John Crispino aka Mister C, progressive musician from the Pittsburgh, Pa area has recently released his second CD “Seconds Before Landing 2.” His first CD “The Great Deception” did very well and has resulted in many thousands of Facebook and YouTube fans and followers.
Steve has been working with Mister C for the past two years as one of his core musicians playing guitar on many of his innovative recordings. ‘Solitary Man’ the song in the video below, is one of the first tunes Steve recorded with Mister C.
Thanks to Mister C for sharing his compelling and interesting story…..
How and when did you get started in the world of music?
I started playing drums seriously at about 5 years old.
My best friends dad was a drummer, and he got me started playing to old marching band music in their basement. Once he told me I had potential, I was hooked.
After that, I became involved in all of the normal school band activities, and I really made progress as a musician during that time, because I had a wonderful band director named Donald Knezevich.
By the time I was 14, I was playing with guys who were much older in a popular R & B band, called the Chapparells. The guys were probably in their mid 20’s, and they were very good to me.
We played in the Tri State area, primarily at colleges. It was a wonderful growing experience for me, both as a person and as a musician.
What inspired you for Seconds Before Landing?
“Seconds Before Landing” became my passion in about 2010 when I started writing the first album “The Great Deception”.
I was able to incorporate the music I was hearing in my head, with many of the political and societal views I held, and actually still hold.
I was able to create a “tone” of music, that accentuated the lyrics I was writing.
Everything that I was reading and studying helped me develop the overall tone which now has become recognized as S.B.L.
There are several notable music professionals on your cd’s. How did you connect with them?
I became acquainted with Tim Bogert some years back, through Carmine Appice, who I had become friends with years earlier. Before I began writing “The Great Deception”, I was actually working on tracks for a completely different type of album.
More hard rock I suppose. It was then I asked Tim if he would play on a few tracks, and thankfully he said yes. The music was good, but it wasn’t who I was any longer, and it wasn’t saying what I wanted to say.
So, I shelved that project, went into seclusion, and started writing for S.B.L. When I asked Tim to play on that as well, he said yes.
Trey Gunn is a completely different story. I was communicating with a very famous guitarist for a few months while writing the first album, with hopes he would play on it with me.
Unfortunately, schedules simply wouldn’t permit that to happen. However, after hearing a part one of the tracks I was writing, he recommended Trey to me. I knew who Trey was, because I watched him many times playing with King Crimson.
I emailed Trey, we talked, and he said he would like to hear the music before deciding to play, so I sent him a rough of “Welcome, To The Future.” We started working together a few days later, and “WTTF” became the most popular song off of that first album.
He really did a wonderful job for me. He is also on album 2, and pretty sure he will be on album 3 as well.
I love working with him, because he hears things completely different than I am accustomed to.
How does the 2nd CD compare with the first?
“Seconds Before Landing 2,” is different from the first album, primarily because it is not a concept album.
There are 11 different songs on it, that all deal with the human condition in one way or another. All dark subject matter for the most part, but in some instances the music is lighter/prettier.
The first album was a little dark, and that darkness is what carried the album pretty much in its entirety.
For those who are just learning about S.B.L., I think this album is a little less in your face than album 1. There are a couple songs that are actually danceable.
Do you have any lessons learned you can share from your experience on the creation of the first cd that allowed you to improve your process on the creation of the 2nd cd?
Well, I love what I do. I absolutely “LOVE” what I do, but “The Great Deception” was a difficult album for me to do for several reasons.
First, the subject matter. When I would write, I would more or less become the character in the songs.
He doesn’t have an easy time of it, and his plight would wear on me a bit. Even though he doesn’t really exist, he existed to me.
Secondly, during the first album, I was still finding the right musicians to work with me. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together if you will. That in itself was time consuming.
For album 2, thankfully all of the musicians and singers were in place. It was just up to me to get the music written, and then present it to each one of them.
All of the key musicians and singers who were on “The Great Deception” also appear on “Seconds Before Landing 2.”
How did you conquer the marketing hurdles that today’s musicians often run into?
I dont think there is a way to “conquer” them. I have just learned, and am learning to deal with them the best I can. Social media has been a blessing for me.
Since S.B.L. is not a touring act now, all the music and the videos are distributed that way, which is wonderful. The first video release did close to 1 million views worldwide, which was just unbelievable to me.
In a short period of time, there are over 11 thousand S.B.L. followers on Facebook from everywhere you can imagine. Every once in a while something will happen that is more annoying than damaging on social media, but at this point, I really can’t complain.
The sheer numbers that have been able to buy and hear my music, would have taken me years to achieve by just being on the road.
What is your future vision for this project?
Even though album 2 is just out….11/23/14. I will begin to write for album 3 by the first of the year.
I want to do more videos for sure, but I also have an idea to do a complete S.B.L. show at a large venue, and have it filmed for distribution globally.
I am an unsigned act now…..I need at least 10 musician/singers to go out with me on the road.
Then, there is everything else that goes along with doing a tour right, and quite frankly, the money isn’t there to do it right.
And, if I can’t do it correctly, I wont do it at all. Its not fair to the fans, and I wouldn’t want to represent the music that way.
So, I have been thinking quite seriously about doing and filming one or two shows and then making it a DVD. We’ll see where that goes.
What advice would you give other musicians who have never created a cd before?
Honest To God, I feel very uncomfortable giving advice to other musicians, because I still learn something new everyday.
I guess on creating a Cd I would say this.
“Don’t Rush.” Take whatever time you need to do what you do, the best that “you” can do it.
Work with like minded people. People that share your vision.
“Be true to yourself.” “Don’t let someone else define who you are as a writer or a musicians.”
I knew 3 songs into writing the music before “The Great Deception,” that it just wasn’t me any longer.
I wasn’t speaking from the heart. I was creating, but I wasn’t really being me. When I was “brave” enough to just go “all in,” my best results came.
Never give up on yourself. You never know for sure when it’s your time.