Stan Bush has just released yet another AOR masterpiece called “Dare To Dream” which is already on the top of almost every list of the best albums of 2020. We get in touch with him for all the details but also to take a trip down to memory lane…most specifically back in the 80s when hard rock music reigned supreme!
Interview: Sakis Nikas
Rockpages.gr: Stan, let me tell you that I was absolutely blown away by your new album. I really mean it…especially in these hard times that we are all going through!
Stan Bush: Thank you so much. It’s been a crazy year. I really appreciate it…the feedback is overwhelming. I am staying at home as most people do and I am working from home. When we were doing the album, I’d go over to my producer’s house who lives a few miles away from me and deal with the writing and the recording process.
Rockpages.gr: The first thing that you notice on “Dare To Dream” is its positive message both in the music and the lyrics. Do you agree?
Stan Bush: Yeah…absolutely. I love positive messages and the idea of everybody having an optimistic outlook and try to be as good as you can be by making the best out of your life. I was always that kind of person…believe in yourself and anything is possible like I say in my song “The Touch”. It’s very powerful, I think…
Rockpages.gr: Especially in this time and age…2020! You know what I mean…
Stan Bush: I do know what you mean. You are right.
Rockpages.gr: Quite possibly the standout track is “The 80s” which was released last year. I grew up in the 80s and I know perfectly well how important that decade was for the music and pop culture in general. From your perspective, what was so special about those glory days? Stan Bush: Well, I love the 80s movies. I love the soundtracks where you can listen almost to the whole song during a scene or most of the song. A song could be a vital part of the story. Also, everybody remembers those 80s songs due to their big choruses and their anthemic feeling…everybody sings along and knows all the lyrics. The melodies, the big hooks…everything. It was a different kind of writing than today, I think.
Rockpages.gr: Speaking of 80s movies…“You got the touch, you got the power”…right?
Stan Bush: (laughs) That’s right!
Rockpages.gr: Another standout track is definitely “Born To Fight” which has a cool animated video. What can you tell us about it?
Stan Bush: Netflix reach out to me to write a song for their Netflix anime channel. They asked me if I could write a song about fighting and of course I said yes. I called my buddy Lenny Macaluso with whom I had written of course “The Touch”. We sat down and wrote “Born To Fight”. The Netflix guys loved it and they made a music video with me and the animation scenes to promote the show. It worked out great as my new album has just come out and I had this video to accompany it with. The timing was perfect.
Rockpages.gr: Stan, I saw your videos that you uploaded on Facebook…you shared some really cool info about the new album. I believe that it was a good way to promote the album since you can’t tour or do any live shows. What do you think?
Stan Bush: I agree…I will continue to upload messages via Facebook and my official website (www.stanbush.com). I am thinking of other ways, too…like a song in a movie or a TV show…that kind of thing. Also music videos are cool and people seem to like them. So we have “The 80s” video which has a cool summer vibe…like you said, a nostalgic feeling for the 80s and of course “Born To Fight”.
Rockpages.gr: Now that you mention the video clip for the song “The 80s”, one of the guys that plays a character on the video wears a vintage Van Halen T’shirt. We lost recently Eddie Van Halen. How did you take it?
Stan Bush: That was horrible. He was a legend and he died so young. It was a big loss for everybody and of course he played a crucial role in this whole 80s hard rock explosion.
Rockpages.gr: Stan, do you follow the current melodic rock scene? I am asking you because “Dare To Dream” kinda reminded me of the whole atmosphere of a Pride of Lions album or a Jim Peterik songwriting approach.
Stan Bush: Yeah, some of my friends are artists and I toured at one point with Survivor. Jonathan Cain from Journey is a good friend and we had written some songs together back in the day. There are some great people in the business and it’s a great genre…melodic rock music. As for Pride of Lions and Jim Peterik, I know what you mean…we have the same heroes in music. We grew up with The Beatles and Led Zeppelin but also with the music of Foreigner…those early Foreigner records are great. I also love Giant.
Rockpages.gr: Dan Huff is an astonishing musician and producer.
Stan Bush: I agree.
Rockpages.gr: You released a great record as Stan Bush & Barrage back in 1987 which was a commercial success. Did it come as a surprise to you?
Stan Bush: Yeah, it was a bit of a surprise…I was in the Skotti Bros and the song “The Touch” from the Transformers movie was a hit especially in Europe…I went over to Germany a couple of times, in England…I wanted to come to Greece but I didn’t have the chance. I’ve seen pictures and your country is so beautiful… lots of history and the climate is similar to Los Angeles.
Rockpages.gr: This was a band that featured the late and great Pat Torpey behind the drums. What do you remember from him?
Stan Bush: You know I didn’t know him really well but I liked Pat. He was kind enough to come with us for the album photo shoot (laughs). That photo from the Barrage record is from the parking lot of CBS records! Pretty cool.
Rockpages.gr: The 90s were really hard for the melodic rock scene. Nevertheless, you were active and you released a few albums. Was it a difficult time for you?
Stan Bush: It was a hard time for the melodic rock sound…you are right. The kind of rock that I play it kinda went away…all of a sudden, the labels didn’t care for that type of melodic rock sound. It was a very strange time but in Europe and Japan things were different and the fans were more loyal compared to the States. Of course, nowadays everybody loves 80s rock music and the new bands try to sound like the 80s.
Rockpages.gr: The magic word here is “try” because the new productions are flat compared to those 80s bands.
Stan Bush: Yeah, because they don’t have a huge budget. Technology made things easier but the new bands don’t have that budget. They record an album in their house and you have to pay really close attention in order to achieve that powerful end result.
Rockpages.gr: You managed to do so with “Dare To Dream”. It has a cool sound and powerful production.
Stan Bush: Thank you. Holger Fath, my producer, did a great job. I am glad that you like it.
Rockopages.gr: Some of those 90s albums of yours are hard to find, by the way.
Stan Bush: I know…recently I had them all manufactured –silver CDs- and they are available on my website so people can go to www.stanbush.com and find them.