Departure: Mike Walsh feeling confortable in his musical role.

Departure guitarist Mike Walsh talks about the band's new album and enlisting the talents of new singer Timothy Lewis.

First up, congratulation son the new album, I like it best of all the Departure albums and the general reaction seems to be very favorable.
First of all I am pleased that you are enjoying the new record.

What were the circumstances that lead to Dave Baldwin not being available for this album?
The situation w/ Dave Baldwin was a mutual separation that seemed to fit both of us. Musically, we each had differences that we could not ignore.
Plus I was really looking for a sound more like the first record. The record labels at the time were really keen on getting the next record out and Dave was at the right place at the right time for us to do the record, so we did.

And how did Timothy Lewis come into the picture?
I received a tape of Tim from my label in England, he seemed to be what I was looking for in a singer so I phoned him up in Orlando, Florida and he flew to New Jersey to do some demos and we really hit it off, so I contracted him to do the record.

The album's sound seems perfectly fitted to Timothy's vocals - coincidence, or was it shaped around his input and abilities?
Some songs I had written already but a lot of the material was put together while Tim was here so I could produce around his vocal style and range.

The album seems less pomp, more commercial melodic rock. Was the direction change planned, or was that the way the songs naturally evolved?
The direction of the material was something that just seemed to evolve around what was going on in our lives at the time of the recording, Sept. 11, 2001 and the changes in all of our lives kind of took all the pomp out of our style. Straight forward, good melodic music.

I was also impressed with the production quality. Do you find it easier to record an album each time, learning as you go, or was there another influence on the tight sound of the new album?
The main influence on the sound and production on this record is that after the last record, I came back from England and spent the next 10 months constructing a full production recording studio in my home. With the backing of my label and my band mates, we now have the luxury of making records right in my house. This is what I have been wanting to do as far back as I can remember, and now I am doing just that.

How do you find working in the relatively close confines of the melodic rock scene?
I enjoy making melodic rock records. I believe that it is an art form like no other in
the music industry. Even though we really can't sell these records in the states, I am pleased that there are people around the world who appreciate this style of music.
I am also hoping to start my own production co. and make records in many other categories of music.

Your albums are released in Europe, but like most other artists, never in the USA. Is that frustrating for you and do you see that ever being able to be changed?
I don't really get to worked up about other outlets for this music, the outlets seem to find you when you're doing these kind of records.

You've got some pretty radio friendly tracks on the album - are there any outlets you can try to get some airplay independent of the major label sharks?
We are starting to put together the live show right now, since we have finished the record, we want to warm up over here, NYC, Jersey, (Stone Pony)and then head over to Europe to do some live gigs. There is a lot of things I am looking forward to doing this year, things are looking really good right now, it is going to be a busy year.

On a more positive note - how about some live performances. Again, it's a small scene, but are there any opportunities?
I am sure that Me and Tim will be working again shortly. He is a wonderful guy and a very talented vocalist.

Is there anything you haven't done musically that you would still like to accomplish?
Musically there are no boundaries for me. With my new studio in my new home with my kids sitting next to me with there Casio keyboards and plastic guitars, wall to wall keyboards and amps and guitars, I may never see the light of day again! !

What are some of the current release albums that impress you?
I am enjoying a lot of the female acts that are out now, Norah Jones, Amanda Marshall, Cheryl Crow etc...

And how about classics - what are some of your all time best albums?
My favorite though is the Beatle records. That is what started it all for me.

Anything you would like to add?
I would like to thank all of you for your interest in my music. It has been a pleasure for me to answer your questions tonight.