Gary Shea, Jim Waldo, Hirsh Gardner Interview
One group that people just can't get enough of is "New England." Their latest album "Explorer Suite" on Elektral Asylum Records is really starting to take off. If you've seen "New England" in concert, then you know the reason why. "New England's" appearance with "Styx" at the Michigan State Fair, helped sell out 25,000 seats for two shows! In Seattle, ticket scalpers were getting $30 a piece for "New England" concert tickets.
We spoke with three of New England's members Gary Shea (bass), Jim Waldo (keyboards), and Hirsh Gardner (drums).
Q - What does "New England" offer that no other group does?
Waldo - Very good contemporary rock 'n' roll. In a way it's like listening to The Beatles. You can hear things on the album the second time that you didn't hear before.
Q - Some of the guvs played in Central New York bands.
Waldo - People might remember us from "Fatback", Jack, and Target. We played quite a few college dates with "Target" between '73-75 in that area.
Q - Your first album was produced by Kiss member Paul Stanley. What does he know about producing records?
Waldo - Mike Stone who produced "Queen" was really our producer, the the band itself and finally Paul. He's a pretty meticulous precise person. He helped us out with our vocals. He's good with tuning and he knows when there's a good take.
Q - How did you break out of the bar circuit?
Shea - When you're playing bars, you're not in the music business, you're in a bar band. There's a difference between a bar band where you're playing other people's material, and a concert band where you're writing your own songs. When you play bars you learn to play your instruments, and how to entertain people. We concentrated on writing and arranging good songs, so we could showcase for the record companies. All our efforts were concentrated in that one direction.
Q - What's ahead?
Hirsh - More touring and better gigs.
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