NFINITY used to be STIFF BOURBON under which they released a brilliant CD titled 'From out of nowhere'. This CD is also out under the new bandname NFINITY. Musically they play Classic 80s AOR in the style of JOURNEY, SURVIVOR, SAVANNAH, SIGNAL... NFINITY is one of the top indie AOR Bands around these days and it wouldn't surprise me if they would release their material through one of the bigger AOR labels over here. Below you can read an interview I had with NFINITY members Jess Curtindale - lead singer, Michael Clothier - lead/rhythm guitar and background vocals, and Michael Proctor (mostly lyrics these days). Here's what they had to say...
Tell us about the
beginning, what did you do before the STIFF BOURBON CD?
Jesse - Before Nfinity I collaborated with a friend of mine Brian Ray and we just wrote songs and performed locally as a duet. Then afterwards I hooked up with some guys to form a band called Poets Crown, which included Glenn Scott and Alan Hetland of Nfinity. From there thats how the band got formed, we went looking for a new guitar player and thats where we met Michael.
Michael C Yeah, thats right, I went to a local show one night and went backstage to meet the band and literally ran into Jesse who the standing behind the door when I opened it (BAM). (Everyone laughs) It just so happens that Jesse and Glenn were theyre looking for a guitar player. After talking for a little bit I told them I had a tape out in my truck and we all went outside to listen to it.
Jesse Glenn and I were blown away by what we heard; I mean Michael can really rock a guitar. Then three weeks later we were in a small 16-track studio recording our first three songs together. One of those songs, Standing in the Darkness, was eventually rerecorded for the new CD.
Michael P I guess thats where I come in. Well before Nfinity, Michael and I played guitar together, actually Michael was one of my teachers and my favorite guy to jam with. So the day after they recorded those first songs, Michael came over to my house to show me some really cool stuff that he was doing with a bunch of guys he just met. There were three songs on the demo tape and they all blew me away. I told him that I would like to come meet the band and bring my guitar and maybe jam with them some night. We all fit together so well that night, I mean it was real chemistry and lot of fun. They asked me to join the band that night.
When did you form STIFF BOURBON and tell us all about the band name problems?
Michael P OK, I guess I need to answer this one because I caused the problem. Before we made the CD we were called Reunion and there is a song named that on the CD because it is our theme song. But some of us werent too attached to Reunion and the others really didnt care too much either way so I suggested that we change it to Infinity because it sounded cooler. So we mailed out a demo tape to all the record companies and they all sent us basically a form letter politely telling us that our music sucked. We were all pretty confused by this because when we performed live the fans really get into our music and tell us they love our sound.
Then one day I was
browsing the web while at work (yeah wasting time) and I found
this really cool site called MP3.com where thousands of bands had
their music out there without record companies deciding their
fate. So I uploaded a couple of songs from the CD and found out
that there was a band already named Infinity on the site and they
wouldnt let two bands have the same name. I just made up
Stiff Bourbon off the top of my head because I knew no one would
ever name their band Stiff Bourbon and I really wanted to get the
music out there to see what might happen. Then the rest of the
guys found out about this and were not very happy with the name,
well except for Jesse, he actually liked it but he is kind of
weird like that. So I suggested playing with the spelling to
Nfinity, which is the name we are now going with and you will
find out on MP3.com today.
The CD contains some
classic 80s AOR rock from a very high quality, how come you guys
aren't signed yet?
Jesse Its a matter of supply and demand. We have only been heard locally, which is the beautiful state of Washington in the USA. But thank god for the Internet and sites like MP3.com. Having an international medium on which to get our music to people like our new fans at Strutter'zine would never have happened if it werent for the changes in the ways that music is made available to listeners around the world.
Michael P Thanks for the compliment, really. After having all those U.S. record labels tell us that our sound would never sell it is very nice to hear that there are fans in Europe who really appreciate the classic 80s AOR sound. I guess we should try some European labels and see what they think.
Did you know your kind
of music has a very huge underground scene in Europe right now?
Jesse No, in fact that made my year, a real dream come true for me to hear that.
Michael P There is a huge underground scene in Europe for our kind of music. J Actually, we were completely surprised to hear this.
Michael C Were packing our bags right now.
Jesse - Paul Rodgers from Bad Company, Brad Delp from Boston, and especially Rob Halford from Judas Priest. Their soul and vocal techniques are always in the back of my mind when I perform.
Michael C For me its Styx and Boston. These bands really had something to say, there was meaning behind each song.
Michael P Well I like all of those bands too, but since I have become more the lyricists than anything else, I would have to say Neil Peart of RUSH, who has recently been going through some very tragic moments in his life (Neil, my thoughts are with you and the world patiently awaits your return). When you read the imagery he uses and the complexity of the philosophy behind them, you cant help but be humbled. I aspire to develop my own style along the same lines, but Nfinity isnt really the type of music for it. So I will just express myself through poetry that I mostly keep to myself. There are two poems I wrote for the CD on the inside jacket though, Walls and Destiny.
Your music is very 80s AOR typed, do you think this genre will become as popular as it once was in The States back then?
Jesse The music was never intended for a genre or a particular audience, we love what we write and play it mostly for ourselves and if others like it, GREAT! This music comes from deep inside us and it flows out the way it does because we are artists and this is one of the ways we learned to express ourselves. As far as it coming back into popularity in the US, I really dont know, I hope so.
Michael C I think if we had a goal, it might have been that we are trying to create is timeless music and not what the market or the record companies would demand from us.
Michael P - I agree. It is my belief that record companies, at least the ones in the US, are the thought police of sound. They arrogantly decide what the next sound is and only sign bands to fulfill their own selfish goals. The idea that fans purely drive the music industry has long since died due to their continued intrusion and I think that is a real crime.
Jesse So Mike why dont you tell us what you really think.
Do you know other new
bands playing your kind of music?
Michael C Not to our knowledge. Most of the bands in our area are still producing the grunge sound, which grew out of Seattle.
Jesse I think we are very unique; we have a definite signature to our sound. Although my signature no one can read, so maybe I should have been a doctor.
Michael P Definitely not Jesse, your bedside manor leaves a lot to be desired.
Do you have any songs that didn't make the album?
Jesse Yeah, Where do we go from here, This Kids got a play, Renee, and several more. I dont think Michael P liked This kids got to play though.
Michael P - No, I never did. Jesse that song sucked! (GRIN)
Michael C Before we went into the studio we all sat down and decided which songs we were going to record because we knew we only had so much money to spend. This was really hard, there was a lot of great stuff that didnt make it.
Have you been writing
new songs already for a future release?
Jesse I will always write. As long as I can play my guitar and use my voice there will always be music to write. Whether or not it reaches the fans of this style of music is really up to the fans.
Michael C We were just testing the waters with From out of Nowhere to see what kind of interest could be generated. During this project, about ten other songs were written, just not recorded. There is always a new song in my head that I want to put to tape. But recording takes time and money. Recording without a record label backing you financially and without a top-notch producer guiding you through the process is very hard to do.
Michael P Tell me about it, eight songs was all we could afford, I have been eating popcorn ever since. Actually unless some miracle happens and we sell a lot of CDs out on MP3.com or we find a label for our music, I am not sure how long it will be until we have enough money to record the other songs we have.
What are the plans for
the coming months?
Jesse Ill need to fix all my appliances that stopped working because of Y2K.
Michael C What did you say Jesse? You freak! (they both laugh)
Michael P - I am pretty busy with my day job where I work for a software company called TeamVision. I dont even have time to do much anything else but work really, but I sneak in time to write lyrics and poetry.
And finally what is
your opinion on mp3.com, how did you get there and what is the
future for the music industry with a brilliant site like this.
Michael C Bands that have a lot to contribute to the scene wouldnt be heard without the changes that are taking place because of MP3.com. Cheers!
Michael P- I may have hinted earlier about my feelings for the record labels. But I am so excited by the changes that are taking place because of the web in general and MP3.com is one of the great success stories out there, especially for musicians and fans. Finally there is a free and open forum for people to get together and share music and opinions without the big brother of the labels monitoring and controlling our choices.
Jesse MP3.com kicks ass. Finally something to let the little guy compete with the ^&&(*(*(#^$ machine. I could go on standing on my soapbox, but Mike already did so I wont. THANKS MP3.com!
Anything to add to my
Michael C Enjoy the music and we hope you a chance to get a little closer to who we are through our CD.
Jesse Thanks to all the fans that gave us a chance, listened to our music, and bought it. You are the whole reason we do this stuff, really.
Michael P I guess I should add that because of the name change issue the URL on MP3.com has changed. We can now be found at http://www.mp3.com/Nfinity Please come check out our music and write us an email to tell us what you think, we love hearing from you and we answer all of our email. You can directly email us at Nfinityusa@netscape.net Thanks!
Thanks for the interview.
Jesse Its been cool. I hope we get a chance to come back again some time soon.
Michael C (Nods) Thank you very much.
Michael P Actually the thanks is all ours, you are very gracious to have given us this opportunity. Peace.
REVIEW CD NFINITY
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