Sercifer 16.06.2022 616

Jeff Scott Soto interview

In the end, Soto gives us what every follower of him expects, a Hard Rock album with "Complicated" that has everything, from direct songs, other melodic ones, mid-tempos with a lot of hooks, and the inevitable ballads. If you were expecting something different, well, for that we have him in countless projects, here he does what he does best and continues to do it well at this point in his career, so I think that's enough for now because it turns out to be very enjoyable, Therefore, Metallerium interviewed this man.


Si quieres leer la entrevista en español: Entrevista a Jeff Scott Soto


Metallerium: Welcome to Metallerium website for Latin America Mr. Jeff Scott Soto. It is a great honor for us to have this interview with you. First of all. How are you? What have you been doing the last 2 complicated years?


Jeff Scott Soto: Well, I believe that answer comes from itself, I have not stopped creating, collaborating, and making as much music as possible while we were forced to be locked away until who knows when. This has also provided me therapy regarding that ‘new normal’ we had to endure.


Metallerium: On May the 6th you are releasing your eighth studio album. This is impressive because it seems that you never rest, we always have the chance to enjoy your great voice in different projects. So, when did you decide to work on a new solo record? How was the process of composition and recording? And the most important, how can you manage to find time to work on so many albums?


Jeff Scott Soto: Well, I try to space my solo albums out between other things I am committed to but as there was no new Sons Of Apollo or W.E.T. coming up, I decided to go full throttle with a follow-up just 2 years after the last one, Wide Awake (In My Dreamland). This doesn’t take away from The Duets album last year but this was more a vanity project that would not be too soon between new albums.


The process was very much how it is with almost everything I have done since 1990, I work from afar with demos and do all my vocals myself, then gather all tracks together to mix them into an album. I started this process way before home studios were the norm, way before the technology made it so easy for us now!


And finding time is easy, there are 24 hours to each day, I sleep 8 of them so, in 16 hours, I can easily put aside 3-4 hours a day to create…multiply this by 7 days, and you have 28 hours a week, multiply by 4 weeks, its 112 hours, multiply this by 2 months which is exactly what it took to write, record and mix it, that’s 224 hours…. if one can’t make an album in 224 hours, then something is wrong haha!

Metallerium: I really enjoy the new album! It sounds as great as we always expect from you! The guitar solos and in general the guitar work sound awesome. How do you choose the musicians you work with? How did you contact Fabrizio Sgattoni?


Jeff Scott Soto: The musicians were decided by me and Alessandro starting with him…he’s not just a phenomenal keyboardist, he is an accomplished bassist and guitarist so every song starts with him doing ALL instruments, then sent to my drummer from SOTO and Jeff Scott Soto Band, Edu Cominato, in Brazil. Then he brings in his longtime pal and my favorite new guitarist Fabrizio to finish it off. I bring in Edu, Ale brings in Fabri and this is all you need to make a great Jeff Scott Soto album!


Metallerium: Also, I saw that Alessandro Del Vecchio was involved again in the recording of this new album. How important is his work on this last album?


Jeff Scott Soto: If I didn’t trust and respect him as I do, I could not hand over the production chores and writing responsibilities…Ale knows how to write a Jeff Scott Soto song, he knows how to tap into the core of what I have already done and extend it without stealing from it in any way. Ale is a visionary who works with and for the artist based on the artist, I don’t hear one song on these albums with him being done by another artist he has worked with.


Metallerium: What are the main differences for you when you have to work on your solo project or in a band? Do you feel more comfortable working on your solo albums?


Jeff Scott Soto: Naturally, my solo albums are done when I say they are which is different from working with a band who also have a say in what I am singing on things we do as a band. I do enjoy the creative freedom but I also rely on others to inspire me. I enjoy both sides of being a solo artist and bandmate as I learn different things from both roles.

Metallerium: Nowadays, it is very important to have a strong impact on listeners by choosing the right opening track in an album and the singles for the videos that you upload to digital platforms or streaming services. In this case “Last To Know” is a great opening track, single, and video, the same with “Love Is The Revolution” as a single. In both cases, the songs are catchy, strong, and straight. How do you work in order to pick up the right songs for this? Do these songs represent what we can expect from the whole album?


Jeff Scott Soto: Honestly, I let the label choose their picks usually, I feel a connection to every song for every album I do so it would be hard for me to choose Singles. I feel the label should always be involved in these decisions as they will get behind it more than if I demand absolute control. It keeps the working dynamic alive and alerts this way.


However, Love Is The Revolution was NOT chosen to be a Single initially…I insisted on it BECAUSE it does not sound like other things on this album or others I have done. So no, a Single doesn’t always have to represent what you might expect from an album but in many cases, even surprises I might sneak in there actually does.


Metallerium: Maybe this is a common question at this point of your career but your voice is still strong considering your long career as a professional vocalist and all the bands you were involved in. What is the key to keeping your voice healthy? What is the best advice you can give to young vocalists that are reading this interview?


Jeff Scott Soto: I am as lucky as I am unlucky that I was not a platinum artist at a young age having to tour 18 months for each album and hearing my voice slowly leaving me by the time I was 40. I never achieved the levels of the top brands who may have become victims to over touring so this is one thing that has helped.


Also, I stayed away from drugs, alcohol, and smoking all those years so I was pretty much preserving myself as much as I could. This is not to say I am everything I was, no no no, I have lost a lot of range through the years. But I have found ways to maintain my voice, doing proper warm-ups tailored to me as well as the usual things such as hydration and proper sleep.

Metallerium: What are your plans after releasing the new album “Complicated”? What is the situation for the music industry in your country? By the way, why did you name the album “Complicated”?


Jeff Scott Soto: My plans will be to continue doing what I always do, keep creating! I have no tour plans now or in the future for this or my solo career…gone are the days of tour support and getting great spots opening for big headliners. If I want to tour, I have to finance the whole thing from flights to crew to hotels and salaries which I have done for decades. Most times, you break even and album sales remain the same anyway so I won’t break my back anymore trying to support an album, only if the demand is there, only if the audiences are demanding in a way, I am not spending heaps of money hoping I can get it back to pay those bills.


I got the title for the album after an interview last year when the journalist asked me how they would describe Jeff Scott Soto to someone who knows nothing about me or my music. I replied ‘well, that’s a bit complicated. I liked the way it resonated; I liked the way it personifies me as an artist.


Metallerium: In addition. Are there plans with any other of your bands or projects? Like SOTO, W.E.T, or Sons of Apollo for example?


Jeff Scott Soto: At the moment, only Soto is starting the writing process for a new album. As we currently have no label, we will take our time in getting it all together and then see if we will take it to a company or self-release it.


Metallerium: Talking about other things. I know every album is very important for a musician. But, can you name 4 albums that are really important for your career? I mean the ones that somehow change your life or mark your career.


Jeff Scott Soto: PrinceSign O’ The Times, Van HalenFair Warning, QueenA Night At The Opera, Boston debut album.


Metallerium: Also, what was the band or project that you can consider the proudest point in your career?


Jeff Scott Soto: Hands down, this would be TalismanTalisman was the only band that dared to try things outside the box, we grew and changed our own musical landscape with each album.

Metallerium: If you can travel to 1983 and talk to young Jeff Scott Soto. What would you say? What is the biggest advice you could give him?


Jeff Scott Soto: Young Jeff would give the advice to older Jeff as I was always a firm believer of ‘if you really want this, you have to stay with it. If you get frustrated and give up, then you never really wanted it. I lived this ideal then and still live it today. I might tell a younger Jeff to learn the business sooner as well, I got majorly screwed on bad deals back then, mainly because I didn’t want to lose the opportunity offered. Today I would tell younger me to be a little more confident in saying ‘no way, I don’t accept those terms!’.


Metallerium: With almost 40 years in the music industry, you have seen a lot of changes. Which is your favorite decade to be a musician? What has been your personal experience with what technology changes in the industry like the digital platforms and streaming services?


Jeff Scott Soto: To be honest, regardless of how bad things are with physical sales now and how labels have become almost obsolete with this kind of music, I prefer now only because I set my course, I became a name to the business and my peers, I have the freedom to do many things I choose instead of being stuck in one band may be only doing one style. For me, I worked over 3 decades to have respect from peers, adoration from fans, and musical flexibility to explore…this is the greatest validation for me as an artist over the years of trying and trying!


Metallerium: At this point of your career. Did you achieve everything you wanted when you began your career?


Jeff Scott Soto: The only thing I have not achieved is the level of the live front. I have been fortunate to play huge stages to 10’s thousands of people every night…but not with MY songs, my creations. Singing for TSO and Journey was wonderful but nothing would replace being able to do those same tours with my music on my terms…. but I never say never, if Tony Bennett can be the biggest in his career in his 60s, maybe I can too!


Metallerium: You seem to be very busy. Do you still have time to listen to new music or discover new bands?


Jeff Scott Soto: To be honest, no. And I don’t want that to sound cocky or egotistical…I truly am always working and there are times I have to step back and not listen to music, just have a break from the thing I love so much. I do get little windows of time to listen to things but for the most part, I am in a bit of a Jeff Scott Soto bubble year-round.


Metallerium: Again, thanks a lot for your time. Congratulations on the new album and we wish you all the best! Is there anything you want to say to your fans in Latin America or Metallerium readers?


Jeff Scott Soto: Thanks to all there! Hope to see you soon!






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