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Deutsche VersionInterview mit Jim Peterik (09.04.2006)

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HH: Hi Jim, your album Above The Storm impressed me greatly. How were the reactions so far?

Jim: So far - so good - I'm actually surprised cause it's very different than Survivor and Pride Of Lions - but people are actually enjoying it for the differences. I didn't set out to sell records - only to express myself - if it sells well - all the better!

HH: I described the feeling of Above The Storm as "a lot of positive emotions - joy, harmony, love, longing". Was it a conscious effort to bring all these emotions into the music or did that arise naturally?

Jim: This is just where I am in my life. At age 55 I have finally learned to savor the moment - and not worry about the future or live in regret about things in the past. If we make the most of today - tomorrow will take care of itself. Giving of ourselves is truly the best thing any of us can do with our time - and it has the bonus of coming back to you in such good ways.

HH: Frontiers Records described Above The Storm as your most personal album ever. Is that true?

Jim: I think they are right.

HH: How so?

Jim: With Pride Of Lions - I write from the heart - but the emotions are very broad. With this album they are a bit more fine - tunes and smaller - but maybe a bit more personal from my own life.

HH: What persuaded you to sing yourself? You could have hired other singers, I'm sure a lot of singers would have been delighted to sing on your album. Please don't misunderstand, I love your singing! :)

Jim: Thanks for liking it! It's not like I think I have some kind of great voice - but hopefully I can put across the emotion and passion of the melody and lyric. I obviously don't have the amazing range of Toby Hitchcock, Jim Jamison or Dave Bickler (or Sammy Hagar or Don Barnes for that matter) but I try and give it my heart and soul. I had a big hit I sang in 1970 when I was only 19 - "Vehicle By The Ides Of March" - that proved to me that I could do it.

HH: The sound is very clear and transparent. Did you do the mixing and mastering yourself?

Jim: Thank you! I have my own state of the art Studio in my home - and Larry Millas is my main man as engineer - he does all my work - Pride Of Lions, Ides Of March, Kelly Keagy etc. He and I do the mixing as a team. The mastering was done by an amazing new guy in Chicago - Doug McBride at Gravity Studio. I think you noticed how loud and present it sounded.

HH: How did the collaboration with Lisa McClowry arise? She has a great voice and adds a lot of emotion to the songs.

Jim: She is a rising star here in Chicago. We met when I did a book store appearance to promote my "Songwriting For Dummies" book.
She blew me away when she came to the studio and we've been writing and working together ever since. She is the girl that appears with Toby and me in the "Sound Of Home" Pride Of Lions Video. I really like the way our vocals blend. Expect an album from her soon on her own.

HH: You have worked in the music business for a long time. How has the technical progress influenced your mode of work? Do you like the blessing of modern technology (digital recording) or do you prefer the traditional, analog recording methods?

Jim: I think analogue still sounds the very best. But the flexibility of digital - especially ProTools - makes it more worthwhile to stay in that mode. To me the ultimate whick I got to try for the Mecca album I produced was to record the basic tracks analogue to retain the fullness and big bottom end, then to dump it down to ProTools for the rest of the album. The sound still seems to retain the warmth.

HH: If Above The Storm were a building, what building would that be and why?

Jim: It would be a cathedral - cause all the ideas came through God. I just recorded them!

HH: Will we see you live in Germany in the near future?

Jim: I love Germany and the people. Pride Of Lions played Ludwigsburg in Oct and we had an amazing time at the United Rock Forces show. There is talk of us coming back this summer or fall - I would do some Above The Storm in the center of the Set - give Toby a break - and maybe do "Live Life" and a few more, then bring Toby back. After all it's pretty mucht the same band backing both albums.

HH: Thank you for your time! Any last words?

Jim: I hope people give Above The Storm a good listen for what it is - it doesnt't sound like Toto or Survivor or Jouney, but it comes from a good place and hopefully it will connect with some and let people know a little bit more of what I am all about. Thank you so much for the great Questions and I hope to see my good friends in Munich soon! Keep Rocking! Jim


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