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Fireworks Magazine Online 78 - Interview with Tokyo Motor Fist
19 March 2017
TOKYO MOTOR FIST
Interview by Paul Woodward
So, what do you get if you put Danger Danger vocalist Ted Poley and Trixter axeman Steve Brown in the same room? Tokyo Motor Fist, that's what! The combination of these two extremely popular Melodic Rock musicians has many fans anticipating what should be a stunning genre album! Fireworks speaks to Steve Brown...
I suppose my first question has to be about the name! It has already caused much discussion in some circles. So how did you and Ted come up with Tokyo Motor Fist?
Oh Yeah, everyone loves it! A true legendary band name. You have The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, AC/DC, Motorhead, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and now the world has Tokyo Motor Fist. All Hail THE FIST!
I have to admit you teaming up with Ted Poley came out of the blue, so how did you come to be working together on TMF?
It all started about a year and a half ago. Serafino from Frontiers asked me if I'd do a project with Ted. It was very easy to say yes because Ted and I have been friends for close to thirty years. We both grew up in northern New Jersey, very close to each other; we have that Jersey Brotherhood thing. The guys in Trixter and Danger Danger came up in the Tri State area music scene around the same time so there is plenty of history. After Ted signed up I knew exactly who I wanted for the rhythm section: Greg Smith on bass (Alice Cooper, Rainbow, Ted Nugent) and Chuck Burgi on drums (Rainbow, Billy Joel). These guys are incredible people.
What's working with Ted like? He's well known to be quite jovial and energetic?
Ted was fantastic to work with and produce. He is very professional so it makes my job easier. He would drive up to my studio once a week and we would track three or four songs in a session. We drank a lot of coffee and told a lot of bad jokes.
Who writes the songs for Tokyo Motor Fist and what was the song writing process like on this album?
I wrote, produced, mixed and engineered the whole CD. The song writing process is the same I've been doing for years. I usually start with a cool riff on guitar or a killer melody idea. I'm really proud of this album, I think it's some of my best work to date.
Obviously taking two well-known Melodic Rock musicians from two beloved genre bands, did you feel pressure for the songs to combine elements of both Danger Danger and Trixter – or did you write songs free of direction?
I knew it had to be a combination of all the bands we ever played with. I think we accomplished that and even went to places musically that some people wouldn't expect. There was no pressure at all because the sonic vision and the songs were in place before we started recording.
Can you tell me about some of the songs, are there any tracks with specific stories or meanings behind them that you think fans would be intrigued by?
'Pickin' Up The Pieces' is a mid-tempo rocker that is about someone who helps another person try to see the good in life, even though they are surrounded by darkness. 'Love Me Insane' is a slamming fast rocker that tells the story of a volatile relationship. 'Shameless' is a feel-good song about living life with no regrets. 'Love' has a Def Lep 'Hysteria' vibe to it and the message is simple...give some love to everyone. 'Black And Blue' is about wanting somebody very badly but not getting there without some bumps and bruises. 'You're My Revolution' has incredible drumming from Chuck Burgi, a slamming rocker that deals with someone's undying devotion to another.
'Don't Let Me Go' is a dark ballad that features a stellar vocal by Ted. The song is about someone who is in a bad state of mind and is needing help. 'Put Me To Shame' is a classic 80s style hard rocker and one of my favourites on the CD.
'Done To Me' is a slow pounding rocker that sings of desire. 'Get You Off My Mind' is a song about how hard it can be getting over a relationship that has ended and 'Fallin' Apart' is an upbeat rocker that sings about losing a best friend and the after effects.
Are TMF a studio band or is there any chance of live shows?
Right now, we are just a studio Supergroup but we all have agreed to do some shows if it's the right situation. We have talked about doing about half the Tokyo Motor Fist album and add in hits by Danger Danger, Trixter, Rainbow and Ted Nugent – we would kick ass live! I hope we get some offers.
Is Tokyo Motor Fist an ongoing collaboration between you and Ted or is this a one-off album?
I'm not sure. Right now we are waiting on the release of the CD. Let's see what the fans think and maybe we will make another album.
With you working with Ted it made me think of other potential 'dream team' collaborations. Is there anybody from the '86-'92 era you'd love to work with in the future, and why?
I'd love to produce and write with Jon Bon Jovi. I think we would create some incredible music in the style of the 'Slippery When Wet' era. Our fans would love that. Always cool to dream!