myself and Austin wrote separately whenever we were writing. Now it's better, and I think it's going to be great the next time around.

How do you feel about opening for Aerosmith?

They're one of our influences, just like every other band out there. Whenever we're asked the question, "Who's a part of your dream tour?" The answer's always Aerosmith. It's just like, "Wow, it's unbelievable."