Great new CD project “Beauty Re-Envisioned” follows “Finding Beauty in Chaos”, Ciravolo guitarist speaks to Hek82!

Hek82 podcast with Michael Ciravolo  May 23, ’19

Article by Kate Schank

“Beauty Re-Envisioned” follows up “Finding Beauty in Chaos”, the amazing project curated by guitarist Michael Ciravolo and produced by Michael Rozon, features talent from many surprising bands. Tish Ciravolo was one of the essential collaborators who makes an incredible appearance on both vocals and bass guitar.

The songs are totally timeless and draw us listeners in, and I like to think of it as new music for the time ahead. Most of the musicians featured on the album are well- experienced since the 80’s and well known for it. One favorite is the song “Un-natural Disaster”, and the music video is incredible, all to benefit the Hurricane Katrina victims; Michael hails from New Orleans. He has played guitar in Human Drama for the past 30 years, most recently on ‘Broken Songs for Broken People’ (2017). Young people should love this music, but perhaps we’ll appreciate it more if we’re in the “old- school” generation.

He is president of Schecter Guitar Research, he has also played live and recorded with Michael Ashton’s Gene Loves Jezebel since 1998, along with Tish Ciravolo (wife and founder of Daisy Rock Guitars).
The debut album ‘Finding Beauty in Chaos’ features numerous luminaries in the music world, both as co-writers and performers. They are listed below:
Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Simon Gallup (The Cure), Ashton Nyte (The Awakening, MGT), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Pete Parada (The Offspring), Dug Pinnick (Kings X), ICE-T (Body Count), Michael Aston (Gene Loves Jezebel), Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Dirk Doucette (Gene Loves Jezebel), Pando (A Flock of Seagulls), Evi Vine (Evi Vine), Betsy Martin (Caterwaul / Purr Machine), Marc Danzeisen (The Riverdogs), Kevin Kipnis (Purr Machine / Kommunity FK), Rudy Matchinga (Red Scare), Johnny Indovina (Human Drama), and Tish Ciravolo (Stun Gun).
“Finding Beauty in Chaos” or “BIC” track listing
  1. Road to Rosario – 4:36 (Aston / Ciravolo)
  2. Storm – 6:12 (Nyte / Ciravolo)
  3. Man of Faith – 4:33 (Hussey / Ciravolor)
  4. 20th Century Boy – 4:35 (Performed by Al Jourgensen/ Written by Marc Bolan)
  5. Drifting Away – 4:49 (Zander, Ciravolo, Christian, Matchinga)
  6. Memory of Love – 4:18 (Indovina / Ciravolo)
  7. Look Up – 5:28 (Ciravolo)
  8. Un-Natural Disaster – 5:29 (Pinnick / Ice-T / Ciravolo)
  9. The Long Goodbye – 5:03 (Hussey / Ciravolo)
  10. Beauty Lies Within – 6:36 (Indovina / Ciravolo)
  11. Bloodless and Fragile – 8:10 (Nyte / Ciravolo)
  12. I Will Follow You – 6:59 (Vine / Ciravolo)
  13. Heliotrope – 5:16 (Martin / Ciravolo)
  14. Finding Beauty In Chaos – 7:14 (Nyte / Ciravolo)

My opinion is that “Look Up” is incredibly expressive, uniquely artistic, with fantastic dream-like imagery, starring vocal/ bass Tish has  a very cool appearance and dance movements.

“20th Century Boy” featuring Al Jourgensen the front-man of the band  Ministry, along with Tish Ciravolo on vocals is phenomenal. This song rocks and I like to see all this talent come together in something completely new and different like Tish on back up vocals on this song. Tish comes forth with a great sound on more than one song on this album.

Podcast chat transcribed below:

Hek82

Delighted, at last to have the chance to speak to about “Beauty Re-Envisioned” the follow up to “Finding Beauty in Chaos”. So many awesome collaborators on this, it’s very different and quite timeless; and currently my favorite because it’s harbinger of the 2020’s with cool style.

Michael Ciravolo

Yeah, it took about a year and we have this cohesive album with a lot of different artists on it, that it’s not unlike a compilation and it’s thanks to my producer Michael Rozon.

Hek82

A terrific pool of talent that you were able to pull from, these players that came together at SaintinLA studio. With so many professionals with so much experience, it would be impossible to walk out that door without something great. With so much talent behind this project these song compositions have a real popular appeal. The videos are fantastic too, I might add.

Ciravolo

They were really fun to make. We set off with wanting each one to come off different, with a different look and feel. I think that was accomplished. And we’re actually getting ready to release a couple more videos with our re-mix album coming out in June.

Hek82

Nice to see the videos released one at a time, so we can anticipate them. My favorite is the “Un- Natural Disaster” video which is a tribute to the victims of hurricane Katrina. How terrific! Featuring bass guitarist Dug Pinnick who we know from the band King’s X in the rain, and a special appearance by guitarist Zakk Wylde who is a big part of Schecter Guitars as well with Wylde Audio. Can you tell us something about it?

Ciravolo

I’m from New Orleans and some of my best friends and relatives lived through it, and Dug has spent a lot of time in Texas in Katy and Houston just after hurricane Harvey hit, those were two catastrophic hurricanes. The video unfolded and the story went together real well. I was definitely blessed to have Pete Parada my good friend who is the drummer from the band The Offspring and guitarist Zakk Wylde (of Black Label Society) were part of this. I’m just glad that they were not only part of the record but could also be in the video.

Hek82

Awesome!  When you created the album did you have this idea initially to bring out this song dedicated to the victims of hurricanes?

Ciravolo

I can’t say it was planned when we started to create music for the album, but I knew that from talking to Dug that what I wanted to do a song with him, and that I wanted to it to be a heavy track because I thought that was what the record needed, and so we talked over having some drinks and dinner about where we were from in our upbringing and that seemed to be the common thread; about people we knew that had lived through disaster and storms. Hats off to Dug for really putting it into nice words and made a story out of it to highlight the record.

Hek82

Absolutely. Good, and with the new release coming out this summer; what is different about the record called “Beauty Re- Envisioned”?

Ciravolo

It’s really most of the songs off of “Finding Beauty in Chaos” that we handed over the reins on. We decided to toss it on the cutting room floor and do like a puzzle once more and let different artists and producers and let them re-record some pieces and re-mix to put it back together. It was a pretty cool process to hear something different after having lived so closely with it for a year. Not the average club re- mix album from a MC, even a couple DJs did some really fancy stuff. A big undertaking of 25 mixes of the tracks, it’s different so there’s something in it for everybody that liked what we did w/ the BIC album. There’s a beautiful acoustic version of “Storm” some completely new recording, a piano version of “The Long Goodbye”; not just a typical remix but across the board and in a way had given me time to step back and start working on new songs which we hope to have on an EP before the end of the year. So, we’re taking a breathe for focus here on our next steps.  And there will be some videos before the end of the year.

Hek82

Like I said, I think these videos have a real universal appeal- I was born just prior to the 80’s, so I grew up in the 80’s; and of course you’re well known for the band Human Drama but the talent on this album with Ice- T of Body Count, Zakk Wylde of course, Al Jourgensen of Ministry and so many more. I’m picturing my youth and the videos I used to watch on MTV and I want to see these there and on networks. Can we do that?

Ciravolo

It’s a different time now, MTV broke in a lot of bands but now it’s altogether another animal. It’s a live entity though and we can put many faces in we’ve done them all with the same director Vincent Cordero, we work really well together. We have one already shot and edited which is the acoustic version of “Storm” and another on the way. I’ve been in videos before, but in these I have a big part in the story line. It’s a great outlet for it that might lead to us doing something live in some type of limited format.

Hek82

That was my next question, are we going to get to see this live? Was it your intention when you created the album?

Ciravolo

It wasn’t the intention but it’s kind of evolving. I can see it being a challenge and a whole lot of fun to do. It’s a matter of getting enough of the singers together, it might involve one singer singing something that another person did the vocals on. Each song was co-written with the singers, who also did their own lyrics and everything. It’s figuring out how to present it, it’s a 30 or 40 min. set with the singers. Right now I’m focusing on getting this record out and I’m excited about a couple of new songs that we started. Maybe after the first of the year I’ll jump into it. We could maybe do an acoustic show, we did a record release with the three songs with Ashton Nyte on BIC, he’s am amazing singer so to hear those songs in a low key setting was great and sparked some of what we did, like the textures on this Re-Envisioned album.

Hek82

So with all the experience of these players, who over so many years like any have achieved a level of professionalism, that with all the challenges, hard-knocks or disappointments that they’ve had, with perseverance after 20 or 30 years they can get together with all of the other pros at a party and jam with a fantastic result.

Ciravolo

This time for me is a little different, not the goal of being a rock star, but I place a lot of importance of my wife and daughters and other things too that really outshine the rock star in me. I feel pleased, I am certainly blessed to have so many genuinely talented friends. It’s great that they came together to put in their heart and soul as much as Michael and I did, so no one put in shotty lyrics just to do it, they really spent time and feel proud. I just hope that it opens the door to a few more people because I do want to continue the course of action of BIC which is getting a revolving cast of people. I like the idea of putting people together on a track that haven’t been together on one before. Perhaps out of their element but bringing a little bit of the chaos factor into it.

Hek82

Your wife’s involvement in this is  great too, she’s an admirable person because she’s actually also running the Daisy Rock guitar line which are super cool instruments for ladies. Her appearances in the videos are fantastic, really very nice work on those. The two of you have a nice collaboration.

Ciravolo

I am looking forward to having her sing another track, I though she did fantastic.

Hek82

Those vocals are really very good.

Ciravolo

She is probably the least known of the singers on the record … a surprise.

Hek82

She and Al Jourgensen are really very good together. Great work.

Ciravolo

When we started dating, one of our first dates was to see a Ministry concert at Lollapalooza, you see us after 25 years and we’re doing a video with him. So, you kind of have to know where life’s gonna take you and hope it’s a fun journey- there were a lot of surreal moments for us in making this record and everything that’s come from it, it’s been really enjoyable.

Hek82

Absolutely. Well, to move onto any Schecter guitar news, I’ve seen a cool custom BIC guitar model had been made, are these available to the public to buy?

Ciravolo

That’s the one on my web page, yeah- I wanted something new to record with, I’m not at the point of making that into a signature model though. I had the symbol put on and I’m gonna track most of the new album with it. I thought it’d be a cool guitar feature for our fans to follow it into the studio.

Hek82

Definitely! Any more custom shop or Wylde Audio news from you Schecter guys?

Ciravolo

We actually saw Zakk play the El Rey last night, it was cool he did his through the crowd wireless and ended up right at our table … it was great.

Hek82

Cool!

Ciravolo

He’s a total guitar hero. Amazing, I’m so happy and blessed to call that guy a friend. We’re continuing to expand his Wylde line and he’s got a new shape out, with his super cool graphics that he always does. And Schecter is going to be distributing a few new lines as well, and we’ll be designing new guitars like always and a pedal brand. We’re striving to stay ahead of the game, and lead instead of follow.

Hek82

They are beautiful instruments. Most of them are available for sale at the Guitar Center, Sam Ash, maybe elsewhere … and online, correct?

Ciravolo

Sweetwater, American Music Supply as well as a lot of great independent dealers, Drum City Guitarland in Denver, and more. I always tell people to go into a store and play something rather than just look at it online and that works for everyone. A great bunch of dealers from the big guys down to the small mom and Pop stores.

Hek82

Super. I always look for the Schecter display at the NAMM show in Anaheim, Ca and I’ve seen it  this year were just the standing cases and the excellent concert party with Ice- T and Body Count as well as Silvertomb with Johnny Kelly and Interloper.

Ciravolo

That show was actually when Ice -T filmed his part for our video Un- Natural Disaster. We shot that backstage.

Hek82

Right on. Our Schecter buddy Skumlove was there and greeted me out front. Good guys.

Ciravolo

Our work might be 40-50 hours per week, and so we enjoy it and get a good feeling of a family. A lot of people that are on the record I’ve had the opportunity to meet and become friends with.

Hek82

Excellent. What can we anticipate for 2020 as far as Schecter artists? Will we see them at the NAMM convention?

Ciravolo

Well, as far as planning the party we have to juggle which bands are on or off tour and when they are rehearsed enough to do a show, we always have our wish list.

Hek82

Mr. Zakk Wylde might be in attendance we’ll be looking for that. There certainly are a lot of terrific talents and musicians that love Schecter Guitars. Thank you again, Michael for your time.

Ciravolo

I appreciate your support of us and Schecter and also Beauty in Chaos.

Hek82

Great and I hope to speak to again soon.

Ciravolo

Yes, after the record comes out.

Hek82

That’ll be cool, thanks!