Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pheaturing Alumni Ernie Halter

Hello, welcome to the Peverett Phile, if you're in Temple you shouldn't be reading this. The first ads for medical marijuana were aired on television. They were quite expensive. It costs a lot of money to buy 30 seconds during “Spongebob Squarepants.” The Department of Labor has launched a new website to help unemployed Americans. President Obama said the website is amazing and he can’t wait to check it out in a few years. Speaking of Labor, did you have a good Labor Day sitting on a beach chair — made in China? Barbara Walters was back on “The View” after heart surgery. The doctor said she’ll make a full recovery as long as she avoids stress, loud noises, and arguments. Lady Gaga is on a magazine cover wearing a bikini made of raw meat. I’d be grossed out if that was on my skin. And the meat is pretty gross too. I will tell you a true story about Lady Gaga... when I first started doing the interviews I sent a request to her Myspace page asking if she'd like t be interviewed. This was before she became a huge star, right. Well, I got a reply that yes, she'd love to be interviewed. Well, it fell through the cracks and by time it was her turn for the questions to be sent to her she became pretty popular so I never sent the questions. Stupid, right? Anyway, animal rights activists are mad at Lady Gaga for using meat like that but Larry King is like, “Be on my show, I love brisket.” Paris Hilton was arrested for cocaine possession, which is like arresting Bill Cosby for eating Jell-O. Okay, you know about those Silly Bandz, right? Logan and I are Silly Bandz crazy, we have about 300. I was so excited when they released a Silly Bandz of me falling off a Segway.

Last week I revealed a brand new "Little Mermaid" poster and it seemed so popular they released a second. Can you believe that? The power of the Phile. Check it out.

And now for the depressing part of the Phile.

Paul Conrad
June 27, 1924 - September 4, 2010
So long, cartoon boy.

Robert Schimmel

January 16, 1950 - September 3, 2010
He beat cancer and then died in a car accident. What a comedian!

Okay, today's guest was last on the Phile almost a year ago on September 28th. His new album "Franklin & Vermont" is now out and available on iTunes and he'll be playing this afernoon at Merrimack College-Private in North Andover, MASS, on September 11th he'll be at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, CA and on the 29th at The Bitter End in New York City. Please welcome back to the Phile... Ernie Halter.

Me: Hello, Ernie, welcome back to the Phile, sir. So, how are you?

Ernie: I'm great, thanks for asking.

Me: Did you get a lot of good feedback from the last time you were here?

Ernie: You know it! Thank you for the love, as always.

Me: You're based in California, right? Are you still living there?

Ernie: Yes sir. I live in Los Feliz, a neighborhood of LA just east of Hollywood.

Me: Let's talk about your new album "Franklin & Vermont". Where did that title come from? I am guessing they are pets of yours, or street names or something.

Ernie: Not pets, but wouldn't that be hysterical! Actually named after an intersection near my house.

Me: How long did it take you to record that album?

Ernie: The tracking for the record was done in 3 weeks at Mix One in Orange County, which is a small studio attached to the house of Engineer Spenser Bishop and Carson Licciardi.

Me: I downloaded it from iTunes and when I played it I got very excited, Ernie. You do a great cover of "Black Coffee In Bed". I am a huge Squeeze fan and just recently flew up from Orlando to New York to see them live. Are you a big Squeeze fan?

Ernie: My older brother Alex was pretty influential in what music I listened to as a kid. When I was 7 I heard Squeeze's record "East Side Story", and I've been into it ever since.

Me: What made you do that particular song?

Ernie: It was a suggestion from my manager and label president Jason Spiewak. I don't know that Jason knew I was a big Squeeze fan, he just thought I the song would lend itself to my style and make a nice addition to the record. Something well known, but not too well known.

Me: Have you heard from the Squeeze camp on what they thought?

Ernie: Not yet, but that would be amazing.

Me: I interviewed John Bentley the bass player from Squeeze and hope to interview him again. I will mention your kick-ass version.

Ernie: Please do.

Me: Have you ever seen Squeeze live?

Ernie: Sadly no, but would love to.

Me: Let's talk about the other songs on the album. Did you write them all? There's not one weak song on the album.

Ernie: Thank you! I wrote or co-wrote most. The 2 obvious covers excluded ("Black Coffee", and Coldplay's "In My Place"). I also covered my friend Melissa Polinar's song "Meant To Be". Originally I'd wanted to collaborate with her for the record, but due to time constraints didn't work.

Me: Did you produce it yourself? Who plays on the album with you?

Ernie: I did get invaluable feedback from engineers Spenser and Carson as well as friends and the folks at my label, but this is the first record I produced entirely on my own. I play guitar, keys, ukulele, and do the lead and backing vocals. Steve Venz played upright bass and cello, Zack Rudulph played the electric bass, Spenser Bishop and Kurt Hamernick played drums and percussion. Guest vocalist Amy Kuney and Tony Lucca joined on "This Beautiful Ache". Hope I'm not missing anybody.

Me: I know you're on tour right now, Ernie. Any plans on coming down to Florida? You gotta come visit Disney.

Ernie: On this tour, sadly no, but looking forward to playing in Orlando again!

Me: Are you still involved with Mocha Club? For the Phile readers that don't remember what Mocha Club is, you wanna remind them quickly?

Ernie: Very much. Mocha Club is a charity I raise funds and awareness for. For the cost of two mochas a month ($7), goes toward education in Africa. Its an amazing cause, and one I witnessed in action first hand last year when I travelled to South Africa with Mocha Club.

Me: What are you planning on doing next, Ernie? I wish you lots of luck and I look forward to hearing new music from you. Take care, and you are welcomed back anytime you want.

Ernie: Lots of college show in the fall and playing a weeklong residency at TAB in Singapore. Through all of that, looking to lay low at home when I'm not working, and spend time with my son. Thanks for listening and supporting what we do! Cheers Ernie.

That's about it, kids. Thanks to Ernie for another great interview. Next week... Brooke Waggoner. Yes, Brooke will be a guest on the Phile next Thursday. Until then, spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye love you bye.

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