Q. How is the recording coming along on the forthcoming Death and Taxes CD.
A. The recording has been a slow process, over three years now and lots of money invested, but we are on track, Michael Cutting, our guitarist, will be finishing the guitar tracks by end of summer, and I will be finishing the vocals in an LA studio around the same time, then final mix and mastering by Brian Gardner in Hollywood, and we should have a very nice CD completed!
Q. Who is producing the CD. And what other musicians has he worked with.
A. Michael Cutting is producing, and he has been a member of Christial metal group Holy Soldier since 1985. We have also worked with Eric Falborg, who has produced Josh Groban among others.
Q. Do you all get along as band members. And do you socialize outside of the band.
A. Absolutely, I married Michael's sister Pamela in 1981, we had three children so Michael is now my ex-brother-in-law and uncle to my 3 adult children. We are all very close. Dave Starkey, my bass player, Michael and I have been playing music together since 1982, so we are like family. Yes, we socialize a lot outside the band...
Q. You have an amazing singing voice and an awesome image as the frontman of a rock band. As a kid did you practice in front of the mirror pretending to be a rock star.
A. Lol actually no, I was an extrovert as a kid, and was loud, obnoxious and wore wild clothes, I had no idea that would ever turn into a career and lifestyle... I was pushed into the singer job, cause no one else wanted it. Once I got under the lights and a microphone in my hand, well it was all over... lol.
Q. If you had to pick a favourite song on your forthcoming CD which one would it be.
A. New song called Drowning, it has a very Pink Floyd feel, and it's about getting knocked down in life and picking yourself up to fight again... I hope everyone will enjoy it.
Q. Is being in a band one long blast to you, if not, what are the pros and cons.
A. Pros - Being acknowledged for your songs and your talents, meeting so many cool people, travelling. Cons - Hard on family life, lot of personal sacrifices and a lot harder than it looks...
Q. Who are your music heroes and why.
A. I have so many - but my music heroes are all the undiscovered young men and women out there who struggle every day to get heard. There is so much talent and great music out there that just falls by the wayside because of lack of promotional money and people who need to survive sometimes just give up too soon. Those people are my heroes!
Q. Do you ever try to imitate any performers when live on stage.
A. Hmmm... I am quite an original and unique I have heard many say. I try to entertain and put on a show that will make you forget your daily grind and problems and bills... I guess my performing style is a cross between Freddy Mercury, Ozzy, David Lee Roth, not to say I'm anywhere near these guys, but I think I give it 110%, my heart, my soul, my pain, my joy, all comes out on stage, plus I am an MC of sorts for a huge party!
Q. You're very generous with downloads of your music. Would you say this is your way of saying thanks to your fans and also reaching out to new ones.
A. Absolutely, it's also a way of introducing our fans and friends to our music, and hoping they will support us and buy new music when it comes out.
Q. You have a huge Twitter following and there's talk of a Twitter show after the release of the CD. Can you shed any light on that.
A. Yes, we have a tentative date of August 18th at The Viper Room in LA. We want to do a show to meet our Twitter fans and friends in person, and will also do a live stream for the fans around the world!! Should be so much fun!!
Q. Do you feel privileged to be playing at The Viper Room. And what is the best gig you've ever done.
A. We feel privileged to play anywhere... lol. Seriously we have played all over the USA and have opened for many well known bands in our long career. I think my best show was in front of 20,000, outdoor at the Year of the Child Fest in Chicago, it was breathtaking playing in front of so many people!!
Q. What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you.
A. That's printable you mean... hahaha :-) We were playing in Kansas City Missouri, and the crew drove to Kansas City instead, so when we got to the real show, no gear, no equipment, no road crew, so I had a fit and fired everyone on the spot... Lol. I rehired them right away so they could get the gear to Missouri. It all worked out.
Q. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why.
A. Probably my father. He passed in 1998, but he was a superhero to me. He was kind, generous, and really loved by all people. I hope that his legacy will somehow have rubbed off on me a bit, and I can carry on the joy and the good he brought to so many people.
Q. Thank you Jay, you rock. One last question, what advice would you give to someone just starting up a band.
A. Work hard, avoid drugs, alcohol, and practice your ass off. Remember this is first and foremost a business, if you don't have business experience, surround yourself with people who believe in your music and can help you, and most of all NEVER, never give up, believe in yourself, and with a little luck and the right timing, you could quite possibly achieve your wildest dream.
Thank you for these great questions Marilyn, you ROCK!!
Jay, thank you for the interview, it's been a pleasure.