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Takara have been around since the 80's and have released some fine melodic rock albums. Over to guitarist founding member Neal Grusky...

1. What are you currently up to?

Takara is currently getting ready to record a Journey song for a tribute CD that is coming out on Frontline Records Brazil. We are also currently working on music for our next CD. Preparations are in the works for a Live CD to be recorded as well.

2. Who has been the biggest influnece on your career?

That's very easy, Jeff Soto. As far as taking my career to where it is now. There are numerous guitarists that have influenced over the course of my career too.

3. Takara have been through many line-up changes - are you the sole original member left now? How have the new band members settled in?

I am the sole original member now. The new members have settled in nicely. They seem very happy and eager to work. It seems like a very nice fit. I guess only time will tell. .

4. Lion are re-releasing the Takara back catalogue. How is this going? Will there be any unreleased/bonus tracks on the CD's? Which album(s) and song(s) have you been most happy with?

I am very happy with Lion Music. They have taken good care of us. As far as the back catalogue goes... Those release's have gone well as best to me knowledge. I have been pleased with those releases as well. I have had no preferrence as far as which CD looks better than another, they all have come out very good. There will be no extra bonus tracks that will be added to these rereleases.

We will have plenty of new material on the next CD for the fans to sink their teeth into. Maybe the Live CD will have something new, we will see...

5. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of Takara?

Humm... Highlight was the "Taste of Heaven " CD it sold a considerable amount and gotton rave reviews. Also, our newest CD "Perception of Reality" had gotton many, many rave reviews.The lowpoint was after "Blind in Paradise". Having to replace 3/5 of the band.

6. What style of music will the new studio album take? Will all the band be involved in the writing process?

The new CD will continue much in the same style it was before. Yes, the new members will take a more active role in the writing process too.

7. Would you ever consider using Jeff Scott Soto on the new album at all as a guest vocalist on a track or two? Do you still keep in contact with past members?

I am in contact with almost all past members. As far as using Jeff Again as a guest, I am not sure that would be a good idea. We have a permant singer and we are trying to move on from what we did before. This doesnt preclude me from ever working with Jeff again, it just means it will have to be outside Takara for this to happen. As it stands though.. Jeff is so busy with what he is doing now, he has no extra time to add other extra projects.

8. Outside of business, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Outside music I work, go to school, trying to get my degree in business. And am getting involved in Real Estate too. So I am have been very busy. Music is my main priority!

9. If you could create a fantasy band line-up - who would be in it and why?

I dont really have a "fantasy lineup " I really enjoy working with creative and inspiring musicians that love creating great songs. I'd like to have flexiblity to creative and experiment with different players and people. But right I have no immediate desire to do this.

10. Message for your fans...

Thanks for all your support over the years, and please visit our website for our latest updates and info.


Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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