(Niagara Falls, ON) – Canadian hard rock act Brighton Rock is back! They are famous for such songs as “We Came to Rock”,”Can’t Wait for the Night”, “Hangin’ High N’ Dry” and “One More Try”. Although they may be a little older, their passion for music has never weaned. An upcoming release is in the works and I’ve had the opportunity to speak with guitarist and founding member Greg Fraser. We spoke about the challenges Brighton Rock are facing with their latest project, what circumstances brought them back together and what their fans can expect for 2015. Here’s what Greg had to say.
Sue – Thanks Greg for taking part in this interview! Much appreciated!
Greg – It’s my pleasure!
Sue – Looks like Jack is back! Brighton Rock is re-releasing “Young Wild and Free”, “Take a Deep Breath” and “Love Machine” all with bonus tracks. Tell me about these bonus tracks.
Greg – The one bonus track on Love Machine was actually banned because of lyrical content. We’re still not sure how it’s going to be received especially in today’s politically correct society. I’m sure there will be some raised eyebrows but it ain’t rock and roll unless you’re pissing someone off.
Sue – How many new tracks can we expect per CD?
Greg – One on Take A Deep Breath and one on Love Machine.
Sue – Can you elaborate on how the releases will occur? All at once or staggered?
Greg – I’m told at this point they will all be released all at once. Still do not have an official release date yet. I should note that our first record Young Wild and Free has been totally remastered to match up with the vinyl version. The original CD version came out sounding awful compared to the vinyl and cassette but now it sounds killer!!
Sue – Apart from the re-releases are you planning a new CD anytime soon?
Greg – We are currently working on a brand new CD as a matter of fact.
Sue – How does the new material compare to the classic stuff?
Greg – It will definitely sound like classic BR but with some fresh new sounds and ideas that will hopefully bring a smile to all our fans who have been waiting all these years. It will KICK YOUR ASS!!
Sue – I heard it’s taking quite some time for the band to record this new material since everyone is so busy. Talk to me about the recording process?
Greg – Everybody is incredibly busy which makes it almost impossible to get this record done. Our singer Gerry (McGhee) has a very successful business that takes up so much of his time that it’s hard to nail him down to work on the record. Getting all 5 guys together in the same room is a feat in itself because we are all so scattered schedule wise. I just hope someday this record will see the light of day.
Sue – I suspect the odds of a tour to promote the new album might be very low. Can we expect to see Brighton Rock play a few select shows or festivals? And if so anything booked so far?
Greg – We have 2 confirmed shows so far. Brighton Rock will be appearing at ‘ROCK N’ ROAR’ Sat. Aug 15, 2015 in Spanish Ont. Canada. http://www.rocknroar.ca/index.php/entertainment
The other confirmed show is ‘RockNSkull’ in Pekin Illinois USA, Oct. 15 2015 https://www.facebook.com/events/260179564166999
Sue – How does the songwriting process occur if everyone is so busy?
Greg – Songwriting is always been the least of our problems. All I do is write in my free time. So I have, if anything, too many songs. Since day one I would come up with musical ideas including vocal melodies and then demo it and then let the guys hear it and then they would get a hold of it and jam the crap out of it until it sounds really cool. Then Gerry would hear it and start writing lyrics and finish it off. Nothing’s really changed.
Sue – Johnny Rogers was let go when the band decided the new direction didn’t including keyboards. Will he be back for the new material?
Greg – Johnny is back full time and in fact has a lot of great song ideas that will be on the record for sure.
Sue – During the band’s hiatus there were and currently are many independent projects happening. Can you tell us a little bit of what everyone is up to?
Greg – Stevie and I have a recording project called FRAZE GANG that has released two CDs and we also have an acoustic duo that does a lot of mostly corporate stuff that keeps us quite busy. I mentioned Gerry runs a company. It’s a music distribution company called Isotope that is worldwide. Mark works for D’Addario Canada which sells musical products all over the world and he’s also always gigging with an assortment of different projects. Johnny has a killer acoustic duo called The Phil & John Show that pretty much plays almost every night.
Sue – Who initiated this latest reunion?
Greg – A few years back we were offered a slot on a big festival in England called Firefest. Over the years we would get offers to reunite for this and that and we would generally turn it down because of scheduling conflicts or the gigs themselves looked shaky. Gerry mentioned Firefest and I was well aware of it and we all said hell yeah! We did a warm up show the week before in Toronto that crushed and then we went to England all pumped up and tore the roof off the place. They actually invited us back the following year. That really put the fire back into us.
Sue – Now that the digital era has bestowed us with the conveniences of modern technology, digital downloads and piracy, is it possible for a band to make a buck these days?
Greg – The days of making big money off selling Cds are long gone and will never return. Kids today don’t even own CD players. It’s all digital. The only way to make money is at shows selling your merchandise. But even getting shows is tough enough because people don’t support live music like they used to.
Sue – Tell me a fun “on the road” story!
Greg – I remember we once got hired to do a gig at some University and opening the show was a Rod Stewart tribute. Our road manager said to us, ‘It’s going to be a killer night. The place is sold out and it’s wall to wall women. So ‘Rod’ does his show and kills it. So now they’re doing the changeover and we’re all pumped up ready to rock and then we walk on stage to…. pretty much an empty house. Everybody left. It turns out they were all there to see the Rod Stewart Tribute! Now that wasn’t fun but it sure was funny!!
Sue – Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with Music Life Magazine! Much appreciated!
Greg – Thank you for the invite; it was a pleasure chatting with you. Cheers!
Written By Sue Sadzak
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