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Articles Home » 1999 Articles » Band Central Station - 1999 our very first interview!
 
Band Central Station - 1999 our very first interview!
INTERVIEW: Band Central Station (Nov 1999)

Our very first interview!! hey hey..

In The Spotlight - Band Central Station
Interview with: Joe Borgese
Written by: gdazegod (Nov 1999)

This is the 'In The Spotlight' page. The spotlight falls on Long Island/New York melodic rock outfit Band Central Station. These guys have Boston and Journey running through their veins, and they hail from Glen Cove on Long Island. They have recently been discovered on the MP3.COM website, following on from the release of their 4 track DAM 'Now Arriving'. The lineup of Band Central Station is currently:

Rick Haller - vocals, guitars; Joe Borgese - keyboards, vocals; Larry Borgese - guitars, vocals; Frank Saliba - guitars; Rob Egan - bass; Chris 'Pez' Lopez - drums

Herewith is a transcribed interview with Joe Borgese, keyboardist with the band.

Thanks for giving us your time today Joe. How did Band Central Station come together and what prompted the band to pursue this particular style of melodic rock?
No, thank YOU, for giving us your time. We were all in various groups and musical situations prior to this bands formation. The core of the band was actually established many years prior to this line-up. Rick, Larry, Rob and myself were good friends for years. We were all musically inclined and I played drums at that time. We formed a band in 1988 and were playing covers together for a few years locally under the name 'Fourcast'. We all shared a bond in that we loved Boston's music and that's what influenced us in developing our strong vocal harmonies. Melodic rock wasn't something we chose to play, it's what we grew up on.

We had a good following and enjoyed the cover scene but we really wanted to write, play and record originals. We changed our name to Meridian and began to concentrate on originals. We decided to invest in our own recording equipment to record our material and make a tape. This is when 'You Never Said Goodbye' was written. The 4 song tape was pretty good for our first attempt, however the songs were all ballad oriented. We realized that we were in a ballad rut and while ballads are good, we needed and wanted to get a more ballsy sound, a more defined edge.

We put an ad in the local music paper for another guitar player and the response wasn't that great. Enter Frank. Larry and I knew Frank from playing softball together on the weekends. We started talking music and we learned he was in a Guns N' Roses/Poison sounding original band called Slik-Jinx. I gave him our tape to listen to for his feedback. He thought it was good but nothing came of it. Cut to a few months later. Our ad was still running and we get a call from this guy named Frank. Ironically, Rob took the call and didn't realize that we knew him (we had a laugh over that). Rob gave him a list of covers to learn and set up a tryout. We played coy but we pretty much knew he was the guy. He could play, he wanted to do originals and he had that harder edge we were missing. Plus we already knew him and the personalities meshed.

The next few months were spent writing new material. Eventually we came to the realization that we needed a serious dedicated drummer that could enhance the edgier sound we were developing. So I agreed to switch to keyboards, which would enable me to concentrate more on the vocals as well as add to our overall sound. Now we needed a drummer. Enter Chris (Pez). We knew Pez for awhile. He had seen us live during our cover band era and had constantly expressed his desire to play in the band. He was and is a very schooled drummer and in our situation at the time, we gave him his chance. He simply blew us away. He was perfect. Band Central Station was officially born in 1990.

Considering the MP3 thing is taking off like wildfire, has Band Central Station had much feedback from interested parties via MP3.COM?
We've had incredible feedback from being on MP3. We are getting requests for our CD like crazy. It's amazing the amount of requests we have received for interviews and our press kits from magazines and e-zines from all over the world. Holland, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Japan, even England, everywhere. It's just remarkable. Even Indie labels are starting to contact us now with interest in signing the band. The response has been great and it's picking up a head of steam. It's really a blessing for unsigned bands to get their music heard worldwide. It takes a lot of power/control away from the major record companies. Lets face it, how many incredible bands never had the chance to be heard because 'Big Bad Record Company Man' decided he didn't like the way the band looked. It's great! GO MP3!!!

I notice also there is a heavy influence from the band Boston, re: your sound and those cheeky liner notes on the bands bio which I thought was great by the way! Is your heart pretty much set in the 70's and 80's style of melodic rock?
Without question. We all grew up on the 70's and 80's sound, and while we each have our own independent influences from those eras (listed on our MP3 page), the common thread among all of us is Boston and Journey. We never tried to be an eclectic sounding band that strayed too far from its roots. Besides, all the REAL timeless rock tunes came out of the 70's. Although the one 'refreshing' aspect of today's music scene is that, 'long hair' is not a fundamental requirement. Also, we're glad you were able to appreciate the bio tribute to Boston, so far not many people have caught onto that.

What do you think of todays hard rock scene?
Musically it's all great. Overall_there are so many talented musicians and bands out there that stretch the boundaries of the hard rock genre, that the term hard rock covers so many spectrums now. Metallica to Kid Rock, it's all good solid music. Really it is_but it's all so angry. Anger seems to be a common thread among the heavier (guitar oriented) bands out there now. Compare the lyrics from today's hard rock to that of the 70's and 80's, the messages have definitely changed. Society will do that. Music is a reflection of society and right now there is some definite anger out there. There are exceptions.

What is New York's scene like now?
Tough and very diverse. It has always been a tough place to create a solid following and make a mark. Quite often you have to pay to play or the band will have to buy 'X' amount of tickets at $10 a piece out of pocket, then on a Wednesday night for a 12AM gig is quite difficult. Usually you need to be way over the top in order to get heads to turn and take notice. Also a lot of musicians are usually in the audience. During a song they stand there with their arms crossed and afterwards they don't clap. Much attitude. While we never ventured there, New Jersey is a very good place to play. People there just love to go out and hear good music period. Cover or original bands usually have great crowds there.

Is the band gigging at all? What is the band going to be up to over the next 3-6 months? and is there any chance of a full album in the near future?
In response to those three questions: We are not gigging now. Demand is very strong to purchase our CD right now and our first priority is to release the 'Now Arriving' CD on MP3. We don't want to short change anybody with 4 songs, so we're currently in the studio recording another song (Dangerous) to complete the 5 song CD. We will release it very early 2000. It will give the listeners their moneys worth and give us an opportunity over the next 3-6 months to continue recording another 5 songs. We'll then release the full 10 song album and start working on new material.

On a lighter note, and for the 'tech heads' and 'air keyboardists' among us, can you give us a breakdown of your keyboard rig?
As far as keyboards go, I use the Korg M-1 and the Oberheim Matrix 6. These keyboards are probably a little outdated as far as what's out there today, but I get a great piano sound from the M-1, and a great synth sound from the Matrix 6. The Matrix 6 has the Van Halen synth sound that was used in Jump and most of the '1984' Van Halen album.

Considering the Heart Of The Rock website has a lot of classic AOR album reviews contained within, do you personally have any favourite moments of music or albums that spring to mind as being a 'Borgese' classic?
To me, the definition of 'classic album' is, where all the songs, or the album as a whole, grabs you. I rank Boston's first 2 albums and Journey's Escape album as classics. Some other favourites are Firehouse, Def Leppard, Zebra, Triumph and Rainbow. After looking at your site, it really stirred some memories. I was shocked to see that you had Orion the Hunter listed. I have that album, and unless you're a Boston fan, many people won't know who Orion the Hunter were. Another favourite album of mine on your site is Night Ranger - Dawn Patrol. I also saw some individual favourite songs of mine as well, When I'm With You - by Sheriff, and Girls with Guns and What If - by Tommy Shaw, all of which I have played with at one point or another with former bands.

Are there any other comments that you and the rest of Band Central Station would like to share with the readers?
Most importantly, none of this would be happening right now were it not for the independent efforts of our good friend, Sal Gaudio. While the band were coming to grips with the attitude that 'our time had come and gone and we gave it our best shot', Sal always believed we had something special. He took it upon himself to get our music on the web. It has totally revived us. We have realized through his efforts that our time has not passed, and good music will never die. Thank you Sal. And a thank you to everybody who took the time to listen, download our music and write to us with all their wonderful comments. MP3.com has given us a chance to share our music with the world. Something we couldn't do before. Anybody out there that hasn't heard us, take a listen and give us your feedback, we'll always respond. God bless.

Thanks for your time Joe, and I'm sure that the 'buzz' for Band Central Station will ensure that only great things will eventuate for the band.


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