Previously I was using this blog to inform people about news on the band such as events, release and what not. I figured I would change it up a bit and write about some personal experiences, both related to the band as well stuff that has happened to me in my personal life that I figured people would enjoy reading.
Perhaps I will just start by giving a bit of background. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey called Ridgefield Park. For most of my childhood I was shuffled in & out of schools outside of my town and it kind of made me feel out place with the other kids. But, I did get to meet people from other towns which was cool and some of these people I still talk to. I think the first song I remember hearing was “Imagine” by John Lennon and I became fan of Black Sabbath by no choice of my own. I recall my Uncle and his friends hanging out in the garage chanting “Generals gathered in their masses” in unison and I ended buying a copy of their 2nd album, Paranoid years later realizing I was already familiar with most of their songs. Another band I got exposed to early was Kiss I found an old Kiss tape in my parents house shortly after we moved there and was hooked. Later on I learned of fellow NJ natives, The Misfits(yes because Metallica covered some of their songs). I learned that most their success was from their own doing, funding and booking their own tours, pressing their own records and shirts , forming their own record label and starting their groundbreaking fan club, “the Fiend club”. Danzig’s DIY(do it yourself) approach was a big fuck you to all the Record label executives that turned a blind eye to what they were doing at the time. It just goes to show you what you can achieve when you take your own fate in your hands and not let Corporate America control who You are. Their approach inspired me to form my own record label, Forever Autumn Records, as well as handling most of the band’s business personally.
It wasn’t until High School that my love of music began to gel. I was still a beginner at guitar, having stop taking lessons 2 years prior. Luckily my High School ditched the traditional marching band style band with the “Qtip” hats as my band teachers referred to them as. We got turned on to some music that had both brass and woodwind instruments, as well as Guitars, Basses and Full drum sets. Some of the songs, I recall we did were 25 or 6 to 4 by Chicago and Vehicle by the Ides of March. The teachers even taught us a bit about the business side(including horror stories of naive bands that got screwed) as well, which was helpful. But, it was who was in the band with us that really stuck out in my mind. I had the pleasure of becoming friends with another budding musician, Jimmy Gnecco. Jimmy had been performing at area clubs since he was 13 and developed a musical style and sound after years of performing and honing his craft, which caught the eye of record label executives. For over a decade now, Gnecco has been recording and touring all over the U.S. and Europe with such bands as : Peter Yorn,Live & Marilyn Manson. It is really great to have witnessed his progression from a dedicated teenage musician, to a serious artist. A true lesson in dedication and self reliance(which I should have pay closer attention to)
After I graduated High School I continued in school taking music classes in college and started writing music and lyrics . My first group was called “Fallen” with Chris “Pit” Gnecco on drums and Anthony Demarco on vocals & guitars, both of which performed with Jimmy Gnecco for a time in his band Ours. I moved into NYC in 2000, and having no band to perform with, I kept writing and linked up with other musicians, learning the ins and outs of the business. I helped book shows for a very popular local band at the time, Downpore.It was Downpore who showed me the power of getting stickers made up, theirs were everywhere.A Downpore sticker even made into a Joey Ramone video. One day, my tenacious attitude caught the eye of David Bennett Cohen of Country Joe & the Fish, who I started booking shows for. Another milestone was the summer, I became an intern at Concrete marketing. No pay, but it felt good being in the thick of the music business, in a “real” music office, learning how to run a promotion and the importance of having a mailing list. I still book and promote all the shows for Imbolg to this day, Thanks to my experience and some good reading material.
Well, that’s enough yammering for now. I will have something more for you to read soon & I hope it’ll make you laugh and not fall asleep (but I know it probably did both)Cheers