‘Honey Sweet Baby’ has been haunting me for months now. The song has it all. Those lyrics, that melody. Beautiful!
P. Hux released This Is The One a couple of months ago and it is packed with great songs.
At what point, during writing, rehearsing, recording, did you knew you were on to something special?
The title song for THIS IS THE ONE began as a throwaway track. It had energy, but it was just a rough idea. My drummer Ricky did his take in 15 minutes. The words weren’t finished. I actually asked Robin Zander to sing it because the original melody was too high for me, but that didn’t come to pass.
Still, I thought there was something there, so I re-wrote the melody and that did the trick. It began to sound really good. I kept making improvements, adding little bits here and there and the final product, including the Greek cicadas (!), kinda blew my mind. I was so pleased that we’d pulled the song out of the trash bin and turned it into something I was proud of. From that point on, I felt like the whole album had some magic to it.
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
Great question! “Success” is no longer defined by hard numbers like sales and chart position. My records all sell about the same amount and without a huge marketing budget, I don’t expect that to change.
So, I judge success by other criteria. First of all, is the record good? Did it turn out the way I wanted? With THIS IS THE ONE, I’d say absolutely yes. Success!
Did it receive radio play? THIS IS THE ONE is receiving radio play on some great stations. Again, with little to no marketing budget, that is a success, for sure.
Are my fans and critics excited? THIS IS THE ONE has received an over the top reaction from fans of my music. Many people are saying it’s my best ever or best since “Deluxe” etc. That’s a true gauge of listener interest.
I’m still making records, and maybe even making the best music of my life. That’s a huge success in my mind.
Magic can happen when you are playing in front of a crowd. Can you recall such a moment?
I’ve had many moments in front of a crowd that has felt magical. Two come immediately to mind. 1983, the Pier, Raleigh, North Carolina. My band Rick Rock had a hit with our single “Buddha, Buddha” b/w “Sputnik.” No one knew anything about us other than those two songs, but we’d secretly rehearsed for nine months. We had a full set of polished music and the crowd stuck with us for the entire show. We could do no wrong. They chanted the band’s name as a football crowd might, and we were brought back for encores…despite being the opening act on the bill.
A wonderful night. May 23, 2006, at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. I was on a UK tour with The Orchestra (ELO Former Members). London was our ninth show, so every note in the set was locked down tight. As a band, we couldn’t have sounded better. We opened with Evil Woman and when we got to the chorus the heaving crowd sang it louder than we did! They kind of blew us back a little bit, to our surprise and delight. From that point forward it was ON. The love between band and crowd couldn’t have been more intense. The whole night was spectacular, musically, emotionally, physically.
If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?
I would pick a sunny destination with a great studio. I’d send plane tickets to all my musical friends. I’ve played with so many great musicians over the years, it would be a dream come true to get them all together with nothing to do but hang out and make music.
What would change if Disney would call and tell you they are going to use your song in their next movie?
I HAVE a song in a Disney movie. Nothing changed! The song is called “Wake Me Up (When The World’s Worth Waking Up For)” and it appeared in Disney’s “The Other Sister.” Yes, I’ve made a few hundred dollars, but other than that…no big deal. Now, if I were to write all the music for a remake of the Lion King, yeah, that would probably change things.