has sung in several bands including Rough Cutt/The Cutt, Quiet Riot, Bad Boyz,
recorded with JK Northrup as Shortino/Northrup.
His latest solo
album 'Chasing My Dream' is released via Metal Heaven.
What are you
currently up to?
"I just finished
producing a band from Texas called Black Tora, Jason? a Musicworks
Entertainment/ Rock Quarry Records production – my own label? .The band is very
talented with great songs and a great singer.
I also sang a
little bit on the record too. As far as recording goes, Musicworks Studio is
getting ready to record Ron Keel’s vocals for the new Keel CD. I also have
various projects going on. I’m currently putting a band together for possible
tour dates to tour the new album with Michael Voss "Chasing My Dream”.
I might take my
guitarist with me, but basically it’ll all be European artists. We are working
currently with promoters and agents to get this project on the road. Material
will be some Rough Cutt, some Quiet Riot, some of the Shortino/Northrup "Back On
Track” stuff and the new CD "Chasing My Dream”. This record is too good to not
tour, Jason really! I like how it grows on you the more I hear the CD. I can’t
thank my wife Carmen, Michael Voss and Georg at Metal Heaven enough for making
this record happen!”
Could you take us through the new album Paul?('Chasing My Dream') e.g. story
behind the music, song writing process...
"Well, it all
started when Carmen was contacted by Michael Voss to see if I would do a song on
the "Voices Of Rock” CD which I believe is coming out in August on Metal Heaven.
She’s my manager
as well as my wife. Michael was producing the track that I was doing and it came
out so well, that Metal Heaven then asked Carmen if I would be interested in
doing a record too. We worked out all the business issues and then started
The first song
recorded was "Missing”, a song Michael Voss and Roland Bergmann from Mad Max had
written. Then we we’re off to the races. Michael started sending songs for me to
listen to and I started putting melody and lyrics to the music.
I had some tracks
left over from a Shortino/ Ira Black CD that we hadn’t finished. Ira Black is a
great guitarist who co-wrote "Remember You”, "Nocturnal”, "Side FX” and "Chasing
Your Dreams” with me on this? .
We were then still
short two songs but a young guitarist called Johnny Douglas had an idea with no
melody and lyrics that ended up as " Plan of Attack”? that’s a great song?.
"Promises” was a
song Jeff Northrup and I had written? "To the Cross” was written by former Rough
Cutt drummer Dave Alford, Scott Allen Gordon and myself?. and "Alone They Ride”
& "Great Dreamer” were two ideas Michael sent that then got worked into songs.
"Chasing Your Dreams” was actually the last song written?. And only then, did we
know we had the title..”
How did you hook-up with Michael Voss and did he pick the musicians to appear on
the album for you?
"As I mentioned,
we met through my wife Carmen who was doing a deal with Georg from Metal Heaven
at the time. I was doing the song "Rock Me” for the "Voices Of Rock II” project?
you should definitely check that out in August, Michael has some great vocalists
on that record!
picked the musicians for the project because he was producing it and only some
of the ideas came from this side?.. I think we made a great team though, you
know? Michael is really professional and I can’t wait now to get together with
him and put some live bones on these songs!!”
You have recorded two great albums with JK Northrup. Any plans for another album
together and were you pleased with the reviews and fan reactions to the albums?
"You know Jason,
Jeff and I have already spoken about working together again, last year in fact.
We we’re working together on a project at the time – we both have partnerships
in this Musicworks Entertainment/ Rock Quarry Records company - and the subject
came up, but I had made this commitment to Michael, so that kinda took
precedence. We will do something in the near future but I must focus on this CD
What have been
the most memorable live shows for you and why?
"When I was in
Quiet Riot definitely! We went to South America one time?. the band was so big
down there that we literally had to run to the tour bus after the last song so
the fans wouldn’t tear our clothes off. It was crazy?!! We were playing soccer
stadiums and sold out arenas.”
"I also remember a
time touring with Rough Cutt (opening for Dio) and the arena was full. It was in
Philly where the Eagles play football. They’d let the people in late, so we had
a FULL house, 20,000 people?. Man, they would have flipped for anything by the
time we went on. Also, Quiet Riot did an out door festival in Japan with James
Brown Headlining once and it was one of the coolest shows ever!”
You attempted a Rough Cutt reunion a few years ago that came out as the Cutt.
Are there any plans to get the band back together again particularly as so many
other bands from that era are back together and touring again?
"Some day we will
get back together but right now I have to focus on this record. We have spoken
recently actually ‘cause Cleopatra Records recently released a Rough Cutt
Anthology CD. But, the other members have projects going on??
Hey, you never
know what life has to offer and it would be fun to play with all the original
members. That is the way it should be.”
How did you get your first break into the music business Paul? What piece of
advice would you pass onto budding musicians?
"My first break
was when I was 18 years old. I did a 45 for a label called Bell Records. The
song was titled "Follow Me” and it made it into the Billboard at no; 22 with a
But that was not
my big break; that was with Rough Cutt getting signed to Warner Bros. and
touring with the great Dio and many other great bands. My advice to anyone is;
if you believe in yourself and in what you’re doing, you will succeed. Just
don’t give up on your dreams?, And, it is not what you know, its who you know!”
How do you view the current music scene? Have you seen an upswing in interest
over the past couple of years in metal and hard rock?
"Yes, but I
believe that the major labels were not really ready for the Internet. It’s great
for up and coming bands, but some people are still catching on?.
As far as the
metal and hard rock scene goes, it it’s all coming back around ? all history
repeats itself Jason. There is a rise in Hard Rock and metal again, but its
underground and growing with new fans. I was just at Testament the other night
and saw 13 year olds in the audience!”
Going back a bit to the Quiet Riot album. This was well received by reviewers
and fans at the time. How come there was never another album and did this
line-up ever go out on tour?
"Well, yes but the
Quiet Riot scene was very political from managers to producers, et al, and
unfortunately for the band members, it all got way too complicated. We we’re a
great band and were very tight.
We toured Japan
and South America?. And, if the legal matters had gotten out of the way, when
finished the record and did the video, then I think we’d have been all right?
But that wasn’t the end of the drama. The managers had to sign a contract for
It seemed the
whole project was just for lawyers.. We were always dealing with some legal
problem or other and it was just too much?. Once all the legal problems were out
of the way, we could and should have gone forward. We had tours waiting for the
band, but it seemed like the whole project was doomed from the start. Some day
we will reform and pick up where we left off without all the legal problems.
There was magic there, and you can’t deny that!”
What do you like doing with your spare time outside of music?
"I like going to
the movies and hiking with Carmen, and our Labradors, Elvis & Sugar. I love
spending time with my son, Paul Jr. (who’s actually a singer too) and his
daughters, Skylar & Summer, who live in L.A.
I also love living
in Las Vegas, because there is something to do anytime of the day or night. I
love to go eat good food and drink good wine. I love to read books about the
spirit too. I just try to live life as if it we’re my last day on this beautiful
Message for your fans...
"Just a line from
the song Jason...
"You can never
give up on your dreams, when life seems to run out of steam
Follow the truth
that comes from your heart, cause everyday is a brand new start
There will be days
when you just want to scream, so don’t give up on chasing your dreams!
Cheers!! Paul S.
June 2009 Jason Ritchie.
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