Getting to know: The Great Affairs

From Nashville, Tennessee (can’t get much more rock ‘n’ roll than that!), today’s questions go out to:

The Great Affairs


Why The Great Affairs?

Denny: No better reason than it rolled off the tongue nicely, didn’t belong to anyone yet, and seemed like the kinda name we might be able to “brand” (as the kids say) and get some mileage out of, with merchandise and whatnot.

Introduce your members, what do each of you bring to the band?

Kenny:

Denny – The engine of the band. If it got done, chances are he did it. Primary songwriter and general voice of reason.
Matt – The glue. Does a lot of jobs the rest of us can’t (or won’t) do. Eternal optimist, and we need that.
Corey – Total pro. Always prepared, with every detail covered, and then some.

Matt:

Denny – The organizer, songwriter, financial guru, walking musical encyclopedia and driver (most of the time).
Kenny – Beats, classic rock vibes, songwriting, repairs, and he doesn’t hold back when asked his opinion on music.
Corey – The pro…prepared, early to rehearsal and van call (shocking for a musician), great energy on stage and comic relief on the road.

Denny:

Me, I’m the bus driver, the guy who goes to the post office, writes a bunch of songs and then sings them, deals with most of the band’s social media interactions, and periodically(like every year or two) disappoints a small portion of our fanbase by cutting my hair short. Kenny is the fixer, as handy with a wrench or hammer as he is with about a half-dozen instruments, and my vocal foil, bringing that Classic Rock element to the mix that’s sorely needed at times, to offset my sugary Pop tendencies. If somebody’s really howling on a track, it’s him. Matt is my sunshine, my only sunshine. Without him to handle the business side of things, we’d be home most of the time. Also, he’s not a bad bass player. Rizzo is the guy I’m just trying to keep up with, who causes me to have occasional bouts of “gear envy”, and always seems to know more about how my stuff works than I do, which I suppose should be cause for concern. Plus, he’s got jokes.

Rizzo:

Denny – The Ringmaster. He oversees the whole thing. He is the webmaster, social media dude, merch, main songwriter and purveyor of pop hooks.
Kenny – The Roots. He keeps us from straying too far from the straightforward rock n roll. Plus he sings like Paul Rogers.
Matt – The Jack of Many Trades. He’s our soundguy, booking agent, and whatever else needs to be done. He is always “the glass is half full” guy in the band.

When did you last speak to your families?

Denny: My brother tried to call me yesterday, but I didn’t pick up. I’d better hit him back. Thanks for reminding me.
Kenny: My family all live in town, so I talk to them pretty much daily.
Matt: Yesterday.
Rizzo: 5 minutes ago.

What are your instrument makes/models of choice and why? Which effects could you not live without?

Denny: Currently, I’m strictly Gibson on stage. My ES-333 is my main go-to, with a Les Paul Standard on deck. For the acoustic tunes, I’ve got my trusty Hummingbird. As for effects, my MXR Phase 90(EVH Edition), and my Keeley Katana Boost are pretty crucial.
Kenny: I like oddball type stuff. But it really just depends on the situation. If I’m playing guitar, I can’t live without a Tube Screamer.
Matt: Vintage Guitars J and P bass copies. Waterstone Tom Petersson 12 string. Bass Overdrive.
Rizzo: Gibson Les Paul Custom and Godin Icon Type II guitars because they feel like home. I love delay but I could get thru a gig with nothing if necessary as long as the amp has some crunch.

What are the defining characteristics of The Great Affairs?

Denny: I think our ability to shift gears from what some might consider Power Pop to straight-up Rock N’ Roll, without losing the plot seems to set us apart to some degree. Having 2 lead singers gives us a little extra wiggle room , stylistically, to do both sides of that coin pretty convincingly. Hell, we can even pull off a fairly decent impression of an Americana band when called upon to do so.
Kenny: I think it just boils down to good songs, really. Nobody is a virtuoso type player, but together we have a tight rock and roll band. That’s all I really ever wanted.
Matt: Great songs from a straight ahead rock n’ roll band.
Rizzo: Catchy melodies/hooks that make you shake your booty.

If you could have a DC or Marvel superhero as a member of your band, who would it be and what role would they have?

Kenny: Gal Gadot’s version of Wonder Woman. Hopefully her role would be making me breakfast every morning.

…which band member would they have to fight to get the position and who would win?

Kenny: Me. I’d let her win without a fight.

(Ed. Note: I believe Kenny may be living in the 1960s!)

Denny: I totally had a thing for Rogue in the 80s. She’d have to fight me, in order to absorb my superpower of being able to pull long, post-show shifts behind the wheel. I’d gladly suffer that loss. (Dazzler could save us a bunch of money on lights though.)

Matt: Batman. We would never have to pay for van repairs ever again. I bet he can also play some mean keys. Once he showed us the dough, I think we’d let him in.

Rizzo: Banshee. Background singer. He would have to fight Matt. Matt would win because he’d have his earplugs in. He always has his earplugs in.

What are you working on at the moment?

Denny: Besides constantly working on our live show, we’ve been remixing a bunch of tracks from our most recent LP ‘Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt.’, to feature the current lineup (Rizzo joined after its release.), and toying with the idea of doing a proper re-release of those versions. Kenny’s finishing up work on a solo record that he’s been finishing up work on for the past 3 years or so, and we’re just starting to kick around demos for tunes that might find their way onto a new record at some point down the line.

Who are your favourite bands/artists/songwriters/musicians?

Denny: Cheap Trick, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Enuff Z’Nuff, Del Amitri, KISS, The Damnwells, Jason Isbell, The Beatles, Springsteen, Rick Springfield, The Killers, The Wildhearts….lately though I’ve been really digging Ruston Kelly, and Hiss Golden Messenger.
Kenny: I could fill a coffee table book with that answer. KISS, Waylon, Gordon Lightfoot, Venom, Clara Rockmore. I could go on all day.
Matt: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Cheap Trick, The Black Crowes, The Beatles, KISS, King’s X. I could keep going for a long time…
Rizzo: Alice In Chains, Jeff Buckley, Bjork, Cheap Trick. I’ll stop there. The list is too long to put it all.

Who is your favourite author, which is their best book and why?

Denny: I’m mainly an autobiography guy these days. “Hard To Handle”, Steve Gorman’s take on his years with The Black Crowes was one in particular that I couldn’t put down. Warren Zanes’ “Petty” was pretty eye-opening too.
Kenny: I’m not much of a fiction reader and I don’t gravitate to any one author. My favorite book is “Up And Down With The Rolling Stones” by Tony Sanchez.
Matt: I tend to read a lot of music autobiographies. Really enjoyed the Steve Gorman (Black Crowes) book. He just lays it out there the way he sees it.
Rizzo: Stephen King – The Stand. I know, lame answer. (Ed Note: Reading is never lame!)

When is your next single/album likely to be released? What is it called and where can we get it in our ears? Why should we buy it?

Denny: We led off with a video for “I’m Alright”, but “High On Rose” is the current single, and we just shot a video for “Worn Out Souls”, so we’ll have that to roll out in a few weeks as well. All three of these are remixed tracks from the last album ‘Everybody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt.’, so for now the only way you can hear these takes is by checking out the videos on YouTube, or catching them on the airwaves, but we’re working on making them available via all the usual suspects in the not-too-distant future.

In the meantime, you can check out the original versions on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc., or order a copy of the CD (that just happens to include 2 exclusive bonus tracks) directly from our store at:

https://dennysmithmusic.com/merch

Why buy? Because our trusty Jean Claude Damme Van recently needed a new alternator and front brakes, and these things cost money.


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