Q&A – Ever since childhood people have told me I’m crazy.

Rog,

Wow what a privilege!

First of all thanks for all the great music past and present. It must be a truly awesome feeling to have your music spread around the world and provide so much for so many. You saw monetary reward (at least you better have!)…but I’m sure it pales.

RF: It really is a great feeling to know at any given moment, thousands of people are hearing my guitar playing.

Yes, the money has been good. The nice thing is it frees up time so I can keep working on art.

I grew up on Vancouver Island as a kid in the 70’s and your band’s music was so on that soundtrack. Barracuda blasting out the carny’s stereo speakers as I spun pulling 3g’s on the Gravitron at the fall fair…oh ya. And then the other day my 12 year old — the same age I was then — cranks up the volume when that same tune drifts out of my car radio…what a cool song Dad! Oh ya son — tres cool. We rock out.

Thanks for helping make those moments.

RF: It’s amazing – the magic behind music… how it is capable of bringing memories of places, events, and feelings. One of my favorite all-time songs is Beyond The Sea by Bobby Darin. It was one of my brother, sister, and my “ocean songs.” When we would go to the ocean as kids each summer, certain songs were pure magic for us.

You’ve been like this enigma for me. Your tone and choice of notes is so distinct..a true signature sound…brilliant and beautiful. And at the same time so intimidating and aggressive to me both musically (I play a bit) and as a personality — like this guy sounds like he could be one intense mf…back then

RF: Ever since childhood people have told me I’m crazy. I think it’s because I’m enigmatic – which to me means I know the wisdom behind my craziness and choose not to hide it like most people – creating the mystery in people’s minds, “Wow, he sure is different from other people.” To me, it’s important to recognize and embrace the differences and wackiness and let it come through in one’s signature style.

Now I read your post from a few days ago about going to the desert (metaphorically speaking) as a very young man and making this really deep spiritual choice..at the cross roads so to speak. And a part of me goes holy shit…here it is in the raw — that once again it seems this sound and creativity really does spark from something somewhere deep within each one of us — as we all know it does…or think we do…maybe 🙂 But if nothing else, here’s someone who has made it his life’s work to throw this whatever-it-is out there for the rest of us to behold…as art…in the best way that he can. It’s just great you can share that Roger…it really is…especially when it is so deeply personal. I just wanted to thank you for doing that as it has answered something for me…which is also pretty fucking personal! lol

RF: Hundreds of feet underground, running through France and Switzerland, is a circular, 17-mile-long tunnel containing a particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider. One of its purposes is to identify something called the God particle – something which, after it occurs, lasts less than a millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second. This particle is named thus because it is believed to exist, but no one has ever seen it.

If you ask a major artist where and how they get the inspiration that makes them create greatness, they won’t be able to tell you. It’s the God particle.

I watch recent youtube clips of you today and you’re like this totally different guy. Happy, laughing…a cool cat…in a good way. And I wonder how and when (and if!) this shift occurred. And I wonder how a shift like that might affect one’s art…if at all…? And I wonder if a part of you felt denied by choosing the path you did so early in your life’s journey.

RF: Generally, I’ve always been happy, so there has been no real shift. My art has certainly shifted, but the source of creativity is the same. There have been times when I’ve observed, “This sure isn’t a holy path… or enlightening… or healthy,” but I don’t regret going this route. It makes for a good story 🙂

ps – early Heart vid’s show this funky symbol on the drum kit — what’s the deal?

RF: I’ll ask Derosier its significance. The answer could take a while to get up here.

Q&A – Change in direction

My Heart questions:

Were there any discussions about the change in direction the band took going from the riff-heavy “Little Queen” LP to the “Dog and Butterfly” LP and subsequently the “Bebe Le Strange” LP or did these albums just take their course as a result of the songwriting that was taking place?

RF: When the writing for Dog And Butterfly began, our musical and personal relationship had begun to be more strained. There had been a point while recording Little Queen where I mentally and spiritually quit the band, based on decisions being made which, to me, were not done for the right reasons. What I saw that bothered me so much was the power struggle beginning.

While I think the songs I wasn’t welcome to play on on the D&B album are great, they certainly don’t represent a band. I felt I was being slowly worked out of the lineup. This was a very difficult time for me, as one can imagine.

Are there many unreleased tracks still in the vault and will we see any of this stuff come out anytime soon?

RF: Not that I know of.

I applaud your brother’s extremely clear vision of the band and its music. It’s very obvious to me that he intuitively knew what fans wanted and how to deliver it. I feel that if Heart had stayed on it’s “Little Queen” track (more Zep influenced) that the band would have kept getting more popular. Especially given what was happening in the rest of the music industry at the time.

RF: I agree with you, and appreciate your insight to Heart’s “7th member.”

If Ann and Nance could have teamed up with some of the stuff I wrote after leaving, I have no doubt it would have been huge. Derosier and I created some of the highest energy rock I’ve ever heard, and no one else has heard it. I still have these tapes, and if I were Ann, I’d call me and check it out. I know she could put vocals on there that would awaken the dead 🙂

If Heart were reformed, imagine the money we could generate to help victims of disaster! Not only could we help victims – we could help in disaster preparedness, even more valuable. I’m amazed at how little people seem to know about what is about to happen to life on this planet. The possibility exists – and this is supported by historical evidence – that a mass extinction could occur within decades. The combined resources and efforts of humankind could do a lot to counteract this, but only if we were able to put away our weapons and adversity and work together, which is the same thing a broken band could do to make a difference, not only in physical applications, but as a demonstration of personal greatness.

I don’t mean to be campaigning for a Heart reunion… that’s not my intention. I am campaigning for every living human to put away the qualities that have always brought mankind down and find a way to help the whole.

I wish you and your family the best in the future and I’m looking forward to your upcoming autobiography.

RF: Thanks so much. You have no idea how much your involvement means to me. I treasure this intercourse with the people who are responsible for music’s popularity.

Q&A – Lessons or self taught?

Rog,

I hope there is no limit to questions to be asked. I do want to give other people a chance to chime in. Before I ask my next question, I would like to say something. Any one who thinks you are a piece of crap should take a good look in the mirror. We ALL make mistakes in life.

Imagine if forgiveness reigned. The smiles, fun and endless possibilities all of us could have. Instead, some choose to be bitter, making them cold, ugly and only hurting themselves. That’s not anyone’s fault but their own.

The Petra video/song you have on your web site, I watched that. THAT’S Roger Fisher. The contributions you made to Heart making it one of the super groups of the seventies, THAT’S Roger Fisher. Your wife, kids and projects, THAT’S Roger Fisher. NOT past mistakes! Nuf said.

Now, to my question;

When you started learning to play guitar, did you take lessons or are you self taught?

Thanks!

Yep… self taught. Actually, I consider all the great guitarists I was listening to and spending countless hours copying, my teachers.

For the first two years of my playing, there were many days of practicing for eight hours… chromatic scales, and things which had little bearing on music… and I wasn’t using all my fingers – just thumb, one, two, and three. I suddenly came to the realization I’d been learning – etching into my muscle memory – wrong habits. When I began a wiser approach, it was like starting all over again and I agonized through the process until I had a foundation that made more sense. If I’d had a teacher, a lot of time would not have been wasted.

Now, I would advise a beginning guitarist to acquire a basic understanding of theory – how chords are structured; basic scales and how to use them; hearing and feeling the various emotive qualities of modes. Then I would choose one artist to focus on. Learn one song by that person. Copy it absolutely exactly, channeling the soul from which it came. When that one song is mastered, learn a few more, then choose a different artist.

The most important ingredient in this work may be honesty, because the aspiring student knows when they’ve got it right, but it’s a struggle that takes a lot of time and tenacity. The beauty of being young is you have a lot of time, generally, and mom and dad’s roof over your head. You probably don’t have a job yet and your dreams haven’t had time to erode or be squashed. Go for it with everything you’ve got and it probably won’t be enough.

There are certain ingredients that need to be discovered by living, looking and learning. An important one is inside you. Who are you? Why do you cry? Why do you matter in this world? If you reached success, would it be all about you, or would you retain humility and think of how you can give back? Your greatest strength may be your very soul. Are you aware of the deepest you? Some of these people you’re listening to know their soul. That’s why their playing thrills you.

Q&A – What if you never made it famous with Heart?

Rog,

I was wondering, had you never made it famous with Heart or any other band, what would have been your choice for making a living?

Thanks!

Wow… good question! Made me remember something I hadn’t thought about for years.

When I was in grade 8, around 14 years old, I read several books about Jesus’s life… more biographical than religious. I was very moved by the possibilities I recognized in study of spirit, which is what he did. I was so enthusiastic about it, I immediately had no friends. So I shut up, but the bottled desire to attain a deep spiritual perspective remained.

One thing I wanted to do was go into the desert and exist like Jesus did for as long as it took until I had an awakening. This whole direction was one I struggled with a lot when I was around 18… should I do music or seek enlightenment?

Though I chose music and the flirting-with-disaster lifestyle, I’ve always striven to wake up spiritually. Naturally, it’s a very personal journey, which I won’t talk about.

But as for what other occupation?

My dad was a carpenter, but I really struggle with that sort of thing.

I’m a good producer, I think.

A humanitarian cause would be a possibility. I’m drawn to wanting to help humanity.

Thanks for asking!

Q&A – Autobiography

Hi Roger,

I have been a frequent visitor to your website and just had to drop you an email. I just saw the new Q and A on Heart and was delighted to hear that you and Nancy Wilson are writing autobiographies. Any idea on when you may be realeasing yours?

I’m really not concerned with the when… it’s the what that matters most. I intend to make something that uplifts, enlightens, and entertains.

I had the pleasure of seeing you with Heart in 1977 opening (!) for Dave Mason in Syracuse NY and in Rochester, NY on the Dog and Butterfly tour. The band was never the same after you left. You were such a huge part of Heart and it has pissed me off to no end over the years how your contribution has been downplayed by Ann and Nancy. And then to see how Steve and Michael were treated just made me even angrier. You and Steve were founding members of Heart! I sometimes wonder how it is even possible that you can be let go like that. I was able to get a copy of a TV show you did in 1976 from Seattle called “After Hours” (if memory serves). It was awesome! It was amazing to see you play so close up. Your fingers are like talons! You are an amazing guitarist!

I have no clue what After Hours is, but thanks for your complimentary words. Talons… haven’t heard that before:-)

I bet you hear from people all the time saying a lot of the same things I have said. I just wanted to add my two cents. Your muscianship has given me a lot pleasure over the years, and I wish you the best in all of your future endeavors.

Messages like yours can come at a time when self-doubt is trying its best to inflict uncertainty. They are much appreciated. Fans have no idea how much they mean to guys like me… human beings. Know what I’m talkin’ about?

Q&A – Dreamboat Annie Live

Hi Rog,

I would have waited to send this from my home address but I found out about the above this morning [he’s referring to the Dreamboat Annie Live CD and DVD], and I didn’t want to wait until later to say how unfortunate it is that no attempt was made by Ann/Nancy to get all of you back together for it.

RF: While it would have been wonderful to have the original band recreate that incredible album, the context doesn’t exist yet that could support that right effort.

In order for something as appropriate and noteworthy as the original band reforming for any reason, Ann and Nance would have to forgive me my mistakes of the past. That way, we could feel comfortable around each other and once again be productive in a democratic relationship.

There are, however, no signs of a reunion in the near future.

As disturbing as it is for me and I’m sure many fans of the original (and best!) Heart, I’m not sure how you deal/approach news like this.

RF: Well, it doesn’t phase me. All I can say is that, if and when the correct context to support a reunion exists, I’d be very excited to work with Ann and Nance and the band – all people I have fond feelings for; great memories of; and great respect for. Each of the members of the original Heart were and are exceptional people, each with their forte. I personally feel obligated to give Heart fans every possible thing I can to help them experience what was an amazing amalgam of talent and spirit. I wish I could do more.

I’ve heard that Nancy is working on an autobiography. This timing should be great, as its release will coincide with my autobiography, which will touch heavily on Heart.

I’ve purposely avoided asking about your life during Heart but now that you’ve ‘opened the box’, I’d like to find out your feelings about events like this. It really seems they think of Heart as “Us,…..and the band”. I can’t help but wonder what reaction would take place if you, Steve, Howard and Mike got together with two women singers and did a “Heart” concert???

RF: A lot of people have strongly suggested we get other gals to take the place of Ann and Nance, and we’ve played with a few who were up to the task. The fact is, we would never get two women and go try to be “Heart.” Drosh and I feel very strongly about the sacredness of authenticity. It’s all I can do to get him to play Heart material at all, let alone try to capitalize on previous success with an imitation band. How could we possibly retain integrity doing that?

Thanks for the opportunity to ask about Heart.

RF: I hope a lot of fans come to the site to see these questions and replies. It’s high time the Heart history comes clearly into the light.