Earl Kayoss interview by Rupert Cheek. May, 2014

by on May.13, 2014, under Photos, Random Stuff


New York based Earl Kayoss won with his song Either Way

Where do you live?

I live in New Yawk now. I’ve also lived in Port Arthur, Texas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas. About 2 years each in the latter 4 cities. The rest, I’ve been in NY.

What is your earliest musical memory?

When I was a child (pre-school) there was a set of swings in my backyard.
I remember just swinging back and forth for hours on that swing set singing songs.
They were all songs I made up as I sat there swinging back and forth. I have no idea what I was singing about; what could a 4 or 5 yr. old child sing about? I am sure it was all gibberish. I sang about the sky, the clouds, bugs, that sorta stuff. Funny, but it is my earliest musical memory. I also recall annoying my dad til he brought me to “Radio Frank’s” to buy The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night” album. (Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth) and albums were actually vinyl! I can so clearly still see that album in the shadows of a shelf at Radio Frank’s radio/TV repair shop. There was a little section there where he had a few records for sale. I feel sorry for my mom for the hundreds and hundreds of times I asked her to flip that album over and play the other side CONTINUALLY for months. I was too young and small to work the turntable which mom called “The Victrola.”  I guess I was around 5 years old then.

October 2009 leaning against the entrance to sterling sound mastering studios, NYC. All the greatest albums in rock were mastered there. it is the premier mastering facility on earth. this is me picking up the masters for the manufacturing of my album “Disarray” released November, 2009. We got internet and terrestrial airplay. they loved us in France. Some of my chart reports are still up on my website I believe

What / when / why / how did you write your first song?

Discounting the songs I’d make up on the swings in the yard, I wrote my first realistic song in 1975. It was titled Life Beyond the Trees. Hideous, I assure you but you gotta start somewhere. In regard to “why” I wrote my first song I have no idea.

Now, I’ve written over 700 songs and have stopped counting. 30-something years went by before it dawned on me that writing twenty to thirty songs a month was BERSERK but back in the day, that’s what I did without thinking anything of it at all. I had no reason to think about it, it was just normal to me, like breathing so it would never cross my mind til 30 years later that writing 20 to 30 songs a month, at times, was sheer lunacy. I am sooooooooo glad I did it though. Having that many songs under my belt gives me a lot to judge my newer songs against and writing songs is a learning process, to some extent. Just like anything else, the more you do something, the better you get at it (presumably).

So, I’ve written over 700 songs now I am a fairly decent songwriter because of it. No one’s ever heard me say I am a good guitar player or a great vocalist but I have no hesitation about saying I am a decent songwriter. I am.

My method of writing songs is probably the most-bizarre you will ever hear, in as far as all I can say is they come to me, I have written over 700 songs without ever planning on writing a single one of them. I have yet to look at something and say, “I am gonna write a song about that.” That seems waaaaay too easy for me. I could write 100 songs a day if I approached songwriting that way. It would be absolutely no challenge to me at all. Although some of the best songs ever written have been written that way to me I find it repulsive and way too easy. I can do it, but I won’t and don’t.

live performance at KJ Farrells, Bellmore, NY 2013

What / when / why / how did you write your most recent song?

My newest song was written about a week or two ago. It’s called “King of Spiders
and it’s in a primal state right now but I already know it’s gonna be a fairly decent song when it’s done. I was driving home from Mastic (a town in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY), I was approximately 40 minutes from home. Then all of a sudden, I get a feeling I am gonna write a song. So, I pulled over on the side of the highway, grabbed a pen from my glove box and started writing the first verse on a brown paper bag with some chocolate candies in it. The pen kept perforating the bag but I managed the first verse and wrote the rest in my head on the 40 minute trip back home.

That’s EXACTLY how I write songs, 100% of the time. A certain feeling comes over me and I know it immediately. It’s the “a-song-is-trying-to-come-out” feeling that more than overwhelms me, it forces itself on me and no matter what, I gotta stop what I am doing and let whatever it is come out.

The music and the lyrics are LITERALLY the same thing to me. To me, there is absolutely no difference between lyrics and music and I write the lyrics forst 100% of the time. The music just comes with it. The song exsists as a complete song at all times, in that once I have the lyrics, the music is just there, I’ve never struggled with the music for any song that includes all 700 songs. Whatever feelings the lyrics impart IS the music. So they come as one thing to me. Lyrics / Music; they are one singular melded thing to me. Always.Once I have the lyrics, I automatically have the music. They are one and they come to me intact, as one singular thing. Is this retarded? Yes, of course but it’s just the way it is.


What’s your favourite song(s) that you’ve written?

My fave songs I’ve written tend to be my newest songs. I am always shocked that I’ve written another song so when I do, I guess I fret over them a bit like a chicken and newly hatched eggs. Right now, I’m real keen on King of Spiders my newest song but.iIt’s so hard for me to choose a favorite out of the 700 songs I’ve written. I am pleased with a bunch of them. Other songs of mine that I like: Either Way, If I Fall, Horses, Blues For One. But I have bunch I am quite fond of.

Every now and then I go on about showing you the actual songwriting process, something that folks hardly see. You just hear the finished songs of your favorite artists (and I know I’m not one of THEM and that ticks me off, but I digress….), so, today, I’m going on about it again.

“Although “if I fall” is nowhere finished, in these 2 videos you can clearly see how a song progresses from the first stage to the next. The song is like a minute old in the first primal video. It’s got instrumentation, vocals and whatnot. What you hear in the 2nd video is what I hear in my head when I first write the song. It just takes some time and effort and good friends to move the songs from one stage to the next. My song is unimportant in and of itself but the 2 videos illustrate an integral part of the songwriting process which is developing the songs over time, learning from the primitive recordings & using them as stepping stones to the final completion of the song. I suggest you watch Star Trek instead, it’s certainly more interesting but if you’re interested in such things as songwriting then here ya go. Put your helmet on and don’t put an eye out…”

How did you find out about Cheeky Promo / Cheeky Chart?

I was on FaceBook looking for groups to join that were music-related and Cheeky Chart came in view during my searches. I liked the art graphics associated with it so it held my attention and I looked into it and liked what I saw.

How Cheeky are you?

I am cheekier than most. Certainly.

What can Cheeky Promo do / has it done for you?

Cheeky Promo can get me seen/heard. Without an outlet, all songs remain in limbo so an outlet is way beyond critical in the world of writing songs. It’s already gotten me some notice on Facebook, which I appreciate.

What would you like to achieve this year / in the next 5 years?

It would be so awesome if I could get into a recording studio with a sufficient budget and the right musicians and produce some great recordings. To this day, in my life, I have yet to accomplish that a single time. I just do the best I can with what I have to work with. That is NOT optimal and I want OPTIMAL. To me, that’s what the songs deserve. I can get the right musicians, it’s the finances that are the difficult bit.

Do you have any questions?

Yes; wanna back my album??? (LOL).
Do you know any superstars in need of a song or two?

“Pearly Rose is Lisa Polizzi. I went to one of her shows this evening at a club on Long Island.She sang lead vocal on 8 songs of mine in the studio and there are those recordings floating all around. She won a couple of competitions, I believe, with those recordings/my songs. Most of them are up as videos on my youtube

Who / what do you think would help to achieve your goals?

Exposure can help me obtain my goals. I’d love to sell a song to a well-known artist and/or get financial backing to do the album I know I am capable of producing. At this moment in time, I have all I need to do an awesome record except finances.

Earl Kayoss iradiousa.tv interview with Eric Koppelman – December 2013

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