Interview by Denys, posted on 02/08/2010
We have a real treat today, our pal Jeff Scott Soto was kind enough to answer some of our readers questions today and here is the interview from one of the most dedicated and talented rock vocalists ever!!!
Interview with: Jeff Scott Soto (Vocalist/Singer/Songwriter)
Myglobalmind: First and foremost on behalf of Myglobalmind Webzine and all of our staff and readers, I would like to send out a huge thank you for answering some of our questions for your fans and readers of our site. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I get to ask a few questions to one of the best rock vocalists of our time. Thank you sir.
Myglobalmind: For some of our readers who may not be familiar with your iconic status in the business, in a short brief, can you tell us how you first got into the music business? Who have been your main influences on your career to date?
JSS: It was in the blood since I was a young boy always singing to things like the Jackson Five & stuff on the radio in front of a mirror pretending to be a rock star, like 5-6 years old. My 1st break was with Yngwie Malmsteen at the age of 18, I was just a year out of high school & got to record albums & tour the world. I grew up mainly listening to Motown & R&B music but got into rock with bands like Journey, Van Halen & Queen. To date, my main influences remain the old school R&B as there is always something there I can bring into what I am doing currently.
Myglobalmind: Jeff on a personal note, I’m a huge fan of yours and have followed your career since the days with Rising Force, your voice is impeccable, what’s the secret behind your talented voice?
JSS: I have no idea, ha ha, I just liked so many things, so many styles, it helped me keep an open mind & not be narrow minded about music, this in turn keeps me looking to do more things with my voice.
Myglobalmind: One of the best qualities that distinguish great musicians from the rest is the ability to take one’s own individuality skills and experiences and apply them to their craft. You have covered many genres and transcended and crossed over from heavy metal, hard melodic rock, funk, aor, movie soundtracks, etc. What’s the secret to being able to mend so many genres and still create great music?
JSS: Again, it all comes from the influences & inspirations. Loving a band like Queen taught me very young that you don’t have to be typecast into one style or sound. Queen conquered every genre they tackled as they refused to be just another rock band. I refuse to be just a heavy metal guy, i have much more to do if not for my fans but for myself.
Myglobalmind: You sir are a mighty busy man, it seems if we blink an eye you are working on your next project, how do you manage to stay so busy and balance your personal life with all the side projects you have?
JSS: It’s pretty simple, or well for me anyway, I don’t and can’t spend months on 1 project, I would go crazy! I can do multiple things throughout the year as there is a whole 12 months to do it in! if it takes me 2-3 weeks to knock off an album, imagine if I did record as much as time allows, talk about overkill! But really, its not as difficult as it seems when you see the amount of work out there, I love what I do & I do what I love!
Myglobalmind: Speaking of projects, we had the pleasure to review the self title debut for W.E.T, I must say that I couldn’t keep it out of my cd player, just kept on playing it over and over, it had all the melodic hooks, and great musicianship that fans of melodic rock love. Can you tell us how that project came about?
JSS: It started as an idea from Serafino at Frontiers Records who wanted me to do an album like this immediately after my departure from Journey. But as I already had other plans in the works for some time on my next release (Beautiful Mess) which was a complete turnaround from AOR music, I insisted on releasing that 1st & then we discussed doing this. Once I heard the 1st few songs, I knew I would really be into this as I know of Work Of Art & Eclipse, both bands are fucking great! Together, we created our own greatness!
Myglobalmind: You we’re quoting as saying about the W.E.T. album that “this is the Journey album that could have been had I continued with them”. I suppose things happen for a reason sometimes, but is this album a form of vindication because of the unfortunate events that happen with Journey?
JSS: Not at all, I am not that kind of person at all!The comment was based on 1 or 2 things on the album as well as the way I am singing which is a high clean tenor, something they & their fans were worried about me as their singer. By no means would the whole album sound like them, they are far softer & ‘lite’ compared to this album.
Myglobalmind: Well again congratulations on the record both JSS live in Madrid and W.E.T we’re some of the highlights of year for in the melodic hard rock world. Can you fill us in on any future projects you may have in store?
JSS: At the moment, none, I have been too busy with the TSO tour which just ended, then I had some other things until end of January to complete. Now I am doing some corporate gigs as well as resting up for a possible WET tour in the Spring. Even I need a break sometimes 🙂
Myglobalmind: Another unique project is of course the Trans Siberian Orchestra which you we’re asked to tour with again recently, how much fun did you have doing those gigs?
JSS: It’s the most fun to tour with them because there is no stress! I only sing a few songs per show even though most of the tour is doing the show twice a day, but I don’t have to worry about anything, they really take care of you out there so for me its like a paid holiday. Of course I have to watch after myself, make sure I don’t get sick, deliver every time I hit the stage, but really, its the least stressful gig I have in my life, it’s great!
Myglobalmind: JSS you have had an incredible musical career that’s expands back to the mid 80’s, of all the great artists and bands you have the chance to tour or work with, which would you say would be at the top of your list?
JSS: I would love to do something more involved with my pals from Queen, writing with Prince would be great as well!
Myglobalmind: If you hadn’t become a successful vocalist and musician, what would you have done instead as a profession?
JSS: I would be a professional bum! Honestly, I don’t know what would have happened to me as I have no other interests or skills outside of music, possibly would have been a manager or something that has to do with the business.
Myglobalmind: Just some thoughts on the music business in general, the rock genre has become so clustered with these new hard rock and metal groups, that people have forgotten what goo music is, is refreshing to hear bands that Frontiers promotes and amazing artists like yourself still making great music. Do you think that the state of rock will ever change and bring back the glory days of rock?
JSS: It really is all a matter of opinion, what is someone’s trash could be another person’s treasure! Its hard to say anything is good & bad really as all we’re doing is comparing. I like a lot of stuff that people might say ‘how can you like that?’ but it’s a matter of what moves you. Sure there are & were a lot of bands that had this trademark rock sound in the 80’s that can continue today but we need evolution in everything as it is also a reminder of where we come from…keeps it all interesting 🙂
Myglobalmind: Hey Jeff can you give us a quick update on the postponement of the Marcel Jacob tribute concert? I know you we’re disappointed in the cancellation as we’re the fans.
JSS: At this point, that show is cancelled because I had another commitment I wasn’t aware I could come back for this time period, we are now discussing doing it sometime in September at a bigger venue with many more of Marcel’s musical colleagues involved. At this point I am looking at the idea of a proper ‘farewell’ show or tour for Talisman. I certainly have NO interest in continuing with the band without Marcel but I love the body of music we created & we deserve to give it a final send off as much as the fans would love to pay the final respects to the band. The Marcel memorial is not a proper final Talisman show as it’s a tribute to the man, the idea I have is a tribute to him & us.
Myglobalmind: I want to thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for our Webzine and your legions of fans, any last words for your fans?
JSS: Keep on rocking in the free world! Ha ha!
Myglobalmind: Thanks again Jeff and hope to see you on a USA tour real soon. Rock on brother!!!.