As the press releases come through my inbox, I get to see alot of things happening in the world of rock. One of the more exciting for me personally was the reunion of Spread Eagle. This band to me was one of the brighter hopes back in their day. There were alot of bands hitting the market, and alot of them really weren't that great obviously. This in some cases caused an overshadow of some really good bands that deserved more attention, but didn't quite get it. I took the opportunity recently to do a chat with Bassist Rob De Luca of the band. We got down to business on the reformation of the band and what's next. Hope you enjoy!
Interviewed by Dave
Heavy Metal Resource: Hello Rob, appreciate the chat!
Rob De Luca: No problem, how are ya?
H.M.R. : Good. Let's go ahead and get going on this. I wanted to start off by saying that I was a big fan of the band. I was really siked to hear that the band for the most part had reformed. I was really curious however to what happened to the band after 'Open to the Public'? I'm sure Grunge played a part, but fill us in.
R. De Luca: I think that Grunge was a part of it, but actually I welcomed that. Even though I love the band Spread Eagle, I think change is always healthy. It keeps things honest and fresh. I was glad Grunge came, I just wished that we had stayed together and weathered it out as far as adapting or whatever. We're all good musicians. Maybe we would never have been accepted because the change really was drastic. Maybe we could have found our way from that. To answer your question though, it was a combination of no support at the label although I'm not gonna blame them for everything, but it definitely makes you question things. The thing about that first album, that was exactly who we were. That was one of the most honest albums ever made. I think that was our strongest work. The label didn't promote it correct and they didn't give us enough support. At that point we started wondering who we were. That combined with the fact that there was some drug use really were the factors.
H.M.R. : Well after discussing what caused the band to fall apart, naturally the next question would be what brought you back together?
R. De Luca: It was a combination of events. It was Ray West's idea originally from a few years ago. He wanted to do it with Chris Caffery because Paul had moved away. I wasn't ready to do it. I didn't think it was the right thing to do at the time. Lovember Records reissued the record. The next logical step was to promote it. Like I said, Ray was always thinking about it and then I started thinking about it. I contacted Paul a ton of times, we are still actually in touch even today, and he lives in India now up in the mountains. I asked him over a period of about 6 months about once a month if he was interested. He just isn't into it at this point in his life. I don't know if that is going to be the case forever, but for this tour he just isn't into it for whatever reasons. Right now he is more of a Folk artist. So to answer the question, it was Ray's idea. The reissue of the debut album by Lovember just made it much more probable.
H.M.R. : Okay, so as far as the band, what is the lineup at this point?
R. De Luca: We were just kind of trying it out. John Macaluso, the drummer had done 'Open to the Public' and at the time he was in the band TNT so he wasn't so much a member, but he was a good friend. We thought it was important to keep it as it was as close as possible, so he became the obvious choice. We use Chris Caffery from Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra as guitarist. It went great. It would be great to do it with those guys again. I really can't answer that question right now though because they are accomplished musicians and scheduling is always a factor. When we do something in the near future, we have to look at everyone's schedules and take it from there. If original members wanted to come back in the future, that would take precedence of course. There really never were any major personal problems between any of us. Right now we are not sure even where Tommy is at. We would still like to get a hold of him.
H.M.R. : Just out of curiosity, while the band was defunct were you doing anything outside of music?
R. De Luca: After Spread Eagle I formed a band called Raging Pig which never really got a major deal, but we did have a development deal with Mercury. After that I joined Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and then I toured with George Lynch. After that I went to Sebastian Bach.
H.M.R. : So you were never really outside of music it sounds like, just outside of Spread Eagle.
R. De Luca: Yeah, exactly.
H.M.R. : So now at this point the band is band together. How did it feel to get back up on the stage with the guys?
R. De Luca : It felt amazing. Those are incredible songs. If a year goes by or twenty years go by, those are still incredible songs. It was just incredible. Not only in the sense that you are playing these songs again, but the fact that it brought back some great memories from some times that were special. I really look forward to doing it again. There was a lot of cool people involved, it was amazing.
H.M.R. : How many shows have you done since you put it back together and hit the road?
R. De Luca : I think we've done about 12.
H.M.R. : Oh okay. So a few anyway then. Next I wanted to ask you about the reissue of the debut album through Lovember Records. What exactly was done to the album? I was curious about remastering and such.
R. De Luca: They did remaster it and it sounds alot better. I never really had a sore spot about how the original sounded. We really didn't care about remastering it, but they did and it sounds a whole lot better. Sometimes you don't really realize something is lacking until you realize it. It is so much more powerful with the new remaster. It is much more clearer. The mix has evened out a little bit. The guitars are a tiny bit lower in the remastering. They are still really, really clear and on top of the mix. They brought them into the mix a little more which brings out the drums better. It just sounds really modern.
H.M.R. : I really want to hear that now. It was a great album already, but that sounds killer to me. Something I as well as other fans may be curious about at this point is whether the band has been doing any writing yet.
R. De Luca: We haven't yet. It's been 13 years since we did the last record and we are pretty prolific at this point about writing music and the processes that it takes to write cohesive and powerful music. That is going to be the least of our problems. The first step was just getting back together and seeing how it felt and reminding everyone that it's easily done getting back together. Ray has been singing his whole life, but he hasn't totally been out there since Spread Eagle. I wanted to get him back in front of crowds. I could see how it affected him. I just wanted to do that first, then the next step will be writing new material.
H.M.R. : I was curious about your direction of writing. I know that you haven't written anything new yet, but at the same time am curious about which way you will write in terms of the bands overall sound for the future.
R. De Luca: Alot of fans who come through our MySpace webpage think that if we released the debut album right now, we would do incredibly well. I think that music goes in circles. The proof is with bands like Velvet Revolver or Buckcherry or what is gonna happen with the new Guns 'n' Roses. That tour has been incredible. I think people are going to realize that great rock and roll is timeless. I think with Spread Eagle, I would put them right in that same category. So in the future I wouldn't try to deviate that much. Just hard hitting, heavy, melodic songs would do fine.
H.M.R. : I was going to ask about a timeline for that new music, but knowing that you haven't started writing yet, it might be hard to nail that down at this point.
R. De Luca: I would like to do one more tour and just get right back out in front of large crowds before I take it to the next level. I just want to get that mentality back in everyone's mind very solid. Getting in front of people is one situation, but hitting those fans with new music that you want them to like is another. I just want to do one thing at a time, especially after taking 13 years off.
H.M.R. : When you are playing on stage, especially those 12 shows, who is coming to the shows? I have asked others and they talk about a younger audience coming out.
R. De Luca: Well, I'm not sure, but I get the feeling that it is people coming back. In New York City when we played, the show was really packed. I recognized every face in the audience so it was really cool. I was also in Australia a couple of weeks ago and there are plenty of Spread Eagle fans down there too. It's really great.
H.M.R. : I was curious, what are your thoughts on the current rock and metal scene?
R. De Luca: I don't know if I am totally up on everything. There could be alot of things that I like that I haven't been turned on to. I go through alot of different styles of music. One of my favorite new bands for definite is the Mars Volta. They are a knock back to 70's progressive rock. I also like Meshuggah who has been around for quite a while now. I would like to be current with alot more though.
H.M.R. : Well, I don't have too much else at this point. Is there anything you wanted to add?
R. De Luca: I did want to mention something that I didn't mention. I do play bass for Of Earth. That's one of the things that I have done in the last few years after Spread Eagle broke up. I did want to include that too.
H.M.R. : Okay, cool. What style is Of Earth in?
R. De Luca: Kind of 70's classic meets modern rock. It's really dynamic. It's also a tad progressive at times. It's good stuff.
H.M.R. : Any music available at this point from that band?
R. De Luca: We're working on our debut right now. I've been kind of busy with Sebastian, but we'll finish it soon.
H.M.R. : Well, keep us posted on that. Appreciate the chat..thanks again!
R. De Luca: Thanks Dave! I appreciate it.