1. When did you first become a fan of Mötley Crüe?
The first time I heard Jimi Hendrix’s Crosstown Traffic started my interest in “heavier” music. Shortly after, I found Def Leppard’s Pyromania and that was it for me. I was completely hooked on metal after that. And the next album I bought was Shout at the Devil. I guess I was 12 at the time. I probably read about it after buying a Hit Parader magazine or something. They instantly became my favorite band. I just loved everything about them. They were the biggest badasses around. And it also made me and my friends cool, or at least seem cool to us. Nobody liked the Crüe at the time. Everybody thought they were disgusting and evil and dirty. I loved liking the band that people hated. That is, if they even knew who they were. And after buying Shout, I immediately went back and got Too Fast for Love. I can still picture walking to the store with my Walkman on listening to those albums. Pretty damn cool.
2. What made you decide to be in a Mötley Crüe tribute band?
Well, kind of interesting. Mitch is also the bassist in my original band and Matt filled in on drums sometimes. They had previously been in a Crüe tribute band. They decided to start it up again and ask me if I wanted to do it on the side. I figured what the hell. Should be fun. The problem was that even though Mötley Crüe is the reason I got into playing music, I had actually never learned a full song by them. Also, I have spent the last 15 years playing vastly different music. My 80’s playing days were long behind me. I hadn’t just completely let loose and ripped in forever. So had to get those chops back. Oh, and learn an ass load of songs. Too be completely honest, it took a while. I’m still not even where I want to be with it but I think that’s the case with any musician. You are never entirely satisfied. That said, I think we all pull it off incredibly well.
3. What first inspired you to become a musician?
Basically, it was Mötley Crüe. Falling in love with the music was one thing. But thanks to MTV (when they actually were a music channel) I got to see a band perform without going to a show. Remember, I was 12 or 13 at the time, there was no way my mother would let me go see a concert. So, the first time I saw the Looks That Kill video, it was over. It just looked so freaking cool. And the pointy guitars? Hell yeah. So, I made it my mission to get one. And for Christmas when I was 13, my mother got me a white B.C. Rich Warlock that looked just like what Mick and Nikki were playing. Eventually even learned how to play the damn thing. And thanks to Mitch and Matt getting it back into playing shape and Matt painting it like new, that guitar is actually being played live again. Oh, and the tattoos were because of Mötley Crüe as well.
4. When did you start playing guitar?
I started playing guitar as I mentioned at the age of 13. That was the Christmas that I got the Warlock. There were 3 of us that were all friends that started at or around the same time. That was actually awesome. It became a competition. Oh, you learned Crazy Train? Ok, I’m going to learn that and the solo. It was always a challenge. Granted, one of us, Rodney, surpassed everybody. Dude was just freaking insanely good. It was a great way to learn though. And no, we didn’t start with Crazy Train. That was just an example. My first song, like most people my age, was Rock You Like A Hurricane. To this day, I still can’t listen to that song.
5. Who are the musicians that you look up to?
This could actually be a very long list but I’ll make it pretty simple. My guitar idols are Jake E. Lee & Rik Emmett. I am also a huge fan of Zakk Wylde post Ozzy. The Pride & Glory album is my favorite album of all time. Well, at least top 3. Wasn’t a fan of his in Ozzy though. Keith Urban is also quite the badass. Hell, I could go on forever. As far as songwriters, give me Butch Walker and Beth Hart. Both of them are untouchable in my opinion. And Beth Hart is one of the greatest singers ever. I put her in the Paul Rodgers and Sass Jordan class. Nobody higher.
6. Do you play any other instruments?
On the first 4 albums with my original band, I recorded all the bass. I will not claim to be a bassist thought. I pretty much play it like I play guitar. I don’t have the ability to think like a bassist. Wait, I actually think. That’s why I can’t be a bassist. Ha, see what I did there? A good bassist joke always makes me laugh. I also have a mandolin but have no idea what to do with it.
7. What gear do you use for this project?
I actually don't use much gear when it comes to this band. My main guitar is a Jackson Pro Series Dinky. I switched out the pickups and put in a Duncan JB in the bridge and a Duncan Jazz in the neck. Kind of funny. I only use the neck pickup when we do a strumming version of Home Sweet Home. I have also had the Floyd Rose Trem blocked so that it only dives. I hate trying to keep a free floating trem in tune. The only other guitar I use is my original 1983 BC Rich Warlock. Once again, I have the Duncan JB and Jazz in it. I also blocked the Kahler Trem that is in it. Dive only for me. For amps I use an Orange TH30 through a Marshall 1960A 4x12 cab with Celestion 75's. And after building pedal board after pedal board with all kinds of nifty little effects, I decided to just go with the Line 6 M13 pedal board. Just so much easier. The only effects i use are a harmonizer (on at all times), a delay for solos, a little reverb at times and a chorus effect for the clean stuff. And if I get bored and just want to trick things up. Oh, and I also use a phase in a few spots. Pretty simple rig actually.
8. What equipment would you buy if money was no object?
Ah man. Can I just say everything? I would definitely load up on Gibson Les Paul Customs, throw in a few PRS’, a few Orange heads and a couple of Marshall JCM 800’s. I also really want a Zakk Wylde Bullseye. The new Jake E. Lee signature Charvel would be nice on my wall as well.
9. If you could perform with any musician/band, who would it be?
This is a no brainer for me. Beth Hart. I know I should say Led Zeppelin or something, but I would rather get on stage with Beth and just jam. That would be the highlight of my musical career.