Interview: Ted Poley Talks “Beyond The Fade”
Ted Poley has been rocking professionally for more than 30 years and has always had a singular mission of entertaining his fans by giving 100% in every performance and recording he has ever put his name to.
Whether it’s Prophet, Danger Danger, Bone Machine, Meoldica, or his solo material each album and tour showed Ted maturing as an artist. With “Beyond The Fade” fans can expect that high level of melodic rock to continue and maybe even surpass their expectations.
TWRY recently caught up with Ted to discuss the new record and all that is going on in his career in 2016.
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Let’s talk briefly about the release of your latest solo effort with Frontiers Records “Beyond the Fade” released on Friday, May 13th. Ted you’re not superstitious are you?
No actually fate cannot break my lucky streak because I had my first signed 100 copies sellout in two days and the reviews have been incredible and I’m fucking thrilled. Bring it on bad luck. Actually don’t bring it, no, I’m not doing that..HA! Truth be told I couldn’t be happier and that is just a funny coincidence. If you have to have a CD released on a Friday why not on a special day?
The formation of this project started with Danger Danger playing the The Frontiers Festival back in 2014 correct?
Yes, just after that actually. They approached me about doing it and I’ve done a lot of work with Frontiers over the years. They are a great label. They are the last big rock label still left. They are fans of the music so I love that part of it. They approached me to do my 3rd official solo effort even though I’ve tried to figure it out I’ve done like 22 or 23 full albums so far not counting my video appearances and guest shots. I had already collected some songs I loved and I was ready to go so it all aligned and it was the time to do it.
I think it’s interesting how you came up with the title for “Beyond The Fade” for the fans that haven’t heard you describe it yet.
The fade refers to the death of our musical genre (early 1990’s) which happened thanks to grunge the most horrible musical format ever invented. We were no longer popular to the masses even though some of us were still making good music. I felt that was beyond the natural fade. It also refers to when I was a kid I always cranked up my stereo to hear the last little note of the guitar player because I knew the lead would last longer than the fade on the album would allow me to hear it so I would crank it up to hear every last note.
These songs seem to really play to your strengths with big guitars and big harmonies. Seems like a perfect combination of songwriters Tom and James Martin and Alessandro Del Vecchio on production.
Thank you very much and I also had a hand in then production as well. What you’re hearing and seeing is my vision. That includes the entire concept of this record, the album cover to basically everything. Alessandro is a great, great producer and certainly didn’t need my help at all and has produced hundreds of records on his own. However with my influence it does sound very different than something he would have done himself. I love the fact that even though he is a genius part of that quality is that realizing that I did have some good ideas and letting me do my thing. It’s very much a joint effort between us and I’m very proud of that. Really catchy hooks, I think my voice sounds really good on there because he recorded it really well and the players on this record stepped up and they were amazing as well. It’s not just about my voice it’s about a great band performance as well.
One of the standout tracks for me is “Hands of Love” co-written by Joe Lynn Turner. That must have been quite a thrill for you personally as Joe has been a big influence for you and a great friend?
Yeah, I love Joe, got to be 20 or 30 years. Yea he’s like a hero to me because he’s one of the greatest singers ever back when I was a drummer. I was lucky at that stage of my career that I didn’t have to have to compete with a singer having the stature of a Joe Lynn Turner. Big thrill that we are now friends and I got to let him know that I was covering his song and he was thrilled. That was a lot of fun.
“The Perfect Crime’ is a great track sharing vocals w/Isabella Oversveen better known as ISSA, also with Frontiers. Was the song conceived as a duet or did it just happen once in the studio?
Totally premeditated duet, that was my idea because I wanted to do a duet. ISSA is a great friend I’ve known her for many years. I always feel comfortable working with people I know. She’s been a good friend for a long time. The Martin brothers came through big time. They wrote it from scratch just the way I wanted it. Our voices mend so well sometimes even I can’t tell the difference. Very fun working with her on this song because it added something special to this album that I was hoping for. I have never really done anything like that before so it was a first. Also a challenge because keeping up with a singer of her talent is not easy!
The video for the first single “Higher” was shot in Italy with essentially the band that recorded the album correct?
Correct, we planned it that way. I had originally hoped on being there a total of about 10 days to record all of the vocals and then we thought since I’m there why not play a concert on the last day I’m there? Since we were doing the show why not shoot a live video single? For a video you can always add stuff later but you cannot fake the real emotion of the crowd and a real smile from a fan. It’s all real. That’s what we were going for and I think we achieved it.
The 2nd video is for “Let’s Start Something” and that show’s you recording in the studio just having a blast. Those are some awesome KISS sneakers!
That was actually shot the next day after the concert back in the studio. I think I may have had the eye makeup still on from the night before! We were all exhausted from 2 weeks of doing the record, rehearsing for the show, performing the show and then shooting this second video. I’m glad we did that. In my skull pajamas and relaxed was the vibe we wanted.
Love my KISS sneakers. I always used to wonder as a kid what it looked like in a recording studio so this video is a look inside this recording of this album. My office.
Will there be any touring in support of “Beyond the Fade”?
I tour all year and every year as a solo artist and as a member of Danger Danger. That will not change. Basically it will be a matter of adding a few songs to the solo set which I have already done. When I played at M3 in MD recently I was shocked that a lot of the crowd already knew the chorus to a song (Let’s Start Something) on an album that had not yet been released. I’ve never had that happened before and I couldn’t believe it. I don’t want to add too many because fans want to hear your catalog when they spend the money to come see you and I understand that. Go get a beer or take a bathroom break if you don’t want to hear them. Two songs I think add freshness to the set and so far it’s working.
Your bandmates Rob and Bruno having just released a terrific new record as The Defiants along with your release “Beyond The Fade” – it’s ironic that you’re all creating such great new music so where does that leave Danger Danger in 2016?
That’s the thing you just hit on it. It’s no coincidence that these records were released within a month of each other. Bruno and I have been working on an experimental format that if you put my CD in one stereo and his in the other stereo and press play at the same time you will get the new Danger Danger CD. Bruno loved that when I told it to him like that. People keep asking me about your new fucking CD so what am I supposed to say? He laughed. We are all on great terms and remain great friends. We heard each others cds before they came out and he really liked mine so I was happy.
The reunion that you had in 2014 with all of the original band members must have been quite a thrill for all of you? Was there any thought of recording these for a live CD or DVD release maybe packaging it with a vintage show?
Apparently not enough thought was given to it because we probably should have done it! I don’t know. I think it was enough just to get us all together and rehearsed enough for the songs because we are all so individually busy with our own projects. We hadn’t played with Andy Timmons in years and for him he had to relearn an awful lot of material in a short time. It might have been biting off more than we could chew at that moment. The performances themselves might have suffered given too much else going on. Not a bad idea though.
What’s next for Ted Poley?
More live touring. I’m concentrating on performing more in North America trying to hook on with the summer festivals. I have a new agent so I will be flying all around hoping to hit a market near you soon. I have a couple of secret recording things in the works but more on that later. Some additional Danger Danger shows coming up. I thank you for your support. The feedback I’m getting on this record has been so positive and I just want to keep that positive vibe with me on the road. Also want to mention that I always donate a portion of my profits to no kill animal shelters. If you already have the CD that’s great understand a little bit will be heading their way. But please donate to your local no kill animal shelters because they need the support and it’s something near and dear to my heart.
More Ted Poley: