Joe Vana of Mecca fills us in on the band's eagerly awaited second album…
1. What are you currently up to?
I am preparing for Mecca II, I am writing it with Tommy Denander…and Eric Ragno will be involved as well….no gigs lined up…and I hope to vacation at the beginning of the year!!! hahahahah
2. Could you take us through the new album?
The album is a personal journey of mine over 7 years…..Tommy Denander did an amazing job marrying his musical ideas to my melodies and lyrics….we blended and wrote VERY well together….I really see us writing together for many years…we make potent team…..
3. On this album you take sole lead vocals. Did you consider using other vocalists again and what made you decide to go it alone?
I wanted to do an album on my own…..to spread my own wings…. so I went on to create my own band, and my own sound. I hand picked all the guys I always wanted to work with, and luckily no one said No!! Fergie is an amazing singer, and I am proud to have written the song “The One” which is on his new album…As far as JP, he is a very busy guy with all the projects he is involved in and I wanted to produce this one with Chuck Macak and Mark Alano, I knew we would make a great record together.
4. The second album has been a long time coming. Are you hopeful this time you can keep the momentum going as with so many releases out there people seem to lose sight of artists that are not regularly releasing new material?
I can't worry about that….that is marketing and sales….I worry only about doing the best I can as an artist, and conveying that vision…and, I can only do them as fast as I can….I will not sacrifice ONE NOTE to sell more albums….it is about the song!!!
5. How did you hook-up with Tommy Denander who has a major role in the new album?
We have been friends for years…..we always respected each other and kept in touch….5 years ago it clicked, we started writing and magic happened….kind of the same with Eric Ragno….I am honored to call them friends, and to work side by side with them….
6. In this age of downloads and declining CD sales has the internet helped you get your music out there or has it in some ways hindered it by websites offering free downloads?
I wish I knew more about it….I only know that I try to write great albums….if people steal it that takes away fom budgets and such….and money out of writers like me, out of our pockets…luckily I do NOT depend on music for income….
7. Is rock music in a healthier state now than ten years ago? How important has it been to have a specialist magazines – ‘‘Classic Rock’, ‘Fireworks’ – in the High Street stores raising the profile of the music and online websites like MelodicRock.Com?
They are EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!! You guys keep the genre alive….otherwise I would be making albums for no one to listen to!!!! You guys are the last line of defense against extinction for us!!!!!!! Thank YOU!!!!!!!
8. Have you worked with any other artists outside of Mecca? Have any of your songs been covered/used by other artists?
I have a song called “The One” on Fergie Frederiksen's new album…..and I worked with many many artists with Jim Peterrik and World Stage for 5 years….I have sang with Dennis DeYoung, Steve Walsh, Kelly Keagy, Johnny VanZant, Henry Paul, Kevin Cronin and more……it has been an honor….
9. What made you want to start making music and who have been your musical influences?
Steve Lukather….he is my idol, my mentor and my friend….his vision, talent and musicality drew me to want to try to do this myself…Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan as well…
10. What do you enjoy doing in your time away from music?
Spending it with my Girlfriend, and with my son….as far as what?? Well, anything NON musical related!!!!
Anything else to add and a message for your fans…
Thank you so much for supporting us….we need help these days as it is rough for musicians now…..but, Don't Steal music….and enjoy what music is all about…..
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