Power pop music is timeless and ageless
With Frank we have got acquainted on the Internet. Have started to correspond. At once there was a desire to take this interview. He has kindly agreed. We offer you interesting conversation with Frank, with the leader of legendary group "Blue Ash"
. As it seems to us, interview has turned out very interesting, substantial and we are glad to share ideas of our american friend with readers of site Powerpop.Ru. He is not only the talented, hardworking musician, loves "power-pop", but he is also simply good person and handsome man.
Powerpop.Ru - Hi Frank, thank you for warm words concerning our site. How's life in general? What did you do last summer?
Frank Secich - You are very welcome. I was glad to see a powerpop site started in Russia. Life has been good for me in general the last few years. I have hooked up with an old musician friend of mine named Terry Hartman from Cleveland, Ohio and we have been writing and recording new songs since March. The songs are pretty much in the classic Ohio powerpop style with some eccentric poetic twists.
Powerpop.Ru - I open many new artists and develop musical knowledge thanks to "Notlame.com". What does this brand mean for you now?
Frank Secich - Not Lame is the world's premier powerpop record company. It's located in Colorado and run by Bruce Brodeen. Bruce is the great champion and patron of powerpop music. Bruce and the late, great Greg Shaw of Bomp Records are two men who truly love and loved this type of music above all and have kept it alive and continue spreading it around the world. You are right, the selection of music at www.NotLame.com is fabulous. Check it out!
Powerpop.Ru - What is your Definition of "Powerpop"? Who first used this term for their music? Was it Pete Townshend or somebody else?
Frank Secich - I have heard it was Pete Townshend and I have heard it was Greg Shaw who coined the term. I don't know. My definition would be music with melody and harmony and power and attitude and sex in a short, 3 minute burst of contagious excitement.
Powerpop.Ru - What was your view on the "Powerpop" future in the 70-s and do you have the same attitude today? Do you find it necessary for musicians to limit their creativity to any particular style including powerpop?
Frank Secich - First off, I don't think that musicians should ever limit themselves to any particular style. I know when Blue Ash started doing what people now call powerpop in the late 1960's and early 1970's, there were very few groups doing it. By 1969, music had changed into long jams and "progressive" groups and it was not what we (Blue Ash) liked. We wanted to make the great music we heard as kids in the early and mid 1960's. Music like our heroes made, like The Beatles, Kinks, Who, Rolling Stones, Beau Brummels, Byrds and Dylan. So right from the start we were writing music with that type of feel.The first wave of early 70's powerpop groups like Big Star, Blue Ash, Flamin' Groovies and even Raspberries at that time were pretty much on a commercial suicide course and we knew it. But we loved the music we were doing and the statement we were making. Today, I feel even more confident of the infinite possibilities available with the internet and all because I feel this music is timeless and ageless.
Powerpop.Ru - Which groups, musicians are your favorites?
Frank Secich - This is going to be a long list. All the groups listed above plus Small Faces, Dave Clark Five, Them, Moby Grape, Yardbirds, Searchers, Lovin' Spoonful, The Creation, Human Beinz, Les Fleur De Lys, Badfinger, Jackie Lomax, Knickerbockers, Stories, Elliott Murphy Turtles, Flamin' Groovies, Buddy Holly, The Move. Easybeats, Raspberries, Animals, early Pink Floyd, early Moody Blues,The Jam, Left Banke, The Choir, The Records, Big Star, Pretty Things, Nashville Teens, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Troggs, Blues Magoos, Dead Boys, Stooges, Electric Prunes, Kingsmen, Hollies, Swinging Blue Jeans, Downliners Sect, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Nazz, Buffalo Springfield......and hundreds more.
Powerpop.Ru - The life of an actor/ artist on our planet is not easy. A lot of them do not live the life they dreamed of in their youth. Are you trying to live your life in the most creative way?
Frank Secich - In 1990, I quit the music business and never even picked up a guitar for the next 13 years. In 2003, I began writing again at a furious pace. I have written over 100 songs in the last few years and I think it's my finest work ever. In a strange way just leaving it silently alone for that period of time made me more creative than I've ever been.
Powerpop.Ru - What were the "Blue Ash" musicians engaged in 80-s or 90-s? Has anybody left borders of state of Ohio in search of a new life? Has any of them played all those years in other groups?
Frank Secich - Blue Ash got together again in 2003 (with all original members and others) and has played a half a dozen times since including the International Pop Overthrow in Philadelphia. It was the first time we were all together in 25 years. Lead singer Jim Kendzor and lead guitarist Bill Bartolin have had a blues group going (on and off) through the 90's until now called The Blues Weasels. David Evans the drummer has been living in Florida and comes back to play occasionally. Jeff Rozniata (second drummer) lived in California for a long time but now lives here in Pennsylvania. In the 80's,I played on Stiv Bators' solo album "Disconnected" and his Bomp singles and I also managed and produced a great powerpop group from Ohio called the Infidels. I also played in a group called Club Wow with Jimmy Zero from the Dead Boys. In the last few years I have been writing and recording with Terry Hartman and John Koury and Pete Drivere from the Infidels and will have an album of all new material soon. I'm also starting to get involved managing a talented rapper from Pennsylvania named Isaac Chapman aka Anonimus.
Powerpop.Ru - Did any of them practice any other art but music?
Frank Secich - Not that I know of. Maybe the "art of drinking". They were all just crazy musicians.
Powerpop.Ru - Adult people often recollect their past, going into nostalgia. It seemed to me you have a nostalgia over those years when you were young.
Frank Secich - I think that's true. I grew up in a time of fabulous music in the 1960's. I was fortunate enough to see many of the great bands that I mentioned "live". That's not even mentioning the local scene in Ohio, which produced an extraordinary amount of great musicians (Human Beinz, Raspberries, Cyrus Erie, Choir, James Gang, Holes In The Road, Outsiders) and their great music. It was a tremendous scene and I am so grateful that I was even a small part of it.
Powerpop.Ru - Were there any children of "Blue Ash " musicians who showed a great interest in music?
Frank Secich - Bill Bartolin's son, Sean, is a world-class guitarist and drummer and plays in Christian rock group called Namesake.
Powerpop.Ru - Have you ever received any letters from Russia before?
Frank Secich - We've received letters from Brazil, Australia, India, Spain, France, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Canada, Germany, England and many other places but never from Russia.
Powerpop.Ru - PP wishes the big "Blue Ash" family, your relatives, friends and acquaintances huge success in creative works, health and prosperity!