Loudest Rock Interview with Doug Odell
 
A well oiled machine usually has 4 cylinders. So far we have heard from three of those four cylinders that are the inner workings of the band known as TNA. Now we hear that fourth and newly acquired cylinder, bassist
Doug Odell! This new addition to an already road seasoned mean machine, has only added to its torque and help rev up its engine even meaner, bigger and badder. We had a moment to catch up with this 5 stringer (yes...5 string....NOT 4 STRING!) bass player and seeing what is it that burns deep inside this proverbial bass beast.

The Loudest Rock: So far we have heard from your other band mates in TNA and their feelings on the new album, new sound etc. But what about you being the 'new guy'. Spill it! What was it like being in the studio with these guys knowing the history they had.

Doug Odell: The very first time I met Sean, Mike and Danny in the studio I was immediately taken with how humble and laid back everyone was. There was an instant vibe when we jammed together. It felt like home.

The Loudest Rock: Were you a fan of the band prior to joining?

Doug Odell: Oh, yeah I was a definitely a fan. In the late 80's, I used to frequent Streets (legendary Westchester rock club in New Rochelle, NY) and TNA were one of the top shelf original acts performing there regularly. One night they threw some demos into the audience, and I was lucky enough to catch one!! I wore that tape out, let me tell you. "Rung On The Ladder" and "Let Me Down Easy" were songs that stayed with me for years.

The Loudest Rock: Tell us a little about you. Your playing is very bottom thick and really helps shape the new sound of the band and album. Was this a conscious thing on your part, or a need to with the material?

Doug Odell: I was a 4-string bassist for my first 15 years of playing. In January 2002 I made the jump to 5-string thanks to Stuart Spector (http://www.spectorbass.com/). In approaching the new material that Sean and Mike put together for 'BRANDED', I wanted to incorporate the lower register notes without losing sight of the classic TNA sound. I think it adds a fresh, contemporary element to the recording.

The Loudest Rock: Was it hard for you to fill Phil's shoes? Or was it seamless/painless for you?

Doug Odell: I had the benefit of being a TNA fan, so I think that helped me in keeping the spirit of what Phil brought to the band intact. I went for a simple, raw feel and locked in with Danny on the grooves. The guys made me feel very comfortable and welcome!

The Loudest Rock: Mike (lead vocalist of TNA) said you were what the band needed. How do you feel about such comments.

Doug Odell: Considering the legacy of the band, I feel honored to be a part of TNA 2004. I bring an aggressive feel to the sound with my playing, and that seems to do justice to the material.

The Loudest Rock: Let's talk about the music. Your feelings on the new material and sound. How do you compare the two albums?

Doug Odell: 'FINGER ON THE TRIGGER' has some classic melodic rock. I would put those songs up against any of TNA's contemporaries from the heyday of this genre. With 'BRANDED', it still sounds like TNA but edgier. I think a song like "Scream" has a lot of punk attitude, while "Kill Your Idols" has this post-grunge swagger that I LOVE! Mike and Sean have clearly absorbed some influences over the years, and it shows.

The Loudest Rock: If you were to play a song from the first album live. Which ones would you be excited to include in the set, and why?

Doug Odell: "Let Me Down Easy" and "Rung On The Ladder" would be my picks. It's classic TNA; catchy, melodic and great musicianship.

The Loudest Rock: What were the 'BRANDED' writing/recording sessions like? Any interesting stories?

Doug Odell: Well, nobody ended up in rehab or in jail, so I guess we don't necessarily qualify for a 'BEHIND THE MUSIC' feature (laughs). Seriously though; everyone in this band is very grounded and focused on the task at hand. We had fun, but also took care of business.

The Loudest Rock: Now this is the band's second release with KIVEL RECORDS. The label seems to be giving you guys the red carpet push they reserve for their more seasoned/bigger acts like ADRIANGALE. Do you feel this is a plan to break TNA to a higher level, like more of the premier bands in the scene like Adriangale, Harem Scarem, Westworld and TEN.

Doug Odell: The Kivel imprint is doing a great job of promoting TNA. John (Kivel) has been a champion of melodic rock for so many years and he continues to wave the flag. The USA market for this music is very much a niche one, but I think there is limitless potential for notching TNA up to a new level in the other territories.

The Loudest Rock: How do you feel about the market and labels like Kivel, Z, N+T, and others pushing a style of music that is not the mainstream.

Doug Odell: I'm really grateful that these labels care enough about music to snub the trends and give a vehicle to some great bands. Mainstream music has become so corporate. Just look at atrocities like the phenomenon of 'AMERICAN IDOL'.

The Loudest Rock: Bill Leverty of Firehouse said he liked the new album. Steve Brown of Trixter/Ringo said this was a kick ass rock record. What's it like to see a person of their accomplishments give a nod to your album.

Doug Odell: I've always been a fan of Firehouse, especially their 3rd record. It's an honor and quite humbling to get such great feedback from seasoned pros.

The Loudest Rock: We are going to name some bands in the scene, please give us our thoughts:

Doug Odell:
TEN: Great guitar work, but couldn't call myself a fan
XYZ: Love the debut. "After The Rain" still gives me chills
SEVENTH KEY: Who knew that Billy Greer had those pipes?
WESTWORLD: Tony Harnell could sing about mouthwash and I would buy it
DAMN CHEETAH: Easily my favorite NY band. This band should have been HUGE
FIREHOUSE: Much more than power ballads, this band wrote great hard rock songs
DANNY VAUGHN: The first Tyketto record is a classic.

The Loudest Rock: Please give us a set list of the band live. What songs would you think would make a kick ass TNA show.

Doug Odell: I would love to pick songs from 'TRIGGER' and 'BRANDED', and maybe throw in a cover, for fun. Guys?

The Loudest Rock: There has been talk about your label putting on a show in NH/VT with a few of its top acts besides TNA. How do you feel about a Kivel fest, for lack of a better word?

Doug Odell: I think it's a fantastic idea. You've got prog fests (Prog Power, Headway) and tours like Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair. Why not a celebration of melodic rock? I hope it happens!

The Loudest Rock: You guys have a nice new band site (http://www.tnarocks.com/). Do you have input in the site? What can we expect more of with the site?

Doug Odell: I know that Danny and Sean have been heavily involved in the website. Sorcery Studios are well known on the Net for being top notch. Fans can expect loads of new content, including videos, and hopefully some live samples, once we get back on stage.

The Loudest Rock: What is ahead for you and the band?

Doug Odell: We're very excited about playing 'BRANDED' songs live. We've got some gigs in the works, so keep checking the site for scheduled appearances.

The Loudest Rock: Thanks for your time Doug. Any parting words for the fans?

Doug Odell: I would like to thank the fans and my band mates in TNA for the warm welcome. I would also like to give a shameless plug to my other original band, Ice Age (http://www.ice-age.com/).
 

 

 

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