Before I was an actor and director, I was strictly involved in creating a music career. It seemed ever since I was in school, I was a kind of lone wolf of sorts. It was always tough to fit in at times, grant it, the music I loved was not the music of the times. I grew up on Buddy Holly, The Beatles and Elvis. I also liked guys like Brian Setzer, who has since played the exact same kind of music since the late 70s and all of it is basically rockabilly, jazz and swing. Brian has not been on the charts for a very long time but he is hailed as one of the greats and not just because he had a couple hits with the Stray Cats, though that didn't hurt none.
This brings me to myself and dozens of others who have a specific style and groove all their own. I tried the whole fitting in thing and playing by society's rules when it came to popular music and it went nowhere, though it did give me a kind of underground base at times. Today, I ain't as young as I once was and it seems every few years, someone comes along and reminds me that my time is up, that "your too old for this". What they don't know is that it's always been something all these years. "The music is too old", "Your not lean enough" or "marketable enough to match N Sync". I have heard it all. When I was 21, I was told to basically get a real job and forget this dream thing and not more than a month ago, I was told the exact same thing. So this is what I've learned from this. After all the growth as a person and working hard on my craft over the years, I have found myself actually improving. My voice has matured from the thin and whinny tone it use to be, my energy is higher than ever and it seems my playing has also gained a greater power then in my teens and twenties or thirties.
Not only this, but as a songwriter, I now have so much more to draw from then in my youth. What did I learn after all these years? Who is the person I grew to be? It would be a shame to not allow music lovers to see how someone has grown, matured and endured would it not? To say only those in their teens, 20's and on are the only ones worthy to be heard? I have heard labels and industry types come out and say "Al, your past your prime" and all I can think of is all the 40 plus millions out there who also count and just because my number to fit, I'm no longer a valid marketing machine or success.
I decided to take matters into my own hands and created my company Scarlett Monet
If a major label passes on anyone simply because of their age, that in my mind is a form of discrimination. When you are at your absolute peak and willing to take your art, whatever that may be to a higher place and you are ignored and told you are "too old" those people are dangerous to one's spirit and from my own experience and the experiences of many I know, simply is not true. There are people out there who are more fit and alive in later years than anyone in their 20's. Like the movie "Rocky Balboa, when Rocky applies for a fighting license in his 60's and though he passes all the tests with flying colors, the jury turns him down and deem him too old. Well, in the film, that don't stop him and he gets back in the ring. My message here? Be practical yes, however, if you try to box up the creative spirit of a human being, you kill them. My message to the youth and record companies today is to not judge a book by not just it's cover or the volume it leads, most of the hits this generation enjoys was written by songwriters twice their age and masked by someone young. To me, that's not what real music making or artistic integrity is all about. I am not against today's artists, I simply want the discrimination to cease so every artist, at any age, get the shot they deserve and work hard for and not just forced to be behind the velvet curtain.
The long awaited follow up CD to 2015's "Made in the USA" will arrive early 2017. The new album, "Never Far Away" will have a 2 month pre registration you can order here on the website as well as Itunes. We will announce the exact date of pre registration here on the website, stay tuned!