With RTZ, vocalist Brad Delp puts more of himself in the music

Sound check

November 14, 1991|By Nestor Aparicio | Nestor Aparicio,Evening Sun Staff

Brad Delp will readily admit that he has lived the good life of a rock 'n' roll star for the past decade.

After singing and touring on the first two highly successful Boston albums in the late 1970s, Delp was involved on just one project during the '80s -- "Third Stage" in 1986.

"I took great advantage of that time off," said Delp, who was waiting for Boston mastermind, guitarist Tom Scholz, to put the pieces together for the third album. "It was a good excuse not to have anything to do. I've got two kids and I was spending time with my family."

But this time, Delp has stopped waiting for Scholz to come up with Boston's fourth album.

Along with guitarist Barry Goudreau, who was a member of Boston for the first two albums, Delp has helped form a new band, RTZ, short for Return To Zero, which will appear at Hammerjacks tomorrow.

The self-titled album doesn't sound too much like any of Boston's previous work, but Delp knows the comparisons are inevitable.

"I think the fact that I'm singing on the album means there's going to be an unmistakable reference point," Delp said. "It was never our idea to sound like Boston. To me, the differences are very apparent."

Delp said that Boston is Tom Scholz -- he writes the songs, he produces them and he manipulates them at his will.

And if Delp doesn't return for thefourth Boston album, he's not sure if it would make a big difference.

"I think people would be surprised with how it would be so similar without me," Delp said. "From a musician's standpoint, what is impressive is the vocal arrangements not the singing itself. It's what he did with my voice, not my voice, that makes it sound the way it does. Almost all of the Boston songs are double-tracked."

RTZ, on the other hand, is just a basic five-man, rock 'n' roll band with limited gimmicks.

"With Barry, all he wants to do is play guitar," Delp said. "I can take chords changes and work lyrics with them. I get to do what|| TC want. It's a nice merger that way. Somehow, I feel there's a little more of me in this music and that's something every musician has to get out at one point or another."

Delp said the band, which also includes Brian Maes (keyboards), David Stefanelli (drums) and Tim Archibald (bass), was feeling ambivalent about performing any Boston songs in its live show.

"We are doing two from the first album, which Barry and I had a big part in, to show the fans we appreciate them coming out to see the new band. Actually, we thought we wouldn't be able to get through a set without having people ask us for Boston songs and that hasn't been the case."

*

The concert calendar:

Also coming to Hammerjacks, Tommy Conwell (Nov. 22), Lita Ford and Tuff (Nov. 23), The Smithereens (Nov. 24), Dangerous Toys (Nov. 25), Tyketto (Nov. 26), Child's Play (Nov. 27) and Kix (Nov. 29 and 30).

Max's On Broadway has Innocence Mission (Nov. 26).

Coming to the Capital Centre are Paula Abdul (Nov. 21) and Rush (Dec. 4).

Shriver Hall at Johns Hopkins University hosts The Pixies and Pere Ubu (Nov. 22) and Crowded House and School of Fish (Nov. 29).

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