- Hello, thank you so much for answering our interview. How is everything doing right now with DRIVER?
Everything is very busy right now with the new release. Lots of press and interviews and fan contacts to get the word out about the new CD.
- First off, and as introduction, DRIVER was formed back in 1989 but you released your debut album almost 20 years later. What was the main reason behind this?
Driver was searching for a record deal in 1989 and 1990 and we were playing live all the time as well. We were ready to get signed with Atlantic, but they decided to move forward with the new “grunge” sound instead, so Driver never got the chance to properly release an album.
- In fact now it seems to be a really huge interest for traditional Metal bands. Do you think due to this the band has now more possibilities and more people will get to know your previous “Sons of Thunder”?
I hope so. “Sons” is a great album and both CD’s deserve to be heard by every melodic hard rocker.
- Now you have just released your second album. I recall reading some time ago it was supposed to be released late last years. Did you have any kind of delays with the release?
No. We just took our time. The guys in the band all had different things going on so we worked on it as we went along and eventually we got it done.
- This new album is “Countdown”; how is its feedback being? And are you personally satisfied with the final outcome?
The feedback has been fantastic. Actually I am happily surprised by the strong reaction. I am satisfied with the outcome and I’m glad that the fans are happy too.
- On this new effort you have mixed new songs with some re-recordings. How did you decide the tracklist for this opus? What changes have you done to the old tracks?
We re-recorded three or four songs and did not really change them much. They still sounded good after so much time so we figure that it must be right if it still sounds good to us so many years later. The new songs were written with the old demos in mind. We tried to match the sounds and playing styles of the original time and Roy Z also went for a vintage production sound so we would remain true to the original concept of the band sound.
- And what could you comment on the new tunes? What can your fans expect to hear on them?
You can expect some really good songs in the late 80’s, early 90’s tradition but with modern lyrics and performances. There is a great variety of tempos and styles but somehow they all fit well together to form a seamless sense of classic hard rock.
- As I said, you were formed in 1989 and have just unleashed your sophomore album so, do you think if this “Countdown” would have been released back in the 80’s/90’s it would have been similar? Both the overall sound as the general response.
Yes, I think it would have been similar because we really wanted to capture that original vibe with this album. We did capture it, especially with the production and performance from the musicians – very classic and very Driver 1990.
- If I’m not mistaken Mark Boals did some vocals on “Countdown”. What could you say has he brought with his voice and how did you come up with the idea of having him on this record?
It was Roy’s idea to have Mark join us with some backing vocals and some lead lines on “Hollywood Shooting Star”. Mark brought some very complimentary vocals to the recordings and added some great contrast to the lead vocals on “Hollywood”.
- This being said; how could you describe this opus in just 3 words?
- Beside the musical aspect of the CD; what does the cover artwork represent? Does it have a link with the album’s title/lyrics?
The artwork represents just one aspect of the title of the CD. Countdown can come in many forms, heading towards the final days…like aliens invasion, nuclear war, solar flares, asteroids, etc…but the song refers to the AntiChrist, a political figure who brings about the end of the world as we know it.
- You have always been a quite active musician whom has played (and is still playing) in several bands but, what does DRIVER provide you other bands can’t?
Driver provides a fun relaxed atmosphere of playing great hard rock songs with great friends. Driver is a “live” vibe and we record mostly live takes for our performances. Impellitteri band records more for a perfectionist, and is more neo-classical and guitar orientated, and Rob Rock band is somewhere in-between both of those, with a bit more heavy melodic metal vibe.
- And after so many experiences and years into the music world, is there any other musical project you would like to do but haven’t done yet?
I’d like to someday do an album geared towards a more faith based spiritual vibe, but I’ve yet to decide how to go about this, to do it in a different way than anything I’ve heard before. It’s an undeveloped project idea at this point.
- Finally, what are your near-future plans (not necessarily just with DRIVER)?
I hope to see Driver get out and do some shows and then begin to work on the next Rob Rock solo album. We’ll see what transpires but right now I am very encourage by the great response for the new Driver CD.
- So that has been everything from our side, thank you once more for taking your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Check out www.driverofficial.com for more information and updates. I hope to see you soon in concert. All the best to our friends and fans all over the world from the Driver band!