Our RETROactive Eighties week kicks off with Mr. Big, who had a worldwide smash with their ballad “To Be With You” in 1992. After taking some time off, the band is back with a brand new album called What If… that is full of their signature blend of technical prowess and melodic sensibility. Icon Fetch talked with drummer Pat Torpey about the recording process, the story behind “To Be With You,” and getting to play with Robert Plant and the Knack.
John Waite is best known for a couple of #1 hits “Missing You,” and “When I See You Smile” (with Bad English) from the Eighties. He’s just released a brand new disc called Rough and Tumble, which returns him to the rock roots of his late Seventies band the Babys. Icon Fetch talks to Waite about the bare-bones approach he took with the new album, collaborating with Kyle Cook, guitarist for Matchbox Twenty, and the inspiration behind “Missing You.”
Donnie Iris had a monster hit in 1981 with “Ah! Leah!.” Now’s he’s just released his first-ever holiday-themed record, “Ah! Leluiah!” One of the disc’s highlights is a take on Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in which Iris overdubbed every single vocal part himself – a total of 81 Donnie’s on that single track! We also chat with him about his new venture King Cool Light beer.
Martin Briley, primarily known for his lone hit from ’83 “The Salt in My Tears.” But, what people may not know is that he is a prolific songwriter who has penned songs for a diverse list of artists, including Pat Benatar, Celine Dion, Night Ranger and Barry Manilow. Briley has had a long, interesting career in the music industry, but has shunned the spotlight. He shares some of his experiences with Icon Fetch, from the unwanted fame that came from his video getting played on MTV, to a crazy stalker that traveled cross country to confront him. Click below for the Martin Briley interview.
Squeeze has made some of the greatest pop music of the last 30 years, with gems like “Another Nail in My Heart,” “Tempted,” and “Black Coffee in Bed.” These days, there’s a great deal of money in song placement in commercials and films. Problem is, with the lousy contract the boys signed in their teens, they have no say in the placement of old songs, nor do they receive any money for them. Here comes Spot the Difference to the rescue; 14 of Squeeze’s best-known classics meticulously re-recorded to painstaking detail…so much so, that they dare you to Spot the Difference. Click below for the Chris Difford Squeeze interview.
Hard rockers Ratt have just released “Infestation,” their first new CD in 11 years. The band, whose hits include “Round and Round,” “Lay it Down,” “You’re in Love,” and “Way Cool Jr,” recently put the original lineup back together and have hit the road. With singer Stephen Pearcy back in the fold after a hiatus, the band sounds re-energized and the new CD is proof. Infestation is full of crunching guitars and memorable hooks straight out of 1984. Icon Fetch talks with drummer and founding member Bobby Blotzer about the reunion, new album, and his new book, “Tales of a RATT: Things You Shouldn’t Know.”