With ray danniels, manager of Rush
Colbert Report July 3rd
Colbert: Hey Ray, good to have you on. Congrats on all the success of the new album. You actually got my hero, Rush Limbaugh, to do a track-by-track review of Clockwork Angels on his radio show. How sweet was that? It was a massive success for the band. Neil was fantastic entertainment on the show. You’ve been winning awards left and right: getting stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Neil won the FIELD’s Medal. The Grammy’s are knocking. There’s a book about the story of the album.
It’s so good of you to take the time out of your busy schedule. I promised my producer Jimmy that I’d make the most of it here today. So let’s get started:
Is it any coincidence all these things started happening after the band appeared on my show?
Danniels: Well, certainly didn’t hurt us at all. It was our pleasure to do it.
Colbert: I love having Canadians on…you’re all…so polite. Is it true that Canadians as a culture say thank you to ATM’s when using them? Probably just some Internet hoax. Uhhh…speaking of the Internet, lots of speculation about the tour. There’s an orchestra playing with the band—there’s a first. Actual actors are used during the production as well. Children portraying vegetables for “the Garden”, the vaunted acting troop of dwarfs from England playing clowns as well as pirates. Some acrobatic ability is required for this show. They work hand in hand with female dancers from the successful Canadian franchise Bo Peep’s Sheep. Ray, tell us about the wave you’re riding.
Danniels: It’s always about the music first. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into a record of this quality. The guys took it to the woodshed. The influence of the producer is not to be understated—Nick was key in helping the band realize this sound through a fantastic mix, engineering, and his enthusiasm, frankly.
Flava Flav even had a hand in elevating Clockwork Angels. He brought a groove to "Seven Cities of Gold" that elevated the band into demographics we’ve never imagined. Did you know it’s the most requested lap dance song in the Bo Peep franchise (over 1000 franchises) for over three weeks? We’ve never enjoyed, I mean, experienced this kind of exposure. So, the band had help from unexpected resources, and used new methods to conjuring up the creative elements necessary to construct this monstrous piece of kick-ass music while reaching a broader audience.
Now, bringing that same quality to the stage show, well, we’re setting our sites very high. Taking new directions, bold steps.
Colbert: Kids in vegetable costumes, dwarfs as clowns and pirates, then you have strippers doing interpretive dance. Hmmmm….that’s exactly what my producer Jimmy said would ruin the momentum the band is currently enjoying or it could make them the biggest thing since Circus de Soleil.
Danniels: The actors are used for thematic and cinematic effect for the fan. We’re attempting to replicate images from the album. By having real actors perform is the way to go. As for the dancers…we’ve got a naked man on Hemispheres…if the dwarfs don’t excite the crowd, the dancers will.
Colbert: Ray, tour rehearsals. There was a story in The Yukon Blade Grinder about the expulsion of the cellist. The cellist was very frank about what was going on. The last thing you need are images of dwarves carrying bound and gagged conductors out of Maple Leaf Gardens. There are pictures of children in veggie costumes jumping all over Neil’s kit. Do you need images in the media of Neil throwing sticks at the cherished focus of the Toronto Urban Resource Development League (TURDL’s) to get them off the riser…what’s going on there?
Danniels: You can’t believe everything you read. The cellist (Manfred Belsorus) was disgruntled and just got fired. The dwarfs did take out the conductor, and for good reason. I mean who wants to be called a Lilliputian by someone from Julliard? We’re more practical now. We rehired Manfred Belsorus. He’s leading the orchestra. Other than that, I’m keeping a tight lid on the rehearsals…gotta buy a ticket.
Did the paper really have a picture of Neil throwing drumsticks at the TURDL’s???
Colbert: No I just made that up
Rolling Stone Review
Colbert: OK next topic. Ray…did you read the Rolling Stone review? They were complimentary, yet at the same time really snarky douche bags…is that what you read into it? They’re giving some love no doubt, but why use the phrase “the sermon at Mt. Nerd” in the review to make a statement about what this album means to society? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub came up. Ayn Rand came up…why do they do this?
Danniels: You know, take it at face value. They gave us the exclusive "Headlong Flight" release, which really caused a buzz. The magazine has also been very generous with their features on Alex and Neil. Great exposure. It’s a new era at the magazine no doubt. We read the backhanded compliments. We can do about those? They certainly appear aimed at our fan base, but what can we do?
Colbert: Organizing sit-ins outside their offices is a start. Right down the street here. It can be a more polite and hygienically appropriate version of the Occupy Movement. I can see it now—thousands of people wearing red jumpsuits. We can do this Ray! The band has signed “the hand of coolness.”
Danniels: (laughs) That’s not for us. We’d rather get our accolades from the pockets of our fans.
Colbert: It won’t be hard to arrange! Gimme the order Ray
Colbert: OK, seriously now Ray, your North American fan base feels left out. People from Canada, the United States and Mexico have sent massive amounts of signed petitions to me asking for a fan pack—England got one, why can’t they?
Danniels: Well we actually have addressed that need. When the British version came out, more units were moved to North America than in England itself, some to places like Israel and Antarctica. Surprised us with that kind of volume. We offer two versions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The first is the Economic Stimulus Pack, or as we like to call it in the office—the Working Man.
Fans who are feeling the pinch of a bad economy, yet still want more from the band will find this very worthwhile. Then the second one we offer is Mr. Big’s Package, which contain more value than the Working Man pack.
Colbert: Yeah I see the Economic Stimulus Pack has two paperbacks that Neil wrote, the first one is Tough Times Demand Tough Talk…that should make fans buck up and dole out the dinero right there. The second is a cookbook?!? Bubba’s Bar and Grill: The Pies of St. Catherine’s…wow sounds yummy! Is that Neil and his mom on the cover? Cute!!!!
Then there’s a bonus CD of inspirational versions of classic Rush songs. The Church on Fire Choir performs with the band. “Something for Nothing”, “Stick it Out”, and “The Big Money”. Look, there’s Neil with bongos jamming with the organist. What a minute, that doesn’t sound cool to me when I say it out loud Ray. Sounds kind of preachy. Just sayin…
Danniels: Well, don’t forget, they can order the deluxe pack. That pack contains…
Colbert: Yeah I see—Mr. Big’s Package. They get a poster, kind of like the British pack, but this poster has the words “Poverty Sucks” at the bottom and it has the band on a yacht in Monserrat—looking very loaded. Geddy still had his raccoon hat hairdo. It has two CD’s, Clockwork Angels, plus the bonus CD. The bonus is very interesting. Neil is narrating classic children stories. It’s got Where’s Waldo? Curious George and Traps the Boy Wonder, and The Bedtime Stories of Clockwork Angels. That’s really cool! There’s a t-shirt from Alex and Geddy’s wine label Bacchus Chateau.
Danniels: Have you ever listened to Neil speak at length? Those are designed to put the kids out so mom’s and dad’s can have some quality time…hey were looking out for the family and the fan!
Colbert: Which is leading up to the next item—TOTEM Natural Male Enhancement—a year-long free prescription? I know the bedrock of your audience is getting older Ray, but did the band have to tap into that market? Seems like your reaching there.
Danniels: Not really. It’s an inside joke but it’s real. Did you hear what it did for Limbaugh? His erection lasted for a week. I’ve got before and after pictures of it on my office wall. It works and it’s good for you to boot. He’s got no complaints.
Ray Danniels Magic Trick
Colbert: OK Ray, last question and we’ll let you go. When the guys were on last time, we sat in my office playing Guitar Hero talking about how the band has stayed relevant. The first thing they mentioned was how critical you are in the band achieving this…can you tell me why?
Danniels: It’s really a combination of two elements. One being able to handle adversity and continue to plow on despite setbacks. Two— by magic!
Colbert: Magic? Wha?
Danniels: I’ll show you. Do you have any spare change?
Colbert: Hmmmm…sure…let me see here (pulls out a quarter), there you go!
Danniels: One of the most important aspects of managing any band is generating revenue. Here’s my secret…look really close. You take a coin, any coin, really—or it can be paper money if yer really good—doesn’t matter. The manager must be able to do this right here. Take the quarter, place your thumb over the eagle’s head and squeeze.
Colbert observes the eagle shitting a nickel
Colbert: that’s bullshit…do it again…in fact, I want a dime to come out.
Danniels: Sure—from what country?
Edited by Tombstone Mountain, 04 July 2012 - 05:50 PM.