January 6th, 2009 17:36 EST
Chase Von, Interviews Eclectic Entertainer MT Robison!!!
Chase Von: Hey there MT! I want to thank you for squeezing this in your hectic schedule and sharing yourself with our readers here at the Student Operated Press!
My dear friend Tina Devaney told me to check you out and I always listen to Tina because she has excellent taste! Another one she turned me on to was music Singing Sensation Lisa Lavie! So when Tina speaks, The Last Panther listens!
I was actually coming home from the store earlier today and they were playing Lisa`s song "No One" on 94.5 FM here is So Cal! The show its self is hosted by none other than Kenny G but since I haven`t heard from Lisa in more than a minute now, and I know she is mad busy like yourself, I told T to let her know she`s on the air waves here as well! (Smile).
Now when I checked out your music, my first thought was, sounds a lot like James Taylor! Do you get that a lot and once again, thanks for finding the time to share yourself with us here at the SOP!
MT: Oh, it`s my pleasure and honor Chase! Well, I have had a few people tell me James Taylor but actually we asked Myspace friends that very question, and by far the answers were Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.
I think the Tom Waits comes from my live performance... I`m a little crazy like Tom on stage...Ha ha... Dylan, I don`t know, maybe the sound of my voice.
Chase Von: There`s quite a few things I want to get to as you are a very interesting individual but let`s start here. Where did you grow up, how was your childhood and how did music get introduced into your life?
MT: I grew up in a little town in California fifty miles from Los Angeles called Colton. My childhood was beautiful, great parents, middle class, Leave it to Beaver kind of family for real. My mom was a musician and my Dad was an artist so they were always very supportive of my desire to make music.
That started when I was about eight years old and saw Elvis... that was it for me. I knew then I wanted to be a guitar player and sing. Used to do my own little rendition of Hound dog for my sister and her friends at her slumber parties. They loved it and I said wow...this is a great way to get girls to pay attention to you...Ha ha ha... Always a motivation for what we do. (Smile). Things changed a bit when I got older, meaning the neighborhood got a little bit rougher but the early years were great!
Chase Von: I also thought I read where you performed in the circus! I`m a two time war veteran and not saying that to say nothing scares me, just to make a point, but there are a lot of people that have phobia`s about clowns. Were you a clown?
I`m not scared of them myself, but I can`t say I care much for them either. Might have something to do with watching Batman as a kid and the Joker which is a role that Heath Ledger took to the next level, although sadly, he`s no longer with us.
But I`ve seen some pictures of you that are in clown face, that I think would make the Joker want you on his team!
How did you become involved in the circus life and what was it like traveling around in that world and do you think it has expanded you as a performer?
And if you were a clown, were you a funny nice clown or one of the ones that people would be saying stay back! Stay way back! Batman!!! Help!!! (Smile).
MT: HA HA HA... Yeah I could definitely be on the Joker`s team Chase! I`ve even had people say when I smile I look like the Joker.
My references to the Circus come from playing in many heavy metal bands in the eighties when the Sunset Strip in LA was a freak show! So much fun! We all wore tons of makeup, crazy colorful clothes and you never knew what you were going to see.
Girls walking guys like dogs on leashes down the street, gypsies and crazies of all kinds... It was totally like the circus! However, I`ve never been a real circus clown! (Smile).
Chase Von: Well that`s cool MT cause, even though I don`t have Batman`s cell number no mo`, (really never had it to begin with), I am friends on My Space with Garret T. Sato of the movie Waste Lands, and Taimak, The Last Dragon and Jackie Chan and Tony Jaa so IF someone was `A Scared of a Clown`, they could let me know and I could, ah, message them. Heh, Heh.
Darcy Donavan likes to think of herself as Wonder Woman and Shawn Richardz has a super hero costume and Kiara Hunter also has a comic book where she`s a female bounty hunter in the future called Hunter Girl and I can get in contact with them as well, (Smile).
Now to something a bit more serious. I also read where you took a break away from music, although for so long, music was your life. Not to get too personal but you are back on the scene now and making many waves again, but is there more to the story you can share with our readers as to why now you really refer to your fans not as fans, but as MT`s Angels?
MT: After many years in the business and so many close calls with success never quite getting to that next level, I became a little bitter. I quit music to grow up and make money.
Big mistake! I was never more miserable in my whole life!
Six pack every night just to tolerate being a grown up... I guess I`ll always be a Peter Pan. I need to be making music even if I`m a pauper the rest of my life. It is what I was put here to do, write songs and entertain people. Take them on a journey, out of their worries for an hour or so.... that`s my mission.
I refer to my fans as Angels because when I got some clarity, I realized that all of us can be an Angel for someone. A kind word, a gesture of help, even a little smile can change someone`s day, week or whatever.
If we all helped one another in our own unique ways, more dreams would come true in this world. So my fans are Angels here on Earth... Like our mutual friend Tina, she is a Mighty Angel! I didn`t understand when I was young, but now I do. The music is about them, not me... My job is to make them feel, smile, cry, go somewhere new in their head... Take them away and enrich their lives... Make a difference...
That is being an Angel.
Chase Von: My taste in music is what one might call eclectic. In fact, I`ve even been called that. I know you are versatile in a lot of genre`s and I have to admit, this is the first time I have heard of Hill-Billy Urban. (Smile). But who are some of the people in music you truly admire and look up to?
MT: Oh there are so many! Wow... Robert Plant and Jimmy Page had a huge impact on me. They showed me what a true performer was all about, not just the music but the show. I`m very eclectic too, so from there I go to Elvis, Joni Mitchell, The Stones, Jethro Tull, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Allman Brothers, Queen, Tom Waits, Sara McLaughlin... So many...
Chase Von: You`ve been compared to Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler, The Eagles, and my oldest brother actually went to High School in England with original members of the Eagles. Tina Marie was also in his High School but also Bob Seger, Simon and Garfunkel, JJ Cale, Lou Reed as well as the legendary Johnny Cash!
At just 20 you moved to LA and formed your own original rock band called Gangster!
You also had a huge following and attracted the attention of Warner Bros! You`ve sang lead in many other bands but also wrote songs for all the bands you were in, and opened for Great White, Vixen, Blue Oyster Cult, Tray Guns of Guns `n Roses, and Night Ranger!
You also formed a pop-rock band with keyboard master and music director Alex Alessandroni, who was the music director for many well known talents such as Bobby Brown, Christina Aguilera and Pink! You even attracted the attention of Randy Jackson and I can`t tell you how many times in my interviews the name of Michael Jackson comes up or the Jackson`s!
And you`ve just release your own self-titled CD called PROMISE!
What can you tell our readers about this music that they should know which is coming from someone with such a variety of backgrounds in music?
And how does one go from a band called Gangster to Hill-Billy Urban? Curious minds want to know! (Smile).
MT: Well I started out playing super hard rock and I grew up in a town full of Gangsters so it just sort of fit. As I was working on my CD I started joking with my producer Mark Shrader, that I was going to call this music Hillbilly Urban.
Mainly because I have a little twang in my voice and my musical roots came from the hills of Kentucky. My grandfather Claude Ward was an award-winning fiddle player a long time ago, and my grandmother Ivy Pearl could sing you country ballads that would make a dead man cry. So my music sounds a little hillbilly but I grew up in a very tough urban town.
Chase Von: One of my favorite singers is Rachael Bell, which is someone I turned Tina on to. One of Rachael Bells favorite singers is James Taylor and mine as well; I even have his Christmas CD. (Smile).
So I will be sure to let Rach know about you! But who in the music industry would you really love to work with? And where can our readers find out more about you and your various links to your web sites and to purchase your music?
MT: I have always wanted to do a song with Sheryl Crow. She just has this thing that makes me want to do a duet with her... I love her vibe when she plays. Maybe it`s a soul thing. (Smile).
My official web site is: http://www.mtrobisonmusic.com
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/mtrobisonmusic
My Promise CD is available at: http://cdbaby.com/cd/mtrobison
And various other sites for digital downloads like, Amazon, itunes, etc.
Chase Von: How important is family to you, and what is your take on the state of our current world?
MT: My daughters, Echo and Piper are everything to me. They are my heroes! Beautiful women inside and out!! I am so blessed with family love and support. L. Shrader is my ex-wife and manager, Steve Shrader is my wonderful bass player and my amazing guitar player Jesse Whytock has become like a brother to me.
I have a beautiful older sister Sherron in Ohio. Oh and the little girl Blaze, on my CD cover is one of my God Daughters. We have a great family; I have everything a man could ever want!
The world? I think if everyone would just help one person, everything would change. This world would change. In some places the hurt runs deep, so that will always be there. But just one Angel helping another could change the very fabric of our world... I believe that!
Chase Von: What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?
MT: No matter what the circumstances... BELIEVE in yourselves!!! You can do anything if you believe!
Chase Von: On behalf of The Operated Student Press and myself MT, I really appreciate your taking the time to share yourself with our readers! I`m Black, Blackfoot and Cherokee Indian and possibly a little French but when it comes to music, if I like it, it doesn`t matter what vein it is in. And if I don`t like it, it doesn`t matter what vein it is in either.
I dug yours when I first heard it and I am sure others will dig it as well! You`re versed it appears in all forms of music, but like a Bruce Lee, who borrowed from all forms of fighting to come up with Jeet Kune Do, your using your mastery of so many different styles to weave a magic all your own!
Thanks for finding the time for this and one last thing, what does MT stand for?
MT: Mighty Tall??? Brother mountain??? Mad Thadeous??? HA HA HA! You`ll just have to keep guessing on that one! (Smile).
Chase Von: Well now myself and the readers here at the SOP are still clueless. And by not answering that question and how you did it, does sound a little like the Joker! Hmmmm??? I`ll just have to ask Judyth Piazza to ask you herself when you do your audio. Heh, Heh.
Continued success to you Brother and One Love and when next you speak to T, tell her my thanks for suggesting you for our readers and ROCK 2009!
MT: Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to tell my story Chase! Now you are an Angel... See how it works? Bless you and may anyone who reads this be blessed and have a dream come true this year!
Love and Light