Give us some background. Where are you from originally, where are you now, how did you get there?
To take you all the way back, I was born and raised in a town northwest of Boston. My family is pretty musical. My grandfather was a musician, and my father is a multi-instrumentalist musician and comedian. My younger brother is also a musician. I was very fortunate that my parents were very supportive in music growing up. I mean my father was always having guys over to play and I would be sitting in at a young age. Whether it was drum corps, or practicing/bands they gave me both space & time. My mother (who passed away in 1991) was very supportive and would sit and watch me practice alone at times. Because of my father’s influence I was introduced to many different styles of music as a kid. I remember nights as a young kid sitting up at night talking with him. He would tell me about this band and that band, and how they would approach things. We still have long talks about music and life. He is my best friend. As far as studies, I studied with Joe Rizzo for 5 years, and he was and is a heavy influence on my playing. I also studied with Alan Dawson, and William Kennedy. I was also in the snare line in drum corps through my younger teen years.
Where I am now musically, I always wanted to bring drumming stage front my way, and I feel that my CD IndepenDRUM does just that. I wanted to put something out that was unique, and something I would be proud of. BUT the really cool thing about this is I teamed up with a trance-techno artist Christian Schubert from Theater of Silence, and we worked to create an almost “visual” effect to the music. It is a really different combination that works beautifully!
I got the name IndepenDRUM from a few things: I started to create rhythms of 4-way independence. I then built a rack around my kit hooking up lights, and some other visual effects. While bringing the audience through my rhythms I would control the lights. So, being alone on stage playing rhythms of independence on the drums, you get: IndepenDRUM.
Aside from writing and putting out my first CD, I have been getting calls for session work, and working on setting up teaching clinics. In all honesty I am hoping music without labels will get my name and work out there to possible agents, independent film directors, musicians. I also perform with a James Brown tribute show that performs at casinos all along the East coast. I currently reside in Central Mass. I may be relocating to Florida. I do travel so where my house is doesn’t hold me back from work.
*What Genre would you classify yourself as?
IndepenDRUM best represents: Progressive/instrumental with an experimental twist. Most of the people that have heard the music samples have said it sounded as though it was from a movie soundtrack.
*What is it that drove you to pursue a career in music, and what it is that drives you individually as a musician or a band?
Like I said earlier, being brought up in a musical family made my decision easy. I was a musician from day one. Just getting to be one full time is another story.
What drives me is passion. Music and creating is my passion. It is my first love. You always want to have your chops sharp for what may lie around the next corner, and don’t leave any stone unturned. So I have plugged along, and feel as though at this time I am in a great position to take and make music full-time.
*What struggles have you faced with having your music heard and getting your name recognized by outside markets?
It is a tough nut to crack. The music on my cd is not by any means top-40 and when you play with pop/rock bands, you are 1 band out of 4 million trying to make that one hit single. I do however believe there is a market for what I have created. This is a very unique and I believe that my name will get a lot more recognition once I have this out.
*What kinds of things do you do to promote yourself?
For Starters, I signed onto musicwithoutlabels.com so I can get a whole lot of exposure, and network world-wide. I am having IndepenDRUM T-shirts made. Part of the proceeds from both cd and shirt sales will be donated to the American Cancer Foundation. (I lost my mother to cancer) I am hoping to set up fund-raising performances as well. Have also performed opening for bands and have held some group teachings. I will be sending my promo “package” (cd,t-shirt,bio) to numerous equipment companies, drumming magazines, Independent film makers, video teaching companies, and others to try to get endorsements and work. I am currently building my site independrum.com.
*Is there a predominant message you hope to get across In your songs?
When I started the writing process my father would listen to ideas I would have, and we’d talk about some things. The point he and I agreed on is that drums and percussion is primitive. It is the most primitive instrument. People gravitate towards rhythm. So, although this album features no lyrics, I believe it will take listeners on a ride, where they can take something from it that relates rhythmically to them.
*What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry and where it’s going?
I think the timing of this site is right on, because the industry is most definitely going the route of online file purchasing/sharing. I do think that the “general top-40 pop public” music industry is getting worse. The talent is getting watered down for looks and how these people act off stage more so than any of their substance. I hope that this day an age can bring notice to some great talent that is out there and un noticed.
*Are you currently unsigned, and do you plan on staying independent?
I am currently unsigned. After recording my cd and listening back to tracks, the engineer said: “Man this could be used in some independent films.” We then started talking about music and we kind of agreed that going independent was probably in my best interest.
*What are your reasons for being an independent artist?
It seems to have fallen this way for everything on this album. I think the vibe from other musicians always went to the independent side. Besides that, people who listen to or prefer independent artists seem to have am acceptance towards music that might be on the edge more so than the “norm”.
*Who are some of your favorite artists?
Some of my favorite artists… Boy, I enjoy so much. I am a big fan of the late Michael Hedges, Cat Stevens, Seal, Planet X, Brecker Brothers, Tower of Power, Dream Theater, David Gray, Chick Corea, Huey Lewis, Prince, Sevendust, to name a few..
*Do you ever feel that people will be missing out on your music because you are not signed to a major record label?
I don’t know, because the fan base of independent musicians/films is pretty impressive, and it is almost like they have their own community. But I do think over time whether independent or not, your music would get across.
*What would you say if I told you that there’s a new force in Independent Music that will give you all of the power of the Major Labels and more, while at the same time giving you complete control over all aspects of your musical career, and you will never have to sign a thing?
I would say it was almost to good to be true!! But I would do my home work on it, because it could be a beautiful thing.
*And you would have access to the worlds first ever audio component auction, where pieces of songs are sold off at auction prices to be repurposed in other songs. What kind of impact do you think that would have on your music?
I think the impact on anyone’s music would be great, because of the technology, the word of mouth regarding your music would spread in huge numbers. This would and could be the vehicle that drives more music out to people that normally wouldn’t have access to it. I mean, you could hear something you find interesting, and within 2 minutes you could have the artist/song/album on your screen.
*The only catch is you have to choose to use it to your benefit, or not.
It’s called Beat-Play, and it will be beta tested this Fall 09. Sign up at Music Without Labels
I am signed on, and I hope to be part of this from it’s take-off!!
Thank you for your time!!