– Hello. First off thank you so much for answeing our interview. How are you currently doing with the release of the album?
JLT: Thank you for your support also! It’s going great! We are getting good reviews from journalists and fans. Lots of interviews and there seems to be a great appreciation for the music. Of course, we will probably take a break from the press over the Christmas and New Year holidays but after that we will want to keep up the promotion and hope to line up some live shows in 2015.
– Tell us a little back about how did this album born, and explain us how did the cooperations with the other musicians arise, where did the idea come from.
JLT: The idea was born with a suggestion by Serafino at Frontiers, a record label that is very supportive of new music by classic rock artists. I was very much into the idea that Serafino presented….he has a good understanding of what it takes to make great music. I always wanted a band I could call my own as had been touring so it took time to create the right situation but we prevailed in getting the right players in the right positions.
- And about the album’s title and cover artwork; how did the idea arise and what does RATED X talk about on this opus?
JLT: The artwork/logo will look great on a tshirt and it also has a very strong look, just like the history of the players in the band. Many people want to know how we came to be named Rated X…so here is brief explanation: When discussing our name we all had the same opinion it should reflect our status and long careers in the music industry. We certainly didn’t want to be known as some ‘animal’ name or a color or anything like that. It was good for the time when bands were called by these titles but felt it was now a bit passe. We were aware that a name like Rated X would lead to porn sites on the internet but ..hey…it’s real rock attitude! So…we looked at our lives and said ..We are all X-members of bands…have X-wives ….and have lived rock & roll X-rated lives! Hence the name «Rated X.” Besides… everyone has a little ‘naughty’ side and wearing a ‘Rated X’ t-shirt is a display of our naughty nature….it’s rock & roll!»
- The album is a collection of old Hard Rock oriented tunes, sometimes being more Melodic Hard Rock oriented. Did you have a clear picture of how you wanted to sound? As considering your background I think the sound was already somehow defined.
JLT: We wanted a live performance sound…so every player could shine in their own light but still be a part of the band. This quality is difficult to achieve for most bands…to keep the performance level very high and utilize each band member’s unique abilities. We are a performance band with songwriting and special arrangement styles that can duplicate the energy we have captured on CD and do it live!
– How did the songwriting go? Was there anything already written by some member or was there any main composer?
JLT: We all contributed and we also had some songs we wanted to include that were collaborations with other writers also. It did take a whole year to get the CD done because we had many interruptions. We were all on tour in our solo projects and there were a few problems that occurred and we had to deal with them. We had several changes in the guitar position until we finally finished the tracks. As for the songs I contributed to, there is always a formula you can try to follow but we just went at the demo songs with our own influences and let it happen as it was performed. It always came out sounding like our own type of arrangement and highlighted our playing techniques. You can hear influences from the past with a new twist in style and sound so we sort of developed the sound as we went along with no rules to contain us except one and that was to put out a truly exceptionally good album.
- Has been easy to organize with so many musicians and ideas?
JLT: It was challenging but technology helped us a lot this time and we are very pleased with the results. There is a certain ’live’ feel to the songs that sound like we were in the same room together…but actually we were not! The budget would not allow us that luxury but we used technology to keep in contact…phones…skype…emails..texting..etc Were all a big part of supporting each other as we recorded our parts which came out sounding as if we were together!
– I remember back in the 60’s when several well known artista gathered in a new band, then it was called a «supergroup». On my opinion RATED X is one of those. What are your feelings on this adjective?
JLT: I have heard from some journalists and some fans that they are tired of hearing the expression of “Here’s another new supergroup.” It seems like any band that is formed from musicians who were successful in the past are given the title of “supergroup.” So, that title is very flattering to hear but it is not as special as it used to be when the word “supergroup” was first being used. Now it seems to be used too often. But, I also have heard many fans, journalists and booking agents refer to Rated X as a “supergroup.”
- How has the release with Frontiers been? Are you pleased with the result?
JLT: Yes, the press has been great! Especially in the USA which was encouraging because the USA media is not known for embracing new music by classic rock artists. The USA media has been more focused on pop, hip-hop and country artists.
– And on a view to tours; do you have anything planned to support the album? Or any festival appearance?
JLT: I believe you can only exist as a band if you’re working and these days that’s a struggle with the state of the business as it is. There really are no CD sales like there used to be in past. Music is free and concerts are the only way to make a financial revenue to support our lives. So, we are trying to find the right agents and promoters who will take a chance with us and bring us to the fans. Once we get out there I think we will impress people away with our show! As for a festival, Rated X is scheduled to erform at the VÄSBY ROCK FESTIVAL 17-18 JULY 2015 STOCKHOLM SWEDEN
– And will there be more RATED X albums in the future? Is there any chance of doing it with any other known musicians apart from all these that have already been on this first album?
JLT: It’s impossible to predict the future. Based on how well this album is being received now it is possible that there will be another CD but currently we are focusing on promoting this first one and hoping to get out on the road to play live.
– And now on a more personal level, during these years you have been involved in both projects as singing in different bands. How have all these last years been? What’s left for Joe Lynn Turner?
JLT: Right now I am focused on Rated X but I will always continue to contribute to the right projects if the music and timing is right. I enjoy singing all types of genres of music and like working with a variety of people As you can see from my Discography, I have worked with so many different types of songwriters, singers, musicians and personalities! I love that type of challenge!
- It’s been a pleasure to interview you. Our best wishes and hope to see you in Spain. Thank you so much.
JLT: Thank you! I love the Spanish fans! Thank you all for your continued passion for the music that I make and hope to see you soon!