FM TO WEB - ? AND THE MYSTERIANS: interview

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What can you say in these occasions? What introduction to write and why…
I would like to thank Donna (many thanks!) who finally got Questonmark ‘?’ to share an interview over the phone with me and I’d just like to say that this guy is Rock & Roll to the bone. Let’s cut to the chase, his answers… unfortunately, we do not have SOUND (for now…) at Mixgrill, so that you can hear him sing '96 Tears' and The Kinks’ 'You Really Got Me' at the other end of the line.
 
“We are THE MISSING LINK OF ROCK & ROLL Demitris! That’s exactly what we are! That’s what I say to the band and myself, you know! Spontaneity is the most important thing in Rock & Roll, there are no recipes. Bill Halley made the start and then everybody else popped out. Boom!! Like that! Infinite problems with the record companies over the years, stir-ups, a chaos, but we are still here! That’s what I care about… duration, to live with and for the music… We started in 1962 and by that, Rolling Stones and Beach Boys are NOT the only names that have a half-century career behind them, man. We are also here and we are coming back with a new album this year…? AND THE MYSTERIANS! So, I made an amazing cover on 'You Really Got Me', you know (he sings the intro… the guitar.. and then the drums!) and I am proud because I love especially this song! All of the new album will feature covers. 'Loose' by the STOOGES in a completely different edit, for example, and a new, much longer version of '96 Tears' for the fans of the band who keep asking me fro years! Damn! I can’t go anywhere without this song, you know (laughs!) through the years! It’s always with me! We did a series of rehearsals for this album and I am really glad of the result All of the recording was actually live, spontaneous, with the energy of the moment! Otherwise, there’s no interest in playing music, unless you do it from your heart!'
 
'So, you’ve heard about the NEW Rudi Protrudi! Yeah! Actually, it’s gonna be a Rudi album! We owe a lot to the Fuzztones, all of us, many names from my generation, and with this album we pay back some (laughs!) of it for sure!
It’s titled 'IN FUZZ WE TRUST' and we cover a great song of Rudi ('Action Speaks Louder Than Words') in a very decent project full of names like Electric Prunes, Strawberry Alarm Clock and so many other legendary bands. My new album with ? AND THE MYSTERIANS is called 'Let's Rock & Roll Baby' and along with my participation in the Fuzztones’ project, they make me happy! You know, it’s a very good idea, with their release, to get Rudi and come for a show in Athens! What do you say? Yeah! It’s a good idea, to play together at a few European cities and then back to the USA together! It sounds interesting…’

'I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t listen to music (!), I don’t listen to anything (!), I just listen ONLY to the sounds that are inside my head man…MY OWN MUSIC… what comes from inside… I still love Fleetwood Mac stuff, for example, but… Ah! You asked me about Ronnie Spector right? Well, look… yes, this woman has an incredible presence (‘we have played together at the Ηouse Of Blues in New Orleans’ he says, with an emotional feeling in his voice) and she sure is one of a kind! When 'Be My Baby' was released in 1963, which will also be feaured in my new work, I told myself that someday I will share the stage with that woman, and that actually happened! We shouldn’t be scared of what we dream! That’s what I believe! Otherwise, what’s the point? I personally call her 'Ronnie'... NOT Ronnie Spector... Hey! Get away from that shadow! You belong t yourself! OK, everybody knows her as Spector because of Phil, I get it, but for me she stands, and always stood alone… an incredible voice which is impossible not to touch you inside… The first time we shared the stage at a festival, they told me ‘you know, Ronnie Spector is up before you!' and I thought how amazing it was and how much I wanted to tell her… I really admire her.. I suppose you heard about Phil Spector’s adventures, his imprisonment and the rest. Ronnie has an authentic personality which stands on her own… her voice is enough’
 
'Generally, I don’t like to push things. I believe that this is fundamental in your relationship with music. Things have to meet you, they will meet you (I say that I agree with him), so you don’t have to run for no reason. Let them space to come and THEY will find you. You know, I can understand a band, even from the soundcheck... I am a lot of years on the road, you don’t have to try THAT hard for music! Enjoy it! It’s Rock & Roll! It’s not words… don’t try to find the right pose… LIVE IT FOR YOU! That’s what I mean!
Do you remember Tina Turner’s comeback in the 80’s? Oh my God, what a voice!! Tina, whom I adore, came back almost from nowhere, BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO SING! It’s simple… Be certain that she first heard the music inside her and then all the rest came… It’s like a calling, youknow…’
 
I especially love women in music and girl groups alson. A lot of times, images pop in my head and songs… 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'...'What A Diffrence A Day Makes'..(great recordings I tell him) and there is always a woman who sends these songs to the sky with her voice. Hmmm… I got to look into it… A LOT of female voices (laughs!) I told you before when w talked about Ronnie... of course, she has a special place in me.. 'Be My Baby' is definitely one of my 3 favorite songs'.

? told me many things. We said more.. some of which more personal (based on music of course) and some that would be very interesting to come true. What I kept from this interview, as we set a meeting in Athens (I hope..) and hung up the phone, was the almost childish voice of a guy whose heart is in the right place.. The rarest thing in our days.. 'Let's Rock & Roll ?...'

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? And The Mysterians Fuzztones
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Rudi Protrudi
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