Final Frontier's new CD "The Second Wave" is something out of the ordinary when it comes to traditional AOR. Lots of uptempo songs with a certain "Be Good To Yourself" feeling, all over the place. Here's what vocalist Rob Moratti had to say about the album and music in general.
U - Hi Rob! Perhaps you could start with introducing yourself a little bit. What have you been up to (music wise), prior to hooking up with Mladen, and what do you like to do with your sparetime (beside music).
RM - Hi my name is Rob Moratti and I'm the lead singer of the band FINAL FRONTIER. Before Mladen and I formed FF I was with a band called MORATTI for at least 4 years and we had released 2 albums in Japan and Europe. Outside my music I spend alot of time at the gym working out and I'm also a Kickboxing instructor here at my gym. I watch what I eat 95 percent of the time and cut back alot on partying. I spend most of my weekends outside the city because I had just bought a getaway home North of Toronto with the Georgian Bay in my backyard. This is my peace of mind.
U - I have to ask you this, what's up with the 'Final Frontier' name anyway? Who came up with that idea and don't tell me your into Star Trek? or did Keel's album inspire you perhaps?
RM - I'm not into Startrek and I'm not into Keel much either. Before we signed with Z and Marquee, Marquee wanted to help with the name because they were not too crazy about the original name M2. So with all the titles they had come up with FINAL FRONTIER had the best ring to our ears.
U - "The Second Wave" is obviously your second album and I find it to be way better than your debut (excellent actually). How would you describe 2nd Wave in comparness to the 1st one?
RM - I think the songs are definitely stronger and the sure confidence shines through in every track. Don't get me wrong I love the first album also because it is what got us started just that the first CD was more experimental because we weren't sure on how it was all going to sound when completed. So this time around we felt great about what direction we've taken "AOR" and so took what we already knew and focused on an even stronger album. This time people have really caught on to FINAL FRONTIER in comparison to the first album.
U - Yeah, how about the response from press people so far?
RM - Truely like night and day. The response was good for the first but the response for the second album is overwhelming for the whole band. Mladen and I worked very hard to get to this level and I highly appreciate the acknowledgement.
U - Name a couple of your favorite tracks from the album and why you're especially fond of them.
RM - That's a hard one because I'm always changing my mind but the one's that stick with me most are LYDIA and CINDERELLA IN RAGS. On the album they're like the perfect classic AOR tunes and they always seem to put a really big smile on my face. Who know's tomorrow it may be LOST INSIDE A DREAM and RUNAWAY.
U - Is "Lydia" and "Sherry" based on real people or pure fiction?
RM - The stories will always have a bit of truth somewhere in my life but the title tracks are total fiction.
U - Opener and title track "The Second Wave" is slightly different to the rest of the tracks?. At least the pre-chorus had me thinking about Grand Funk and more boogie-inspired bands from the 70's. Any truth in this or pure mumbo-jumbo? The rest is all AOR though...
RM - Wow! Grand Funk eh? I never really thought about it but I think it's great that you hear that because I grew up listening to them as well and they are a really cool band. It's amazing how we all hear things differently and now that you said it I will listen to the song differently too.
U - I guess we'll have to mention the production too. Would you say that you're satisfied with it? and how about recording budget???
RM - Let's say this, for the budget the production is awesome. I'm happy with it personally and I know Mladen is also but if given a bigger budget then we'd be playing a diffent game.
U - If money would be no issue, who would you like to see as producer for your next album?
RM - If money wasn't an issue, Mladen would still be my number one choice because I know what he's capable of and we work excellent together. Unless we're talking about Bob Rock or John Kalodner well then we would have to talk about it.
U - I wrote in my CD review that: You (Final Frontier) obviously love AOR as much as any fan out there. Would you say that it's true? and can you still find any new rock acts that you enjoy?
RM - I'm totally into AOR and I'm not too into the nu breed rock it does nothing for me. I'm not saying it's bad I personally can't get into it. I'm an old timer classic kind of guy for sure.
U - Name some bands/artists or albums that have inspired you the most to become a musician. Can I expect some Journey and perhaps Steve Perry as part of the answer here?
RM - That would be my first because Journey was always my favorite band. There's Styx, Boston, Suvivor, Foreigner, Toto and Starship just to give you a few of my fav's. Personally, Steve Perry has been a huge influence to me.
U - How much Journey (on a rating from 1-10) would you say these lyrics are: "Run, Run, Runaway, love is gonna find you someday. Open your lonely heart and runaway. Run, run, runaway, your life is just an open highway. Open your lovin' arms and just runaway" (quote taken from the track "Runaway" on your latest CD). Do you plead guilty of Journey-ism? :-)
RM - I plead guilty to having being influenced by Journey and alot it is. I'd say 8 out of 10 maybe and if not then more.
U - Would you say it's difficult to confess to other music business people, that you're into AOR and all of that "wimpy" stuff? Do they usually go: "Oh Yeah... AOR... that died along with spandex, huh?"
RM - They can all say what they want but I'm doing what I love the most and I must say that I'm very fortunate to be given the opportunity to still sing and write the songs of AOR and find a following for it.
U - Your CD was recently released in Japan too. Would you say that Japan is your biggest market or perhaps Europe? How about USA???
RM - Europe and Japan are both very big for us, it's really hard to tell who is bigger and as for the USA we're not existing.
U - I noticed that you also designed the CD art cover. Nice, clean, layout, it had nothing to do with those Journey covers of course? :-)
RM - It doesn't really look like a Journey cover but it has the same precence as some of there old covers and if it kind of reminds you of them, then I think I did a good job. I find it really go well with our music.
U - What lays in the future for Final Frontier and who'd be best suitable to check and help out with your new CD?
RM - I do know that we'll be writing for the next album number 3 starting first week of march. We'll be around for a while I believe. John Kalodner, because he understands it most since he's worked with the best. If there were any chance for a USA release I think he'd find a way.
U - If there's anything you'd like to say, add, or promote. Please do:
RM - To all the classic AOR fans and to all the FINAL FRONTIER fans Thank you for all you support. Check us out on www.FinalFrontiermusic.com. Let us know your thoughts.
by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom