"Just For The Record" is a brand new section at the RockUnited site where 'DJ Urban' has a look at some old(er) records/albums in the great history of hard rock and metal. It could be some "obscure" minor record label release that simply didn't get the attention it so rightly deserved the first time around. It could also be a what you would call a "classic" album or sort of a best-seller. They all have one thing in common though. They all ROCK and and they all have at least one classy enough band member to answer our q's.
DANGER DANGER: "Danger Danger"
DANGER DANGER and their self-titled debut from the year of 1989 (released by Imagine/CBS and produced by Lance Quinn). A band so nice they had to name it twice? Yes sir indeed! The Jeresy boys gave us rock anthems such as "Bang Bang" and "Naughty Naughty", and became legendary for their MTV videos. I'll have to admit that I became a "fan" a dozen or so years later. It's a great debut though and the best songs are actually the ones that didn't get a big, flashy, "MTV" video (in my humble opinion of course). Anyhow, they don't need any long introduction, since most folks who read this are already familiar with their great work. Here to answer all our questions about party music from the year of 1989 - the ever so friendly vocalist and front figure, Mr. TED POLEY.
How long did this album take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
Well, let me think... it was over 20 years ago! We went to Philadelphia to record with famous producer Lance Quinn, who was responsible for a lot of great CD's but is especially known for the early Bon Jovi cd's that make Jon big. We rented a condo and lived together while we first did a week of pre production, no recording, and Lance and us worked out some ideas and re arranged the songs a little bit, although the final versions do sound a lot like the demos. Then we recorded the tracks for at least a month, but it might have been more like 2 months.
What kind of initial budget are we talking about here?
Hmmm, again, the details are a bit fuzzy but I think it was probably around $60,000... the videos actually cost more than the cd.
How much of the budget did you actually spend on useless equipment and other nonsense?
Not much useless stuff. Lance is quite a pro and knew what he wanted, we didn't have money to waste and we didn't waste much. I think I spent a lot at Kentucky Fried Chicken though!
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We wanted what everyone wanted back then, to sound BIG like Bon Jovi or Def Leppard.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Quite a lot! We wouldn't argue with someone with so much success, actually Lance is a genius in many ways, he just has one of those brains. He was early into computers and other tech stuff which was practically unknown at the time, and he is a great keyboard programmer too, so he was responsible for a lot of the keyboard sounds.
And were you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Yes, of course! it was big league stuff! I was very proud.
Did the producer use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Actually he wanted a more natural sound for the vocals and realized that singers lose some of the feel while listening through headphones, so he figured out a way to set up little speakers, set the signals so that they were "out of phase' and that way they wouldn't bleed back into the mic. He then just point them at me from the front, and I could sing to the tracks without headphones, in a more natural setting, monitoring through the air instead of using the cans... good question by the way.
How much time did you spend on overdubs?
No idea, I always double and triple vocals but I work pretty fast in the studio and I probably got everything done in a few weeks. Back then, the biggest time waster was waiting the few seconds that it would take to rewind the massive tape reels and then for the machines to sync up. Now, with digital, you just press a key and you return to your set point instantly, I can do in one day what used to take 3 days simply because of the wasted few seconds inbetween EVERY take.
Which band member spent most of his days in the studio and why?
Probably me. The singer always takes the most time, next would be the guitar players, Tony Bruno and then at the end, Andy Timmons.
Which band member hardly spent any time at all in the studio and why?
Westy I guess... (Steve West) for one, he works fast on his drum tracks, and also I would always kick him out of the studio when I was singing because he would re-write songs while I was singing them and even after I had just sung them perfectly. It used to kill me and I love the guy, but I used to want to kill him because I would have to re-sing the new word perfectly in tune and it's always hard to sing lines, just because he wanted to change a syllable or a word. In the end he always got his way, I never won!
Let's talk about the lyrics. Are you just as fond of them today or are they typical of its time?
Typical of its time... I feel a little silly singing lines like "girl you'd look better in your birthday suit" (from 'Naughty Naughty')... but I never feel silly after the show when I get paid. That part of the show rocks.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound', or perhaps you didn't?
We are one of the best live bands you can see (for under $50! lol). We rock even better live than on cd. Always did, still do. Everyone in the band are top live players.
Did the record company interfere anything on your "sound" and "songs", considering what's 'hot and not' at the time?
They had a say in everything, they paid for the party but we were signed because that is what we already sounded like and looked like, so they didn't have to change much. They saw the potential and they just polished the diamond and marketed it to the fans, they did a fine job.
Your favourite songs off the album and why?
"Dont Walk Away"... it's easy to sing live. "Rock America" will always be special to me, I loved that song, especially the first demo of it. That had some magic to it.
Any 'oh-I-wish-we-had-never-recorded' song on this album?
Personally yes-our rap song- "yeah you want it" - but it wasn't my idea at the time and it wasn't meant to be taken seriously, but still, now when I hear it it, I vomit in my own mouth just a little bit and have to choke it back. lol. [Ed: "Yeah You Want It" is on the band's second album "Screw It" actually...]
Were there any other tracks recorded during those studio sessions that didn't make the cut?
We had some cool demos of other songs that didn't make the 1st cd, but I think that everything we recorded made the disc. It was well planned during pre production.
What's your honest opinion about the songs and the production today? Dated, fresh, a mess?
Classic for its time... and still sounds big.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
No... well yes, every hour something else crazy and/or naked was going on... but I cant share any.
Were you ever a "priority" case or merely just another release at your record label?
Yeah, low priority at first, then when we released the video and it took off on MTV, making it to the top of the daily countdown, then they gave us the push. They let a lot of other good bands drop, they sort of release a lot, see what sticks, and then go with that. So you could spend a year making a cd, and then in 2 weeks if you don't chart, it's over and you become a tax write off. We were lucky but we also worked really hard.
Did you ever feel like the record label supported you guys enough afterwards? (promotion-wise, tours, etc.).
Yes, I guess, but they never released a ballad, which was stupid because we got big without one, and other great bands like Warrant and Firehouse got HUGE especially because of the ballads. If we had released a ballad we would have been multi platinum, but they had a different strategy and by the time they figured out what to do, everyone started wearing flannel and goatees and it was over for us and our style of music. So, no ballad and so - there's no Ferrari in the driveway.
Any regrets whatsoever? (regarding the album of course)
Just the lack of a ballad release, that would have paid some bills.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, or promote, please do:
Yes! Thank you and special thanks to all the fans! Please go to:
www.tedpoley.com and pick up my new
2 CD set TED POLEY GREATEST HITS. See you on the road soon, either with D2 or with
my solo band. KEEP ROCKIN EVERYBODY.
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,