AOR: Auditory Visions of L.A. Darkness
AOR is a one man band featuring prestigious guests of the Melodic Rock, Hard Rock & Westcoast world! The mastermind behind AOR is guitarist / keyboardist Frédéric Slama, whose captivating visions of Los Angeles and beyond are wondrously captured on his many albums.
AOR’s latest magnum opus is the rocking L.A. Darkness, showing an edgier side of the City of Angels while still maintaining the glorious melodic rock and roll experience. Now available worldwide through Perris Records, L.A. Darkness features guest appearances from notables such as Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteem, Talisman, W.E.T), Kevin Chalfant (The Storm, 707, Two Fires, Journey, Shooting Star, The V.U), Steve Overland (FM, The Ladder), Jesse Damon (Silent Rage, Kiss), Henry Small (Prism), Paul Sabu (Only Child, Kidd Glove, John Waite), and more!
We recently had an opportunity to interview AOR’s founder Frédéric Slama to discuss his auditory visions of L.A. Darkness and the stunning artistry of his music. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in AOR, and how long the project has been in existence.
The AOR project was born in 2000. It’s a “one man band” consisting of myself, Frédéric Slama, featuring the greatest musicians & singers in the Westcoast / Melodic Rock world. Since 2000, AOR has released 15 albums and his growing a huge fan base with each release.
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there.
I’m from France but mostly based in L.A. where I recorded most of the tracks of my albums. I’m also recording a lot in Sweden with Tommy Denander, a famed guitar player who’s been helping me for 12 years now. The music scene in Los Angeles is very competitive as you can imagine ha! ha!
How did you wind up signing to Perris Records?
I knew Perris Records and Tom Mathers well since we did a great job in 2012 in releasing the Chasing Violets album “Outside Heaven” I wrote and produced. It consisted of 2 French sisters, Sarah & Mélissa Fontaine singing in English with the biggest musicians you can find in the Melodic Rock genre. So I knew Perris would do a great job in the U.S with the new AOR album “L.A Darkness“
Is there any story or concept behind the album title L.A. Darkness?
All my AOR albums used to end with the sound “ion” like L.A Concession, L.A Reflection , L.A Connection etc.. one album on two are finishing with the word L.A. like Dreaming Of L.A, Journey To L.A, The Colors of L.A etc.. So I wanted to break the mold with this one cause I thought it was rockier and darker than I’ve ever recorded. And I wanted to tell the world it was the beginning of a new era for AOR!
How does L.A. Darkness compare to the other AOR releases?
Darker with lyrics that hopefully will make you think about life and love. But at the same time it’s not a metal or a gothic album, so there’s always hope at the end of the songs ha! ha!
Who produced L.A. Darkness and what was it like working with them?
Like all my 15 albums, I produced the album myself so it was a good experience working with me again ha! ha! Of course I was helped by great musicians & singers I will never thank enough for their involvements.
Who is The Smartest Girl In L.A. and what inspired the lyrics?
Someone surely is! It’s a girl I know who inspired me this song. She would do anything to make it, maybe even selling her soul to the devil to realize that her goal wasn’t what she was looking for. The great Jeff Scott Soto offers us here one of his best performance in recent years.
What is the Blueprint For Love (as well as the lyrical inspiration)?
It’s the great Jesse Damon from Silent Rage who’s singing this one to perfection. The lyrics means that whatever the problems you’re struggling with, you will always end up a winner if you believe in love and each other.
Has any form of AOR ever played live or plan to do so in future days?
Yes, AOR has done a few gigs in the past but it’s very hard to get a world huge line up like that at the same time on stage. AOR is an all star band including members of famous bands like Toto, Chicago, FM, House Of Lords, Quiet Riot etc.. There is more than 150 famous musicians or singers who played or sang in my AOR albums. They mostly come from big bands so it’s hard to get 6 or 7 of them at the same time to play live. But I won’t give up and maybe next year we’ll do some shows !
What was it like working with Jeff Scott Soto and how did he become involved with the project?
I knew Jeff well ’cause he already sung a fabulous song called “Stage Struck” on my 2013 album ” The Secrets Of L.A“. I wanted him to sing again to open the album on a song that was really made for him: “The Smartest Girl In L.A.” I was so honored that he accepted again to sing for AOR. His vocals are huge !
15 albums in and what keeps you so passionate about AOR and the various L.A. themes?
Someone’s got to do the job to keep this music alive, so I guess it’s my mission ha! ha! . I love this music, I love the musicians and the artists and I’m so honored every time a single person is touched by my music. So I will keep doing that as long as I can play !
What’s up next for AOR?
I’m preparing a new album for next year with even bigger names, if that’s possible. And hopefully a few shows live here and there somewhere on this planet.
Any final words of wisdom?
I put all my heart in the lyrics and music of this new album so I hope that the fans who will buy the CD will enjoy it as much as we did recording it ! Thank you for supporting the artists and still buying CD’s. Keep on rocking and come visit my website at : www.slama101.fr
Interview by Ken Morton
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