By Nicky Baldrian
Mainman Jeff Heller reveals
all about his classic pure hard rock/aor outfit.
Nicky:- Can you tell me how Prior Park started and what your influences are?
Jeff Heller:- I am the Lead Vocalist and
Bass Player and Song writer for the Band "Prior Park"..
In the 80's I had a band Called "Ian Shelter.." who
played all the local clubs in the north western USA. In and
around 1983 I hooked up with a Producer Named: Kim Fowley who has
had many hit records. He Produced my first solo lp called
"The Jeff Heller Collection.." I recorded this lp in
Los angeles California with musicians Philip Dockery - Guitar,
John Dickel - Guitar Vocals and Kevin Kova,Mike Linn,John Weiss
all on Drums. Our influences are.. The Beatles , The Who, Crosby,
Stills, Nash, and
Young, David Linley, Paul McCartney,38 Special, Journey and Asia and of Course Jimi Hendrix. Theses are the roots of Prior Park. The Band Today is Jeff Heller - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Phil Dockery - Guitar, William Guevara - Guitar, Jeff Boudrot - Drums, Mike Williams - Keyboards as shown in the photo of the album cover Prior Park "Passport". The other 2nd CD is Called "Welcome to Prior Park."
Nicky:-Tell me about your first lp "The Jeff Heller Collection"? Is this album AOR?And do you think you may reissue it?
Jeff- The First LP Jeff
HellerCollection... Is basically a musical biography of personal
feelings and thoughts.. put to music with feelings and great
musicians.. also with the help of Mr. Kim Fowley. and it is AOR.
The Classifications of today seem to be a bit strange.. it's good
Nicky:-The Jeff Heller Collection sounds an intresting release worth investigating ,if people want to get hold of it,is it still avalable?
Jeff:-Yes, on the internet at: http://www.mp3.com/JHC or http://members.aol.com/hellersong
Nicky:-You have quite a vast batch of influences,other than music,where do you draw your inspirations from?
Jeff:- I personally draw my inspirations from personal experiences.. Love, Life..Feelings..Fantasies.. etc.. There is a song I wrote called "IMPRESSIONS" which is an anti prejudice song..an anthem type.. very strong content with serious meaning. Since I do most of the writings except for the four songs I collaborated with...with Ted Machleit our new addition singer/guitarist and William Guevara.. these guys are great and fun to work with.
Nicky:-So when your in the studio recording and writing how do you decide how a song fits together? Is song writng difficult,and is it difficult trying to find the write music to go with the lyrics?
Jeff:-Usually the song is written and arranged before the recording session.. The 11 to 12 songs are picked out before the session.. as for the actual creativness of writing a song.. doing it alone takes a long time. but when collaborating it helps.. there are things that sometimes you don't think off..
Nicky:-You guys seem to be to creating quite a bit of a stir over the internet,especially here in Europe,what are your next plans?And have you sent your material in to any of the labels over here?
Jeff:- As for Creating a stir... I am
not seeing to much of that here in the States but over seas yes..
Europe and Japan.. we seem to have a nitch for....we are getting
good write ups from over seas and the MP3.. fans all over..
Purchasing our CD's.
As for our future.. we keep writing and recording songs.. I am coming out with an all acoustic CD next year.. will be available through mp3.com. As for Prior Park we have only sent to a few lables.. we are getting great responses but as you know the music industry is changing and we are changing with it with MP3. Selling our Material through the internet on MP3,but we
are always open to offers.
Nicky:-Glad that there is intrest in Prior Park,can you tell me about the current Prior Park album,and this accoustic album of yours?
Jeff:-The Current "Prior Park"
album titled: : "Welcome to Prior Park" The Songs are
very powerful and melodic. and earlier this year we lost one of
our drummers (Matt Ryan) due to a heart condition This album is
dedicated to him.. he was an excellent!! drummer and friend. our
other drummer Jeff Boudrot is great also..and a good friend. as
for the acoustic album now that is a surprise... next year in
April and May I will be in England.. doing some promotionals.. on
Welcome to "Prior
Park" and checking out the waters on possible touring..
Nicky:- Sorry to hear about Matt Ryan,That's sounds cool though you guys coming over to England I guess your planning a tour or something? Will this include Europe?,we'll have to get together and crack open a few beers,where did the name Prior Park come from?
Jeff:-Just checking the venues..You are
from England right? There is a Castle in England Called "
Prior Park" Named after Sir William Prior.. from the first
Postal service. we all really liked the name.
Nicky:-I'm from Wales,But's it's not too far,and I know of this castle,perhaps you should hold some gigs there,ha!ha!
Nicky:- What about promotional videos,any plans for one?
Jeff:-We have quite a few out on Cable
TV.. in the States and Have performed on some Tv Shows as well
Nicky:- Which songs were videos shot for?
Jeff:- "Picture on the
wall"," Impressions", "The Castle" and
"In my arms tonight".
Nicky:- Tell me about the song " The Castle" it's brilliant?
Jeff:- The Song the "the
Castle" was written quite a while ago.. one of my first
songs.. I redid it for this album.... I was on a beach ..thinking
about life, wars and being lonely.. a state of mind we all get in
once and a while..
Nicky:- What is your musical ambition?
Jeff:-EveryOne of us has a Dream..That
Keeps us alive and ours is possibly one day being successful in
what we all
love to do "writing songs and performing them and to be recognized by the music industry but most of all the Public "The Fans" "
Nicky:- Yes I can understand that,but what is it that actually keeps you motivated?The scene isn't exactly healthy for aor and melodic rock bands at the moment,but I do feel that the tide is turning,and if it does I personnaley feel that you guys will come out tops,if this should happen and you end up selling millions of albums what would be the first thing you would treat yourself to after all the years of hard work?
Jeff:- We all can dream now can't we..
There is alot of people who love melodic rock.. and Classic
rock.. we fit in that vein.. and if by some chance we sell alot
of records that would be great.. but I've learned not to spend
the chickens before they are
PRIOR PARK DISCOGRAPHY
1978 - my first record ( by the Arizona Band) Single - Title: Dreamer "Hellersongs BMI"
1979 - Ian Shelter LP (Hellersongs BMI)
1983 - Thrasher EP 4 songs on Blue vinyl..(Hellersongs BMI)
1984 - Jeff Heller Single - "So nice to have you here" (Hellersongs BMI)
1984 - Jeff Heller Single " Picture On The Wall" (Hellersongs BMI)
1985 - JeffHellerCollection LP (Produced by Kim Fowley) (Hellersongs BMI)
1989 - (JeffHellerCollection) Single - "Nothin's gonna bring me down (live)" (Hellersongs BMI)
1993 - Jeff Heller CD - Impressions (Hellersongs BMI)
1996 - Prior Park " Passport" CD & cassette (Statue Records) (Hellersongs BMI)
1999 - Welcome to Prior Park CD (MP3.com) (Hellersongs BMI)
1999 - Re- issue - Ian Shelter Remembered! CD w/2 SPECIAL LIVE CUTS) MP3.COM (Hellersongs BMI)
1999 - Prior Park Passport CD re- issue on MP3.com (Hellersongs BMI)
1999 - Re- Issue of " JEFFHELLERCOLLECTION" CD JHC/Thrasher Years..MP3.com (Hellersongs BMI)
1999 - Jeff Heller "ANTHOLOGY" CD - acoustic trax/History of songs/unreleased songs) (Hellersongs BMI)
2000 - Jeff Heller & Prior Park - CD UNPLUGGED - Pending.... (Hellersongs BMI)
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