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Bruce Turgon (Places Of Power)

Interview with Bruce Turgon from Places Of Power
by Grigoris Chronis at 08 February 2009, 6:01 PM

PLACES OF POWER is a collaboration between Bruce Turgon (FOREIGNER, SHADOW KING, Lou Gramm, PRISM, WARRIOR) and Philip Bardowell (UNRULY CHILD, MAGDALEN) that will make many melodic Rock/AOR fans happy worldwide. Both with solo efforts in the recent past, Bruce and Philip decided to join forces and the result is Places Of Power, a remarkable piece of melodic music that shall not let you down by any means. A good start for 2009, indeed!

Interview with: Bruce Turgon from PLACES OF POWER

Bruce, truth is the PLACES OF POWER collaboration pumped out of nowhere but - as regards the already reviews featured in printed and online Media - there's a more than positive acceptance. How do you feel bout this album? Do you think Places Of Power carries what you and Philip were aiming for?

I'm very happy with all the positive response the album has received so far. Both Philip and I are very proud of it and yes, it is exactly what we were shooting for. From inception, it was imperative that the songs be just as important as our performances and I think that we've achieved this with Places Of Power. It's a strong melding of power and substance.

Really, how did you decide to collaborate with Philip Bardowell in the first place? When did the PLACES OF POWER idea begun?

Philip and I both released critically acclaimed solo albums on Frontiers. The president of the label, Serafino Perugino, approached us about working together. We found that we had much in common musically and after trading ideas on a couple of tracks, everyone was excited with the results and we got onto the business of making an album.

Was it intentional to focus on the specific style we can listen to in the new album or the basic ideas sprung as soon as you started the songwriting? Do you share songwriting/lyrics credits?

We do share songwriting credits. I would send Philip musical ideas and he would send his lyrical and melodic ideas back to me. If we both felt strongly about where the song was going, we would continue to develop it. It proved to be a great collaborative effort and very honest in it's approach. I didn't put a lot of thought into any particular style, it's just what I do musically in this genre and I think Philip feels the same.

Really, how did you come up with the name for your project? A simple yet ample moniker, I'd say.

Besides the obvious for the kind of album it would be, I was looking for a name that would encompass all the different energies that would contribute to the making of this record. I had never met Philip in person and we live a considerable distance from each other. Our relationship developed over the phone and via the Internet. So, his energy and inspiration was coming from a completely different place than mine. We are both in the U.S., our label is in Italy, the mixing and mastering would be done in Germany, and the artwork in Sweden. All very different, but important Places Of Power

The cover artwork is also simple yet convincing. Did you have any other ideas for a cover artwork that you finally had to reject?

No, we didn't have any real ideas except that the artwork should reflect the power and conviction of the album and be simple and elegant in its approach. Carl-Andre Beckston at Beckston Media Arts devloped the cover art based on conversations with Frontiers production manager, Giulio Cataldo, Philip and myself. Once we had established a direction, there were only a few revisions and the package you see is what we all agreed on.

Was it easy enough to finalize the tracklist for Places Of Power? Are there lots of leftovers?

As we were in close contact with our label president, Serafino Perugino, throughout the writing/recording process, we really didn't have many song ideas that didn't make the album. The tracklist was evident by the end of the songwriting process.

We read that you played all the background music in this new album. Was it because you had your own vision as regards the desired result or it was not that easy to come up with a lineup appropriate for the album's requirements?

I did pretty much the same for my solo album, and quite a few other projects that I've been involved with. As you say, I generally have a vision or picture in my mind's eye as to how the songs and/or album should sound and it's just become easier for me to record the instruments. However, Scott McKinstry, who is a good friend and played on Outside Looking In, is also a fine guitarist and understands me musically, so his talent was a great contribution. I had programmed the drums during the songwriting process and as everyone was quite happy with them, I just decided to use them.

Dennis Ward did his magic again. Was it your will to have him handle the mix of Places Of Power or it was the label's suggestion?

Dennis did a great job on my solo album and does a lot of work for Frontiers, so we were all in agreement that he should handle it. Besides being good at his job, he's also a very nice guy and extremely easy to work with.

Not to forget: are there some guest musicians donating help in the new album? A word or two for each?

Only Scott McKinstry, who played lead guitar on 9 of the tracks. We've worked together for a long time and he's a great player.

Are there any stories behind the lyrics of some songs in the new album? I got such an impression by listening to tunes like Desires Of Our hearts or Light Of My World, to tell you the truth. Do you think the artist(s) should still focus equally to music and lyrics in a song nowadays?

Philip is responsible for most of the lyrics and I think they are, for the most part, very personal statements from him. We would discuss them within the context of each song and agree on a direction. I really enjoy his writing - he's a very talented artist - and yes, I do think the synergy between music and lyrics is so important. We were not content with just rhymes - the messages had to match the power of the music.

Maybe it's too early to talk about it, but should we expect PLACES OF POWER to keep releasing albums in the future or it's strictly an 'one off' effort?

We'll see what the response is To Places Of Power, and take it from there. Philip and I worked very hard to create a foundation we could build on and everything is possible. Time will tell…

Bruce, thanks lot for your spare time to answer to our questions. Really hope more and more fans will get 'trapped' to the magic melodies of Places Of Power.

You're very welcome, Grigoris, and thank you for your support. Best regards, Bruce.


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