Interview By Woody
David Reece is one of the busiest men in melodic rock at the moment, fronting Bangalore Choir and Tango Down and he’s about to release his second solo album. Woody tracked down the popular vocalist to talk about all things Reece.
Hi David, I hope your well! You have a new album entitled ‘Compromise’ out at the end of October on the AOR Heaven Label. What can fans expect from your second solo album?
Hi Woody. I am doing well and thanks for taking the time to have a little chat with me today. “Compromise” really turned out better than I could have hoped for. I mean whenever you write new songs you are always excited about the new material, but this very well might be some of the greatest I have done so far. This album Rocks from beginning to end. It really runs the full course of emotions and has a lot of diversity. There are melodic Rockers, some heavier stuff that takes me back to my days in Accept, and a really great ballad that I co-wrote with the Martin brothers. It’s a great album packed with great songs, and great performances, and I am extremely proud of it.
Your backing band on the album includes some well-known and respected musicians in Ronnie Parkes, Jack Frost and Paul Morris. How did you hook up with these guys to work on this album and are you happy with their performances?
Everyone that played on this album really delivered the goods. Ronnie Parkes (Farcry, Seven Witches) and I are both in Tango Down together and I spoke with him about trying to get my solo album togethe. He offered to help and it’s brilliant. Ronnie is in Seven Witches with Jack Frost (Savatage, Bronx Casket Co., Belladonna) and Jack also offered to help. They came up with the idea to go in a little heavier direction, to bring me back to my days in Accept and I really liked the idea. That is where the songs “All Roads Lead To War” and “Evil Never Dies” came from.
Jack brought Joey Vera (Armoured Saint, Fates Warning) on board to handle some drum production and mixing, and Ronnie plays with Paul Morris (Rainbow, Doro, Nena) in a couple of projects, so got him involved as well. It just fell together with those guys. I knew Kelly Peterson from my days in Minnesota and Kelly really stepped up and helped out a lot. He recorded vocals for me and played guitar on a few songs, as well as guitar and bass on “Fortunate Son” and some backing vocals. Of course Andy Susemihl, Martin Kronlund, Christian Tolle and Tommy Denander, who I have all worked with previously also performed guitar duties as well as writing and Martin also mixed and mastered. It is a really great cast of characters and the performances on the album are amazing!”
I’m a big fan of The Martin Brothers (Vega), with whom you have co-written a song called ‘Someone Beautiful’; a cracking song by the way! How did this collaboration come about and would you work with the Martins again? Are you a fan of their song writing?
Thank You! Yes, I have been a fan of Vega and the Martin brothers for some time now too. I’ve known them for some time and we spoke about working together on my new album a little while ago. When they sent me “Someone Beautiful” I immediately fell in love with the song and I contacted my good friend John Wilde to co-write the lyrics for it with me. I would work with them again in a heartbeat.”
I know you’ve worked with outside writers in the past, what has the song writing process been like for ‘Compromise’ and who else have you written with this time?
I like working with outside writers to be honest, as it gives a diversity that I would not get if I wrote all the material myself. I am a blues singer at heart and I love a wide range of musical styles. Once I hear something I like it just takes a hold of me.. I feel that with my solo albums it is an embodiment of who I am as a person and artist. I don’t feel the same way every day, I am not happy every day, I am not sad every day. Working with multiple writers allows me to achieve a diversity on my records that I wouldn’t normally achieve.
Just about everyone that performed on the album contributed to the writing of it. Ronnie Parkes, Jack Frost, Christian Tolle, Andy Susemihl, the Martin brothers, John Wilde, and Tommy Denander. Tommy wrote “Coast To Coast”. He has written with everyone from Michael Jackson to Sheryl Crow, to Yngwie Malmsteen, the list is incredible and he totally delivered on that track! It ROCKS as well as all the other tracks on the album!
Can you talk to us about a few songs on ‘Compromise’ and are there any stories or meanings behind the songs you can divulge?
Well, “Everything To Everyone” was written about my dear friend Mark Miller, who I used to perform with in ‘Dare Force’. He lost his battle with cancer about two years ago. I had “Everything To Everyone” already written lyrically and Ronnie Parkes changed the key and rewrote the music on that. With Paul Morris’s piano and keyboard solo it really came out beautifully and means a lot to me personally.
“Coast To Coast” - Tommy Denander originally wrote it for James Christian but it may have been a little on the heavier side for him. Tommy knew of my solo album so he offered it to me and I love it.
“Where My Heart Belongs” is about my short break in 2007. Music is in my soul and singing is where my heart belongs. All the tracks have some sort of meaning or emotion that I am trying to convey, but I guess “Everything To Everyone” is closest to my heart.”
Since your return to the music biz in 2008 with Gypsy Rose, you have been a very busy man. You’ve released solo albums, two Bangalore Choir albums, as well as albums with Reece/Kronlund and Tango Down! Do you enjoy the workload and being in demand? Or do you find it hard to juggle everything?
All work and no play makes David a dull boy *Laughs*. No really, I couldn’t be happier to be working. I would like to be doing more if it was possible! Tango Down is the only current project that at the moment is still performing. We don’t really do any major touring to speak of, just festivals and such. In fact we are performing at Melodic Rockfest3 in Chicago at the end of September with some great bands and some good friends. So it should be a really good time. Bangalore Choir at the moment are busy living their own lives. So I really have the time to do this album and I am very glad I did.
Talking of other projects for a minute do you have any other projects or albums in the works currently that Reece fans will be keen to know about?
We will be doing a new Tango Down album, to be released around spring 2014 and I recently laid down a track for Michael Voss’s new album with someone “special” on guitar. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to release that info yet; it is top secret and if I told you I would have to kill you!! And I like you Woody.*Laughs*
A UK tour with Bangalore Choir a while back unfortunately got cancelled and I know this left you not only disappointed but also frustrated with the whole process of getting a tour off the ground. Has this affected your desire to play live in Europe in the future; does it mean you’ll only play Festivals in future, and is there any chance we will see you perform as a solo artist in the UK?
I have to say that was very frustrating, but I don’t hold it against anyone; life is too short. You have to be thick skinned to be in this business and by now I have the thickest skin around! You just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving. I really am working hard at bringing “Compromise” out on the road along with some of my past repertoire. The band is amazing and I think my fans would love to see it as much as I would love to do it.”
If you could get to tour or play a festival with anyone else who would it be and why?
I would have to say I would love to do a run with U.F.O. I was always a fan of Michael Schenker and it would be a blast!”
Thanks for your time David, Is there anything else you’d like to add or say to Fireworks readers?
I would just like to express how good I feel about “Compromise”; I am very proud of it. I would like to thank all my friends that helped make it a reality. Those that stuck with me through all the years and my different bands. I hope everyone enjoys “Compromise” as much as I enjoyed making it and I look forward to seeing all my friends and fans on the road very soon.