Giant - David Huff (2001)



David Huff: I tried to get in touch with you, I guess I had the wrong number or something. Yeah, Mario kept saying, “I'll get him to call you”. For some reason something in me tweaked that like, well what number is he going to call?
I know it.

But I thought, oh he must have it under control because I've got my phone number on the website, but he had my old number, so…
That's what it was. Actually it was a fax number or something, so I faxed something.

Oh it's a fax number now is it?

Oh dear. It's not mine. <laughs>
Isn't it funny, man. Yeah, so I sent them a fax and then I called Mario and said, "Man I don't think it's the right number." And he said, "I think I got the wrong number, my mistake."

Not a problem. Great to finally catch up with you anyway.
Yeah man. So what part of Australia are you in?

I'm in Hobart, which is the capital of Tasmania.
Oh my gosh. I've been to Australia one time and loved it. I went through Sydney, Perth, I can't remember all the places...Brisbane, and...

Melbourne, maybe?
Melbourne, yeah, that's it.

That's a pretty good tour. Who were you there with, just yourself?
That was with a guy named Michael W. Smith.

Of course.
Probably 10 - 11 years ago.

He's pretty well known down here.
Yeah. It was fun. Michael's a really good friend of mine; we kind of grew up together. So, yeah, it's wild man. We stayed... we were there almost two weeks, and I loved it. It was very cool.

You didn't get down to the wild state?
No. Well they had certain things booked and all that kind of stuff and we didn't really have time to go and do our own thing, so that was a bummer.

Yeah, well you'll have to get back down here again.
Oh, big time, man, big time. Very cool people.

Yeah, we're kind of laid-back, I guess. Similar to where you are, the Southern sort of laid-back feel.
I told Mario...I mean do you know Mario & Serafino [Frontiers] pretty well?

I told him...I mean, you know our history right?

Of course!
How we met and stuff. I kept telling Mario, Dann and I, we's just Dann, and Mike and I in Giant officially. I said, "Man we love doing the music and stuff", but just when music changed so fast that we just kind of...I guess you could call us spoiled because we didn't want to go tour small clubs and stuff, especially when we were just getting into production and playing on a bunch of records.
But when Mario said, "Man we need to do another record", I said, "Well gosh man are there still fans out there?" I didn't know if there would be any fans out there, you know. I hear every once in a while somebody will say, "When are you going to do another Giant record," and I'm like, that's not really enough people to really warrant another record.

Have you seen my message board?
You know what? I just did a minute ago. It was very cool.

What do you think? Good response?
That's incredible. I wouldn't have believed that there were that many fans out there.

Oh yeah. I'm adding more daily, believe me.
Wow. That's incredible. Well I hope they like the stuff that we're putting together. Basically, this record is a bunch of stuff that was never released.
These are kind of like the hidden stuff.

Let's talk about it. What tracks have you got?
I'm still compiling it right now. There is some stuff that we're fixing in the studio. We're actually going back in to record some stuff. But right now we've got some songs that we wrote, like a song called "You Will Be Mine" that was never... they weren't put on the records, just because they probably didn't fit the theme of the record. There's a song called...I produce a lot of records too so I have like thousands of songs in my head at the same time. There's a song called "Don't Leave Me In Love" [Now featured on the Union 4 compilation] a song called "Over You". Those are the ones for sure and then we've got a couple of live things.

What are they?
We did some live stuff on a program called RockLine.

Oh, sure. Yeah.
We've got some of the stuff... I think on that one it was "I Can't Get Close Enough", "Shake Me Up", stuff from the first record. "It Takes Two". We did that with Bob Coburn. When our band first got together, Bob Coburn broke our record in LA. And so we used to do private parties for them, KLOS, because they were so kind to us. Mark and Brian, we still keep in touch with them. As a matter of fact, last year, they keep asking us as Giant to come out and play for their Christmas shows, which we did two, three, or four years in a row. They keep asking as to come out, but just because of our schedules...I was in Las Vegas at the time and I couldn't do it. At the time I was playing with Vince Gill and Amy Grant. They did a Christmas tour and I had already committed to them. We definitely would've done it, but they didn't want to do it without me so they didn't do it. But we still have these private shows with them and Rock Line was was kind of a private show but obviously over the radio.

It was in a private setting, you know. We invited all the people from the station down and played, so it was kind of fun. It was a party; it was great. So we've got some of those songs and we've got a couple of songs that we had written that...when we did Giant records we cut about 14 songs, 15 songs a record. But we had written a bunch of songs at the time back then that we never quite finished. We had done vocals and we had done stuff like that on them but we just never...whether it was the mixing or whether it was finishing the guitars or whatever. I mean, I've got stuff in my vault and I went to my brother's house, he had just moved, and I said, when we talked about doing this record, I said, "Man, I need to go through your tape vault to see what we have,” because I'm sure we have a ton of stuff that's just sitting around, and I went through, oh my gosh, I opened up his garage and he had like 2 or 3 boxes of tapes - none of them were marked.

No? <laughs>
So I spent hours listening to some stuff and I still have a bunch of DAT's and stuff to go through, but I mean, I found some cool stuff that I totally forgot about. Some of the stuff was mixed and recorded back when we did Giant. For whatever reason, whether the song didn't fit or whether we had one like it on the record or whatever, it just didn't make it on the record, not because they weren't good; they were cool songs.

OK. So how many tracks do you envision the album being?
We're going to put I think like 11 or 12 on there.

Great! Any brand new stuff?
Sort of, there's a couple songs that are obviously brand new; we're going in, like I say, we have to go in and we have to finish them, but we're kind of recording spontaneously. We're going to be fixing some stuff, because all of us own studios, so we're just transferring like hard drives around. I'm kind of overseeing the finalization of everything, but yeah, if we need parts done and stuff then we'll just kind of do them here and there. But for the most part, probably 85% of all the recording was already done on all these songs, and we just have to do a few add-ons and a few fixes and stuff like that. And some of them we're going to re-mix. Yeah, so there's a couple of new songs; one new song is called, "Can't Let Go". There's a song called, "Oh Yeah". I think that's it so far.

And there's one other one I just found; I can't remember it. You know what, it was on a set of master tapes that I didn't have the...I think it's called, "The Sky's The Limit", I think that's it. That is it, that's right.

So three sort of tracks that you're going to record from scratch this year?
Not from scratch. I mean there's still some stuff on there that we had already started, but some of the ones, like there's some basic tracks that we just started that's just not finished. So we're not starting anything from ground zero, not yet. We haven't decided to do that just because we have so much stuff in our vault, you know, "Let's release some of that stuff, you know."
Kind of underground kind of thing.

So one plan is to have maybe 8 or 9 studio tracks and maybe 3 live tracks or something?
Yeah, exactly. Something like that, yeah. It just depends on how many songs, because I'm finding new ones every day. I wanted to put a couple of the live songs that we did from, I think it was the Marquis Club in London, there was a couple of songs we was either there of the shows in London we did, it was a kind of acoustic unplugged kind of thing.

It was very cool, yeah, we did it live; I might put some of those on there too.

You might have to have a studio side and a live side on a double CD.
Yeah, exactly. I mean nobody ever got to hear some of these things, you know what I mean, these things that we did.

I'd love to see a live side and a studio side.
Yeah, it might be kind of like a combination of both of them, you know.

OK. I should tell you....I had an MP3 on my site of the "Stay" done acoustically from the B-side of a Sony single.
Oh yeah!

Yeah, and that is seriously one of my most popular ever downloads.
Oh cool!

It was absolutely... my ISP rang me up and said, "What the hell have you done? It's going nuts, the traffic's going nuts." And I've done it 2 or 3 times because people keep requesting it.
Yeah everyone has, everyone's done that.

It was a great acoustic version; it was a really great unplugged sort of… really good.
Well thanks man.

So I think some unplugged tracks would be popular.
Yeah. It'd be a little different, you know.

Yeah, absolutely. But I'll tell you what, the feedback's been fantastic. The people are really pumped to see you guys back.
That's just like, seriously, very overwhelming. We obviously didn't think's not false humility either, I'm being serious, it's been 10 years and we don't know, it's almost like another lifetime. We're all caught up in our production. Dann and I produce records non-stop, and Mike does tons of studio work, so you know, we just kind of forget about it. I mean, it's not that we forget about the records, because we actually loved doing the records and we had a ball touring and stuff. But honestly, I told Serafino, I said, "Man, I'd be surprised if there are people out there that want a record." He kept coming to me and saying, "Man, you just don't know."

So we talked for about a year and a half; I don't know if you knew that or not. But I said, "Well it's going to be hard to commit to a record, you know, we just don't know if there's any interest out there - why do one, you know?" And the main thing, we definitely didn't want to go searching out a US major record deal from the States, like the typical ones that we've done, because that's something that we just don't want to do. Period. Mainly because of the fact, once you sign a record as a band, it's like everything else, you've gotta go tour to support it, and when you're doing...I produce 20 - 30 records a year, I'm just slammed.

Yeah, you can't...I don't want to give that up, you know?

Yeah, for sure.
Plus, I've got commitments. If we did that it would be kind of like, I need two of me <laughs>. So that was our reasoning. Then I met Serafino through a friend of mine named Kevin who got us in touch with each other, and Serafino and Mario, when I was in Chicago, they flew to Chicago and we had lunch in Chicago, and I was like, "Man, these guys are crazy." I mean there's got to be something; they must really like Giant, so I formed a real good friendship with them and we just kind of honed away for about a year and a half on the phone and finally came up with...I said, "Man, I've got all these's going to be hard to do a record on the schedule starting from scratch right now with all of our commitments...I said, "But man, I've got a ton of songs in our vault, I mean, just in mine." I said, "Why don't we go take some of these masters out and re-do some of these things," and I said I just want to do it to see if there's any interest out there anyway. And then I said, "Well if there's interest out there, with some stuff that we've already done's kind of like a barometer...if there's interest there, then that might push us to do like a, start from scratch, a real full-on new record.




Serafino (Frontiers) and David Huff


Well that's what I was going to ask you actually. If this goes well, you can envision doing a full new studio album?
Yeah, definitely. And like I said, we love dealing with Serafino and Mario, and that's what I told him. I said, If this is got response, if you can convince me and Dann that this is got any kind of response, then we'll do a record. We'll do a live one, I mean like a real one.

That would be fantastic. Have you or can you get Dann to have a look at this message board?
Yeah. I'll definitely do that. Our kids are on spring break right now from school and I think he's in Florida as well. I think he's still down there because I tried to call him the other day to let him know I was going to do this interview and he hasn't called back yet, so I think he's out of town.

Yeah, Dann should know me because I've done an interview with him and I keep in touch via his partner Mike.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Through his assistant or whatever. In fact, the first time I heard of from Serafino, this was on, I actually e-mailed Mike who talked to Dann and said… came back with, “We don't know what you're talking about.” <laughs>
You know what's funny is we didn't tell anybody what was going on until it was done. I didn't go around talking to anybody. I got asked from a few people here in the States, but I said, “You know, we're thinking about it, but who knows.” Because it wasn't done or signed or anything and everyone felt the same way. Dann was not definitely going to tell anybody because then his phone would've probably rang off the hook. As a matter of fact, when the first thing happened, Mark and Brian from KLOS called and they want to know…they want us out there…they want to know what's going on. Because Mark and Brian, they used to play our record every morning. Brian was a real good friend of mine when I lived in LA and he used to call me at my house weekly and they're on at like 5 in the morning. He used to call me every other week and ask me our opinion about different bands and play some of our songs. They were so cool to us.

Very good. Awesome. Let's see if we can get it going again!
That's very cool of you man. That's a very impressive tribute man, we appreciate that.

Oh it's my pleasure. I love you guys. Since I got Last of the Runaways in an import store in Melbourne on a trip, I've been a fan since day one. I love those records.
Well like I said, we had a ball doing the records. You know, Dann and I are really close brothers, we're very close, we try to find projects every once in a blue moon, but a couple of years will go by before we can actually work on something together. We're together all the time with our family and kids and, you know, we love doing this kind of stuff. We love playing this music. We definitely miss playing it live.

Yeah. Let's talk about that. What are the chances of you doing a couple of live gigs - not a tour - just a few one off gigs or something?
You know what, that's exactly what I had talked to Serafino and Mario about.
The only thing that we could do would be to put together like a 2 week little stint in Europe or whatever and/or if we ever want to go to Japan, Australia, whatever, we could do the similar kind of thing and put as many shows in that 10 days or 2 week period...10 days would probably be the best. Somewhere in that kind of situation, but we're definitely up for it. What they're doing right now with Mario is kind of fishing together and trying to see if he's going to pull some stuff together for festivals all at kind of the same time, you know. But yeah, we'd definitely do it. Probably the hardest guy to see if he wants to do it is Dann.

Yeah, I thought so.
But he said he'd be glad to do it. He goes, "Man, I'd love to do it," and, you know, everything's just got to kind of work itself out. But I have a feeling that we could, we'll work some of that stuff out.

Did the guys tell you about their annual festival, that they do their own, the Now and Then Gods of AOR in the UK?
Yeah. When is that again?

It's the first week of November generally.
Yeah, in November.

And by God I'll tell you what, I've had about 20 - 30 e-mails, this is separate from the message board, 20 or 30 e-mails saying, "What are the chances of them doing The Gods, because we'll go?" This is even guys in Australia saying, "We'll fly to Europe if they do The Gods."

And that includes me, I'll be there! <laughs>
Well that's I think the last thing I talked to Mario about was about that scenario, that situation, I said, "If it's something like in the Fall", I said, "There's no way we could get ready before the Fall," because of my and Dann's commitments to record production. I don't think we're gonna be able to make it this time.

Yeah. Well if you could, the response would be huge. This is serious - people as far as here in Australia have said they would fly to Europe to see you.
Wow, well they definitely mentioned their festival and stuff, and, of course, we'd be honored to do it. I think I'm going to go over in July to do some press stuff - I think.

Oh, Ok. That's cool.
Sometime in June or July. I think I'm planning on doing that kind of stuff.

Is that when we might see this record surface?
Well, I think, we're shooting for it. There hasn't been any official date yet, but I think we're shooting for sometime probably by the end of Summer. We're like on it right now.

So a July/August sort of thing?
Yeah, probably more like August.

Because I've been for like the last week I've been compiling photos of when we recorded the record and some stuff on the road and stuff. Kind of like a nostalgic kind of, you know...we're trying to put together a really cool booklet of stuff that we did, personal photos and all that kind of stuff, and then we'll probably put some new photos in too.

Wonderful, wonderful.
Yeah, I'm compiling all that stuff right now. I'm almost done with all the photos, kind of getting all that stuff together.

Awesome. I would love to have a sift through your vaults, I can tell you that.
Oh my gosh <laughs>. Pretty funny man, I'll probably take a photo of all these tapes and stuff man, it's just pandemonium, that I had to go through personally in between sessions and stuff, recording sessions, listening to all these DATs, you know...OK, so this is on this master tape and trying to find where tapes are - pretty funny. But it's been cool man, it's been cool. It brings back a lot of great memories for me. We all had phenomenal memories in that band and everybody is just totally...Dann and Mike and all the guys who actually played with us when we actually toured, a couple of the sidemen, they're very excited to do the same thing.

I'm really pleased to hear that, because I know Dann was always somewhat reluctant. Even when I interviewed him he was very reluctant, and I asked him, "What about unreleased songs?" and he goes, "No there's only 4 or 5 tracks that are laying around." Where somebody else had told me like there's 10 or a full album's worth. I'm going, "Why be so secretive Dann?" I wonder why. And he didn't want to give anyone the air of opportunity.
It's not really secretive; I just think he's probably...

Is he pretty much of a perfectionist?
Oh yeah. Definitely that. But it's also been so long. I mean, he forgot a couple songs that I played him, and when I find stuff off these tapes I go, "Dann check this song out," and he's like, "Oh my gosh, I forgot about that." You know, you do so many songs he definitely forgot...I forgot about songs and I'm pretty organized, you know, about where songs are and stuff and man, I found some stuff on tapes that I totally forgot about. So yeah, there's some pretty cool stuff out there. And like I said, if there's enough interest generated, obviously Dann and I still write a ton and we've actually played on different records together at the same time, and it's been actually pretty cool. We've backed up a couple people in the States here, actually in Tennessee, backed a couple of people up just as gestures of our friendship to them. Not as Giant, but 3 of us and a couple of other players. There's definitely a special chemistry there.

Fantastic. Because you all hang out there in Nashville don't you?
Yeah, we live...I mean, we all live right on the outskirts of Nashville. We all live right around like 20 minutes outside of Nashville, but we work in Nashville all the time. We run into each other all the time in Nashville in studios and stuff.

I have a very good buddy who I lived in LA with for 4 months in '92 / '93 sort of time, a very good buddy of mine who I lived with there is actually in Knoxville.
Oh yeah.

Yeah, he swears I've got to get out there and see the country.
It's pretty cool man, it's a different place. It's a nice place to live, there's a ton of music going on here, a ton.

I'd love to get down there and see it. I've been to the coasts, but I haven't been down South.
Well if you ever do, this is my studio number so you are definitely welcome; you definitely have to let me know.

Thanks David.
I'll have to have you out to the pad for a barbeque or whatever.

Oh barbeque, you're speaking Australian lingo now.
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Hey that's what we do when we haven't seen each other for a long time, like Dann and I, we barbeque in summer weather, it's just beginning to be summer here in a month or so, and that's what we do.

Fantastic. Do you speak, or hear of, or see Alan Pasqua these days?
Haven't seen him or spoken to him for years.

He kind of just disappeared didn't he?
Yeah, lets see, we moved here to Nashville and he moved to, I think it was Santa Fe, New Mexico, and that's almost as far as LA from here, you know. It's actually more out of the way to get to than LA, because LA flights from here are easy.
But no, I haven't heard or seen him for probably 8 years. And every once in a while, I heard he comes through town every once in a while and plays on some records here and there...but no, I haven't.
It's hard enough, trust me, it's hard enough seeing your own brother in town and Mike, you know, 8 months will go by before I've seen Mike.

Yeah. We'll sit down at a studio and like I'll see his gear there or he'll see my stuff there and we'll say, "Man, let's go get a drink and catch up." Everybody's just busy, you know. It's hard, you know, and we all live, we probably live about 20 minutes from each other. You know, when you're busy man, it's like, it's hard to do anything.

Absolutely. I've got a couple of side questions, what was the recording budget for the first two Giant albums? Just to get people's perspectives of what crazy numbers were...
Our budgets? Well let me put it this way, because I was always told not to give the specific numbers out, but it was more than a half million dollars to start with.

Let's put it that way. I mean most recording budgets are 300K to maybe 400K and those are pretty nice sized recording budgets, and ours was more than that.

Wow, because it was such a big sound.
Yeah, but we also did some pretty extravagant things, we recorded over in England, which I have some photos; I have some photos from when we recorded our first record over there that are going to be in this whole thing too, so. Yeah, but you know, we flew from LA and stayed in London for 3-4 months and recorded. But it was a phenomenal experience and if it ever came to, I can probably sit down and write a short book of how we actually recorded the record, if anybody is interested, if anybody actually wanted to know how we recorded stuff, you know.

Well it's a very intricate record, that's why I think people would love it, because...
Yeah, there was definitely a very specific way of how we did things. We definitely have our way of recording. It wasn't the normal, go in and cut things as a band and see ya, you know? We definitely thought out parts a lot; we tried a lot of different sounds and actually had a lot of guitars going on – a lot of stuff going on.

Is that going to be reflected on this new record?
Oh yeah.

You're going to mix it up and...
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

What do you think the style will be?
Well, I mean, this is not new Giant stuff, this is basically stuff that was in the can that we had before that were just kind of like basement tapes, or whatever, lost tapes and, you know, just collecting dust. I think there's some really good stuff on there and that'll remain to be seen what people think about it, but there's some really cool stuff on it, some great guitar playing, phenomenal guitar playing stuff. I'm trying to pull together a lot of stuff, there's a couple of really informal things that we did in our own studios that I might put on there just to add a little personality in there. It's not any specific stuff, I don't want to give it away yet, but there's some personal stuff that people might really dig and session guitar players and stuff.

It really does sound like to me that you should be putting together a double album here.
You know what, that's what Serafino asked me to do, and I was like, "Man, dude, I don't know if I can do a double thing, I don't know if we can do a double album yet, I mean, let's see if there's interest on this one and we'll put stuff all across the board on it. We'll put old Giant stuff and we'll put some live stuff on there, we'll put some secret kind of basement kind of tape stuff on there and then see what people think. Obviously, if we were to do another Giant record, it would be...Giant has its own certain sound, I think.

Oh absolutely.
But we would...we're all pretty modern in what we, you know, in our sound and all that kind of stuff...of course I program and we used to use a lot of drum machine stuff back then when we did Giant and if we did a new record right now it would all be based around guitar riffs which is what our band was...big, it would sound big, but it would be a combination of what's out now. It would have to be really rhythmic, I think, because that's what's on the radio, that's just, that's music. Everything has melded together as far as so much groove and all that kind of stuff, which is great, because that's right up my alley, that's what I love to do.

It would be very cool rock, but with cool underlying grooves on it, you know? It wouldn't be machine grooves though, it wouldn't be dance stuff...

I get what you mean.
You know what I'm saying? I mean, look at Bon Jovi's "It's My Life", they had some cool loops in there.

Oh yeah, absolutely.
I thought that was pretty dang cool.

Yeah, I wish the rest of the record was a lot more like it.
Exactly. And since Dann and Mike and I all write a lot, I think it would reflect that, it wouldn't be like a Giant III or IV, it would be something new and fresh, but it would still have the Giant signature on it, you know.

Awesome. I think that's all people could ask. Let me just ask you about a good friend of yours and friend of mine who I've talked to a lot over the last couple of years and I feel very sort of sad for is Van Stephenson.

His death was very sad indeed?
I hadn't talked with him for just a little bit, but he family was in contact with him.

I put a message board online for him as well and people are sending... and I'm going to mail that to his wife and family to read and keep.
He was a phenomenal person, a phenomenal writer, singer and musician, all that stuff, and your heart and your prayers and thoughts all go out to someone like that, because with a family and a wife, that's stuff that you just pray to God that you don't have to deal with in life.
Nashville's a strange place because it's a small community of musicians, but then, with everybody's schedules, it just seems like a year can go by before you see somebody that you know and it's like, "Man we have to catch up," cause everybody's busy. But Van's family, is definitely in our thoughts and prayers.

One other quick question...
By the way, I just had to interject something, when I met with Mario and Serafino the first time, they asked a lot of Giant questions so if it takes me a minute to answer something, I mean every time they ask me something about Giant, I look at them and go, "Um... I think." I had to think back a little bit man because it's been awhile, it's like I said, like another life time, it's pretty funny.

Yeah, its been about 9 years since Time To Burn.
Yeah. You figure, it's like OK, you gotta start going back in your memory bank a little bit.

Yeah, absolutely.
OK. Sorry.

I just wanted to ask what the story was with a band called David and the Giants?
There was a band out of Mississippi and I think we got confused a lot and they got confused a lot because there's a guy in the band named David Huff.

Yeah. But they even use the Giant sort of name? <laugh>
Yeah, well, you know what, I think if you go back, I think they had the name David and the Giants before we had Giant.

Oh really?
Yeah, I think so, I'm not positive but I think so.

I don't know their music, I couldn't even tell you exactly what kind of stuff they do, but I do know they're out of Mississippi and the name is very confusing. When we came out with our first single, I remember this because when our single came out, they had a song on the Christian...they're a Christian band, and they had a song out on the Christian charts that instantly got a ton of spins because they thought it was us.

Oh really?
Yeah, and I think they got hits a lot from our release. But they're very sweet guys they're very...the one guy...I've met them before and I know there's one guy that used to be in that band and his name is Keith Thibodeaux, he used to be little Ricky on "I Love Lucy".

And he was the drummer so I got to know him a little bit and he was a pretty cool guy. I don't know those guys very well but I do know they are very sweet guys, I mean they're really cool guys, but it has nothing to do with us and we have nothing to do with them.

Very funny coincidence.
Yeah, isn't that weird? I mean, we didn't name our band Giant. I don't know if you know the whole story of how we got signed?

To make a long story very short, we had some demos that we had done and we had had a production deal with Atlantic records with another producer that just was was not a good deal, we didn't have a manager, we were just session players and we had done some demos and this guy had had...this producer had us in a production deal and we had actually gotten sound in a studio and we had gotten some advice from a friend, from a personal friend of ours, and they said, "Man, you need to call this manager and you all need to get management before you sign and don't sign anything," so we backed off and found out that the deal we were in was not good, plus the producer did not want Dann to sing.

Oh really?
He wanted to find another lead singer, yeah.

Dann's got a killer voice.
Yeah, and we were all like, you know what forget this man, we love your voice. So where was I going with this story?

The naming.
Oh, so we had done some demos and I think Dann had worked with Herb Albert and Herb...I'll never forget it...Herb called one day from his car phone and he said, "Man." Basically, he had heard a couple of those songs and said, "Man, I want to sign you guys." That's where we got management and stuff so we got signed off some demos and we had met with our A&R guy and obviously came up with some songs, but we didn't have a name; we never thought, you know, let's name ourselves this and that, and I don't know if you've ever had to come up with a name of a product or something, but it's really hard to name yourself, because you're too biased, or you get too introspective or whatever, and a friend of ours had somehow come up with the name. Obviously it comes from the James Dean movie, I guess Rock Hudson/James Dean movie, an old...I don't know if it was a Western or not...but it was an old movie called Giant.

And it just so happened to be coincidental with the fact that we had seen a photograph in a silver like diner one day and it was all kind of like black and white photography that ended up...the shot on our first record cover was one of the photos that we had picked up, we had bought it from the girl who did the photography. We took it to the label and sad, "Man, we dig this shot," you know, and it became the album cover, and the name came from a friend of ours who had seen the movie Giant and everything kind of fell together that way.

It wasn't us who named it, and someone came up and said, "Man, your music kind of reminds us of this."

It is giant isn't it, it's a big sound.
Yeah, so just so everybody knows the inside scoop, we never really...that sounds a little presumptuous if you ask me, you know, we think we're big, you know - it wasn't that, somebody else named us.

That's cool.
I wanted to name it, of course, the David Huff Band, but...

Nice <laughs>
Yeah. <laughs>

Very good, that's great. Well that's about all the questions I had for you David.
Good man.

I appreciate your time and maybe we can keep in touch.
Man, let's definitely do.

Yeah, please do.
I'll get them to do that, and like I said, I can keep in touch. There's definitely a heavy possibility of us doing these dates in the fall.

I think that would be absolutely tremendous.
So like I say, it just has to coincide with our schedules and as long as we know way out front. But I'll tell you, everybody wants to do it; there's not a hesitant person in the group who doesn't want to do it, we just kind of have to pull all the details together.

Yeah, I'm really pleased to hear that.
I've got the sound men who used to tour with us and I mean, I've had more and all that kind of stuff...hey, I'll go over there and don't pay me anything, I'll just go over there and just do it.

I'm like, man, I don't think Dann and Mike have seen the response yet of what's happened, you know, but I'll speak for them, they'll be very overwhelmed like I am.

Thanks for your time man, it's been great talking to you and hopefully we'll hook up in person.

Yeah, absolutely. That'd be great.
All right. I'll e-mail you my address. I'll put a little response to the thing, and thank you on behalf of Dann and Mike. Thank you, we feel honored that you even did a page like that, good Lord, that's very nice of you.

Oh, I'm an absolute diehard fan and it's a pleasure.
Well thanks, Andrew.

G'Day now.

Once again, thanks for Ron Higgins for taking the time out to transcribe the interview from tape. Thanks mate!

c. Andrew J McNeice, 2001.





Giant - Dann Huff (1999)


After many attempts at getting Dann on the phone, I was finally able to last week for a brief chat in between recording sessions in a Nashville studio.
What you read may not be exactly what you wanted to hear, but at least the door is open to the chance of a new Giant record...maybe!


Hey Dann. Have you got a few minutes to talk?
I sure do.

I appreciate your time, thank you. Well it's great to get you on the phone.
Yeah, sorry it's taken so long.

No problem, it's just great to be able to talk to you. So how's life?
Fine. You know, working ahead every day. Doing what seems like the same thing…but somehow you seem to make some headway and over a period of time you look back and see what you've done and it's more than you think when you are doing it.

Well you've got quite an impressive body of work if I might say so, both as a producer and as a session guy now.
Yeah well the session stuff has definitely been the predominant.

Are you enjoying the producing side of it?
Yeah it's kinda always headed that way, it was just a matter of making the commitment to do it.
And you know just not turning back, that's the hard thing. Not taking sessions as a guitar player…that's the hard thing.

So you get a lot of offers you have to turn down?
Yeah well over a period of time people know that you're not working anymore. So you know not everybody calls me any more. As a matter of fact I get very few offers to play. You know you can't turn down people two years in a row and expect them to keep calling you. After a little while they kinda get the picture.

Yeah, so now they're calling you to produce their records?
Yeah well that's it exactly.

When did you move to Nashville?
In '90

Oh as far back as that!
Oh yeah. I haven't been in Los Angeles for about 7 and a half years, or somewhere around that.
I never intended to stay out there. I mean I grew up in Nashville. So this is home.

So you're not just one of the many who are flocking there?
No, I grew up here till I was 10 years old.

Oh fantastic. I've got a buddy in Knoxville, he says it's the greatest place in the world.
Knoxville is beautiful, eastern Tennessee is actually more gorgeous than middle Tennessee but
There's not much music business in eastern Tennessee.

Great. Well I'm ringing primarily because I get a stack of requests from people who want to know what you're up to - and they want to hear a little bit about Giant and what happened and is there is any chance of another record out ever?
No I don't think so. We've been asked that ever since, well for 10 years now and you know I don't see it. It's all about time.
If you were really going to make an attempt, well when we did the band we pretty much dropped out of what our normal jobs were at that point. I quit my session career, that was the first time I quit it. We then stayed out of the circuit for a couple of years and then rock 'n roll as you know suddenly jumped tracks and went to a whole different style. We then had the option of moving to change, and musically I think we could have probably done anything cause we can play so many different styles but it's like why attempt at trying to be modern? Half the time you do that it's like cheating anyway. I'm actually in to soul music before anything…never country, never rock 'n roll, always soul music. Most people knew me as an R&B rhythm guitarist in LA, so they were all shocked that I could play rock 'n roll. But that kind of rock 'n roll we did I really liked doing it. All of a sudden it became like dinosaur music over night.

Isn't it a shocker.
Yeah but that's the way it goes. You can't begrudge it. If it doesn't get re-defined, if the kids of every generation don't evolve it and play it for themselves, it's not rock 'n roll. Rock 'n roll is not defined by old farts you know.
Also none of us would have the desire to go out and tour. Just to make a record, you know I have a real problem doing anything half hearted. You'd have to sink a lot of time in to doing something that I thought was worthy and then the idea of just doing the record and never supporting it.
You know first of all no one's gonna want to put any money in to it. So that's kind of where we are at.
Unless something drastic changes and I just don't see that happening.

Yeah it's funny that you should say that. There's a real cult following and I'm sure they would be able to shift a number of records but what number I am unsure of.
Yeah well who knows what any kind of market for what we do would be. We were never known as an entertaining band. I always felt we were 5 years too late wish we had we had a 5 year jump and I think we could have hit a bigger mark.
But you know we just came near that time for that music to become extinct.

Well I tell you what, the "Time to Burn" record is absolutely legendary. There are also more fans out there than you think!
Thank you.

And it's one that constantly has other records compared to. I don't think anything has ever come close.
Well I appreciate that (laughs). We felt really good about it when we did it and if we'd really dragged it out it never would have seen the light of day.

Yeah but I tell you many people that read my site have got a copy of this.
I'll be damned.

Well I don't know if they picked it up when it came out, or whether they picked it up later down the track but everybody seems to have a copy. And as far as a market I have a thousand people a day visit the site, so there is still a few of us out there.
Well you know I've had a lot of calls, seems like in the last year from Japan and Europe also Scandinavian companies have called to.

Yeah I thought as much…
Yep, yeah. I mean I could never say never cause life changes too drastically.
You know I love the music and I miss it, genuinely miss it. Even pulled out the CD the other day. Somebody had a copy or someone was laughing at my hair or something like that. I pulled it out and listened to it and I was genuinely really proud of that. I wish it could have been a little better lyrically, but…

No, no lyrically you were fine.
Well I just wish it could have been something more substantial…you know, but that wasn't our thing. I felt musically it was good and I miss singing.
But you know I'm getting ready to do another Megadeth record.

I heard that… that's fantastic
I'm really looking forward to that. They're all of a sudden on the up swing.

All of a sudden you come aboard, you produce a record and they just sound amazing, dynamically amazing as far as the sound and they have the best selling Megadeth record ever.
Well I don't know if it was better selling than there earlier stuff but they had more hits of it.
But considering the market has dwindled to a quarter of the size it's done extremely well. So we were all pleased with it. If it had been the middle of the 80's we would have sold 8 million copies of that thing. I'm thrilled with it and they're really determined to grow on the next record too. So I'm really looking forward to that its going to be a real fun experience, we're really seriously going to go for this thing. They're out there touring all the time, I think they are in South America at the moment. They are totally committed at the moment; they are a real band you know. At least I can stay in rock 'n roll music like that. Least I get some of it. It's a little different for me, you know. I miss the hands on, you know pick up a guitar and do what I wanna do.
Until something comes along, it would just have to be the right situation. I don't know if I could even define the right situation for our band to do something. It's only three of us really.
Pasqua and the 3 of us really parted ways at the end of the record.

Yeah I wondered about that.
Yeah well 3 people felt one way and one person felt differently. You know in a band the majority kinda wins. Other than that Dave, Mike and I all live here in town, we see each other as much as we can.
I was just hired to do a record; it's the first time we've all played together the same time in years. It's a record for a new artist on Mercury. Shane Myers. They're kinda gearing him to be the male Shania Twain. He's really great, really great music, he's a lot of fun to work with. It's just a different record, especially for county music.

Yeah well you and? Have done great things for Shania.
Yeah well I just played on that. Yeah she's as big time as they come.
Look this Myers guy is phenomenal, and us three guys got to play together. It's county but the way Dave plays is the same way he plays on anything. Mike's great, he's always been a busy session player.
So we see each other, and we always reminisce about times when we were playing.

Well look just keep in mind that people still want to hear it. I mean you guys could record an album in your sleep mate.
Who knows, who know it. It just takes time to do this good stuff.

And you said you didn't want to do anything half-heartedly.
Yeah well that would just be a let down. We could do a couple of tracks and put it out, that might be a fun thing.

Is there a catalogue of unreleased Giant?
Yeah there's small handful of demos…some of them are ok.

I reckon your home demos would sound better than half the albums released these days.
Well apart from the sound not being great the songs aren't horrible. Certainly our demos were always pretty good. I can recall about 3 or 4 songs.

I'd love to hear those.
There's actually one real cool song that we didn't release on our last record. It was a song called 'Don't leave me'. It was a really cool song, a major power ballad. But we never released it.
If I could find it I wouldn't care if you heard it. The only thing is I don't own that one. I think Epic owns it or something.

I wouldn't do anything with it but I'd love to hear it.
Yeah I think I can find it. Off the top of my head I can think of three, that's all. I can just remember stuff that we were writing that didn't make our last record.
They've got to be down the studio at my house. Next time I'm down there and I've got a spare few minutes I'll take a look in the DAT player see if I can find a handful of things.
It's not gonna be cream of the crop stuff, cause they didn't make the album.
Actually there's one song we did record in the 'Time To Burn' session, 'Don't Leave Me In Love' that is actually a mixed song, that's a done deal. I really love the song it was kinda a sad thing that we didn't end up putting it on the album.

You know I have a lot of CDs but I can narrow it down to a top 20 and you are on 5 of them.
Rick Springfield's ' Rock Of Life' record. How much were you involved in that?

No idea!

Can't remember that one? Rick was a cool guy to work with though?
Yeah he was a really nice guy to work with. The main guitar player on all his stuff was Tim Pierce.
I love him he's a great fried of mine.

Also the two Van Stepheson records?
Oh yeah, he's in a country group.

Blackhawk, right?
Sure is.

Do you see him a bit still?
Oh all the time.

Man you guys wrote some great songs.
Yeah he's a killer. He's very happy…making a living.

Doesn't sound like he'll go back to it either?
No, no. I'm not that old yet I'm only 37 so…….

So you're pretty young.
Yeah that defining line comes about mid forties as far as rock 'n roll goes and it's when things really start changing.

Actually you're very young compared to some of them, compared to what you have done.
Oh yeah. Oh I'm glad people still like it. It's just down to time…the hardest thing to get.

You know they put the Van Stepheson back out on CD?
No kidding.

A label in Germany.
I'll be damned
I'll have to tell him, I don't know if he knows that.

Well if he doesn't and you don't let me know, I know the guy at the label and I could probably get him to send you a couple of copies or something.
I really enjoyed doing those records.
You know he didn't go and play those live, so not many people knew about them.

Suspicious Hearts is one of my all time favourite records.
That's great.

Okay then Dann. I know you're busy, so I thank you for your time. I am gald that there is at least a little hope in the world for another Giant record sometime.
Yeah, maybe. If I get around to finding some of this Giant stuff I'll send it to you.

Thanks Dann.


c. Andrew J McNeice, 1998.


Thursday, June 12, 2014



Giant: New Promises

Giant drummer David Huff celebrates the band's return - albeit in a new form. Time to get mometum up and continue that on he says. Let's hope so!

Hi David - so, you're ok to talk now?
Yeah! I'm good!

Great! Ok, so, you've obviously been doing interviews pretty flat-out. What's it like to get back into the whole interview process and album prelaunch phase?
It brings back a lot of good memories. It really does. It's been good. We're talking about something that's not a grind. We're talking about something that we're proud of, enjoyable stuff to do.
It's been good.

Ok, so you're normally working behind the scenes of the music you're making, right?
Yeah, exactly-totally. I work with a lot of artists: that's THEIR job. (laughs)

So, the last few years, who have you been primarily been working with?
A lot of people. I've lived in LA and, now, I've moved back to Tennessee about 7 months ago…I work on film and TV movies; I work with some pop artists-some stuff that is totally not in the Giant vein at all. I've done some country artists and some rock bands-kind of all over the place. It's kind of like how Dann and I grew up. We played on a bunch of different records when we were little, or young I should say. And so I was busy doing that-just busy making music, which is awesome. It's just a pleasure.

Absolutely. But, always close to your heart is the idea of Giant.
Well, yeah, somebody asked the other day what brought it about. First of all, I've got a great relationship with Serafino and Mario over at Frontiers records.
I've stayed in touch with them over the years. I was producing a rock band in L.A. and I was working with a guitar player, DJ Ashba who played on a lot of Motley Crue stuff. I hired him to come in and work with me and, man, it just –just the power of the rock and roll music. This was kind of melodic; this was the new rock and roll. Man, I remember telling the artists that I really miss making this kind of music-they way we did with Giant. It brings back the power of the good style of rock and roll music.
I do a lot of work with programming and all that kind of stuff, which I love, but I truly miss that style of music. So, it kind of prompted a couple of conversations with Serafino and we just moved from there; we went on from there. Obviously the talks went well because we did a record. (laughs)

Obviously, Dann's involvement was a debate point for you for a long time. I gather you waited for him for a while because I remembered Mario coming to me in 2002 while we were in the U.K. together saying, “What would you think of Giant if we had a different lead vocalist? That was in 2002! (laughs)
Yeah. You know, to be honest with you, after we did Giant 3 that was really a test for me because they'd asked us to do another Giant record. We're obviously best friends-brothers too. We work together now and we worked together then. It's kind of like we let the music die-we let the band die because the music style was over in the U.S.- it just totally died. It's kind like trying to unload a Hummer I right now.

(laughs) Yes!
It doesn't work in this day and time, you know? So, that was kind of a test to me and it was kind of...I understand why it was kind of a lukewarm reception because it wasn't new music.

Over the last….shoot man, over the last 4 or 5 years, I noticed a lot of people putting together tours again and all going over to Europe so that it has always stayed in the back of my mind.
But Dann...he never really wanted to do it but the idea in my mind never totally quite died off, you know?
I know the style died, but it's like anything else-it's difficult coming back.

Yes, it might not be a huge audience but it's a very loyal audience.
Very loyal. Yes, You're right.

In Europe and even in America, it's growing a little bit. It's a loyal audience. And we're an a bit older now but we still love what we grew up with and there's even some kids coming into it.
I've known some U.S. markets and they're ready for some good songs again.
It went through a good period but that period needs a change. That's what keeps us all young, right? Keep it varied? You know, new music?

Absolutely. Are you happy with the songs you've lined up for this album? Not all are co-writes by the band but you've got a few great tracks in there as well, haven't you?
Yeah! I'm very aware. You know, Serafino and I talk and we talk pretty frequently. I was always a big fan of them. They came over before 2000 and we had some wine at my house. I was so close- in kinship with them. I had visited their site once in a while and had asked Serafino about co-writers and he had mentioned Eric's [Martensson] name. It just so happened that he's had some songs . I kind of cut him mid sentence and said, well, does he have some? Would you open to sending some songs to me!
And Serafino asks me, and he says, would you be open to listening to some songs? ABSOLUTELY! I kind of wanted to hear more of what he wrote about. I heard the songs that he wrote and, you know, the real musician part of me went, I wouldn't change that.

Yeah, I LOVE Eric's stuff-I really do.
I mean we changed some of the arrangement stuff but that's not re-writing, you know?
I thought it was GREAT. Personally. I thought it was awesome! I went, well man, I thought we needed a few more. To be honest with you, the market over there-I respect it and I don't know it well enough right now.
You know, had it been like before with Giant and the real money and stuff was there…you know what I'm sayin'? -- with the label and we would have flown over and written for a month.
But that's just not, in this day and age right now, and especially with all the work we've got goin' on, that just wasn't possible.

I understand that; it's an entirely new budget these days.
But, it just so happened to work out that they had these great songs. I was like, man, if you mind, I'd love to cut them and see if we cut them right and we can see if they can make a record. We and the label both felt the same--that they worked great.

Yeah, they were-absolutely. And, you've pulled a couple of old Dann Huff co-writes there as well?
Of course! (laughs) I mean Dann…he's been such a …he loves… I mean…He hasn't sung since probably early 1992 when Giant disbanded, you know.

I think that's criminal. I remember interviewing him once in the mid 90s and he said, “I could never get my voice back in shape.” I just thought, that's a perfectionist talking because he's got such a WONDERFUL voice! It's just a criminal waste to not hear it again.
I know. It's so unique and so signature. I agree with you. When that point hit, I knew he wouldn't want to do Giant-the way giant was.

The funny thing is, when we started Giant, there was a producer-I won't mention the names-who we first hooked up with-who we wanted to produce our band and take us under HIS production company (to a label) who HIGHLY suggested that Dann not sing and that we find a lead singer…..

..and the four of us were like, “Are you-are you KIDDING?” You know, we told him this a PG interview? (laughs)

(laughs) No, no no!! Tell it like it is!
We said, “You don't know… are you CRAZY?” And then, we stood behind our gun. We like Dann's sound and the feel that he brings. And it was a good call because that's what we felt.

So, in making the bold step forward to record without him, what was the criteria for a new vocalist? How many guys did you look at?
We looked for a while. You know Andrew, we've got a different philosophy; this was mine and Mike's philosophy. We talked about doing this band, under the name Giant. We understand when you make change in the world, or anything, some people are not gonna like it. We didn't go into the whole thing trying to please everybody. We knew we had fans but it had been a long time. We didn't go into it trying to replace Dann.
He's irreplaceable and so we wanted to stay true to the brand of Giant…

….but we also wanted to evolve because it's been so many years. I think that was the criteria for us looking for singers. What met the criteria for us was someone who could play and sing rock music but just as important was that he have some soulful sort of background.

Yeah. Terry Brock's a great choice.
Yeah and you know it was a very natural choice, as was John [Roth]. He's the same; he's got a lot of rock but he's got a lot of soul in him because he's in Memphis.
So anyway, that was kind of our philosophy. And, we had approached the label too with we can't replace Dann, nor are we trying to. We just want to make it true to the melodic rock, guitar driven music but kind of evolved.

There's a lot of guitar on this record actually.
Oh Yeah!

John really PLAYS. (laughs) Everybody knows what a really great player he is but he gets to shine a bit is what I meant.
I think he's an awesome player. Dann's heard stuff and he was very impressed with everything; he was TOTALLY impressed with it. And he is very supportive of it.

Where did the rumors come from, that there was a rift between you guys because of you moving forward with the name?
Between me and Dan? Oh no, no, no. You know, you've been in the media long enough to know that some people will just day things to start some stuff…
The bottom line is, like I said early on in the interview, Dann and I are best friends; we are blood brothers and we're best friends. We have nothing but love. You know, I went to Dann first and said, Hey, I know you don't want to do Giant because you don't want to sing and I know your commitments. But, hey, I'm gonna ask you officially anyway because we're brothers…and that's how I do things. Either way, it's fine. He didn't want to do it but he is absolutely, 1000% supportive. He has absolutely bent over backwards to give song input and play some solos, which are amazing.

Because that's what brothers do. So there's no rumor-no.

That's fantastic but I'm still stunned that he doesn't want to sing! (laughs)
I know. (laughs) I know! He's SO good; he's so interpretive and soulful. Yeah, I agree with you; I agree with you. Maybe had we been in Giant 5 years earlier, you know, at the PEAK of all that kind of music….maybe we woulda had enough records under our belt-you know, hits-maybe we could be around like, and I'm not comparing us with Journey, but kind of like how they have lived through that.

And still make it worth your while to tour or whatever.
Yeah and they can still make a comfortable living off of all the stuff they did back in the 80s! (laughs)

(laughs) Exactly, yes. Their songs just won't die, some of them.
Yeah. I heard some of them the other night, Don't Stop Believin', and I was like, Wow, that sounds awesome.

It's hard to believe that it's 30 years old, isn't it?
Uh huh. Yeah.

Speaking of aging and things like that, the first of your 2 studio albums still sound AMAZING today.
Wow. Well, thanks. Thanks.

They have aged and I just wanted to ask you whether you are aware-I'm sure you are aware of the cult following that those 2 albums have.
We are all very aware of that. We are very appreciative of that. Part of making this record is knowing that we still have…people come out of the blue, Andrew, and say, Man, I love Giant. Are you ever going to make anything else? And I'm talking recently. People that I know that are in the pop world-I won't mention any names but famous people-they LIKE the band.
So, we know we have fans, especially over in Europe. We always really wanted to make another record. We'll make some of the fans happy by that. We sure had fun making the record, and although it's a different day and age, we still hope we can have some of those fans.

And you've captured a great sound, once again. Obviously, you guys know your way around the studio by now. (laughs) So, you can make a great sound for a lot less these days.
Yeah, well, and we get to work at world class studios I was asked the question, Did you do this just for the money? (laughs)
And I said, I'll tell ya-I'm glad you ask because I don't take anything as an insult from anybody. I can just tell you straight up that we DIDN'T do it for the money. We put the money into the project-what budget was there-we put it into the project.

Anybody that's aware of the scene as it is now wouldn't ask that question.
Well, good because I told someone else that wasn't really convinced, I said, You know, hey, Mike and I put our own money into the video. Because I wanted something that was…we are used to doing things on a high level, you know? I didn't want to something that was real shitty and neither did anybody in the band. We wanted to give back to the fans and hopefully they like it and appreciate it. We certainly had fun doing it. I'm not trying to do the martyr thing; we have a lot of pride and we want to make something good.

Well… it sounds GREAT! There's no doubt about it.
It's not a one off and it certainly wasn't to make a killing to go live in the Bahamas, ok? (laughs) That wasn't about that.

(laughing) Absolutely. So, you say it wasn't a one off so the idea is to keep things rolling?
Yeah! We just turned the record in about a month ago-not quite a month ago...right at a month. We're building the website. We have the website started: just now building it up. We did the video. Our plan is to do some touring-get hooked up with a booking agency that really connects in Europe. What we'd like to do is get offered a couple of festivals and just do something in Europe, one off, is, right at this point, impossible. It's almost impossible.

You know I was nagging you for my show in Chicago in May.
I know and we want to but we are at an unfortunate point that we just made a record and we are already up and running. Our intent is to be fully up and running to where we can go…. a lot of bands go over to Europe and do shows twice a year. That's what we fully want to do.

That's Good!
And, to be honest, we miss that, you know? Mike and I – we MISS that a lot. We had the most incredible time playing in Europe. We played HUGE shows here, in the states. But I can tell you, we played arenas and HUGE outdoor sheds and arenas. Our true, fun times were when we played in Europe—way more intimate' we just felt way more appreciated. And that was really… we were really received well. We were soooooo grateful for that.
We want to get back to that.

I hope it can come together, David, I really do.
I think it will. We just have to. I don't know the European market so I don't know how. I can't book shows over there. You have to get the right people for the right job. So that's what we're looking for right-the right agents that can kind of string some stuff together for us so when we leave we can for 2-3 weeks at a time, which makes a lot of sense.
Like we used to do.

I understand that. What –I was going to ask you earlier – but what were the budgets on the first 2 records? I'm not asking what today's budget is because we know what It's like (laughs) but just so people know the silly kind of amounts that it took to make records in the heyday. How much were the budgets for the first two albums?
Well…they were well over a half a million…pushing….pushing…..just recording? Just recording was well over a half a million. We recorded in London and we stayed there for 3 months.

Oh my god.
It was expensive. And a lot of money mixing. We spent – I remember when Nigel Green mixed—what was the song he did—I think it was the first one he mixed. He mixed that one and it took him 3 days to mix that one. In London!
Nigel took like 4 days on one of them!
Imagine -a full on studio. I know what they were in New York; they were 1200-1500 a DAY just for the studio.
So, 4 days plus the mixer's fee, which is…well, I can't tell you what he got paid. I know a lot of those mixers in L.A.- a lot of my good friends in L.A.- they're making $12,-15,000 a mix.

…in pop music. So, just imagine…the budgets were a lot! Let's put it that way.

(laughing!) YES!!! (laughing!) Amazing.
But it was cool because we got to experiment with tones and sounds and arrangements and we LIVED the music, you know? We made the music by living it.

They just sound Immaculate-the records just sound … you know….not a note out of place without it sounding sterile.
And, we were working with great engineers. Obviously, the world's a different place now. People aren't making-not even the big, big artists- they're not making records like that for that kind of money anymore.

No, they're always making a tour pass, aren't they.
Exactly. So you know , you still just work with great engineers-that's what we did. We STILL work with great engineers: that really helps you.

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. What are some of the favorite songs you've got on the record? I must ask you-the title of the album, I think you've been asked this before, but the original Mark Spiro title is Back To The Promised Land and the lyrics are “Promised Land” yet the title is Promise Land.
That's good question. I would revert it back to the writer, Mark Spiro, and let him try to figure out why. You know? I don't know; it's just kind of like a different state of mind, you know? It doesn't have to be…they kind of mean the same thing but then again, a promised land is something that you strive for. We didn't all write it…Dann and Mark wrote it-but we all worked that song many times.

That's kind of cool because it brings back a lot of great memories to me. Um, I like Believer -the new version of that. At first of all, I thought that it might be a little bit weird that it had the same title, kind of the same title…but the song sounds so different.

Oh, I LOVE it! Love it. My favorite song, I think.
I like stuff like Complicated. Man, I like a lot of the different stuff. I like Save Me-you know, that song Dann and I wrote. It's kind of like….it's part of US. I like that. I like Our Love. I love that.

Yeah-a good ballad. And Power of Love is ..that's straight out of the Giant songbook.
Absolutely. I think all the songs, like I said, stay true to a brand that we started and it has also evolved. It's both.

In the second half of the album, there's some good original stuff on there.
It's melodic, it's commercial, commercial kind of rock kind of stuff to me. All I can say is we had a GREAT time making the record. We just knew it brought so much enjoyment. You know, it's funny when we first started getting ready to go in and record, I hear some negativity about it--- Why are you going to record Giant.
So far, for people that have heard the record that's not even a point of contention anymore. It has touches of Giant-very much in the same page as that- but it has also evolved. Thank God, it's evolved a little bit.

Yeah. I'm glad you moved forward. I was a bit hesitant myself but once I heard the record, I was really pleased.
Andrew, like I said, our philosophy was to go into the thing…. We didn't go into it scared, we didn't go into it pressured like, How are we going to do this. We went into it ….the one thing that was hard was making sure that we were comfortable with the new lineup.
And once we went with that, Serafino and I worked very closely on songs and, you know, we just went in there and made music. We never thought.
When we made the first Giant record, we never thought; we just made music.
That's what we did and I felt like we accomplished our goal by doing it. We made music. Ultimately, everybody's going to make their assessments on it and we were pleased; we were very happy with it. We love it and we hope people do too. Time will tell.

Fantastic and you won't leave it 10 years between records now?
No! (laughs)
No, you know what's funny is that it took us a minute for Mike and I. We spend a lot of time together out having a beer and talking about what we need to do to start this up. So… Now we've got some momentum, I wouldn't dare think of wasting this. Hopefully, we can get some tour stuff backed up on this thing and continue to write some stuff for the next project. I mean, granted, it has to be accepted enough to warrant doing another record. You know?
There has to be some sort of demand out there and that's why I keep saying, I hope people like it; I hope there's a demand for it.

I'm sure but the music stands on it's own.
Oh well, Andrew, that means a lot coming from you-it really does.

Thank you.
I've seen some comments. We just got a page started,, and we've had some remarks from people…very, very complimentary and just very excited to go buy the record.
That was cool; very encouraging.

Great stuff. Great stuff. Well, that's about all I had for you, David.
Well thank you very much for the support Andrew.


c. 2010 / Interview by Andrew McNeice


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