Saturday, April 5, 2014

Interview with Robert Fleischman / The Sky

If you thought The Sky would be a one album band, you were wrong. This time, bandleader and main songwriter Robert Fleischman is serious, dead serious!
His new band The Sky are here to stay, after the strong debut album in 2011, Fleischman and his friends are firing on all cylindars on the sophomore release "Majestic".
Palace of Rock had a nice chat with one of the nicest rockstars on the planet, let´s go majestic.

Hello Robert, are the winds of March gone now so you get to feel the warm air of spring in your hometown?
I wish I'm originally from Los Angeles California . Right now I'm a couple hours out of Chicago near Lake Michigan so winter still has a big grip in this area. Definitely would like the warm weather to come for a visit. But soon I'll be in Richmond Virginia getting ready for rehearsals.

I know you have had some tough times with sickness in the family recently, did that affect your songwriting for the new album?
Its kinda hard not to be affected buy things that happened around you. The weight of sadness is a hard thing to shake off sometimes. When you're dealing with a love one who has cancer. It was one of the more difficult albums to work on because of that. But the upside is were my love one is cancer free right now. God bless anyone that has to go through this it is a horrible disease.

I must ask about the album title Majestic, you must be hearing a lot from Journey fans that they have a song with the same title on their Evolution album.
Didn´t you know about that one?
I had no idea that Journey had a song called Majestic. But I did have people tell me on Facebook about this. Thinking I intentionally did that. I'm waiting for people to play the CD backwards. Then ask if I have put in hidden messages.

I can hear traces of John Lennon-like melodies on Majestic, is he a big influence for you?
When I was growing up melodies seem to have a very big emotional pull on me. It threw me into a dream state where I go to this very day. I had a cousin who was 8 years older than I who played me all the British Invasion music. The Beatles The Stones The Who . And of course I saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show when they first came to the states . I don't think there is one musician out there who hasn't been influenced by these bands in some way . But when it comes down to melodies I think either you have it or you don't . I think for me that is my strongest attribute. But when people say I have that Lennon thread going through my music it's definitely not intentional it just comes out that way. But what higher compliment could any musician get. So thank you very much !!!

Are all the songs written especially for Majestic?, because the track "So I´ll wait" sounds like it could´ve been on your first solo album Perfect stranger.
Yes all the songs were written for Majestic. After the debut album THE SKY I wasn't planning to jump in right away to write the next one. The first one was more a live setting with a few overdubs . Where Majestic was more of the attitude of getting to a more produced and lush layered sound. I wanted to show that the band had growth and that we were not a one trick pony band. On the next one I want to really break the envelope so we'll see what comes out. "So I'll Wait" is very minimalist and Atmospheric . I think what takes you back to the Perfect Stranger album is the vocal.

I think the track Don´t know what I´d do is not a typical Fleischman song, it´s actually the first time I hear you write a folk rock-like song that bring thoughts to the classic 70´s band America.
How did that song come alive?
I've written lots of songs like "Don't know what I'd Do "
I did an album called Dreaming in Tongues which is very much entirely like it. Which you can find on iTunes. It's completely acoustic with cellos one of my favorite pieces of work I've done. You should check it out. Plus I've never really cared for America the band sorry. The song came alive after Andre came over to my house and heard a vocal an acoustic guitar version of it and said it reminded him of a McCartney ish type song so I developed it. Putting some horns and strings and harpsichord which I think created a great little atmosphere.

You sing in a higher pitch on Majestic compared to the first The Sky album, did you deliberately write songs that way or was it a natural progress?
Just a natural process. But the joke is the album is called the capo album with the guys in the band.
I was constantly raising the pitch of the songs so I could accommodate a strong comfortable part in my voice.

How true is it that you almost became the frontman for Asia?
Very true Geffen Records sent me to England. To have me as the lead singer for Asia. I spent about a week rehearsing with them what a great group of gifted musicians it was an honor just being in the same room with him . John I believe originated the band all the songs were written by him and he sang on the demos which were given to me to learn. I really didn't understand why they wanted me to go there because I thought what I heard was completely terrific. I was so used to hearing his voice and music.I felt I didn't do it any justice, it was just tailor-made for him he is Asia. So I told the management that and two days later I went back to LA. When they were on tour they came to Los Angeles and I saw them and went backstage and we chatted. Carl Palmer had a lot to do with me auditioning for them. When I was with Journey we opened up for Emerson Lake and Palmer.

I guess you´re excited to go on tour with The Sky this summer, will the band perform songs from both albums and can the fans expect any surprises in the setlist?
Yes !!! very excited about doing a tour with THE SKY. 
the set list is going to be the best songs from each album. Going to do a more contemporary modern version of "Wheel in the Sky" much heavier. And one Beatle song "You Can't Do That".

My review of Majestic is the most popular review on my blog at the moment, that can only mean your fans have longed for new music.
Do you feel that connection between you and the fans?
I think because of the internet Facebook other social media bands have a closer relationship with their fans now, more than ever before so your answer to the question is yes. And people like yourself and myself also have a better access to each other and that I thank you for cause you let people know. About my music and others. So thank you very much.

What was the best about the 80´s?
I pretty much sat out the 80's.I was with a publishing company just writing songs, trying to get into TV and movies scoring music. But I did do two projects when one was called Channel which I did in England on Epic Records. And then after that project I got into the Vinnie Vincent Invasion band. And then my son Austin was born that was the best part.

What was the worst about the 80´s?
There's nothing I can remember really that was bad for me.

And finally, what is your favorite Journey song besides the ones you co-wrote?
I know this is gonna be hard to believe but I've never really listened to any of their albums all the way through. Except for Infinity.

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