|Paul Thorn Interview Part Two: Speaking on singing, song writing and the sweet science
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr - AKA "Big Dog" (April 24, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
From going head-to-head with the legendary Roberto Duran, to building chairs in a factory, from skydiving to painting, the son of a preacher man and former pugilist, and long time singer song writer Paul Thorn has many stories to tell, and he does it in entertaining fashion.
The Mississippi born musician began his singing career belting out tunes in church, and now the veteran of eight albums has constructed a career and adopted an enormous fan base with his
bluesy rock-a-billy style.
Thorns latest compilation entitled "A long way from Tupelo" continues his heart felt melodies that have solidified Paul as a highly talented story teller.
Thorn was discovered by Mike Copeland who managed The Police, and has worked with the likes of Tobey Keith, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straights) Sting and Jon Bon Jovi, and although many has sized him up along the likes of Bob Dylan and Kinky Freidman, I myself believes he is in a class of his own.
In part one Paul spoke on his fighting times and his throw down against Roberto Duran, in this go around Paul breaks down his music career and a few of the tunes on his latest CD, enjoy.
BH: You have the new album out, and by the way I want to thank Billy for sending me a few copies, there are a lot of good songs on the album. "Crutches" was good; "All about People" was one of my favorites along with "A Long way from Tupelo". Tell us a little bit about the song
PT: Unfortunately a lot of my friend are drug addicts and alcoholics, they struggle with trying to stay clean, I think we are all addicted to one thing or another. I wrote that song to try to encourage people and to let them know that if they really want it bad enough, they can do it. The crutches represent what the addiction is, like you have to have it. A lot of people that have heard that song told me that it gave them a blessing. So that lets me know it was right.
BH: "All about People", man what a touching song, opening up the song talking about s stripper, I love the line, "It's not in her heart, but sure is in her head."
PT: Everybody has something deep down in their brain that they wished they were doing or they have something deep inside them, that they are having to do something to survive. We all have dreams and passions. The verse talking about the guy who is an accountant wearing a suit every day. He takes his shirt off, and he has that tattoo on his chest, because deep underneath his suit that is who he really is and he wants to be, that is what sets him free. But because of the constraints of society he has to put that suit on every day, but he craves and prays for the day that he can take that suit off, show everybody that tattoo and ride his motorcycle.
BH: One of your greatest songs in my opinion, is "Where was I?" What inspired that song?
PT: Thanks man, well, I write that song with two of my writing partners, this girl Lisa from Nashville told me one day, I have this line for a sing and I do not know what to do with it, "I was in a Dallas disco the night John Lennon died." I was like wow that paints a very mental picture, we sat down and collaborated and that is how it came to pass. It is a song about somebody leaving you and you don't know why, because you thought you were paying attention but you weren't, you were paying attention to all the wrong things. If your woman leaved you because you left the cap off the toothpaste it is not about the toothpaste is it something way bigger than that. In your relationship with women, don't be like James Toney, be like the Klitschko brothers, pay attention to what is going on around you, train be somebody, don't take your gift for granted. That woman is your gift, take care of that gift, it is an analogy I am making but it parallels.
BH: You have worked with a lot of people in the music business, Miles Copeland who is best known for The Police, you have worked and your music has been covered by the likes of Sawyer Brown, Tobey Keith, Jon Bon Jovi. What has it been like working with these guys, what are some of these guys like when it is just you and them?
PT: None of them are the same, some of them are really nice, and some are complete assholes. The music business is a lot different than boxing, to be a champion boxer you have to actually be good, but to be a champion singer you don't even have to carry a tune in a bucket anymore. They can take any guy off the street and make him a star. Boxing gave me that helps me, as far the celebrity in the music world, I am not in awe of any of them, I respect them. Now when I met Roberto Duran I was in awe, I was intimidated. But this entertainment stuff, I am not in awe of anybody, I respect them but I have figured out deep down they are scared just like me. I can go into a room with just about anybody and strike up a conversation and not be nervous. Maybe a few people, I would probably be nervous if I met Ali because I really respect him as a person and a human being. I am thankful that I have met a lot of them, but I am not in awe of him.
BH: I came across this Randy Jones website, said he was the number one fan, says he was diagnosed with cancer?
PT: That's right, I did a benefit concert for him to raise some money, unfortunately he passed away. I did the benefit for him and a month later he was gone. I think we raised enough to pay for his funeral. He came and enjoyed the show and had some laughs before he died, if that made it worth it for him, then it made it worth it for me.
BH: You have been on the stage and as well as in the ring, which has been the hardest.
PT: It is not even a contest, boxing is way scarier. I don't have any fear when I get on stage because my Dad is a Pentecostal preacher so I have been singing in front of congregations all my life. Duran fought when he was a kid, I sang when I was a kid.
BH: Your daughter is a phenomenal little singer, I can only imagine that one day she will be embark on a music career, what advice would you give to her as well as others?
PT: If she wants to do it, I will support her, I am not going to encourage her or discourage her.
BH: What has been the biggest inspiration behind your music?
PT: My Mom and Dad because I grew up in church with them and we sang together.
BH: If anybody can get anything out of this interview, what would you want it to be?
PT: I don't know if I have anything to give to anybody, just whatever you want to do pursue it, take it as far as you can, but also be realistic. In the boxing world, if you think you can be a champion and you really believe, you might actually become one. You have to find a way to get to a point to believe in yourself.
I would like to thank Billy Maddox for help setting up this interview, a thanks goes out to Paul Thorn for his time and thoughts. To learn more about Paul please check out his website www.paulthorn.com Check out www.paulthorn.com/media/video/lwft.html to view Paul's latest song & live video of, "Long Way From Tupelo".
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