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:: INTERVIEW TO KACK FOSTER III

PLEASE, PRESENT YOURSELF OUR READERS...

"Hello, Readers! I'm Jack. Or . . . call me Foster. I'm somebody who is probably a lot like many of your readers. I have a long history of just sitting down with a guitar and trying to discover the music that's floating around out there!"

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR HISTORY?

"Since high school, I've always been in rock bands, . . . garage bands. Foxfire, Funky and the Cliches, The Point, Reigning Cats and Dogs, The Doughboys, Mojophonic . . . bands that nobody has ever heard of! I've also always been a songwriter. But I've never been in a band that focused exclusively on original material. Bands that I've been in have done some of my songs, but I almost felt like it was almost an imposition!"

WHO DECIDED TO FOUND THE BAND?
"I decided that before I got too old, I wanted to do an album of original songs."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS RECORDING PRODUCTION?

"I had done some recording with friends, but really I was a virtual novice regarding the studio before this album."

I GUESS YOU MUST REALLY SATISFIED WITH THIS DEAL WITH MUSEA...
"I enjoy making music for myself. But the point of making an album is to have the music heard. Musea has done a good job in Europe, I think, of getting the music out there. Yes, I'm happy with Musea, and I hope we do more together."

A QUICK INTRODUCTION TO 'EVOLUTION OF JAZZRAPTOR'?

"I was lucky enough to meet Trent Gardner, through music of course. We played in a pick-up band together, and we had some good fun playing and hanging. I talked about my songwriting, and he expressed interest. He asked me to send a CD of my best songs. I took a day, and recorded a bunch of what I felt were my best songs . . . just voice and guitar. I sent him 25 or 30 songs to listen to. Trent liked what he heard, and agreed to produce the album. 'Evolution of Jazzraptor' is the result."

WHY SUCH TITLE?

"Jazzraptor" was my first internet handle. When Excite (I think) asked me for a handle, I entered JAZZ, because I listen to a lot of jazz and the word sounds like my name: Jack . . . Jazz. But "JAZZ" was taken. I looked around the room, and my young son was pretending to be a dinosaur: a velociraptor. So there you have it! Jack Foster became JazzRaptor. I chose "Evolution of" because I'm very interested in Evolution and in Intelligent Design Theory. I read a ton of books on the subject. And of course, the songs included on the album represent a broad span of time. "Dream With You" I wrote as a teenager! So the album represents an evolution of sorts as well."

YOUR ALBUM HAS A STRONG JAZZ BACKGROUND...

"My background is really rock and roll. But I do love jazz as well, and certainly jazz influences my songwriting. I listen to almost as much jazz as I do rock."

WHAT'S ABOUT ITS MOOD?
"The mood changes from song to song. That's actually been some of the criticism of the album, that it's too broad. I like that criticism; I consider it a compliment."

THE SOUND IS VERY COMPLEX...
"My songs are harmonically complex relative to most rock. I really enjoy interesting and complex harmony. I think that's part of what Trent liked about the songs. He once told me that producing my songs was like throwing gasoline on fire! Certainly a part of the complexity is due to the fire of Trent Gardner. It's a very good fit!"

MORE INFOS ABOUT YOUR SOUND?
"I'm not sure there really is a single "sound" in this album. We recorded the album at Robert Berry's studio, which is called Soundtek. He plays bass, drums, and guitar on most of the tracks, and engineered the album as well! He says that my voice is what unifies the album. That could be, but I don't think that's all that unifies it. The interaction of the three -- Trent, Robert and I -- caused this to happen. To me, the album is very coherent as a whole."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR WAY TO WRITE?

"There's no single way to write, and I like to experiment. But probably most of my songs have come with guitar in hand, and paper and pencil nearby. Lyrics are honed later. Sometimes. Of course lyrics can come first, too; but I really feel happy when lyrics and music begin together. It seems like the song was out there just waiting to be discovered."

WHAT'S THE ROLE OF LYRICS?
"Lyrics are an immediate form of poetry, and provide the message for the song. I write my own lyrics, but I also have enjoyed collaborating with a person who I met on an internet songwriting message board. Her name is Melanie Myers, and she provided the lyrics for two of the songs on the album, and we co-wrote the lyrics on two other songs. Interestingly, I feel the lyrics that are co-written are the strongest on the album: "Bohemian Soul" and "Feel It When I Sting". Here's my favorite verse on the album, the last verse of Bohemian Soul:
"Life's a gypsy, catching dreamers as they tire of the dancing. Pinched between her tapered fingers, victims dangle in her trance. And as she circles through the night, plucking souls 'til morning light, you borrow your tomorrow's strength while you're a shadow in her hands."
This is what the whole album is about."

I FEEL AN ANGRY ATTITUDE IN YOUR SOUND...

"The best rock is angry! Metal is angry! Anger is an appropriate part of life, and we should all be angry about stuff that happens. When our leaders choose war as a first resort; we should be angry about that. But it would be a mistake to use the adjective "angry" as the first word to describe the album, or to describe me. I'm not first and foremost an angry person."

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE TRACKS FEATURED IN?

"Sure. "Bohemian Soul" starts the album because it is the reason for the album; it's what the album is about. "Cat's Got Nine" is mystical and contemplative. "Feel It When I Sting" is indeed angry! Some of Trent's best keyboard work happens on this song, though I also quite like my guitar playing at the end of the track.
"The Shy Ones" is kind of a spooky, moody song that travels to Latin America. . . and then true to maybe Texas or Wyoming!
It's proved to be the favorite for some people. "Tiger Bone Wine" is just an old-fashioned rocker. "Dream with You" is a love song and a lullaby, though I don't think it will put anybody to sleep! "Lucifer's Rat" was my lyric, but Trent's music, and Wayne Gardner plays electric guitar on it, so it's the closest thing to a Magellan cut on the album.
"Every Time You Smile" was written as a jazz song, but through Trent's production it was transformed into a symphonic epic! And "Nirvana In The Notes" is a tribute song written for one of the greatest jazz pianists in the world of whom most will probably never hear. Most of the track is Shelly Berg improvising to the simple direction of Trent Gardner. It's truly an incredible piece of jazz piano improvisation for which I can take no credit, except, of course, that I asked Shelly to do it!"

INTERESTED IN SPREADING MESSAGES THRU YOUR MUSIC?
"Yes. Some of the great songs of the world are great in part because they have great messages."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
"Well, the second album's finished. It needs to be mixed and mastered, and it won't be released for at least several months after that, hopefully on Musea, though Bernard hasn't heard it yet. It's tentatively entitled, "Raptorgnosis". I'd like to tour a bit after that, though probably only regionally. I live near San Francisco."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE?

"Every day I wake up, and every night I go to sleep. Other aspects of my life have been changing rather rapidly."

ANY LAST REMARKS?
"Thanks for the interest, Emanuele, and thanks for listening. It makes it all worthwhile!"

For more infos: www.brennus-music.com

EMANUELE GENTILE

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