Q & A with bass legend Billy Sheehan
Written by Art Fredette on February 28, 2019
RRX: Give us a brief history on Talas ? Your ties to area? Memories of ealry Talas Shows
BILLY: We started Talas around 1971, playing clubs in the Buffalo/Western NY area. Mostly cover tunes. We went through several personnel changes through the years and eventually branched our across the USA. Many incredible memories of the Albany area! Dudley Do-Rights, Allan’s Beef & Brew, and many other clubs in the area became our regular stomping ground. We made so many great friends and the time of our lives back then!Saratoga Winners or older clubs in area Albany NY? Those and many more. It was a vibrant exciting music scene back then with tons of clubs and dozens of great bands.
RRX:Give us your thoughts on the rebirth of 80’s Rock and metal and how it is obviously worth it/ or not? to hit the road with Talas again?
BILLY:Every dog has its day, but I guess some dogs get two! I’m so pleased to see the renewed interest in music from this period. We can’t do the schedule we used to do for many reasons, but having the opportunity to play again in Albany with Talas is golden! It’s very worth it to see old friends, make some new ones, play those songs we did back then, and enjoy all this. We’re all very pleased about it.
RRX: How did Talas 2019 come together?
BILLY:I had already done some reunion shows with the version of Talas that was well known in Buffalo, so I wanted to do something with the next version — which became a bit more popular around the country. Great players I know of today used to come out to see this version of Talas and often cite it as a point of inspiration for their careers later. Mike Portnoy, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Ray Luzier from Korn, Paul Gilbert and many many others used to come see us ( I have a photo of Mike from the first Dream Theater rehearsals and he’s wearing a Talas shirt). Many drummers were influenced by our drummer Mark Miller—he is quite spectacular!
RRX: Is there any new Talas material being recorded /released/ Tour?
BILLY: Yes, some songs we’ve never recorded, as well as a brand new one. We’ll hopefully do a record of everything we have.
RRX: Is there anything you would like the world to know? Current bands, studio projects, what can we look forward to?
BILLY: New Sons of Apollo record coming soon, and The Winery Dogs will tour the USA in May. I’m doing a solo project w Ray Luzier ( bass & drums!) very soon.
RRX: When you were just starting out what did you want from music? Advice to fellow musicians ?
BILLY:I just loved to play. I didn’t think about making records or any “career” sort of thing. Just playing. Performing cover tunes in clubs was a riot, and the best training ground for performing, writing, and recording possible. So the goals should be ( IMHO) to achieve your best, perform non-stop, and let nature take its course.
RRX: Your thoughts on social media! send your links social media FB etc?
BILLY: I love that so many old friends can re-connect! I’ve heard from many Albany area friends that are coming to this show—I can’t wait to see them all! It’s such a great way for people to connect and offers the possibility of direct communication between musician, fans, and friends. I’m very much looking forward to this show! See Billy Sheehan and his band Talas live March 13 Jupiter Hall Albany NY with Kristen Capolino – produced by Stormin Productions / Lisa Lisa Entertainment