Hello Mike, and thanks for once again sparing your time to answer my questions! How was the tour? Are you exhausted?
The tour was fantastic! All the shows were packed with people and playing with Overkill was a great experience for us.
We did speak earlier about your tour with Symphony X. What do you do when you are not on tour?? A friend of mine said once: “What do musicians do when not touring?? Eat burgers!!” Is that so?
Well, I admit that I do love burgers, but besides that I spend a lot of my off time at home watching TV. I also love to go see bands, go to movies and get together with close friends.
You are a really, really nice guy, so modest and down to earth. Don’t you sometimes feel like being a bad ass for a change? Does it pay off to be nice in the music business?
Thank you for your kind words. I wouldn’t mind being a bad ass sometimes, but I just don’t know how (ha ha ha). I believe that in life, being nice is always best in the end.
What qualities do you need in order to survive in the business nowadays? I am sure it is not just down to luck? What you make living from is music, i.e. you don’t have a day job, which is really great. What does this take?
You are correct. Luck only plays a small role. One quality I had to work on was learning to handle negative criticism. I make my living only from music, but it is very hard because there is not a lot of money in it. When Symphony X is off the road, I have to keep doing side projects.
You are also so good in keeping in touch with your fans. How do you manage to do this, you surely are extremely busy? How do fit it all?
With social media like Facebook, the fans can now get close to you. When I was a kid, this was impossible. Although it takes up all my time, I owe the fans my attention because they are the reason I get to live this amazing life.
You are, unarguably, a virtuoso and a true genius in your area. Who are the geniuses you look up to (if any)?
I still look up to the geniuses that I learned from. People like Geddy Lee, Ritchie Blackmore, Freddy Mercury, and the list goes on and on.
A question I like asking all my guests: if you could have a beer with one person who is an idol of yours, who would that be?
I would want to meet my favorite bass player, Joey DeMaio of Manowar. I would have many questions for him.