Monday, October 26, 2009

CT Comp Record Vol. 1 & Dan Foster Interviewed

Ok, so I was digging through some record bins and stumbled across this - it's a compilation of local CT musicians from the 80s. I bought this with really good intentions, and I was more than surprised by what I heard. The compilation is a ton of bands doing all kinds of varied 80s new wave tunes. A lot of it is synth-driven cheesiness in the best possible way - Cyndi Lauper styled girl-pop, Flock of Seagulls esque keyboard parts - you name it, it's here. It's very different from the It Happened... But Nobody Noticed compilation independisc put out while that's got a very ragged, 80s punk edge; this comp has smoother and more radio-friendly artists.

The compilation was released in 1987, and put together by a guy named Dan Foster, who I found on myspace. I'm sure some readers will remember him from back then. He was in the Phil Fingerz Band (pictured left), who have a track on the comp. For those of you playing along at home, Phil Fingerz played in a ton of local bands, including the Subdueds and The Sabres. That's a lot to keep track of, but if you watched the IHBNN documentary, you might find things a little easier to follow. Since then, Dan's been playing bass with a ton of bands all around the USA, and has been self-producing a bunch of albums.

Anyway, I caught up with Dan Foster, and this is what he had to say:
"I've always had a great love of music passed down to me from both my parents, although they weren't musicians. From a family of 7 kids, I'm the only musician. I didn't start playing until I was 20 years old, I knew several young musicians from my home town and wanted to get into it, it seemed like a great way to meet and impress girls, especially since I was shy around them. That's basically it.

What got me into doing the compilation record was the fact that being that I was playing the New Haven club circuit for several years, I noticed that there were many talented bands out there. Then, one year at Christmas, I received a book from my older sister entitled "How to make & sell your own record," I still have it! That sparked the idea to put out a compilation of some of the great bands I was seeing. My plan was to continue it and put out more volumes of it in the future but as I learned during the marketing process, one record store owner summed it up in 4 words: "compilation records don't sell". He was right, it never sold enough to even pay for itself, nonetheless it was a great learning experience for me and I met some real nice folks throughout the state.

The CT live music scene sadly died probably around the early 80's due to 2 factors:
1) The state raised the drinking age from 18 to 21
2) The police started really cracking down on drunk driving

Before that, the nightclubs were prospering greatly. you could go to most any club and it would be packed with people partying and having a great time. There were tons of great bands, touring cover bands and just a great live music scene. Once that drinking age went up, the scene went downhill quick, clubs went out of business, band payscales went down, many places just stopped having live music."

"Today, I am still playing, in fact, last night I did a gig opening up for national country artist Randy Houser in a big club at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach. I've been a rock & roller for 30 years and have played in several rock bands down here. I've put out 3 cd's since I've been here which has been 8 years now. 2 cd's with a rock band I put together called Concrete Sky, I produced both records. I also did a Jazz cd called Jazz X which I also produced. I'm very proud of the music that I've done since moving here.

More recently, I've been asked to play with 2 rising country stars here. I've never been a country music fan but since learning more than 3 sets of country cover songs and a long set of country originals, it has really grown on me. Country music is more popular down here, with the young and old. Since playing with these country acts, I've played the biggest shows of my career, last month I did a show at a local navy base in front of over 8,000 fans!

The music scene is way better down here. The local musicians complain about how bad it is, that's when I tell them "If you think this is bad, just move to CT! Or you go to LA and pay to play."

I love music and expect to be playing until I'm dead, after that I hope to jam out with Jimi Hendrix, that's gonna be a helluva show, don't miss it!"

Check out Dan's Myspace page to find out what he's been up to and hear some of his new music.

Unfortunately, we can't offer the free download of the compilation due to copyrights, but it will be available for purchase soon if you're interested in a digital copy.


Brushback said...

Nice photos of the LP!

Bill Wilson said...

I had a track on that album. It was a fun project. I currently play with LAST LICKS.

-Bill Wilson