Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
10 Questions with...
Rising Stars
Rock Stars
Backstage Heroes
Celebrity interviews
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website

Ten Questions with...


1. What are you currently up to?

On tour with I just got done recording the new MSG album, which should be released sometime this summer. I'm really excited about it. I also did some backing vocal work on Pat Travers' new album, "P.T. Power Trio", in February, which will be releasing sometime in May. Currently, I am writing for a solo project which I hope to record later this year.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?

Well... as for high points, I'd have to say that right about now is a major high point for me. I'm very happy with the way the new MSG album is turning out, as I was finally able to, for the first time ever I think, really write and deliver the vocals the way I envisioned them and to my satisfaction. There always end up being things here and there that you wish you'd done differently on an album, but this time there is very little of that. I'm really happy with it. There are also some interesting possibilities coming into the picture as far as my solo career goes, so that's pretty cool.

As for low points, the absolute lowest point was definitely with the break up of Outlaw Circus in '94. I lived and breathed OC for 2 of the greatest years of my life, and it was heartbreaking to have it all suddenly come to an end. The 5 years following that, with the almost complete absence of real rock & roll on both radio & TV, could also have been better!

3. How did you get the vocalist spot in MSG? How much input did you have on the 'Be Aware Of Scorpions' album?

I was introduced to Michael Schenker by Mike Varney. He suggested to Michael that he listen to a demo I made. Michael liked what he heard and asked me if I would like to do the album.

Michael and I pretty much arranged the songs together. He wrote the musical parts and we both put them in the order be thought worked best. On many of the parts, Michael told me the way he envisioned the vocal and then let me either take it or leave it - either use his idea as a reference point or come up with my own.

4. Michael Schenker has a reputation as being difficult to handle - how have you found him?

Michael has always given me plenty of room artistically - he's never been adamantly against anything I've written or any of the ideas I've put forth. He is a very creative person, so he tends to always encourage me in the creative process rather than discourage.

5. Do MSG cover any UFO songs live? How have you been recieved by the MSG fans?

On the 2001 MSG tour, we covered one UFO song as an encore - "Dr. Dr." From what I've read on the internet, many fans didn't understand why so few UFO tunes, so here's the explanation:

Michael has written so many great songs with both UFO and MSG that it has become a bit difficult to play enough songs from both bands in one MSG performance. Plus, he decided that it was a bit silly to fill an MSG set with a bunch of UFO songs when the band touring wasn't even UFO. Many MSG fans have missed hearing their favorite tunes being played live at an MSG concert because UFO tunes are played in their place. So he wanted to give the MSG fans as much MSG as possible in a night. (You can never get too much MSG, right? Everything you buy today has "NO MSG" written all over it... what's up with that??)

There are so many great MSG songs that when Michael's manager asked me to submit a "favorite set list", it was difficult to choose! We had to leave so many great classics out of the final list. I don't know if Michael intends to follow that same logic in the planning of any future MSG tours that may come about, but that was the thinking on the last one.

The fans were great - It was a lot of fun playing for them, and I hope to see them again!

6. Your previous bands have included Pheonix Rising and Outlaw Circus. What level of success did these bands achieve and would you like to revisit them again at some stage in the future?

Phoenix Rising, formerly "Malathion", was the first band I ever wrote and performed with. I joined them in 1991 and played with them for about 6 months or so. It was a great experience and a lot of fun. We were sort of "alternative" in a way I guess, but real blues/rock oriented. While I was in the band, Phoenix Rising played a couple gigs in Hollywood and probably about 10 or so in the Inland Empire of Southern California. But we had some pretty neat songs. No demos, unfortunately. I'd love to jam with those guys again, any time!

I joined Worlds Within on New Years Day, 1992. They were in Newburgh, NY. I lived there and played with them for about 9 months. They were a progressive rock band, within a similar genre to of Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd... I don't really know who else. A VERY original band, with some incredible songs. Those guys were absolutely phoenominal musicians, each one of them; some of the greatest amateur musicians of their time, without a doubt. We played all over Upstate NY and recorded a 2 song demo. There were some professional issues between myself and one of the members with which I took exception, and I ended up leaving because of them. I'd love to do a reunion show or something with the guys.

Shortly after that, I was contacted by Outlaw Circus. OC was a "hair" band located in Austin, TX. We weren't glam really - we all just had alot of hair! When I heard the music these guys wrote, I was pretty blown away and immediately moved out to Austin and joined them, sight unseen. It was a rock & roll dream come true. We started pulling out tunes right and left that totally kicked ass. We became one of the top draws in Texas (among unsigned acts) and totally lived the rock & roll dream. Well, I did... I don't know about the other guys. I think Sebastian did too. Whatever - it was lots of rock & roll craziness, all night long, after every show... the kind of stuff you don't tell your mom - or your girlfriend - about! The greatest years of my life.

We recorded 4 songs, and released 3 of them on a demo. There are still some of those tapes floating around out there, but unfortunately we lost the studio masters to them. The 4th I think Tim still has on ADAT . It was hastilly mixed down and featured on Texas radio shows along with others from the demo. We were featured on both the playlists of Texas radio stations and as the theme music for an Austin radio show on Z-ROCK FM. We ended up hitting the scene at precicely the wrong time though, as all the other bands in our genre were just beginning to get dropped by their respective record companies due to the wretched and overwhelming arrival of Grunge/Alternative music to both radio and TV.

7. Who have been your main influeneces on your career?

My vocal influences span quite the spectrum.

As for Heavy Metal, I'd have to say Sebastian Bach's work with Skid Row is by far my all time favorite... 'influenced me like crazy. Next would be Geoff Tate's work on Operation Live Crime (the live version) and Empire... 'influenced me like crazy as well. Then there's Kip Winger, Jani Lane, Axl Rose...

As for my roots, I am totally into Bob Seger, Lenny Kravitz, Bobby Kimball, Prince, & Joe Lynn Turner on the more rockin' side of things... and on the more soulful side, Lionel Richie is probably my favorite.

8. Last book that you read...

I don't read books. I am completely anti-book. You should NEVER read books. BAD BAD BAD. NO BOOKS!

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

Read a good book.

10. Message to your fans?

Watch for the release of MSG 2003 sometime around June of this year! Check out for the latest updates!


Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

Classic Rock News Group

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group