Dave Porter and Ed Vivenzio Interview

The story of "805" is a story of local boys who made good. After years of gigging around the Central New York bar circuit, 805 was signed by R.C.A. Records, last year.

Their debut album "Standing In Line" was the fourth most added l.p. on AOR (Album oriented Rock) stations, after Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Robert Plant's album, the week of it's release. Currently, there are over 100 radio stations around the country playing the record.

In support of the album, "805" has been opening shows for Toto, the Jon Anderson Band, and Kansas.

We talked with 805 members, Dave Porter and Ed Vivenzio.

Q. Since the albums release, have friends you never knew you had, been calling you up?
Porter - Only a few. No one has been calling up looking for a job or anything like that.
Vivenzio - No ones riding on our coat-tails.

Q. Can you tell me why Syracuse appears to be starved for entertainment; yet local groups don't get the support they need?
Porter - That's a trait that's peculiar to Syracuse only. Syracuse in general, has a tendency to put down bands a lot. For years we were ignored. Since the album's release, we've become the pride of Syracuse. Now, we've always been everybody's favorite band!

Q. Do you ever think that if Tom Bush of Electric Lady Studios hadn't seen you, that you'd still be out there playing the bars?
Porter - Who knows, maybe we would've hooked up with someone else. Having Bush see us was a bit premature anyway. We weren't actively seeking a record deal. But, Tom worked with us for awhile and Steve Frank took it from there.

O. Where did you record your demo tapes in Syracuse?
Porter - Right at the farm.

Q. Even though R.C.A. has Rick Spring­field, Diana Ross, and Hall and Oates, the last time a Syracuse group recorded for R.C.A. ("Jukin' Bone") their albums went no where. What makes you think R.C.A. will get behind the group and give you what you need?
Porter - R.C.A. has invested a lot of money in this band. They're behind us 110%. Every­one we've met has been incredibly suppor­tive. You can't even compare our situation with "Jukin Bone". I mean, they recorded their first album for something like $1200.
Vivenzlo - A couple of months ago, they had this big promotional thing for us and invited a lot of radio and t.v. people. It was really amazing.

Q. Last year after 10 years, and something like ten albums, REO Speedwagon finally enjoyed major recording success. 805 has a two record committment from R.C.A. Are two records enough to bring across a new act in the recording business?
Porter - I think its up to 3 now. This album has done well enough now, so that we ought to be good for a couple of more albums. Our contract is a five year, eight album deal. As long as they're not losing money on us, they'll keep putting the albums out.

Q. When you were looking for a producer for the album, you submitted a list of names to the record company. How did you come up with that list?
Porter - We looked at the music we liked. For example, we liked the first Ambrosia album, so we looked at who produced it, and put his name on the list. Of all the people we had on the list, Dennis McKay was the one that was available, and available on rather short notice, so we settled on him.

Q. Image-wise, is there anything you're try­ing to bring across on stage?
Porter - I don't know if we've even keyed in on a central direction we're going yet as much as the direction we don't want. We don't want to be one of those bands that goes out there and says, "C'mon people, rock and roll, party your ass off."

Q. Sting, of The Police has said "Rock music is dead on its feet." Is he right?
Porter - It's not dead on it's feet, it's just worn out.
Vivenzio - Sting can say whatever he wants because he's got so much money now.

Q. Your album has been getting quite a bit of airplay on AOR stations. Rick Carroll, program director for KROQ Radio in L.A. recently told Rolling Stone Magazine, "The current state of AOR radio is very bad. Half of the groups that these stations play are dead, the Doors, Hendrix, Joplin. Where is the future of what we call AOR Radio? It’s just not happening." Does Rick Carroll have a valid argument here?
Porter - I don't think so. Cycles in music are around every few years, then something else comes along, and it picks up.

Q. You struggled for a long time with "805". Most musicians would've given up a long time ago. What kept you going?
Porter - The people who would've given up, probably weren't making a comfortable living at it. I just really like what I do. I never get sick of it. I never wanted to do anything else.

Q. How important is it to have a good music lawyer?
Porter - Very important. Tom Bush gave us the recommendation. All of the business is happening in New York, so you need a lawyer in New York.

Q. How many albums do you have to sell before R.C.A. gives you tour support?
Porter - They've given us some already.

Q. Did Randy Bachman (owner of Legend Studios, where the album was recorded) ever drop in on you guys?
Porter - Yeah, a few times. It was the thrill of a lifetime.
Vivenzio - No, seriously, he was a real neat, real good guy.

Q. Why was "805" able to get a record deal, when so many other groups have tried and failed, and are still trying. What did you do differently?
Vivenzio - We’ve been really lucky. We worked our asses off.
Porter - Yeah, but a lot of groups work hard. I think its just the set of circumstances, having people who think you're really good, convince other people that you're good.

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