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Afresh: What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

Robert Allen and the band is DownTown Mystic

Afresh: Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?

DownTown Mystic is made up of players from New York, New Jersey, England, Alabama and Tennessee on Guitar, Bass & Drums

Afresh: How did the band get the name?

I had recorded a half dozen songs and began to look for a name to call the project. I knew I wanted something that could work as a Band name but I also wanted something that would have some personal meaning for me. I was driving up to Providence, RI and saw a sign that said “Next stop-Downtown Mystic” and immediately knew that was the name. It was perfect—“DownTown” has a rock feel to it and “Mystic” refers to myself since I’m also a Numerologist.

Afresh: What instrument do you play now?

Guitar & Piano

Afresh: Who does your act consist of?

There’s Lance Doss on Guitar, Paul Page on Bass and Steve Holley on Drums

Afresh: How would you describe your music for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

High energy Roots/Rock’n’Roll

Afresh:  If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?

Vintage yet Modern

Afresh: Give me some details about the group?

For the last 2 cds I’ve worked with Steve Holley on drums and Paul Page on bass. Steve was the last drummer in Paul McCartney’s Wings and he’s played with just about everyone you ever heard of. I call Paul Page the “Urban Legend” because he’s been on the NY scene forever and played with everyone there. Lance Doss has played and toured with John Cale. So you can see that these are all professionals and have been doing this for awhile.

Afresh: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

The songs are mostly about stories regarding people, places and things like relationships.

Afresh: How long have you been performing live or making art?

At least 30 years now…what year is it?

Afresh:  If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?

(Name up to three)


Afresh:  What do you feel distinguishes “an artist” from just a musician?

That’s a very interesting question. There was a time when I called myself a musician. I would now call myself a “Recording Artist”. It’s something I aspired to and it took many years to attain. I should add that anyone signing a recording contract is called a “recording artist” but signing a piece of paper doesn’t make it so. I think of Steve, Paul and Lance as musicians because that’s what they do and who they are. But I would also consider each of them artists because of the great artistry they have for their individual instruments. Not all musicians are artists. The difference is in their creativity.

Afresh: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

Here and there…contacts from friends, etc…we’ve been together for about 4 years now.

Afresh: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)

To tour and do more recording.

Afresh: What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

My waistline.

Afresh: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

By keeping the faith and hanging in there…a band can be a great support group.

Afresh:  Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry, or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

Of course. The economy has been tough so you have to find other outlets for your music like Film & TV Music Supervisors.

Afresh:  Who is your fan/customer?  Do you have a fan club or street team?

Anyone & everyone…particularly fans of Americana/Rock’n’Roll. Go to to sign up for our newsletter.

Afresh: Art & Music has an impact on both young and old.  Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

If you’re looking for Fortune & Fame, take the fortune…;-)

Afresh: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

They think what I do is special and I’m lucky to have their support.

Afresh: What is your stance on how to get the public to support “live music” and see the shows?  Any ideas???

I think they should definitely support live music. It’s better than a jukebox or DJ. How to get them out to shows is another matter. I think the clubs need to shoulder more responsibility instead of expecting bands to sell tickets for them.

Afresh: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Not really. Although, my mother did take up playing the organ in her 80s. She’s always sung in choirs and such.

Afresh: Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

Rock’n’Roll is my fave and that’s what we play. You can call it Americana because it takes in a bunch of genres but it’s American Rock’n’Roll.

Afresh: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Numerology and I make a great cup of coffee

Afresh: What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

I think for me it’s always been about the music and obviously performing the music is part of that.

Afresh: How do you rate your live performance ability?  Do you feel better performing live or in the studio?

I prefer the studio because I consider myself a “Recording Artist”. When I was younger it was more about performing live.

Afresh: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

I can’t say that anyone in particular influences me now but like everyone, there were a whole host of bands & artists who influenced my writing and playing. The Beatles, Stones, Buffalo Springfield are probably the main ones for me. From The Springfield came Poco, Stephen Stills & Neil Young. They had a big influence on my playing and writing.

Afresh: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

I write the songs the whole world sings…;-)  I tend to write songs that tell a story…a very literal story, like I’m watching a movie and describing what I’m seeing…only the listener doesn’t know what I’m seeing and only hears my description.

Afresh:  What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music?

Image? Hmmm…since most of the songs tell a story, I would like to think that the songs make the listener form their own images. As DownTown Mystic, I want to convey that there is magic in the music.

Afresh:  Someone once said write what you would want to perform over and over.  With that in mind, what song do you love to perform the most?

Spoken like a true masochist! LOL  Probably “Modern Ways”.

Afresh: If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

I wouldn’t change a thing…how’s that for diplomacy? 😉

Afresh:  Where would you like to see yourself within the next five years as an artist?  What are your long-term career goals?

Top of The Pops!

Afresh: Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?  How does it affect the closeness you have with your fans, media, etc. now?

No…who would want to stalk us? We’re more likely to stalk our fans…“please buy our cd!!” LOL

Afresh: While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?  How did you handle this?

It hasn’t happened yet…but we keep the door open. 😉

Afresh: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment if you care to share it with us?

None really…we’re professionals! LOL

Afresh: What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you?  How did you react?

Nothing has ever been thrown on the stage…I guess we’re boring.

Afresh: What is your wildest story with the group?

I told you we’re boring…nothing to tell here…;-)

Afresh: What has been the worst nightmare for the group?  How did you get through it all?

Again…we’re professionals so nothing bothers us…unless we miss a meal…then there’s trouble!

Afresh: What are your up-to-date performance plans?  New releases?  Tours? News?

Hopefully we’ll tour in Europe next year.

Afresh: If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead, alive, or broke-up who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Sir Paul, John Lennon and Tom Petty

Afresh: What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

Port Charlotte, Florida.

Afresh:  How do you feel about file swapping?

It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it?  As an artist, you want people to be talking about you and turning their friends onto your music…BUT…you also want people to buy your music so you can continue to make music, otherwise, what’s the point?

Afresh: Have you been involved in any benefit performances?  What was it and how did you become involved?

No not yet.

Afresh:  How do you think you would like to be remembered by everyone if something were to happen to you suddenly?

He could have been bigger than The Beatles…LOL

Afresh:  If you had only five minutes on earth to perform one song that could leave a great impact on the world today, what song would you perform and why did you choose this particular piece?

That’s too heavy a question to answer. My first thought is “One More Chance” off of the “Rock’n’Roll 4 The Soul” cd. I chose that song because it’s a very positive statement. Always take a chance, otherwise you’re not really living.

Afresh:  As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?

I’ve already accomplished many of the special things, so from here on it’s all gravy.

Afresh:  Thinking back to the very beginning of the band, how do your feel about your performance today and it is much different for you now than when you first started performing.

I’m getting more relaxed with my performance.

Afresh:  When things seem to go negatively at times, how do you turn things into something positive?

I sing “One More Chance”. 😉

Afresh:  What do you attribute to your “drive as an artist”?

I don’t really know…guess I was just born with it.

Afresh:  As an artist, how would you define SUCCESS?

I believe that success is all about how you define it…which means you should define it by all the positive things that happen and not by just having to reach some big goal. This way you’re constantly succeeding, as opposed to thinking that nothing is good enough until that big goal is reached…which it might never happen.

Afresh:  If you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact for everyone what would your slogan be?

Rock’n’Roll spoken here!

Afresh: Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

Sha-La Music is my own indie label.

Afresh: Have you recorded any previous CD’s or posted any audio files on the Internet? (What type of recording process did you use? Who produced your recording?) If you have a current CD released, how long did the process take for you to do from start to finish?

We have 3 cds out and you can hear them all here:

Or here at DownTown Mystic Radio:

Afresh:  Are there any other “behind the scene” secrets, tips, or additional information you would like to share with our readers?

Additional info??  What don’t you know by now? 😉

Afresh: Is this your first on-line interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?  Have you had any previous print or broadcast media exposure or reviews?

No, we’ve had a few interviews recently…but this is certainly the longest of them…;-) and yes to the second part of your question.

Afresh:  Do you have a demo or press kit, (including an Electronic Press Kit …an EPK), or any other promotional materials that you could send to us for a future review also?

Afresh: Do you have any video links where people can see you?

Afresh: Do you have a website of any type?  (Name all options)

Afresh:  Can you keep us updated with your music now that you will have a permanent link on our magazine so the fans can find out more about you and hopefully catch a live show?

Most definitely!

Just for fun…..fill in the blanks!

Without music, I would be a lost.

Music is Life.

My music makes me feel alive.

I write the songs because it’s who I am.

Support music because without it the world sucks.

Afresh:  We want to extend our warm wishes for your success and thank you for the awesome interview.  We hope we can attend one of your shows soon so keep us informed on your updates!

Thanks for doing an exclusive interview for Afresh Annie of Afresh Entertainment Magazine.  Thanks for your support, and we hope you will tell everyone to read this article.

Support live music in your area—get out and see a band perform live!

Thanks for “Keeping it fresh, live, real & rockin'”….to all great things


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