Cascio Interstate Music

Exclusive Interview: Ted Poley

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Best known as lead vocalist for Danger Danger, Ted Poley is also an accomplished solo artist. Having previously released two albums – Collateral Damage and Smile – Poley returns with a brand new solo album, Beyond The Fade, on May 13.

With songs penned by brothers Tom and James Martin (Vega), the record is Ted Poley at his best. Immediately recognizable hook lines, amazing guitar work, immaculate production and total 80s attitude – Beyond The Fade will please Poley’s fans and any fan of melodic hard rock.

We had a few minutes to check in with Ted to talk about the new record and how it all came together.

Thanks for doing this, Ted! How are things?

You’re welcome! Thanks for having me. Things are busy, so that’s good.

I’ve always dug your solo stuff and Beyond The Fade is everything a fan could want, man. Congrats on the new tunes!

Thank you. It’s surely my best solo CD yet. I’m thrilled with the early sales and reviews from all of the promotion that Frontiers has done. This made this a priority release and I can feel the momentum. Frontiers has become the biggest rock label and it’s because they truly love this music.

You used an entirely different writing and recording process than anything you’ve ever done before for Beyond The Fade – you did all the pre-production over Skype with your producer in Italy. Tell me about that and how long it took to set a schedule that really made that work.

It wasn’t that hard. We worked over Skype to arrange and discuss the songs, but one we got started the process went fairly quickly. It took a few months to get everything recorded to the point where I could lay down vocals.

Were you approached with songs or ideas for the record or is it all your material?

I collected my favorite songs from Tom and James Martin. I always have some Martin brothers songs. I also had “Hands Of Love” that was written by Joe Lynn Turner and Tony Bruno over 20 years ago. I’ve been saving that one for a long time.

Did you have some of the songs on Beyond The Fade written before you were asked to do another solo album?

Yeah, I always have several songs ready to record. I get a lot of demos from talented writers and when I get something I really love I save it for the future.

Do you write music around lyrics, does the music inspire lyrics – or a little of both?

I write a lot, but if a song is great and written by someone else I’ll use it over one of my own songs. I am never inspired by lyrics. To me they’re just necessary to have something to sing. The first time you hear a song you fall in love with the melody first. The words could be about anything the first time you hear it, but if you didn’t like the song you wouldn’t even get as far as the lyrics.

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Aside from musical influences, different things in life can influence and inspire musical directions and lyrics. What are some things that help mold you as an artist?

Everything I have ever experienced has influenced me. I am being influenced by this interview right now!

You flew to Italy to record the vocals on Beyond The Fade. Why was it important for you to actually be there and not just send your tracks over the internet?

I wanted the interaction with Alessandro (producer Alessandro Del Vecchio) that you can only get while working together in the same room.

Did you find yourself involved in other aspects of recording while you were there?

Yes, I know too much! It’s a curse. When I listen to music, I don’t hear it as a whole piece. I hear everything in separate tracks, not as most people hear them. So, if even one bass drum beat annoys me then I have to edit it. So, yes – I kept changing everything from the drums to the bass lines, adding strings, writing drum fills, suggesting parts to the players. If something wasn’t right – to me – it bothered me until we got it fixed.

It’s cool hearing you do a duet on “A Perfect Crime” with Issa. How did that particular track come together?

That was premeditated. I wanted to sing a duet with a cool female singer and asked Tom and James Martin to come up with a ballad that would fit that purpose – and they did! I have been friends with Issa for many years so she was my first choice. Our voices blend so well that at times you almost can’t tell who is singing.

Every aspect of the music industry has changed in the past few years, from how it’s recorded to how it’s purchased. What’s been the biggest benefit for you and what’s been the most challenging?

The biggest benefit is that anyone can listen to my music or see my videos for free at any time of day just by searching YouTube. It’s like MTV on demand. You don’t have to wait for some idiot MTV executive who has probably been bribed by the record company – it really happened back then – to put your video on at 3AM. Fuck that. No one really had a chance unless the right people were paid. Yes, all that crap was totally true by the way. You had to be on a major label to get that to happen. They paid for it and you owed on it. Forever. Now you can record a song and make a video and put it up, promote it and get thousands of views at any time of day. You can sell your own music, so it’s like farming. You can literally “farm” or grow a song in your head and record it and market it directly to the retail customer. Obviously, the most challenging thing is free downloads which cost sales and hurt the artists.

What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?

It’s a shame that 99% of promotion is on the internet. The same people see it over and over. There aren’t many magazines or other formats left anymore.

Will you be hitting the road for Beyond The Fade? Any tour plans you can talk about yet?

I am on the road all year! I get two weeks off in December when I go to Jamaica to just chill out. Otherwise, I fly out to a show somewhere at least twice a month or more. I have some cool Danger Danger gigs coming up as well. I have added two new songs to my solo setlist, but I can’t add too many. Fans want to hear certain songs and I like to give them what they want.

Thanks again Ted – What would you like to say to wrap things up?

Thank you and thanks to everyone who read this far! I appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you in your town ASAP! Please support your local “no kill” animal shelter.

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Beyond The Fade Tracklisting:

01. Let’s Start Something
02. Everything We Are
03. Hands Of Love
04. The Perfect Crime
05. Stars
06. Higher
07. Where I Lost You
08. You Won’t See Me Cryin’
09. We Are Young
10. Sirens
11. Beneath The Stars