"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.
BANGALORE CHOIR: "On Target"
BANGALORE CHOIR and their debut "On Target" from the year of 1992 (produced by Max Norman of Ozzy fame, etc). Vocalist David Reece sang on the ACCEPT album "Eat The Heat", Ian Mayo (bass) and Jackie Ramos (drums) were both ex.Hericane Alice, and the experienced guitarist/instructor, Curt Mitchell, came up with some excellent guitarwork throughout the entire album. Released during the very last months of the classic "hair metal" era with a massive budget to match, the record label basically decided to pull the rug under these guys. Here's Bangalore Choir's vocalist: DAVID REECE - "On Target"
How long did this album take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
Hmm? If memory serves about 5 weeks?
What kind of initial budget are we talking about here?
Well like everything in those days it was way over the top!!! I believe in the area of three hundred thousand for recording, videos etc. friggin crazy!!!
How much of the budget did you actually spend on useless equipment and other nonsense?
Well I promised John Kirk and Curt Mitchell new guitars and mysteriously they all of a sudden needed new amps and of course the craze at that time was the Sony 48 track 1 inch digital machine which Max Norman just had to have LOL!!! Looking back tightening the belt would have been good but some of it we spent wisely though.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
After doing the Accept record "Eat the Heat" I learned a few tricks from Dieter Dierks so of course vocally I wanted to add that, meaning double vocals etc. We also wanted a raw live feel, so we recorded the rhythms that way and I think we used some of Lange's samples for that 80's boom effect.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Max Norman originally produced the record and he was there during pre-production but truthfully the songs had been done for some time. We were also playing a lot live around L.A. to be honest I credit Curt Mitchell with the production as he's such a brilliant player and really iced the cake with that regard. Then as you know we used a few outside writers ie: Steve Plunkett (Autograph) with "Angel in Black" he's a real craftsman and of course the Bon Jovi and Aldo Nova tune "Doin the Dance" was a nice piece (didn't hurt to add those names if ya know what I mean?!) also we used the Ricky Phillips track "Loaded Gun" which was the video and single.
And were you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
No, the reason was that it sounded very thin! The bed tracks had so much more balls, the master came back from mixing, we all just dropped our heads and went 'What's this?' So the label hired James Barton to re-mix but only paid for the predicted four singles, which to this day still bothers me!
Did the producer use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Not to my knowledge? It was the basic style used in those days.
How much time did you spend on overdubs?
As I said we were very tight musically as a band and knew what we wanted with harmonies etc. so actually it went really fast. I probably took the longest because I have never been fast doing harmonies, I can hear them in my head but sometimes
Which band member spent most of his days in the studio and why?
Curt was there the longest as he sort of inherited the production and because his experience far outweighed the rest of us, we trusted him to try and at least reach what was in our heads.
Which band member hardly spent any time at all in the studio and why?
Actually we had that "We're a band mentality" so we all were there hanging around, probably because we had nowhere else to go and hey there was free pizza and beer available or at least we thought until we got the bill !
Let's talk about the lyrics. Are you just as fond of them today or are they typical of its time?
At the time I thought O.K. this is good but after writing more records I know it was a bit immature and predictable but hey that was the vibe in those days and yes I'm very proud of them.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound', or perhaps you didn't?
I'm a believer in playing the songs live before you track them if at all possible. For a singer especially it's important, you learn your breathing and weakness and strengths. Also for the whole sound I believe you can hear it if the songs have had some road use.
Did the record company interfere anything on your "sound" and "songs", considering what's 'hot and not' at the time?
Oh yeah, if you haven't been a hit artist you rarely have the power to dictate which track will be the ONE! I really wanted "Freight Train rollin" to be the first and then "The Good Die Young" but never "Loaded Gun" first. When your surrounded by people who have made good calls you blindly trust them and you learn the hard way but the biggest lesson comes from your fans they usually know!!!
Your favourite songs off the album and why?
"Freight Train Rollin" because it simply ROCKS! Also "Angel in Black" is killer as well as "Just One Night"!!! great melody in that one!
Any 'oh-I-wish-we-had-never-recorded' song on this album?
No I'm happy with the material.
Were there any other tracks recorded during those studio sessions that didn't make the cut?
Actually yes, one was called "Victim of the Night" really good. And our old sound man has some tracks we recorded live, written after "On Target" was released, but he's holding out on me LOL!
What's your honest opinion about the songs and the production today? Dated, fresh, a mess?
Well I am in Sweden doing the new Bangalore Choir record with Martin Kronlund and he just remastered "On Target" and it sounds bloody amazing!!! Originally as I said the record sounded thin and as far as the songs their great and still stand up to this day.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Yes, during pre-production Max Norman got his advance and took us to the Rainbow for "some" drinks and when we were leaving he kicked out Danny Greenbergs (original Bangalore Choir bassist) windshield in his new car!!! So needless to say that didn't go over real well the days afterwards a little tense in the control room!!
Were you ever a "priority" case or merely just another release at your record label?
We were a major priority actually, most added to radio the first few weeks and had some decent support slots
Did you ever feel like the record label supported you guys enough afterwards? (promotion-wise, tours, etc.).
At first it was magic management, the label etc. did a great job! Well a strange wind was blowing in a little town called Seattle and after about two months I was called in and the label dropped us. I was stunned as well as the group! And
Any regrets whatsoever? (regarding the album of course)
Yes, I came over to Sweden to record the Gypsy Rose record in 2007 and we played Sweden Rock Festival, right before we went on stage the stage manager said "You have got to speak with these people which had been hanging around all day" Why? Because the majority were holdig "On Target" for autographs! I was told the record was dead in America and to maybe change my career but to my surprise in Europe and Asia it did really well! So with deep regret I should have brought the group over and continued on. Now I'm able to say No! when needed and more in control of my career.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, or promote, please do:
First of all thank you for the interview and thank you to all the fans of Bangalore Choir!!! As I said Martin Kronlund just remastered "On Target" and it's amazing. He's producing the vocals on the new Bangalore Choir record which is really rocking! It's in the same vein as number one with some new goodies. Andy Susemihl is involved with the songwriting and production he and I work great together! Curt Mitchell is doing the majority of guitar solos and Andy, Martin, Christian Tolle and an old friend from my early days Chris Voysey will also contribute a solo as well, Chris Voysey also does the rework cover art for "On Target" and will do the new cover. Number one will be re-released by AOR Heaven as well as the new one Georg Siegl has been really good to me and we have a great working
relationship. Once again thank you! Yours in voice
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,