By Andrew Bansal
After delivering a fantastic album called ‘The Devils Cut’ and showing much promise and potential, White Wizzard’s 2013 lineup sadly fell apart when it all got ugly during a European tour mid-summer. But as always, founder, principal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jon Leon has picked himself up and carried on creating new music under the White Wizzard name, this time taking the helm as the lead vocalist as well. A new track called ‘Marathon Of Dreams’ has been released, giving us a taste of the new incarnation of the band. A few days ago, I did a comprehensive interview with him to address all things White Wizzard. Check out conversation along with the new track below.
Jon, it’s good to have you on Metal Assault, as always. White Wizzard has gone through a lot in the past few months. First of all, tell me what you’ve been up to since the band broke up an what have you done to resurrect things?
Basically when I got back from London after the band split, I started writing stuff immediately. I came back, spent time relaxing. I got a studio up in Topanga Canyon, and it’s out there, kind of in the middle of nature. It’s surrounded by trees and it’s a place to go and kind of hide out. I listened to a lot of songwriter albums like Elton John and a lot of great bands on vinyl, just getting inspired by music, and spent a lot of time on my motorcycle with the girlfriend, going up and down the coast a lot, really just healing myself from the chaos and stress in trying to keep that lineup together over the period of the year before. I was pretty deep down from that and I was really just trying to find new inspiration, and trying to heal from that, getting new energy for music at the same time. So I kind of switched to a whole introspective process, got inspired by a lot of new music I discovered at a vinyl shop, and just continued to keep writing. So I went through all that, kind of a rebirth so to speak, discovered by own voice as well and was able to sing the first track. I decided that it was the road forward. After the healing process, the rebirth and the change I went through, it was all down to me and there was really no other way forward. Instead of just writing the vocal melodies and using them for the songs, I would have to sing them myself as well for the band. So that’s where it’s at now, I’ve released the first song with me singing, and we’ll see where it goes! I’m continuing to write, continuing to work on my voice right now.
That’s great to hear, man. Obviously you’ve had singers in White Wizzard in the past but you’ve always written the songs and the vocal melodies, right? Did you ever sing on demo versions of those songs or anything like that?
Yeah, I basically sang on demos but usually it’s never been that great of quality because I would just sing enough to get the point across and I was never really trying to make it great. I doubted myself a bit. I think I never gave myself enough encouragement to step up and do it myself. And Wyatt Anderson can do way more than me, he can do all sorts of stuff. So obviously when I found him, it was like, “OK, this guy can do all these things with his voice, so I’ll just write and he’ll sing”. Ever since then, I was just convinced that I needed to have that kind of a singer that can do all those different crazy Halford highs and all the gymnastics of the 80s metal style. So really, I just continued on like that. But I realized that my writing was changing a bit, and also my voice was getting better. So I thought I can do this and to be honest, the band I’m most into, as everyone knows, is Rush and they’ve gone through so many changes. I just realized that my voice can work with this music and I can explore new territory while staying true to the spirit. All those vocal melodies came out of me anyway, so my soul was in that already. It’s just that it was being conveyed by singers that already had more range and could do more with their voice. But in the grand scheme of things, I’m really stoked and really like where things are going. I turned some corners with vocals in general. I’m actually in college full-time now too, which is another huge change. I’m taking vocal lessons from an amazing teacher who is operatically trained and has been around forever. He’s just incredible. Besides, I’ve been taking recording classes. I think going through a lot of adversity and dealing with the fallout of it really just made me want to expand, progress and grow even more. So I really got inspired through all that to make myself better in many area and obviously singing is one of them. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m pretty happy with the first initial track. I think I did a good job and it took a lot of balls to do it. I’m proud of myself at pulling it off, and now I’m continuing to expand, work on my voice and write. We’ll see where it goes! That’s pretty much the direction at this point and it seems that people like it, so that’s good.
So, for this new music I guess you’re recording all the parts except for the drums. Who’s the drummer you’re working with at this point?
Devin Lebsack is the drummer I’m working with. He was on our European tour when everything went to hell (laughs). He witnessed all that and he was in pretty heavy solidarity with me and encouraged me to keep on going and not let it get me down. He really loves White Wizzard, and he’s an old friend. Devin and I were in a band together when I first moved to Los Angeles. He was phenomenal even then, he had just gotten out of Berklee College of music, just a really great drummer, great guy and really professional. I was really impressed with everything about him when we were in a band together. When I actually was looking for a permanent drummer for White Wizzard after the first lineup, Devin was the guy I wanted but he was locked up for Hed P.E. He was playing with that band and had a contract, and I was just barely getting a deal and was in my infancy with White Wizzard. So I obviously wasn’t able to get him then, but once he became available for last year’s European tour, he was all ready to do it and was stoked on it. He did a phenomenal job on the tour with his drumming and it was the best rhythm section it could have been. With all due respect to the other drummers who played in the band. I think the drum track on this new song is the best drumming White Wizzard has ever had. He requires very little editing after the fact and nails 90 per cent of it going in, which is not the case with a lot of drummers. They require lining up and making everything perfect after the fact, but really great drummers have that time built in to their mind and that metronome in their soul. He’s just one of those guys, takes his craft very seriously and practices all the time. I’m stoked to have him drumming for White Wizzard. The new song is just one example of what that guy can do, and I think it’s only going to get better.
In terms of this new material, how much have you completed and when are you planning to release another album?
Yeah I definitely have a lot of songs written and I’m really stoked on them. I think a lot of the material is good and I’m excited about it. I’m expanding the sound a bit, I’m growing and also reaching out to the average music fan as well. You go through different phases. Sometimes I get into a really progressive phase and sometimes it’s really simple, rhythm-based. I can’t really predict it. Songs just kind of come out of me and they always have. But there’s a little bit of both this time. I’d say I’m focussing more on writing just really great songs with feeling and emotion. I think I’m expressing a lot more because of what I went through and also just as a natural progression, I’m connecting more and more with myself as a songwriter, which allows that emotion to flow out more. So I think some of the songs have more emotion in them. There’s definitely different vibes, catchy stuff, but there will still be elements of what makes it White Wizzard. But I’ll definitely continue to experiment and grow the sound as I go forward. I don’t think that’s going to change. As you mentioned earlier, the way I’m doing it right now is I’m playing all the guitars and bass, the harmony guitars and some leads, and I will have a guest player come in and lay down a really shredding, amazing lead on top of the song too, like I did on the first song. I played the first lead, really dark-sounding but then that last lead towards the end is real fun, all over the place and really fast, by Jacky Vincent from Falling In Reverse. He did a really cool lead on it. So just getting that one lead player to hop in and do what I can’t, kind of give it that final zing so to speak, that’s probably the way I’m going to do it, at least in the studio. But now I’m also working slowly on putting a live band together. I’m going to have one guitar player who can sing the high stuff to give me support with the Wyatt stuff, because I’ll sing all the mid-voice parts and I wrote it all. I just can’t do all those crazy over-the-top highs. But I’ll have a guy in the band who can do that, so fans who are looking for that will be able to experience that vibe when they see the songs performed. So I’m taking my time with it and I’ve got some great guys that are interested, but in the studio I don’t know if things will change or not. I kind of like it this way, and really since the ‘Over The Top’ album, that’s been the process. There’s three songs on that album I played all the guitars on, and on all of ‘Flying Tigers’ and ‘The Devils Cut’ I played the harmony guitars, with Will Wallner and Jake Dreyer just trading solos on ‘The Devils Cut’. So, a lot of that experience has already been what’s made the sound of the band in the studio. The vocal melodies have come out of me and all the rhythm and harmony guitar parts were played by me on the last two records and part of ‘Over The Top’, on the songs people are most familiar with. So, a lot isn’t changing even though it seems like it is. The personnel that have been in the band have been there obviously to perform the music and try to give it the most well-rounded experience, but the core of it has always been me and continues to be. So I think that’s why the spirit of it and what it overall is, will still continue to resonate. It’s just a different direction with more mid-voice and emotion in the vocals, but it’s not that far off the path it was on. Aside from the big highs, it’s right on-point with what the White Wizzard sound has always been. I’m getting a lot of feedback from people that it’s really not as different as they thought it was going to be. And I thought, of course not! (laughs) It’s the same as what I’ve been writing the whole time. It’s the same songwriter, the same guy, so you’re just getting another thing that’s come out of me, and just like anything else, it just depends on who’s performing on it to really give it that difference on its character.
Right, exactly. And yeah, in the studio you can very well have it as a solo project. A lot of bands work like that. The early incarnation of Toxic Holocaust comes to mind, and there are still so many others. So I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Yeah, at the end of the day, every band and every musician’s path is different. You can get really lucky like Rush. You grew up together, you’re best friends, you make this band, it’s just three guys and you all just happen to get along and it all just happens to work, both musically and personally. That’s why they’ve stayed together for 40 years! Then you’ve got some situations where you just get unlucky, the personalities just don’t work, people make mistakes and you make mistakes. A bunch of different shit happens, circumstances arise, and you end up having a lot of changes. It’s tough for fans and I get it because they may get attached to one singer or a certain individual. I’m sure there are fans out there that are absolutely attached to Wyatt’s vocals, and so am I! I love his singing and I think he’s a great singer, but it wasn’t realistic to be able to continue with him so those changes are sometimes tough for fans. They get pissed off, they don’t understand, and naturally since it’s my band I get blamed for it all, and that’s fine. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to stop. I got into this for one reason, and that’s to continue to make music. I’ll be writing music till I can’t touch a guitar anymore, till I can’t play anymore. So, White Wizzard will always release material as well as myself. I’m actually working on a solo album as well, which is totally acoustic and very, very different from what White Wizzard is. So, I’ll be continually always releasing material and hopefully sitting in with other bands too. I’m just being a musician all around and continuing to try and get better. I’m taking more guitar classes right now, and vocal classes. I’m trying to improve myself always, because I’m humble enough to know that I’ll never get it all figured out. I always want to get better. So hopefully, that means the songwriting will always continue to be refined. Rest assured, whoever I get involved in the band will be talented. I’ve never not brought in good talent. Every guy that’s ever been in the band has been a badass at what he did and that’ll always be the case. When we play live, that will be still retained, and hopefully will get better. I think it needs to get better. I never felt like White Wizzard ever got to be really great yet. It’s had moments of greatness, specially in the live setting, but it could be better and that’s why I’ll continue to improve and that’s why I got a drummer like Devin. You try to get better musicians each time, you try to better myself and find a better version of whatever it is you’re trying to create, I guess.
The other aspect I wanted to talk to you about, you parted ways with Earache and started White Wizzard Records. How will that work out going forward and what do you feel about the whole situation of being unsigned and independent?
Well, for starters, White Wizzard Records is just basically to release my own music. I just don’t want to depend on a record label to release music anymore. For me, I want to be involved in the process. I ultimately want to be able to learn that part of the industry. I think that 20-30 years ago being on a record label mattered a lot more than it does now. I don’t think you have to be. I mean, sure, a new band that has no capital and need someone to push them, it’s good. And don’t get me wrong, even though I didn’t make any money and lost money out of my own savings during the last few years of doing White Wizzard despite being on a label, the one thing it got White Wizzard was worldwide recognition and we reached more fans. I recognize that and I’m not saying that everything about being on a record label has cons. There’s pros to it. But from my conclusion after the last couple of records, in my experience I felt like there’s a lot of things that I can do better than certain individuals and I also felt like there’s a lot of profit loss to the artist with being on a label. There’s monetary disadvantage to the artist. But I also just wanted to try being independent. I want to try everything. I’m not going to say that if a perfect situation came my way and a large label that had a big reach where it was fair, I wouldn’t say no to it. But in my experience, I wanted to find a situation fairer than what I was in, and right now being on my own is doing that for me. I’ll continue to look for an even fairer deal with someone who has a bigger reach, but for now, I’m very comfortable releasing the music on my own. I’m not in this to try and get rich. I’m realistic. It wasn’t happening with the label and we weren’t getting rich, so if I have to shell out some of my own money to where I have control of everything and I can at least get part or all of it back to break even on it, then great. It may not change things much, but hell, at least I’m doing it on my own and I’m learning. May be I’ll get lucky, you never know. If you own all your profits and you do get lucky, you’re going to make all the money. Whereas if you’re on a label, you may not make as much, or squat. So it’s important to be able to have that in case something does happen that could bring in significant amount of money.
One of the things about being independent is, and a lot of bigger musicians are taking this path, is crowd funding. People like Devin Townsend, Scott Ian and many others have been successful at that recently. But we all know what happened with the White Wizzard IndieGoGo campaign. Just for people who still might be wondering, how did it get messed up? It’s important to get this information out there through your words, to give people a clear picture.
The bottom line is, the fans paid for our trip to Europe. That’s where that money went. Basically, $4000 was in plane tickets, $1500 was in the shirts. We got $8000 total but about $1000 was paid back. You’re paying percentage fees and PayPal fees. There’s all sorts of money you need to pay out, and we ended up clearing just over $7000. The thing is, when we went into the European tour, it was decided to wait till after the tour to take care of the IndieGoGo orders to ship everything out, because of our organizational stuff. I’m not going to name a bunch of names but a couple of guys in the band were not helping out and it was really down to three of us. I was very busy and was slammed, so we decided that rather than trying to sneak this in before the tour, let’s do it afterwards. Well, when the tour went down, basically what happened was, I don’t want to mention the guy by name anymore but Joseph the singer, he got the vibe that this was going to be a one-album shot and I think he knew that the writing was on the wall and I wasn’t going to work with him anymore. That’s a whole other story, but basically he and I got into an argument one night on the tour and he wrote to every IndieGoGo donator because he had their contact info too as we were working on this in tandem, and said that Jon’s stealing money from IndieGoGo, making this complete blatant lie up. There’s zero proof of that. I control the business account and he didn’t like it. He wanted control of it, he wanted his hands on the money too and he just made up a false accusation. He was not fired, we’d just had an argument and it wasn’t anything too serious. The next day I said we should hash through our problems, get back on stage and finish this tour because there are paying fans. The bottom line is, paying fans were sitting across the street and instead of taking the stage, he disappeared. It caused a bunch of hell, and after the fact, basically everybody wanted to come out looking good because there was all this egg over everyone’s face obviously when all that went public. People ran and tried to save themselves. Everybody was worried about their career. And the other aspect is, I didn’t want to be on a record label anymore. The other guys in that lineup didn’t really agree with that philosophy. I’ve been through it for a long time and they haven’t. A lot of people still think I need to be on a record label. I had already let Earache know at the beginning of that tour because of various things, like the lack of money for the tour and us having to do a crowdfunder and a bunch of different stuff. I told them I don’t desire to be with them anymore. So I think once all that went down on the tour, it was their out as well. They dropped the band publicly even though I’d already told them I wanted out. That was the end of it, but I think other guys in the band that were in between Joseph and my falling out were concerned about their own careers and how they would look. So, we came home from the tour, Will had a bunch of shirts left over that he was supposed to give back to me as they were technically White Wizzard’s property. He took it upon himself to mail them out to fans along with the CD. Great, good for him and at least the fans got the shirts. But everyone wanted to come out looking good and that was his strategy. I was stuck dealing with everything on my own. It took some time, it was tough. I was in a rough situation, coming back and having to deal with a lot of personal and family stuff, monetary stuff. So it was pretty challenging to get those things taken care of. There are a lot of people to whom I mailed out stuff twice (laughs) and for whatever reason it didn’t reach them so I put together bigger packages together for the people and tried to make sure that every single person was taken care of. Some people believe the story coming out of Joseph, some people believe my story. I can’t really really worry about that. It is what it is. I’ve proven everything, shown all the receipts, and basically what we’re talking about is, Joseph wanted his hands on the money too, he didn’t like his position of where he was at in that situation and it all came down to different reasons and motivations than any money actually being taken. It was more a purposeful move to hurt my reputation, seeing that I already had problems in the past with ex-members. He figured he could pile it on and people would believe it. Some did, some didn’t. That was his way of doing whatever he could to hurt me and that’s really what his motivation was. There was never any stealing or motivation on my end, or anyone’s end, to take away from what the fans paid. All the money has been cleared in the Europe trip and the cost for the shirts. I don’t know if I’ll do a crowdfunder any time soon, but I don’t know if I need to! I’m ultimately back, I’m going to school and I’m working. I’m raising my own capital. So the campaign was done out of desperation because Earache Records told us that they were not paying for our tour. That’s what it came down to and that’s why I did it. The tour was booked, and they were not giving us any support. That was the last straw for me too, because I was like, what am I doing on a label which can’t even push us when we get a tour booked? I’m giving all my property to them, seeing no return, and on top of that I have to deal with this. It ends up being a really tough situation from an artist’s perspective to decide what to do, but basically getting away from the label and getting away from the relationship with that individual and moving on were two extremely important things for me. I’m extremely happy and inspired being where I’m at now. If it took some adversity like that to get me to this point, may be it was meant to be because I don’t know if I’d be singing and doing things on my own now. I’m so confident and in the zone right now. Had I continued on and stayed in a relationship that I felt was negative for me and brought me down, it ultimately wouldn’t be good. I was under a lot of stress last year with that lineup, and it was due to a lot of those reasons, those individuals and the label. I was losing interest, to be honest. I was really quite disheartened after The Devils Cut came out because I was bored. I wasn’t into it anymore and I wasn’t feeling my relationship with the singer and didn’t feel like it was going to work. Same goes for the record label. At the end of the day, unfortunately other talented musicians in the band got caught in the middle of that. They did what they had to do to take care of themselves and move on, and I did what I had to do. It’s my baby, I’ve lost a lot of money on it, but I’ve put my heart into it and I’m going to keep doing it. People suggested me to change the name of the band and do something else, but I was like, I’ll continue to write and do what I want to do, but I’ll be damned if I changed the band’s name (laughs) and I’m going to keep kicking ass. That’s basically what happened. I came out of that, found a better me and learned from my mistakes. We all make mistakes in that kind of a situation and I’m not clean by any means. There’s things I can learn about the management of people and just a general idea of other things I’m not as good at. That’s why I’m in class for business law, learning how to read and write contracts, all the ins and outs of what I need to do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. I’ll try my best to prevent that and move forward. If people want to laugh at it and look at it in another way, there’s nothing you can do about it. You just keep writing songs and doing what you love.
I agree. You mentioned there’s advantages and disadvantages in being signed to a label. Last time we talked off air, you were saying how there’s a kind of a firewall when it comes to the major media outlets and how they feature only the signed bands. Do you think that needs to change?
Yeah, it’s like in any world. I worked in the corporate world for tons of years for a big company and I made a lot of my money before all the savings went to spending on White Wizzard (laughs). But basically, in all types of world, there are people that know people. People do favors for each other. It’s like that in politics too. People always complain about how all politicians get bought. It’s the same damn thing in music. People do people favors and at the end of the day, record labels and a lot of these big media people do each other a lot of favors and that’s kind of the unwritten rule, I think. It’s just one of those things, if you’re an independent artist it’s harder to get media without being on a label. The media won’t touch it if you aren’t on one, and there’s reason for that. If they do, they don’t want repercussions. They don’t want to lose their ins they have with the labels. They don’t want to lose their advantage and take that risk. So will they do it for me? Hell no. One guy here or there who loves the band might do it because he’s all about being a rebel to it or wants it to change. But people don’t want to lose their jobs, so they are not going to work out of the parameters of what the unwritten rules are. So whether or not it will change remains to be seen. What it’s going to take is a lot of artists refusing to get signed. If you look across the board at a lot of the mid-level bands that White Wizzard has always been kind of locked in with, it cracks me up that everyone is in pretty ridiculously shitty deals. Every report that I get from people is that no one is really making any money. A lot of us have been on labels now for 2-3 albums or whatever the case may be and I don’t want to go into band names or label names, but the bottom line is, a lot of bands of our level aren’t making any money. So I always wonder why more bands don’t refuse, and hopefully they will get out of that mentality of having to get signed. Everyone’s obsessed with it. 25 years ago it meant something, but I don’t know that it means anything now like it did. There’s a lot in it for bands to not go in that direction, specially for mid-level bands. I mean, sure, if Interscope wants to come and give you huge advances and do certain things that would be good for you, that’d be great. But unless you’re going to get that major amount of push and really get that kind of money upfront, I don’t know if it’s worth it. I think a lot of bands are put at a disadvantage and end up getting discouraged. A lot it does have to do with the state of how the industry is. You can learn a lot. I’m still learning, and learning like crazy right now. I’m taking a class in how to do this. But you can do it, and the internet and a lot of the different sources available to artists now allow that to happen. I’m surprised more artists aren’t doing what I’m doing. I’ll continue to fight the fight and stay in touch. That’s what I’m proud of and pretty stoked about what I’m putting together now. I don’t want to be on a label anymore, and I say that with all due respect to Earache. There are some nice people there and the owner of Earache initially believed in White Wizzard, and in me as a songwriter. I give him credit for that and I thank him for that, but ultimately as things progressed, it was very disadvantageous for me to be in that record deal. It is what it is. Sometimes you want to take things into your own hands, just to learn and get better at that. There’s a lot of different motivations behind it and I don’t just hate record labels entirely. But there’s a lot of things really wrong with labels. They do take advantage of the business end of bands a lot, as well as the local clubs. I mean, look at Hollywood! The pay-to-play is the same kind of thing. They make bands pay at least 400-800 bucks, make them sell all these tickets they can’t sell if they aren’t an established band. Pay-to-play has been a joke forever and bands keep doing it. It’s hard to grow a following in Hollywood, unless you really know somebody. Again, who you know and how those things work out can be an X-factor, but a lot of bands don’t have that and they don’t have the capital so they naturally get taken advantage of. I was a pretty smart cat. I was in business for years with a really huge company and was very successful, but I am still learning a lot of things about this music industry. So, some of these kids that just aren’t business savvy at all, I feel for them. They really don’t have a clue. I didn’t have a clue when I signed my deal. I was in that same mentality. It took me 3-4 years of hardcore experience and my history and knowledge of what I do now for my business experience and just in general, to really heed all the basics of where everything was and decide for myself that this was the direction. It’s tough, man. It’s a fucking brutal industry. The music industry is fucked up, and I’m not the first one to say it. Robb Flynn from Machine Head just wrote a really amazing piece about his frustration with the music industry recently that I read. It just blew my mind and was right on-point. That’s exactly how I feel. He made a ton of points that were just perfect and poignant. So I’m doing this now just for myself. I’m going to release my music and enjoy doing it, I’m going to earn my money other ways and I’m not going to depend on music to earn my money. If we get offered to be flown out to play a festival or do a tour, great and we might consider it. But other than that, I’m going to lay in my hideout, ride my motorcycle up and down the coast, enjoy beautiful Topanga Canyon and Malibu, write songs, go to school and enjoy life. I’m so damn happy right now and so relieved from where I was trying to make this all work and make a record label happy, make other people happy, at this point I just do what I love. Everybody knows who’s in charge now (laughs) and there’s no confusion. I’m surrounded by good people. So life is good for me right now.
I think we covered a lot in this interview but I have just one more thing to ask you. Other than the Joseph Michael thing which you already talked about in detail, are you on good terms with the other ex-members of White Wizzard? How would you describe your relationship with them?
Well, I’m not really talking to anyone from the Devils Cut lineup. I mean, me and Jake will text each other once in a blue moon when I’m drunk or when he’s on the pills and joke about something, but we haven’t really gone and hung out since. Will, not at all. I’m still a little ticked off at what he did with the tour shirts and we don’t really talk much but I wish him well. His wife is really nice and I hope their new project does good. I don’t have any ill will. I just don’t talk to the guy. But as for previous lineups before that, sure, Peter Ellis from Monuments remains a friend. They were on last year’s European tour with us and he had some strong words for Joseph as well. He wasn’t happy with Joseph at all on that tour and he saw a lot of what went down from the inside perspective, and not the hearsay perspective. So he remains a friend and a constant. We write to each other, I wish him the best and vice versa. We’re both trying to support each other because he’s in a very similar boat as me right now, doing a lot on his own. He’s a hard working cat and I respect him. And then Lewis Stephens the old guitar player is a great kid. Cory Nagatoshi the other guitar player who did the US tour with Forbidden, him and I still write and he said he was really stoked on the new song. And I finally got a text from Tyler Meahl the other day, the first drummer. So some of us stay in touch. Some have been really supportive and said they liked the new song, others have been silent. There are definitely two guys that I don’t really like and they don’t like me (laughs), and we’ll probably never speak. But aside from those guys, if I saw any of the others I would gladly hug them and wish them well. Some I would get along with more than others and that’s just how it is, man. I don’t try to figure it out too much and there’s no science to it. It’s just how things go. Either way, I’m not stressing on it. One thing you can definitely know about me is, I don’t lose an ounce of sleep about what any ex-member thinks about me nor any of the critics in the press or the public. Any fans who love White Wizzard, great, I appreciate the hell out of them, I love them to death and I’ll continue to appreciate their support. But I don’t lose sleep over what people think about me. I’ve made mistakes but I’ve also done a lot of things right. My heart’s been in the right place and for the most part, a lot of the stuff that’s out there is bullshit. People can believe whatever they want to, but a lot of the guys that have been in the band in the past need to take a look in the mirror. I’ve done that for myself and I feel good. I’m continuing to move forward doing exactly what I’ve always set out to do and that’s never going to change. I’ll continue to try finding a better me along the way.
That’s great, man. I think that’s all I have for this interview. It was good talking to you, as always.
Thanks a lot, man. People need to support what you do as well because you’re pretty much in the same boat too, doing this purely for the love and passion of it, in an industry in which there’s very little money. There’s a great tune in Porcupine Tree’s ‘In Absentia’ album. It’s about music and how it’s just a demographic-based soulless kind of mechanism. The real essence of it is just completely disappearing, and unfortunately there’s a lot of truth in it and I see it in the fabric of what everyone is doing. Robb Flynn really nailed it down to a T, about what those lyrics say in that Porcupine Tree song. That song really resonated with me and still does even more. The more I deal with the industry the more I realize that Steven Wilson was saying something with that song (laughs), and unfortunately he’s speaking the truth and not being overly cynical. Hopefully, guys like us and everybody else who’s in this for the right reasons will give it some kind of a rebirth and it will find a way to at least be able to make guys a little bit of a living, get through to kids and have more emotion and more depth to it.