SPREAD EAGLE bursted upon the hard rock scene of the late eighties playing a brand of music that hailed straight from the mean, mean, very mean, streets of New York City and Jersey. The band was signed to MCA/Universal Records, then sent straight into the legendary Record Plant Studios to record their debut album. The self-titled debut was produced by Charlie Gambetta and featured a gritty and dangerous sound, wailing vocals and razor sharp guitar, demonstrated through songs such as "Switchblade Serenade", "Scratch Like A Cat" and "Broken City". Four years later, after the release and touring of their second album "Open To The Public" (also produced by Gambetta), the band took an exteneded break and went about their own personal projects. Spread Eagle reformed in 2006 under the direction of Ray West and Rob DeLuca (who has also worked with UFO and Sebastian Bach) along with two new members, Ziv Shalev (guitar) and Rik De Luca (drums). The band has been together ever since and finally decided to start production on a new album, now released at Frontiers. Songs for "Subway To The Stars" were put together in the Music Building in NYC, which is the exact same place where the songs for their debut album were rehearsed and written. Recording took place at Studio E in Brooklyn, NY with Grammy Award winning engineer Tom Camuso. Find out more about the comeback album and the band. Here's Mr. Rob DeLuca:
Your comeback album is entitled 'Subway To The Stars' can you explain the meaning behind this?
We live in Manhattan, so the subway takes us everywhere. Itís a metaphor for anywhere we want to go in life. Subway To The Stars is a concept album that takes the listener on a NYC subway train ride. Walk into the car, sit down, put in your earbuds and BAM! youíre off. Everything including the songs, soundbites and artwork relates to this trip.
Is it supposed to sound exactly like where you left off?
NO. Weíre trying to go back to before then. To our original sound of 1989-1990, with updated songwriting. We wanted to retain the spirit of our debut record, with the songwriting skills weíve learned since 1990.
What kind of input did your record company/friends/≠family have during the process?
Not really much at all. Itís difficult to show someone ideas that are still located in your imagination. So itís dangerous asking for opinions on songs until they can be presented in a clear, completed way. Basically Subway To The Stars is the vision of the four of us only, along with great mixing and mastering.
Are these all-new compositions, old demos, or perhaps some other projects?
Eight songs are brand new. Three songs have sections that were previously written. The song 'Solitaire' was written by Ray West and our original guitarist Paul DiBartolo during the Open To The Public period. We already had too many ballads on that album, so it got shelved. We wrote a new bridge and re-recorded it for Subway To The Stars. Weíre very psyched with the result! Dead Air is a song that was previously written and Gutter Rhymes For Valentines has a section or two that were written years ago.
Would you say it's easier or more difficult to come up with songs/titles/lyrics nowadays?
Original, cool, insightful lyrics are always the hardest part of songwriting. Riffs are much easier.
What inspired you to write a song about Leap Day? (29th of February)
That chorus lyric popped out of the air. No idea why. The rest of the lyrics had to relate to the title in some way.
Kindly inform us about 'Grand Scam'. What's the story behind the song?
Grand Scam is a warning call about not thinking for yourself, over a vicious Ziv Shalev riff.
How important is album artwork? Are you pleased with the artcover? (it's kinda dodgy, no?)
Incredibly pleased with Tristan Greatrexís artwork. Itís everything we wanted and more. As I mentioned above, the album art is a NYC subway train foldout. Tristan has a long history of designing incredible album covers for UFO and many others.
How did you hook up with Ziv Shalev (guitar) and Rik De Luca (drums), and what did they bring to the table? (The latter, family of course).
Iíve been playing with cuz Rik in other bands for about a decade. Rik brought in Ziv after playing with him in a previous band.
Tell us something about MCA/Universal Records. Did you ever feel like a priority signing and as if they worked for you?
No, we were not a priority and that lack of vision was their loss.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Please check us out on Youtube, Spotify and Facebook. Canít wait to see everyone on tour! /R
Website - https://spreadeagle.us/
INTERVIEW by: Urban Wally Wallstrom
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