Music On Fire is a band project where there was a specific sound and tone that I have been trying to capture and showcase. The idea was to compose an album where the songs flowed as one cohesive work that played from start to end with highs, lows and detours that would earn multiple listens to enjoy.
Since what I heard in my head had a guitar driven sound, I was lucky to have Tony Naranjo as the person whose contributions gave the album its great sound and appeal. His diverse background of playing (punk, metal, blues, rock, acoustic) allowed him to switch between many styles as the the songs demanded. Bunny Vargas is the record's secret weapon as she provided bass and fantastic background vocals. Last of the contributors is my good friend Ken "Long Beach" Huntington on perfect harmonica.
Music On Fire's third album was a combination of the travel/airport/hotel generated songs with additional studio time for vocals/guitar and overdubs. As with all modern life, several songs and arrangements were lost during this period of time due to computer and hard drive crashes ( I'm looking at you foreign TSA agent swigging that huge thermos full of whatever that was). Because of this, there are two tracks in mp3 format as these are the only existing copies I could find, scavenged from I emailed copies for possible collaboration.
Four Way Hit
Four very different guys. Four very different backgrounds.
Mike Santo - Guitars
Ron Hayes – Drums
Mas Takauchi – Bass
Dan Vargas – Vocals
Around 1987/1988, Mike and Dan had worked together on Sludge’s two major recording projects (there is still an excellent full Sludge LP, waiting to be released). They reunited in 2008. Practice began at Ron’s house with Mas on bass.
“We borrowed a 24 channel board and set it up in the room. 8 mics on the drums submixed to two channels which were output to a TEAC 788 along with the guitar and bass. Vocals and guitar overdubs were next and after a lifetime of remixing, we had an album.
We played off and on for a couple of years; one great show, Tony (Slug) Leeuwenburgh was visiting in Long Beach and played with us at the Rhythm Lounge in Long Beach. There is video out there in You Tube land. "
The band began writing new material for a new release but a lack of shows and differences in musical direction had the band calling it quits in 2010. However, each member continues to play in various projects in the Los Angeles area.
Mike Santo Four Way Hit Write up
"So Dan was asking me to play guitar on some tracks that he had recorded digitally. They were a bit extreme, and I couldn't make heads or tails out of them. Fortunately I had a jam band, which was just that, a jam band with no singer. It was myself, Mas, and Ron. We had tried some singers, but nothing was working out. So Dan gave me a stack of lyrics. I would go over them until something would speak to me. I would put music to it, and show the band. I really didn't have anyone one bounce ideas off of. I think I came up with some good riffs. And I'm very proud of those songs."
Over the years, there are many songs that were composed that felt like images of places and times. These are not soundscapes but audio paintings that the listener can take an imaginary ride to wherever the sound takes them; different people have has completely different reactions to the same piece.
Coming Soon!!!! A history of sorts of the amazing bands that I have worked with as well as a few things I wrote in the process.
Very early album written and composed on airplanes, airposts , hotels and countries all over the world. The original album was compromised by a computer crash but that didn't stop me from resurrecting the songs from the ashes and getting almost back to the original ideas.