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Takara are back with a new album, 'Invitation To Forever', a new vocalist Gus Monsanto (ex-Adagio) and a new label Prog Rock Records. Over to main man Neal Grusky for more...

Neal Grusky

What are you currently up to?

Well as you know we just finished up our new album "Invitation to Forever"

We are now just promoting it heavily. Once the album hits the streets on November 18, we will continue to promote, and then of course begin looking into shows, and tours. We are really hoping we may have a chance to perform at some of the big summer festivals that come around. We of course are hoping just to get out there and start playing live.

Could you briefly update readers on what has been happening in the band since 2001's 'Perception Of Reality'?

After many years of working very hard in the music business I felt after "Perception" I needed a break. This gave me a chance to reflect on what was next for Takara musically.

As things were progressing in my off time/writing time, I was blindsided by the very unexpected passing of my Father. Slowly as I began to regroup myself, and my thoughts I began to miss, and desire to do a new album.

I knew with this album that it had to be special, and after all the time off there would be expectations just purely based on previous albums, and rightfully so. I truly hope that this album will fulfil all the expectations all of you might have had, just based off how the previous albums sounded.

Could you take us through the new album 'Invitation To Forever'

Each song for me most always starts musically. On "Invitation to Forever" it was no different. I come up with a hook, or riff and build around it from there. The strange thing for me is that sometimes I write a song so fast I cant even remember the whole process, it is almost like you become a conduit for higher source to channel through you. I have heard other writers say this same thing, so I know it's not just me.

How did you hook-up with Prog Rock Records?

My friend Nicky Baldrian mentioned them to me. He thought it would be a good fit for Takara, and it has been.

How do you view the current music scene? Have you seen an upswing in interest over the past couple of years in melodic/hard rock?

I have been watching what is going on, and I must say it is nice to see the resurgence again after so many years. It goes without saying I am more than pleased, as are many other artists who have waited to have an opportunity to release their music to an interested audience.

How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

I got my first break into the music business when I decided to start sending my demo's overseas. To my surprise after I did this I had a deal in months. Before that, in 5 years of nothing but hard work, and the word "No" from every major label here in the U.S.

How did you hook-up with ex-Adagio vocalist Gus Monsanto?

I posted a news blog melodic rock website stating that Takara was seeking a new lead vocalist , and Gus saw it, and emailed me. As simple as that.

What have been the most memorable live shows for you and why?

The most memorable live show was in Germany in 95' Jeff and I did a series of live acoustic sets that went over amazingly! Great vibe, and audience!

What do you like doing with your spare time outside of music?

I like to travel, go to the beach, and just hang out with family.

Message for your fans...

Hey gang! thanks for all your support and patience over the years.

We hope our new album rocks your socks off. Feel free to let us know what you think at our websites.


Interview © November 2008 Jason Ritchie.
All rights reserved.

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