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Ghost Canyon

NEW! Rusty Egan  (2017) NEW! Rusty Egan (2017)

'Welcome To Rusty's Dancefloor'

Rusty Egan is the former drummer for the British new wave band Rich Kids (1977-78) who were founded by former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock (bass guitarist), with Steve New (guitarist) and fronted by Midge Ure (guitarist and keyboards player). He continued working with Ure, and later collaborated with The Misfits, Skids, Shock, and Visage. However, Egan did not return to Visage when they reformed with a new line-up in 2004.

Egan was the DJ at Blitz, the influential New Romantic nightclub in London where he worked with Steve Strange (Visage) from 1979 until 1981. Whilst there, he introduced German (Kraftwerk), Japanese (Yellow Magic Orchestra) and British (Eno, Ultravox, Landscape) electronic/synthpop to the British club scene. This soon became the soundtrack for the New Romantic movement.

Egan was later brought back into his career as a disc jockey by the allure of the internet as a medium for sharing music. He has worked as a DJ at the Boujis nightclub in London, playing and promoting 1980's style synthpop and electronic music. He has his 'Rusty Egan Presents The Electricity Club Radio Show,' and in 2009 Egan won the category for lifetime achievement at the London Club and Bar Awards. [Previous winners have included Richard Branson, Mark Fuller and Nick House.].

Still hard at work creating new music, DJing to the masses, Rusty has now decided to release a debut album of his work via So, and without further ado, as Rusty wrote this Prologue for his campaign, here is the man himself explaining how Welcome To The Dancefloor came to be after all these years:

"5 years ago in 2010, I was asked to remix RERB by Shock – a piece of electronica I wrote and recorded with Richard James Burgess on a Roland Micro composer loaned to us along with the prototype Simmons SDS 3 DRUM trigger. I say trigger as we did not have any pads, just the brain so to speak. Making RERB with John Hudson in Mayfair Studios, Sth Moulton Street, W1 sparked my love of the future of recording and writing music."

"Richard introduced by me to Spandau Ballet as a producer and went on to an amazing career as an artist in Landscape and as a producer of many 80s hits. RERB was released on Blitz Club Records and everything was set up by MRC who planned to finance an album with Steve Strange and myself and various musicians and it would be Visage 4."

"In 2012, Chris Payne – formerly of Gary Numan and co-writer of Fade to Grey sent me a couple of instrumental musical pieces. Inspired, I contacted Robin Simon, who added his trademark guitars, and Gerard O’Connell, a fantastic writer singer I had admired, and Evermore was written. MRC sent me a load of demos and said that while I had been recording they had nearly finished Visage 4."

"OMG, I said, “how can you write and record a brilliant album if you don’t give it the time?” The reason was Ultravox had released {Brilliant} and we have to have Visage ready to release at the same time. At this point, I realised that MRC had registered VISAGE and had Steve Strange happy to carry on without me or my songs and we parted ways."

For the past 5 years, the songs, musicians, and performers have one by one and day by day showed up to my amazement AND Welcome to the Dancefloor is ready for October 2016. Joining me in the producer’s chair is Nick Bitzenis aka – Nikonn – suggested by Chi Ming Lai of Electricity Club – a man who knows his synth history."

"As a writer, programmer, drummer, and backing vocalist, it was quite a task to complete my own album. I turned to my programmer/producer son Oscar Egan for help with "Wunderwerke" and "Thank You" and started them in my home studio. For "Love Is Coming My Way", I asked – Mat McKenzie – to try a few synth lines and loved them. Andy Huntley on "Hero" hits the perfect pitch, and Kira Porter – Where The Night Falls – on "Be The Man" & Emily Kavanaugh – Nightclub - make "Evermore" their own."

"Erik Stein of Cult With No Name joined us for 2 songs on vocals for "Love Is Coming My Way" & "Ballet Dancer", and Tony Hadley makes "Lonely Highway" just sublime. Opening song and single from the album is "The Otherside" ft. Peter Hook on bass and lead vocals. Arno Carstens features on "Dreamer". Anni Hogan – Nikonn - contributed a great song rewritten and recorded ft Nicole Clarke. Keeping back a few surprises and a guest singer and amazing songwriter has co-written and recorded an absolutely brilliant performance."

"We have 2 more songs still in writing and recording stage that may be added to the final album or even a remix CD we have planned. Great amazing DJ producer/remixers including Youth and Hifi Sean have all been approached and some have taken the tracks and are working on them over the summer."

"Pre-order this album on download, CD or pressed on 180g Vinyl, alongside a 12” single now in advance and I will sign a few. I will also come to your Birthday Party and DJ and I believe if you pre-order on physical, you also get the digital album download links. So if there is a sample listening opportunity, do give it a listen. I look forward to meeting you and I do strongly believe if you love my radio shows, Visage and all my former productions and ever came to my clubs back in the day, you will love this!"

Having now touched base with Rusty Egan in the UK for another new interview, I first took him back to 2015 when we discussed the fact that he never wanted to actually release an album of his music!

Back in 2015 you told me that there wouldn't be an album release from you any time soon because, "I will just make my music and upload it. Everyone rips and nobody pays you anyway. The music biz is just corrupt. I don't care if they rip it, I do care if they sell it and not pay." So, what changed your mind in bringing out, via Pledge Music, your brand new debut album, Welcome To The Dancefloor? "I was told you can make a CD a vinyl and a 12" Single old school style and digital downloads can be released 3 months after. So real music lovers have got it now and in February, or before, it's going on a few sites - but not Spotify!"

Here on the soon-to-be-released Welcome To The Dancefloor, you have enlisted your son, Oscar as programmer/producer. Did he end up doing that for the entire album or just a handful of songs? "Oscar is an amazing talented programmer and a writer of his own music. We work on my stuff then I finish it off. Great, he is, on "Call 247". Love him to bits. He is going to do great in his genre."

There are a LOT of guest stars and friends alike who popped in to help you record this album. Was it a case of everyone you turned to aided you, or were there one or two that couldn't/wouldn't make it? "It was a case of I asked 6 and 3 said yes. Who knows in the future. But the less well known artists were all perfect collaborators."

Working again with both Tony Hadley and Midge Ure must have been fantastic. So, can you tell us how both songs came to be (below), and if those vocalists were always your first go-to choice to record the songs:

Tony Hadley - 'Lonely Highway' - "Steve Norman joined me first on this playing sax. I had Gerrard, then I tried a few others, but my first choice was Tony. When he agreed it was a breakthrough."

Midge Ure - 'Glorious' - "Midge said yes he would do a track with me, but I was amazed at his changes to my original verse and chorus. I will use the original on a new song - but this is 'Glorious'."

Indeed, and with regard Midge's track, I know he didn't think that the song was strong enough as was and so took it home to strip it down, add the main melodic synth line and then layer guitars over it, etc. Is that something you allowed others on the record to do with the songs you presented them, or did Midge get special consideration, due to your affiliation with him dating back to Rich Kids? "Yes, I am open to collaborations as it works so much better that way."

Sadly, from the SoundCloud samples you've put out (WTTD Mark Reeder Wilkommen Remix), you've already had people claiming "rip off" virtues re: Global Deejays and the countdown and city listing aspects within that one track. But as you've stated before, there's nothing new in that particular construction of a song and you're not claiming to be reinventing the wheel - so, why is it haters got to hate? "He's an Idiot! I wrote to him and he apologised. I said "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. How many times has that been in a song?" NY, London, Berlin is a list. The actual song is 100% original and a great bass sample from TENNEK inspired me to write the song with Gerard."

Even now, with the album's release imminent, the tracklisting is nowhere to be found. Is that because, even today, you are tinkering, keeping the whole project fluid until that very final moment, perhaps? "I don't want it ripped off! It's a 6 year project so slowly we release more and remixes."

Via your aforementioned Pledge Music campaign to aid the release of the album, you are offering a LOT of wondrous goodies for people to own, based on their level of monetary aid. Regular items such as signed CDs, vinyl LPs, signed test pressings and more, sit alongside the chance for someone to share their experiences of the Blitz Club and New Romantic era by recording them and sending them to you for inclusion in a song you are writing! Wow, now that alone is quite amazing - has anyone taken you up on that yet, and how would that all work? "Nobody bought it. I will record friends. The chorus is done on this song. It's about obviously when we were young. If your readers went clubbing in the early '80s, record a soundbite send it to me [] and if I use it I'll send them a release form and a credit."

I have just read Thomas Dolby's new autobiography, 'The Speed of Sound: Breaking The Barriers Between Music and Technology' and found it fascinating. As you both share the same love for electronic sound, the machines used to create music, and all variations on a theme, have you ever thought about writing a book yourself? "No! I'd rather talk," he laughs.

You are very active on social media and always acknowledge the new Pledgers for their support via a nice retweet of thanks. Using both Twitter and Facebook as much as you do, have you encountered a downside to the pace, the must-have-it-now feel of today's generation on social media, perhaps? "If you are a weak person insults and such hurt. I am not, as I stated the idiot that needs correcting. Hello Visage Fans. We did not reform! Anything recorded after minus all musicians is a Steve Strange song. That is NOT Visage."

You currently stand at 4,909 Followers on Twitter - so, in order to help you with that push to 5000, what would you say to anybody thinking of following you - any verbal incentives, perhaps? "If you love electronica follow me, because I find the gems in the mountains of SHIT calling itself music! Tune in to my radio shows then your music search is over."

Sadly, David Bowie left us this year, so I was wondering if you had a nice, perhaps even untold before story of meeting him? "I made my mix on mixcloud of Bowie. Lots of covers and different versions. It was well received. I met David three times in my life and all three times he was private, cautious, polite and our discussions were always him asking ME questions! And I was stunned he knew more about me. Last time was in 1992/3 in Embargo, my nightclub in Chelsea."

Reflecting back to those early Blitz Club days with Visage, during the recording of the first two Visage albums you must have spent a lot of time in the studio. Being that you are a musical perfectionist how many hours of studio time do you think you put in overall? "100 hours."

With regard the creation of those two Visage albums, how has writing and making music changed? "We wrote as it evolved in the studio based on music we were creating from chords and ideas."

Being that you co-wrote some of those early songs and music, could you legally bring out a Visage DJ remix album today, perhaps? "It's ruined by John Pitcher! Legally I could be Visage, but never would. Unfortunately, Steve should have called his albums SS, but Pitcher just wanted Visage and has ruined any good will."

If you had to pick one stand-out Visage track from those first two albums that showcased not only you, but the band at their finest, what track would it be - and why? ""Look What They've Done". It had some much more to offer, but we ran out of time."

Finally, you have culled together a Top 30 of your favorite tracks of 2016, but for those that didn't read it, what were your Top 5 tracks (in order) - and why? "I really don't like these, because there is so much, but ... Len Sander, Tiny Magnetic Pets, Nina Emika Charlotte. Sometimes VNV Nation, ABC, David August, Baltic Fleet, Dead Ceremony, Ryan Vail, Where The Night Falls, Cult With No Name, New Order, Jean Michelle Jarre, Plonk Records. There's just so much great stuff that one day I will do a best of mix for my show."

Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

Welcome To The Dancefloor @ Pledge Music!

Rusty Egan @ Facebook!

Rusty Egan @ Twitter!