I’m a songwriter, singer, guitarist, drummer, percussionist, and producer, so those are the tools I swing around to do what I do. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled the globe, so I have been influenced by cultures worldwide, for sure.
I’m also a 7th generation American man, born in the 20th century in an unassuming typical small town in central Pennsylvania. I’ve been influenced by all of the music that it implies. Specifically, America radio of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. I love that era’s pop, rock, folk and punk.
American radio was certainly the soundtrack of my childhood, and like so many of my generation, KISS and Led Zeppelin were flashpoints for me. They sparked me to become a musician and songwriter.
If I were to narrow this answer a bit more, I simultaneously added the KISS albums “Alive” and “Destroyer” to my collection in 1976 and was playing them both front-to-back constantly. KISS was so different from the radio formatted hits that were all around me. “Alive” was subversive, dark, edgy, sexy, raw, trashy, and spoke to my primal rock instincts. It was a perfect soundtrack for a guy like me, where I was. The other side of that was the polish and layered pop structure of “Destroyer”. It sounded deliberate and focused. It really opened my eyes to the possibilities of blending heavy rock with commercial sensibilities and prompted me to start thinking about songwriting. These two albums felt like one musical statement and are inseparable for me. Being a KISS fan required serious bravery in my town. On more than one occasion, defending my musical tastes required raised fists. This instilled in me that I should stand up for music that matters to me. I still do that to this day when I’m writing, recording, or performing.
In addition to my solo work, I’m a founding member of American cult rock quartet, Nitro. Not the LA glam Nitro that graced the MTV airwaves in the late 80s. Dana, John, Brad, and I formed Nitro in 1980 and were part of the US’s answer to the NWOBHM. That experience as part of Nitro is on-going and is a huge part of what shapes how I make music.
By deliberate design, the scope of all of the Nitro records (Lethal, Lethal + II, Volatile Activity, etc) is sonically and thematically concentrated to result in high intensity, aggressive, loud, shameless songs that take in our four different sets of skill and influences. Mostly influenced by American, British, and European rock of the 70’s, we filter our original tunes through those personal lenses and throw them back and forth at each other with the tools we each are expected to bring. When we do that, rinse, and repeat enough times, we hit an equilibrium that our four very different perspectives agree on.