Steel Notes Magazine December 2016 - Page 109

Steel Notes Magazine www.steelnotesmagazine.com I got a lot of support from my family… a lot more than any of my other friends who decided to go into music. Their parents thought that it was a waste of time or a crazy way to make a living. I feel lucky that I got some good support from my family. - Your first memory of singing or playing an instrument? I took guitar lessons when I was 8 years old, and I thought it was the worst thing that I had ever seen in my life LOL! To me, learning guitar was very difficult, but soon afterwards I was able to have a drum lesson and I found that drums came very naturally and were the right instrument for me. - I read you are a drummer too. Did you ever think to just play drums, rather than vocals? Why drums? Yes, when I first started playing drums, I thought that was going to be my primary instrument. I took on vocals just to fill a spot in our band, but we never found a better singer, so I was stuck. I find that to be a real advantage now obviously in my career. - When you realized that you would play with Savatage what were your emotions? I had very realistic emotions at the time that I found out I would play with Savatage. This was because I had always been a big fan of the band, and I had rehearsed and sang Savatage songs as part of my vocal training when I was younger. - Did it change your life? Yes, it absolutely changed my life because it gave me a start to a music career. - The first show you played with them and your feelings about it? The first show was in St. Petersburg, Florida at a small club that no longer exists. It was amazing because it was a local show in the hometown of the band and there were a lot of fans that were very interested in checking out the new vocalist for the band and how that would translate into a live performance. - How is the experience with Savatage connected with TSO? What kind of experience is playing with TSO? There are many similarities between Savatage and TSO obviously because they come from the same musical personnel and influence. - Reading your bio, you left Savatage for family reasons. I saw your two daughters in your Facebook profile, so how important is your family in your life? Music and family. Did they fit or was it a struggle with the role of father or husband or fiance? Family is of the utmost importance in my life. Everything starts with family. I think it’s very important to have family support if you’re in the music business, and what you‘ll find is some people will support you and some people won‘t. I took time off early in my career when I had very young children to make sure that I provided for them and I was there to form the very important relationships and bonds that children require. When my kids got older, I was able to do everything I wanted to with my career. - Once you started to play with Circle II Circle you kept working with your “old” world and then from second album with a brand new band. How would you define Circle II Circle? Circle II Circle has always been an outlet for me to explore new music and music that I Steel Notes Magazine www.steelnotesmagazine.com 109