Special Thanks to Miramar Productions, Tom Mehren, Director of Audio Sales
and Esther Shin, Publicity Miramar Recordings.
Questions for Michael Shrieve:
Q: Artwork has always been a large part of Santana, Journey, The Storm as well as your solo projects. How was the artwork for past projects and "Abraxas Pool" developed?
A: Speaking in terms of Abraxas Pool artwork we wanted to come up with something that was simple, that could be used for a logo and that would have meaning relating to the word "Abraxas." The term "Abraxas" in a nutshell is an ancient Gnostic word for a deity or god. It symbolizes the number 365 which of course are the days of the year but also represented the levels of spirituality. It is also the origin of the word "Abracadabra." It is a multi-leveled term. It also expresses the relationship between dark and light and good and evil. The cover of the Abraxas CD is the ancient Egyptian "Eye of Horus." While Abraxas historically relates to ancient Greek religion, during this period the Gnostics also moved into Egyptian culture and blended there as well. The "Eye of Horus" turned out to be a strong, clear and desirable image that worked for the cover because there was a relationship between the ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology. For a good time use the Internet search engine and look up "Abraxas"!
Q: What other types of music are you involved in?
A: My tastes in music are very diverse. I have released seven solo CDs and they are all instrumental music ranging from electronic to jazz. I have a new one ready to go called "Drums of Compassion" in which I play 18 drums in a semi-circle on top of ambient loops. It's a very slow and spacey, almost meditative sound.
Q: What other drummers do you like?
A: While I am a big fan of all the great drummers from Max Roach, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams, to Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine and Manu Katche, I also enjoy the work of Terry Bozzio, Evelyn Glennie and Stomu Yamashta.
Q: Since Sammy Hagar is no longer with Van Halen, do you and Neal Schon have any plans to do another HSAS album sometime in the future?
Questions for Gregg Rolie:
Q: What is the title of your new solo album?
A: Rough Tracks. (Note: Released on the Munich based Point label in Germany.)
Q: Who plays on your new solo project?
A: Myself [Gregg] on lead vocals and keyboards, Tim Pierce and Josh Ramos on Guitar, Denny Fongheiser on drums, Bob Marlette also on keyboards and Mike Carabello on the Congas.
Q: Why did you re-record the Storm song "Still Loving You"?
A: This is actually the demo for "Still Loving You" by the Storm. It's the original [version].
Q: What is your current status with the Storm?
A: We are waiting to see what happens with the release of the second Storm release, "Eye Of The Storm".
Q: What do you think of the Storm WWW page ?
A: Frankly, I haven't seen it yet, but Ron Wikso said it looks great.
Questions for Gregg Rolie and Michael Shrieve:
Q: How did this project "Abraxas Pool" come about?
A: Michael - I was in Germany making a solo record called "Fascination" when I received a call from Gregg Rolie saying that Neal Schon had called suggesting that we get together and make some music with the original [Santana] band. It sounded like a great idea. We made a date to do it and we got together at Gregg's house with myself, Michael Carabello, Chepito and Neil, played each other music that we had and jammed. We did that for a week the first time and most of the material was written during that period. It was incredible! It was so natural it felt like we had never left each other when in reality it had been many years since we had played together. We got the material together and started recording and playing it live around the Bay Area and the reaction was phenomenal.
Gregg - Neal Schon was doing a solo project [Beyond The Thunder] and had Michael Carabello playing percussion on it. He come over to my house and told me, 'I had forgotten how nice it was playing with percussion.' He then presented the idea of calling Shrieve, Chepito, Carabello, and Alphonso to see what we should do. I phoned Shrieve first. He called back from Germany and told me he was in. The rest soon followed and we were off.
Q: I heard at one point the band's name was "Abraxas", now it's called "Abraxas Pool". Why did you change it?
A: Michael - For legal reasons. The way the law works even if there is a Santana cover band in Tulsa, Oklahoma or anywhere else in the world, if they have been making a living using this name they could come after us and essentially sue us even though they got the name from the album that we made called "Abraxas." Just to be safe we decided to add another word to the name and finally decided on "Pool."
Gregg - There were several bands in Europe that were called "Abraxas." We wanted to avoid legal problems.
Q: Was Carlos Santana ever asked to become involved in this project?
A: Michael - Yes. At one point Carlos was contacted to do something with us and he declined although there is a strong possibility that Gregg and I will be doing something with Carlos later this year.
Gregg - He was asked to sit in on a couple of tracks. He declined.
Q: Do you plan on touring in support of this project?
A: Michael - There are no present plans for touring. We will take a 'let's see how it goes' approach. Right now there are a few circumstances outside of our control which make it impossible to tour at this time. But, as I've learned over the years, "never say never."
Gregg - Yes, if the situation presents itself.
Q: What do you both think of the Internet as a new tool to reach the fans?
A: Michael - I am an Internet 'freak' and have been for three years. Check out my Web Site at www.mshrieve.com! I'm a research kind of guy and find the Internet to be an incredible tool. I used to spend time at the University library looking stuff up and now I surf the Web. And yes, the Internet is also a wonderful way not only for artists to reach fans, but for fans of artists to reach each other. (Note: you can find a link to Michael's web site on the Storm's Links Page.)
Gregg - I think in the future, the Internet is going to be an informative tool for everything, but if I'm going to surf, I'd rather be in Hawaii. :)
Thanks Gregg and Michael for taking the time for this interview, we look forward to more great music from you in the furure. Scott Sullivan of the Storm WWW Page.
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