P. 14

PAGE 14                                                                                                          ROCKNATION ISSUE 27

        Interview  with Frederic Slama

          Hello Frédéric of AOR and welcome to Rocknation. Congrats on your
          “Westcoast Compilation” and many Re-Issue’s on Perris Records
          including “Next Stop L.A”, “The Colors Of L.A”, “Return To L.A” &
          Frédéric Slama “L.A Rendez-Vous”. You only have a few more to go to
          break the most titles released by Perris Records. Helix has only a few
          more than you. Which one of these CDs I know it is hard to ask, is your
          favorite and why?
          Hello Rocknation. Of course it’s very hard to choose. It would be like
          choosing between my children, but the AOR father that I am have his little
          favorite which is “The Colors Of L.A” released originally in 2012. It contains
          some of my favorite songs like “Jenny At Midnight” or “Benedict Canyon” sung
          by the late Jerry Hludzik from the band Dakota, among other titles that I love.
          It was one of my best selling album at the time along “Return To L.A” which was considered as my strongest release by
          the press in 2015. Now my goal is to break the record held by Helix at Perris Records, so i’ve got still some work to do if
          I want to take the lead before 2030 ha! ha!

          Here is a flashback question. You lived in LA many years ago before going back to France. Please tell us some
          stories about who you use to hang out with in the music scene.
          I’ve spent more than 10 years in L.A.,  and even after I left California, I went there several times each year when I was
          music journalist and a recording artist. It was the fact that I started journalism at the young age of 13 that allowed me
          to open many musical doors. At the time I worked for several big magazines and I interviewed more than 1000 bands
          or artists during the late 70’s and 80’s. Many bands were blown away to see a teen knowing so much about their music
          compared to grown-ups that didn’t had the faintest ideas what these bands were all about. So some of them invited me
          to follow their tours like Blue Öyster Cult, Status Quo, Aerosmith, Queen, Cheap Trick, Kiss or even Pink Floyd in
          Europe for their “Animals” tour. In L.A. I was invited in the studio to see record some great U.S. bands like Journey,
          Starship or Eddie Money among many others and I was also invited to some parties where I was consider as a
          phenomenon to know so many things at such a young age. I was passionate about music so it helped out a lot. But I
          was not the only one to start so early. In the States Cameron Crowe had a similar experience at the same age and did a
          fantastic career afterward. I also started recording some demos when I was a teen, and i had the help of some talented
          musicians for a solo or a voice here and there on my songs. I have still hundreds of unreleased demos from that time,
          but the sound is so bad that I don’t find it much interesting to release them. Quality first ! You have to remember that
          in the 70’s & 80’s you had a much easier access to these bands and journalists were considered as kings ‘cause they
          could make a success or not of any album. Since the 90’s it’s completely different and the power of the press and so
          called journalists have not the same impact at all on the sales. It was of course before the crazy age of internet!

          How and why did you pick the songs for the “Westcoast Compilation”?
          There was a very high demand for some cool Westcoast songs with the biggest stars of the genre. I’ve released
          20 AOR albums and the 7 first ones were more Westcoast, more laid back than the following ones that were pure Aor /
          Melodic Rock. A lot of fans couldn’t find easily these first albums or at unbelievable prices on Ebay. So with
          Tom Mathers, the mastermind behind Perris
          Records, we decided to do a  Westcoast
          compilation remastered with all my best songs
          from that time, plus some more recent ones
          always in the smooth style. “The best Of The
          Westcoast Spirit” is a must have album with all
          the great stars of the genre such as
          members of Toto, Bill Champlin (Chicago),
          David Roberts, Michael Ruff, Dane Donohue,
          Michael Landau and so many more. Check out
          this album if you like bands like The Eagles,
          Toto or Chicago (David Foster era). You won’t
          be disappointed!
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