Artist Interview: Nostradamus
Tell us about yourself and your music
I have been a guitarist, song writer, music lover and poet for most of my life. Started playing in 1969. My early influences were the Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry and later many other bands. For years I would play in solitude or jam with friends. But it wasn’t until I moved to the Miami/Dade part of South Florida in the early 90’s that my musical dream really began! I met Mari Ann McMahon at a poetry reading in 1992 and was instantly attracted to the fact she was a very cool creative artist who sang, play keyboard, wrote songs, painted and wrote poetry. Soon we became very good friends and spent many hours jamming together. This collaboration eventually evolved into our band in 1994, which she named Nostradamus. The line-up consisted of me on guitar, Mari Ann McMahon on vocals, keyboard, singer as well as the band leader, Douglas Mahoney on drums and Nicky Nod on bass.
Although we had a number of gigs over the years, we were primarily a jam band. Our sets consisted primarily of 60’s and 70’s rock and blues covers plus her originals. And we had our own unique sound which Mari called “trip rock”. We had lots of fun making music. In 1997, we put out a debut CD entitled Nostradamus, consisting of nine of her original songs. It was an impressive, well-produced CD and being there in the studio (DNP Productions, Margate, FL) with the band as we recorded it is an experience I’ll never forget! The people we’ve given or sold it to have really loved it. Have been promoting these songs on multiple music sites including ReverbNation since then. Also have made music videos on Youtube.
Sadly Mari Ann passed away in a Miami hospital in 2014, and it felt like part of me was ripped away. I will never forget her! Never have I met someone who loved music and life as much as her, and I will continue sharing her songs with the world.
When I returned to New England, I recorded one of my compositions entitled “Mermaid” at Triad Studios in Rhode Island with the help of a song arranger, John Brennan. My friends and I were so impressed with his superb arrangement of it that I decided to record another another one of my songs “It’s Too Bad” last summer utilizing John’s expertise.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“It’s Too Bad” was a song I wrote around 2001 when I was still living in Florida. It was one of my songs that Mari Ann especially liked. And she nicknamed it the “Club M Song” after the first place our band Nostradamus performed in public. Last summer I recorded it at a studio utilizing the expertise of song arranger John Brennan. After listening to it. it will remind you of an old bluesy song from another era.
What inspired you to write this release?
Its a song that just came together in my head one day. I have always loved Blues standards and old bluesy songs written in the 30’s or 40’s. I think I may have been channeling a song writer from back then, who knows???
Any plans to release a video?
Not as of yet. I could make a slide show type of video (like I did with my other song “Mermaid”) but would prefer to make a professional video this time. Something I should put on my to-do list!
Any plans to hit the road?
Nothing definitive yet. Doug, the drummer in Nostradamus, has been recently talking about moving from the Midwest to near me soon so we can record an album as a tribute to Mari Ann containing her unreleased songs an then album of his and my originals. Of course, the next step would performing these songs live.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I think my releases “Mermaid” and “It’s Too Bad” stand out because they both have a feel of a bygone musical era. “Mermaid” has a kind of 60’s Latin “Girl from Ipanema” feel to it, while “it’s Too Bad” is an old bluesy type of song.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Saw performances by an excellent rockabilly band called Brehon and the V8’s recently. Really get into that good old rock n’ roll! Have also been listening to a lot of new Alternative music on some Boston radio stations. Am very impressed. I think its getting better and better!
Tell us about your passions
Well, first and foremost, my full time data entry job the during week. Got to keep my day job until I hopefully can make a living with music. Am also the guitarist for a 60’s cover band and right now we are getting the songs in our list down, Not ready for gigs yet!
My other interests are visiting local historical places ,going to concerts, making songs from old jam session tapes into mp3s and CD’s, posting my poems, ghost hunting, talking to my friends on facebook, and hopefully meeting and dating some women soon!
What else is happening next in your world?
As I mentioned before, my drummer friend Doug, wants to move here and record some music with me. Maybe next month.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Randy!