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A Dirty Dozen with LIPS TURN BLUE – May 2022

According to a recent press release: “LIPS TURN BLUE the acclaimed Upstate NY band that releases its debut album on MIG MUSIC May 4th., has released its second music video, PRAY FOR TOMORROW. Although written and recorded with the band’s late vocalist and co-writer, Phil Naro before the current conflict in the Ukraine, the compelling video was created to reflect that tragedy and others dominating the news today.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

It didn’t start out as an album. It was basically recorded during the Pandemic as a way to keep busy and create some new original music with some of our favorite musicians that we work with. The record’s really got some depth, there’s frequently more going on than you’ll get from just a cursory listen. Fans of DDrive, the band that Lips Turn Blue evolved from, will definitely like it, but there’s some new avenues that have been explored too. I think they’ll take away the high points and low points in this “Crazy Ride” we call  life. Stories of Love, hate, ambition, drug addiction and more hopefully. And there are nuggets for diehard fans! We re-released versions of songs from previous releases like Black Sheep’s “Chain On Me,” Beatles “Hey Bulldog,” and DDrives “Pray For Tomorrow.”

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Mike: I’ve just always loved music as far back as I can remember. I started playing bass in a band in eighth grade and it just felt like something I wanted to do. I was terrible at sports so finding something creative I could do with other people was huge. Since then I’ve just always identified as a musician.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Iggy: Queen was my first true love.  The way that Freddie could control a crowd inspired me to be the frontman I am today.

Roy: In 1970 I saw Procol Harum live. Their drummer was B.J. Wilson… an absurdly talented drummer who was easily the most underrated drummer in the history of rock.

Eric: Loved the original California Jam, the bands were amazing.

Mike: At first it was Rush. 2112 and All The Worlds A Stage were revelatory albums. Geddy Lee led me to becoming a student of the bass guitar and wanting to be the best bassist I could be.

Donnie: ELP, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC , Free, The  Faces, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck, Cream, Traffic, Stevie Winwood, Eric Clapton and many more. They compelled me to come up with my own style and sound in my writing.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Iggy: I would love to have the amazing Rochester singer Adrianna Noone sing one of my tunes. I love writing for a woman’s voice.

Roy: Steve Earle. He’s a bad ass songwriter and a killer lyricist. The real deal from start to finish.

Eric: Steven Tyler, you’ve got to give props to someone that can do it for that many decades across that many generations.

Mike: This is tough. Probably Don Henley.

Dee: Paul Rogers.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Mike: I like to keep fit, I’ve done a few triathlons but the training isn’t really compatible with a musician’s schedule. I like to cook and hang out with my wife. Honestly, I unwind by playing bass!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Donnie: It’s a diverse blend of melodic rock, blues, pop, acoustic, classical, funk, punk, reggae, Celtic and other music that I love.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Eric: This is an amazing group of people who come from quite different backgrounds and each with cool histories that go them here. We actually like each other and like playing together even more so it could be any one of us or preferably all of us!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Roy: Hanging with Roger Waters in the studio in NYC… pretty awesome.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

No one best part… tons of bests parts. Travel, camaraderie, getting to create something, sharing energy with people who come to see the band. The songs, stories and feel of the music. There is absolutely nothing like playing music you love with your friends and for people that are really digging it. It’s a great mix of having years of practice and hard work pay off with the immediate gratification of the audience’s response.  None of us want to even think about not being able to play.  Music is our dream job!

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Donnie: When is your next album due out. Answer….. ASAP. What was it like to play with Lou Gramm for all those years. It was great. We made some timeless music together for 40 years.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Iggy: We make no mistakes. That is to say if we learn from a failure it was no mistake.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Iggy: I would have loved to see the recording of any of the Bob Marley records. I think he is a truly righteous dude, also the amount of layers they put on almost all of his tunes is amazing.

Roy: Revolver – the world was changing and so were recording studios.

Eric: Sgt. Pepper. It would have been amazing.

Mike: Being a fly on the wall for the 2112 recording sessions would have been pretty cool.

Dee: Axis Bold As Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It means the world to me (like a lot of other albums I loved and learned from) It helped form my sound and style choices.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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