The Official Blog Of The Glam Slam Big Haired Bad Boys Out Of Omaha, NE, 3D In Your Face

Friday, August 26, 2016

My Way.

Hello everyone and welcome to HAIR IN THE AIR, The Official Blog of 3D In Your Face and The Midnight Devils.  So much is happening in our little glam corner of the globe.  This blog has been such a fantastic outlet for me.  I love all the comments and seeing all of you people read this week in and week out really brings a smile to my face.  This week Sniper and I will be out on the road for two of the last three shows for the acoustic Midnight Devils Tour.  Tonight, Friday the 26th we will be returning to one of the very first bars to take a chance on us back in 2015.  Look out Oakland, NE we are throwing a great big Rock N Roll party at Groovy's.  Show starts at 10 PM.  Saturday night we head down south for a big celebration at The Farmhouse Lounge in Weeping Water, NE.  This will also be a 10 PM show.  As I said earlier only three shows remain on the "Radio Riot" acoustic tour.  We will be announcing more dates and big big big news very soon.  So keep it here.  I promise I will give you all the dirt before you read it on facebook or twitter.  Also please don't forget to tune in to my radio show also called HAIR IN THE AIR, Saturday night at 10 pm CST on 101.9 The Keg.  We are never going to sleep baby.

On this the eve of the last road trip on this tour I wanted to talk about The Midnight Devils and why we decided to venture out and test the waters.  Sniper and I love 3D In Your Face.  I have been with this band for 11 years and Sniper is going on 6.  We love our fans dearly.  We love the music and adventure.  We love putting in the hard work and the long hours.  There is no way we will ever let anything happen to the legacy we have all created.  The Midnight Devils came about at a time that we wanted and needed to stay on the road.  For personal and creative reasons things just seem to go better when we are playing live rock n roll music in a small town bar.  We thought we owed it to our fans to keep playing the music no matter what.  In the beginning it was more about Sniper and I getting on stage and seeing if we could make it through an entire show.  Now we are booking our third tour that will take us through to 2017.  I have had such a blast doing this.  It's tough out there for two guys with two acoustic guitars.  Every show is a bloody uphill battle.  The stories and the adventure is what keeps us coming back for more.  We wanted to make The Midnight Devils a band for the people.  A band that could fit in any bar and rally any group of people no matter what.  We wanted to do it our way from the beginning and I am pretty proud to say we have stayed true to our core values.

We don't just play the songs that people want to hear but  play the songs that you want to play as a musician.  Play songs from the 2014 Midnight Devils record.  Play songs for the recent Lost in the Volume album.  Mix it all up and if people see that it come straight from the heart they wont have a choice but to get it.  We didn't want to rely on anyone else to control our destiny.  No hand outs just hard work.  To be honest I actually love it and don't consider it work.  Sniper and I battled and fought through some brutal cities but we made it out alive and we are about to make one of the biggest announcements of our careers.  What's supposed to happen next is really any body's guess.  I'm still not even sure but I know we aren't going anywhere.  Thank you all for being part of this adventure.  We have made some great memories together and in the end isn't that what it's really all about.  I have laughed more this last summer than I have in my entire life.  There's also been a lot of rough spots and I've lost people along the way.  I'm still a firm believe that if you lose yourself in the music you will never be alone.  Those songs will always remind you of the good times and hopefully pull you out of the bad times.  My way better yet 'our' way isn't anything special but it is unique and from the heart and I believe captures the essence of what Rock N Roll is really about.


Sam Spade

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ever Get One of Those Opportunities? - Interview w/ John Bisaha of The Babys

Hello everybody.  I hope you are ready for this very special edition of HAIR IN THE AIR, The Official Blog of 3D In Your Face and The Midnight Devils.  Tonight I have the great pleasure of interviewing a guy I look up to, a true rock n roll star,  a singer, a songwriter, and of course a brother on the low end Mr. John Bisaha from The Babys.  More to come later with John.  First lets get to the pending summer tour.  This week The Midnight Devils will be hitting it hard again rain or shine.  Friday, Aug. 19th Sniper and I will be heading back across the border to Dow City, Iowa for a 10 PM show at Cheers Bar.  Expect a little bar tending courtesy of Sammy and Woody.  Also the heavy weight championship belt will be on the line as Sniper and I go toe to toe no-holds-barred cage match after the show.  Saturday we pick up the pieces and head back across the state line for a debut 10 PM show at Smiley's Bar in Winslow, NE.  We only have about three weeks left on this tour before we take a much needed break and regroup for the fall/winter run.  No excuses now.  Get out and catch this show before it's to late.  Also don't miss my radio show also called HAIR IN THE AIR, on Saturday night at 10 PM on 101.9 The Keg.

For all of you reading this near near North Carolina John and The Babys will be playing on Aug. 26th in Wilmington, NC at The CFCC Fine Arts Center with Jefferson Starship.  A classic rock n roll show that is not to be missed.

Now for the meat and potatoes.  As I said before this week I had the great pleasure of interviewing John Bisaha of The Babys.  Now some of you are saying The Babys?  The same band from the 70s?  Yes!  John is the lead singer and bass player and has helped resurrect this band after a 30 year hiatus.  Here are some links to get you caught up to speed on The Babys history.
The Babys - "Every Time I Think of You" 1979
The Babys - "Isnt It Time" 1977
The Babys - "I See You There" 2015

Hello John.  Welcome to this little slice of glam Rock n Roll heaven we like to call Hair In The Air.   I know this isn’t your normal interview but it’s quite an honor to have you answering some questions for us.  I haven’t hosted an interview since my time at broadcasting school so please bear with me. 

JB: You bet! This is actually a cool way of doing things. I get a chance to think and craft my answers the best way possible. So thank you for the opportunity to do so!

John you are currently the lead singer and bass player for The Babys, a powerhouse rock band that formed in the 70’s and struck big with hit singles “Isn’t It Time” and “Every Time I Think of You”.  You joined The Babys in 2012.   How did you get hooked up with these guys?

JB: I was introduced to ‘the audition process’ by my friend Mike Hansen. Mike played drums in a band with me in the early 90’s called Hall of Souls. We had only recently reconnected after many years through that marvel called Facebook! He gave me a ring and told me there was a band looking for a singer. After several moments of playing the name game – I finally found out it was The Babys. After several months of auditions, I received a call from Tony telling me I was the guy…

What is it like joining a band that already has its own dynamic and vibe?  Especially as a lead singer this must have been a very challenging endeavor? 

JB: It really is a dream come true for me. I was a huge fan of The Babys since Broken Heart came out. We try to stick to that vibe and sound from back in the day – staying true to the songs and how they were intended to be played. That’s why there are seven of us on stage. The Babys produced some huge tunes with huge sounds – horns, strings, female backup singers, etc. I’ve known these songs since they came out – my biggest challenge was incorporating bass into the mix, and making the whole package seamless in its delivery.

The music landscape has been changing very rapidly over the last few years.  I’m not really sure anyone knows where it’s headed.  The one thing we as musicians still have is the live performance.  Tell me about the current lineup of The Babys and what it’s like on stage for you guys during a good night?

JB: The more it’s changed – the more it stays the same! The only things that have changed through the years is the fact that we all get older, while technology keeps evolving. Too many new toys to play with! But you are right – live is LIVE! We all live for that moment. There’s nothing like playing to a packed house with every fan standing, dancing and singing every word/note of the songs. Our lineup consists of the two originals – Tony Brock on drums and Wally Stocker on lead guitar. Joey Sykes adds a dimension The Babys never had back in the day – a second guitar player to compliment Wally throughout the show. In the past, either Michael or Jonathan would leave the keys to play second guitar – now we have both. Which brings us to Francesco Saglietti on keys. He’s a fabulous up and coming musician. He will do great things in this business. And we round out our sound with The Babettes – Holly and Elisa! The three of us have sang together for YEARS! Total package – big sounds! We have a lot of energy on stage, something that you may not see with other acts from our era. We feed off of that energy – then toss it to the fans – who then give it right back. And the circle continues…

Trust me I’ve had my fair share of bad nights on stage.  Rock n roll is so unpredictable and I think that’s what makes it so dangerous still.  When issues start to arise during a performance it can kill a band mentally.  How do you overcome these issues and get the train back on the tracks?

JB: We’ve had some technical things happen from show to show – a monitor mixer forgetting to save a session you worked a few hours on, to amps frying during songs. But hey – you have a job to do. Can’t let those things get you down. Imagine having in-ear monitors that lock all ambient sound out, and having ZERO drums in your mix. Played an entire show that way. Was a marvel to hear and see video that was tight! I could only ‘feel’ Tony that night. And that’s a testament to how well we are getting on as a band – plow right through and give it your best. We played a huge festival this year where Walt’s amp blew one song – and mine blew the next. Not sure the crowd really knew. We got things moved to new amps or direct for me within each tune – and the rest of the group covered. We never missed a beat. You smile – shake your head – and move forward…

In 2014 The Babys released I’ll Have Some of That.  What was the response from the fans on that album after the band had been broken up for so many years?  It seems like new blood created new energy in The Babys.

JB: The response has been fantastic. We knew we needed to have a reason to be out and playing again. Having a new record, with new energy and members seemed the right thing to do. We recorded the album at Tony’s studio – Silver Dreams – in a whirlwind 8 weeks. We have a range of songs that were written musically just after The Babys broke up, to songs written the week prior to recording, and some in between. And the beauty is – they all seem to fit together pretty well.

You guys are back out on the road and you will be releasing new material in the very near future.  What can you tell me about the new tracks?  What was the inspiration?  Why at this point in the game have you decided to put out these songs? 

JB: We’ve been asked to record a couple of tracks for some upcoming movies. One of them called for a remake of The Babys remake of ‘Money’. We’ve got some killer threads in that tune. We made it a cross of what The Babys did with the song back in the day – and brought a little more rock to it. A little AC/DC meets Humble Pie meets The Babys. Fun stuff. We are actually toying around with recording a live album, and may even record a studio album of the hits and our favourites (had to spell it that way for Tony and Walt!) plus some new tunes.

As a guy in a band I know how difficult it can be to deal with four/five/six other strong personalities.  It’s a full time commitment.  How do you deal with arguments and disagreements within The Babys? 

JB: Arguments? Disagreements? I don’t understand your question…  In all honesty, we all get along famously. There may be strong or differing opinions from time to time – but all things are easily dealt with. We are all grown adults now. Communication in a band relationship (and any other life relationship) is always key. From the get go – Tony and Wally were not interested in pushing forward with a group of people who didn’t actually care about each other – and the band. We are a family in every sense – and I think it shows.

I’m a firm believer that every guy in the band fills a vital position outside of just playing their instrument.  For me, I do a lot of the publicity and the media for 3D In Your Face.  In The Babys what is your roll outside of singing and playing the bass?

JB: We have a core team that helps us all keep ‘the machine’ going. We’ve got a growing team of management, public relations and booking folk pushing to keep us out there. I wear many hats, though – call me the glue. Or the little dutch boy if you know what I mean. I believe I am involved in virtually every facet of what we do to keep moving forward.

I always love sitting around and listening to old war stories on the bus about old gigs and tours that the guys went on back in the day.  We always end up talking about crazy girls, angry club owners, and intoxicated band members.  You don’t have to go into too much detail to protect the innocent but please if you could imagine we are on the tour bus cruising down the highway somewhere near Chicago.  What old war story would you tell me that would leave me picking my jaw up off the ground? 

JB: I’ve listened to some GREAT stories that Tony and Wally have had through the years. The stories all seem to come out after a gig as we are winding down, or on a bus between shows. Everyone has the crazy girl story. I’ll opt for one that even Tony and Wally had never experienced before. It’s ‘G’ rated – so sorry about that! I’ll give you some ‘X’ rated ones offline. (Just kidding Holly!) So last year – we had a stretch of shows through the Midwest and into PA. We had a 7am call because the next town was about 6-8 hours away. It was 7:01 and I had our luggage and was walking out towards the bus when it started to leave. I was beat from the night before (I think we were like 3 shows into 5 shows in 5 nights across 5 states – FUN!) so I wasn’t about to run and pound on the bus to stop. I just took the luggage and started walking towards the lobby where we were all to meet anyway. So I get to the lobby, and the whole band is there! And we see the bus leave the parking lot and take off! Then we notice our lead tech (Johnny – our son) is NOT with us! I call the bus driver after 5 minutes or so – because we are thinking he may be getting gas or something – and I check my find iPhone app for my son – only to see he is on the freeway and about 10 miles out. The bus driver (Chuck) answers his cell – and says yes Sir – how are you? I asked him if he was getting gas – he replied no – he was enroute to the next stop! I said – Chuck – the entire band and I are still in the lobby waiting for you! Long story – he had seen Johnny’s foot outside his bunk and figured we were all asleep in our bunks as well. You’ve heard the stories where someone in the band was left behind – but the ENTIRE band? Come on Chuck!!!

As kind of a gear junkie could you give me a rig rundown?  What bass’ are you playing?  What amps and cabinets are you into?  What is the key to your sound?  One piece of “can’t go on stage without” equipment? 

JB: I’ve been very lucky to have some great support from some great companies! Italia makes my basses. I am lucky enough to get at least one new custom bass every year. Right now I am playing a Rimini custom, but soon will be receiving a new Imola bass from them – which will be my go to. Ampeg has been my go to amp for quite awhile. I play an SVT-VR out on the road, and in our studio, but also travel with an SVT-Pro head just in case. An 8x10 cabinet and I am good to go. No real effects – the bass sound is vintage, and I try to keep to that. Besides the bass and rig, I can’t go on without my wireless for the bass (I like to move around a lot when I am not singing, and hate tripping around with cables), as well as my in-ear monitors. They literally save your voice. How many times do singers have to over sing just to hear themselves in the wedges? No more of that for me!

Thank you so much John for doing this interview.  I would like to wish you luck with the new songs and video.  I think The Babys are a great rock n roll band keep up the great work.  I hope that someday soon we get the chance to work together.  If you are ever in Nebraska or Iowa you are more than welcome to crash on my couch.  

JB! Thank you Sam! I just may do that!!! Appreciate the opportunity – great questions! All the best to you.

Sam Spade

Friday, August 12, 2016

What's It All For?

Hello everybody and welcome to HAIR IN THE AIR, The Official Blog of 3D In Your Face and The Midnight Devils.  I hope everyone is having a great week.  Finally it's the weekend and baby it's time to boogie.  We have some amazing things coming up this weekend.  Some road trips, some awesome shows, and some real live Rock N Roll jam sessions.  I would like to thank everyone that came out to Bedford, IA for The Across The Border Raid last Saturday.  That event gets wilder and wilder every year.  Thank you for all the love and we hope to see you people again real soon.  Now for the good stuff.  Where are we going this week?  I am very excited to say that our acoustic group The Midnight Devils will be back in Omaha, NE on Friday, Aug. 8th for a return visit to The American Dream on 74th and F st.  This is going to be a free outdoor show and you better believe it's going to be out-of-control.  Saturday you get a special two-for evening and one hell of a road trip.  Starting at 6 pm Sniper and I will be making our debut at The Cotton Wood Cove Marina in Blair, NE opening for Poison Overdose, a Poison tribute band out of KC.  Then we head to Columbus, NE for a late show at one of our favorite bars on this tour, Micek's.  Columbus will be a 10 pm show.  Get ready to hit the road with The Midnight Devils.  Ohh and you know how I love to stir things up.  We have a mystery special guest that will be jamming with us this weekend.  Who could it be?

Huge thanks to Tyler Ellyson from the Columbus Telegram for this great article about The Midnight Devils and our upcoming performance.  Click Here.  Do us a favor and read, share, and retweet this article.

Last but not least I have the great pleasure of doing a live phone interview with Ryan on 93.5 The Hawk KKOT at 10 am Friday morning.  Tune in and let him know you are listening.

On to the meat and potatoes.  We have had a great summer thus far and I anticipate the next month or so to be even better.  It's the end of this run and that means we have to start looking towards fall and winter tours.  I just simply can't not play shows and roam around the country side.  I can't make any statements yet regarding the fall tour.  Maybe next week when I have a little bit more information I can fill everyone in.  Regardless I had an amazing conversation today with Scott from The 21st Saloon.  One hell of a bar owner and a guy that gave it all up to follow his dreams and run the best damn music venue in Omaha.  We chatted about 3D In Your Face and The Midnight Devils but mostly we talked about the bar and the music community in Omaha.  Scott is truly try to create something that is unique yet very personal.  In this day and age what separates a good music venue from a bar that has music?  It's simply the atmosphere, the staff, and the clients.  I don't want to get into some long winded rant about how people aren't appreciative of live music anymore.  We've heard that argument and we all know it's true.  There are a select few but I remember back 7 or 8 years ago a thriving punk rock music community surrounding a few great bars in Lincoln, NE.  We were a family.  We all lived together, partied together, toured together, and listened to music together.  We were the next generation of Rock N Roll.  Now it seems that sense of community is going away because the music venues are going away.  Is live music going the way of the dinosaurs?

I don't believe that for a minute.  There's something about a great rock n roll venue that changes a person.  It's not the same feeling you get when you go to see your favorite band at the big arena.  While that's awesome there something special about those shows in the sweaty clubs that revert us all back to the origins of Rock N Roll.  The real reason that we all started listening to this music.  Rebellion.  It's a sense of belonging to something bigger than any one person.  It's expression and art and feeling all rolled into one.  That feeling of playing live of "getting your rocks off" can't be replicated.  I know, I've tried.  That electricity in the air when the band is grooving and the dance floor is hopping is magical and instantaneous.  It's one of those moments that last only for a moment and then fades.  That's rock n roll baby.  That's why this will never die.  As long as it's from the heart and honest it's going to touch someone.  We've all been through a heap and these days everyone is stressed to the max.  Isn't it just great know that through music we have one of the greatest pressure releases in existence?  Tonight we come to rock and tomorrow we feel a whole lot better.  I can't give up and I wont give up.  That simple.

Thanks for reading.

Sam Spade

Friday, August 5, 2016

It's Unpredictable Yet Oddly Satisfying

Hello maniacs.  My name is Sam Spade, welcome to HAIR IN THE AIR, The Official Blog of 3D In Your Face and The Midnight Devils.  "We've been having fun all summer long."  I hope that you have been having as much fun this summer as we have been.  Every year the tour gets wilder and wilder and I dread the end.  Luckily we still have one more month to go.  This week we are heading back out on The Midnight Devils "Radio Riot" Summer Tour.  If you haven't yet got a chance to see this acoustic Rock n Roll circus your time is running out.  Friday, Aug. 5th we will be making our debut at North 40 in Magnolia, IA.  This will be a 9 PM show and is only 39 miles north of Omaha, NE on I-29.  Saturday, Aug. 5th 3D In Your Face resumes our summer run of shows with a return performance at an amazing motorcycle festival called Across The Border Raid in Bedford, IA.  This show will be held at the Taylor County Fairgrounds in Bedford.  GTO goes on stage at 4:30 PM and we close out the festivities starting at 10 PM.  This will be the last 3D In Your Face show before we return back home for Septemberfest.  If you can't make any of these killer shows don't worry The Midnight Devils have some great things in store for the rest of Aug.  Also don't forget to tune in to my radio show also called HAIR IN THE AIR on Saturday night at 10 PM on 101.9 The Keg.

I'd like to apologize for no blog last week.  Sometimes I find it a bit hard to write when nothing too wild and crazy is happening.  I know after last months high profile blog posts nothing is actually a good thing.  Things on the road have been going well.  The shows have been great.  3D In Your Face has been functioning like a well oiled machine.  We are getting along great and our new album Lost In The Volume has been getting great reviews.  I still find this to be just good enough.  I want to look back in a year and say last summer was great but this summer was one step better.  It's stressful and eats away at every waking thought.  How can we do more shows to more people?  How can we reach a broader audience?  How can we show the rest of the world that the boys from Omaha came to play ball?  Well if it were easy we would've already done it by now.  I'm no expert and there are no guide books on how to run a succesful band for a long period of time.  I'll be the first to say that everything in 3D In Your Face has been a learning experience for me.  It's all about finding what works, trial and error.  You better believe I have made more errors than triumphs but that only makes the triumphs feel even better.  

I recently sat down with an old friend of mine.  He was actually my guitar tech for 6 years, my right hand man, while I toured with my previous bands.  We did everything together.  We were mad men out on the road, drinking and causing trouble in every city we went to.  I always thought that the party was part of being in a band and to a certain extent it is.  It was so cool to sit down and tell old war stories about old shows that we barely remembered.  Like I said we used to drink pretty heavily and know almost 6 years later we are both sober and still around to laugh about how sensless we were.  It was all in fun and part of the journey.  I'm not sure if rock n roll has changed since then or if we have just grown up.  I still enjoy those wild nights but it seems so much different now that I'm not staring down the bottom of a Vodka bottle.  I'm not sure if touring has changed or if we've just become more dedicated to our craft.  I still have some wild stories from this tour but they won't be any good for a couple of years.  The Midnight Devils tour has been a saving grace for us.  It's been amazing stripping back the show yet we still get a chance to cause a little chaos wherever we go.  It seems as of late there has been so much stress placed on us that the only peace we get peace is when both hands are on the wheel and all four tires are at the correct air pressure heading down the interstate.  It's unpredictable yet oddly satisfying and I can't seem to stay away no matter how intense it gets.  I just love it that much. 

Always Loud
Forever Proud

Sam Spade