Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 2010
Brian Rademacher: Congratulations on the new release "Sea of Black".
Louis D’Augusta: Thank you and thanks for the great review Brian.
Brian Rademacher: Why did you name it "Sea of Black"?
Louis D’Augusta: We usually title the album after a song on the album and we were fooling around with "Falling from Grace" and "Sea Of Black". We talked to the art department at the label Escape. They thought they could come up with something cooler than with "Falling from Grace".
Brian Rademacher: Do you happen to have a favorite song?
Louis D’Augusta: Yeah! "The Right Side" and "All the Years Gone". I like those two the best. But it changes it depends the mood I’m in. I also like the rock ballad "Till We Meet Again" as well.
Brian Rademacher: When did you know you had a talent for singing?
Louis D’Augusta: I guess back in the late seventies I was in a three piece band and I was drumming and singing. The guys thought I was a better singer than drummer so they asked me to come up front.
Brian Rademacher: Was that your very first band?
Louis D’Augusta: Yes! We were called AXIS myself and Gene D'I tria have been together now for over thirty years. We lived across the street from each other. He wanted to play drums but I told him he was going to play guitar! LOL!. So we stole his confirmation money and went down to the local pawn shop and bought him his first guitar. We jammed together and the first songs were "Smoke on the Water" and "Twenty-Five Or Six To Four "by CHICAGOChicago. We did Junior high school dances and parties where ever they would let fifteen year olds in to play. We did sneak into a few night clubs that were serving alcohol to perform as well.
Brian Rademacher: Do you remember your very first gig?
Louis D’Augusta: Yeah it was great…It was a Junior high school dance. I would drum and sing maybe ten songs then the other two guys would sing about five apiece. We would do covers of Jimi Hendrix, THE BEATLES, THE WHO, LED ZEPPELIN and maybe one or two originals that we wrote. The very first rock club we played was the Tuna club they loved us we were dressed up in our Queen Kimonos’. LOL!
Brian Rademacher: So tell me what record company treated you the best?
Louis D’Augusta: Well to be honest we have been fortunate to have been treated pretty well by all of the labels, it’s just unfortunate that we were never were able to stay with one company for a long duration of time to build a base all due to circumstances out of our control. We first signed with A&M when I was seventeen and it was going good but our manager screwed us and we had to file bankruptcy to get out of that deal. So our very 1st release never came out. The label told us to either get rid of our manager or they would not release our record. This took over three years in the legal system and our contract final expired and we moved on. We then signed with RCA and after our first album "New Birth" was released GE bought RCA and all the people involved with the MASS signing were let go. So we had no one there on our behalf and opt to take a buyout. We then signed with the California label Enigma after two quick releases with them in 1988 & 1989 they folded and went bankrupt. Finacially & promotion wise RCA was the best but they have all been fair and decent to us including our current European label Escape Music.
Brian Rademacher: Why did you name the band MASS?
Louis D’Augusta: We were originally from Massachusetts and we thought we had a" MASS"sive sound so it fit in perfectly. Once we saw what the logo looked like we were hooked.
Brian Rademacher: I see you toured with many bands. What band treated you the best?
Louis D’Augusta: I would have to say STRYPER. Due to the friendship that developed with Michael Sweet who eventually produced our "Voices In The Night" record. He and his wife were kind enough to let us four strangers live in their home for over two and a half months in California while recording that album. Michael/STYPERwould also make sure that the band would get a decent sound check before each performance.
Brian Rademacher: I noticed you named ANGEL as an influence why?
Louis D’Augusta: Well my girlfriend Cheryl at the time her grandmother was living in the same building as Frank Domino’s family. So I would go over there and check out his records. I was about fourteen – fifteen years old at the time and I would go home and play the ANGEL albums over and over and sing along and emulate Frankie. I think I have a similar style voice or maybe it’s because we are from the same town.LOL! He was just one of the many singers I looked up to back then.
Brian Rademacher: Will the band be touring at all.
Louis D’Augusta: We just had our record release party here in Boston and sold out a 500 seat venue .We hope to do more shows but it does get harder now because we all have families and we are not seventeen anymore and cannot just jump into a van and travel to another state to perform. Now whenever we get an offer we have a meeting and make sure it is financially feasible and makes sense doing. But if the right offer does come along we will be there because we do love performing. We are playing the M3 festival on June 19th we go on at 3:00 PM sharp. We go on right after L.A. GUNS and before WINGER. It’s not like when we played Rocklahoma the past two years were all three side stages go on at the same time and then you have three great acts competing for the crowd’s attention. We have also done some live acoustic sets at radio stations lately to promote the new CD. At M3 we are hoping to play one song from every album and maybe a few more from Sea Of Black.
Brian Rademacher: Anything else coming up?
Louis D’Augusta: We are planning on releasing a first ever MASS live DVD by the end of the year if all goes well and we are still hoping to be involved in some overseas shows in Europe this year were our label is based.
Brian Rademacher: While reading about the new CD that we reviewed some critics mention "Sea Of Black" is going back to the roots of the band. Why do you think?
Louis D’Augusta: Yes they are right. With the last release "Crack of Dawn" in 2007 it was an experiment for us. It was not a normal MASS record. It was a very good record but a bit different in the sound department .It was actually only a demo that we shopped to some oversea labels and quite a few were interested. Once we came to terms with a label we went back remixed and added some tracks. The tracks reflect on how we were feeling at the time of the recording. The new release has much more punch and a lot more of an aggressive / bigger guitar sound with more of that MASS attitude! So I guess we did go back to our roots on this one.
Brian Rademacher: Well Louis it was great to talk to you and glad you enjoyed our review. Would you like to say anything in ending?
Louis D’Augusta: Thank you to all our fans for sticking with us through the years. You Guys Rock! Please go and pick up our latest release "Sea of Black" and hopefully we will see you all on tour this year!. Also keep up with us on our MySpace, Face book and our official site for all and any upcoming information. Thanks Brian!