|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
American Roots Music's Superstar On The Horizon....
Interviewer: Seismic Anamoly
Are you looking for some laid back, great sounding, diversifed reverberations? Look no further than Phil Frazier. Unlike some narcissistic, self-centered musicians/bands of today who are constantly proclaiming "I'm doing this" and "I'm doing that" and laying claim to greatness (while in reality they don't even APPROACH it), Phil IS good. He doesn't have to make conceited remarks; his music speaks for itself. He has been compared to such artists as John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, Mickey Gilley, The Clash, and The Rolling Stones. Phil's songs range from Rock/Pop and Classic Rock to Alternative Country, Blues and Easy Listening. Here's what Phil had to say in a recent Q/A session with yours truly....
GOM: Give us a little background on Phil Frazier...
Phil Frazier: Phil Frazier is a stage name. I went by Phil Phillips as a stage name for quite a few years. I had two different bands with the name Phil Phillips. One was The Phil Phillips Band and the other "Phil Phillips and the Bourbon Cowboys. The Bourbon Cowboys did a wild tour of Canada. Man, that's a story in itself. I decided to change the Phil Phillips name because people kept getting me confused with the Phil Phillips that had a hit with the song "Sea of Love." It was too strange for me because that Phil Phillips was an African-American and deceased and I aint dead...yet. "I Aint Dead Yet" is the title of my second CD, released on CBH3 Records. For a while, ads were running on TV about oldies and "Sea of Love" was one of the songs that they played. Some people think I got the name Frazier from the TV sitcom "Fraser" but that is not the case. I just went to the phone book and looked for a last name that flowed with Phil. The name Phil has been my nickname for many years. While I was in the U.S. Army, guys started calling me Phil as a short version of my last name on my name tag, Phillips. I liked the name Phil better than my legal one, so now everyone that knows me who calls me Phil. My Bio is on the Net at: http://www.cbh3.com/mgmt/represent.html
GOM: If you could describe your work in 5 words or less, what would they be?
Phil Frazier: American Roots Music.
GOM: What or Who inspired you to get involved in the music business?
Phil Frazier: I was given a harmonica by my Stepfather when I was twelve. We were living in Okinowa at that time. It's an island off the coast of Japan. My Stepfather was in the U.S. Army at that time. In about two months I found that I could play songs that were popular at that time just by listening to them and them playing them on the harmonica. My mother got the idea that I should learn how to play the accordion. She bought me one and badgered me to take lessons. I hated the lessons and the accordion. I asked, pleaded and begged for a guitar. After a year of accordion lessons I finally rebelled and quit. I went back to the harmonica for a few years. My Step father got assigned to Germany when I was fourteen. I was then asking for a guitar because I was heavy into Elvis, Eddy Cochran and Chuck Berry. My parents finally got tired of my begging and promised to buy me one, on one condition. I would have to take lessons. I insisted on an electric guitar and a small amp. I took lesson which I hated for about 5 months. Then I met a guy in my apartment building who taught my how to play Johnny Cash songs. I was fifteen and a half at that time. When I was sixteen I was playing rhythm guitar in a Country band in German bars. Shortly thereafter I met another sixteen year old guy that was a real good lead guitar player and could play all the tunes from The Ventures. I learned the rhythm guitar parts to two of the Ventures Albums and we formed a band and found a drummer. We got a gig that summer for 6 nights a without a bass player. I played in quite a few bands after that and in some as a bass player. I didn't start singing until I had been playing for about 6 years. Also, I didn't start writing songs about two years after that.
GOM: Which genre of music do you feel most comfortable with?
Phil Frazier: American roots rock, although Iike Blues and Country a lot too.
GOM: Tell us a little about the American Roots scene in California...
Phil Frazier: I wish I could but I haven't been involved with my local scene in over two years. I just got tired of playing in bars and being a glorified alcohol salesperson.
GOM: Which one of your various songs do you regard as your personal favorite and why?
Phil Frazier: I guess my favorite song is "Ready To Cry" because I am depressed most of the time and that song fits my mood.
GOM: Tell us a little about your record and publishing companies, Hard Boiled Records and Dynamo Publishing ...
Phil Frazier: Hard-boiled Records got started after my songwriting partner, Dan Orth and I got tired of waiting for me to get signed to a label. We had a song at that time called "Hard-boiled, which is a song about being hard edged and tough, so when we were throwing names of our label back and forth I asked, 'How about "Hard-boiled" Records? My partner, Dan liked the name so we made it official in a couple of months by releasing a single, "It Takes More" with Joe Satriani playing lead guitar. Joe was in the "Phil Phillips Band" for about a month before he decided to form his own band that he named "The Squares." Joe got signed to Infinity Records about a year after that. We also, started up Dynamo Publishing to go along with Hard-Boiled Records. At one time a guy from Australia bought 50 of our first release mainly because the single has the song "Hard Boiled" on the B side. He was from a town in the outback called Hardboiled.
GOM: Who are some of your favorite artists, in general, regardless of genre?
Phil Frazier: Right now I like The Freddy Jones Band, Sheryl Crow, Matchbox 20, Dave Matthews, Martin Gallop and Bob Gatewood. bob isn't signed to any label at this time and he is a terrific Singer and songwriter. www.mp3.com/bobgatewood
GOM: What advice would you have to offer to those who are looking to break into the spotlight in the music industry?
Phil Frazier: Read a lot of books on the music industry. Follow the advice in those that suit your needs and lifestyle and be like a bulldog looking for a bone.
GOM: Where can the good people reading this interview hear some of your super-sweet ear candy?
Phil Frazier: I appreciate that you feel that my music is worthwhile to listen to. My music is on 30 different music sites on the Net. The top on right now is GetMe Music.com
GOM: Thanks, Phil...Best Of Luck in all your future endeavors....appreciate your chatting with me today...
Phil Frazier: No Problemo...Thank You and Gods Of Music...you guys ROCK!!
And there you have it from an up-and-coming star, people...check out his stuff and see for yourself...you won't be disappointed...Bank It...
Chaz the Spaz
In addition to your reviews above,
American Roots Music
Too many to list.
Bruce Springsteen,Steve Earle, John Mellencamp
http://www.cbh3.com Hatchetman Mmgt. (Bio of Phil Frazir)
Cruisin' the Strip/ I Aint Dead Yet/ This and That/NAKED/Once Upon a Time
Besides the artists you've been compared to above, Tom Jones comes to mind also. Have you had the opportunity to do a steady stage gig?
Tom Jones is one comparison that I have never had. Thank you.I feel that in his prime he was one of the top ten singers on the planet. I wouldn't say that I am close to being as good of a singer but the comparison is understandable because of the vocal tone.
I have done thousands of gigs with bands as a lead singer and rhythm guitarist, also as a bass player in other people's bands and solo with acoustic gtr. The last three years I haven't done any gigs. I got tired of the bar scene and also private corp. gigs where one is required to play 99% cover songs.
With my new label VIRTUAL there may be a possibilty to play in the UK if the label can afford some tour support. Of course, if by a minor miracle one of the songs from the new CD release "Once Upon a Time" takes off, then an opening slot for a "known" band/solo artist is possible.
People that just hear the songs I have on mp3.c have no clue that I am real diverse in my genres. As an Artist and performer that is probably a negative but as a songwriter it's a plus.
Chaz the Spaz
How did you first become interested in music?
-- Rick Munarriz