Robert Fleischman, the original lead singer of Journey, the world's greatest melodic rock band. He has a star on the walk of fame and now an interview on LNJ Get To Know, what a great year this guy is having!
First Robert can you tell us what you've been up to?
I just started my own record company which has allowed me to produce music in genres which diverge from that which I am usually affilliated with. Had I gone with a larger label I would not have had that kind of freedom. December 2005 was the pre-release of my latest 4 projects which you can find more about on my website at http://www.robertfleischman.com
Your claim to fame was that you were the original lead singer of Journey and you co-wrote "Wheel In The Sky" and "Anytime." Rumor is that you left because of conflict with management. What was the conflict and do you regret leaving now?
You've heard the story correctly. It was because of a conflict with management and office type politics. I do not regret leaving. Had I not left I would not be doing what I am doing now, which is pretty rewarding for me because I love the process of creating-- where others prefer the performance aspects. Fortunately, I did get a taste of all of that, but it is grueling being on the road especially being a singer--because the body gets involved and the environment continually changes, it can become extremely demanding.
When you and Justin started talking about you working on "Welcome To The Revolution," he asked you how you make money now. You told him "I get paid quarterly … very quaterly." Are you really making that much through your Journey publishing ?
I think you misunderstood my comment. I was referring the regularity of it all not really the quantity. That is a very private matter just like your salary.
After Journey, your next big gig was being the lead singer in The Vinnie Vincent Invasion. How was it to work with Vinnie? Any dirt on him? Did all he want to do was to play solos?
Working with Vinnie was fun and he was always very gracious. He always did what he could to make the sessions and life around us nice, plus he was a good songwriter. As far as dirt, I try to shake my feet of it. Vinnie loved to play and he is the type of person who plays at an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale, when most others are trying to reach a 10. He plays over the top and I am glad to have done the project with him, because it was a great chance to play with someone at that energy level--that's what I enjoyed.
Your last album "World In Your Eyes" was released through Frontier records, what was the deal with them retracking and remixing it?
The record company had a different vision of what the production should have been like. I wanted the production to be much more sparse and modern sounding, and the record company wanted a more Journey-esque type album. Of course, I had to cater to the record company because that is what I was asked to do. So this sort of became a "retro" project for me.
How did you get involved with Justin Murr and the Liberty n' Justice project?
Justin called me up one day and it all started from there. It was out of the blue and I am not really sure where all of the connections came into play.
On your song "The Lord's Prayer" that was put on the CD, you did an incredible job. When it was finished you stated on more than one occasion if the world could hear this song "it would do for us what 'Amazing Grace' did for the monks." Robert what does this mean?
I was just trying to be funny. Seriously, I believe that this song could lead to a great mass consciousness and get everyone in agreement with God the way it was intended.
Can you tell us three of the highest and lowest points so far in your musical career?
Lowest: 1 & 2 Losing my Dad and my Grandmother which had a profound impact on me. 3. one time had a chance to sing on "This is Christmas" with John Lennon and I couldn't get a ride to the recording studio--everytime I hear that song, I think "I could have...."
Highest: 1. My son Austin. 2. Being complimented by (Sir) George Martin the producer of the Beatles on my songwriting. 3. Hearing "Wheel in the Sky" on the radio for the first time.
Rumor has it that you have done some TV themes anything we would know?
I did Cheverolet & Nike commercials. A couple of B-films. Wheel in the Sky has been placed quite a few times in TV. I did the pilot for Sponge Bob.
What was your biggest music related check?
The one that I got from Liberty N Justice. Oh I'm sorry did you say biggest? Once again … none of your business. I have one question, are you affiliated with the IRS?
The last of Robert Fleischman
The last time you prayed?
I last prayed after I e-mailed you this interview hoping that it goes as intentioned
The last time you did drugs?
I had coffee this morning.
The last time you read the bible?
Christmas Eve was the last time I read the bible.
The last time an A&R guy talked to you?
How involved are you in your local church and what do you believe?
I recently began attending my church again after some time of absence. I usually sing when I do go and that pressure kind of gets in the way of the spiritual side of things. I am a Christian and believe in Christian principles.
What did you think of Liberty n' Justice's "Welcome To The Revolution"? You can be honest since you've already been paid.
Some of the song choices were not what I would have picked, but overall there was a good collection of artists assemble for the project. I think it could have gotten more exposure and publicity/air play than it did.
How come you were not involved in the second CD? We did try to get ahold of you but never received a reply?
Sorry. Things must have gotten mixed in the shuffle. It was not intentional, I think a miscommunication. We did speak, but nothing ever came of it. ($$$$$)
What are some of the bands you have toured with over the years. Who was your favorite and who wasn't very nice?
Asia, Van Halen, Emmerson Lake and Palmer, Iron Maiden, Boston, Sammy Hagar, The Doobie Brothers, Ted Nugent, Leonard Skynard, REO Speedwagon, UK (from England), Ozzy Ozbourne, Cheap Trick.
Favorite: Keith Emmerson and Leonard Skynard Band. I liked Keith because I think he is such a musical genius, great modern composer, and a nice guy. I loved Leonard Skynard Band's "down home" hospitality.
Not Nice: David Lee Roth. I felt that he found me to be unnecessarily threatening.
Who was the last "known" person you hung out with?
Ed Moses. We hung out at a party and talked art. Lenny Kravitz, Gene Simmons.
What does 2005 and beyond hold for the musician, Robert Fleichman?
Outside of the release of my latest projects, I am going to have my music digitally distributed in arenas such as Napster, iTunes and the like. Digital songs will include music that cannot be found/heard anywhere else. I have a lot of recordings and will be busy in the studio preparing for the digital releases.
I will also be participating along with Journey on January 21, 2005 when the band gets their name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I will also be finishing up my rock album "New Order.
And finally, a Liberty n' Justice 4-ALL word association. We will mention a name or thing, and you give us your thoughts:
Great singer. Talented. Nice. We've both seen what's behind the curtain.
Eddie Van Halen
Good Energy (don't know him that well)
Loyal, Diligent and great Bass player
He did what he was hired to do.