Fan Interview: Human Drama Answers Your Questions


When you decided to end Human Drama it just felt like it was time.  What was the inspiration for bringing Human Drama back to life? --- Craig Hammons

Johnny: I was encouraged by our guitarist Michael Ciravolo who thought it may be cool to release a new song to accompany our reunion concert in 2015. That was the idea that led to a full album. We had a great time recording that single, “The Liar Inside”, so we decided to move forward with the full album. But I do have to admit here, I did have to be pushed a bit …
Mark: In 2012 we got back together to perform once again in Mexico City.  The success of the concert prompted us to do a 30 year reunion concert in 2015.  We decided to get back in the studio and release a single at the time of the concert.  Soon after, we all agreed to continue collaborating and complete a full length record which became Broken Songs for Broken People.
Michael: Since we ended Human Drama we had done a reunion show in Mexico City.  It was fun playing those songs together again.  So we kicked around the concept of making a record again.   Johnny voiced concerns of actually writing Human Drama material again, or at least writing to make a record worthy of the name and legacy.  I think the way the band came together on “The Liar Inside” was the flame from the initial spark.                                                                                                                                           
Steve: In my case I just had to know if I could even still créate and perform after such a long period of time. I believe the concept of using it or losing it is very real, and I sure didn’t want to lose it.

I find very deep and interesting the title of this new album. Is it the band's objective to go in a new direction. something more sorrowful and melancholic? (That would be awesome) – Gustavo Perez

Johnny: It’s funny, but we have never “decided” or put any preconceived notions into the direction of an album. Sometimes the songs dictate the instrumentation and tempo, so I always follow the song so to speak. However, I will say, this may be our most “melancholic” album ever.
Mark: This record did not have a specific direction even though I use a lot of retro instruments such as Hammond B3, Mellotron and Wurlitzer electric piano.  Each song kind of took its own direction, but in the end it still came out like a Human Drama album.
Michael: I think that while there are certainly some dark moments lyrically, there are also shades of hope. As far as this being a new direction, it's really not anything that is contrived, it’s just where the band is, at this point of our lives, and as much where Johnny is as a songwriter.   It would be foolish to think the band would attempt to recreate 'Feel' almost 20 years later.
Steve: Attempting to go in a new direction and actually succeeding is something anyone should be proud of. But to make such a beautiful and interesting record in the process is especially satisfying. I feel we really accomplished something special here.

Human Drama is already a cult band, with this new disc do you feel any competition with the new bands? - Juan Carlos Piñón Lugo

Johnny: I have never ever felt any competition with any other bands. Art is not a competition to me. Its worth is subjective. The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to make sure to reach for the high level of our past work. If I make sure that I love it, and that it “feels” right, it is ready to reléase. And then, its worth or quality is up to the individual listener.
Mark: I don’t think we have ever tried to compete with any band.  We create these songs from what moves us, with the hope that they in turn touch all of you in a special way.
Michael: By a 'cult' band, I take it you mean not a mega million selling act such as U2?   As far as viewing other bands as competition ... not at all.    Human Drama, for better or worse, is an extremely difficult band to label or categorize.  To us, with how difficult it is to be a band in the true sense of the meaning... God bless them and we wish them nothing but the best.
Steve: I feel unbelievable competition in the music business world, but not with anyone doing what we’re doing

What has been the bet of each of the members of Human Drama, I mean, wWhat have you been wanting to transmit with all of this work, that spans decades and hasn’t been random, cuz it has followed a very particular line, why talking about things that most people don’t wanna know or consider useless in a world where the utilitary thought and economic dominates, invades practically every space: death, deception, oblivion, memory, deceit, oldness, loss, desire, sorrow, melancholy, unstoppable pass of time, etc? - Ernesto A. Ocadiz Garcia

Johnny: My goal was for Human Drama to build a catalog of work that was worthy of being in a persons album collection. My music collection is very important to me, is very special, and I always hoped that we would find our music to be that special to others.
Mark: For me, the lyrics transcend into the emotional center of all of mankind, while musically it holds us together with moving melodies which leave us all knowing we are not alone.
What was the biggest challenge of recording together again after so long? - Carla Carmona Hdz. 

Johnny: Well, the first thing I said to the band was “I dont even want to start this if we cannot do an album that is worthy of our past work”. So to me, that was the big challenge. I know we wanted to make an álbum that would stand beside, or surpass our best work, I just needed to know that that was everyones intention, and that the concentration and effort could, and would, be put forth.
Mark: Having busier lives with our families.
Michael: I would say the most difficult part was the actual manner in which we set out to do this record.  Johnny writing the skeleton of each song at his studio, me tracking the guitars at my studio and so on. Though this technology actually allowed us to do this record, many times I found myself wishing we could have done this record in a more “old school” way. 
Steve: Just making the time to work on the songs individually with the busy schedules and responsibilities we all have now that we didn’t have in the early days is one thing. And it’s another to forget about the day to day pressures, and just feel what it is we’re trying to do here. Also, getting together as a group is harder than ever because of schedule conflicts, and the fact that two members have children and Rob lives in Vegas.

Every album by Johnny Indovina carries a characteristic seal, Feel is strictly emotional. The World Inside is a whisper of a person’s thoughts. With Sound of the Blue Heart we saw a more mature Johnny, and with Trials of the Writer everything that you wished to do but didn’t dare before. How can you define yourself in this new stage and album of Human  Drama? - Cesar Fragoso


Johnny: I cannot define Human Drama. That is up to the audience. I will just say that I consider myself a songwriter, and it is my intention to grow as one until I’m gone. 
Mark: I find that at this point in our lives, we really start to reflect on the things that are most important to us such as family and friends.  Time has become more precious...
Michael: I know Johnny went into the making of this record with a very clear lyrical and musical direction.  While he and I probably butted heads a bit over some things, I think “The Liar Inside” set the mood, tone and vibe of this album.
What was the biggest inspiration source to create this album? - Annie Flores 

Johnny: As always - life. What life brings me, observing that, and listening to and observing other peoples thoughts and lives.
Mark: We have always been close friends outside of music.  That is probably why it was pretty easy to make this decision to work together again.  It was the right time … 
Michael: First, the challenge to see if we actually could do this, and if the rest of the group was inspired to put their mark on this record. Making it a Human Drama record as opposed to some guys playing songs Johnny wrote.
 Why have you decided to release a new album after so long? - Tamara González Mariscal 

Johnny: The feeling we got from the crowd at our reunión concerts in Mexico City was the driving forcé behind the initial discussions.
Mark: The success of the reunion concerts, and that the time was just right for all of us.
Michael: It felt right, and I think we all felt we raised our game musically with “The Liar Inside” single.  We could have just left it at that, but it felt good, it felt right. 

What has been your biggest inspiration at the moment you record this new album? - Samuel Isaac Lopez Tenorio

Johnny: My inspiration was our back catalog of work, and how proud I am of that. I was inspired to reach for a high level and get better and progress as a songwriter. My goal was to make an álbum that could be played next to “Cause And Effect” and make sense as a progression of work, and growth as an artist and band. 
Mark: The fact that we are such close friends (brothers) that have the ability to create the music of Human Drama together, it makes you feel quite forturnate. 
Michael: From the guitar side of the record, I really wanted to push myself musically and sonically.  I would say I found myself asking myself ”what would David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) play here”, or “what would Mick Ronson (David Bowie) do on this solo”?

The songs of the Feel album were written and published when you were around 30 years old. What has changed and what remains from those times in the new Human Drama songs? - Aldo Aguirre

Johnny: What changes is all of the history left behind. But even after all the years, our intention with Human Drama is the same. To move people, to make an impact on people with our albums the way that David Bowie, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and others moved me. That was my intention while writing and recording this álbum. Very much the same as 30 years ago!
Mark: We have grown as people and as musicians.  There is a strong sense of maturity.

Given the title of your new álbum, do you consider your music to be a “sedative” against melancholy or everyday sorrow? - Daniel Sandoval Osorio

Johnny: Our songs are reminders of the melancholy and sorrow most of the time! But honestly, I think the connection with our fans comes from the fact that we do not write on a pedestal, we write songs on common ground. We are all the same. We are all imperfect human beings, and life is not “easy”.
Mark: I feel all of our music has given our fans a sense of introspection and peace of mind.

What motivates each member of Human Drama to continue with their will to keep innovating with a new album like Broken Songs For Broken People? - Marcos Aguilar

Johnny: The sharing of art motivates me. Seeing people sing our lyrics back to us in concert is a very special feeling.
Mark: Our love and affection for each other.  This album has brought us even closer.  We are all very proud of being a part of something so special!
Michael: Personally, my motivation was to do this and create memorable parts within memorable songs.  Doing this record reignited my love with the guitar, my love of creating sounds and moods on the instrument, and for making music.
Steve: Meeting these guys in New Orleans back in 1980 was the best thing I ever did. We’ve been good friends ever since and any excuse to get together is always lots of fun. I can hardly even remember any of the bands I was in before meeting the guys that eventually became Human Drama. Also, working  on new material after all these years with them, which in my opinión, turned out better than ever, is so exciting that I feel this could continue for years to come.