I have been playing now for close to 28 years. I was turned onto the guitar when I hear the Kiss Destroyer album, but didn't pick up the guitar until my early teens. When I saw Yngwie Malmsteen live that pretty much sealed my fate, and I really got heavily into playing!
What was the first concert you ever went to?
My first concert was at The Tower Theater to see Kiss on their Lick It Up Tour. I believe it 1983! I went with my best friend at the time, and I remember being blown away by the tank that supported Eric Carr's drum kit. Also the sound of those guitars!
What gear do you use?
I have been playing Fender Strats for many years, though I do perform regularly on an Ibanez RG7. I have a few Ibanez instruments that I really like. I run through Marshall amplification, and utilize both the Boss ME70 and GT1o floor units. My favorite piece of gear is probably my main strat Maude!
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Yngwie was probably my first major influence. His fluid yet aggressive playing had so much conviction! There was also a real freedom in his playing and technique that drew me in. I was also a huge Steve Vai fan, mainly because he was so unique and would do the unexpected! Later I not only got into Greg Howe I had the opportunity to study with him so that was a game changer for me! A local guitarist Mike Rubin had a huge impact on me as well! He got my theory and my teaching chops going for me! Bob Aslanian was another awesome teacher who got my sight reading together as well as my chord and improvisation theory. I also worked with Pat Martino and that was such an amazing experience!
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
I have a history of performing with many different bands and artists including Ted Neely, David Bromberg,Ian Anderson, Arturo Sandoval. Currently I am touring with Celebrating Queen as well as producing a new Kelly Rouke album. I am also in the studio with my own original project and gearing up for a video shoot this summer! Most of the musicians I meet are through mutual friends and musicians. I meet countless players on the road and doing sessions.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Niccolo Paganini would have been a real trip to jam with!
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
The smallest was probably my first gig, a private party for a schoolmate! There were a few friends and family there but we had a blast playing for them! I really liked the band and we sounded pretty good! The largest has been in the upper thousands, 5,000 I believe. Outdoor festival in Connecticut! Very cool show with an enthusiastic crowd! Had a great time performing that one!
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?