Interview with Ted Poley & Gerhard Pilcher of Melodica - June 2000.
OK Ted and Gerhard....
Time to play you off each other and get some truly honest answers!!!
Lets talk about the making of Melodica.
First up - I have known you both separately for a while - Gerhard you were looking for a singer, how did you guys hook up?
Gerhard: Actually our first contact was in July 1999 per e-mail. I took his e-mail address out of " Metal Edge" magazine here in the US and just gave it a shot. He's always been one of my favourite singers since Danger Danger and to be honest I never thought to work with him one day but on the other hand if you don't try you'll never find out.
As you know I was already in contact with other celebrated singers before and I could feel it's just a matter of time 'til I find the right one. All of the guys liked the songs but were too busy with their own stuff at that time. So with Ted everything started falling into place right from the start.
Ted: Yeah, I was contacted by Gerhard by e-mail.
Ted - did you put off your solo album for this project?
I did and I will continue to out if off and work on the next Melodica for now. I do have several cool songs for the solo CD eventually though.
What were you first impressions of each other?
To be honest my first impression was this guy looks like a nice fellow. I was wondering a little how our first contact would look like since you never know what to expect. So I took the bus from New Jersey to Pennsylvania where Ted lives and was pretty nervous since I knew this could be the right one. We saw each other and the rest is history...(laughs)
I thought he was very cool and really knew his stuff when we first got together. He is always very prepared, very professional.
Seriously, you thought each other looked weird or something right?
First of all I was happy to see that Ted still got long hairs which was a good indicator that he obviously didn't change too much since his Danger Danger days in terms of finding a new identity as a musician. To be honest at this point I don't see that happening playing rock music with short hairs. I think the fans are expecting a certain thing when you're buying this kind of music . I never understood why so many other people changed and gave up their vision but maybe I'm living too much in a cliché. If I look at people on stage I prefer to see a lot of smiling and long hairs when playing AOR/melodic rock.
No! I was happy to see that he was not weird looking!
OK, so you are hanging out together, what are the first songs you jammed on?
The first one we did was " It's not enough " which Ted sang with a cheesy plastic mic that he brought from Japan, which has a built in reverb (laughs). But even with this "equipment" I immediately heard that's exactly what I've been always been looking for. I walked into his basement had a look at his CD collection which looks exactly identical to mine and I knew this is going to be lot of fun. That's one thing which I found out over the years, if the roots are not the same you're probably gonna have a pretty tough time with each other .... After the first chorus of "It's Not Enough" he stopped singing and asked me how I like it and my response was just: wow this blows me away, that's what I had in mind all the time.
I made up It's Not Enough and sang it into my little toy microphone that I use to write everything on. I think we scanned through the CD of his ideas and I came up with a few hooks that eventually turned into some cool songs.
Gerhard, you had the some of the music there already, how did you collaborate to create the finished product?
Ted came to New York City to do all the vocals in the studio and there was never any debating or arguing going on about between the 2 of us how things should be done which made the whole thing a lot of fun. Since we're on the same page the whole thing became so effortless - unbelievable.
Gerhard gave me a CD of backing tracks and I wrote the rest based on that.
And what were the first songs finished for the album?
As far as I remember we started with "Come Runnin" & "Sleeping with the enemy". We did first all the lead vocals before we continued with the harmony vocals.
I will go out on a limb and describe the style as classic smooth AOR, but it's pretty damn catchy! I swear I had a tune in my head for 2 days....
Thanks! That's the highest compliment you can give a songwriter!
That's what we planned from the very beginning. The whole album should be very melodic and catchy with good hook lines and even better then that Ted came up with the name MELODICA which I liked immediately because it represents such good what our idea is all about. It's about time to bring back some happy melodic rock!
I just read an interview with Angus Young where he said: I didn't start rock music to become depressed which is true for me also. I personally don't get it to sing all the time how life
sucks because this doesn't change anything at all - not yourself and not the rest of the world either. If you don't realize at one point in your life that you're responsible for your own life and your own decisions you're going nowhere except all the way south if you know what I mean.
Any possibility of some live dates? The Gods this year maybe?
Yes, plenty. And yes to the Gods shows too...
There are some plans for fall with Europe and maybe Japan but I would say it all depends how the album does and how the fans respond to MELODICA.
You two have obviously enjoyed working together - what's been the best part?
Everything is very professional and we show each other respect, which is very important because without any kind of respect every relationship dies sooner or later. For me it's like I've always dreamed of: quick and painless. Let's focus on the music since this is the most important thing.
The whole experience has been wonderful!
And are there any future plans in place as early as now?
Yes, an acoustic unplugged CD in the can and another Melodica CD in the works.
Is there anything you would like to say to the fans out there?
Thanks to everyone and I hope to see you all soon!
Please visit my website - www.tedpoley.com for the latest updates and merchandise.
Please help us keeping AOR/melodic rock alive since most of the world is too much depressed anyway. I would say to let people know that MELODICA exists and try all you can to make it successful. But I think it's important to take always just one step at a time.
I've been waiting for such a long time to get to this point where I finally meet all those great people so there's no real hurry to make it happen by tomorrow.
We wanted to do the first album as good as possible before we step to the next level, which always needs some experience in advance.
Anything either of you would like to add?
It's always important to have the right people around you who share the same vision because for me in the end it's still a team effort, which creates success. It's never just one person by him/herself and I'm very grateful for all the people that I've met over the last 10 years who showed me the right direction to go.
I would like to give a special thanks to you and melodicrock.com for helping keep our style of music alive and kicking! How was that for an ass kiss? Smooch!!
What other projects do you both have in mind?
Currently I am most excited about this Melodica CD and the possibilities it has opened up for us. So I will devote my full energy to this band and the next CD and the future touring! More fun than I have had in years!
First of all my main priority at this point is definitely MELODICA and my work with Ted. To make things happen and gain some more experience with other people in the years to come. You have to see before I came to the US I had this dream for over 10 years to work with all those great musicians and to meet my idols. I remember I started this little book in the early eighties where I took names of CDs of all the people I always admired. After just 1 1/2 years I can
say I already met a few of them which is unreal.
People like Ted or Jonathan Move (who is gonna play on the second MELODICA album) and even Mastering guru Greg Calbi who was one of my favourite Mastering Engineers ever since . So to work with all those guys is like a dream is finally comin' true and I'm really grateful for that.
I think that's pretty much it for me. Again thanks so much for this opportunity to promote our album.
Thanks so much mate !!!!
Have a good one...