RICHARD PAGE   INTERVIEW

(by Peter Dehenau & Frank Achmann)

Our favorite singer Richard Page took some time out to answer some burning questions concerning his career. It's great to feel our beloved artist supports our website!
Thanks for your contribution to our website Richard! (August 17th 1998)

 

What is the Pages song "O.C.O.E. (Original Cat of the Eighties)" about?

The song "O.C.O.E." was really a fictitous acount of a person who adheres to whatever the styles and behaviors are of the decades he lives through, starting with the sixties and ending with the eighties ... when, as you are aware the song was written (1980 to be exaxt ... I think). The poor guy never quite figures out who he really is ... not that any of the rest of us ever have either ... anyway, John Lang and I hatched this idea sitting on the sunny deck of my future wife Linda's house in the mountains 7000 feet above Palm Springs, CA. Steve George had a huge part in writing the music ... the more experimental the better for Steve.
The memory that leaps out most about the recording of that song is the incredible playing by Vinnie Caliuta, in particular, Neil Stubenhaus, Charles Johnson and Steve George. I remember thinking how unusual the song was and that it was really obscure and nobody would ever like it except us.

The radio remixed version of "Talk the talk" on 12" features a re-recoding of the lead vocal ... was that done subsequently to the original, and if so, was it done with the intention of re-issuing?

I honestly can't remember what happened ... that wasn't one of my favorites.

Tell a bit about the making and recording of "Power over me".

The lyrics to "Power over me" were written on the back of a surgical glove package in a hospital where my 2nd daughter Aja was fighting for her life with pneumonia soon after her birth. The overwhelming feeling was that there was nothing I could do for her and that SHE had the 'power' to manipulate me and my emotions. By the way, she still has the power to manipulate my emotions ... and she's a very healthy, beautiful and talented 12 year old.

How many tracks were actually recorded for each of the albums?

Generally we over cut most of our records, but not by much ... usually 2 or 3 extra songs.

The Misters really took their time for the recording of "Pull". Please tell us about the recording process.

The recording of "Pull" was not an easy time by any means. We were still reeling from the lack of support for "Go on..." (which we thought was a better record than "Real World") and were having 'inner-band turmoil' shall we say. Buzz Feiten replaced Steve Farris and there was disagreement about what songs to do and what direction to take. The album is pretty focused considering the trouble we had making it. "Learning to crawl" comes to mind as being one of those songs you don't forget. "Burning bridge" is certainly on my list of best songs written. Hopefully one day all loyal fans will get a copy.

How close was the release of the Pull album before it was interrupted? And was the fact that BMG neglected to release the album the main reason that triggered the band's disruption?

There has been a lot of interest in that album....but as far as releasing it, we haven't had a really serious offer that would warrant doing so. Yes one of the factors that led to the bands breaking up was the general apathy at BMG. They didn't know what to do with that album..so rather than try, they gave up.

How do you look back upon the Pages, Mr. Mister and 3rd Matinee era?

I have no regrets ... everything is to learn from. Some of my most inspired moments happened during those years.

Are you still in touch with the other Misters? Do you still work together with George, Mastelotto, Farris or Lang from time to time?

We still talk, but not very often ... it's always friendly.

Was there never an idea for a sort of reunion?

There are no plans for a reunion. Never say never ...

Would you like to play in a new band?

Yes I do miss playing with a band, but my life has changed in so many ways that it's hard to imagine ever going back to it.

Do you use any particular techniques when warming up your voice?

I have absolutely no vocal warm-up techniques.

How do you usually write a song - is it a melody, rhythm or collection of harmonies that starts it - and which instrument do you use as accompaniment?

I have still not been able to accurately describe how writing happens for me. All I can say is when I'm out of my own way ... then it happens ... sometimes. And when I'm trying to be a songwriter ... well then I'm just trying to be a songwriter. All of the songs I'm most happy with are the ones that I felt I had the least to do with ... in other words, I was fortunate to be around when they happened. And with a guitar or piano ... which ever sounds best at the time.

Please tell us about your projects you've been doing after the release of the supreme solo debut "Shelter me". Was it followed by any promotional gigs? Are there plans for a second solo effort in the future?

After the release of "Shelter me" I did some promotion in the Far East ... Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore. Then I went to Germany and did a T.V.-show and some other interviews ... about 30 ... and oh yeah ... ate ... a lot!
No I have no plans for a follow up.
Since, I have been writing with John Lang again (he's been in New York for 7 years) who has moved back out here to the left coast where he and his wife of 2 years are quite happy.
I've recently completed an album of Tibetan Chants and Mantras with a Bhutanese nun named Anirinzang. It has been a truly inspiring thing to work on ... and so different for me. We are looking for distribution now.

 

Thanks a lot Rich!

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