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Ted Poley

Interview with Ted Poley from Ted Poley
by Grigoris Chronis at 30 October 2007, 3:35 PM

Smile made me smile. That simple. A rockin' sweet album by DANGER DANGER charismatic frontman Ted Poley. We would not miss the chance to contact Ted, since he's really been too busy lately and we'd like to find out why. And, apart from his 'solo works' info, we'd die for some D2 update! Hello Ted!

Hi Ted, congratulations on your new solo album, Smile!

Thanks very much! I am very proud of this CD!

Can we count this album as your second solo release, after 2006’s Collateral Damage, since 2002’s Big was a collaboration with Gerhard Pichler named as Poley/Pichler?

YES! Exactly. But I have done a lot of work in between for other artists and also a video game music such as many Sonic The Hedgehog game songs for SEGA. Also, I am working with Vic Rivera on our project POLEY/RIVERA which is a great CD and is due out next year. And of course, touring the world solo and with DANGER DANGER, so I have been busier than ever!.

 Well, we see you joining forces with Jk Northrup in Smile. Did you write the album’s songs together or the songwriting was of your own? Have you been friends with Jeff in prior? I can recall his magnificent work in the Shortino/Northrup project plus his works with XYZ and the KING COBRA III release back in 1988. Are you satisfied enough from his contribution?

JK is an amazing guitarist and he did some of his best work right here on my new CD! I wrote the songs with a lot of other guys but JK co-produced the CD with me and engineered and mixed it, so he had alot to do with the final sound.

Which other musicians did you work with for the making of Smile? Are there any guest appearances, too?

JK Northrup (guitars and bass), Dan Zoid (drums), Eric Ragno (keys), Vic Rivera (guest appearance on Smile and Will Ya) and Gary Corbett (guest appearance on More Than Goodbye).


The first thing I noticed regarding Smile’s songlist is that Ted Poley is in a mild mood. I mean, most of the songs brought to mind the melodic moments of DANGER DANGER tunes like Beat The Bullet, Don’t Walk Away, Feels Like Love or Goin Goin Gone. Meaning, I did not notice enough party songs. Did you have this specific intention while composing songs for the new album or you just were in this specific mood and things ended up like this?

 Actually I don’t hear it that way at all, it’s an upbeat party record and it has a happy and rockin’ vibe mostly, except for the ballads of course, so I named it Smile. I am older now and a lot more mature (in some ways!) so maybe that’s what you are hearing?

I found If You Can’t Change Your Heart and Smile to be my – so far – favourite tracks off the new album. Do you have a couple of tunes on top of the bill?

Thanks so much! Those are good ones but I love Luv On Me, Life Keeps Spinning Me Round and Waiting Line, but Smile is a great song too. Don’t know, I like them all otherwise ! wouldn’t have sung them, hahaha!

Really, what was the recording process? Did it take you long enough to complete the recordings for Smile? Did you use Jk’s studio?

Yes JK’s Alien Productions studio. It’s a really cool place , he does great work. The whole thing took 5 months from start to finish but that’s because I already had a lot of the songs written and this was actually the pre-production and recording process. It should have taken longer, it was a lot of hard work but we really were focused and knew exactly what we wanted so we stuck to the plan and it went really smoothly. It might have taken even less time but I had to commute across the entire country many times to do my vocals! He is in California and I am in Pennsylvania, about 3,500 miles apart! But I wanted to work with JK so I didn’t mind. Now I have alot of frequent flyer miles points!

I can recall your proposal to your fans for sending out smiley photos for a cover collage in your present solo album. What happened to this project? I’m asking ’cause I did see a different cover artwork (nice enough, by the way!).

It was a cool idea, however Frontiers had other ideas for the artwork and they handled it themselves. They made a nice package.

Inking deal with Frontiers Records seems like a natural move. Do they have any plans to re-release the Collateral Damage, I wonder, since it’s a rather ’obscure’ album to find?

No, it’s easy to find! Just order it at www.tedpoley.com! It’s already on a label and still selling great. It’s on Kivel Records but you can get it at tedpoley.com which is my own site and I will autograph it personally to whoever buys it from me. That goes for all CDs including Smile!


I guess you expect Collateral… fans will like Smile, huh?

Yes! the reviews have been wonderful so far and I expect Smile to be a very successful and important CD for my solo career. I am so happy with the way it came out and I am sure that the fans will hear the quality. It’s really a killer CD.

Hearing Ted Poley singing more ’maturely’ these last two years is a result of the artist calming down or growing up? How do you see yourself after more than 20 years of career? No pain on gain, really?

Thanks for noticing! I have been doing so much more music work in the last few years and am getting a lot more comfortable and more skilled as a vocalist, especially in the studio. This is because these days I have been doing some sort of studio work almost every week, or more. So, I have my studio recording technique much more refined now than ever.

I can do more of what I want now while the tape is running, while still maintaining accuracy, so my performances have gotten better since I can experiment a little bit more now, and go for riffs that aren’t as ’safe’ as others.

You were also working on a new CD with your brother(?), Vic Rivera. When should we expect this release?

I just finished my vocals for that CD!  Its an amazing CD full of fantastic songs! It will be released by early springtime of 2008. You are gonna love that one, I am really excited about it! I can hardy wait for it to come out, but first we have to mix and master it and then maybe find a record company to release it but probably we will release it ourselves. You can always get it at www.tedpoley.com when it comes out, but its so good I think a label might buy it. We will see…

As for DANGER DANGER: what’s the status right now? You were in preparation for a new album/world tour last time I checked. You’re also heading to Germany’s United Forces Of rock festival, right?

Yes, I fly to Germany in a few days. D2 status? D2 is just busy being D2. We are working on some big stuff but I can’t say anything more at this time. But we are planning something very big. Everything with D2 takes a little longer, and this new announcement will not be any exception, so please be patient to hear any news, but this is because we are meticulous in everything that we do…and we announce nothing before we know its going to be great!

Reading the news ’bout last year’s Rocklahoma fest in the USA, the whole world seemed to be impressed as for the attendance! In your opinion, is this just a remember the ’ol times case or there’s still space for melodic/hard Rock in the States?

I am hoping that our music is back at least for nostalgia’s sake…it seems that bands like D2 are getting the fans out again so that’s great and I hope we can play some of those shows next summer! It’s cool to like D2 again! That’s the best thing!

Ted, thanks a lot for your precious time. All the best for your activities in the future!

 Thank you and your readers very much! I hope that you will all enjoy the new Smile CD and I look forward to seeing you all as soon as possible on tour either with D2 or at one of my solo shows! Please visit www.tedpoley.com and order your autographed copy of Smile now! Keep Rockin’, Ted.



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