the story by Jason
The first real band I sang in was called Terra's Love Child born in late 1989 in a still pre-grunge fame Seattle. It was a hippy-trippy-bluesy thang. Then our sound changed and was a little heavier, and we later changed our name to Mama Troll and made a 12-song "demo" in 1992. During the early period of playing in the local Seattle clubs, I had the pleasure to perform as the opening act for such bands as Alice In Chains, members of the future Pearl Jam, other members of Nirvana (not Kurt!) and we played whenever and wherever we could…usually for free! When grunge hit big all over the world, so did the club scene in Seattle. It was a great time!
Ah, now enter the post-grunge era, 1994/95 I experimented with some different types of music. I called this "experiment" Tea for Twelve, I wrote some songs, recorded them and then realized that they were basically…crap, so I took a bit of a break. I started to attend Blues Jams at the local clubs only to find the true source that fueled one of my all-time favorite bands, Led Zeppelin…traditional blues. Blues music was not all too foreign to me, but I dug into the past and found the beauty and talent in some of the earliest blues recording artists dating back to the 1920s and its evolution into electric blues. Albert Collins and Elmore James really had an impact on me at this moment in time. Then in 1996 I formed a blues group called the Voodoo Roosters. Also having a soft spot in my heart for funk, I incorporated that style into my sound a little bit. We prepared songs and made a demo recording of the new material and gigged endlessly.
In late 1997 I quickly recorded one song on a soundtrack for a computer animated video called Televoid for Mirimar Records. This was a project led by Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield. The song called Chasing Blue Sky written by singer Geoff Tate and Scott Rockenfield (both of Queensryche), exists in two versions, my version on the Televoid soundtrack and the other with Geoff's vocals on the Queensryche Greatest Hits CD. Televoid was later nominated for the 1999 Grammy Awards for best long form video. In 1998 the Voodoo Roosters signed a recording contract with Full Scale Productions and we began recording a 12-song CD entitled Heavy Loaded. These sessions took us to San Francisco, California to record the horn section of Tower of Power on nine of the tracks. Watching them record was...INCREDIBLE. After the release we toured the Western United States and performed with many blues greats such as Koko Taylor, Jimmie Vaughn, John Mayall, Pinetop Perkins & James Cotton (Muddy Waters Band), Delbert McClinton, among others.
To start the new millenium, I was asked to do a studio project. It was Hard Rock…and I accepted. It was a project co-produced and mixed by Ron Saint-Germain (Soundgarden, Creed, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin…). It features guest performances by bassist John Giblin (Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Simple Minds), drummer Alan White of Yes and I sang a duet with Ann Wilson of Heart. The final result is a loud 12-song CD called Spinning, under the group name Treason on the Waterstreet Media label (released in 2001). In 2000 Full Scale Productions changed format, and me and my Voodoo Roosters were orphans. Then while in Italy (2000) doing some gigs, I met my future producer, Luigi Brigida. Even though I was playing blues and rock, he liked my voice and said he worked with J&Q records, a dance music label…. I said, "I don't dance!, BUT I would be interested in making some music, I like all types of music. Why not?" I officially relocated to Perugia, Italy and I signed with J&Q Records in June 2002.
Luigi, myself and DJ Andrea Marggio wrote and recorded a bunch of songs and my new "home" was about 2-1/2 hours away from my home in Perugia, a city called Livorno (near Pisa). About six months later in November 2002, J&Q gave us the green light on a single called Looking Back, produced and mixed by Fargetta. It did well on the dance charts and we remained in the studio writing more music. By January 2003 I had come up with a song called Yesterday. It caught the attention of legendary Italian performing DJ/radio DJ, Albertino. He put it into heavy rotation on one of the biggest radio stations in Italy, Radio Deejay and the song hit #1 on the Italian Dance Charts and airplay in several other European countries. The video for Yesterday was shot in Milan. Yesterday would also become the closing song on a television variety show called Le Iene for the 2004 season. During the success of Yesterday, I was offered a spot on the Miller Music Tour (Miller Beer) who teamed up with Peroni Beer to promote their "unknown US beer" in Italy, at which time we finished a third single called Give It Up, which extended my stay on the summer festival tours (Le Piazze) and into the winter discoteque dates.
After the Miller Music Tour, I thought it was a great time to return to my rock roots. I hooked up with some friends and created 10 songs that became an LP called Turtle in a Tank which was scheduled to be released on Warner Brothers Italia. However, due to internet downloading at the time, the LP was never released or contracted with Warner Brothers Italia and was a limited self-release.
2008, was the return to Seattle from my eight-year Italian vacation. I reconnected with an old friend, singer Geoff Tate from Queensryche. He asked if I would do the Queensryche Operation Mindcrime 1 and 2 European Tour playing the theatrical part of the "Nikki" character as well as performing background vocals. Next was the Queensryche album American Soldier on which I recorded some backing vocals and as a touring musician on the 2009 American Soldier Tour as the keyboard player, some rhythm guitars and backing vocals. 2010 was a personal year of soul searching and on January 26, 2011 my soul-searching questions got a response from God in the form of near fatal accident. God truly did respond. >>photos coming soon<< As a new born-again soul I hit the road and recorded backing vocals with Queensryche on the 2011 Dedicated to Chaos album and tour. 2012 I co-wrote songs with Geoff Tate on his album Kings & Thieves and toured with him once again doing rhythm guitar and backing vocals, which included seven dates with Alice Cooper which was REALLY COOL! Upon finishing that tour, I came home and joined Syztem7 as their lead vocalist.
Syztem7 is my priority band, gigging locally, recording new material, and just the project we put our energy into as far as original material. BUT, I'm always up for a tour for hire or goofing off in some local cover bands like my go-to cover band CUZINIT: we do a lot of Zeppelin and grunge and pop 90s stuff. Also in 2014 and a few dates in 2015 I jumped on with 80s rockers Hurricane for a US tour, which was great fun.
Doing some acoustic shows with an old friend and guitarist Ryan Craig is not uncommon, and the seeds to writing some electronic/dance material with DJ Swindo have been planted.