Interviews About Albums: Brian Tarquin & Heavy Friends - Beyond The Warrior's Eyes (2024)

In this new interview, we sat down with the American Rock band Brian Tarquin & Heavy Friends to ask questions about their album "Beyond The Warrior's Eyes"

1. What can you say about this new EP/CD, Brian Tarquin & Heavy Friends’ “Beyond The Warrior’s Eyes”?

I’m very proud of this release, it was really a labor of love. I worked and played alongside musicians whom I had admired for years like Jean Luc Ponty, Steve Morse, Eric Johnson, and Robben Ford. And what is even better is the cause for veterans!

I produced, engineered, and composed the album over the pandemic and played all instruments except drums where I used studio drummer Reggie Pryor. It was all done in my mobile recording studio called Jungle Room Studios on 2” analog tape through my vintage Trident London 24 console and a host of analog outboard gear. I transferred the recording to either Pro Tools or Logic, finishing the recording digitally. Lastly, I recorded all final mixes down to an Ampex 440C 1⁄4” 2-track analog tape. 

2. What is the meaning of the EP/CD name?

“Beyond the Warrior’s Eyes” is really an ethereal title that has many definitions. In this case, I feel it describes the inner depth of the veterans’ souls, past what you see on the surface.

3. Which one is the composer of the CD/EP?

I composed all of the songs for the album and co-wrote “These Colors Don’t Run” with singer Phil Naro.

4. If you had to pick one song, which one would you pick?

I really like “A Soldier’s Journey” I did with The Budapest Symphony Orchestra and electric violinist Steve Kindler. I used to listen to Jeff Beck Live with the Jan Hammer Group when I was a teenager. It is still one of my all-time favorite Jeff Beck performances. Steve Kindler was the violinist you hear live on the recording. He is an amazing violinist and kept up with both Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer when they were all trading solos. Steve was also in Mahavishnu Orchestra with pioneer guitarist John McLaughlin replacing Jean Luc Ponty.

5. Is there a special message in this EP/CD? If there is what it is?

Yes, to spread the word about the needs of veterans. Hope For The Warriors, provides medical care, mental health counseling, professional training and education, physical conditioning, and transition services for wounded, ill, and injured Marines and Navy members.

“Beyond The Warrior’s Eyes” Special Donation Page:

6. Are there some lyrics that you'd love to share?

The album is all instrumental except for the last song “These Colors Don’t Run”. However, Phil Naro’s lyrics say it all for me,

“Oh For the Red White & Blue & You
I still believe in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
They could never take our pride away,
remember the five good men who raised the flag so high.
For the whole dame world to see, watched it fly above the sky”

7. Which inspirations have been important for this album? Like musically or friends, family, someone you'd love to thank especially?

I have always had a special spot in my heart for military veterans. I feel they have always been forgotten in our world and taken for granted. I remember seeing homeless Vietnam veterans living in the subway and streets of New York City where I grew up in the ‘'70s. It was a disgraceful site because at that time no one seemed to care about veterans. So, I wanted to draw as much attention as I could to veteran’s needs, and what better way than through music. I also wanted a very reliable benefit to donate to, so I did a lot of research and decided on the Fisher House Foundation.

My father was a World War II veteran serving in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1946 along with millions of other soldiers. He told many stories of his comradery with his fellow marines and how they all looked forward to the GI Bill. So, during college back in the 80s, I joined the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) for a while, serving a short stint in the military and doing basic training at Fort Knox. Even though I didn’t stay in the service, I always had a deep respect for the men and women who serve.

And I love collaborating with other guitarists on special projects for helpful causes. I’m always trying to outdo myself with composing and guests on my records. Because I’m a guitar instrumentalist I always have to make sure the message comes across in the music, that’s why I hand-pick the guests for each track. All of the guest guitarists are seasoned instrumentalists as well, which makes it a perfect fit. Since I grew up during the golden age of rock in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s there was a plethora of great guitarists to choose from and guitar music was king! I started out being really influenced by the British invasion guitarists as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page & Jeff Beck, and then moved on to Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, and beyond. So, I wanted to create an instrumental studio version of benefit projects like ARMS Charity Concerts envisioned by Ronnie Lane for multiple sclerosis and Hear 'n Aid by Dio for famine relief in Africa. Except Brothers In Arms is a veterans relief project.

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