NJ Indie-Rock/Roots band the Successful Failures 7th full length LP, “Saratoga”, features 11 new Mick Chorba tunes all about ghosts, mothers, gold stars, and Knoxville. Songs about going back to learn you can never go back. Rock and roll.
releases August 30, 2019
Mick Chorba: lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, keyboards
Ron Bechamps: bass guitar, backing vocals
Rob Martin: drums
Pete Smith: electric guitar
Greg Potter: electric guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
In conversation with Mick Chorba.
For every song you record, how many end up in the bin?
I write about a song a week….so for every song that makes it onto an album I have 3 that go to the bin. I think we are all better off this way!
With every song you write, are you still learning to become an even better songwriter?
Why of course yes! I always think my newest song is the most interesting, best thing ever and then at some point I hate it with all my heart. The songs that somehow avoid falling into disdain sometimes survive my wrath. I like to try out different strategies for writing songs and stealing from new and surprising sources!
As an artist, you chose to show your emotions to the world. Is it always comfortable to do so?
I am not sharing my emotions…I create characters… I’m sharing their emotions. At least that’s what I tell myself and everyone else!
Any ideas about how to turn this one into a million-seller?
No idea. Need help with that. Anyone?
What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?
Now that I’ve been at this for a long time I realize that every show is an amazing opportunity to play music with my friends. I’m so lucky and appreciate every show.
When was the last time you thought ‘I just wrote a hit!’?
“No White Knight in Knoxville” and before that “Love You So”
Is recording a record easier than getting it heard nowadays?
We recorded this new album differently.
We booked time in a big studio and did most of it live. I think this factor contributes to what I think is a really good record. It was a joy to record.
Which 5 records, that everybody forgot about, would define ‘our time’ on earth?
The Band’s self-titled album would express loss and joy and hope and defeat as good as any. The Replacement’s albums “Don’t Tell a Soul” and “All Shook Down” pretty much do the same.
Recording music. What’s all the fun about?
You never know what you’re going to capture…I like the mistakes best. Our song “Meal Parade” from “Captains of Industry….” for example. I actually started overdubbing my acoustic guitar over the drum part a measure too late and it totally changed the feel of the song and arrangement. On that song drummer, Rob Martin also played one of the drum parts on a stool that was laying around the studio which we thought was pretty cool.
Playing music in front of a crowd. What’s all the fun about?
You can physically feel the energy from an enthusiastic crowd and it makes it so much more fun. It makes a connection that is hard to describe but we all can feel it.
You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be?
For this new album listen to the way the instruments interact with each other… Listen to the sequencing of the album, the way one song leads to the next and lastly, the vocal harmonies and Pete Smith’s guitar parts are a lot of fun. There are stories in these songs I hope people can identify with.