Foray (ˈfôrˌā,ˈfärˌā) n.: an initial venture; a brief excursion or attempt especially outside one’s accustomed sphere
Despite making music for quite a while (with a variety of groups including drunkdude69, Foonspeeders, Thomas Reed Smith etc.) I have really never made an album that had my name on it front and center. As the definition above says, this is my first time – be gentle.
There is another layer to the name of this record. Ray Leonardi, one of my closest friends, passed away unexpectedly not long ago. He was an avid music fan, and we spent countless hours listening to music, drinking adult beverages, and going to see shows.
We used to get together with friends and play a game in which everyone got to add some songs to the playlist and you’d have to guess who added which tunes. Ray always loved him some classics: Ramones, Iggy Pop, the Clash. He dug modern acts too, like Metric, Silversun Pickups, and Foals. Occasionally he would surprise us with a left-field, highly secret pick – like Paula Abdul.
Sometimes, if Ray had a pint or two over his limit, he’d be less than polite if he thought your musical selections were crap. “Play something GOOD!” he would intone. He couldn’t always articulate exactly what “good” was. But we all knew.
His enthusiasm for the beginnings of this set of songs was unbridled. He loved the rock guitars and the amazing drum tracks laid down by Jim Evans and Steve Renko. He was very much looking forward to helping me out with his promotional skills once it was done.
I initially wanted to keep the instrumentation to guitars, bass and drums in an effort to do something different from DD69 and the other projects I’ve worked on for years. Ultimately, though, I felt like something was missing. When I started to add some synth tracks to flavor things I realized that was the special sauce that I had been looking for.
So the final product may have veered a little more into pop territory than Ray would have liked. I wish he was still here to hear the final product.
Even if he would have listened to it and said, “Play something GOOD!”
*** I am donating 1/3 of any money made by this album or these songs to the American Diabetes Association in memory of Ray. Thanks for listening ***
Steve Renko: Drums
Jim Evans: Drums
Scott Haumesser: Drums
Jeff Endemann: Guitar
All songs written by Scott Martin except * written by Joey Gallo, Leon F Sylvers, Marquis Dair
Songs published by Snoozeking Music (ASCAP) except * published by Portrait Solar Music, used under license
Recorded in Cleveland, Ohio at Snoozeking Studios, Lava Room, and Closer Look
Additional engineering by Chris Ebbert at Lava Room (lavaroomrecording.com)
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Scott Martin (scottmartin.rocks)
Mastered by Chris Graham (chrisgrahammastering.com)