Hello everyone The RAZ Band is happy to announce that the order link for our brand new album " #9" is now available on our Merchandise page. Produced and mixed by Joey Molland. For the first time ever RAZ Band member Joey Molland sings lead vocals on two of the tunes, the rocking "Breadline Love" & the epic "Let Me Tell You". We had a great time creating "#9" and we hope you enjoy it. Peace, love & rock n roll.
"The RAZ Band" Official Website
BADFINGER’S JOEY MOLLAND is now also a member of The Raz Band on their new #9 album, led by guitarist Michael “Raz” Rescigno, along with Jim Manzo on bass and Jeff “Hutch” Hutchinson on drums.
GM: As the new Raz Band album begins with your vocals on “Breadline Love,” the performance reminds me of the excitement I first heard in 1970 on Badfinger’s No Dice album with the opening number “I Can’t Take It.”
JOEY MOLLAND: Oh wow! That is something. “Breadline Love” is a song written by a friend of Raz’s, Billy Tempany, who has unfortunately passed. We miss him. I’ve known Raz since 1978, over 40 years now, he has always been in a band and is a big fan of Badfinger. He found me in L.A. I had moved to Los Angeles in the ‘70s by the time he came out there. I have been in sessions on and off with him since I have known him, and this has led me to becoming a member of the band. I stayed with him for a couple of weeks a few months ago, rehearsing the new songs, and he gave me the privilege of producing the record. I really got involved with the arrangements. Now the record is out and we’re getting good reception and some airplay here and there.
GM: “Curveball” is one of my favorites, with a theme that is so, “Life throws you a curveball.”
JM: It’s a great tune, isn’t it? It really knocked me out. I thought it was a little out there when I first heard it, but I really like it.
GM: You mentioned 1978 and you mentioned producing. “Coming at You” takes me back to the intensity I first heard from Devo that year in Northeast Ohio.
JM: Sure. It really comes across strong on the record that if we want to be a four piece band and play shows, this really exemplifies what we can do, sounding like a little rock band playing our song.
GM: The album also takes a gentle turn with “Let Me Tell You,” with another Northeast Ohio musician, Joe Vitale on keyboards. Joe told me, “Whatever project Joey works on he always brings magic and he has brought plenty of it to The Raz Band.”
JM: That is sweet for him to say that. Are you sure he wasn’t saying that about someone else? Joe played keyboards on the song. He is a great friend. He is so busy with Joe Walsh tours and other tours, we were fortunate to get on his schedule. “Let Me Tell You” is a nice mellow tune that Raz wrote. It is great to get the opportunity to do this kind of work. I’ve been given that all my life, really. I feel very lucky. It has been a long career.
GM: The new album ends with “Dirt,” a great guitar finale.
JM: Yeah. What a great tune. Raz wrote this one way back in college. He got the idea on the campus one day looking out at all the students. When I became involved with this set of songs, this is one that really struck me as being a dynamite number. I wanted to make sure that we got it the way Raz wanted it, so I stripped a lot of the rhythm bits out of it, just getting down to the basics, the riff, and the driving beat. I tried to keep it nice and simple. I am really looking forward to playing that song on stage. We are trying to book some dates and need to get some more streams of our music before we can start putting down a reasonable chain of gigs to make it work. We’ve got to make some more videos and increase the streaming market before we tour.
GM: Speaking of tours, you have the It Was Fifty Years Ago Today tour coming up.
JM: I got a call to be on a tour for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles “White Album” with Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren, Micky Dolenz from The Monkees, and that chap from Chicago, Jason Scheff. I just saw Micky with Mike Nesmith on tour and it was great. Everybody’s learning their songs. I’ll be doing Beatles songs and a couple Badfinger hits too. I wanted to do “Julia,” but Jason will be doing that one. They want me to do “Dear Prudence.” I’m going to do “Good Night,” “Cry Baby Cry,” “Revolution,” and “Savoy Truffle.” I chose those songs because I wanted to do something different from the “White Album,” some lesser known songs, and do a great job on them because The Beatles did a great job on them. The guys from the Rain tour band will be backing us and that is a nice bonus because these guys have all these songs in the bag. They are received so well by audiences, so I think they will be a great contribution to the show.
GM: Having a steady backing band on these variety shows is something that my wife Donna really appreciates, like with The Happy Together Tour, when we saw you as part of that entourage here in Daytona Beach. Donna, our daughter Brianna, and I were touched by your performance of the Badfinger hit singles.
JM: Those are great Peter Ham compositions. They are so strong and such big hits, almost as big as any other songs on the show and we usually throw in “Without You” too. I love bringing them to life.
GM: Donna’s favorite is “Baby Blue” and our daughter not only knows that from growing up in our house but also from the television show “Breaking Bad.” And for me, “No Matter What” is the one that excited me in 1970 to buy your No Dice album.
JM: “No Matter What” is a showstopper once you start that guitar lick. Everybody knows what song that is, and it always brings a smile to people’s faces.
GM: In 1979 I reviewed the Airwaves album and I wrote that your composition and single from the album “Love is Gonna Come at Last” is a good pop tune. I just love that one.
JM: Thank you. I was surprised when that was picked as the single. I’m not very good at that. I just write the songs as they come, and I was fortunate with that one.
GM: Speaking about singles, there is a flip side from 1981’s Say No More album that you wrote, “Passin’ Time,” which became the flip side of “Hold On.” I think “Passin’ Time” is a great up-tempo rock song. I really enjoy it.
JM: Thanks for bringing it up. I haven’t thought of that song for a long while. I love the changes in the middle of it where the melody goes to a place where you don’t expect it. We had great fun recording that number. It was a great part of the stage show in those days.
GM: Rich Spina, from the band Love Affair, told me about some of the shows back then, when you were both on the Radio record label, based here in Florida. Billy Sullivan shared concert stories too. Rich, Billy and I are all originally from Cleveland, and Rich still lives there when he and Billy aren’t on tour as members of Herman’s Hermits. Rich, who is also a fan of “Passin’ Time,” told me, “I always thought Joey was the rock and roll heart of Badfinger.”
JM: That’s so nice. I loved playing shows and working with Rich and Billy.
GM: Going back to the No Dice album, “I Don’t Mind” is another one of your compositions that I enjoy. It is gentle with rock choruses, as is “Give it Up” from the Badfinger self-titled album.
JM: “I Don’t Mind” was one of the first ones that I did with the band. It was a little philosophical. “Give it Up” has a stronger, punky punch to it. When I write these songs, I want the band to be happy doing them. With Badfinger we would play all the songs that we had at rehearsals and we would do the ones that we liked best. We never had anyone tell us which ones to do. We all presented our songs and it was never that we had to do all Pete’s or Tommy’s or Mike’s or mine, it was just the ones that we liked best.
GM: “I’d Die Babe” is another steady song of yours from the Straight Up album.
JM: With “I’d Die Babe” I was struggling with the lyrics. George Harrison was producing half the songs on that album, including that one, and encouraged me to continue with it. George asked me, “What’s the problem with the lyrics?” The first line was, “You give me loving like crazy,” and I was struggling until George offered lyrical ideas to follow it. In some of the concerts that I do, I perform the entire Straight Up album and do all the songs in the order that they came in like “Day After Day,” so I’ve got to play “I’d Die Babe” a lot over the past few years.
GM: Another pair of Pete’s songs from Straight Up that I’ve always enjoyed are the softer ones “Perfection” and “Name of the Game.”
JM: Those are killer songs, “Name of the Game” especially. “Perfection” is a very good song from the era, kind of like a protest song.
GM: One more thing I would like to highlight from the ‘70s is the band Natural Gas and “Once Again, A Love Song” from 1976 is very beautiful.
JM: Hey, thank you very much. That’s another song I haven’t thought of that much in a while. I am still in touch with Jerry Shirley and Mark Clarke, incidentally. Our keyboard player Peter Wood passed away several years ago. He went on to co-write “Year of the Cat” with Al Stewart. The band Natural Gas came together by accident. Warner Brothers were kind enough to send my wife and I over to England in 1975 for Peter’s funeral. At the hotel I bumped into an old friend of mine, Mark Clarke, the bass player, and I asked what he was up to and he said he was going over to the former Humble Pie drummer, Jerry Shirley’s house, to have a jam session over the weekend and he invited me along. The next thing you know we had a band together and we called it Natural Gas. We had Felix Pappalardi from Mountain producing us like he did with Cream and we opened on the Frampton Comes Alive tour.
GM: You have a solo album coming up, too, right?
JM: Yeah. I’ve done all the back tracks and some rock vocals. Mark Hudson’s producing it for me and is doing a great job incidentally. We are looking at going back in the studio in November, which is the next time when we have clear space to do it, finish the vocals and then Mark will mix it and we’ll get the record out. I’m really hoping that everybody likes it. It’s got some Badfinger sound in there. It’s got some good rock in it, too. As we close, I’d like to thank the fans while I have the chance here for supporting the band for all these years and coming out and seeing me play when I’m in their area. I love it still. Thank you very much and I know The Raz Band thanks Goldmine too from the bottom of their hearts.
(The RAZ Band left to right: Jim, Raz, Joey and Hutch)
The RAZ Band Live "Up Close & Personal" December 8, 2018
Then that same evening I tooled over to the legendary Center Staging recording studio in Burbank and attended the recording session of a live album by the talented ‘New Jersey boy’ (Madison Park to be exact), Michael Raz Rescigno’s killer Power Pop band The Raz Band which is produced by Badfinger’s, Joey Molland. They have an album to be released called #9 which they performed some of the songs last night for a selected group of people. I was completely in awe by the way they sounded and the energy Michael had, coupled with the chemistry between him and Joey. Wow! They have been entertaining audiences for over 35 years. #9 should be on everyone’s rotation!
Thank you Michael for inviting me and to Joey who consistently puts a smile on this recycled teenager’s face.
Thank you Michael for inviting me and to Joey who consistently puts a smile on this recycled teenager’s face.
Dyana Levinson December 9, 2018 Facebook
This show was recorded to be released as a bonus disc with the new RAZ Band album "#9"
The new album “#9” by The RAZ Band has been completed. Produced, mixed and mastered by Joey Molland. Featuring eleven new songs, #9 will be Released by the Gonzo MultiMedia Group on March 30, 2019
The RAZ Band's award winning album, "Madison Park " is now available for digital download. To Buy the album or buy a song, Just click on the link: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/therazband