There is nothing more inspiring than hearing someone talk about “never giving up” on a dream. In today’s age, when record labels are looking for talent under the age of twenty one, it was a fresh experience to sit down with a fifty six year old, and talk about his musical dreams! Check this out:
Alysia: How long have you been in the music industry?
Rick: I have been playing music for most of my 56 years however my first single, “Keeping Up” was released in early 2012, so it’s close to two years officially.
Alysia: What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
Rick: I am most excited by writing a new song. Taking an inspiration, gathering ideas, coming up with clever or touching lyrics, putting pen to paper (although these days it’s more like keystrokes on my keypad), developing compelling melodies and chord progressions and then listening to the completed song for the very first time. It’s like a newborn birth. Of course we know some “children” will behave better than others, but we love them all, right?
Alysia: In what ways does Long Island impact the music you create?
Rick: Being from Long Island and the New York area gives me what I believe is a unique outlook on life. You know, we New Yorkers have to be tough to make it in this dog eat dog world. So don’t try and steal my New York Bagel or Pizza or there will be consequences. In actuality, being from Long Island allows me to gather inspirations for my songs from the wonderful people, places and tragic disasters that occur here locally. For instance, I wrote a song called Hell and High Water that is all about the folks who suffered (and continue to suffer) from Superstorm Sandy, and how we all pulled together to help each other.
Alysia: How have you personally changed since you first picked up the guitar?
Rick: Well there are so many ways I have changed since picking up the guitar. I shave, I know my cholesterol levels, I have hair growing out of places I never knew I had…. actually I believe that playing guitar and songwriting in general is a great way to keep my mind fresh. They say you lose what you don’t use, right? It’s been about 45 years since I first picked up the guitar so I think the world has changed so much more than I have since then. Who remembers the typewriter? Do you remember the toll booth that use to be on the Southern State Parkway near exit 13? The times have certainly changed. There is no going back.
Alysia: What do you think Long Island Needs more of, in any aspect, to help Indie Artists?
Rick: I think that Long Island and the world in general need’s to embrace Indie Artists. There are so many ways to get Indie music out there, so many radio stations that promote only indie artists. But I think there needs to be somewhere that people like me who want to continue to follow a lifelong dream can go to learn what the new music industry is all about. I learned what I have so far by trial and error and I am still learning more every day. Someone needs to teach up and coming Indie Artists in a formalized setting so that we can realize our dreams faster; more succinctly and by not wasting so much time. I would also like to see more local venues promoting gigs strictly for the Indie Artist.
Alysia: Name a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What’s one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?
Rick: I would have to say Frank Zappa. He passed away about 20 years ago now, but the man was a musical genius.
Alysia: Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local Long Island band looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Rick: Work hard and never give up. Be prepared for rejection. Learn from your mistakes and missed opportunities. Network with as many people as you can, other musicians, venue owners, radio DJs or personalities and scour the internet. Facebook and Twitter are good ways to network also. Do not underestimate the power of social media. But whatever you do, follow that dream.
Alysia: Is there anything you would like share, from new merchandise to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
Rick: Well I would like everybody to download at least one of my songs, purely for medicinal purposes of course. Actually I will be producing new music with Kim Copeland in Nashville in 2014. I plan on playing lots more local Long Island and New York City gigs so come out and have some fun. Also don’t miss me on Evan Ginzburg’s Legends TV on January 18 th . I will perform live along with some of my friends from the local Long Island band Luna Sea.
You can find Rick at the following links: