Story so far: Well, I had just finished creating some educational materials for kids based around drums and percussion. That’s where my head was at for a while, and I must say, it all came out very well.
After a bit of down time to move my studio into a new building, I was more than ready to begin writing again.
About 2 years ago, I started the process, and wrote about 3 tracks that came out great.
They were your basic hard rock style of songs. Each night I would go home, just not feeling satisfied with what I was writing though.
I had changed… And not only as a musician, but as a person…. What I was writing about wasn’t fulfilling me any longer.
I made a decision to scrap the tunes. Not literally throw them away, but just put them away in a file and not go back to them.
I decided to start over again, with this one simple thought in mind….”I want to do an album’s worth of material that satisfies just me”.
Of course I wanted others to “understand” what I was writing about and enjoy it, but you just never know about that.
Once I recorded all of my parts (I had the beds of all the songs down), I reached out to musicians I admired, and asked them if they would contribute to the project.
Fortunately, they all said yes!
I have some “amazing” talent playing with me on this album.
Trey Gunn from “King Crimson” plays Warr Guitar.
Tim Bogert from Beck Bogert & Appice/Cactus/Vanilla Fudge plays bass on a few tracks…
Those are the names people will recognize, but there are other notables as well…
Steve Schuffert on lead guitars, Maurice Witkowski, on acoustic guitars, J.D. Garrison on bass, and Vanessa Campagna, and Carrie Marie Jackson, doing background vocals.
All of these people are well known in their own musical worlds, and I was blessed to have them say yes, when I asked them to appear on this project of mine.
That’s when I really began to see my vision take shape.
Genre: To be quite honest, I didn’t try to write for any type genre.
Until the public labelled the project “progressive rock”, I truly didn’t put much thought behind that at all.
I just wanted it to be “good”. And by good, I mean, well recorded, well mixed, and well mastered, which I believe it has been.
I would like to mention, that the album was mastered by 2 time Grammy nominee, and Pink Floyd engineer, Andy Jackson. He did a fantastic job!
Ideas about the album: Truth be told, I absolutely LOVE this project… Each song has the intensity that it was meant to have.
The story is told, and in my humble opinion, the musicianship is outstanding!
I am very happy with the way it turned out.
As far as improvement, I am certain I can grow as a writer and a musician with every project I do.
Right now, I am O.K. with things. 🙂
Reception: I am pleased to say the reviews/response has been very, very good. Better than I could have ever hoped for this early on.
Every review has been very complimentary, and although I don’t think I agree with number ratings, the album has been given between 8 and 10 consistently. Can you imagine a ten of ten? I must admit, “we” are very proud of that one.
I am relieved, as well as happy, that the people listening understand what I was going for here.
Preference; live or studio: Well, I feel no better than when I am in my studio working. I can get completely lost in my thoughts, and just begin the creative process I love so much.
Performing live, well that’s completely different. The energy of the people and the power of the music is a high like no other. I must admit though, between the two, I love the studio just a bit more.
Next step; live or studio: At this time, there are no tours of any kind scheduled, although I would love to tour this at some point.
A video for one of the songs is just beginning production. As a matter of fact, we just finalized things a few moments ago on that.
My daily schedule now is promotion, and writing again.
This album took me just a tad over 2 years to write and record. I figured there was no time like the present to get started on the next one.
Future plans: Personally and musically, I am at a good point in my life now. I love what I do. And, I mean “LOVE IT”.
As far as my future is concerned, and I know this will sound hokey, but I try to live moment by moment, and not look too far ahead. I use to do that a lot, and trust me, it caused me nothing but problems.
Composers: I composed all of the songs myself, as well as the lyrics. Steve however provided me with the ending guitar piece i titled “Message in a Field”, and then Vanessa and I finished that one up.
Musical and thematic elements: I wrote specifically what was on my mind and in my heart at the time.
Every evening when I went home I would study… U.F.O.’s, Fukushima, G.M.O.’s, you name it, I studied about it… I was fascinated by it all, and couldn’t learn enough,
I began incorporating my thoughts and ideas about this subject matter into my writing, and eventually it took on a life of its own.
Lyrics and themes: Well, the overall theme is not a pleasant one. It’s post-apocalyptic in nature.
My ideas came from all of the materials I had/have been studying each night. Financial Collapse. Food and Water Shortages… Contamination of Our Air… False Flags… U.F.O’s and H.A.A.R.P.
All things in my mind, we should be paying closer attention to.
I took the perspective when writing, of one man journeying through what’s left of the world he once knew.
Songs Like “Solitary Man” and “I’m All Alone” I feel, really make the point of his emotional state at that time.
Once I envisioned this kind of world, my writing path, both musically and lyrically was set.
Inspirations: Speaking solely for myself, Pink Floyd, without a doubt. There is something about that music that never gets old to me. I can only hope one day to meet David Gilmour (of course I would ask him to play on a track of mine) 🙂 as well as Roger Waters.
I have begun every single day of my life, for well over a year now, listening to random tracks from those 2 men.
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake: I guess I can answer that in this way.
If I had not been true to myself on this body of work, The Great Deception would have never come about.
I had to quit worrying about being liked, and just be totally myself.
To write what I felt, rather than worry about commercial success. I believe if you do that, the audience knows, and will be there for you.
I have received large amounts of emails daily telling me things just like that, and I appreciate every single one.
Greatest Accomplishment: Hmmmm, that’s a tough one.
Of course my first response is to say the completion of this album.
I am VERY proud of this project as you might imagine…
I am pleased with all the projects I have been involved in so far in my life. Whether it be mine, or someone else I have worked on in some capacity. I try and do my best.
Anything else? I would like the fans of this project to know how much I appreciate all of the emails that have been sent to me.
When you sit alone writing for a long period of time like I did, you begin to ask yourself, “Will anyone get this?” Thankfully, the early response has been very encouraging, and I thank you all.
The same goes to my musician friends who played with me on this project. Thank you very, very much!
Want to read more about them? Visit their official website…