Vesa, our "friend to the stars" (see the last two questions...) asked a few questions from Chuck Wright...on the eve of the release of their new album.
1. People have waited for this CD to come out forever and it took you guys very long to finish the CD. Why so long?
In the beginning, we had to deal with the name problem and we had had serious logistical issues having everyone spread all over the country, coast to coast, and scheduling problems to deal with not to mention a tug of war with the label over material and funding. You have to keep in mind, we are and were all very active in our own endeavors. Lanny and Ken had been producing a lot of records, James has his own business to run in Florida and was working with his wife, Robin Beck, on her new record and I was on the road a lot with Montrose then Alice Cooper. These are just some of the reasons this record took so long to complete. Under normal circumstances, with everone in the same place at the same time and having the songs we're going to record chosen, we can get an album done in 6 to 8 weeks. Our debut took 30 days top to bottom, including the mix. Actually we had tried a few times over the years to get the band up and running again. Lanny, James and I performed in London for a Gods festival in the mid 90's and intended on doing a new record together at that time. We do 3 songs from that era on this new one.
2. Mr. Giuffria decided to go solo, did that hurt the process or were you able to continue like nothing had happened.
6 weeks or so before just before completion of the vocals, as we were still awaiting any ideas what so ever, keyboard parts, anything from Gregg, he signed a solo deal with our label (Frontiers) and said, "now that I have my own deal I'm not doing this House Of Lords record". He didn't seem that into it anyway since he didn't partake in the compositions. He did have plenty of opportunity to contribute however - over two years should be enough time to come up with a song idea I would think. After this, the label said our deal was now diminished by what they still owed us because Gregg was not on it so we had to finish the record asap and now being under budgeted to not be able to complete it the way we originally intended. In this way, his bailing on us was detrimental and very unfortunate.
3. Unfortunately I haven't heard the CD yet but some people have and it has received some positive feedback but also some negative. Did you guys expect this?
We were all eager to cross new boundaries with this record and I think we did to a degree. We had tightened reins on us throughout the making of the record however. All in all I do feel that this record stands up to others in the genre and has some amazing performances on it. Some of the fans out there expect you to be stuck in time and continue on as if it were 1988 again. We've all grown as musician and as people. I can't write a song like "Looking For Strange" and take my self seriously anymore. People that listen to it with an open mind and without expectaions really dig it. Those that want it to be a regurgitaion of the past should just give it a chance and listen to for what it is.. A musical adventure with thought provoking lyrics and kick ass musicianship.
4. Being a fan of HOL I have always enjoyed the music you make. Please tell me what to expect from this CD. I have to wait till the date it is released to hear it.
Like our other releases, we tend to change a bit from record to record . There are a lot of the same familiar charcteristics but this time there's a more mdern twist with arrangements and sonics. We're not as pompous sounding because Gregg is not with us on this one. We wrote a lot of new material, actually over 30 songs. We tried to make a record that would sound the way we would if we stayed together for the past decade. We actually covered Bjorks song "Army Of Me" but of course our label would have none of that. If we made a truly modern record it wouldn't be House Of Lords would it? There was a style, a high level of musicianship and sound we were known for so we had to try and stay within those guide lines to a degree or we would have our material rejected by the label. We found this out in the early goings.We did use three songs that were intended to be on a mid 90's release that we re-recorded. Anyway, we didn't care when or where the songs came from, we just wanted the strongest material that the label would accept. You won't be disapointed!
5. What songs do you think that present the HOL 2004 the best on this new CD?
Lanny and I are both really fond of "The Rapture" because it's so unique for a House Of Lords track, the variety of instrumentation and James sings his ass off on that one but "Child Of Rage" has to be his best vocal performance to date on any record. Derek Sherinian (from Dream Theater) really blew me away with his palying on the title track "The Power And The Myth" . I dig the groove on "All Is Gone". For me they all have something special in them to offer that I like.
6. Is there a possibility for some live shows for HOL in the future, because there are plenty of fans who want to see you play live.
I'd love to get back there and play again with this band. I was just in Scandinavia a few months ago and always enjoy the crowds and culture. If enough people dig the record, we will figure out a way to get back out there.
7. If playing live who would you join up with or would it just be HOL?
I have no idea.
8. Is there going to be a new HOL CD out and please tell me that it doesn't take this long time to do.
Hopefully so but this time out we'll try and do it much faster.
9. It seems like the guys in HOL are all very busy doing a lot of their own things so I just have to ask is this. Are you still a band or is this just a project for all of you?
Lanny, Ken and I have worked together over the last decade on many projcts and we still have that band chemistry when we play together. Once we hook up with James and start playing live, I'd say we were a band again in the true sense of the word.
10. You have pretty good connections to Finland, could you tell us more about that?
My web master Jani, lives in Helsinki. I met him through a friend named Vesa [Editor: who might that be :)]. We had been in touch via the internet over the years and I finally met him when I was in Finland with Alice Coope in 2002.
11. The last but no way the least question? When will we have few beers again?
Ahh...we'll - Like I said, I really want to get out there and tour so hopefully sooner than later...this summer perhaps. Until then, turn the cd up!!
by Vesa Nuorala.
THE STORY OF HOUSE OF LORDS
House of Lords was formed in 1988 by Giuffria members, keyboardist Gregg Giuffria (Angel) and bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot). They brought in Alice Cooper drummer Ken Mary and the highly respected Lanny Cordola on guitars to fill out the instrumental portion of the group. They were destined to become a real supergroup. Based on the line-up and some early demos, they eventually caught the interest of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, who immediately signed the band to his new custom label Simmons Records, a subsidiary of RCA/BMG. The band's 1989 self-titled debut, produced by the legendary Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones), also featured the untapped talents of vocalist James Christian. The album is still regarded as one of the best arena rock releases of the 80’s. The colossal sound, the soaring vocals and instrumental capabilities of the band, reminiscent of such frontrunners as Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Van Halen, immediately brought the band to the attention of the media and fans. House Of Lords toured with Cheap Trick in the U.S. and later joined the Scorpions for a trek through Europe.
In 1990, House of Lords released their sophomore effort, "Sahara", produced again by Andy Johns. Lanny Cordola had left the group prior to the recording sessions and Doug Aldrich (currently with Whitesnake and a former member of Dio, Hurricane and Bad Moon Rising) was brought in to handle the majority of the guitar tracks on the album. He would later accompany the group on the road. Other notables such as Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen (of Cheap Trick) and Chris Impellitteri contributed their unique guitar work to "Sahara" as well. Like its predecessor, the album is a spectacular sampling of incisive, tastefully executed hard rock. House of Lords gained considerable chart success with their cover version of Blind Faith’s “Can't Find My Way Home”. It was the number one most requested song on rock radio in the U.S. that year. After a long tour with hit rock popsters Nelson in 1991, the band called it a day.
Another version of the House of Lords was put together thanks to the input of JVC in Japan and Victory Records in the U.S., who went on to produce a third album for the group: "Demon's Down". This was a more melodic record with a dramatically altered line-up that now included Dennis Chick on guitar, Sean McNabb (Great White) on bass and legendary drummer Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake). During the 90's, the original band members remained in high demand, playing with a wide range of artists, as well as producing records and composing film scores. Somehow, they all stayed in touch with each over the years and talks of a reunion became an ongoing ritual. In 2001, the original House of Lords reformed and inked a production deal with Frontiers Records, a top melodic rock label based in Italy. Over two years in the making, the new album, entitled "The Power And The Myth", has the band returning to the fold with stunning production and an updated sound. Gregg Giuffria bowed out of the recordings to concentrate on a solo career. The keyboard spot is more than adequately covered by such stellar musicians as Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), Alan Okuye (Rat Bat Blue), Sven Martin (Tattoo) and Ricky Phillips (Bad English, Styx). Altogether, the group rises to the occasion and delivers a solid and lively collection of melodic hard rock tomes poised for the new millennium. Slated for release in early 2004, "The Power And The Myth" marks a new chapter in the ongoing odyssey of one of the great hard rock bands of the last 20 years, House of Lords.