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Phil Vincent

posted 19 Jan 2017, 11:55 by Paul Woodward

Phil Vincent’s D’ercole have just released their fourth album No Place Like Home so I thought now was the perfect time to catch up with him. As a prolific song writer I was keen to ask him about his processes and influences as well asking about his various bands and upcoming projects. Oh and Paul Sabu!

You are one of the most prolific song writers I know, you must be constantly writing? Do you ever suffer with writer’s block or fell burnt out?

Thankfully no. My constant drive to try and make this my sole profession keeps me very productive. I know people would dig this music if they had the chance to hear it so my “campaign to be heard” is motivation enough.

What’s the song writing process for you, how do your songs come together?

Different songs have different processes. “Talk to Me” from the new D’Ercole CD was written on the guitar, “The Walls are Closing In(On Me)” was writing on the keys. It constantly varies. And sometimes the words come first, as in “Stand Up” or the music is written first, like “Epic Failure”.

What are your song writing inspirations and influences both lyrically and musically?

The Beatles and Paul McCartney cover both music and lyric inspiration. I know the probability of this is zero, but I would love to write and record an album with Sir Paul McCartney. He was such an inspiration to me growing up as I listened to him play all the instruments on his solo albums. That’s why I do the same on mine. Sir Paul is the reason I exist musically. He’s in my DNA.  In addition to that, I listen to so much music and have so many Cd’s and albums that it’s safe to say I am very drawn to great song writing. Foreigner, Boston, Queen, Winger, Dokken, Priest, Sabbath, all have a place in my mental musical file folder.

Off the top of your head from your extensive back catalogue what songs are you most proud of and why?

The Cranston album I did with Paul Sabu was VERY special for me. I have all his albums and to be able to work with someone as talented as him was just such a gift. I’m very proud of the first 5 Legion albums. After that, there were legal issues that put a cloud over our output. The last two albums were released without my permission. I had released all those songs as Phil Vincent & Vince O’Regan as “Unreleased”, “Unreleased II”, “Unreleased III”, and “Melody & Madness”. Vince and I wrote those songs and they are published by Songs of Purley. Z Records violated copyright law by releasing them as Legion. NO ONE should be able to do that without compensating the people who created the music in the first place. And so the legal battle begins.

I was really impressed with Cranston, an album you worked closely with AOR legend Paul Sabu on. How did you hook up with Sabu and what was it like working with him?

Thank you Paul. Much appreciated. Well, one of the few good things to come out of my association with that label was some of the great friendships I made. Paul and I met in 2012 in England and we immediately hit it off. We planned to work together from that point and because of our busy schedules the Cranston CD took a while to finish. I learned so much from Paul on the recording and production side of things. I just wish more people would listen to the album because it really contains some of my best song writing and vocals.

Is Cranston a one-off project or will there be more in the future?

Paul and I have 4 new songs that we will work on as soon as we can coordinate all the logistics. I never wanted it to be a one off. So to answer your question, there will be a Cranston II, it’s just not definitive as to what content it will include. Paul is a very busy producer and he’s working on the new Danny Veras album at the moment.

Your latest album is with D’ercole, can you talk to us about a couple of the songs on it, are there any stories or meanings behind the songs that would intrigue listeners?

This album was written while I was going through the worst time of my life and if “The Walls are Closing In(On Me)” and “Epic Failure” doesn’t sum it all up, then I need to be more descriptive. HAHAHA!! Lyrically, I was in a very dark place and I’ve always found writing songs was my best therapy. Not to get too heavy but depression can make a person think of doing things they would normally never even consider, and that’s where I was mentally. Coincidently, I wrote “See You on the Other Side” from the Cranston album around the same time as the D’Ercole CD so there is some darkness on that album as well. Basically, the song was a suicide note from a dear friend of mine and Paul happened to send the music as I was reading the note. That’s exactly how that song came together. Very strange and spiritual.

I know you’re probably already working hard on something new, what new music/bands can we expect from you in 2017?

I have contributed vocals for a band called Forest Field and the album is called “Lonely Desert”, as well as their first few releases. Rock Company Records will have all the details/samples. I sing “King of the World” on the TOTO Fanfields Tribute CD which has just been released and I have just completed my next solo album called “XX”, which refers to this being my 20th solo release. 20 years, 20 solo albums, not too shabby!! HAHAHAHA!!! It’s a very rocking disc with a lot of guitars and a lot of vocals. Paul Sabu plays a solo on one of the tracks. He’s an unbelievable guitarist. That should be out in March. I don’t know if it will be self-released or if it will be shopped around. It’s so difficult to make any profit on physical CD sales. The digital domain has really taken over. The streaming sites are popping up everywhere and they’re a great promotional tool so I don’t know what form “XX” will take. D’Ercole was self-released and we’re hoping those sales will generate the next Phil Vincent or Tragik releases, whatever they may be.

Is there anything else you would like to add or say to readers and fans?

Thank you so much for allowing me to talk about the music. I really appreciate it Paul and I hope your readers go to, to listen to samples, download free songs, and just check out the bands.