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TL2 Interview with Frank Cotolo exclusively on EvO:R
"Distorted guitar riffage flies from the speakers, along with some quick-picked rock soloing.
Harrelson aka..TL2 is quite comfortable mixing a disparate range of styles -
it's quite likely the full CD release will feature more of the same.".......
TL2 Interview by Radio Personality Frank Cotolo
Interview: TL2 [Charlie Harrelson]
Frank Cotolo- First, you're a solo artist with a band name.
What does TL2 mean and where did it come from?
Chronicle of works in progress; and what price EvO:R?
CH: TL2 a band name? I never thought about the name TL2 as a
group or band name. Just simply as my name, like Sting and Flee.
I created the name from my Email screen name. And Too Lucky 2
is the name of a song I wrote for a solo-guitar project called
Life Without Light. This project has been ongoing for two years
and just keeps getting bigger all the time. Think about it; TL2
sounds a lot better than Charlie Harrelson.
Frank Cotolo- Do you have any guitar-player influences dating farther back
than the 1960s? If so, who are they?
CH: Yes I do. There are Les Paul, Robert Lucas, Joe Beard,
Mighty Sam McClain, Scotty Moore, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown,
T-Bone Walker; just to name a few. The real influences on my
playing began, however, with the British Invasion of the mid-'60s.
Frank Cotolo- You have mentioned King Crimson as an influence. This is not a group
that lasted very long. What exactly did they do that inspired you as
a guitar player?
CH: Actually, King Crimson has been making music for 35 years. After
a 10-year hiatus the group is back, bigger and better then ever before.
A more accurate statement should have been that the various incarnations
of King Crimson were major influences of mine. Many members left King Crimson
to form some of the cornerstones to the progressive-rock movement of the late
'70s and early '80s.
Frank Cotolo- You are also, you said, quite inspired by Jimi Hendrix. Is it just how
he played technically that moves you or are you also inspired by the
many different ways he addressed recorded his guitar playing?
CH: Actually, his technical merit should have been placed in the
how-not-to-do-it book. What I did like about him was that he brought
guitar to the forefront of rock. After Jimi, the guitar wasn't simply
a strumming instrument and a melody line, solo-break instrument any more.
He set player standards that got thousands of kids off the street and
plugged into amplifiers. Millions of guitarists world wide owe Hendrix
for that. How he did it was another story.
Frank Cotolo- How do you approach writing music?
CH: It's all in the soundscape. I simply sit down, warm up and if something
great starts to happen I'll stick to it. If nothing great happens I'll put
the guitar down and do something else. I never try to write music when my mind
is not in a creative state. Some of my best work has come while doing more than
one thing at a time. You know, multi-tasking. Someone was talking to me about
an Email that they just read while I was trying to solo over a Quad-Cranium
track called March To Cydonia. The song required an extremely long solo, about
two minutes long, and I was really struggling with the content. So I thought
that I would just record the guitar direct, make a few versions and see what
happens. I put the machine in record mode and played along while I listened to the Email being read to me.
It turned out to be a great idea because the solo was one of my
Frank Cotolo- Do you hear riffs when you aren't playing and try to translate them or do
you sit with your instrument and search for them?
CH: I never hear riffs in my head, at least not any I can remember until
I get a guitar in my hand. It is not until I pick up the guitar and plug
it in that I begin to hear anything. This happens to me because I am involved
in so many projects. Over the years I have learned to turn things off until I
need to retrieve them. Much like a computer, it is only there when you click
Frank Cotolo- Do you consider yourself prolific?
CH: Not at all. Every note, phrase, hammer-on, pull-off string stretch and
arpeggio I play requires a ton of work and effort. I am not a natural on my
instrument, I am simply creative and I use the guitar to channel some of this creativity.
Frank Cotolo- Let's look at EvO:R for a moment. Briefly, how did you create it and come to settle
on such an odd title?
CH: A number of years ago I was sitting at home working on a solo project.
I was tired of working by myself and running out of ideas. Living in a small
town like I do leaves very little opportunity to work with other artists who
share your ideas. So I used the Internet to seek musicians.
Frank Cotolo- Unlike websites such as myspace.com, where there seem to be more artists than fans,
EvO:R gets quite a bit of fan traffic. Where does the EvO:R public come from?
The idea was simply
to share music and ideas via the web. I formed an e-group [email distribution]
and slowly began recruiting members. This was a very slow process because I had
nothing to show anyone, just an e-group. After a few months it became obvious
that the members of the e-group needed a website, a name, a logo and a webmaster.
I spent a few weeks kicking around ideas for a name and somehow EVO came out.
That name, or acronym, belonged to an olive oil company and they were not interested
in sharing it. We added the letter 'r' and played around with the upper-and-lower
case thing until the final EvO:R idea came. Jason Burns, an original EvO:R member,
created our logo. It has been modified a dozen times. And from this humble beginning
came EvO:R. The name actually has a cool ring to it, very mystic in nature.
CH: The same places other online music website traffic comes from, only the volume is smaller. We
draw a lot of college traffic. Our search engine results place EvO:R artists at
or near the top of almost any web search , so if someone is looking for a band
listed on EvO:R, they will usually find them on our site before they find them
on any other web site. I also moderate a bunch of music-related news groups and
try my best to include EvO:R activities whenever possible. The problem is I have
to pull teeth to get this information and lately I haven't had time or energy to
encourage members to let me promote their music.
Frank Cotolo- But you are doing some innovative promotions, right?
CH: We just got EvO:R listed on a couple of hundred mail-sharing programs.
This allows e-zine writers to pull articles of interest to them and include
these articles in their newsletters. This gives us thousands of new visitors
every month. And that number is growing. I don't have a multi-million dollar
advertising budget so I depend on doing smart things and I also have to look
at things for long-term results, rather than what can be accomplished now.
Slow, steady growth is my model; not flash today, gone tomorrow.
Frank Cotolo- And for reasons like this EvO:R is unique and has unique problems.
CH: I know of no other website that dedicates so much time and space to
each member. We ask that each member generate the same dedication. The
unfortunate word is "ask." Many bands join up and treat this as nothing
more than a mirror site, that is, a copy of another website where they
already have their music. This is really a shame because we get tons of
Email from fans and members thanking us for the job we have done. It can
only get better if all the members would show the same respect and interest
for us that I show for them.
Frank Cotolo- Do you see a point when EvO:R can become too big?
CH: Never! I won't allow that to happen. I do 95 percent of the work, so my
ability to grow is totally dependent on my time. We are finally getting some
volunteer help and this has allowed me to concentrate on core EvO:R needs.
Frank Cotolo- Are there times when you feel the management and operation of EvO:R stifles
your own creativity and you feel you should just go it alone?
CH: Once every couple of hours. Whenever I spend four to five hours working
on a new artists page, encoding mp3s, uploading,listing new pages with the top search engines, checking links to make
sure they all work, etcetera. Then I Email the artist to say I'm done and the
response is 'Thanks.' I want to spit. Actually more than that, but this is a
family website. From a personal level, I have put all TL2 projects on hold
while I build up our membership, create the Tracks Across America project and
handle the day-to-day running of EvO:R. This is a huge sacrifice. Imagine
recording 25-30 songs for a new CD and simply sitting it on the shelf so
you can help other bands promote upcoming CD releases? I don't know of many
other people who are willing to do this.
Frank Cotolo- But you are, so to speak, hopelessly devoted to the EvO:R environment.
CH: I bleed EvO:R, so it must do well for me to be happy! Right now I'm very happy.
This past month the site busted all visitor records and mp3 download
records. If we can keep this going we should be in great shape for the future. The website visitor
activity that we once did in a month we are now doing every day. I just want more of our members
to realize what a vital service we offer and it's free!
Click the CD cover for music samples and ordering information.
All CD's are distributed via Peacework Music Network
Esoteric Visions |
by Quad Cranium
Tracks Across America
By Various Artists