|Source: Y & T Facebook page @Rock Hard Festival - copyright by JILL MENIKETTI|
Hello dear Y & T band, thank you so much for taking your time doing this interview with me. Tonz of thanks to your lovely manager Jill for the immediate response and for lining this up. I feel honored. So here`s my questions for you. Thank you for answering and returning them to me.
1. Please give a short introducion on Y&T please. This is mostly for the younger generation of my readers which didn`t grew up with your music.
Dave: Y&T started in 1974, released our first record in 1976 and have been touring the world and releasing CDs ever since. I (Dave Meniketti) am the only remaining original member, and I'm both the lead singer and lead guitarist, along with a principal song writer in the band. Our original bass player, Phil Kennemore, died in January of 2011 from lung cancer, and the other 2 original members were let go from the band in the 80s for drug problems.
2. Every one is still talking bout your Hit named "Summertime Girls" how did you manage to get it played in the tv series "Baywatch"?
Dave: That probably came from someone responsible for the soundtrack of that series, or possibly from our publisher giving them the idea about our song. I'm not certain exactly how it got placed in Baywatch, but of course I'm glad it did. It was the perfect match for that series, which was all about being on the beach and was where our Summertime Girls video was filmed - on Venice Beach.
|pic copyright by JILL MENIKETTI|
3. Your career started in the early 70`s so you have bunches of stories to tell, books to fill about tour life and so on. So you surely have a statistic on all your shows - how many shows did you played since forming Y&T and which ones were the most touching ones in your history so far? And is there still any place you want to play where you haven`t played before?
Dave: Amazing as it may seem, we do not have a knowledge of how many shows we've played since we formed. No one was taking down that information until decades later. I could only take a wild guess at the number of shows we've played since we formed, and that would probably be wrong by quite a large margin. It's impossible to choose a favorite few shows in my long career, but a few that stand out to me are the 1982 tours with AC/DC in the UK and Europe, our first headline tour of the UK in 1983 for the Mean Streak record, our mid 80s yearly headline Halloween shows at the Concord Pavillion in the Bay Area of Northern California where we had bands like Motley Crue opened for us, and the current shows we do in Newcastle, Nottingham - to mention only a few of my favorites through the years. As far as places I would like to play that we have not been to yet, probably Australia and South America would be a few.
4. When you officially disbanded in 1991. Was it because of the grunge area which hit the Hard Rock bands very hard back then? Or did you need some creative downtime from all back then? What have you done in those 4 years of silence?
Dave: It was a combination of Grunge coming in and wiping out the classic rockers of the 60s, 70s, and 80s from the scene, and our frustration with our record company and the music business (record companies, radio, and to some degree the press), but not the fans. We felt it was best to go our separate ways and try something else. That lasted for about 4 years when we got back together and wrote 2 CDs worth of new material in 94 and 96, but it wasn't until 2003 that we truly got back to playing more consistently. In those few years from 1991 through 1994, I built a recording studio on my property and started writing my first solo CD "On the Blue Side".
5. When you returned to the stages in 1995 how did the audience accept you? Where there special demands you had on yourselves too?
Dave: The fans were awesome and very happy we were playing any shows at all. The band was also very good and we looked at each other and wondered why we still weren't playing, so we made a few CDs and tried to get back to business, but it took many years to come before the business was ready to have us again.
6. Since 1995 already 20 years passed and you are still doing what you love best - and I am very happy about that as not many bands from back in those days are still in the business. I really take my had off to you! So you are very wise... so could you give some of the younger bands a good advice how to act in today`s music business?
Dave: I suppose I could, but my basic advice is to go for a music career only if you truly love what you are doing. Because music is such a difficult business to be successful in, it is completely likely that you will go through pure hell for many years until you see any kind of "real' success or money. That is what separates the boys from the men in this business. So many talented musicians have given up along the way because of so many pressures and crazy business dealings that come with the territory of trying to be a pro musician. But if you really have a feel for music and have some real talent, you should try your hardest to stick with it no matter the consequences. Most of all, my advice to someone who has a basic handle on what they really want to do with their music and career is to follow your gut feeling for making major decisions. You will probably be happier in the long run if you do that. And most of all - enjoy yourself and try to maintain a good sense of humor to laugh through the good and bad times.
7. Your last (live) album was released in 2010. So do you have any future plans for a follow up album at this time? Could you reveal something about this yet?
Dave: Yes, our last studio recording was released in 2010, which is called Facemelter, and the following year we released a live CD called Live at the Mystic. We will be spending time next summer writing for a new studio CD in hopes to release it late 2017 or early 2017.
8. In autumn you will return to lovely Germany. Is there any shows of them you look forward to most - and if so which one and why? While talking about Germany, which is your personal favorite Cd there? Would be great to see you live on the road - as I sadly haven´t seen you yet.
Dave: You must come see a Y&T show in Germany. This is not something you should put off for another day. The time is now to do this. We have many towns that we play in Germany and so many of them are great places for us. Two in particular are The Blues Garage in Isernhagen, and Colos-Saal in Aschaffenburg. Those 2 venues, and crowds are always a fun show to play on the yearly Y&T tour.
9. What’s your opinion about the modern Metal Cruises - like the Monsters of Rock Cruise for example where you`ll play next year???
Dave: They are great fun for everyone - the bands and the fans! Non-stop good music happening all day and night. Good fans that really appreciate the music and respect the bands. We all look forward to the cruises every year. Food, drink, and music, as long as you can take it for 4 days in a row. An awesome experience in mostly warm sunny weather.
10. Have you ever thought about writing a book about Y & T or doing a film about the band? If so what would be a perfect title then?
Dave: Yes, we are filming a documentary about Y&T right now and it will be available in late Spring 2016. Also, my wife has a recently released fictional book about aging rockers called Welcome to Groove House, with many stories based on Y&T experiences, and other things learned throughout the years of touring the world. I may eventually write something about the band in the future, but I don't have any plans to do so at the current time. I'm too busy making new experiences to possibly write about.
11. Your statement on "Pay To Play"?
Dave: I hate the idea and wish it were not a part of trying to be a successful musician. I realize that being a club owner is a very tough job - almost as tough as trying to make it as a musician - but in my opinion there could be a better way. In actual fact, there was a better way when we first started playing. It feels to me like there is a general laziness on the part of some owners and talent buyers of venues. It shows a lack of any creativity on their part to not help promote their own shows and try to nurture real talented local bands, the way venues used to do in the past. One proven way that most are not interested in doing any longer is to spend a bit of their own money on local promotion. Pay to Play is an easy way out for a club owner, making the bands do the work that the club owners should be helping to do themselves. If you own a club that hires live talent, you shouldn't get into that business unless you are interested in helping yourself by propping up local talent and thereby helping your venue at the same time.
Certainly some things have changed over the years to make this a harder thing to achieve with any consistency, but I believe if you truly make your venue a place that locals love to frequent, and spend a bit of your own money toward promotion, it will probably work out better for the long run. I have seen many a venue pack a place even if the crowd doesn't know who is playing, simply because it's such a great place to hang out that it attracts it's own attention.
12. Last but not least the floor is yours. Please leave a final message for my readers and me please.
Dave: I have been a fortunate person to do what I love for the majority of my adult life -I have my own persistence, and the great Y&T fans, to thank for this. The band, right now, is as good as any time in our existence, so I highly recommend you come out and make the effort to see us. Youwon't be disappointed and we will have a great time together!
Y & T Web
Thank you so much for your time. Sending all best wishes from Germany your way. I wish you a rocking day and week. Keep up the amazing work. I really admire you for all you do. As I know it is truly not easy with all those strokes of fate you all went through.
All best, Susi Rocketqueen Müller