Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pheaturing Michael Fargnoli From Hadley's Hope


Hey there, welcome to the Peverett Phile, ladies and gentlemen. It's the best place to be if you're giving up entertainment for Lent.  Earlier this President Obama gave his State of the Union address. At every State of the Union address the president is introduced by some guy who walks in and says, “Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States!" If we're really serious about reducing the size of government, start with that guy. What does he work, one day a year? This is a real break with tradition. When the president walked into the chamber, instead of "Hail to the Chief," they played “Hey, Big Spender.” How many of you watched the State of the Union address just for the commercials? I have to hand it to President Obama. He is full of confidence, really kind of cocky and full of himself. At the end of his State of the Union address he showed America his Kenyan birth certificate. Now traditionally, following the State of the Union address, the opposition party rebuts what the president said. They don't know what the president is going to say, but they know they won't like it. Following the State of the Union speech, Republicans gave their rebuttal. But Democrats held a press conference to deliver a pre-rebuttal to the Republicans' rebuttal. Democrats decided to pre-emptively rebut their rebuttal. So Democrats gave a speech, responding to a speech no one had ever heard, which itself was in response to a speech no one had ever heard... which I think is the plot to Inception, isn't it?  So, did you hear the Pope is resigning. I just hope it’s not steroids. Pope Benedict says he is resigning because of physical problems. Apparently it’s an old football injury from throwing all those Hail Marys. With the Pope retiring, more than 100 cardinals will sequester themselves in the Sistine Chapel to choose the next Pope. They’ll send out white smoke if they've chosen somebody, black smoke if they haven't chosen somebody, and a text message when they find out that it's 2013.  Anybody went to the Westminster Kennel Club's dog show? All of the dogs competing in the competition stay at the same motel. Have you been there? Oh, what a fleabag! The winner of the dog show gets a beautiful blue ribbon and a toilet full of champagne.  This past week was Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is only the fourth-biggest drinking holiday of the year. The top three are St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Tuesdays at Mel Gibson's. Years ago Mardi Gras started as a Catholic celebration before Lent. So now we know why Pope Benedict quit. He just wanted to get in one last party. Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday." Unfortunately, we're all so politically correct now, Fat Tuesday is now officially known as "Big-Boned Day After Monday."  Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition came out this week. It's is the 50th anniversary of the swimsuit edition. The first one was published in 1964. And after 50 years, they still have yet to sell a single swimsuit.  Well, this just in, they selected the new Pope, and I have the exclusive. Are you ready?

Yes, Keith Richards is the Pope, kids.  So, the Phile has a brand new sponsor.

I know a few people that definitely need to take that. So, Disney announced that they are gonna make a bunch of Star Wars spin-off movies. In fact, they just started to film a movie with Chewbacca and Yoda. I think it's a buddy movie. Here is the promo shot for it...

LMAO. That is so bad, I'm going to hell. Chewbacca and Yoda! LOL.  Okay, let's get serious. For the last two months the Phile has been running a campaign for me to interview Kelly Clarkson here. Well, so far, I have not heard from her camp, so I am ending the campaignh at the end of the month. Here is the campaign poster for you to spread around, print out and hand out.

Okay, and now for another...

That's a hard one to figure out, but if you do email me at  Okay, I have to mention something before we move on. Back in January on the Phile's 7th Anniversary entry I talked about the themed entries and months I have here... like Star Wars Month last May for example. Well, Robert Medeiros from The Clarences said out of the blue I should have "The Great Space Coaster Month". I didn't think anybody remembered that show from the 80s but me. I don't know if he was kidding, or didn't think I would dedicate a whole month to that show, but guess what? All next month in March it will be The Great Space Coaster Month on the Phile, with lots of cool surprises. It'll be fun. Alright, so, who heard about the asteroid that almost hit Earth? I don't know to much about it, but someone wanted to come onto the Phile and talk about it. This is really cool, and such an honor. Please welcome to the Phile, the one and only...

So! Giant space rock hurtling towards the Earth. Deflected for you. Well, not a rock, really. More of a giant space-faring turtle. A giant space-faring turtle named Allan. Got himself a bit lost. Meant to take a left at Mars. But still hurtling. A hurtling turtle. Ha! Big misunderstanding. Didn't mean anything by it. Anyway, I set it right and he didn't hit Earth. You're welcome.

Thanks, uh... Doctor. Um... I really don't think that's the Doctor. I'm so stupid. Comics. Who likes comics? I do. So, once in a while I invite my good friend Jim Mello, who works at Coliseum of Comics in Orlando to talk about comics. So, once again, here's Jim in a pheature I call...

Ohhh yes, we got spoilers! We got spoilers! We got spoilers!
Batman #17
It's the final showdown between Batman and the Joker, and like most familial disputes, it's settled with an awkward dinner conversation. Batman is able to escape the Jokers last trap and pursues him deep into the cave, turning the tables on the Clown Prince psychologically. The family is left shaken and distant from Bruce much to his understanding and chagrin. This was a great little ending to one of the best Joker-centric stories in years.
New Ghostbusters #1
When the old Ghostbusters are kidnapped by, well, ghosts... a new team rises from the Ghostbusters expanded universe to take their place. Overall, I enjoyed the issue a lot. I don't know if I'll be back for #2, but the character voices sounded pretty similar to their movie counterparts, and just for that it's worth checking out if you're a fan of the flicks.
Secret Avengers #1
The latest incarnation of the clandestine team of people who avenge begins with a nod to the movie in a book filled with nods to the movie. SHIELD wants to recruit Hawkguy and Widow Woman to be apart of their new team, but the two initially refuse after being told they will be implanted with a device that erases their memory in case of capture. They eventually relent, and carry out the op where Hawkguy is wounded. Afterwards, it's revealed that Hawkguy was shot by Kid Fury and had his memory wiped by the memory wiping doo-hickey! This took the espionage aspect and ramped it up quite a bit. It was a solid issue and definitely worth the recommend to general Marvel fans.
Uncanny X-Men #1
A shadowy figure, whose presence even disturbs the super-tough lady-woman Maria Hill, has turned himself into SHIELD with the goal of forcing them to turn their attention fully on destroying (not killing) Scott Summers. We flashback a day earlier to find the Uncanny X-Men fighting to gain another newly minted mutant and the fight with the Sentinels that ensues. It turns out the shadowy figure is... bumm bumm dun dun dah... Magneto! This is was another great entry into Bendis' X-Men foray and the perfect sister book to "All New X-Men".

Thanks, Jim, as always. So, it's Oscar time and this month leading up to the Oscars I am giving you some Oscar trivia so you can soundd all smart and stuff at your Oscar party. So, here's a pheature called...

Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the only two actors to win Oscars (Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor) for playing the same character in different films: Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974), respectively.

The 28th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is musician Rick Vito. This is one of his pieces...

Rick will be a guest on the Phile on Monday.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is the lead singer and keyboardist for the local Orlando band Hadley's Hope whose new release "Neon City" is available now on iTunes. Hadley's Hope will be next appearing at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney on February 22nd... and I might be there. Pleasewelcome to the Phile... Michael Fargnoli.

Me: Hello, Michael, welcome to the Phile, so, how are you?

Michael: I am fantastic how are you?

Me: Tired and my shoulder is hurting a little. Apart from that I am fine. So, I have been wanting to interview you for a long time. I went to download your CD "Neon City" from iTunes and by mistake I downloaded the Neon Trees album. I was on Oxy at the time. Anyway, I love the Neon Trees, do you?

Michael: I have to admit I have never listened to any of their music... but I have heard the name before... I just looked them up on Wikipedia and it said they opened for The Killers and I really dislike The Killers especially when I saw them at House Of Blues... So, I probably wouldn't like the Neon Trees...

Me: Hmmmm, okay. Anyway, after that, I did download Hadley's Hope CD "Neon City" and liked that as well. You guys could easily go on tour and open for them, Michael. Anyway, where is Neon City? Oh, Vegas, right?

Michael: Hmmm... in that case I like them. Neon City is somewhere looking through the past at our future. It is actually the name of a show scene in the now extinct EPCOT Center attraction Horizons... 

Me: It's just Epcot now, no Center. LOL. The band is based right here in Orlando, but where are you originally from?

Michael: I am originally from Rhode Island... but I have been living in Florida for a long time now... I ALMOST consider myself a Floridian now... but it is hard to when you are a Rhode Islander...

Me: How did you all meet, you and the other guys in the band?

Michael: I formed the 10 years ago with 3 other guys and it was called Studio K. In 2006 the band's name was changed to Hadley's Hope. Kyle joined in 2005, I met him through the original bassist (he brought him to rehearsal one day and the rest is history). Our original drummer quit after a gig in 2005 so I "found" Christian as a result of a mass search using MySpace. I emailed around 50 people, heard back from 25 of them, 17 of them were potentials, and I think we set up 7 interviews, 5 of which actually happened... the last person we met in that 5 was Christian... we had him meet us at the Ale House on Kirkman and before even hearing him play one beat, we knew he was the one for the band, and he is still with us 7 years later. Micah came along in 2010 or 2011 (depends on which story he is telling), and he joined as our bassist replacing a long line of bassists who have come and gone over the years. We met him when he was opening up for us in another band that was mostly a cover band but we really liked his guitar playing and asked him to play bass. As our sound developed even more during 2011 and 2012... it seemed fitting to add a 2nd guitarist. So... we met Tim through Micah (he had been in a couple bands with him in the past). Tim is a true bassist, best I have ever played with. Thus, we transitioned Micah to Guitar, and put Tim in the full time bassist role.

Me: I have to ask you about the band name, Michael. There no one in the band named Hadley so where did the name come from?

Michael: The name comes from the movie Aliens. It is the name of the colony where the families are living that are terra-forming the planet. All of us at the time in the band were obsessed with the Alien quadrilogy... and it just stuck. We thought it was much more marketable than Studio K!

Me: You started off writing and recording music by yourself, what made you decide to start a band, rather then go solo?

Michael: I always intended to have a band, however, when I started out I needed some time to hone in my songwriting skills as well as my vision. Once I got past that level and completed my solo album, I was ready to put a band together to promote the album... the band was born out of that.

Me: You play keys in the band, right? How long have you been a keyboard player?

Michael: Yes, I play keys in the band. I have been playing piano since I was 5 (I was classically trained by the same teacher from when I was 5 until I was 18 and came to Florida for college). After I stopped studying classical music, I turned my studies to rock and original music.

Me: I don't know how to play any instrument... actually I play kazoo, so if you guys ever need a kazoo player... So, do you do all the writing for the band?

Michael: We will probably love to have a kazoo player on the next album so I will definitely book you for a session at some point! I don't do all the writing for the band but I used to... basically the breakdown of songwriting is I bring in piano/vocal demos to the band of songs I have written and we finish them as a band, sometimes other band members writing sections into the song. Or, Kyle brings pretty much completed songs (music only) to the band and we finish them the same way. Micah is also a songwriter and we recorded one of his songs on "Neon City". Now, with the addition of Tim, the new material is much more written by all of us pretty equally split... which is very exciting to me. I do write all the lyrics however, Micah will often contribute lyrics to songs he writes and brings to the band.

Me: "Neon City" is Hadley's Hope fourth album. How would you describe and compare this new one from the others?

Michael: "Neon City" is the band's 3rd full length album but 4th release. We released a self titled EP in 2011 between 2009's "Century Of Progress" and 2012's "Neon City". "Neon City" is the album I have always dreamed of making. It is different in that we recorded it entirely at our home studio, which allowed us to be much more creative and put much more time and care into the recording and production.

Me: I mentioned Neon Trees, but I know they are not an influence of yours. Who are your influences, Michael? EVERY one I ask that question says The Beatles, are they yours as well?

Michael: Hahahahhah well... I guess the Beatles are everyone's influence since they influenced so many bands etc etc, so yesss I will have to say the Beatles I do love them very much. They were the first music I ever listened to that wasn't children's music (when I was 4 years old I discovered the 45s of "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever", and "I Am The Walrus/Hello Goodbye".) I have a lot of influences going around in what I listen to but I guess my biggest ones are the original 1970 concept album of "Jesus Christ Superstar", and "Kid A" by Radiohead.

Me: Alright, so, I know where you work, but I won't say it, Michael, don't worry. I have to ask, do you ever get recognized at your job from a fan of the band?

Michael: I think I have gotten recognized a couple times here and there but the biggest thing to happen while I was at my job was meeting a guest who ended up having heard about my band when I mentioned the name of it to him (we were in a conversation about EPCOT Center logos on T-shirts) and it turned out he lived in Baltimore and to make a long story short, as of now he has produced our last 2 releases (the EP and "Neon City")... all our music is recorded here in Florida, then sent to his studio in Baltimore for mixing and mastering.

Me: You play all over Orlando I am sure, but are you planning on touring out of Florida?

Michael: Our biggest show was last year opening up at House Of Blues for Orlando Rocks! We are currently planning out of town dates which will be announced soon...

Me: What has been your favorite gig you played?

Michael: House Of Blues, hands down... it was quite an experience and opportunity.

Me: So, what do you guys have coming up? Are you planning on filming a video for the album?

Michael: We are going to spend 2013 continuing to promote "Neon City". We firmly believe in the integrity of the album and feel it is something as many people as possible need to hear. We will be booking some out of town shows as well as presenting new band merchandise. We are working on new material which we have already started to test out at shows and have been going over very well. So a new recording project will most likely begin at some point later in the year. However, we DO have another completely finished album of material (mixed, mastered, and on the shelf) ready for release. Surprise!

Me: Cool. In the publicity photo you are holding a motorcycle helmet... or is it a space helmet? That would fit in more, right?

Michael: I think it is both. It is a helmet that can be used if driving a motorcycle (however I do not drive one)... but it can also protect your head if you are up in space for whatever reason.

Me: Have you done any radio appearances, Michael?

Michael: We have done a few radio interviews and performances on WPRK, Rollins College Radio. We will be doing that again this year to promote "Neon City".

Me: Alright, so, this year on the Phile I am asking random questions from this card game called Tabletopics... so, here is yours. Damn, this one is deep... Is justice or forgiveness more important?

Michael: Personally, I believe forgiveness is more important because unfortunately... there isn't always justice in life, but there can always be forgiveness.

Me: Nice answer. I want to start a team called Forgiveness League. Michael, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back soon, my friend. Go ahead and mention your website, Twitter and stuff.

Michael: Thanks! it was my pleasure! Here are our sites:,,,,,

Me: All the best and take care.

Michael: I'll see you around...

It started with a whisper... LOL. There you go, kids, another entry of the Phile done. Thanks to my guests Jim Mello and of course Michael Fargnoli. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Phile Alum Crissi Cochrane and then on Monday it's artist and musician Rick Vito. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

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