In celebration of the upcoming VITNE re-release of the EP "Not Far From Shallow Water" on CD format, he has released his single of the same name again bundled with the instrumental version of the song and a bonus song "Forever".
In the summer of 2012, two of the greatest rock icons in
history joined the same stage.Billy
Idol and KISS together at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway!To put it lightly, I was super excited.I had seen Billy once before in St.
Petersburg, Russia, but never KISS.
KISS was amazing, but there was something magical about when
It wasn’t long after this that I began working on my debut
solo album “Neon”.I know my voice is
naturally low, so I started researching singers and what microphones they
used.Since Billy has a low voice as
well, I was particularly interested in the microphones he used, but after
searching high and low for information on it, there was nothing concrete.
This was interesting for me as a singer and also since I’m a
bit of a gear-head myself.I found out
Bono of U2 apparently likes to use a Shure SM58, Vince Neil used a Brauner,
Brandon Flowers used a Beta 58, Michael Jackson used a Shure SM7…but all I
could find out about Billy was some random hear-say.
I then decided “You know what?I’m going to ask him myself!”So knowing that Billy runs his own Twitter, I
tweeted Billy about it, and he quickly responded to me saying he used a Neumann
u48.Wow, a legend using a legend!
For those of you who don’t know, if you can even find one of
these Neumann u48 microphones on ebay it is easily $10,000 or more.
I really appreciated him personally responding to me.I’m a big fan of Billy Idol, he’s a badass
and a true icon, and that was really cool.
In fact, I am always impressed when major celebrities handle
their own social media.And that is what
you will always get with me.I will
never have anyone else managing my accounts, because I know first-hand how
important it is to fans to speak directly to the artist.
I have had the honor of my camaraderie with my lead
guitarist Julian Angel being likened to
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens before, the first time being a few years ago when
I released a song called “Down”.The
track is currently not available for sale, but as a thank-you for being one of
my subscribers, I want to give it to you for free – no strings attached.
I remember it was the summer of 2005, and I still lived in
my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina in the United States.I was a sophomore in college, the guitarist
and co-songwriter in a local band and I had been the bassist in a few other
bands during high school.Just like any
young musician I had dreams of making it big, landing a record deal, and
leaving my city in the dust, so to speak, but that seemed like just a distant dream.
Charleston is really a beautiful city, but opportunities
seemed to be few and far between, especially for a local band.I found myself in the middle of a music scene
primarily made up of hardcore bands, in a beach rock band.We found ourselves playing with bands that
sounded absolutely nothing like us just because there was no one else.To put it one way, it was a strange
I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall.My band had just released a record, but
nothing was happening.I felt like I was
alone in this overwhelming sea, and I was getting tired, bored, and upset.
I began looking for an escape, some adventures out of my
hometown, something different and exciting that I could be proud of.I yearned for travel, the excitement of experiencing the unknown, the new. And then, after a long wait and much anticipation, I got accepted to study Russian in St.
Yes, Russia, the country. I had never even been to Canada.
I didn’t even take a guitar with me I was so fed-up with
music at that point.I needed a break
and to experience something else.I was
just so ready to leave the U.S. and go to Russia.
When I got there, it was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.I started
hanging around the musicians at the school I attended.We went out on the town often, and there is a
lot to see and experience in St. Petersburg.
I had been seeing posters of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull all
over the city, and since I’m a big fan, I decided to go to the concert.So a new friend and I enjoyed some real
Russian vodka and went to the concert in this old theatre, and I was just blown
away.This was, hands-down, one of the
most amazing concerts I had ever seen.As a fellow flute player, I was mesmerized by Ian’s playing as well as
the way he incorporated flute into a live rock show.
The Real Thing
Now, I don’t know if it was the vodka or just luck, but
somehow we got backstage after the concert, and I walked up to Ian Anderson and
shook his hand.He noticed my American
accent and asked where I was from, so I told him.I’ll never forget what he said to me then:
I laughed, and so did he because he certainly was not
expecting for one of the only people to get backstage in Russia to be an American.I loved it.
That question really got me thinking.Standing there with Ian Anderson halfway
across the globe, after watching him give the performance of a lifetime, I
realized:I am a musician, I am an artist. This is my life, this is who I am.
Fast forward 11 years, Los Angeles, moving to Norway,
touring, several albums, and tons of other experiences and that same feeling
never gets old, its what always drives me.That feeling of being on-stage with my band, sitting backstage with the
smell of beer and cigarettes, the anticipation of what the crowd is going to be
like, the joy of meeting fans, the excitement of sitting in the recording
studio and making a song come alive….There’s nothing like it.
But most important of all, its YOU, the listener, that makes
it all matter.
I look forward to all the wild adventures my music career will
take me on.They may be hard sometimes,
but always worth it, and I hope you will be a part of that journey.