|It was the summer of 2003 and MP3.com's active message board community was heating up as well -- with flame wars.
Along came Chaz Fanaro, looking to cut through the negative noise. He began to interview many of the musical artists who pitched a tent on the popular indie music forum. Others pitched in with questions of their own. July of 2003 could have turned ugly, but thanks to the interviews blanketing the forum, it became a home for insight and mutual respect.
The forums were wiped clean by Vivendi in December, 2003. The interviews live on.
MORE INTERVIEWS WITH CHAZ
Guitarist,singer,songwriter from Central Kentucky
Blues Guitar Groove
Everything from Ernest Tubb to Pink
David Bowie does Delbert McClinton
Many years doing clubs and shows all over Eastern U.S. Many studio hours as musician and producer on both independent and commercial projects. Last five years as singer/guitarist in Blues/Rock band Blues 2 U.
All Night Radio; Demonstrator (w/Blues 2 U)
Versailles, Kentucky - USA
Chaz the Spaz
Which gig do you enjoy more, studio or travelling? What were some of your most memorable road gigs?
I always had a good time on the road, but I'm too much of a homebody now. (read: wore out)
I love studio work because of the creative outlet it provides; being able to take a song from the glimmer of an idea to a finished product is a thrill (although my wife gets tired of hearing 'em over and over sometimes).
Most of my stage work (99%) has been in show and cover bands doing clubs. Not a whole lot of leeway for improvisation.
Two of my most memorable gigs:
1. Showed up at a club in Birmingham, Alabama only to find out we were backing Tiny Tim that night (this was in '77 or so). Turned out he was a nice guy, although really out there. He had the sweetest little old lady you ever met who was his pianist . She later sent the entire band tie dyed Tiny Tim t-shirts. He played for 40 minutes and in that time period we did about 30 songs. All in the key of G and all at about 120 miles per our.
2. A club somewhere in North Carolina (Fayetteville?), watched about 300 service men erupt into the most classic barroom fight you've ever seen, Airborne vs. Infantry. Like something out of a movie. They destroyed the place. The club owner wasn't fazed, just stood with us and drank shots of bourbon while his place was trashed.
I'm now playing a couple of times a month with a little jazz band run by a local DJ, and our blues band does regular gigs at a couple of local clubs.
Chaz the Spaz
Can you tell us about your studio, playing, producing, and commercial work?
I had my first studio experience when I was 14-15 years old (vocals only)when my first "garage band" went in to record. (We did "Twist and Shout" and thought we were the "next big thing") I loved the whole deal, the atmosphere, the equipment, etc. and started hanging out there. Learned to play guitar there. After a while I started doing commercial sessions and learning about how stuff worked. The owner of the studio started letting me sit in on mixing sessions and from there I started doing small projects as engineer (band demos and stuff)
I have done commercials for politicians, fast food joints, car dealers, carpet stores, you name it. I also acted as producer on a lot of these projects, as well as several albums by local artists, none of which created a whimper.
I was co-owner of a small studio (8 track) for a year or so in the '80s. We did several successful projects but the time involved with running the place, sales, maintenance, etc. left me no time for my own music so I sold out to my partner. One of our most unusual projects was an album featuring an electric banjo player. Yes, an electric banjo. Interesting but very weird.
My most satisfying experience, besides my own CD, was a series of spots I did for the campaign of a former mayor in Lexington, Ky. (my hometown). That was in my political days and I really got involved in the whole deal. I have also produced albums for several friends of mine (including my former band, Blues 2 U) that have been a lot of fun. No matter what the project taking care of the production end is my favorite role, I think.
I love playing live, but give me a coffee machine and a carton of smokes and I will stay in the studio for weeks at a time. There's just something about the whole process that I can't get enough of. It's like being a member of an exclusive club that not many folks get to take part in. To me it's magic.
Hope I didn't bore you, but get me started and it's hard for me to stop.
Thanks again for this idea Chaz, and thanks for including me
Chaz the Spaz
Not boring at all, reading everyones stories and answers is interesting.
You're welcome, thanks for participating!
I love Kentucky! beautiful place!!!!
Thank you, 7 mama!
Next time you pass this way give me a yell. I work at one of our most beautiful state parks and I'll show you around.
Chaz the Spaz
How did you first become interested in music?
There was always music in the house from as early as I can remember.
I grew up listening to Hank Williams(Sr), Hank Snow, Earnest Tubb,Perry Como,Floyd Cramer, Patsy Cline, Harry Belafonte, The Ray Conniff Orchestra, and so on.
My parents were from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Coal country. One of my earliest memories is of visiting my Mom's folks. In every room there would be a guitar in the corner or a fiddle laying on the bed. Some nights after supper everyone would go to the front porch and play and sing. Mostly gospel but also some old time bluegrass and some strange songs I think must have been Irish or Scottish folk songs. I first heard "House of the Rising Sun" there and was shocked later on to hear The Animals Cover it,although their version was much different.
My Mom taught me to sing. The first song she taught me was "Ol Shep", which has to be one of the saddest songs ever written. She showed me how to sing harmony too, and to this day I would rather sing an interesting harmony part rather than the melody.
Music has always been my foundation. No matter what direction my life has taken,(and there have been many ), I always come back to it like a tired traveller coming home. (Or like a junkie)
Thanks again, Chaz.
Chaz the Spaz
What are your goals and what do you have planned for your music?
At this point in my life I should have some well defined goals but I don't. Digital recording and the internet have changed everything.
When I began this incarnation of my recording career my main goal was to sell my songs to other artists. But that was before I discovered mp3.com and all the rest. As far as the internet goes, I will be happy the day I'm selling 15 or 20 CDs a month on a steady basis. Just enough to pay for my omd subscriptions. I would like to have other artists cover my songs. I have no illusions or desire for "stardom". The money would be nice I suppose but the rest doesn't interest me. I have no interest in touring anymore, I'm a homebody. And I'm too old to be a sex symbol anyway.
I would like to make music that folks can relate to, and dance to.
I would like to improve my songwriting and playing.
I would like to learn more and get better at digital technology.
I would like to keep gigging.
As Keith Richards said, I hope the day I die they have to refund the tickets for that night's show.
That's about it, I just wanna rock on!
Thanks again Chaz, you're doing a cool thing here.
and again, thanks for including me.
Chaz the Spaz
What does R. S. stand for?
My full name is Robert Stephen Cain.
Everybody calls me Bob, but that seemed sorta lame to put on a CD.
-- Rick Munarriz