INTERVIEW: Danny Petroni

Hi Danny, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

¡Hóla!VENTS! Thank you for asking.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Thermonuclear Worm”?

Thermonuclear Worm is one of 9 new songs I’ve penned for my new album “Run, Mindy Run”. There are two versions of Thermonuclear Worn this CD. The first version has the curse words that are over dubbed with horn section licks. This was done to allow this song to be play on radio stations here in the USA where the FCC could fine a commercial radio station for playing dirty words. Ha…

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I was inspired to write this song because of all the global conflicts government is threading towards, and accepting the idea that a nuclear weapon could be used. This is total insanity.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Jack Ballo, a New Jersey documentary film maker has filmed and is working on the video of “Run Mindy Run” as we speak.  I don’t have a plan right now to make a video of Thermonuclear Worm, but I would love to in the future.

The single comes off your new album Run Mindy Run – what’s the story behind the title?

The Run Mindy Run album was inspired by a benefit I performed in Lakewood, NJ for the people who created and lived in a homeless encampment called “Tent City”. The city of Lakewood fought to remove all the homeless whom found sanctuary in the woods of the town of Lakewood. The community leader had set up transportation to social services and medical help where needed. The town had won this fight. The homeless were put in to hotels until the towns money ran out, and once again lost. Each song is a narrative story of nine of the characters or mini movie or story.

Run, Mindy Run is about a soldier who return from War and is haunted and scared, damaged by that experience.

Is he in jail for murdering a man in Arkansas, or is this delusion? The “flyer flies in the mountain” are the flashes from the gun fire, “Red blooms from the men down below” are his friends bleeding out below because of the fighting and battle.  Mindy, is my wife’s name. I used her name for this character who askMindy, his lover or wife or child to leave him because of his state of mind. He suffers from PTSD (‘post-traumatic stress disorder’)He doesn’t really know what’s real and what delusion anymore. It’s sad, this story of people returning from war zone who are forever damaged breaks my heart.

How was the recording and writing process?

I write the songs, sometimes the lyrics are first, and sometimes I hear the song’s chords and structure first. Each song is born in a different way. Then I test the song by going to song writer’s event and see if the song works. Then if I am feeling and believing in the narrative story or sound of the song. I write out the arrangement. This album was inspired by the homeless characters of Tent City.

What was it like to work with Frank Lacy and how did that relationship develop?

Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Frank Lacy is my brother from another mother. We met in and about 1983 in New Brunswick New Jersey while attending Rutgers University Jazz program at Livingston College. Frank and I started performing together at that time. Frank was a master of the trombone and arrangement/composition even back in those early years. What was funny is that I never knew Frank could sing. It wasn’t until I heard Frank sing with the Mingus Big Band that I realized what a great vocalist he was.

How much did he influence the album?

On our first album The Blue Project, I was intending to sing all the songs, but after hearing Frank’s rich soulful voice… I knew that he would be the perfect fit for many of these songs. Now, when I write, I always can hear or write a song with the idea that Frank would make it come alive with soul, beauty, strength.

What role does New Jersey plays in your writing?

The weather…ha. I am a Jersey boy. I grew up in Trenton New Jersey, and our family’s vacation were always at the Jersey shore, or beaches. Trenton was always full of great musicians of all genres. Trenton was a stop for all touring bands and musicians that perform between Philly and NYC. There was the Fat Back band that funk, Jazz artist Richie Cole alto saxophonist, the great jazz organ players and the sounds of Philadelphia and New York would past thru my town. Each sound had a deep influence on me.

You get to play with different genres – do you try to balance them together?

Yes, sure, I try to match tempo and style based on the venue and audience and how the band and I are feeling. We just play our hearts out no matter where we are or how many people are in the audience. We love to perform.

Any plans to hit the road?

We perform in mostly New York City. We would love to do a tour of music festival in the near future. Only time will tell.

What else is happening next in The Blue Project’s world?

As I mention we are working on a video for the song “Run Mindy Run”for the up and coming release.

I have also been writing to two new books of music. One book is a Jazz brasscomposition and arrangements; the other a dance funk and R&B mash up of songs.

Listen Thermonuclear Worm here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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