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Interview with Bruno Ravel

Interview with Bruno Ravel – 7/30/10, NYC

(by Brent Rusche)

Although best known for his role as bassist in Danger Danger, Bruno Ravel is anything but one dimensional. In addition to a career in D2 as bassist/founding member and releasing (10) albums with them, his bailiwick has expanded to include esteemed titles such as Producer, Engineer, Record Label Owner and even talent scout. Perhaps a product of the New York City mentality, he never feigns the truth and his responses are delivered candidly, warts and all. Although an attempt at an interview at Melodic Rock Fest 2 on May 1, 2010 failed, I was able to reprise my role when he showed up to support the CD release party/performance of Tony Harnell and the Mercury Train’s ‘Round Trip’ at Rockwood Music Hall 2 in downtown NYC on July 30, 2010.

Q: Alright…huddle around the campfire {which is none more than a candle in a glass atop the bar}, besides Tony Harnell and the Mercury Train, what other proverbial swords do you have in the fire…who else are you working with these days?

A: Uh……….ayeyayayayyayay…the only one I can really mention…I’m working with… I’m actually doing a mix for a band that was called…I can’t really talk about this now ‘cause it’s not…

Q: Well, talk about what you can talk about…

A: Well, I’m still doing my jingles and I’m still doing a record with this girl on Long Island like I told you {circa May at MRF2}, her solo record…I can’t mention that either…‘cause I can’t! So forget about this question, skip to the next question…I’m busy, I’m busy! [Laughs] When I have something to talk to you about that’s good, I’ll talk to you about it.

Q: OK, fair enough…in terms of jingles what companies are you writing music for?

A: Oh, I do a lot of stuff for the ESPN, Bravo, Spike and Oxygen networks…it depends. I get hired to write 15 second, 30 second and 1 minute spots. They then take the music and put it into different, little commercials and any number of various things you might see on TV.

Q: For instance, promotional advertisements for the network’s upcoming schedule.

A: Exactly, you’ll hear rock music in the background and sometimes it’ll be me.

Q: OK…Danger Danger’s ‘Revolve.’ A question that I asked you out in Illinois at Melodic Rock Fest 2: is the album a swan song or to be considered a renaissance for the band?

A: It’s most likely a swan song unless things change…{pause}

Q: That’s it, huh?

A: Well, like I said before, the way we work has to change or else…but I don’t really see there being another record just because I don’t think that Steve {West} is really into it and it is really a lot of work. I mean, really a lot of work. While I would do one record a year if it was up to me, unfortunately the other guys don’t work as fast as I do. So, I have a feeling that it’s going to be a swan song.

Q: Besides Melodic Rock Fest 2, are there any plans for more dates to support ‘Revolve?’

A: Oh yeah. We’re going to be doing a tour in Europe, either this coming Fall or early next year with scattered dates in The States. The thing is…all we have left is our live show as far as something we can hold on to that people can’t steal, so we won’t play for peanuts. So when promoters come to us with a good offer and everything makes sense, we’ll play. Right now, it’s unfortunate that it’s only scattered dates {for The States} but we just played a show in Sweden a couple of weeks ago with Twisted Sister and Deep Purple. I would be playing more than not…but again, they {promoters} have to do the right thing and take care of us.

Q: Was it Sweden Rock that you were referring to?

A: It was called Rock Weekend and it was in Sweden. A different festival. {This festival hosted, in addition to the two aforementioned bands, Venom, Saxon, Electric Boys, Bloodbound, Fatal Smile, Crazy Lixx and others…a true amalgam of Rock and Metal!}

Q: What needs to happen, even if that includes me getting involved, to get Marcello/Vestry back in the studio and recording a new album?

A: You have to ask Rob…and although he is a great guy, he’s really lazy. Frank is ready to go, I’m ready to go…it’s Rob, he’s a scatterbrain. So, you’ll have to ask him.

Q: So it’s just a matter of contacting him?

A: Yeah, yeah.

Q: Alright, last question: Who manages Low Dice Records and are there any ideas to sign additional artists?

A: Low Dice Records is really just mine and Steve’s label and there is really no manager. We work in conjunction with a couple of consultants and we are not really looking to sign artists because, um…it’s not like we’re not looking to sign artists. We just haven’t come across anything or any situation that makes sense to actually release it on our label. But we’re always looking.

Q: Excellent! Bruno, thank you for your time and it’s always a pleasure to not only see you, but also to share a record release party in Tony Harnell and the Mercury Train’s ‘Round Trip’ that you are credited with both mixing and mastering. All the best!

A: Thanks.

While transcribing my interview, a few nascent questions influenced me to contact Bruno via Facebook and solicit my inquiries. And in his own, inimitable way, gave me the no-frills version...and thus, I offer all readers the postscript to my interview with the garrulous and entertaining, Mr. Ravel:

Q: What, if any updates do you have for the fans of Westworld? Is this project dead, on permanent hiatus or can fans expect another record in the future?

A: The project is on an indefinite hiatus, we'll see...

Q: D2 has embraced stellar guitar players in Andy Timmons and now Rob Marcello. Are you still in contact with Andy and do you ever imagine working with him again?

A: Still great friends with Andy. Speak to him all the time, and I'm sure we'll work together sometime soon.

Q: Since you are not a person to hold back, what is your preferential version of Cockroach and why?

A: Paul's version. It has more attitude.

Brent Rusche


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