As a longtime rock fan, the list of legendary individuals and bands that I have a burning desire to write about still runs for miles and most of them have been on that list for quite some time. But every now and then, a new band comes along that just blows me out of the water, and I can’t share them with everybody fast enough. Even rarer an occurrence is that I’m hooked before I’ve actually heard the entire band. Yeah, there’s a story ‘bout to happen…
It’s Saturday, October 6th, 2007, and we’re in South Bend, IN for Melodic RockFest, the 10th anniversary celebration of melodicrock.com. It’s a little after noon and my photographer Kim are waiting behind the stage for Scrap Metal/Mr.Big’s Eric Martin, who we’re scheduled to interview, when Goodbye Thrill’s guitarist Dean Cramer and singer Marc ‘Marco’ Ferreira walk in with an acoustic, crash on a road case, and just start ripping out this killer version of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ that has everyone stopping in their tracks to listen. This would be where the whole blown out of the water thing began (yes, they sounded that good!) By the time they took the stage two hours later with bassist Dario Seixas, and drummer Pete Eiselman in a performance that fans are still talking about, there was no doubt that this was one we just couldn’t walk away from without some serious follow-up on these guys. Oh yeah, and that was before we heard their CD!! On that note, we’re happy to share Blast Magazine’s first GBT interview given by Dean with you now. Read on…
Blast Magazine: First, congrats on the release of Goodbye Thrill. I have not come across anyone who has heard this CD and not absolutely loved it, and the feedback down in South Bend was consistent with that, as well; you guys must be stoked.
Dean Cramer: Whenever you write tunes and finally put them onto a disc for all to hear, there's always a wonder of how others will react to your efforts. We've gotten very positive and supportive response to our debut effort, which is ALWAYS surprising, to be honest. Now that's not because we don't believe that what we've written and produced isn't really good. Who would release something that they didn't have pride in? But you just never know what the other perspectives are going to be on your work. One major benefit from the positive comments is that I/we have made some new friends as a result...yourself included!
We've all been involved in bands that have some kind of legacy tied to them, so there is the expectation of some quality music from the musicians involved here. Hopefully, we've delivered the goods.
Blast Magazine: While we’re on the subject, how did GBT come to be part of Melodic RockFest?
Dean Cramer: Our label head, John Kivel, found out about the show and inquired as to whether we'd like to do it, which was an easy one to say "YES!" to. He then went on to contact the powers that be (Andrew), and set things up. We were actually the last band added. We weren't sure that we'd have the record done and be able to get rehearsals in. We did both up in Brewster, New York at Starr Ridge Studios (thanks David Powers!). It was a pleasure to start cranking things up and, I'd like to add, a nice change of using the studio as a "radio", listening back to the tracks while recording.
Blast Magazine: Again, a very impressive performance, but one that left so many people asking about a tour. Can you shed any light on plans for more live dates?
Dean Cramer: Truth be told, the show was our very first show! We certainly didn't want to advertise it as such! People tend to look for boo-boos/mistakes during the show then.. In fact, our version of "Don't Stop Believin" was intended to be done as an acoustically, with just Marco & I, then going over the set in our hotel room the night prior to the show, Dario added another harmony that sounded fab, so that was added to it.
The entire "festival" routine of a multi-band show is always a crap shoot. Things tend to run behind which, while things did start a tad late, the time schedule got back on track because all of the bands involved were pros, so we could snip some extra downtime out that would normally happen in between bands, while the equipment was being changed over and such. Stage Manager Dave was top notch and had a great group of guys on his staff-NO issues at all. We even lent our guitars/amps to the boys in the Marti Peters Group. They were from Denmark and were unable to bring their gear with them, so we did our best to hook them up. A great bunch of guys who made it a point later on to personally say "Thanks" again. Funny side note: I ended sitting beside one of their girlfriends on the flight in..that would be Heather, by the way. We both joked as to why we were flying into the South Bend area, not yet knowing the reason for our mutual arrivals. Asking around the plane, while waiting to exit, we come to find out there were about 6-8 more bodies there for the show...funny stuff! Figuring that we wouldn't have the time to put acoustics on and make sure they work and were in tune, blah, blah, blah...we simply winged it by doing a "chilled" electric version-it worked nicely and you can see the video of it on You Tube.
Now back to your ACTUAL question! We have every desire & intention of getting out to play as much as possible. We'll be posting anything that's confirmed on our individual & band myspace pages. You can contact me through there at: www.myspace.com/deancramer .
Blast Magazine: A little history on the band…how was GBT formed?
Dean Cramer: I've known John for quite a while from his involvement in my former band, Funny Money. He'd released our first 3 records on his Kivel Records label. About a year ago he asked me if there was interested in getting involved with another writer, Marco Ferreira, our lead singer. After hearing his tunes, and his hearing mine, it seemed like a no-brainer to work together. He's a super nice guy, to boot! To finish out the lineup, we brought in Marco’s friend, former Firehouse bassist Dario Seixas, along with the drummer with the most positive attitude in the world, Pete Eisleman. To say that we get along would be an understatement!! It's like cupcakes and ice cold milk!
Blast Magazine: I don’t think anyone’s likely to steal your name…who came up with it?
Dean Cramer: John told us of a story where a guy couldn't wait to break up with his gal, but lacked the balls to actually do it. When he finally "grew some", he enjoyed the thrill of finally saying goodbye, hence the term "Goodbye Thrill". Yes, you are correct! I agree that the name is unlikely to be found being used by another band elsewhere...but to be safe we copyrighted it anyway!
Blast Magazine: So there was another bass player before Dario came on board, right? What’s the story behind that
Dean Cramer: I hate to sound generic, but it was a mutual decision to part ways. Ironically, Dario was originally the one who was approached about being with us from the very beginning, but he was unable to do so then. So things have come full circle for everyone's benefit. He's quite good at what he does. Did I mention that he's very cool, as well?
Blast Magazine: That was quite a performance of ‘Jessie’s Girl’ backstage in Indy!! Besides Rick Springfield, who are some of your strongest influences, the ones responsible for tipping you in the rockstar direction?
Dean Cramer: Thanks mucho! Andrew is a Rick fan and I'm a BIG one too, so it was a pleasure to whip that bad boy out for you all hanging in the dressing room with us. There was a gentleman walking around to each band, asking questions and videoing the responses, so he actually has a recording of my tribute to "Rock" Springfield. As for my influences, I'd say that my first true one was The Osmonds "Phase III" LP. As I started to sing harmonies right from the beginning (no kidding here!), followed a couple of years later by KISS "Alive!". Back when you could join the Columbia House Record Club for $1.00, you'd get to pick 4 LP's. My older sister, Julie, took Barry Manilow "II", I took Bay City Rollers "Dedication", and my older brother Gary grab the last 2 picks for the double LP, "Alive!". Funny stuff, eh? A couple of years after that came the release of Van Halen's debut effort, which pretty much sealed my fate. I started as a drummer, then a singer. Only as the result of our band needing some rhythm guitar did I pick up the six-string beast. Funny how things happen; I guess my guitar style, if I have one, comes from my admiration of players like Brian May, Ace Frehley, Tim Pierce, Jeff Adams (from Baltimore's Face Dancer), Edward Van Halen--there's so many to choose from. I hope that I tip my hat to them in some fashion, rather than rip them off.
Blast Magazine: Actually, we listened to you guys do several covers in the backstage area before and after the show; any chance we’ll hear any included on future projects?
Dean Cramer: We have quite a log of songs that we could dip into, as Marco and I alone have played a lot of acoustic/cover shows through the years. I'd never say never, though we'd rather focus on our own stuff. We won't get rich releasing a cover tune, so why not stay poor playing our own stuff? Hahahahaha! You were there when we tried to get Eric (Martin) to sing "To Be With You" after the show, but he "respectfully declined", hahaha. I think he dug our version of "Hole Hearted"...
Blast Magazine: If you did, what would we be most likely to hear?
Dean Cramer: "Rock" Springfield all the way!!! Plus some Osmonds, Little River Band...the sky's the limit!
Blast Magazine: Are you currently working on any side projects?
Dean Cramer: I do have a big back log of tunes that I think should see the light of day, which weren't chosen or didn't fit into the plans of prior bands. If anything, a "solo" project would be something that's all me, which has big appeal when you don't have to answer to the other guys in the band and things are the way you actually want to have/hear them. Plus, others will get a different side of me. I'm not a guitarist...I'm a musician who happens to play guitar-BIG difference. I am still doing some acoustic shows with my brother and longtime pal and guitar foil, Tim Haines. And I teach when the time's available.
Blast Magazine: You’ve got an extensive history working with Steve Whiteman and Jimmy Chalfant. Any plans to play again with them in the future?
Dean Cramer: As I said earlier, I never say never. I left FM after 10 years, leaving Steve as the only original member left. Jimmy came in for about the last 2 years I was there and was a pleasure and a half to play with; a monster drummer! That's the kind of stuff that, to me, makes it fun to play in a band. Having other musicians around that can do their jobs allows me to give the best that I can give and we can feed off of each other as a result. It really makes a better band when this is the situation. When the musicians have that confidence in one another they will tend to push themselves to crank things up a notch or two, which is what rock 'n roll's all about. It's quite fun, I must say! I would certainly work with the FM boys again...we'll have to see what happens.
Blast Magazine: Anything you want to say to fans and friends while we’ve got you?
Dean Cramer: Thanks for taking your time to read this far into the interview! I hope it was enjoyable and maybe even enlightening a bit. Please consider grabbing our CD, too. It's some rocking, feel good music. You've been good-treat yourself right!!! Hahaha! Feel free to drop me a line directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, my friends & family have been so supportive, so I'm thankful for that.
One more nugget wisdom for you all to live by: "Vote with your dollar! If you like the music and the band, support them, please!"
On behalf of the band and myself, we hope to see you soon-Peace & God bless!
Blast Magazine: Thanks Dean, always great chatting with you. We hope to see more of Goodbye Thrill on the road in the very near future