Blue Tears: Mad, Bad And Back In Your Face.
Gregg Fulkerson talks about the return of Blue Years - first from the past over two different volumes and then into the future.
First of all Gregg - it's great to be talking in terms of Blue Tears again. The band meant a lot to a great number of people....
Well, I'm very glad that seems to be the situation although it is a surprise to me...we recently had a friend run a soundscan on us and we sold over 5 times what we were told we sold...so I guess it reached more people than we thought!
I formerly interviewed you last time around for the Attraction 65 record. Briefly to that - I take it that the band is now over?
Not necessarily...it was an incarnation of Blue Tears...just a darker, moodier version...since it was different, I changed the name...it was my first record in several years...but the new Blue Tears record that is almost finished is very true to the original idea of the band.
I still think that was a great record with an updated sound that was still reminiscent of your past - were you frustrated that the label didn't make better inroads with that album? It had huge potential!
I think it didn't get the push it needed...or maybe it just wasn't good enough? Can't rule that out, of course. I think there were some killer singles on there...especially In Another Life...
Well, I certainly saw great potential for the album - especially in the USA. Why do you think that did not happen?
No idea...as far as I know...Atenzia was working on getting some American interest but it never took off...I personally didn't shop the record anywhere...so it's probably my own fault.
So of late, you have been thinking Blue Tears. I know we talked about the mass of unreleased tracks laying around last time we chatted - what promoted you to begin gathering them up and thinking about a release?
I kept seeing it on Ebay for ridiculous prices and the quality was horrible... Embarrassing...the new versions are straight off the board in my studio, couldn't be closer to the original tracks...sounds really good...these were demos, not records...so the sound is way better than usual for that medium....sounds like a good record.
I understand that Suncity Records contacted you - they have made an impression on you haven't they. Tell us about how your partnership with them is going?
It's going fabulous...couldn't ask for a more involved record company...or to work with nicer people...they are great. I've been bouncing ideas off of them for the new Blue Tears record...that's the all new 2005 record of new material...and they are very helpful. David and Sue have been involved with this Mad, Bad and Dangerous project in every way possible...
Ok...tough question. You said to me in an interview in 2003 that you would never sell the old demos. Times have changed obviously - what is the motivation or reasoning behind selling the demos now? I know you were pretty unhappy with crappy quality versions selling on E-Bay for big bucks...
Well, there are a # of reasons...first of all, as I said before, the versions on e-bay were selling for outrageous amounts of money...and the quality was terrible.
I'd had enough of that....secondly, I realized there was truly interest in getting these unreleased tracks...there are 32 in all over the course of 2 CDs...it's NOT just another version of the terrible demos that are circulating out there. Also...we are recording the new Blue Tears album now...and it will help re-introduce the band to our audience...
And the record is as we speak, on its way to fans - I know you are excited!
I'm so happy these are coming out...can't wait to get my copy...it's a great package...12 page booklet...good artwork...have to thank David and Sue at Suncity for the hard work that went into creating that package.
Blue Tears was always a band that never reached their potential. Can you pinpoint exactly why?
Basically the same thing happened to Blue Tears that happened to virtually all bands of that genre...grunge...even the word sounds bad...some of the great bands of that day went from selling millions to thousands...very hard time for rock and roll...still is.
A large number of bands in the same era as BT went by the wayside, as did Blue Tears eventually. What was your experience of that era and who do you think deserved to make it super big?
Well...I'm sure I'm answering your question here...but Damn Yankees were just phenomenal...the biggest disappointment for me was the shrinking sales of Def Leppard...one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time...that certainly made 2-3 of the top melodic rock...well, just plain rock...records of all time...they were and STILL ARE absolutely incredible. Couldn't be a bigger fan.
The unreleased songs that we talk of - many have described them as the unreleased second BT album. But they are from quite a variety of sources - fill us in!
There are songs that were written for the second record...most of the songs written for the second record are spread out over the two new CDs. There are also songs that were not included on the first record...even though in my opinion some are a lot better than 75% of the first BT CD. We wrote Loud Guitars, Fast Cars and Wild, Wild Women...hoping LA Guns would cut it....they didn't, but Contraband did...still had Tracy Guns playing on it...so we weren't far off....it was also for the second record.
Ok, let's run through the tracks for Volume 1 - 16 cracking Blue Tears classics! Can you tell us a little about each song and when it was recorded
Long Way Home
Written for the second record...recorded around 1992...probably in the Friday night show at Firefest...will be in one of the shows for sure!
2nd record...1992...very fun song to work on and play...I was girl crazy ...before I was married, of course...now I'm only crazy for my beautiful wife Jennifer!!!!
With You Tonight
I wrote this song in college...in about 1984...about a girlfriend, of course...updated some of the words in 1990...
2nd record...1992...kind of a different sound for BT, but a cool song.
Rock You To Heaven
2nd record...1992...one of may absolute favorites...we really nailed that one.
Evidence Of Love
Written years before the first BT record...I was working my day job in 1986...wrote it at my desk very quickly...was one of my first well developed songs theme-wise...and I was 20 years old.
Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know
2nd record...1992...cool song...big sound...just for fun.
2nd record...1993...I absolutely love this song...it's a stretch for me...very different and spooky...about a young girl who loses her sailor husband to the sea...she lives in a lighthouse and keeps the beacon lit to show him his way home...and at the end of the song...he comes back for her in her old age...a shining boat sailing over the horizon.....cool song.
Kisses In The Dark
This is the first song written for the 2nd record...1990...still on and off the road doing shows...written during a long stint at home. We will definitely be playing this at Firefest.
Everywhere I Go
2nd record...1992...super cool sounding song...
2nd record...1992...snapshots of my youth...as I've said before...on Melodic Rock.com....as a child I was terrified of tornados....with good reason...a few years before I was born a tornado ripped through my small town killing a lot of folks...they talked about it for years...there were train tracks through the woods near where I lived...and train would come through every night about midnight...a train from a distance sounds very much like a tornado...I'd be terrified, of course...I'm about 6-7 years old maybe...my mother would come in and tell me it was only the train...the midnight train...as I grew older, the train became intertwined with different events of my life...parking out in a field with my girlfriend...hearing the train whistle blowing in the distance...Meatloaf on the radio...Paradise by the Dashboard Light...was a great time
very romantic....anyway, you get the idea.
Follow Your Heart
1st record, 1987....this is the very first song I wrote for my own voice in Blue Tears...we had just lost our original singer...he was very Steve Perry like...and were left without one......I thought I'd give it a shot, even though most of the guys in the band had no faith in me as a singer at all, and I don't blame them...I remember writing Follow Your Heart and just going nuts when I heard the demo on the radio...so that song has a very special meaning to me. We used to close the show with that one back in the day.
Another very early song...around 1986...it's basically the idea that we are all the same...doesn't have to be Russia...could be almost anywhere...we have the same dreams, fears...etc. The recording is big...moody...I love it. We used to play it even before the first album...helped us get the deal.
2nd record...1992...written with Bryan Hall, from BT...the song pretty much speaks for itself...the radio is the Love Machine...not me...ha ha.
The Last Serenade
1993...very painful song to listen to...I wrote this at the very end of my first marriage...the saddest time of my life...we both new it was coming but hadn't talked about it...she'd hear me play it on my piano every night, working out the lyrics...the whole song is very true...a month after our divorce was final she came and sang with me one last time...in a writer's showcase....we sang The Last Serenade and cried
very hard to do, can't do it to this day.
Live It Up
2nd record...1992....we've been working all week...worn out? Ready to have a good time? Live it up! That's probably either the show opener or closer on Saturday night...one of my favorites...it sort of channels the Boss a little, but...if you're going to channel someone...that's a pretty good one.
Ok, let's move on to what comes next :) Volume 2 is obviously fixed and ready in the wings...can you tell us a little about the songs set to be a part of that release?
Sure...it starts with Summer Girl...in the vein of Innocent Kiss...includes the original "A Date With Destiny" that I wrote for Meatloaf...includes Loud Guitars, Fast Cars and Wild, Wild Women...a fast rocker in the Motley Crue vein...it's just as packed with material as the first release is...wanted to release them together....but decided to give people a break and spread them out a little.
And my God - is it really 2005? Blue Tears live??! You are all set to appear once, maybe twice at Firefest in the UK in November - what band line-up will you take with you and what can fans expect to see and hear from Blue Tears?
We are playing the Friday night pre-show...and then the Saturday night Firefest...we are also playing in Greece a couple of days later with Danger Danger and House of Lords. The band this time around is a little different...on bass we have Bryan Kowolski, drums is Billy Jones...backup vocals and acoustic guitar is April Sandridge and I'm of course singing and playing all the electric guitar...all I can say with the highest respect to the former Blue Tears members is that I don't think you'll hear any difference as I did most of the record on my own with the exception of Mike Spears on bass.
Mike has a new band now and is focusing on that...but this is the band that is playing on the new Blue Tears record we are recording now. This band is loud and raw...no fake background vocals...no fake anything...we can pull off anything we want to play...I'm really excited about it. Fans can expect to hear everything they want to hear...we may even take requests Friday night...who knows...we are playing a completely separate song selection Friday from Saturday...two totally different shows...so there will be a huge selection of material...Live it Up...Rockin' with the Radio...who knows? A Date with Destiny...Thunder in the Night...Blue Tears...Halfway to Heaven...Crush....you name it, we are playing it...
As if Mad Bad And Dangerous isn't enough - there's Volume 2 to follow shortly. What kinds of time frame will be between these releases?
As far as I know just a couple of months? It couldn't be soon enough for me...it was so hard to pick which songs went on which record...I left that up to David Moors at the label...he did a fantastic job on that...it really flows well.
And what will make up Volume 2 - can you give us some idea of the songs that will be featured on the 2nd collection?
You know, I'm not sure which volume I like more...the second one has Summer Girl...Dark of the Night!!!!!...this is one of my all time favorites...the original Strong....Livin' in the Movies which is another written for the first BT record, but very early on....of course Loud Guitars, Fast Cars & Wild, Wild Women...Slip and Fall...A Date With Destiny...All Cried Out...Forever Yours...Small Town Dreams...and many, many more.....we will be playing songs from both records at Firefest...along with the first BT record, almost all of that...and a two or three from the new record that should be out by then...they will have to pull us off the stage!
Feel good to get all these songs out finally? What's left in the Fulkerson archive?
It feels great...it's the rebirth of Blue Tears...so three albums coming out this summer, that's not bad, is it? To be honest...as far as the "archive" goes...I chose from approximately 80 songs for these two records...yes, there could be additional volumes to follow, I have no idea...my deal with Sun City is for two records.
And from there we head into 2006 - Gregg, it's time to spill the beans big time - a new Blue Tears record is well underway. You mentioned this earlier but this is a new line-up right?
The same band that is playing with me at Firefest...Bryan Kowolski, Billy Jones and April Sandridge...yes, a girl...she's incredible...she is handling the higher backup vocals that are characteristic of BT. I'm playing all the guitars and keyboards....mixing and producing.
And musically - what should fans expect of Blue Tears c.2006?
It's very true to the original album, just a step further...I really found that place in myself that I have kept down for years...that place that I wrote the original album from...it's still there and I'm way tapped into it. Big huge hooks...big guitars...big vocals...anthems...a couple of ballads...mostly rockers though.
Got any songs you can talk about that are part of this new record?
Sure...the opening song is called "Drive"...killer words and concept...a boy and girl have hit the road...to escape the wrath of the small town sheriff that is after them...the girl's boyfriend was abusive and beat her up...the singer, or character of the other guy busts in and accidentally kills her boyfriend, who would have killed her....they are on the run....come on baby let's Drive!!! Like there's no tomorrow...Drive...to this lonesome highway's end...We've got nothin' to lose and nothin' left to prove...but our own innocence...baby Drive!!!
There's a taste of it.....other songs include...The Innocent Ones...In Your Dreams...All The Way Home...Silent Scream...Let It Rain...Unrequited Love...Back in the Day...that one is a huge, fast rocker....everyone has a "day"...a time they romanticize as the best time in their life...this is my version of "the day"...back in the day.
Anything else you would like to add mate?
I'm just anxious for these two records to get in the hands of the listeners and to get some feedback...I hope you all love the records as much as I do...it's a culmination of our best work...whatever you do...don't waste your money on bootlegs...thanks to everyone who has helped pull all this together for Firefest, especially Kieran Dargan...he's a good friend of mine now and he is setting a lot of things up for us...shows...great guy. Thanks to Sue and David Moors...close friends and owner's of Sun City...thanks of course to you Andrew for all your kind words through the years...!!!
I'll see you on the road!
Ok, I think that's it - Cheers Gregg!
Check out Mad Bad & Dangerous and Suncity Records.