– Going back all those years ago, is there anything you regret doing? You’ve been in so many bands, you’ve done so much. Is there anything you would rather change?
– No, not really. I mean, sure, everybody does, you know, but why even think about it? I try not to. I’ve always tried to live my life that I don’t look back with any regrets. Do I have them? Sure! I have some huge ones!
About three years ago I went through a massive stage of my life and I am not ready to talk about it with anybody. At some point in time, maybe if this biography takes off, maybe I’ll talk a little bit about it there, I’ll share something that’s really huge. There is something that I regret, sure, but you’ve got to learn from your mistakes. You’ve got to learn, period. You’ve got to move on. There is part of it that I haven’t been able to move on from. It kills me every day and it’s something that’s on my thoughts. But I don’t let it stop me.
Smile And Think Positively
My older son, Clay (he is 12 year old), is like me. He is very emotional, very passionate, takes things very seriously, as do I. Over this past summer, he was having a problem with a friend of his, and it was really bothering him. He was like: “Dad, how can you be like that?” I’m like, “What do you mean?” “How can you do that, something bad’s going on, and you are trying to smile and think of something positive and good?” I’m like, ‘cos why not?
Look at it that way: there is no way an answer that says that you have to continually be morbid, remorseful, or sad, miserable, unless you just stop it. A good example would be: “Why didn’t I immediately start writing and release my second solo album at the end of the solo tour?” I was directed to join forces with Alex B and form Silent Force. Don’t get me wrong, we did some great music, and I made some great friends from the band. But, I should have held my ground and stood firm with the decision to continue with the solo career then.
Regret, yes…but… It is what it is.
I am where I am supposed to be right now!
I am supposed to be talking to you. This is where I am supposed to be! If you look back, you can go back twenty years, thirty years… you can’t, there is absolutely no way to change anything. The only thing I am trying to teach my sons is: for any little mistake that you make, there are three words. I hold three fingers up whenever I walk out of the door, and they know it. I hold my decisions.
MAKE GOOD DECISIONS!
Because the decisions you make may be like, hey, I’m gonna jump off this moving truck because my friends dared me, or something like that. That decision could change your life, you could be paralised for the rest of your life. That’s very heavy duty, but… You can do the same thing whenever you open your mouth to talk to somebody. Don’t say something stupid! Maybe take that extra millisecond: you know what, maybe I shouldn’t say that right now! Or maybe you shouldn’t do this. You can’t second guard your intuition whenever you are doing something because you are going to do it anyhow. But going back and regretting it – no. I don’t know, it’s a vicious cycle. I could sit here probably and talk for hours on it. Other things? Yes, there are, but there is nothing I can do about it, except move on and hopefully learn from them.
Other Interests and Hobbies
– If it wasn’t for your music, do you think there would be anything else you’d rather do? Have you got any other hobbies? Passions?
– God! You guys (his fans) see most of them. Riding dirt bikes: that’s been one of my big ones since I was a young kid. I’ve been a fire-fighter; I’ve been a paramedic. I do stained glass. I am a stained glass artist, which, by the way, I am hoping to open up for offer for people on my website whenever we do a crowdfunding campaign: I am going to be offering doing personalised, one of a kind stained glass windows for people, depending on the amount of donation. So, I do have quite a few ideas. I do photography. I do photography around the house to the point when my family gets tired (although they love seeing them), but get tired of me buying more and more frames. I have a thousand frames on my walls. I love frames! So, if you wish to call them more different talents, they are things that I do.
If there is one that I really wish I would have done, that is learn how to fly! When I was a paramedic, I flew with Life Flight: you just sit there and take care of a patient. But I always wanted to sit in the pilot seat, and I always wanted to fly a helicopter.
– It’s never too late!
– Yes, it’s still possible. But it is very, very expensive and they don’t have the schools the way they used to around here. Basically you have to pay for a private person to teach you. My luck, I will be like seventy and will learn how to fly a helicopter, and will accidentally crash one or something!
– Now, a couple of fun questions for you. Since this is a tall blog, what do you think, is there an advantage of being tall in music, in rock industry? Or not?
– I don’t know. Being tall has its disadvantages, like back problems. I like being tall, I’ve always liked it. It almost sounds discriminatory in a way: I’m tall, you’re short! I know for my sons, especially for my older son, this is very important: I must grow faster and faster, taller and taller! He’s just passed his mum and is extremely proud and excited. Being tall is cool, but it hasn’t got anything to do with your talents or your performance. I think somewhere down the road as we get older, we are going to suffer because of being so tall, because of our injuries and our back problems. So that’s how I am looking at that.
I love your blog, I think it’s really awesome and there is a lot of people who relate to it. But I don’t think about my height too much.
Conversation with God
– Obviously, you have met a lot of famous musicians, but if there was one person you’ve never met and you would like to meet him over a beer, who would that be and why?
– Wow! Would it have to be a musician?
– No, not necessarily. Could be anyone.
– Boy, that’s a tough one! Man! Maybe I should sit down and think about that one! This sounds really weird, it sounds really philosophical, and probably a gazillion of other artists have said the same thing, but I would like to sit down and have a beer with God! I think that would be a really cool thing. It would be great if he walked up and sat down next to me in a bar somewhere and said: “Hey, can I buy you a shot?” “Sure, buy me a couple while you are at it!” I’ve got quite a few questions for him, you know! Even if he didn’t have the answers, maybe he could give me the inside on some stuff that’s happened – not just in my life, but things that have happened in the world. I wanna go, OK, do you want to explain that one to me? There are so many different questions and of course, you want to have the most interesting conversation in the world, or ever, in the history of time. It would be an interesting beer, that’s for sure!
That’s probably my top pick, but there is quite a few other ones.
The Fans’ Support
– There is just one more question that I didn’t ask you… All your fans – do we bother you? I know you like to have the fans and their support, but how do you cope with all the messages and Facebook notifications?
– I love it, and I want to see more!
– You’ll regret saying that!
– No, I won’t regret saying that! I try to do my best to respond and I apologise that I can’t get to respond to everybody. There is a few who private message me from time to time, daily or every other day, that I try to respond to every once a week or something like that, just to say hey, just to touch base, but I can’t. It is hard to stay in touch with everybody, and I hope I don’t upset people that I don’t respond constantly… But if I did that, I would not ever get anything done!
I try to respond as much as I can, especially if they really have done something over the boundaries; when they’ve really gone out of their way to do something nice. When they made a video, or over Christmas a couple of people made Christmas cards. I tried to make sure I let them know: thank you very much, it’s really cool. I think if it would start bothering me, I would really need to step back, think, take a look at myself and go: well, maybe you should be done with that! Maybe you should get out of the business!
Fund Raising for the New Album
I would really want to see 10,000 followers on Facebook and 20,000 on Twitter. I was flipping through a couple of different bands (I am not going to say their names because they have tonnes of support as it is, like 22 or 24 thousand followers), and I going, damn, how do you that, how do you get out there? I’m not doing something right and I have to figure it out, I really should, because we do start drum tracks on the new album at the end of this month and we are going to start going from there.
We need the crowdfunding. Without the crowdfunding, I can’t sign another record deal at this point until we get the album done, so we need to fund this ourselves and, to be honest with you, I can’t afford it right now out of my own pocket. So I’m going to be looking to the fans, I’m going to be looking to investors, people like that on the crowdfunding campaign, to get out there and help raise money to do this. Then I’ll worry about a record company for distribution down the road, but in the meantime I am just trying to do as much as I possibly can do. If it wasn’t for the help of Dave Watson, Kenny Porter, Julian Neiser, Rege Behe (my biographer); my new attorney… I have two drummers right now (there is a whole other story there). They are both fantastic and I want to try to keep them both on board. One lives far away from here; one lives close. Jim Zamerski is supposed to be on the album as far as playing keyboard, so I look forward to having him on board. I hope that they will stay around for longer than that.
It’s always a battle. It’s a constant battle. I lie awake at night sometimes, basically, overwhelmed and think about what is going to happen in the future and money. I just don’t think I have enough people of Facebook right now that is actually going to make a difference as far as raising money for the new album. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t know out of these 5,000 people on my personal Facebook is there enough, how many of those people actually follow and how many of those people are going to donate 10 bucks, or 15, or 20, 50, or 100, 1000. We’ve got to get together a great package. For $10,000 in the United States we’ll come do a backyard barbecue for you! We’ll play and we’ll even cook for you. For overseas, if you want to do something like that, you have to figure out something else. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. I hope to be generally surprised, but to be honest with you, Angelina, I am cautiously optimistic. That’s the word. Right there is where I am right now. I am cautiously optimistic.
– That’s a healthy attitude, isn’t it?
– I am not sure. I don’t know. I am optimistic but I am very, very wary about it, very scared in a way. Maybe that’s not the right way. Maybe I should be balls out, optimistic, but when you have a family, a house, everything like that, you can’t just throw it out there. That’s why I started this new company, basically to protect myself and my family. Finally it’s all official. We’ll do it from there.
Not Afraid To Ask For Help
– Best of luck with all of this! I can’t thank you enough, DC, really! Thank you very much for this interview!
– You are very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I want to thank everybody. Stop in Facebook, stop on the website, check it out! If you are a newbie, then give me a shout. Tell me: “Hey, I’ve never heard you before”, and I’ll try to respond back just to give you a quick thank you.
I am just trying to be who I am.
If God gave me a gift to sing, what I do with it is my gift back to him.
I keep talking about God, but I am kind of split, I am torn due to a bunch of different reasons, but I do still faith and I do believe that this kind of works somehow. But I am going to need help. I am not afraid anymore to ask for help. I guess that’s what I am doing right now. But thank you very much. I appreciate your time!