"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where a recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
FRAZE GANG: "2"
FRAZE GANG's roots go back 28 years, when vocalist/guitarist Greg Fraser and bassist Stevie Skreebs launched Brighton Rock, who were a popular draw on the hair band scene in Canada through the late '80s and into the '90s. The band split up in 1991 following their last official album, Love Machine, with the rise of the grunge scene essentially forcing Brighton Rock to call it quits. The new record "2" is a full length follow-up that's considerably heavier than what some people are expecting. From the Judas Priest-flavored opener 'Saint Or Sinner' to the brazen Brighton Rock-ishness of 'White Lightning' to the AC/DC vibe of 'Tough Enough', the new album is a both a nostalgic trip down memory lane and a bold reminder of what real rock is all about. An additional bullet in Fraze Gang's belt is having renowned producer Beau Hill behind the mixing desk for the new album. Known for his extensive work with '80s artists such as Ratt, Alice Cooper, Europe and Winger, Hill is a perfect match for what Fraze Gang were trying to accomplish. Find out more about the new album, "2", here's GREG FRASER from the... FRAZE GANG...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
So far it's been fantastic. It's still not released everywhere yet. Aug. 6 is the release date for Europe.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
It took a good 6 months but that was not straight through. There was a lot of rehearsing between recording days. The recording itself went pretty quick due to the fact that we don't waste a lot of time & pre-production saved a lot of time. I would say around 20 actual recording days.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We wanted to get a true live sound without all the bells & whistles layered on top. It is important to us that what you hear on the cd will be produced live. We wanted to get away from that over-produced slick sound that a lot of bands seem to go after.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Being that I produced the cd I would have to say that I had a lot of input
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Pleased is a understatement. I am beyond thrilled with the outcome. I have been making records for almost 30 years & I think this is the best sounding cd I have ever been involved with. We could not be more excited!
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
No weird or experimental recording were done on this record because we wanted a true sound. If AC DC did any weird recording tricks I think their fans would be up in arms saying WTF? We come from that same school of thought & stuck to our guns. The temptation is there to start messing with things when you have all these crazy studio gadgets at hand, but we just set up, stuck mics in front of our gear and let er' rip!
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
We captured that live sound by not layering the guitars too much, especially in the verses. What you hear is Derek's guitar in one speaker & mine in the other. Skreebs's bass is straight up the middle & the drums in stereo. To my ears it sounds more live when you hear all the little nuances that occur, & it gives it a wider stereo effect. It also gives more room for everything else to breathe.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
That changes every day depending on what type of mood I'm in. We rehearsed a lot of songs & we narrowed it down so only our favorites made the record. If someone in the band did not love a song it got rejected. If I had to pick my top 3 it would be: 'Saint Or Sinner,' 'In your Face,' & 'Never Want To Say Goodbye.' I'm too close to the lyrics to pick a favorite. I love the imagery of 'Don't Call Us, We'll Call You.' It's about a band getting rejected by all the record companies & then recording a record that shoots to the top, only to have all those same record companies striving to get their claws into them.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
We're trying to capture an uplifting energy that makes you want to sing, air guitar & air drum along to the songs. We're hoping you get lost in the music & forget about the day to day grind of routine. Music should take the listener somewhere. I think FRAZE GANG 2 does just that!
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
Sometimes when you create something that excites you, as time goes by you might get bored with it & want to move on. When you over rehearse, playing the same song over & over, sometimes a song will lose it's freshness. This can become tricky because you might lose sight of what made you like it in the first place. That's where the fresh ears of outsiders can sometimes help. We'll usually step back from a song for a while & then revisit it later on to see if there's any spark.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
Never. Our record company President Ralph Alfonso could not be more trusting
when it comes to our sound. He is a Canadian music record executive who's been in this business for over 30 years & he can smell when someone is not
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
We like trying to make each other laugh all the time. That's one of the best things about getting together with the gang and jamming out. I like changing the words in the songs so that they are totally politically incorrect just to see the guys crack up. Or we'll change the style of a song from hard rock to polka or reggae & get quite the laugh out of it. The real crazy stuff usually occurs after the gigs when it's time to celebrate!
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
It's Friday, you just got out of school or off work. You crank open a beer & you look for a cd to play that makes you want to blow off some steam, raise your fist in the air & scream "Let's Rock!" FRAZE GANG 2 is that cd. There are no fillers hear. Just good old fashioned kick ass rock & roll!
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Musically Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, UFO, Kiss & Whitesnake are up there. Before I got into guitar Elton John was an early influence & his early songs still floor me. Guitar wise, top five: Michael Schenker, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Ritchie Blackmore & Adrian Vandenberg.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Check out www.frazegang.com
to hear our new cd FRAZE GANG 2 & join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/frazegang
for the latest up to the minute news.
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,