There home videos floating around somewhere of me as a toddler jamming (or trying to) on guitar with my grandma. It wasn't until after her death that I followed in her footsteps and started to take piano lessons. I was around 8 or 9 at the time. I played recitals all the way up until high school. In the first year of college, I picked the guitar back up and haven't put it down since!
What gear do you use?
My main guitar is a G&L S-500 deluxe. I also own a Gibson Les Paul Studio and a Fender American Standard.
My amps are Marshall 100w Vintage Modern and a FUCHs OS-30.
and lots of pedals, pedals, pedals...
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
George Thorogood and the Destroyers... I was 6 year old addicted to 1993's Haircut. Check out that album art.... again, I was 6 years old!
Another influence would definitely be the dark styling of Ludwig Van Beethoven. I was obsessed when I was taking piano lessons.
I'm also a huge horror movie fan. The day after the first time I saw John Carpenter's Halloween, I taught myself to play the entire soundtrack on the keyboard. I even performed it at one of my recitals. I really dig all of Carpenter's scoring. Check out the heavy metal riffage during the title sequence of In The Mouth of Madness.... rulez!
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
In high school, I played keys for a jazz band. This is where I got my first taste of live improvisation. I played xylophone in the high school orchestra... I rocked it!
During college and beyond, I spent most of my time getting to know my instrument, the guitar. My friends and I could always be found jamming along to Umphrey's McGee tracks.
In my journey towards technical prowess, my road brought me to metal. I discovered guitarists like John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Malmsteen, etc. etc.
I met with Tad Leger, formally of Toxik, during the summer of 09 and we immediately connected over our love for horror! I also really dug the music he was putting together at the time for his doom band, Lucertola! We jammed a few times and I learned some of his tunes. I now play lead and slide guitar for the band. We play shows and are in the process of recording our debut album, We Are Made From Suffering.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Easy! Jake Cinninger of Umphrey's McGee
"This man shits music!" - Brendan Bayliss
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
The biggest crowd I've had was probably for my jazz band in high school. At least a few hundred people in a school auditorium. Either that or one of my many piano recitals would be my biggest crowd.
There's a tie for most memorable performance. First is my piano recital where I played the main theme from Halloween on the keyboard. It was at Yonkers Library just off Central Ave. My instructor ran my little Casio through the auditorium's PA system and it sounded KILLER!
My other most memorable would be my most recent performance with Lucertola at Popeye's Pub in Peekskill. So many things were going wrong before our set started. I didn't bring my speaker cabinet, Kenny (our bass player) was having technical difficulties with his amp, one of my effect pedals died, plus I was getting massive feedback from my amp. Oh and it was also the first time I met our singer, Josh! But our set somehow went off without a hitch and we nailed it. Easily one of the best nights of my life!
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Meddle by Pink Floyd
I first listened to that album when I was about 12 or 13. It always had the ability to transport me somewhere else and transcend this nightmare we all call reality.