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 New JSS interview

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PostSubject: New JSS interview   Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:30 pm

ROCK REPORT
By Ross CAT


JEFF SCOTT SOTO BAND
MELODIC ROCK MUSIC FESTIVAL

Morris Performing Arts Center
South Bend, INDIANA
Saturday, October 6th

PRISM…..Is the title of vocalist JEFF SCOTT SOTO’S second solo album released in 2002; it also appropriately characterizes the Brooklyn born singers colorful career to date.
JSS has been an integral component in the music industry since nailing the lead singer slot in an open audition for guitar virtuoso YNGWIE MALMSTEEN back in 1984. Since then the versatile vocalist has accrued an impressive Rock ‘n’ Roll resume while fronting EURO fan favorites TALISMAN since 1990.
His chameleon like singing style has afforded JSS to scale the gamut of musical genres from Rock to Metal, Funk to Punk with the “Essential Ballads” in between.
In 2001 JSS would take his piercing pipes to the big screen for the movie “RockStar” starring MARK WAHLBERG and JENNIFER ANISTON. JSS along with ZAKK WYLDE, JASON BONHAM, and JEFF PILSON would be the band behind the actor; recording songs for the soundtrack for the fictional group “Steel Dragon”.
In the summer of 2006 as JOURNEY were only a few dates into its co-headlining tour with DEF LEPPARD singer STEVE AUGERI feel victim to serious vocal problems. Instead of canceling the tour NEAL SCHON turned to his SOUL SIRKUS bandmate JEFF SCOTT SOTO, as “Lady Luck” would have it he was available.
The tour went on to be one of the top grossing of the summer with fans both old and new raving about the smokin’ young gun at the helm. It looked as though the band was headed toward new “Frontiers”, as they asked JSS to “Stay Awhile”. Unfortunately just a few months in the band announced through a press release that it was going its “Separate Ways”.
Although disappointed JSS is right back at it; making new music with his solo band and is ready to take to the road once again with a renewed determination.
The NIGHTLIFE Rock Rapport had a chance to chat with JSS from his home base in L.A. as he was putting the finishing touches on rehearsals for his world tour that extends into the end of the year.

****************************************************************************************************************

Ross CAT-Hey JSS, Thanks so much for your time, greatly appreciated. In checking out your website (www.jeffscottsoto.com) I was blown away at the impressive Rock resume you’ve amassed at the relatively young Rock ‘n’ Roll age of 41.

JSS-Thank you, it’s my pleasure. That’s the cool thing about my career to this point is the fact that I’ve been fortunate to work in so many great musical environments.
The experience of working with such talented individuals like MALMSTEEN, the guys in TALISMAN, and most recently NEAL SCHON and JOURNEY is invaluable in growing as an artist.

Ross CAT-Lets get right into the recent “Arrival” and “Departure” from JOURNEY.
Fans here in BUFFALO witnessed first hand what a spectacular job you did stepping in to salvage the 2006 summer tour. Worldwide fans and critics alike accepted you with “Open Arms”, which by the way is quite the accomplishment considering the STEVE PERRY fans await “Faithfully” for his return.
Following the tour it seemed that your addition to the JOURNEY line-up would allow the band to blaze ahead to some new and exciting musical ventures. Was there any indication that this alliance would collapse before you entered the recording studio?


JSS-No absolutely not, in fact it was quite the opposite it was all positive. Let me put it to you this way they didn’t ask me to be the permanent singer in the band for nothing. It was all about moving forward musically and adding to the already mighty legacy of JOURNEY.

Ross CAT-It was obvious that the chemistry was in place as far as the live performances went, did you get to the point of actually writing new songs together?

JSS- Oh yeah, NEAL was actually at my place for a few days after we got off the road, we had well over twenty ideas in place for songs, unfortunately we didn’t get to see them through. Speaking in terms of myself I had every intention of embracing this musical endeavor.

Ross CAT-Lastly on that subject I wanted to commend you on the class that you showed following the unexpected announcement of your “Departure” from the band. It certainly seemed it could have been handled a little differently on their end.

JSS-I appreciate that, anyone that knows me knows that wouldn’t be my style. As I mentioned before I’ve had the honor of working in many different musical environments in my career and I take pride in being a team player.
First and foremost I’m a fan of the music of JOURNEY; STEVE PERRY was someone that influenced me as a young singer so I respect the bands legendary status. I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t disappointing that things didn’t work out, ultimately it was their decision on what direction they wanted to go, I wish them luck.
I’m looking at this as a new chapter for me in my solo career, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about the new music I’m working on and the guys I’m playing with right now.

Ross CAT-If nothing else the tour with JOURNEY certainly raised the awareness of your unquestionable talent and stage presence, especially here in the U.S.

JSS-No question about it, the response I’ve gotten from fans worldwide has been overwhelming. That’s what this string of dates I’m doing over the next few months is all about. After being in the amphitheatres and arenas with JOURNEY I’m really looking forward to introducing my band and new music in a more intimate setting.

[i] Ross CAT- It’s great to see that you wasted no time getting back to recording new music. Tell us about the JEFF SCOTT SOTO Band that will be taking the stage with you this weekend at the MELODIC ROCK Festival in South Bend, Indiana?[/i]

JSS-These guys are an awesome group of players. As a matter of fact we have a couple of homegrown BUFFALO boys in the band. Guitarist HOWIE SIMON, anyone that knows HOWIE knows he’s a unique individual and his diverse playing style is second to none. Also from BUFFALO is dynamic drummer DAVID DZIALAK and on bass is GARY SCHUTT. GARY has been with me since the “Prism” record and his talent is endless both on and off stage.
All these players possess adaptability a quality that isn’t easy to find, something that these live shows require. They can deviate from disco to metal and everything in between.
On this current tour we are playing songs from all the different eras of my career including the new stuff. The songs and the music have really been flowing for me this past year; it’s an exciting time for me.

Ross CAT- I got a chance to listen to a couple of the brand new songs you posted on you’re “My Space” page. I especially like “21st Century”, it really revolves around the musical spectrum.

JSS- Yeah I have quite a few songs ready to roll maybe too many. I’m sure most songwriters tell you this but every song is like a child it develops a personality as it grows, it’s impossible to choose which one you like best.
For me it’s about versatility and variety, I try to stay away from a theme when putting a collection of songs together. I like to have every album shine a different light on me as a song writer.
By changing things up song to song I create the element of surprise, not to mention the challenge I put upon myself to keep evolving as a song writer, basically expect the unexpected.

Ross CAT-Is the new material freshly composed songs, or are they songs that you had been working on before you hooked up with JOURNEY?

JSS- No, this is all brand new material that I have written since my split from JOURNEY. With the way my career has gone working with so many different artists it’s not always easy to present songs into a certain situation so I always end up with songs that never see the light of day.
This is probably the most important record of my career so I’m really taking my time on deciding on how I want to distribute the material.

Ross CAT-I know that you had announced a farewell tour with TALISMAN following the release of “7” last October, is this really the “End of the Line” for that band or is the door still open?

JSS-TALISMAN has been through many ups and downs and line-up changes through the years. With everyone branching out to other projects I kind of thought that “7” would be a fitting way to close out that chapter of the band.
I’m really looking forward to settling in with my band; for better or worse I’ve always kind of bounced around from venture to venture.
If my experience with JOURNEY taught me anything it’s that I want to focus everything I have into my solo career, I think this current group of guys can help me flourish as an artist.
As for TALISMAN that band has been an important part of my career and they are a great group of musicians so the door will never be completely closed.

Ross CAT- At the age of eighteen you answered an audition call advertised on MTV to become lead vocalist for guitar virtuoso YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, tell us about that experience?

JSS-It’s hard to believe that was almost twenty-five years ago; before I joined YNGWIE I was a huge fan of his music, I loved the “Alcatraz” record. I remember making tapes of just his solo’s on the albums and thinking how amazing it was that someone could generate such sounds from a guitar.
At eighteen years old it was a huge undertaking, I got the call after they heard my audition tape and within three weeks I got the gig and started laying tracks for “Rising Force”.

Ross CAT-Before joining JOURNEY you had previously worked with NEAL SCHON in a band called SOUL SIRKUS, that collaboration lead to the recording of “World Play”, a solid body of music. Is there any chance of working with SCHON outside of JOURNEY again?

JSS- I’ve always been one to stay positive and open minded and I’m the last person to be burning bridges with anybody, but at this point as far as NEAL and I are concerned the door seems to be quite closed.
I’m in a great frame of mind to move forward with my band. We’ve been looking forward to taking the show on the road since we started recording the new tracks. We are really stoked about sharing the stage with the amazing talent that ANDREW McNEICE has assembled for the MELODIC ROCK FESTIVAL.

Ross CAT-The NIGHTLIFE Rock Rapport is also looking forward to attending this momentous event. While South Bend may be known as the home of the “Fighting Irish” of NOTRE DAME it’s also the locale of the inaugural MELODIC ROCK FESTIVAL (www.melodicrock.com).

This show is really going to be an incredible Rock ‘n’ Roll extravaganza. The event commemorates the 10th anniversary of the pre-eminent music information site created by our AUSSIE BUD ANDREW McNEICE.
Once again the show is Saturday October 6th at the beautiful Morris Performing Arts Center and will include some of Rocks elite performers. The show is also being co-sponsored by BUFFALO’S premier Entertainment Group BACK II BACK (www.biibent.com); tickets are still available at the MelodicRock website.
Other artists appearing on the day long bill will be SCRAPMETAL featuring MARK SLAUGHTER, ERIC MARTIN (Mr. BIG), The NELSON Brothers, and KELLY KEAGY of NIGHT RANGER.
In addition to that all-star band others performing will be former DEEP PURPLE/RAINBOW frontman JOE LYNN TURNER, former SURVIVOR members JIMI JAMISON and JIM PETERIK, and last but certainly not least NIGHTLIFE regular JACK BLADES (NIGHT RANGER).


JSS-Most certainly ANDREW has been a great friend to me and to all my peers that you mentioned. He works really hard to help us promote our music, it’s our turn to help give back to him and the phenomenal promotional tool that is MELODICROCK.COM.
ANDREW works tirelessly at the expense of his family and his own personal finances to keep this site up and running for both musicians and fans. It’s our turn to plug it in for this Rock and Roll advocate.
I always hear fans here in the STATES complain that all the cool Rock Festivals are always in EUROPE, well now its you’re chance to step up and support this cool cause and share in a day full of great music. Hope to see everyone there.

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PostSubject: Re: New JSS interview   Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:53 pm

Thanks Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: New JSS interview   Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:40 am

Great read while having lunch at work Very Happy
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