Saturday, September 25, 2010

Interview with Eric Alexandrakis



ERIC ALEXANDRAKIS Is classically trained since the age of 6, and originally discovered by Duran Duran's John Taylor, [composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist] Alexandrakis has had dozens upon dozens of his songs licensed to various media. Also a pioneer in digital copyright protection [Alexandrakis produced the first digitally watermarked CD while in graduate school (technology developed by bluespike.com)], he is also a critically acclaimed Indie artist having three times entered the top 40 radio charts in the Adult Contemporary genre.


Eric has recently guest stared on Showtime’s hit show Dexter and has popped up on Oxygen’s Reality TV show ‘Bad Girl’s Club”! He set some time aside to interview with me about…well a potpourri of VERY COOL things from movies to music we covered it all and he is a REAL treat to chat with and a REAL inspiration to anyone that feels they could use some sunshine in their life!

Here is Eric Alexandrakis; have a seat and ENJOY~


LadyaslanDDTTRH: Do you think Duran Duran deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Eric Alexandrakis:

Well they do meet the requirements, and considering how much of an impact on music and pop culture they have had, it’s a no brainer.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Are you a self taught musical talent or were you classically trained? At what age did you start to play music?

Eric Alexandrakis:

When I was a tiny tot, I would always try to make music out of anything I could find. I took classical piano lessons from age 6 to 16, and got heavily interested in John Williams, Mozart and Thomas Edison. In between I picked up as many instruments as I could get my hands on, while taking art classes, theater classes…then had my first recording session at age 16. From then on, I became heavily interested in production/sound engineering and learning everything I could about everything musical. So I’m a mix between schooled and self-taught. Mostly self-taught.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What is your favorite Duran Duran song and video?

Eric Alexandrakis:

It’s hard to pick, but “New Moon On Monday”, “Ordinary World” and “Big Bang Generation” tends to stick out today. It might change tomorrow. “Big Bang” more so because of the killer production.

Videos…love what Nick Egan did with “White Lines”…those scratchy plates of color that are also in “Live Forever” by Oasis,…the black and white bits…the editing in “Too Much Information”, and what Ellen Von Unwerth did with color in “Electric Barbarella”…especially the super 8 bits in the beginning…I think they were super 8. I have one of her books, she’s really cool.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How would you describe the specific style and sound of your music to any New Wave/ Electro/ fans that hadn't’ heard your music before?

Eric Alexandrakis:

Since I write a lot of for TV, it tends to vary according to what someone wants. What I enjoy playing with the most is a sort of electro/rock vibe, where I blend electronic elements, with acoustic ones to create color and tension. I’m a big fan of early 60’s, 70’s albums that sound raw and almost like they were done in one take with imperfections. John Lennon’s first solo album has a sound to it especially that I love. I like to retain that in some things, but I also love totally perfect sounding records that have uniqueness, like the ones that come out of Anthony Resta’s Studio Bopnique. That’s the best sounding stuff coming into the world today that I know of.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has made to the world of music and fashion in the past 30 yrs?

Eric Alexandrakis:

The thing about DD is that their contributions go well beyond the obvious, and I think only mentioning that part isn’t really an accurate representation.

The musical style has always been a unique approach, but what makes them more unique than any other artist is how their careers have merged musical elements, with fashion, design, technology, artistic evolution and “extracurricular activities”. By the latter I mean things like side projects, John’s fashion designs with Juicy, Simon’s work with Nick Wood (which by the way, most people probably don’t know this but SYN is the most in demand music production house in Japan, perhaps even Asia), Nick’s side projects/art, Roger’s DJ’ing… I also like how their musical style was stretched during the 90’s, which is always an important thing for artists to do.

You also have technological firsts. Most of the general public has no idea that a Duran Duran song was the first track to be downloaded off of the internet via Liquid Audio. Aside from everything else they’ve done, if being the first downloaded band in history isn’t worthy of induction into the rock and roll hall of fame, then the whole thing is a sham.

There are a ton of interesting/important accomplishments that the general public has no idea about, as when a band like DD becomes as big as they have…more than once…the largeness of the image tends to supercede the other stuff. I’d like for all them (as a band and as individual artists) to be recognized for more than just the obvious. One just needs to look.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What Duran Duran song would you like to remake if you could and why?

Eric Alexandrakis:

I have no idea, I wouldn’t even bother. More fun to listen to the records.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us about the digitally watermark CD that you support in regards to copyright protection…

Eric Alexandrakis:

One of my best friends invented the digital watermark (bluespike.com), and came to my department head when I was in graduate school at The University of Miami School of Music to test his technology out on a release. I was producing an album for the school’s record label, and we had decided to embed the technology within the cd as a test. I was super excited about it because it was obvious what the impact would be, so Scott Moskowitz (the inventor) and I became really great friends, and together we oversaw some of the initial testing. Over the years I watched it evolve, was involved in some additional testing, and it’s amazing to see how it’s applied today. I remember several years ago sitting in Berlin reading a newspaper article about how a rough cut of the first “Hulk” movie had been put online illegally. Due to the technology embedded within the promo, I think the FBI was able to trace the kid that did it in like less than a week. Now it’s everywhere.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us how you met and rock out with your unique and innovative crew: Steve Ferrone, Warren Cuccurullo, and Anthony J Resta? What is your favorite creation the four of you have created together thus far?

Eric Alexandrakis:

We all have this common thread, DD, and my music production/licensing company. My company represents/works with a lot of high profile artists, and those three guys were people I wanted to work with. We became friends over the years, and since I already do composing and licensing of my own material to various media, I thought it would be cool to create a scoring collective of sorts to try something new. I’ve been anti-collaboration for years due to some bad experiences, but I’ve started to snap out of that. Plus when you have access to those types of musical abilities, it’s very hard to not want to immerse one’s self in their talents to learn from the best. I consider myself a life-long student of music, more than anything.

We started planning the project early last year, but had a few bumps along the way as everyone is involved in lots of things, so getting together is always difficult. A few demos were being passed around, which were really cool, but due to commitments it was hard to get locked down. We had a 5th member early on as well, Roger O’Donnell of The Cure, who had too many commitments and had to drop out right before the 5 of us had made plans to have some sessions in LA. He’s a great friend and super amazing talent, you should check him out.

We’ve only really been full-on planning and solicitation wise since about April of this year, and that’s been mostly organizational and paperwork related. We have a lot of interest, so now it’s a matter of moving into the next stage of promo, which we are almost at. We’re also working on new music (long distance for now), and will probably get together once Steve is off the road and has rested from his round the world twice in a few months stint! It’s incredibly exciting, as we aren’t limited to one approach or style, and don’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: If you could have a sit down with any member of Duran Duran who would it be and what would be topic of discussion? ( I have a feeling you have done this already ha-ha )

Eric Alexandrakis:

Being artists and adventurists…if that’s even a word, I’d take them to hike the Gorge of Samaria in Crete, and to the Minoan Palace of Knossos. That would stimulate lots of interesting discussion I think.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: When can fans expect the single “Mediterranean Sea” with John Taylor of Duran Duran to be released? What is the theme of the song and how did you both contribute to the genesis of this song?

Eric Alexandrakis:

You’ve really done your homework! “Mediterranean Sun” will be out next Summer, and probably end of this year in Australia, as their Summer is in December. Promo can take ridiculously long to plan, and this is part of a new album project of mine called “Terra”. It’s a travel themed album, whose over 30 songs were written and recorded in a matter of hours. 97% of the whole album was done in one take. I’ve been releasing a new single every two weeks since Spring, and I have an EP called “Terra Firma” coming out on August 30th via iTunes.

The song came about when I was on the beach in Rethymno (Crete) filming over exposed shapes, waves and pretty girls with black and white super 8 film. The chorus came to me then, and the rest just flowed. I asked John if he would mind playing on it, and he graciously said yes. He was going to play on another one as well called “London Girls”, but there was no time. Was lucky to have him on one. He’s been very encouraging over the years with my material, and I’ll always be very grateful.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: If you don’t mind, would you share with our readers the trials and tribulations you went through when you battled cancer ( twice )? What form did you get diagnosed with? Has it changed the way you view life and yourself in general? *My father is a Prostate cancer survivor….going on 10 yrs cancer free, your story hits home with me*

Eric Alexandrakis:

I’m very glad to hear your Dad is doing well. They say if everything is ok for ten years, then you’re in the clear

I had Hodgkin’s in my chest twice. The first time I kept getting this pain in my left chest, had no idea what it was. With these things we tend to ignore and assume it’ll pass, but it kept getting sharper and lasting longer…sometimes for two weeks straight.

Finally one day I was lifting some weights and noticed a lump on my chest. I thought that I’d pulled a muscle, as it was really hard and strange. Soon thereafter I was diagnosed and started 6 months of chemotherapy. I essentially had a tumor the size of a fist pushing through my rib cage.

During the 6 months I had chemo every two weeks, which would leave me nauseated for about 5 days. To keep myself from losing my mind, I recorded an album called “I.V. Catatonia” during the 6 months of treatment on a friend’s borrowed 4-track recorder. It was a lot of fun creating, smashing stuff in the garage, I had very little to work with and borrowed instruments from friends. The album has my chemo nurse on the cover.

At the same time I was producing a band called Eyes of Pandora, mixing another album and getting ready for pre-production on a record by an artist that had recently been dropped from Atlantic Records. I was probably overdoing it, as I remember being in a big studio having to barf in between my guitar takes. Looking back it was actually quite funny, in a sort of twisted way.

For about a year I was clear, then it came back. I then had to have a stem-cell transplant, with a month’s stay in a germ free “bubble” in the hospital, with about 8 blood transfusions, chemo, crappy food…but pretty nurses. The day I was admitted, I ended up having a catheter cut and pushed into the side of my throat, pushed into my heart and pulled out of a hole in my chest…without anesthesia…twice! After that, I realized I could handle just about anything.

The relapse made me paranoid, impatient and a little nuts…and it took several years to get back to “normal”.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How did you come to work with John Taylor of Duran Duran & Patty Palazzo ( of Juicy and Punkmaster.com) on John’s solo album Japan ( 1999 )?

Eric Alexandrakis:

I met John at a solo show, gave him some of my tapes, and a few months later he and Patty approached me to sell my first album “9 Demos On A 4-Track” on Trust The Process. I’ve always been heavily into photography, and sent Patty the pics from the show I had met them at, which they put on the site and used in the CD. I’ve admired Patty’s designs for a very long time, and love her Punkmasters line. We’ve been friends ever since.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How did you come to have a supporting role in the hit Showtime series Dexter

Eric Alexandrakis:

It was nothing major really, the casting agent called me to do it, and I said ok. It was a new experience doing TV, and more than anything I was curious to see how the whole process worked. Almost got my fingers smashed by a sliding van door during a scene, and had fun with the main cop dude that wears a hat all of the time.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What was your overall experience in filming Miami Vice with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx?

Eric Alexandrakis:

Totally fascinating. Loved watching the process, being directed by Michael Mann, watching him plan out a scene… CF and JF were very cool. JF was gangsta rapping in Bill Cosby’s voice, and CF was either drinking or smoking for 3 days straight. I was in a bunch of scenes, but only one or two made it into the film. Burned my scalp, got slightly dehydrated, and drove some fancy cars. It was a fun experience, but I didn’t like the movie.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell the readers about how you entered the Top 40 radio charts….when…where…and which songs….

Eric Alexandrakis:

My Christmas song “Here Comes The Snow!” was promoted to U.S. adult contemporary radio, and charted in the top 40 three years in a row. I think it peaked at #22. Every so often someone texts or calls me during the holiday seasons, saying that they are shopping in a store and they hear that song on the speakers. That’s always fun.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Anything you would like to share with your fans?

Eric Alexandrakis:

Keep in touch!

Please follow DDTTRH on Twitter!  @DDTTRH

Petition to Glee on behalf of Duran Duran and DDTTRH



For you Gleeks out there...this is a letter I sent out today, petitioning them to do a show on Duran Duran. I hope something comes of it! I will keep you informed!

Dear Glee (at Fox),
I became addicted to your show recently, thanks to my lovely wife's interest in it. I must say, I love the themes, characters, the interactions between the characters, and especially the music. I'm writing
because I can see an opportunity in your show to possibly support (even if indirectly) my grassroots movement, Duran Duran to the Rock Hall (DDTTRH).

This effort began in Cleveland, Ohio (close to the school where you set your show and home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and its main message is to drive awareness that Duran Duran meets the criteria for Rock Hall inclusion AND has an impressive collection of songs from 1978 to the present day AND should be inducted. Not only this, but if you compare Duran Duran to other Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, you would find that the number of awards they've received and the innovation with music videos introduced (through MTV, for example early on in their career) is more than enough reason to have them inducted.

Here are some interesting things about our effort that Glee might find interesting:

* We have an open petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/duran-duran-to-the-rock-hall-of-fame/ and we are getting signatures from all around the world.
* Each week, we release on average 2 band/artist interviews...bands that have come forth and told us why they think Duran Duran belongs in the Rock Hall. Some noteable supporters include: Scarlet Soho, Scissor Sisters, M. Douglas Silverstein (writer/producer), Your Vegas, Uru, and Chicanery (Neil Carlill and Warren Cuccurullo--who used to play for Duran Duran).
* We have released press articles. Our first was in the Barrie Examiner of Ontario Canada. Please visit our www.ddttrh.info site and click on 'In the Press' for articles on this. We are set to release another one with the 'Sun Press' here in the Cleveland community.
* We have done a wealth of research on the band...including what they've done for the community, modern bands who have said they've been influenced by the band, and appearences of them in TV and Film.
* We have online presences on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Blogger, and Youtube (2 videos released to date!).
* We are in the process of translating our message into Spanish and French.
* We have a dedicated staff (one of the staff is a published award winning poet from the UK), all committed to making this thing happen. To learn more about them, please go to www.ddttrh.info and click the 'DDTTRH Staff' link.
* We have an official logo (below), a flier (attached) and are releasing t-shirts soon!


So, on behalf of DDTTRH (for more information, see www.ddttrh.info), I would like to formally petition that Glee have a special episode for Duran Duran. I even had some ideas that I think would work for the
characters...as follows:

* Kurt would relate well to Nick Rhodes and his liking for makeup. Plus, the band itself is all about 'glam and fashion' which Kurt would be attracted to.
* Finn might relate well to Simon LeBon because he is a pretty boy and a good singer.
* I'm imagining a scene between Emma and Will with 'Come Undone'.
* Since the kids feel so out of place, perhaps the song 'Ordinary World' would be applicable to them
* Or, if you go with a theme like Quinn struggling with fitting back into the Cheerios (plus the separation from her parents) after having the baby, you could go with 'Falling Down'.
* If the cast gets the opportunity to go on a yacht because they've won a major contest, 'Rio' would be a great choice.
* We have a flier that could be posted all over the High School next to the Glee sign-up lists!


Really, the depth, breadth and number of Duran Duran songs can leave you a lot to work with.

Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you about this proposal.

Sincerely,

Kirk Harrington
Lead Effort Organizer, Duran Duran to the Rock Hall - Official Effort
www.ddttrh.info


Please follow DDTTRH on Twitter!  @DDTTRH

Friday, September 17, 2010

Interview with Amber Ghosh



Amber Ghosh is a photographer and has a quite the following! Amber shoots couples and group shots to fashion and concerts and events. She’s a Graphic designer/Retouching/Photo Restoration expert and TFP/TFCD available . Amber loves photography & is a makeup connoisseur and quite the dinosaur enthusiast and feels “life is but a dream”

Amber spoke to Ladyaslan of DDTTRH about what she does and her thoughts on Duran Duran going to the Rock Hall…here is the interview~

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Do you think Duran Duran deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Amber Ghosh: Absolutely! To be quite honest, when you approached me for this interview and I read about your petition, I was shocked they weren't already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How could such a thing be true?!

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us about yourself...what makes you tick? How long have you been involved in photography?

Amber Ghosh: What makes me tick, that is a tough one. I've always been drawn to what some might consider 'strange'. I am always looking for things that push the visual aesthetic, be that through fashion, fine arts, movies, music videos, makeup, photography or even food! I think that is what drew me into photography. Photography in itself encompasses all of those things. I can take my camera to a concert and convey the raw sensation of an over the top light show or I can visit a quiet art gallery on a Sunday morning and snap candid pictures of a mother explaining an interactive art piece to her son. With photography, I can encapsulate all of those visually appealing (or assaulting) genres with one fell swoop.

How long have I been involved in photography? Well, if you want to be technical about it, I started as a photographer for my yearbook in middle school. I went around campus and went to football games taking pictures, and then put together a collage (hand cut, in the days before Photoshop :P) that went into our yearbook. Since then, I've always been the "friend who has the camera" taking a million pictures at every party, family trip or rock show. Now, I've left that middle ground of enthusiast and am breaking into professional.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What is your favorite Duran Duran song and video?

Amber Ghosh: My Favorite Duran Duran song is Come Undone. I know A LOT of people probably say that, but come on... it's an AMAZING song! I had it on every mix tape I made in the 90's. Electric Barbarella is a close second, and is my favorite Duran Duran video. Often when I'm shooting with female models, the song & video for Electric Barbarella are playing in my mind. I take a lot of photographic inspiration from that song.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us about the event you shot: Destroyed The Future, Electric Gods Are Industry?

Amber Ghosh: Oh that was a fun one! That even took place at The Scoot Inn here in Austin, TX and was organized by my fiancé, Avi. 5 bands played: Destroyed For Comfort, The Future Process, Pulse Electric, Gods Are Ghosts, and Art Versus Industry. I named the event by combining all of the bands' names. It was a great night, I was having so much fun talking to members of the crowd, I hardly got any shots of the bands playing and focused more on getting pictures of the antics of the audience... especially as they had more and more to drink!

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has made to the world of music and fashion in the past 30 yrs?

Amber Ghosh: I think they have contributed more than people give them credit for. Most of their videos are fantastical and surreal, which is the exact direction high fashion has taken. Oddly, fashion and music seem to be melding into one giant puddle of synthesizers and spiked heels *cough* Lady Gaga *cough*. I'm not sure whether to thank Duran Duran or give them a slap on the wrist at some points, but it safe to say they had a huge hand in combining popular music with fashion and vanity.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: When did you decide / realize that photography was your ultimate calling?

Amber Ghosh: It wasn't until mid-2008 that I started to consider photography as a profession. I took my Canon point & shoot with me everywhere, had friends model for me, took pictures of my fiancé's band and finally realized, "This is what I want to do". It was an odd and liberating awakening for me. 2 years, one D-SLR camera & 4 lenses later here I am, trying to make a name for myself.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: You have a pic on your FB website: Samantha with the blue eye shadow and lace over the face (I had a hat that the black lace covered the face like that in the mid 80's ) JUST FANTASTIC!! What was the motivation for this shoot?


Amber Ghosh: Thank you! I love these shots, and I love lace. Samantha, the model, brought this amazing lace hair bow with her the day of the shoot. After I did her makeup, we put on the hair bow and I realized that if we put it on upside down the lace would cover her face. I've had some people tell me it's a bit grim, as if she is some glamorous widow mourning the death of her husband. I take that as a compliment, honestly. Anytime I can evoke a feeling in someone with my photos, be it positive or negative I consider it a success. I also think Samantha and I were both influenced by the fashion in IAMX & Imogen Heap's video "My Secret Friend". We had been discussing it recently, and I think it bled into our look for that shoot.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Will or would you ever consider publishing a book of your work ( the shots you take ) for a coffee table type book?


Amber Ghosh: Yes, I definitely would. To see my work published would be a dream come true. To see it on someone's coffee table would be an even bigger dream come true.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: The 1/2 of Destroyed for comfort and 1/3 of Art Versus Industry photo ( INCREDIBLE he was the SIMON game~ LOL ) what is the story behind that shot?

Amber Ghosh: Ha-ha, well that was really just a candid shot before all of the bands started playing. The guy from Destroyed For Comfort, Ralf, always has the BEST outfits for their live performances. When I saw that he was the Simon game, I just had to get a picture of it! Avi made that silly face and there you go, priceless shot!

LadyaslanDDTTRH: If you could have a sit down with any member of Duran Duran who would it be and what would be topic of discussion?

Amber Ghosh: It would have to be Nick Rhodes. The topic of discussion would, surprisingly, not be about music, but rather his experience with art and photography. I'd love to pick his brain about his book of abstract Polaroid photography "Interference," and his experiences with Andy Warhol and The Factory. Then I'd probably beg him to model for me.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Anything you want to speak about or share with the fans?

Amber Ghosh: Just that I am so grateful for all of the positive response I've received so far, and invite everyone to check out my portfolio page on I have a lot of incredibly creative projects coming up, and I think, if anyone, fans of Duran Duran will appreciate the vision I'm trying to achieve.

To learn more about Duran Duran to the Rock Hall - Official Effort (DDTTRH) and to sign our petition, please visit our hub site http://ddttrh.info/.

FOLLOW Amber Ghosh:

Facebook at: http://facebook.com/ambersphotos

MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/amberghosh

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amberghosh

Deviant Art: http://amberghosh.deviantart.com/

Blog: http://amberghosh.com/

Please follow DDTTRH on Twitter!  @DDTTRH

Interview with Massive Ego



Massive Ego are:

MARC MASSIVE (vocals)
OLLY FROST (synth)
ANDY JT (synth)
COLLAGEN GIRL (synth)

Genre:

Electro-Pop-New Wave

Hometown:

London.UK

Record label:

ZYX (Germany)/Klone/Academy St (UK)/Avex (Japan

Massive Ego comprises of lead vocalist Marc Massive, Olly Frost, Andy JT and Collagen Girl. Over the years there have been several line-up changes for the band since being formed in 1996 with fellow school friend Andy Thirlwall however the consistent factor in the band is front man Marc. Who over the last decade has modeled for Dolce and Gabbana, Paul Smith, Yoji Yamamoto, appeared in various pop videos for the likes of Elton John, Take That, Holly Johnson, Wet Wet Wet, Andy Taylor (Duran Duran), Boy George, Ezee Possee & advertising campaigns for Levis and Nikos 'Sculpture' parfum with model agency's Storm & So Dam Tuff, to name but a few. Over the years Marc has graced many magazine covers and has been the subject of much press interest.

He also spent time working as a dancer for Boy George and his project "Jesus Loves You" and MC Kinky. Massive Ego have participated in UK club tours and annual performances at the biggest Pride events and at celebrity parties including supporting Sigue Sigue Sputnik on tour, performing at Steve Strange's (Visage) book launch in London and were watched at The Salon on Channel 5, & Celebrity Big Brother’s Little brother for Channel 4. Performances have also included Manchester's Mardi Gras, Euro Pride, Brighton Pride, Summer Rites, and London's Finsbury Park in front of over 10,000 people at Big Gay Out. As well as clubs the length and breath of the UK including Heaven, Sound, Limelight, Ghetto, Flamingos & Trannyshack to name a few. Massive Ego have seen UK single releases on Academy Street Records, & Klone Records.

Promo videos for Planet Earth & Supernature were released on two DVD music compilations CLUB VISION and CLUB VIDEO playing in shopping malls, bars & clubs in the USA. 2004 saw Marc Massive establish himself as an underground DJ in London. His first residency was the Friday nighter PopCell which ran for 3 years at Central Station in Kings Cross. Marc has also DJ'd in the VIP Lounge at Church in The Cafe De Paris, The Black Cap, Soho Revue Bar, The Green, & Cuckoo Couture & XXL. Marc with his partner & fellow band mate Olly Frost, also curate the extremely successful art/club event ACT ART now in its 6th year. The band released several singles on UK labels Academy Street, and recently Klone Records, as well as releases in Japan, Australia & America.

With many tracks appearing on compilation CD's over the years. Marc has sang duets with DJ Dusty O on the single 'My Heart Goes Bang' and the electro track based on Visage's 'The Anvil'...'Nite Klub Skewl' produced by club DJ legend Tasty Tim. The debut album 'Nite Klub Skewl' is out now on Klone Records, receiving rave reviews in Boyz,QX,The London Paper,F*@k Magazine,Bent to name a few, as well as recently being interviewed by a USA based podcast GoRainbowRadio.com.

Marc Massive completed guest vocals on producer Pianoman's (Blurred)track which has been put out under a new alter-ego Vile Child. PopCell the legendary pop trash nite promoted by Marc & Olly returned to a weekly Saturday nite slot at XXL in Arch 3 in the Autumn of 2007 for a 3 month residency. Marc & Olly have since taken a break from the club promotion to concentrate on other forthcoming projects.

Two new tracks 'Sex Drive' a cover of the Pete Burns/Glam 90's club hit and a cover of David Bowie's 'Hallo Spaceboy' have just been recorded by the band with GrooveSistersMedia. Also new is the 2008 version of MASTER & SERVANT produced by L.O.E.P production team. Mix package of SEX DRIVE / MASTER & SERVANT is on its way soon IN 2009...Watch this space boy!

LATEST NEWS: The band release their new second album through German dance label DANCE STREET/ZYX Records..MASTER & SERVANT is out now and features 15 tracks, plus 2 videos

Here is the juicy and fun and witty interview with Ladyaslan and Marc Massive from Massive Ego…they spoke about Massive Ego…art…freedom of speech…Nick Rhodes and all sorts of tomfoolery. Enjoy the interview~

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How did you all come up with the name Massive Ego?

Marc Massive

The name came about as a response to the year’s I spent as a model at Kate Moss’s agency Storm models, and generally being around entertainment industry types who’s ego’s quite often outshone any resemblance of talent or personality, so naming the band Massive Ego was a bit of a piss take against that really.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What is your favorite Duran Duran song and video?

Marc Massive

That’s a tough one to call with the size of their back catalogue. I enjoyed and loved tracks from every one of their albums and side projects but the ‘7 & The Ragged Tiger’ era was released at the height of my early teenage adolescence, with the sound and look of everything associated with that album being right on target for me. Nick Rhodes as any of my friends will tell you is my ‘pop god’ and has shaped my being and awareness of music more than any other artist. At this point in their career he single handedly had the ‘pretentious pop-star’ act down to a fine art and I love him for that. I spent many a lonely hour locked in my bedroom with photos of Nick, analyzing every minor detail to the point of obsession, attempting to transform my own hair and looks in his image. I've always loved the more melancholy atmospheric sound of Duran Duran such as 'Secret Oktober', 'The Chauffeur' (especially the Blue Silver acoustic version which I intend to have played at my funeral), 'We Need You', 'Winter Marches On', 'Someone Else Not Me' and 'Pop Trash Movie'. The Arcadia album and project still sounds as fresh as the day it was released, a very underrated album and one that I still love every single track and video from especially the extended Election Day video which ranks as one of my all time favourites.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How would you describe the specific style and sound of Massive Ego to any New Wave/ Electro fans who hadn’t heard your band before?

Marc Massive

Electro meets dance pop best describes our sound; visually we are like the bastard child of Marilyn Manson and Pete Burns. We started off in the late 90's releasing hi energy dance covers through to trance and progressing to a more electro pop sound that we have now. The new material we are working on has a darker feel to it and will be less obvious dance floor orientated as previous tracks, although we always work with a variety of gifted remixers and producers to bring in the dance floor mixes for the different genres.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has made to the world of music and fashion in the past 30 yrs?

Marc Massive

They made English pop credible in the US in the 80's and were probably our greatest export in those days. These days I love the fact that so many credible bands cite Duran as an influence and force to be reckoned with, just waiting now for their fashion influence to come back round again, although the recent Antony Price collections he designed exclusively for UK high street store Top Man had a definite nod and wink back to his old designs he did for Duran in the 80's.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us about Massive Ego's remake of Duran Duran's Planet Earth and why did you all pick that song?

Marc Massive

We recorded it way back at the end of 1999 and it became our second single on a small dance label in the UK called Academy Street records. It was a bit of an obvious choice for us as it was about to be the new millennium and everyone was reflecting on the state of the world and the damage the human race had inflicted on mother Earth and for me Planet Earth reflected these concerns and seemed apt to cover and update in a more club dance floor friendly way. We recorded it with a top producer friend of mine Barry Stone who was one half of the production remix team Jewels & Stone and it had that whole Sash sound going on which was very current in the late 90's. The 12" mix of the track is still one of my favourite tracks we've ever done, it was also the first video we got to do for a track, and considering the budget for it amounted to about £20 it turned out okay. I was thrilled at the time the single came out as I’d given a copy to my friend Antony Price (Duran's fashion designer) who played it to Nick in his car and reportedly loved our version of it and jokingly commented about me to Antony that 'If he's better looking than Simon's he's got the job!'.

PLANET EARTH VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6zw8toQZm0

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What would be your 2nd Duran Duran song Massive Ego would like to remake if you could and why?

Marc Massive

I was just thinking the other day that 'Pop Trash Movie' could make a good dance track, I'd love to give it a go for one of those Duran Duran tribute albums that get released occasionally, love to be on one of those, so if anyone here’s about such a project get in touch as I’d love to contribute something.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: When did Massive Ego originally form and how did you all meet?

Marc Massive

We formed in '86, originally as a duo with me and fellow Durannie school friend Andy on arriving in London and deciding we wanted to form a band. There's been several line-up changes over the years with members coming and going as the band changed styles and sounds. In the 90's we were a fully functioning indie band with guitarists and live drums, one of our guitarists Dan Black has recently gone onto huge success as a solo artist. We returned in the mid 90's as an electronic dance band and toured clubs the length and breadth of the UK and abroad. That's where we are now, a 3 piece which comprises of me on vocals, Olly my partner on synth & latest recruit the very sexy Collagen Girl on guitar synth. Original founder member Andy is also back in the fold writing and producing with us and doing the odd live show such as Pride London which we did in July on the main stage at Trafalgar Square.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us about the single Sex Drive- what was the public reaction and the thought behind the song?

Marc Massive

Sex Drive was originally written and recorded by Pete Burns from 80's band Dead or Alive; he recorded it in the 90's with Italian dance producers Glam. We were asked to cover it for a 90's compilation called 'I Love the 90's' and I liked the results so got a load of great mixes done for it and recently had it licensed in Germany. We've always had something of a pervy reputation as a band not so much through our off stage antics or sleeping with groupies in a Marilyn Manson manner, but through our visuals and band shoots so recording a track with a title like 'Sex Drive' fitted the biography perfectly.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: If you could have a sit down with any member of Duran Duran who would it be and what would be topic of discussion?

Marc Massive

Reminds me of a question Nick was once asked on kids TV 'If you could be a fly on the wall, who's wall would you be on and why?' and he answered 'John's' with no explanation as why..just a dirty laugh. Erm, I'd probably want to have tea with Nick and discuss the comings and goings of his sex life and delve into whether he's every batted for the other side, as I've got this hopeful feeling he has and does from time to time. I used to think him and Warren made quite a nice couple and see a similar thing going on with Mark Ronson...of course it's only wishful thinking on my behalf. I went to Nicks birthday party some years ago at Crazy Larry's club in Fulham and was sat with him at a table with Neil Tennant and some people I knew but didn't think it was an apt time to ask Nick about his sex life so I remained tight lipped and speechless.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us about Act-Art 8 Censored & how you're affiliated with that campaign?

Marc Massive

It's an annual art/club event that I co-curate with my partner Olly. Now in its 8th year and featuring 100+ artists and attracting 1000+ people through the door each event it's gone from strength to strength. It takes a good 4 months to organize and pulls in a huge amount of press interest. It's become such a big beast that when were organizing it everything else including the band has to take a back seat and is put on hold until it's over for another year.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What was it like to dance and work with Boy George for his project "Jesus Loves You"

Marc Massive

I was very lucky to have worked with George, and got to travel to places I’d never been before and got the first taste and bug for performing from those years. I'd never really thought about picking up a microphone and forming a band before I’d worked with George, but once you get the chance to perform in front of huge audiences you want to do it all the time, it's very addictive. I've got some great memories from those years, and I’m glad I got the chance to do it as I doubt very much I'd be doing what I’m doing now without that leg up the ladder.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What was it like to support Sigue Sigue Sputnik?

Marc Massive

Martin Degville's my neighbour now living round the corner from me and we often go for drinks and hang out. It was a shame the band split so acrimoniously but what I love about Martin as the front man is that he's kept it going and still tours under the Sigue Sigue Sputnik-Electronic name and is still making great music & visuals. If there's one 80's pop star autobiography that hasn't been written yet that I'd kill to read it's Martins, from the original Blitz kids days where Martin was one of the leading lights, to signing multi million pound record deals at the height of his Sputnik fame and notoriety and the excess rock 'n' roll years it'd be a great read. We got to support them quite a few times over the years and their fan base is still as hardcore as it ever was.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How cool was it to perform at Steve Strange's ( Visage ) book (Blitzed) launch party in London 2002?

Marc Massive

God we sound like a load of 80's hanger on's don't we? lol, Steve's another friend and someone who's musical endeavors I've always admired and loved. Playing his book launch party in London was good fun, I remember being extra nervous that night as Burnsey (Pete Burns) and Steve Coy from DOA were in the audience to check us out for the first time and they were trying to nick my keyboard player Steady at the time to go on tour with them, which thankfully never materialized.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What video did you appear in for or with Andy Taylor of ( Duran Duran )?

Marc Massive

I'm fleetingly in the 'Lola' video which Andy covered in the 90's. I got to cavort around on a sofa with a young lady and do some groovy moves in a dance floor scene while Andy mimed the single for the video. I was a bit gutted to be honest that it wasn't a Duran Duran video I was an extra in, in fact even more gutted that a few years later my then agent neglected to send me forward for the 'Electric Barbarella' casting, of which most of my friends & colleagues got a part in which made me immensely jealous of them all for weeks after and couldn't watch the video without spitting venom at the screen, I've got over it now.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Anything you want to share with the fans?

Marc Massive

I once broke through security at Wembley Arena prior to a Duran Duran gig having waited at the back of the building all day with my friend when we both teenagers. We waited for Duran Duran to arrive in their cars and pull up to the gates at the back of the stadium, as the doors opened and the car drove in we both made a run for it and followed hot on the trail with instamatic cameras in hand hoping to get that exclusive shot..the car stopped for a moment and I saw John and Nick in the back seat turn to look at us both literally a few feet away, now had I had my wits about me that would have been the shot, but no I froze and at that moment the driver put his foot down and sped off leaving us both stood there with cameras up to our faces and no shot..we then escorted back out of the gate. That was the only time I acted like a crazed fan thankfully and bided my time and waited a few year's till I could actually meet them in a more mature manner. The things you do when you’re a teenage Durannie.

To learn more about Duran Duran to the Rock Hall - Official Effort (DDTTRH) and to sign our petition, please visit our hub site http://ddttrh.info/.

♫.•**•.¸♥♫♥¸.•**•.♫.•¸♥♥♫♥ ♥ღ♥ஜ♥♫.•**•.¸♥♫♥¸.•**•.♫¸♥♥♫♥ ♥ღ♥ஜ♥

FREEBIE FOR OUR DDTTRH READERS AND MASSIVE EGO FANS…here is a little free download..it's a rare chill-out ambient mix of our version of Planet Earth (2005 Galileo Mix) that was never commercially released! Here's the download link

http://soundcloud.com/massiveego/planet-earth-2005-galileo-remix-massive-ego

FOR MORE INFO ON MASSIVE EGO CHECK OUT

www.facebook.com/massiveego

www.myspace.com/marcmassive

soon to be re-launched www.massiveego.co.uk

Please follow DDTTRH on Twitter!  @DDTTRH

Friday, September 3, 2010

Interview with Nosferatu


Nosferatu is an English Gothic Rock band formed in March 1988 by Damien DeVille, Vlad Janicek, and Sapphire Aurora. The band line-up has of course changed over the years & they have had incredible session jams with the likes of LEGENDARY Rat Scabies - drums (featured on Lord of the Flies, ReVamped, The Best of Nosferatu Volume 1: The Hades Years, "Visionary Vampyres" DVD Ltd Edition Boxed Set)... Best known for being a founding member of the Punk band The Damned. Past members have included: Past members Vlad Janicek - Bass guitar/Keys (March 1988 to November 1994) ... (Designed early Nosferatu Logo and stage sets) Sapphire Aurora - Vocals... (March 1988 to April 1990)... (Editor and resident poet of Grimoire) Gary Ash (Gary Clarke) Vocals (April 1990 to October 1990)...Presently Vocalist of The Cureheads and The Hiram Key Nile- Vocals (August 1993 to November 1994)

Nosferatu have grown to become one of the most commercially successful Second Wave Gothic Rock Bands Worldwide and most certainly in England. They have sold well over 100,000 units worldwide of their own Singles & Albums alone, plus hundreds of thousands of songs on compilation albums since their first commercial release in 1991. Nosferatu have the credibility of being one of the few elite UK Gothic Rock bands to enjoy chart success both In the UK & Germany. They have a vast Back Catalogue of independent releases (8 singles, 10 albums (soon to be 11) and individual songs appearing on 46 different compilation albums, a DVD, a repertoire of nearly 100 Songs and have played over 250 concerts in 12 countries so far: Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Republic Of Ireland, Scotland, Spain & Wales.

Louis DeWray (lead vocalist) was on his “A” game when he chatted with me about his band and on top of being very very proficient and professional Louis is quite funny and downright AWESOME!!! Enjoy our lil chat~

LadyaslanDDTTRH: You were 18 when you joined Nosferatu where did you see yourself years down the road? How did you celebrate when you found out you made the cut as the new lead vocalist?

Nosferatu: Ha-ha, I never imagined so far ahead. I couldn’t imagine even being 25 when I was 18! After my audition, Vlad and Sapphire took me out to the Electric Ballroom in London. That was the first time I’d ever been to a Goth club. It was a very... interesting evening...

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What is your favorite Duran Duran song and video?

Nosferatu: The Chauffer or Save a Prayer – both the songs and the videos. Le Bon is one of only 2 men in the world that can get away with wearing a white suite.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What was it like to have jam session(s) with Rat Scabies ( The Damned) on a few of the albums?

Nosferatu: Rat is the Keith Moon of punk rock! He’s a very rare kind of drummer.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has made to the world of New Wave/ Electro music and fashion in the past 30 yrs?

Nosferatu: They practically invented how to be a pop band. The Rio video with the scenes on the yacht - absolutely classic images like being lost in the sun.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell us what it was like to play with The Sex Gang Children back in the day ( ha-ha yea I said back in the day )?

Nosferatu: Ha-ha – do you know, they are the nicest bunch of people you could hope to meet. They made us amazing curry ice-cream!

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What Duran Duran song would you like to remake if you could and why?

Nosferatu: Ooh..well we worked on a version of New Moon on Monday for the Wave Gothic Treffen festival in Germany last year but didn’t end up playing it. I’d love to do a version of Save a Prayer.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How does it feel to have the 6th best selling CD single by Amazon in the UK ( CD single Black Hole last April )

Nosferatu: We really enjoyed having a higher chart position than most of the major label pop artists – a pretty spectacular achievement for a band like us, who do everything ourselves. I hope it upset some people!

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What do you think contributed to the good fortune of being one of the few UK based Gothic Rock bands to have such success and longevity?

Nosferatu: The bands I loved when I was a teenager like the Cure and Sisters had a profound effect on me. I always wanted to be in a band that could have that kind of effect on other people, a band for those moments when there’s nothing else that quite fits. I think, to some extent, not being on a major label has also helped because we’ve always been able to do exactly what we wanted without any outside interference.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: If you could have a sit down with any member of Duran Duran who would it be and what would be topic of discussion?


Nosferatu: I’d love to ask Nick and Simon what it was like meeting Andy Warhol.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What is/was the genesis of making the Vampyres, Witches, Devils, and Ghouls-The Very Best of Nosferatu? Why was it only released in the U.S.?

Nosferatu: We just wanted to draw a line under all our previous releases, in preparation for our forthcoming album.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Is there a specific theme or story to the lyrics on your albums?

Nosferatu: Vampirism is a perfect metaphor. There’s a very specific story and theme to the songs on our new album. I love how it’s all tying together.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: In '98 Nosferatu covered Bowie's song "Starman" for a David Bowie tribute album-how cool was it to work on the tribute AND did you & the band have a chance to meet the other bands involved:( The Mission, Alien Sex Fiend, & Sigue Sigue Sputnik)?

Nosferatu: ‘Starman’ was done in a period when I wasn’t in the band – which is a big shame because I’d have loved to sing this! Doc Milton from Alien Sex Fiend produced several of our albums – so we know them pretty well. Tony James from Sputnik was responsible for getting us signed to Cleopatra Records in the U.S. I remember he came back stage after our gig at The Camden Underworld...he was wearing a brown suit and brown socks...very stylish! I remember it well...

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Anything you want to share with the fans?

Nosferatu: Our new single and album, both of which will be out in next few months!

Please follow DDTTRH on Twitter!  @DDTTRH

FOLLOW NOSFERATU:

http://www.myspace.com/officialnosferatu

http://www.myspace.com/earthterminalstudios

http://www.earthterminal.co.uk/ http://www.myspace.com/louisdewray