I've been extremely fortunate to be
surrounded by very talented, creative people, without whom I would never have
been able to be involved with music at all.
I've been in a small number of
bands thus far in my life, and I can't foresee a time that I won't be recording
music, at least on some level.
It started with my good friend Bob
Burns. Bob is his own band and after recording several albums on his own,
he invited me to write a song with him. That song was "Paradise World" and it
appeared on his 1993 ZOO STORY album, "CHINA." From there we formed a band
called the DIVORCE GUN and we occasionally manage to record DG songs to this day. The self-titled DG album came out in
February 1995 and the second, "Schmorgus Bored," was completed in 2006
but remains unreleased. I should also mention that our first foray into "music" was a
very short-lived punk band called THE UPHOLSTERED URINALS back when were both in
Bob and I also formed an acoustic
KISS tribute band called ACOUS-KISS. Guitarist Steve Trabilsy and a
bassist named Colin
rounded out that endeavor. We rehearsed a lot but never performed live.
While writing more Divorce Gun
songs in the later 1990's, I approached my then-friend, guitarist Chris Carlson
about helping out and maybe even joining the band. Instead Chris and I became a
brand new band and added our mutual friend Jason Axtolis on bass. We were
referred to drummer Will Garrison and he completed our line-up. We were called
CRASH PALACE, but after our first 2 live shows we found there already was a band
with that name so we became
SERPENT CROWN. SC
played out often, recorded a full-length album, "IN HARM'S WAY" and were working
on a live CD, "LIVE BEFORE DEAD" when we broke-up live, on stage in May, 2002.
Jason and I tried to keep it going for another year, but we were never able to
recreate what we had.
After that I, very briefly, joined
an 80's cover band called FICTITIOUS, but the demise of SC was too fresh a
memory and I wound up parting ways with them a few months into it, never having
played outside of the rehearsal basement.
In 2007, I was asked to help bring
a fictional heavy metal band to life from the pages of the HACK/SLASH comic
book. H/S creator Tim Seeley came up with a villainous band that sold
their souls to the devil for fame. H/S heroes Cassie Hack and Vlad were sent to
Hell to battle the band. Tim decided to make real songs for the fake band and he asked Crank! to help him
out. Crank! in turn asked me and with the help of other musicians Mike Norton,
Nick Grobe and Brian Day, ACID
WASHED was born. AW recorded 2 songs from the band's fictional playlist
"Acid Washed and "Kitty Massage" as well as an original Christmas song "X-Mas
In the fall of 2009 I convinced my
friend Amber Benson to sing a Christmas duet w/ me, and we flipped the gender
roles of the classic "Baby It's Cold Outside." I recruited Chicago band
Daemon Familiar to record it with us (Brent Willems on Bass & Wendi Freeman on
drums). DF frontman Pablo Mena worked up the arrangement and I can't remember
the name of the guitarist from the Old Town School of Folk who filled in at the
last second. Sorry, guy! Amber completed her part in Los Angeles and a
truly original interpretation was born.
Here are links to some of the
songs I've actually put online...
(for Amber B.)
(for Ann H.)
("Tomorrow" by KISS; for Kelly L.)
(Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll")
("Strutter" by KISS)
Christmas Eve (Bang Yer Sled)
(Quiet Riot's "Metal Health")
Baby It's Cold