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A Dirty Dozen with ROBERT KANTOR – December 2018

| 20 December 2018 | Reply

 

According to a recent press release: “Robert Kantor, adult pop singer-songwriter and founder of Kantor Guitars, combined his background in fashion design with his passion for guitar collecting and began designing customized guitars and guitar accessories, some with Swarovski crystals, for various artists. His guitars or accessories have become prized possessions of household name artists, including Eric Clapton, Richie Sambora, Santana, Lenny Kravitz, Gary Clarke Jr., Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, Steve Stevens (guitarist for Billy Idol) and new Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Elliot Easton of The Cars. Robert Kantor has recently released his new album, Truth, on Blaksushimusic Records. The album features 10 original songs written by Kantor that blend elements from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s with modern twists to create a versatile and widely appealing sound. On the album, Kantor teamed up with Kareem Devlin, Lady Gaga’s former guitarist, and Grammy Award-winning engineer, Fran Cathcart, who helped bring Kantor’s musical ideas to life.” We get Robert to discuss new music, influences, and much 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 the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

My latest release is titled Truth. It is a two year journey I just completed in song and the album is actually sequenced in the order in which it was written and recorded. I think that listeners will hopefully appreciate the amount of layered instruments we used to create should that I wanted people to hear. There are plenty of vintage references and cues as well as modern recording techniques we employed in order to get the authentic feel and sounds we were going for.

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

I was eleven and desperately looking for a way to perform in class as required. I picked up the guitar and never looked back. Somehow I knew being able to express myself so directly was the reason I wanted to be involved with music. The advent of The Beatles also was a major influence on me as well being all the excitement about the change in the way the world would perceive pop music.

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

I have had many influences over the years. The Beatles of course had a great impact but I was also moved by The Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, and others. I would have to say overall my biggest influences live were The Beatles at Shea Stadium, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin as my taste was for much harder rock when I was younger. I have been fortunate to attend so many important shows over the years but I would have to say attending The Woodstock Festival was the most amazing live show of all times for me. The Concert for Bangladesh was another amazing show I was fortunate enough to actually attend.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

There are so many but I would have to say The Beatles, Hall & Oates, Todd Rundgren, Burt Bacharach, The Eagles, all very different but all great writers.

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

I would like to write with Todd Rundgren as he is closest to the musical aesthetic I aspire to create and has also had an amazing production career with artists as diverse as Badfinger with George Harrison to Meatloaf on his resume. No question we would be able to create a perfect classic pop hit!

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?

Would have to say my music is a combination of retro pop with influences from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s combined with modern techniques of today. I create music that is hooky in feel and has a myriad of instruments used to create a vintage modern world of sound I like to think of as my own. I have been very fortunate in only having comparisons that I am truly flattered. I am always thankful to anyone who is willing to really sit and actually listen to my music.

 

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

I think it is the ability to completely express yourself on a one to one basis and tell your story in an honest and passionate way.

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

My musical partner Kareem is so talented that I often leave it to him to do the bulk of the playing and I like to defer to those who have the chops and the real talent. I am blessed that I am surrounded by very talented musicians who are all amazing in their own right.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I would have to say attending a private talk with Jimmy Page when he realized his book. The man is a legend and had so many interesting anecdotes from behind the scenes with Led Zeppelin!

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I always wanted to design automobiles and create fast sleek designs.. as they say cars and guitars.

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?

Yes, my brief early involvement in a power trio band with drummer Joey Kramer may have led me further down the path with what became Aerosmith so who knows what could have happened if I had kept going. We were playing a lot of bugs rock classics, like “Train Kept a Rollin’” very early on.

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?

I would have to say The Beatles’ White Album. To sit in with The Beatles and George Martin and see this historic vision come to life would have been beyond my wildest dreams.

ROBERT KANTOR LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

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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