JEFF CANNATA is a multi-instrumentalist who has been active in the music business for more than 25 years now, starting off with JASPER WRATH, a band that also featured JAMES CHRISTIAN. Jeff also released two solo CDs, but is best known for his ARC ANGEL Classic. the album he released as ARC ANGEL in 1983 is an instant AOR/Pomprock Classic, with such brilliant songs like "Stars", "Tragedy", "Just another romance" and "Sidelines". I had a chance to do an interview with Jeff, here's what went down...
When did you pick up your first instrument?
instrument was the drums, which I started at 13 yrs. old. Before
that , just banging on whatever was around the house
When did you form ARC ANGEL?
was put together at a point after I had gotten signed to
CBS/Portrait Records from a handfull of demos, recorded with my
writing partner Michael Soldan were presented to the label. I was
then lucky to get a lot of help from friends in the production of
the CD. One of which, James Christian , who I think you may know
of from" House Of Lords"
In 1983 ARC ANGEL released its first and only album, please tell us all about this fantastic CLASSIC AOR/POMP MASTERPIECE?
the songs were demoed at my home studio and then re done at
Jahnna Studios in Connecticut. The CD was mixed at the Power
Station in New York with Tony Bongiovi engineering. At the point
of near completion, the label wanted one more song. In the next
few days "Stars" was written and recorded and ended up
as the lead track. Sales were greatest in Germany, The
Netherlands and Japan
Which bands/artists influenced you for ARC ANGEL's music which was quite different than most other acts around that time?
No band in
particular influenced the Arc Angel project. At a point when you
are writing your own material you "try" not to emulate
anyone, although I'm sure your sub concious absorbs and retains.
I can tell you though that my early favourites were..........King
Crimson, Gentle Giant, Genesis: (With Peter Gabriel of course)
Yes..........As a matter of fact the band I was in before the Arc
Angel project, Jasper Wrath, with James Christian as lead
vocalist, doing all originals were approached by several fans(in
the early stages) saying "you guys sound like Crimson",
at that time, we never heard of them..............
The album was produced by Tony Bongiovi, how did you get in touch with him?
was produced JC......As Don Henley once said" Whatever that
means" ...........and Tony Bongiovi mixed it and co-produced
two of the tracks with Lance Quinn, Jon Bonjovi's then producer.
Lenne Petze, head of the record company at the time was close
friends with Tony and asked to help out at the Power
Station.......The place to be back then
Why and when did you decide to gave up ARC ANGEL and go solo and do everything on your own?
!!!!..................I never actually gave up on ArcAngel, it's
just a name I came up with for that particular group songs.
It took about 5 years before a new album was released. What did you do between 1983 and 1988?
to Mirage/Atlantic for a single.......Produced by Richie Cannata
(Billy Joel's band) with his players as backup. Elliott Schenier(
Steely Dan) engineered..........Record didn't
happen...........Also learned how to play keyboards and program
In 1988 you released your first real solo album entitled 'Images of forever', please tell us all about it?
wrote a group of new songs , more keyboard oriented, sent demos
to CBS, got signed to Carrere/CBS . Because the Arc Angel record
took over 800 hrs to record, I needed my own studio to experiment
with my new found instruments........sequencers and synths. So I
negotiated for an advance to build an analog 24 Track studio in
my home.........They said OK. Recorded " Images Of
Forever" mixed it in LA with Bill Drescher, Rick
Springfield's producer at the time. Shot a video " Fortune
Teller"directed by Scott Calvert , who did some of the early
Pink Floyd stuff.
Then it became again very quiet, what did you do between 1988 and 1993, and how did you get hooked up with NOW AND THEN RECORDS, why the split with CBS RECORDS?
Paris was the mother label who was also involved in the motion
picture industry...They're record label branch fell
apart..........Out of the blue, I received a call from a record
exec. at Now and Then to do a new CD........I did
Please tell us all about 'Watching the world'?
material........Last track........While working in the control
room, my 4 year old son stopped in to say hello, I turn on a mic,
and told him to sing something, he ad libbed" Ian's
Song"........First record deal 4 years old !
Then again it became very quiet, for almost 10 years! Now we're in the year 2002, what did you do since 'Watching the world', which was a very good album by the way.
hrs of studio, live and demo recordings of Jasper Wrath and
released the double CD , Jasper Wrath Anthology 1997
You just released a new album called 'Cannata + Arc Angel', and this album contains 7 new songs, tell me all about them, when you wrote them and just tell the stories behind them...
OK, then why did you also include 7 old songs, the first track from the ARC ANGEL album, the first 3 tracks from 'Images' and the first 3 from 'Watching...'...
those CDs are out of print, and I've been asked about copies of
them. Stars is on there , just wanted to include one of the
tracks from that time. Sony Records made it somewhat difficult to
use the original master, so I
I think the question everyone is waiting for, is if you ever will make a full-length new CD/album as ARC ANGEL, because that was basically one of the highlights in your career...
honest with you, there will be another full length CD , but the
music will definately be in a more contemporary and progressive
nature. Although I did like the Arc Angel stuff........then.
Anyway, what are the other things you are planning for the near future?
planning on going 48 track digital in the next few months, you
can never have enough tracks
Looking back, what do you consider yourself as your best musical effort?
the live shows with Jasper Wrath
Finally, I would like to know who influenced you for making your music, and what are your favourite albums of all times, and what are you listening to at the moment?
Michael Giles ( King Crimsom) Keith Moon ( The Who)
Moody Blues( Question of Balance) King Crimson (Court Of The Crimsom King)
Well, thanks for the interview and good luck with your career...
Thanks, Gabor............Jeff Cannata
BACK TO INTERVIEWSINDEX
BACK TO HOMEPAGE