THE SCREAMiNG JETS
|ROCKWiRED iNTERViEWS FOSTER McGiNTY
PEACHY KEENOnce again, another twenty-something buck with a guitar is here to announce that he is out to make rock n roll the way his daddy used to do it. I certainly donít mean to sound cynical in introducing a fellow like singer-songwriter FOSTER McGINTY, but in a decade littered with young troubadours bleeding with overwrought MAYER-styled sensitivity, McGINTY is probably going to be the last of the line given the six months remaining of said decade. But after listening to the kidís debut CD PEACH RED, Iíve got to say that McGINTY goes a little further than expected by successfully introducing a bit of rock n roll soul to a demographic that is all too content to crank it up on a spirited game of GUITAR HERO as opposed to picking up a real guitar.
FOSTER McGiNTY TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT CD PEACH RED
GETTiNG THE MUSiC OUT THERE
AND NOT RE-iNVENTiNG THE WHEEL
iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with FOSTER McGINTY over the phone. Here is how it went.
How do you feel about PEACH RED now that itís out there for everybody to hear and that all of the work is behind you?
Iím relieved. It was a lot of work putting that together. Iíve realized that just as much work has to go into the promoting process. Thatís what Iím doing right now. I M just doing everything that I can to get it into the public and people are receiving it really well. Itís selling very well and I just had my release party last week and everybody had a blast. I actually released a music video with it for the song CANíT HELP BUT SHINE. I just wish that everyone in the world could hear it right now. I just believe in it that much. It is the first time that Iíve released something that Iím extremely proud of. I feel like Iím finally at the level that I have been striving for.
Before this album you released an E.P. What is different this time other than the length?
The E.P. wasnít as professionally done. It was recorded in a West Village apartment with no air conditioning. It was recorded in a kitchen and PEACH RED was done in a professional studio here in New York. Also at that time, my band was a trio much in the vein of the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE or CREAM. I went for a power trio vibe. On this album I introduced an organ and a Wurlitzer. I also featured my voice more with background vocals and having my voice out in front of the track a little more.
Why the title?
PEACH RED just popped into my head one day. I didnít know what it meant at the time. I do now. Itís fresh, itís young, itís youthful and itís where I am right now in my career. This is my debut record and itís very new. Those two words together came off sounding new and fresh to me.
How did music begin for you?
My earliest memories are with my father listening to great blues records in the car. My dad and my uncle were in a band together and still are. Iíve had music around me since I was a toddler. I picked up a guitar at a young age and just started writing music and that became my escape and my outlet. Iíve been exposed to music my whole life. Itís been around, thatís for sure.
When was the defining moment when the listener and appreciator became the guitar player and the songwriter. What sort of brought that on?
I donít know. Music has always made me feel good. It took me to a certain level. Itís a feeling thing that I canít really explain. I wound up in the basement with friends and we were all into the great classic rock groups and that was when I started playing the guitar. I just started writing music immediately. I never covered songs ever. It had always been writing. I wasnít a listener very long because I started at such a young age writing music.
You are at such a young age. You are only in your mid-twenties.
Yeah, I guess I am.
Explain if itís explainable the songwriting process. How does that work for you?
For me, the music comes first. Very rarely do I start out by humming a lyric. The music always sets the stage for the lyric and the vocal melodies. For me, I play nonstop so I can be in the middle of a practice routine or just fooling around and something will get caught in my head. Iíll really start to like this thing that Iím playing. Then, I always have the lyric compliment the lyrics. I think of lyrics as colors. The music is the palette and the lyrics are the colors. I try to make them compliment one another and that is how it goes for me. I kind of see the whole process as color.
With the album PEACH RED, what songs off of it stand out for you at the moment and why?
The opening track CANíT HELP BUT SHINE stands out for me. I really enjoyed playing that song in the studio and I loved playing it live. I would say HARD JELLY is another favorite. Itís a real funky tune for me that gives me that feeling that I used to get when I listened to music. It just gives me a really cool energy and I like DREAMCATCHER a lot because it offers a bit of a different vibe. BURNING BEEHIVE is probably another one for me.
Do you use the same band for live shows as you do for recording?
Yes but there is one minor exception. The bass player is different. I have the same drummer and the same guy on keys but the bass player is a recent addition.
Talk about the band. Who are they and what is it that each of them brings to the table both musically and personality-wise?
DAVID BUTLER is the drummer and heís been with me the longest out of any of them. DAVE and I started playing with me again about a year ago. DAVE plays with so much power. Heís got a power and intensity that not every drummer has. You could be the best drummer technically but he feeling hat DAVE gives isnít something that can be taught. The power that he puts into the music is just raw emotion and I love having him right behind me. The bass player ANTAR GOODWIN is someone I met on BLEEKER STREET. He was in the house band that played after me. I just fell in love with his playing and loved watching in him play every Tuesday night. I was having trouble with a bass player at the time and ANTAR stepped in to make a long story short. ANTAR is a groove player to the max. He can be as technical as he wants to be but he plays so sparsely and heís able to lay back and play a great groove. DORAN DANNOF is on the keys and he adds a whole new element to the music. He kind of floats on top of it. He plays some of the most beautiful melodies and heís a great lead player as well. All of these guys play with great energy and emotion. My favorite thing about all of these guys is who they are as people. We have a lot of fun at rehearsals. I really enjoy hanging out with these guys in and outside of a musical atmosphere.
Talk about the music video that youíve shot.
It was shot on the coldest day in New York it was awful. We started off early in the morning. It was all shot in the Lower East Side in a total of three different locations. We had sixty extras turn up. They were accumulated through friends calling friends and some of them were from CRAIGSLIST. Itís my first music video and I think it represents a different part of me that maybe the music isnít capable of conveying. The people involved with it were all very creative people and I feel that we brought the vision of who I am as an artist out in a very good way.
Throughout the process of getting this CD put together, what was the biggest surprise for you?
I think the biggest surprise for me is the monster that this thing has turned into. I call this CD a Ďlittle monsterí. I canít get away from it. I thought that I would go in and record this thing and from there, I didnít quite know what was going to happen. I thought I would be able to put it behind me after I walked out of the studio with my master tapes but instead it keeps going on and on and on. This thing exhausts me. Iím promoting it nonstop. The word PEACH RED probably comes out of my mouth about two hundred times a day. I thought I had put all of myself onto tape and it was done. Bu now, itís on my back and I canít get away from it. This has been an eight-month process for me already.
What would you like for someone to come away with after theyíve heard this CD?
I would like for them to feel refreshed. PEACH RED is a very organic album. Here are not bunch of add-ons. Itís just rock n roll. Iím not trying to reinvent the wheel with it. I feel like its rock n roll like it hasnít been heard in a while. I feel like itís going back to some roots that need to be revisited. Iíd like people to walk away refreshed and of course I would like them to walk away feeling good.