Y&T – Back On The Road

Y&T – Back On The Road
Interview by: Keith McDonald

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It has been almost 20 years since Y&T hit the road and played < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />New York, opening for Ace Frehley way back in 1987. The band released their debut album in 1974, yet are sometimes classified as a band from the 80?s, which at times can be good and bad. Band leader and lead singer Dave Meniketti reassembled his band and have been playing select dates around the East Coast. I had the chance to see the band play live and ask Dave about Y&T and what the future plans are. You can check out his website for info on his solo career and of course, Y&T at www.meniketti.com.




How did Y&T reunite?

We were asked to play a few shows in < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Northern California. Some European promoters caught wind of it and it snowballed from there.

Was there a time that you thought it would never happen?

I?ve learned when it comes to music to never say never. There was such a growing fever from fans on our web site (www.YandTRocks.com) that, in a big way, they helped to get us back together to play again and they continue to keep the fire burning.

How has the fan response been so far to tour?

Nothing short of amazing. When we first went back to Europe to start playing in 2003, everywhere we went the outpouring was phenomenal. As I mentioned in the previous question, because of the great fan response it has inspired us to carry on the Y&T tradition and keep touring and releasing product.

How long will you tour and are there future tour plans down the line?

How long we continue touring depends on the interest of the fans. We already have US and European dates booked for 2006 and we?ll keep adding more as we go along.

Will you be recording a live album?

Yes. We have a lot of live material that?s been recorded over the last couple of years and I?m sure we?ll add to that this year. We?ll more than likely put together something for a live release next year.

Are you writing for a new studio album?

Not as of yet, but we?ve talked about doing so in the near future.


How does this affect your solo career?

It definitely gives me less time to concentrate on my solo career. It?s more difficult to find the time to sit down and write new material. But this is OK because I?m keeping active and having fun touring with Y&T and playing Meniketti shows in between the Y&T shows whenever possible. Hopefully in 2006 Y&T and Meniketti will both start penning songs for new releases.

 I see that several of Y&T’s albums are out-of-print. How can fans get these, if at all?

We?ve been working with Universal to get the rights to re-release these products on CD. And now I?m happy to say that we?ve finally broken through the corporate red tape and have re-releases scheduled for Black Tiger and Mean Streak for the end of the year. Each will have a bonus track and the CDs will be remastered. If all goes well we?ll continue to dig into the catalog and re-release other albums from the past. Look for these to be available on the web site (www.YandTRocks.com) in December.

Having released Y&T’s debut album in ’76, did you think you’d still be playing in 2005?

When you?re in your twenties, you don?t think past two or three years in advance. And when you?re trying to break through and make it in the music business, you?re not thinking much more than about 6 months in advance. Had someone sat me down back then and asked me if I?d still be playing rock in 2005 it probably would have seemed completely bizarre at the time. I had no idea how much I?d still be excited by playing this music. In many ways we?ve become better musicians and because the pressure?s off, I think we?re all having more fun than when we were in our thirties.


Do you think people consider Y&T an ’80’s hair band’ because you opened for Ozzy and Motley Crue? If so, does this bother you?

Most bands that had hits in the ?80s are probably categorized as ??80s hair bands? but we were also a ?70s band and a ?90s band?something the media seems to avoid mentioning. Because somebody decided to put a negative connotation to bands that played in the ?80s, they did a disservice to hundreds of great bands that created a sound that?s still very much in demand by even the kids of today and is still a strong inspiration for the new rock heroes of today.

It seems melodic rock will always have a home at radio. Yet, great melodic rock bands like Y&T will never get decent play. Why do you think that is?

Y&T still get airplay around the world in certain regions. As it has been true for the last 15 years, radio only focuses on the most obvious choices?stuff they don?t have to think much about. When radio allows individual DJs to express themselves again nationwide, maybe there will be more action given to all those great bands that have been un-represented in the US mainstream markets. But then, that?s not likely to happen?especially as long as Clear Channel and the corporate mindset of the last 25 years continue to monopolize the music industry.

How much has changed over the last 20-30 years in the music industry?

Very little with the mainstream record companies in the way they do business and they?re suffering for that. Luckily because of the strength of the Internet and small, strong independent labels which have cropped up all around the world, bands and their fans have found new ways of getting the word out and marketing their product without having to be a slave to large record companies to make an impact.

Do you think a band like Y&T would have any success if your debut album came out today?

No. Not likely. It would have to be with completely different production and a different slant on songwriting to be wedged in with everyone else who sounds similar in current American culture/corporate radio structure. Our sound would be too simple and straight ahead?plus, we?d have to all tune down. LOL

What lies ahead for Y&T?

Same as everybody else: Touring, CDs, DVDs for as long as the interest in good, straight-ahead rock continues. Hopefully the support from the fans will continue to give bands such as ourselves a chance to play our music for many years to come.




Dave Meniketti Homepage




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