|February is traditionally the month of love and valentines, and it's not for us here at SkidMark to deny you 'em! So, slap on the lippy, pucker up and gently sigh as our resident "Cupid" SkidMcSkidder, asks the questions you want answered by East Rutherford's #1 HEART-THROB John Taglieri!!|
SkidMcSkidder: Hi J.T.!! Thanks for taking the time out to talk with us on a weekend rest day - What with the hectic tour, preparation of new songs for the forthcoming new CD AND the day job, Man, you must be beat!!
John Taglieri: That I am my friend! That I am! Thanks for doing this interview with me!
SkidMcSkidder: Dude the pleasure's all mine! To get us started John how about a little history? I read your bio page over at www.johntaglieri.com and it said you began playing guitar at 5 years old and recording songs at 15! How'd you get the bug for singing / playing guitar at 5??
John Taglieri:: well the singing didn't come until way later.... but I started playing guitar when my parents sent me to lessons... they needed a way to keep me busy...! (Laughs out loud)…I didn't start singing until my teens
SkidMcSkidder: And it certainly paid off - Your last album release, "Leap of Faith" is fast becoming a classic on the indie circuit!
John Taglieri: Well...I don't know about that! (Laughs out loud). That's saying a lot... but it has received a very good response..
SkidMcSkidder: going back to the bio - It also states you studied in NYC and graduated with a degree in Audio Engineering from the Centre for the Media Arts - what made you study for that particular qualification - were you looking at a career as a studio engineer?
John Taglieri: Well... I'd been doing live sound and studio sound for a while but I wanted to go and learn the correct technical aspects of what I was doing. So after 2 years at Jersey City State in their music program and not happy with it, I switched to that...
SkidMcSkidder: So how is the "Beyond borders 2002" tour going? It must be MAD! I counted around 28 individual gigs over the next 5 months covering the U.S. coast to coast!!
John Taglieri: Yep....lots of running around and more playing that I've done in a year - add in rehearsals and the day job and I'm going to need a vacation at the end of it! (Laughs out loud)
SkidMcSkidder: (Laughs out loud) How do you fit the day job in with all the touring?
John Taglieri: Well, I work Monday to Friday at my job...I gig reasonably local during the week and then on weekends I'm where ever I need to be. When I head to the West Coast, I'm taking a week of vacation from my day job to do that. And I sleep whenever I can! Plus add in rehearsal with my full band every week also...
SkidMcSkidder: Cool - I bet CA will be a sunny change to NJ this time of year! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: I think so!! Though it was 60 degrees here in NJ today! The tour has been great so far though..
SkidMcSkidder: What's the groupie action like after the gigs?! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: (Laughs out loud) Not much groupies at Borders Books and Music! Honestly, the turnout for the shows has been great so far. I've had people at every show, and picked up over 50 new mailing list names in the first 7 shows, plus sold CD's
SkidMcSkidder: How many copies of the CD have you distributed since its release now?
John Taglieri: Well...it's got to be approaching the 5,000 mark...I moved almost 2,000 on my own and the record company is on it's 3rd pressing I think ..
SkidMcSkidder: Wow! that's impressive..
John Taglieri: pretty cool....at every gig I've sold a few…it's a nice feeling. The nice thing is when I'm asked to autograph them....I mean to me, I'm just me!
SkidMcSkidder: I bet it's a real buzz!
SkidMcSkidder: on the subject of CD's...
SkidMcSkidder: You've recently signed a 3-album deal with the Europe-based label "Now and then" records - how did that come about?
John Taglieri: Well, I released "Leap" independently and then got picked up by A2 Records for distribution. The record did very well, but A2 was not in the position to sign me to a full record deal for another album, so I turned to Now & Then and we opened a dialog about me signing to them. After a few months of discussion, we agreed on a deal...it's my first real full record deal - it felt nice to sign that...
SkidMcSkidder: When will the next album be completed?
John Taglieri: I was supposed to be in the studio this past September, but obviously we know what set that back. By the time everything cleared, the label had other priorities and I booked my tour, so it'll have to wait until after I'm done touring. I'm guessing by Summer I'll be recording at the latest.
SkidMcSkidder: Do you think you'll maybe do a European tour to promote the forthcoming new album? If so, do you need any roadies??! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: You know, most of my sales have been there, but it's so pocketed that it's not logistically worth me being there. And yes, I'll need a roadie - a hot blonde bikini wearing one!
SkidMcSkidder: I can do that ! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: Ahhhh...I don't think so bud!! (Laughs out loud)!
SkidMcSkidder: talking about the ladies... What's it like to be voted in the top 5 male "hotties" by the female listeners of www.Bumpskey.com's webcast radio show?
John Taglieri: (Laughs out loud)! I've actually moved up to # 3 from what Katie told me recently! Pretty cool...pretty cool! Though I lost to her in the best ass contest on her website!
SkidMcSkidder: you STUD!!
John Taglieri: Not quite. (Laughs out loud)!
SkidMcSkidder: Talking about Jerry's wicked webcast radio show over at Bumpskey, how do you feel exposure on show's such as Jerry's has helped getting the J.T. experience out to a new audience?
John Taglieri: Absolutely...it's garnered me fans that I never would have had otherwise, people who never would have heard my music
SkidMcSkidder: you can count me in that number!
John Taglieri: Nice...thanks there pal!
SkidMcSkidder: ah...bless Saint Jerry!
John Taglieri: Oh yeah...he's a saint...
SkidMcSkidder: You also have an excellent website www.johntaglieri.com dedicated to your music, which is crammed full of great stuff such as streaming audio, the LeapDog newsletter, etc - as I always ask in these interviews, do you feel the Internet has become THE promotional tool for the independent musician of today?
John Taglieri: Totally.....I'll say without hesitation that the Internet made my career where it is now...the reviews that I got on the websites are what opened me up to bigger audiences and the record labels in Europe. The whole world is right next door. Just one click away...
SkidMcSkidder: You're no stranger to the interviewer's chair I see from visiting www.johntaglieri.com/interviews/welcome.shtml that you've had you're fair share of both Internet and radio interviews! What do you reckon was you're most bizarre question during an interview?
John Taglieri: Hmmmm....there really haven't been any...mostly generic questions. Though when I did the Scott and Todd show on WPLJ in NY, they were off the wall - but you expect that with them! It's like....all the interviewers are so professional that they don't want to get too zany...
SkidMcSkidder: Not this one! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: So go for it - ask me something totally off the freaking wall! I think that the fans love it when the interview is more honest instead of a cookie cutter.
SkidMcSkidder: what's the worst thing you've ever done to a live audience?
John Taglieri: Hmmm...well...played a set drunk and threw up into a garbage can on stage the whole time, I actually had to be taken off the stage and my sound man came and finished my part of the show. I've also mooned a few audiences..!
SkidMcSkidder: Arrggh! That conjured an image I DON'T want to remember!!
John Taglieri: I've fell on a few people falling off bars and chairs and such...my old band played a whole set in our underwear on a dare once...nothing too nuts...!
SkidMcSkidder: ah, the rock an' roll lifestyle eh?!
John Taglieri: Yeah...beats working at Burger King!
SkidMcSkidder:: (Laughs out loud) You've got a great following of loyal fans and even your very own John Taglieri fan club - how bigger can you get than that?! It's run by the lovely Carissa Knoles (Hi Riss!) who also runs a website (Indie_Music_Rawks!) which is largely dedicated to you and your music - how does it feel to have that kind of support?
John Taglieri: Totally mind blowing...and a product of the Bumpskey show...to have someone that wants to do that and takes that initiative is so cool - such a great feeling
SkidMcSkidder: Apart from being an accomplished independent artist you have some real credible professional accomplishments too such as sponsorship by Ovation guitars - how did that come about?
John Taglieri: Well....while I was doing my last tour I was playing all solo acoustic shows. I own only Ovation acoustics, so I approached them about it, showed them pics from the tour, the schedule, the signing to A2 Records...and managed to meet all their criteria for their sponsorship...I just bought a brand new one as a matter of fact, got it last week...
SkidMcSkidder: Fantastic! So does that mean you get free or subsidized guitars?
John Taglieri: it's a sponsorship, so lets just say that I get a healthy discount...
SkidMcSkidder: heh heh! Got any lefties you want to put my way?!
John Taglieri: Hmmm....we can arrange something....(laughs out loud)! for the right commission..
John Taglieri:: :-)
SkidMcSkidder: what does the IMG endorsement entail?
John Taglieri: you mean ING Strings??
SkidMcSkidder: er... yeah! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: I get really great strings really cheap!! Doug Mackie, the owner, takes very good care of me and I spread the word about his strings. I switched from D'Addario's after 15 years after trying just one set of the ING's
SkidMcSkidder: ah, so they're an independent manufacturer?
John Taglieri: yes....small company based out of NJ...Great strings though...I can play them for hours and not hurt my fingers...
John Taglieri: and they sound great on my Ovations!
SkidMcSkidder: So they're more suited to electro-acoustics?
John Taglieri: Well, he has acoustics and electric strings, in fact he has everything - bass strings too…my whole band plays them.
SkidMcSkidder: cool - talking about the band...
SkidMcSkidder: you're sadly losing Neil Rambaldi?
John Taglieri: Yes....Neil is moving on. He has his own CD coming out of Instrumental guitar...very much like Steve Vai type stuff...really great...and he has also started playing guitar for the Lilian Garcia band...she's an announcer for the WWF...
SkidMcSkidder: up and onwards then!
John Taglieri: totally...and I'm happy for him...
SkidMcSkidder: must have been a tough decision leaving such a tight sounding set up as yours
John Taglieri: it was for him....we talked about it for months before he actually decided to do it...he was very upfront about it. The thing about my band is we are all very close friends too as well as being a tight band. it's not just business for us...we go and hang out too..
SkidMcSkidder: I think that's the secret of success in any band - communication
John Taglieri: totally....it's a 6-way marriage...though a little different for me as this time I have the ultimate say. I never use to though. my band is too good and too smart for me ever to have to...
SkidMcSkidder: that's what it's all about - the money's great but getting out their and performing your own material and having a fun time with your friends is the main drive
John Taglieri: they just know what to do every time...I hardly say much and we make most decisions as a band...I've been outvoted a few times
John Taglieri: I have no problem not getting what I want if the band thinks something is better...
SkidMcSkidder: Outvoted? what was that for? A close up photo of you on the cover of the CD?? (laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: oh they will all be in the next CD as far as photos are concerned
SkidMcSkidder: mate - I was taking the piss! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: I'm serious though...they will all be in the next CD jacket...
SkidMcSkidder: I haven't seen L.O.F. yet so I don't know what's on it
John Taglieri: I treat them as equals with me....LOF just has my ugly mug on it
SkidMcSkidder: And it sold 5000 copies???? (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: Bite me bro!
John Taglieri:: :-P
SkidMcSkidder: heh heh... back to the guitars...
John Taglieri: yes....
SkidMcSkidder: What's you're favorite guitar in your collection (how many have ya got??)
John Taglieri: I now have 16 guitars....my favorite acoustic is my new Ovation Elite 1868...LOVE IT!! My fav electric is my 1981 Fender Strat elite...
SkidMcSkidder: Wow! and I thought I was well off with 4!! heh heh!
John Taglieri: Though I also love my Samick SMG-100 electric...plays great too
SkidMcSkidder: Got to admit I do love my Strat too
John Taglieri: there's pics of most of them on my website...equipment page…nothing beats it IMO...
SkidMcSkidder: I'll check 'em out
John Taglieri: I'm also getting custom John Taglieri guitar picks! Should have them this week!
SkidMcSkidder: Cool! signature picks?
John Taglieri: Yep...I'll send some along to you
SkidMcSkidder: you're a gentleman! I'll put some in the competition
John Taglieri: Cool...
SkidMcSkidder: proffessional Question again..
SkidMcSkidder: You're a member of ASCAP and a member of the national recording academy of the United States which entitles you to vote at the Grammy's - how cool is that?!
John Taglieri: Very....kind of validates all the work I do...just qualifying to be in the Recording Academy was awesome...
SkidMcSkidder: Have you attended a Grammy awards night and met any famous stars?
John Taglieri: No, not yet...going this year though...next month…and spending way more money then I have a right to!
SkidMcSkidder: I'll send ya a SkidMark Independent Artists T-Shirt to wear then! (laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: (Laughs out loud)! Okay, you got it!
SkidMcSkidder: ASCAP - what is the annual award related to?
John Taglieri: Well, the big money makers make their money by surveyed performances and radio play. For artists like me who do just as much work but not in surveyed areas, they have this award. You have to send in all your press and everything you've done and they decide if you are eligible and if you are, you get the award.
SkidMcSkidder: so you're saying you review other artists?
John Taglieri: No, not at all - ASCAP does.
SkidMcSkidder: Ah, gotcha
John Taglieri: They poll radio stations and get their playlists, concerts and tours to see what songs are being played, etc…but they only do the big ones...so that leaves guys like me out of it
SkidMcSkidder: so basically it's an organization, which funds potential talent
John Taglieri: well...they make it fair for the little guy too...the ones working hard and not selling a million albums.
SkidMcSkidder: How do you get airplay on mainstream radio shows?
John Taglieri: You don't...You have to be signed to a big label to get that...I couldn't unless I had about $15,000 to do so...
SkidMcSkidder: So you turn to the new engine for driving your sound to the masses - the INTERNET!
John Taglieri: Yep...you go with what you have and make the most of it - think outside the box - and so far it's worked well for me, very well!
SkidMcSkidder: I'll say! And ! can't wait to hear the new album - got a title yet?
John Taglieri: Yes...the new album will be called "True Believer". I already have all the songs written and demoed.
SkidMcSkidder: so it's a case of head-down in the studio for the final takes?
John Taglieri: Just waiting for the check from the record label.
SkidMcSkidder: let's hope it's a fat one!
John Taglieri: Amen to that Bro!
SkidMcSkidder: I never talked about your online awards..
LeapDogMus: Well...there've been a couple that's been nice. I've won "Male Pop CD Of The Year", Runner up for "Rock Album Of The Year", "Horizon Artist" award, # 2 ballad of the year, # 3 rock song of the year, and a bunch of other top 10's. Also Most Promising Artist for 2001...
SkidMcSkidder: You've been hugely popular over at the excellent www.kweevak.com and other indie resources on the net how does that make you feel?
John Taglieri: Very cool...that's where I won the Male Pop CD Of the Year award. It was a great feeling...
SkidMcSkidder: when are you broadcasting live on the net again?
John Taglieri: Not sure....I have to call Jerry and set something up for Feb at Bumpskey...my Michigan fans are coming into NJ again for a show so maybe we'll do the show too!
SkidMcSkidder: well, I'll be tuning in for that one!
John Taglieri: cool...
SkidMcSkidder: well J.T. I'm running on empty here! Anything you want to discuss?
John Taglieri: How about sex and groupies!
SkidMcSkidder: OH YEAH! Spill ya guts man!
John Taglieri: I'm always branded as a nice guy and I think I need to change that!
SkidMcSkidder: well here's your chance!
John Taglieri: I'm going to have to start acting Tommy Lee-ish and get a bit nasty! I don't do drugs...so that's no good... so it'll have to be sex for me!
SkidMcSkidder: As long as I don't have to watch the Pammy mpeg of her blowing you off!! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: I'm probably the only one she hasn't by now!
SkidMcSkidder: Damn! makes two of us!
John Taglieri: (Laughs out loud)! I honestly wouldn't touch her anymore...too much baggage!!
SkidMcSkidder: front baggage! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: Hmmmm....Nothing wrong with that kind of baggage!
SkidMcSkidder: So when you've made it to the big time, who'd be your perfect rock chick to hook up with?
John Taglieri: My perfect rock chick would be Kelly Sisko.
SkidMcSkidder: I'm feeling really embarrassed now - who is she?
John Taglieri: Or .....Shania Twain…You've never heard of Kelly Sisko?? Dude...get out from under your rock!
SkidMcSkidder: Name a tune and I'll probably recognize her!
John Taglieri: She's a model....done some TV and some print work...Hot blonde...great baggage! very Rock looks though...HOT
SkidMcSkidder: Still a blank but Hey, it works for me! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: I'll send you a pic if you want...cross between Pammy, Marilyn Monroe and Christina Applegate…very sexy!
SkidMcSkidder: hold on... trouble...typing one handed!! (Laughs out loud)
John Taglieri: stop jerking off then! LOL!!!
SkidMcSkidder: So, what are your targets for 2002 mate?
John Taglieri: Hmmm....a successful tour, a solid CD that does better then LOF, and some songwriting credits on other people's albums! Oh and to have sex with lots of groupies!
SkidMcSkidder: Using LOF as a yardstick I think you're probably well on the way to achieving 'em bro.
SkidMcSkidder: (and don't forget the photos from the groupie sessions!)
John Taglieri: You got it....and when I tour the UK, you can be my groupie selector....and get all my left overs!
SkidMcSkidder: Can I have that in writing?!!!!
John Taglieri: absolutely...!!! :-)
SkidMcSkidder: hummm. batting on a sticky wicket!
John Taglieri: (Laughs out loud)! Actually LOF put a lot of pressure on me to follow up with something really good...
SkidMcSkidder: well my man..
John Taglieri: yes...
SkidMcSkidder: I've run out of things to ask you for now - anything else you want to say?
John Taglieri: I think it's past your bedtime!! (Laughs out loud)!
SkidMcSkidder: especially since I'm up at 5am to travel to London!
SkidMcSkidder: 4 hours!!
John Taglieri: Ouch....then we're done!! get to bed! Thanks for doing this!
SkidMcSkidder: mate - like I said before...
SkidMcSkidder: the pleasure is all mine!
John Taglieri: this is true...
SkidMcSkidder: he heh
John Taglieri: (Laughs out loud)
SkidMcSkidder: But hey..
SkidMcSkidder: what's the point of running a site for indie artists without communication and feedback from the guys listed?
John Taglieri: True....
SkidMcSkidder: I don't mind the occassional late nights 'cause without this sort of contact with you the artists, the site would just be another lifeless statistic on the net and might just as well be on stamp collecting or train spotting!
John Taglieri: (Laughs out loud)!! oh yeah...that would be just so exciting!
SkidMcSkidder: Anyways J.T. I'm gonna hit the sack - thanks for your time and support man - I really appreciate it
John Taglieri: my pleasure my friend....looking forward to the feature...it'll be in my newsletter next week…Drive some folks to your site and I'll get my label to push it too...
SkidMcSkidder: cool - looking forward to putting it all together
John Taglieri: Talk soon.. have a safe trip
SkidMcSkidder: Okay mate - look after yourself and keep on ROCKIN'!!
John Taglieri: Got it...
SkidMcSkidder: Later dude!
John Taglieri: Talk soon! Later!!
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Virtual Interview conducted using MSN instant messenger ™ 27-01-2002
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