Richard Gladstone
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Richard Gladstone

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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They say first impressions last. And that's particularly true when you check out up-and-coming indie artist Richard Gladstone's deep & charismatic voice. One listen to Gladstone's Waters-meets-Reed-meets-Cohen pipes and you won't soon forget him or his music. But don't call this emerging singer/songwriter a singer, per se. He prefers "vocal stylist."

"I actually consider myself a vocal stylist, rather than a singer," says Richard. "I don't see myself singing any other person's songs. I think my voice is perfect for the songs I write. I've got an unfair advantage, because I only write songs that I know I'll be able to sing."

Richard began his music career as a receptionist at EMI. Thinking that a job, any job, at a record company would be a good way to get his foot in the door, Richard soon got a quick lesson in how the music business really works.
"Working for EMI was kind of cool, but the coolness factor wore off after a couple of months. It was fun meeting famous people, etc," says Richard. "The main thing I learned, I guess, was just how many people were trying to make it in this business like I am. The EMI A&R department used to get hundreds of demos each week, most of which were never listened to. So it put everything into perspective for me. There's no such thing as sending in your tape and waiting to be offered a contract. I figured that there had to be another way to make it, or at least have a shot at making it. Working at EMI actually gave me more of an incentive to try and do things on my own."

Trying to do things on your own can be just as frustrating as catching the eye of a label when you're an original artist working in a tough market like NYC. Although he's been creating quite a buzz on the NYC scene lately, Richard's been fighting an ongoing battle for his spot on the New York City gig circuit where he's finding the age-old problem of "can't get a gig 'til I have more gigs" syndrome.

"The last couple of gigs in NYC went really well. The show I did for my new CD's (UGLY) release party at Webster Hall had a great turnout. Leading up to that I did a very successful show at the New Max's Kansas City, which I believe is now the out-of-business Max's Kansas City," jokes Richard. "Anyway, my main gripe with the NYC club scene is that unless you bring in the people, the places are empty. It really doesn't matter what you sound like or how talented you are. If you bring in lots of people you'll be very popular with the club owners. I think the plan over the next few months is to concentrate on some smaller markets in the surrounding areas, like Philadelphia and Boston."

Besides taking his music into new markets on the east coast, Richard's also been busy lately shooting a video for his song Another Happy New Year.

"We just shot the video for the song Another Happy New Year with plans on releasing it as a video, as well as part of an enhanced CD, commemorating the new millenium," Richard says. "I'll be playing a bunch of gigs on the east coast in support of UGLY later this year. I'm also doing some pre-production on new songs for the next record, with plans to record over the summer."

You can get the latest info on Richard Gladstone happenings as well as download more of his music at his website at: http://www.richardgladstone.com - GetSigned.com


Richard Gladstone has that tortured, in-your-face honesty that makes good material for songwriting. Gladstone's voice is a mixture of Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman (THE MODERN LOVERS), and Roger Waters (PINK FLOYD) and his music travels the road paved by THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. The songs on this disc are simple, straight forward, melancholy compositions that reveal Gladstone's disillusioned eyes and broken heart for all to hear. Gladstone doesn't try to set bad poetry to over-indulgent music like so many others, he just sings and writes what he feels and that couldn't be anymore poetic and real. - Fright X Magazine


Richard Gladstone sounds like Mark Bolan with a touch of Ziggy Stardust; a distinctive high silk-tone that bonds naturally to music. Throw in a dangerous edge and you have an idea of Gladstone's entrancing sound.

Gladstone freely admits to the Bowie influence. "I tried to order the songs like he did on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. There are 11 songs on Ugly, too. I wanted the same feel." This debut album launches with "Close to You's" good opening riff and catchy tune. Broken resolutions are the subject of "Another Happy New Year," a playful, yet piercing tune with a nice instrumental mix and bluesy touch. In Idiots ("I care for you … even the drags, especially all of the mags") Gladstone gives up his best voice-venom and edgy mental guitar. This is a scathing ditty that deserves to be a hit.

The title track changes tempos and styles numerous times, because according to Gladstone, "I got interrupted writing the song, and every time I went back to it my mood changed." His songs are like this, exploring the range of human emotions, accepting the downs, knowing hope inevitably follows. The grip of insecurity that gives all of us an occasional squeeze is confronted here. "Ugly", one of the most beautiful and haunting tracks on the album begins, "… because you are ugly you're never gonna win … your life is destiny … through before it begins." It lapses into sheer dismay and spite intensified by grinding, angry guitar work, then the darkness lifts ("I know you're here with me now") to a cathartic, soothing conclusion.

"Before", a ballad about forever-missed opportunities, mourns the musician's sudden loss of his brother to an aneurysm. "I thought I was writing a fictitious song about suicide," says Gladstone. "Later I looked back at it and realized I wrote about my brother's death. I was depressed for a long time, but I'm not the kind of person who would kill myself."

Ugly has no pretensions. Both the beast and the beauty are given their proper due in these compositions and reality never sounded so inviting. - Cover Magazine


Discography

Ugly (1998)
Another Happy New Year (EP - 1999)
Kids (coming soon...)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Richard Gladstone is a man who has written a collection of really good songs. He loves rice and beans, has great hair (all his own) and wears red Doc Martens. What else do you need to know?

He has been writing since 1991, when he recorded a couple of demos that went the way of most demos.

He briefly worked at EMI Records as a receptionist, hoping that would be his "in" to the rock world. Pretty soon he saw that it was a ticket to earache and not much else, and since he wasn't independently wealthy, he came to the conclusion that he was going to have to get a real job if he wanted to eat more than iceberg lettuce for dinner every night.

He spent the next couple of years honing his writing and guitar skills while doing production work to pay the bills. In 1997 he produced a very cool demo in his home studio. That demo got him some gigs in NYC, but he fell into the NYC club Catch 22 - where one needs an established following to get more gigs, but one can't establish a following unless one is playing lots of gigs… Frankly, this whole setup sucked - so he went back into the studio, invited some other musicians in and produced his debut CD, UGLY.

"UGLY" is a collection of some of Gladstone's finest works. The title track is powerful and moving - a complex mix of moods that work brilliantly together. Close To You is simple and beautiful, and has "hit" written all over it. The classic rock of Idiots is angry-cool. It's On You, with its extreme dynamics is a powerful Grunge anthem. And if you need to, you can even find a hint of country influence in the surprising Another Happy New Year. All the songs are threaded through with Gladstone's unique vocal-stylings and edgy sound.

Now he is working on getting his music out to the people who need it - so take a listen and enjoy ...