By: Judy Shields
Yucaipa, California (The Hollywood Times) 7/27/2020 – “Spread the word, the world goes round, you know.” Frank Musker, band member of World Goes Round told The Hollywood Times during our first Zoom interview last week, that in fact, the recording didn’t work.
They graciously did another Zoom interview.
World Goes Round Band Members Interview
Says Musker, who co-wrote “Round The World” with Jay Cawley and Kim Tyler, “’Round the World’ deals with an escape from a negative relationship that is going nowhere, but it’s written from a more optimistic perspective – that a new love has brought new hope for a better future. Making that final break with the past and setting off to find the big beautiful world that’s out there waiting to be discovered and experienced is the theme of the sunny light filled chorus. It swells the heart with positivity, warmth and the hope that people all over the world want the same things – love, freedom, joy, adventure and fulfilment.”
The video is really great and the lyrics are those of what the world needs in these trying times. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear their latest single “Round the World” and view the video as well.
Interview with Frank Musker and Jeff Hull:
THT: Why don’t you two introduce yourself.
Jeff Hull: My name is Jeff Hull, writer, producer, composer, musician, and the like.
Frank Musker. Very good, I like that, I’m Frank Musker, and we’re both members of World Goes Round. Which is a band that came back to life after 30 years, and I’m delighted to say that we’re all working on finishing up our album. Hopefully it will come out in September. That’s very good news. Nobody is more surprised than us.
Jeff Hull: It’s been a long road!
THT: Let’s talk about what you’ve been up to lately.
Jeff Hull: I’ve been in the studio, so it’s been like business as usual. Which is kind of great, because I think I would have probably gone nuts, I would have just been locked up in my house the whole time.
Frank Musker: The biggest problem we ever had as a band was everybody’s availability. So I made a joke the other day in an interview that it took a worldwide shutdown for us, the five of us, to get back together. Everyone is so busy all the time. It was always I can’t do that man and I would say can’t you just stay focused for 48 hours.
So anyway, we’re kind of at that stage, we are almost done with the record. Just getting the pieces together of what we recorded back in 1989. So it’s nice because it’s also the world goes round then and it’s the world goes around now because Jeff and Marty are finishing up these tracks that were started then and never got finished.
Jeff Hull, Frank and I were talking yesterday and I was likening this project. I didn’t know if you remember, and I don’t know if this is the title of the film, but do you remember a documentary called Seven and Up? Did you ever see anything like that, Judy?
THT: I remember hearing of it..
Jeff Hull: The basic premise was it’s pretty fascinating. They were about 10 kids or seven kids or whatever, and they followed them from age seven, until they were 30. I saw that and it was fascinating and some did well, and some didn’t do so well. Well, this record is kind of like that, because you have our, you know, our mid 20 year old selves from 30 years ago, and now we’re finishing the record as older selves and it’s kind of a peek into both lives. I couldn’t help make that analogy.
Frank Musker: That’s a good one Jeff. I like it because it is really interesting. I mean, the story’s amazing anyway, but the story is evolving, which is even more interesting. The fact that we now have to finish this album with four or five tracks that were recorded at the time, but never brought up to this kind of master level because of what didn’t happen. That is really exciting to come back together after all this time and actually realize that, you know, 30 years is like, kinda stood still. The band is the same, the people are the same and the musicianship level is the same. If anything gets better it because we’ve all learned a few things in that time, so it’s easier to work together because none of us had to live together. We’re all on Zoom!
Jeff Hull: Yeah!
Frank Musker: Most situations you can’t imagine.
THT: Are you both here in the States or abroad?
Frank Musker: I’m actually in the south of England right now.
Jeff Hull: I’m in LA. I’m in your town. I’m assuming you’re in LA, right?
THT: Well, I am normally in Hollywood, but I’m working from home currently.
Jeff Hull: Good for you. I’m out of Woodland Hills. So lovely. Yeah, just far enough from all the craziness.
THT: Who actually discovered this missing cassette?
Frank Musker: I think after all these interviews and hearing everybody’s different version of it, I think what happened was Tommy, our producer, engineer, extraordinaire, genius said to Marty one day, have you got that tape of World Goes Round, that was great stuff. He was putting together some kind of website. Marty said, I guess I might have a cassette of it up in my attic or something like that. So he went up in his attic and he found this dusty old cassette, literally an audio cassette, boys and girls who’ve never heard of this before, an audio cassette is a thing that people used to actually buy in order to listen to music. We come from a different planet, you know, long and prosper. But anyway, Marty found this cassette and sent it to Tommy. And Tommy mastered it, kind of did a bit of messing around with the sound and then they came back to each other and they said, boy, this sounds really good. Not just kind of musically, but sonically really good. How the heck did that happen?
I was in India traveling with my wife Rosie and I got an email from Marty Walsh, which was so random, so off the wall, it’s just a crazy place and everything. Then I listened to these two tracks, and they just sounded like they were recorded yesterday. They’re fresh and they were punchy. I got back to Marty and I said, look, we got to do something with this because they’re great, you know? Anyway, so the story kind of evolved from there. We had some Zoom meetings so all four of us could talk and see each other. A friend of mine, who has a great record company in America called Viper Records, Jonathan Stewart, which is kind of one would think, be the worst fit in the world because it’s all kind of very hardcore and street level rap stuff. It’s a perfect home for us because there’s nobody like us. It’s a great mix, the whole story has been evolving, basically, the record is like a time capsule because it was put away in 1989. It’s like taking the lid off something and going, Oh, my God, look at this. We had the first single out “Big House,” which is starting to really get some traction, we’re starting to get some really cool playlists on Spotify and the radio interest is picking up. We’ve been doing lots of interviews and lots of press and the reaction has been uniformly the same. It’s always been that we love the music of the 80s. We’ve never heard this. This is great, so it’s kind of new music. We’ve never heard it before, but it’s very much of its time. I can see you’re an 80s girl.
That’s part of the thing. I think it’s just timing, people are suddenly looking at the 80s. And here’s a brand new record that no one’s ever heard, but it’s genuinely from the 80s. And so I guess that’s created a lot of human interest. You know,
Jeff Hull: I was really surprised at the level of enthusiasm about this stuff because we couldn’t generate that much enthusiasm back then when we had it. That’s a whole other story, because it was a whole different business back then. But I was really shocked and pleasantly surprised. Finally after all this time, we may see the light of day, which is great. It’s fantastic.
Frank Musker: Yeah, and you know what, with this evolving story, what’s really interesting is that I always thought, well, this will appeal to people of our generation. People who love the 80s, what’s really unfolding is that we’re getting a whole audience of young people who don’t know anything about the 80s music. Maybe it’s been all these weird indie playlists and kind of we’re on there with names I’ve never heard of, and it’s very flattering to be on a classic rock players playlist with, you know, Dire Straits and Peter Gabriel all those people. Don Henley, but it’s also really flattering to be on a playlist with people I’ve frankly never heard of, kind of the hip, you know, in the kind of new fans with their own following. It’s an education for me, I’m just loving the whole ride, it’s amazing. I’ve sort of stayed away from all of that for quite a long time and now I’m kind of really getting into the nuts and bolts of how it all works.
It’s actually kind of fun. I think the best thing about it and this slide is really kind of terrible coming from a songwriter, but I don’t deal with a record company, which is like heaven. Not having people and committees with stupid decisions being made on your behalf and demands being made of you. Just being able to focus on the music and to be on your own. PR person, which the five of us are, you know, if something doesn’t make it, you know, one person goes like that.
Jeff Hull: Then constantly playing, beat the demo game, which was always they take a song and they say okay, this is great. Now let’s do it for real and you’d go in, and it would sound horrible. And I go, well, why can’t you just use what you have here? You know, it’s crazy.
Frank Musker: Well, the truth of it is that things have their time. The world has changed in 30 years. What’s really interesting is that we were talking about stuff 30 years ago, that was probably a little bit too edgy or too uncomfortable for people to listen to. About homelessness, about the burning of the Amazon rainforest, there’s lots of stuff on the album. It’s not all kind of serious, worthy stuff. I mean, there’s other kinds of more light-hearted tracks as well. It’s not a snooze fest, but there’s a lot of stuff that we talk about in the lyrics of the song that you can only get away with in a song. And now the world has changed and the things that were supposed to be slightly out there kind of weird ideas are now kind of absolutely in the mainstream of public debate. There isn’t a public debate or political debate that isn’t about the environment or about rights, or all of these things. Homelessness, right and center, because radar from then, so it’s timing, If the songs had been kind of irrelevant to 2020, I’d say well, was a nice shot, you know, it’s a nice little time capsule, thank you very much. Despite this, isn’t the song more relevant now than they ever were? They are. Probably in terms of the planet and where we’re going, but at the same time, they do feel edgy, you know, they do feel relevant.
THT: Well, it’s nice to know in 2020, with all that has been happening, that there’s something positive and amazing. That it is World Goes Round, you guys coming out and you all discovering this. I think it’s gonna be the biggest music release for 2020!
Frank Musker. What a lovely thing to say. The bonus is, to have a project which is probably the best music any of us have worked on to suddenly fall into our lap and be in a situation where we have creative freedom. We only answer to each other and to be able to finish this record we started in the right and proper way. That is such an absolute blessing, that’s amazing. Lockdown is going to be a lot of different to me when I look back at it, but this particular element of it has been absolutely a lifesaver for us, because musicians have to create, if you can’t be creative, you are not happy.
Jeff Hull: Yeah, absolutely. Frank, have they closed stuff down in England, like they’re starting to close everything back down in California again, and rightfully so because it’s out of control.
Frank Musker: We’re in a funny situation because they’ve been easing the lockdown gently and there’s one or two hotspots, but actually at the moment, touch wood, it’s looking like they’re going at the right sort of speed.
Jeff Hull. Dumb Americans!
Frank Musker: It’s very hard because the whole world’s been shut down. But let’s face it, the most at risk category are very old people. And this is what we didn’t know about the disease in the beginning. If we’d known that maybe the whole thing would have been different. Personally, I think there are so many great things that have come out of it. If it doesn’t go on for the next three years, I think in many ways, there are a lot of good things that came out of it, especially for the environment. Just like a general reset for people to figure out what’s important in their lives, whether they just need more and more and more stuff, or whether they need the kind of work life balance to make you happy as well. I think fathers who never see their kids having to spend time with them and do stuff. I know there’s a lot of bad stuff, from domestic abuse and financial difficulties and stuff. Let’s face it, if you ever want to achieve any kind of wisdom in this world, you have to spend a little bit of time on your own thinking and this is what it’s like the whole of humanity’s had to sort of shut down for three months.
The best thing about it, to be honest, apart from making music, which is always to reignite these friendships and to be in daily contact with each other and work on something constructively together. That’s such an incredible bonus.
THT: I have loved music my entire life. I went to school with it in my ears, did homework with music in my ears and I can’t imagine a day without music. I honestly never paid attention to songwriters, because they don’t give you the credit. And until this new TV show called Songland, it just made me realize how amazing all of you are. And that a song would not even be here for me or us to listen to without you, the songwriters. I give you guys my heartfelt thanks for giving us your songs.
Jeff Hull: Well, we appreciate that. Let me tell you songwriters, at least back in the thick of the 80s, they were always on the bottom wrong of everything. You know, it’s like yeah, yeah, give me the song, give me the song, now go away. Yeah. So it’s good that they are getting their due because if they didn’t there would be no product without the songwriters.
Frank Musker: Let me tell you, this band is basically four songwriters, it’s not like a band where there’s one songwriter and three musicians or whatever, so it’s all focused on one person. This is genuinely new, unique and interesting situation because we’ve never toured, we never played live, although, you know, down the road, who knows we’d love to, but right now the whole reason for being, for the fan, is the writing. It’s all about the songs that we wrote together.
To get the opportunity to actually take those to the max. To take them to where you hear them in your head rather than having to give the demo away and watch somebody else nine times out of 10 massacre your song and then have a hit with it which is even adding insult to injury. So here speaks a real songwriter, it’s the 10% or so that are great that make the whole thing worthwhile as a songwriter when you’re a songwriter you can’t help yourself Anyway, you just do it!
Jeff Hull: It is a lottery. When it goes from your head to piece of paper then onto tape, and then it has to make it past the ugly thing called “the business.” It is a lottery, having it come out really well or remotely well, and then having it be a hit. I mean, it really is a lesson in improvisation because we are in complete creative control of that project. So you know, I’m not leaving. You know how we get along and stuff, you know, it’s like, a long time ago.
Frank Musker: I want to make things as good as they can possibly be. We’re not talking about three hour sessions here, we go off in a session, like day after day, after day, in the studio in search of that magic kind of crystal clear thing that is going to resonate with everybody.
It’s working! I mean, I could tell you, I don’t mind saying I’m really genuinely excited about these songs that no one’s ever heard before. Because, really, I think they’re gonna blow a few people away. There’s just something very magical about them. It’s something about tying up these two moments in 1989 and in 2020, misappropriate, wow. Well, I mean, that’s the weirdest. Exactly, this album is being made in lockdown, and that it came from from an audio cassette we were one sort of bad dodgy audio cassette away from oblivion. Now suddenly, we’re back in which we’re on Spotify. And we’re kind of getting airplay and it’s just you can never tell what’s gonna happen.
THT: Your record came out last Friday, July 17 “Round the World”, who wrote that one?
Frank Musker: That song was written with two friends of mine, who were kind of in the orbit of the band, but not in the band. An old friend named Kim Tyler, who was a musician and Jay Cawley, who was a sort of musician engineer. Jay Cawley played bass for Juice Newton. He now lives in New Mexico and he’s loving the fact that he also had a single released last week. This is how funny things are and it’s a roll of the dice. We just wrote a song one day and he happened to be working with World Goes Round and Jeff got into it and made a killer arrangement that just completely took the song to a different level. It’s always been a favorite and it’s got this really kind of infectious chorus that gets to you and makes you feel good.
I think after six months of this year, time we all got to focusing on our future a little bit and stop worrying about the Coronavirus for the rest of it. There’s a wonderful quote that Bruce Springsteen said in his biography, “that every great rock and roll song is basically a rewrite of “We gotta get out of this place” by Eric Burdon and The Animals. Getting out of this going nowhere life, getting on your motorbike with your girl on the back and just blasting off down the road and never looking back. In a way, that’s kind of the feeling of this song, except it’s got this wonderful kind of embracing thing with people around the world, they’re all the same, they’re all just looking for love, happiness, freedom and new experiences. Given that we’ve all been locked in our houses for such a long time, quite nice, it is a nice thing to dream about, hopefully pretty soon we’ll be able to do that again.
Jeff Hull: It’s actually one of the lighter songs on the record.
THT: Frank, I have a quick question. I want to know when was the last time you saw your 100 ft California Redwood tree at your old studio? Is that still around?
Frank Musker: That was so interesting. Very good question. The last time I was in California, which as I said was a long time ago, even more now, 20 years ago. I actually took a nostalgic drive out to that house just to see it. It was kind of a weird moment because someone else is living in your house and everything. But the Redwood is still there, it’s probably five or 600 hundred years old. It’s gonna be there when the house is gone or probably when LA is gone, But it was an incredible thing to have because it was so inspiring, this living thing. I mean, you know what a Sequoia is, it is like the NFL of trees. We couldn’t get rid of it obviously and it was a very magical thing so we built the extension kind of around it with glass so you could see it. The trunk went all the way up above the house. It was great and it just gave off a vibe. Everybody who ever walked into that studio did great work. A lot of records were made there.
Jeff Hull: How did you keep the rats out. (Laughter)
Frank Musker: The tree was actually outside the house,
Jeff Hull: Wasn’t that tree inside the foyer kind of area? Rats are taking over the world by the way!
Frank Musker: That was our live recording area. Rats and the squirrels could not get in.
THT: Who shot the video for the record?
Frank Musker: It’s an amazing collaboration of friends of mine, my life long songwriter partner, Dominic Bugatti.
Jeff Hull: They actually wrote “Every Woman in The World” together, this is way before I met Frank. Frank had another whole career in the 70s before we met.
Frank Musker: Dominic has been obviously writing, recording and doing stuff but he and his wife have in the last year started making videos and they’re just fantastic at it. I’m amazed because I know Dominic so well and I had no idea that he had this particular gift. He just has a kind of director’s eye and being a songwriter, he understands lyrics as well. When I was talking about the ideas for the script, he would say what do you see? So I would give him the vaguest of ideas, like “The Big House” and would say I want to see images of the Amazon burning and stuff like that.
I don’t want it to be like a rock and roll video, I want it to be like a four minute film that really makes people go wow, is that really happening? Because it’s powerful and I love that. I think those sort of performance videos are great. But, you know, to be honest, I think it’s a great art form and there is a lot to be explored. We’ve got some very interesting songs, musically and lyrically, so I’m looking forward to this collaboration and progressing on a visual level as well. Because to be fair, Dominic and Vicky have kind of basically created a visual image for us, which we are totally comfortable with, that fit. But it’s their creativity that they’ve brought to the songs and that’s given it a whole new infusion of energy and life and it just feels very contemporary in these videos. So yeah, this process of having 10 great videos.
Jeff Hull: That would be awesome..
Frank Musker: Dominic, you owe me for this plug by the way! Snoww Productions, with two w’s
They have also inspired us in terms of the design of the logo, the album cover all of these things. it’s just it’s been a real collaborative effort and so many creative people working to the same end results can be absolutely fantastic. This is not just the music, this is really an interesting ride and we’re enjoying it. .
THT: Any last words Jeff?
Jeff Hull: Just go listen. Go listen to World Goes Round, please. Wear your mask and stay your distance.
Frank Musker: One thing I am looking forward to after this whole pandemic is over, is being able to hug again. One long hug fest!