Remembering Gene: Michael Pritzl

1) When/how did you first meet Gene?
I first met Gene when The Violet Burning opened for Adam Again in Ontario, CA. But, we didn’t really start becoming friends until years later, after the Adam Again “Dig” recording, which had become a favorite of ours to listen to while on tour. Gosh, what a wonderful recording ‘Dig’ is.

2) What projects were you involved in with him?
Gene recorded demos for us before our self-titled release. They became known as the ‘Lillian Gish’ demos. Basically Gene and Anna (his friend and business partner at the Green Room) offered us some free time to come in after hours to the Green Room studios in Huntington Beach, CA.

During that time Gene and I became closer friends and he began to help mentor me as a songwriter. Up until that time I really didn’t have someone in my life who was a good songwriter that could help to teach me about songs, structure and lyrics, and also to guide me towards other great songwriters and lyricists. It was those Demos with Gene that led to the offers we had from Major and Independent Labels at that time.

3) How do you think Gene shaped/impacted the music scene?
Well, the truth of it, is that there weren’t too many good recording studios in Orange County at the time, and certainly not many studios with Gene’s outstanding ability for recording and mixing. Gene’s partner, Anna, had really turned the Green Room into a wonderful, vibey place to hang out and be creative or to simply come and hang out. Gene was a partner in the Brainstorm Artists recording label with Joe Taylor (Undercover), and Brainstorm brought a lot of projects from that label through the Green Room. And then as Brandon Ebel started releasing recordings with Tooth and Nail, he brought a lot of work to the Green Room as well.

In many ways the Green Room had all of these different musical branches coming into it. Gene and Anna were sort of the filters that everything came through including all of those Brainstorm Artist bands, the Tooth and Nail bands and The Violet Burning, which fell alongside a couple other bands that were pursuing and pioneering Mainstream recording contracts in the mid 90s.

4) Eight words that you would use to describe Gene and why?
“Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life”
This was his favorite recording, he would listen to it for hours over and over. He loved the vibe, the feeling, the skills of the musicians. I think this translated into his own music and the music of Adam Again.

Gene was a wonderful guitar player and piano player. He could play the Rhodes as good as anyone I had ever heard, and his lyrics and voice conveyed the sweet brokenness of his soul.

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Adam Again promo shot, provided by Todd Zeller

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