12/4/2005-Interview with Industrial Mafia Promotions-Lincoln, NE

-To see the actual interview, click HERE

IMP-For those of us who aren’t familiar with Caroline Blue give us a little background information! Things like who is in the band, when the band started, who started it and who are your influences.

WAYNE-CAROLINE BLUE is a Melodic Hard Rock Band based in Syracuse,NY. We play original music that is similar in style to bands like KISS. The current lineup is Wayne W. Johnson (me) on lead vocals/guitar-Metal J on drums/backing vocals-and Billy Pierce on bass/backing vocals. The band was started by myself back in February 2000 and we have several influences in our music-including bands like KISS, Judas Priest, and more.

IMP-I personally have been eager to know the answer to this question. How did you choose the name CAROLINE BLUE?

WAYNE-The name originated when I worked at Kmart. They have code words called “Carolines” and different colors for different emergencies. “Caroline Blue” was code for medical emergency. So that’s part of the reason. The other is that I liked the sound of it and it doesn’t stereotype us into any genre of music-In My Opinion.

IMP-Were Metal J and “Wild” Billy original members? If not, what drew you to them as potential band mates?

WAYNE-Metal J & Billy Pierce were not original members. For the longest time we seemed to have a rotating lineup. Thankfully it’s now stabilized. In both cases they saw an ad we had in the newspaper looking for a drummer/bassist and things went from there.

IMP-Lets say a hermit has just come out of years of seclusion and he runs into you putting up a flyer for a show. How would you describe your sound to him?

WAYNE-Melodic Hard Rock in the vein of bands like KISS. That’s what I usually say and people seem to understand very quickly.

IMP-Does one person write all the songs or is it a band effort?

WAYNE-In the past, there have been songs with multiple writers from previous bands I was in. Currently, I’m bringing in a lot of songs that are pretty much done-they just have to be arranged for CAROLINE BLUE. Both Billy & Metal J have brought in ideas and we’re working to develop them into full songs. Arranging is definitely a band effort.

IMP-What is the inspiration behind the songs? Do the songs stem from past experiences or something else?

WAYNE-It’s usually the bad things that have happened in my relationships-HA! For me, I usually write about things that I can relate to and things that happened / are happening in my life-songs like “Inside” and “Pain” are like that. But it can also be as simple as something that I’ve heard / seen in real life and / or on TV and it sticks in my head. “Far Away From Home” is like that. It could be from all sorts of things……

IMP-I’ve noticed that the newer songs are heavier then the older ones. What has made you go in this direction?

WAYNE-To be honest, the band started getting heavier when we switched to doing more originals / less covers and when Kenny “Thunder” Simpson was in the band (circa 2003). And the reason is cause he’s a double bass drummer-and he loved to use that double kick. Then we got Eric “Small” who also plays double bass whose regular band was heavier than us- so that had an effect. Then along comes Metal J who loves Metal like no other. Also some of the songs I’ve brought into the band like “Pain” & “Nothing Will Satisfy You” lend themselves to a heavier sound. Billy is also more into heavier music than past CAROLINE BLUE bassists so….In the beginning I’d say we were Rock & Roll / Melodic Hard Rock. Now we’re Melodic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal. It’s just us being who we are.

IMP-Is it your goal to get signed to a record deal or do you want to keep it as a side project?

WAYNE-I always say that the goal is to take things as far as they will go. In the beginning that meant just getting a lineup that was stable-HA! Things change and as we go further along the road, we see more & more of what we can do and we take it from there. We’re definitely starting to look more at the big picture.

IMP-If you are looking to get signed, who are your “dream” labels?

WAYNE-I don’t really have a preference-if we were to go with a label, I would like it to be one who knows what we’re about and what we do. One that lets us be ourselves and be true to ourselves. Definitely not a label where they have so many bands on it you’re just lost in the mix or one that wants you to change a lot of stuff . Maybe I’m just dreaming…..

IMP-If you could do a show with any band past or present who would it be and why?

WAYNE-Me personally-hands down KISS! That would be the ultimate for me. They were-and still are-my top inspiration for being involved with music. Just being able to meet Paul Stanley and say “Thank you” would be enough.

IMP-Picture this, you win a contest in which the prize is 5 million dollars to make you dream video. What song would you choose, who would you choose to direct, and what would the concept be?

WAYNE-It’s a song from the forthcoming full-length CD we’re currently working on. It’s called “Deny” and we’re gonna try to make a concept video for it anyways-with a much smaller budget of course. I would be involved in at least some of the directing cause I can see the whole video in my head-it’s just a matter of making that idea into reality. Course, we wouldn’t need that much money to make it-even MTV level vids aren’t anywhere near that much (unless you’re Michael Jackson) so we’d take care of a lot of stuff with the rest of the money. Maybe a video on how we spent the money-HA! Me personally, I’d take my share and get my bills paid off, buy a few things, have some in savings / investments, and help my parents out.

IMP-I would like to learn a little more about each of you as individual. So could each of you answer the next questions?

IMP-Were you born and raised here? If not where were you born and/or where else have you lived?

WAYNE-No-I was born in a far away land where the grass is much greener than it is around here. I’ve lived in many places…..

METAL J-I have lived in Syracuse the majority of my life, I have also lived in Seattle, Washington and Providence, Rhode Island

BILLY–I was born here and lived in Central NY all my life.

IMP-What personality trait do you most admire and least like most in each other?

WAYNE-The current lineup of CAROLINE BLUE is, IMHO, the best lineup the band has ever had to date. I love the dedication & the drive they have. The least? That they’re drawing all the women away from me-those scurvy dogs (HA!)

METAL J-The things I admire most about my band mates is their dedication and commitment to music.

BILLY–I admire the drive this band has.

IMP-What is your favorite CAROLINE BLUE song and why?

WAYNE-Currently my favorite song is called “Inside”-a song about being in love with that special someone you’re in a relationship with…who hates your guts! That person wants you out of their life but it doesn’t matter what you go thru, you still love that person cause you know, deep down, there’s something inside that person who loves you. Plus I really like the solo I came up with on that one.

METAL J-Well I don’t have just one favorite, I have a few and I like them all for various reasons. For the most part, any song that has a really great riff and heavy groove is something I am totally going to have a blast playing. “Pain” is my top favorite at the moment, the drumming is intense and it has a really heavy vibe. We just wrote a new song called “Nothing Will Satisfy You” that song is totally heavy! “Hard Life” is another favorite, has a straight forward groove. Other fav’s are “Slave To The Hourglass” and “Far Away From Home”

BILLY–No one in particular. I think they all kick ass.

IMP-What is your opinion of what is being played on main stream radio?

WAYNE-I’m kind of oblivious to it. I don’t really listen to it as much as I used to. But from what I do hear-some stuff I like, some stuff I don’t…

METAL J-Overall, I don’t listen to the radio. I have found that it is too commercial and all the stations play the same music by the same artists. Which is really sad because their are A LOT of great bands out there putting out a lot of great music, who just don’t or cant get the exposure because their are people out there spoon feeding the public what they feel we should be hearing.

BILLY–I like some of the heavier stuff.

IMP-Suppose a big name record label comes to you as a band and tells you they would sign you to a big dollar record deal only if you change your sound and image completely. Would you do it? Why or why not?

WAYNE-No I wouldn’t. To me, music is about honestly expressing yourself & being true to yourself.

METAL J-No I would not, if a record label does not believe in the band. Then there would be no point to signing with them. If we were to change who the band is to get signed then the we would no longer be the band that we are.

BILLY–No-because the big name record labels usually end up shitting on you in the end anyways.

IMP-Are there any local bands that you would like to play with that you haven’t yet?

WAYNE-Any rock/hard rock / heavy metal band that would let us share the stage with them.

METAL J-I can’t think of any at the moment. We have played with a lot of great bands. Speaking for myself, I would have to say that playing with bands like Zadoc, Lovebone, Enertia and Hypnotica have been the most fun shows to date. All these bands have great relationships and we do well together.

BILLY–Under the Gun & The Audacity

IMP-I’ve had a lot of interaction with other local bands. And in my opinion you guys have a closer connection with your fans. And you put on a great show every time. Is there any final thoughts you have for your fans?

WAYNE-1st of all, thank you very much-you’re too kind. I would like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who has ever helped/supported us in any way, shape, or form. It’s really very much appreciated and we love you all. If you’re at a show, feel free to come up and say “Hi!” Hope to meet you at a show!

METAL J-I just want to extend a HUGE METAL Thank You to everybody that has supported us. It is an honor to be playing for you!! It you who make this all possible!!!!

BILLY–Thank you for all the support and please keep on supporting the local scene.


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