Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Interview”

Catching Up With Drummer Deen Castronovo

Just a few days after I interviewed him, it was announced that my friend Deen Castronovo is the new drummer for the fantastic rock band The Dead Daises. Deen and the guys are currently in Nashville working on a new studio album, and I couldn’t be happier for Deen or The Dead Daises. I’m sure what they produce will be phenomenal and I can’t wait to hear it.

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Five Cover Stories In One Year

It took me three years to get an interview with Barry Manilow but this year it happened. Better yet, it wound up being a cover story – my first – for The Aquarian Weekly. As 2017 rolled on, four more of my interviews ran in The Aquarian Weekly as cover stories. Having five cover stories in one year is fantastic and I consider myself immensely fortunate for being given these opportunities. With the year winding down, let’s revisit all five of them.

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Interview: James Patterson MasterClass Winner Kecia Bal

Kecia Bal won the first James Patterson MasterClass Co-Author Competition. Her proposed topic and outline for a book she hoped to write with the world’s best-selling author was chosen by the man himself. In June 2016 she received a fateful call from James Patterson telling her that out of the thousands of submissions, hers was the best and she’d have the opportunity to bring that idea to life working side-by-side with the foremost writer in the thriller genre. Together they wrote and published The Dolls, an imaginative and compelling entry in James Patterson’s BookShots series of bite-sized thrillers that clock in around 150 pages. Below is my interview with Bal, who was kind enough to share her thoughts on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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A Conversation With Producer Jason Michael Paul

Jason Michael Paul, the producer of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, is bringing this massively successful show to Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on December 27. I’ve seen this show two times, and I look forward to seeing it again – it’s that good! Each time the music is updated to reflect new video games in the Zelda series or simply shaken up to offer something new for repeat attendees, such as myself. If you’ve never seen the show before, witnessing this performance in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center is the perfect way to do so. It’s a beautiful venue with wonderful acoustics, and the intimate environment will further immerse you in the spellbinding show that is The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. In addition to picking up tickets to see The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses in Philadelphia on December 27, check out my interview below with Jason Michael Paul. We covered a lot of ground in this interview, including how this show came to be, Jason’s favorite Zelda video games, how he started off his musical career with Luciano Pavarotti at the Kimmel Center, and more. Enjoy!

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The God Of Thunder Speaks: Catching Up With Gene Simmons

Photo by Mark Weiss.

Within the past year, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to interview Gene Simmons twice! Since we last spoke, he announced The Vault, which is a 150-song box set, chronicling 50 years of unreleased demos and outtakes, housed in a 38-pound safe. Starting in January, Gene is hand-delivering these vaults for $2,000 each to fans across the world. If you spend $25,000 you can be an executive producer of The Vault and spend an hour with Gene in a recording studio. Or, for $50,000 Gene will come to your house for a two-hour party and you can invite up to 25 friends to take part in the festivities. I’m not buying The Vault because it’s way out of my price range and wheeling home one of these behemoths is a surefire way to upset my wife. However, if you’re interested in learning more about The Vault, you can do so at GeneSimmonsVault.com.

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Catching Up With Dionne Warwick

Photo by David Vance.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the five-time Grammy award-winning pop icon Dionne Warwick. In addition to having a career that has spanned more than 50 years filled with hit singles and timeless albums, Dionne is the 2017 recipient of the Marian Anderson Award. This prestigious honor is bestowed upon critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way, either through their work or their support for an important cause. Dionne has achieved both in myriad ways. I’m thrilled she’s receiving this well-deserved honor, and I look forward to being at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on November 14 when she receives the Marian Anderson Award.

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Author Interview: Jason Pinter

Jason Pinter is one of my favorite authors. He’s an excellent writer who has written numerous internationally best-selling books. And, he’s also the founder and publisher of Polis Books, an independent publishing company he launched in 2013 following positions in editorial and marketing at Warner Books, Random House, St. Martin’s Press and Grove/Atlantic and the Mysterious Press.

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A Conversation With Tony Brock

Photo: Song Seven Photography

Rod Stewart is the first concert I ever attended and I’m a big fan of The Babys, so it was a pleasure to speak with Tony Brock. He is a founding member of The Babys and the band’s drummer, and he spent 12 years drumming for Rod Stewart, starting with the 1981 album Tonight I’m Yours.

The Babys have a new album coming out, Timeless: Anthology II, and you can be a part of it. Check out the band’s Pledge campaign for all of the great reward and benefits you can get by support this effort. It’s going to be a fantastic record, and I highly recommend that all music fans check it out.

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A Conversation With The Dives

Photo by Mark Weiss.

The Dives is a fantastic new, young rock band that recently released its first EP: Everybody’s Talkin’. This album features four great songs, overflowing with pop-rock hooks and riffs that will quickly get stuck in your head. The harmonies are excellent, and the musicianship is top-tier. If you like rock or pop music, you have to pick up a copy of this EP. It’s that good! Speaking of The Dives, I recently interviewed two of the band’s members, lead singer Evan Stanley and bassist Sergio Ortega.

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A Conversation With Anthony Heald

Courtesy of Arden Theatre Company.

Anthony Heald is a wonderful actor who is currently starring in Gypsy at The Arden Theatre through June 25. He was kind enough to take the time to speak with me about his impressive and diverse career, as well as his first foray into Philadelphia theater.

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