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INTERVIEW: Scherer/Batten

Can you talk to us more about your album BattleZone?

A: Love to! The idea for BattleZone came about one day while Jim and I had a bite to eat at a local cafe. I was marveling at Jim’s catalog of songs, and I remarked how there must be some ‘hidden gems’ that were either obscure or previously released and worthy of a second chance. The wheels began turning. Maybe we could resurrect some deep cuts? That in fact how the song ‘Cuts Deep’ came to be. Cuts Deep was our tentative album title until we wrote BattleZone together.

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

A: The song BattleZone was essentially a spontaneous event. For most of the album Jennifer Batten was recording her parts with a room full of players and key team members. On this particular day we decided to let Jim and Jennifer work a bit more privately to see what might happen. As luck would have it, I walked in to the studio while a song was materializing. Jennifer had a riff, Jim started weaving his ideas in and vocalizing the one word that his stream of consciousness took hold of… BattleZone. From there on the song took shape quickly. I grabbed a notepad and started scribbling and singing, the Exec Producer started dancing around the room and there it was! Battlezone was one of those examples of a song that just happened between the three of us.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

A: Our social media guy Paul Braun just created a lyric video around the song which has been released, but early on I shot some footage for 3 songs which we will likely fine tune and release along the way.

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

A: Once the song BattleZone was written, what was a studio project began to feel like a band. There’s a certain magic that happens when creative people get in a room together that can become more than the sum of its parts. We knew BattleZone was the beginning of something beyond the project so it was fitting that the song lead the way. It also told a story that we all felt was important to voice.

How was the recording and writing process?

A: Jim and I now have history working together so recording and writing together has become a naturally intuitive process. When we get together things move quickly.

Jennifer was the wild card until her first song. Immediately we knew what a great fit she would be. Obviously we knew of her amazing history and experience, but she raised the bar with her skills and creative ideas right away, and I’d say that got us all jacked.

What was it like to work with Jim Peterik and how did that relationship develop?

A: Jim and I had met in one studio or another over the years but never seemed to actually connect. One fateful day some friends and I wound up recording a project in Jim’s studio and apparently Jim had his ear to the wall. It was only after some handshakes and a small promise to ‘try a demo’ that we realized we had exchanged numbers twice before, and this particular meeting was years in the making. We pretty much agreed we weren’t going to let this chance meeting go to waste. I have to say that working with Jim has been a life changing process. He’s become a true friend, a mentor and a musical hero rolled into one helluva nice guy!

How much did he influence the album?

A: Jim’s fingerprints are all over this album whether he likes it or not…Ha! His signature genre making style is there on every track, but I sometimes think of him as the conductor of an orchestra too. He hears songs a certain way while writing them, but every player in the orchestra has a voice that changes each one and makes it unique. He’s a brilliant guy that knows to start with a good recipe, but also knows the ingredients will change the result and he isn’t afraid to add a pinch or two of something unique.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

A: Inspiration is everywhere! From day to day life, to deep thoughts, dreams and visions. There’s no shortage of inspiration on this record. One thing for certain, both Jim and I love to tell a story and hopefully tell it in a way that resonates.

Any plans to hit the road?

A: Yes indeed! Jennifer and I have been working on a plan to bring this alive. I don’t want to reveal too many secrets, but I can tell you Jim’s songs are a big part of what we envision and we have some amazing talent signing on to make it real.

What else is happening next in Scherer/Batten’s world?

A: Jennifer has been solo touring like a true road warrior, and and we’ve just started lining up some CD signing events while developing ‘the band’. We hope to begin appearing together soon!

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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