soon be heading out with UFO on their North American
tour, standing in for the legendary Pete Way.
That's some big shoes - and tight spandex - to
fill. What led up to you getting this gig?
My manager Peter Kalish heard about it on the
internet and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal gave
me a much appreciated thumbs up. I emailed Vinnie
and we took it from there.
you a UFO fan? And what are your favourite UFO
Absofuckinlutely! I was lucky enough to see them
as a kid in Philly. Favorites: Rock Bottom's riff,
Love To Love's melodic voice leading, Only You
Can Rock Me's melodic post chorus, Light Out's
vibe, Doctor Doctor's feel, etc, etc.
bandmembers have quite a reputation for playing
practical jokes on each other - such as hiding
frozen kippers where they won't be found until
the kippers thaw out and start to rot majestically,
by which time the culprits are well away from
the scene of the crime. What are you looking forward
to most (or dreading most!) about touring with
Well, as a musician you try make something that
lasts, something that's classic. UFO have done
that and I'm honored to be involved and helping
out. So that's what I'm looking forward to. I
wasn't dreading anything, but now you're making
we worry, haha!
year the Sebastian Bach Band toured with Guns
N' Roses. How did that go, and what were the highlights?
So many highlights! Sebastian is a great
singer and frontman. Gn'R are a classic and Axl,
Ron and gang were SO cool to us. Every night was
incredible, but some of the highlight shows for
me were Madison Square Garden, The Meadowlands,
Baltimore, Gibson Ampitheatre, Quebeq City, Melbourne,
Sydney Aus., Aukland NZ... The Canada dates where
I was also playing bass in HELMET were incredible
June you'll be on the road again in Scandinavia
with the Sebastian Bach Band, including a set
at Sweden Rock Festival. Do you get much chance
to write, and if so, how easy is it to focus on
writing when there is so much else going on?
It's very hard. I'll write a few riffs but so
far when I'm in touring mode that's my focus.
It's difficult just to stay healthy and rested
on a long tour. You have to learn to pace yourself.
That's difficult with the loonies I'm friends
did you first start out playing bass? Please take
us through a timeline of the early days.
I started on guitar when I was 15. I moved to
Boston and switched to bass when the band that
became Spread Eagle needed a bassist. We struggled
for four years travelling to N.Y.C. to showcase,
but the record labels didn't love our singer.
We moved to N.Y.C., got a new singer and signed
To MCA/Universal within months. That band had
gigged alot so I pretty much learned bass onstage.
I truly love the instrument and its unique function
in rock music.
Eagle are a band who really should have been a
lot bigger than they were. Switchblade Serenade
from 1990 was likened to songs by Skid Row, LA
Guns, Love/Hate, a real kicking'n'biting sound.
The album got a new lease of life recently when
it was re-issued by Lovember Records. What is
happening with Spread Eagle at the moment?
Well, as I'm about to jump on the UFO tour bus
and after that fly overseas with Bach, Spread
Eagle is on hiatus. I'm not one to live in the
past but Spread Eagle released records that should've
been much, much bigger. We were critically acclaimed
and many of the big bands at the time were playing
our discs and talking us up. For some reason it
just didn't get to that level. Sometimes in this
crazy biz things slip through the cracks. Because
of that we were excited to reissue the disc through
Records and tour again. The reissue is remastered
us about 'Of Earth', which is much more laid-back,
progressive and spacey. What's that all about,
and how does it relate to the kind of music you
make with your other bands? It's my release
from the "full on" thing where I get
to sing lead and play music involving atmosphere
and sublety. I enjoy it because it lets me flex
my range and helps to round me out as a musician.
What other projects do you
have in the pipeline? Why - does it seem
like I'm slacking, haha? I have an unnamed project
with a guitarist in Ireland that's coming out
have been the proudest moments in your career?
So far, it's definitely been touring as
direct support for Gn'R on the big stages.
Any embarrassing and/or
Spinal Tap moments? Only the cucumber
in the trousers at the airport metal detector....
Who are your top three musical heroes, and why?
Anyone who's created a lasting genre that
wasn't there before them - Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath,
of music, who are your top three heroes, and why?
My dad because he's a natural visionary. My mom
because she was the perfect mix of cool and class.
Someone who realizes their cause or message is
bigger and more important than theirself - such
as Martin Luther King.
basses will you be playing on the UFO tour? Any
chance of you playing a Thunderbird on at least
one of the songs, as a tribute to 'absent friends'?
I'll be playing Fender Precisions. Unfortunately
I don't own an old T-bird, but am looking for
finally, what would you like to say to the UFO
fans who, for the third USA tour running, aren't
getting to see Pete on stage up there with UFO?
I understand your disappointment, Pete is a HUGE
part of the band. Unfortunately, the U.S. isn't
looking at it that way and are refusing to give
him entry. I'll do the best I can to represent
the bass as he would, and am honored to fill in
for one of rock's legends.