VM: Hello Mr. Speer and welcome to ProgressoR. Thank you very much for doing this interview. My congratulations on your wonderful creations in general and on success with the "Hells Canyon" album, your second collaborative work with Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche, in particular.
PS: Thank you, Vitaly. It is my pleasure to chat with you.
VM: To begin with please tell us and our readers of yourself and your own creative way aside from your collaboration with Scott Rockenfield.
PS: I have been making records and videos since 1983 and have 9 albums and 5 music video albums in release. I started in music at age nine and have always made a living in the music business. I own a recording studio and have produced nearly 100 albums for artists in a variety of genres.
VM: As I know, two of your works have garnered the "Emmy" award, and "TeleVoid", your first collaborative production with Scott Rockenfield, received a "Grammy" nomination. It's all clear with regard to "Grammy", but honestly, I heard just recently about "Emmy", that sounds so in consonant to "Grammy". Can you tell a little about that nomination?
PS: The Emmy Award is given for excellence in broadcast television production.
VM: Do you know why "Emmy" was named so?
PS: Sorry, I have no idea!
VM: Now please let us know which of your works were noted with an "Emmy" award and tell also about those works.
PS: I have received two Emmy awards for work in music video on broadcast television. The first was for a series called "Rock Entertainment Video," a program with live bands and videos. The second was for a TV special entitled "In Search of Woo," which was a children's program that featured a lot of music.
VM: Do you have a special musical training?
PS: Nothing unusual. I took guitar lessons as a child and studied music at a University. Most of my experience has come from playing in rock bands.
VM: It's time to talk about the Rockenfield-Speer musical tandem. As far as I know, you had been introduced to Scott long before the "TeleVoid" project was released. So, please tell us how it all started. Also, have you worked with Scott before your creative duo was completely formed?
PS: Scott and I met in 1991 and he played on my last album with David Lanz, Bridge of Dreams, in 1993. We really enjoyed working together and started talking about doing something ourselves. Then in 1997, we did TeleVoid.
VM: What is your point of view on each of the two "children" from the Rockenfield-Speer creative tandem - the "TeleVoid" and "Hells Canyon" albums in the musical sense? If I understand it right, "TeleVoid" and "Hells Canyon" are albums of quite different musical directions. The latter is a typical Rock album, or to put it more correctly, an album of Progressive Rock genre. Was it an idea of Scott to work this way after a soundtrack album or your own?
PS: Since TeleVoid was a soundtrack, we wrote music to accompany the computer animation so stylistically, it does jump around somewhat as we needed to compose the score to fit what was happening visually. We created Hells Canyon entirely on our own so we were able to make a more defined musical statement. All the creative decisions we make are mutual.
VM: What is your personal attitude to such a collective form of creation, in which you and Scott particularly work? Your creative career as a whole shows that you mostly prefer being a solo artist rather than a band member, for example? Or maybe, you feel OK being a universal artist, in other words, you have an interest in these two forms of creation?
PS: Two of my albums are solo projects and I do enjoy working alone but I feel that with the right person, I can go farther creatively than I can by myself. My relationship with David Lanz was very prolific. However, David wrote most of the material and I felt I had to modify my guitar work to fit the music he wrote. With Scott, we co-write everything and what we do as a team is closer to what I tend to create on my own. Besides that, I love having drums on the music I write and he is a great drummer. He also plays keyboards very well.
VM: Both "TeleVoid" and "Hells Canyon" albums have Scott's name standing first. Does this means Scott is at least a formal leader of the duo? Or else, he is the author of the main musical ideas? Any different cause?
PS: All of my other collaborations have me listed second and I just felt like keeping that continuity. As I said earlier, we contribute equally to the creative relationship.
VM: What are your future plans? I mean both directions of your current creative activity - as duo Rockenfield-Speer and as a solo musician, producer, etc. Do you prepare for your listeners something of interest in the first year of the new millennium?
PS: Scott and I find our relationship very gratifying so we plan to continue working together. We are currently rehearsing a live show that will feature material from Hells Canyon and TeleVoid. In addition to my work with Scott, I am very busy producing records in my studio, mostly for Seattle area artists and bands.
VM: Thank you very much, Mr. Speer. I wish that you carry on making people happy with your music as long as possible.
PS: You are very welcome, Vitaly. I appreciate your interest and support of my music.