I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. I've always been into music. I've played in various bands. There was Talas with Billy Sheehan. I did a good little stint there with Peter Criss. Wrote a few songs for his record. I moved up to Canada and I started a band up here called 24K. Released a couple of records and CDs on Z Records. I got a solo record coming out on Z Records. Glass Mountain is the name of the CD.
How did you get started off in music?
My uncle Saul. I was influenced by him. I was five years old. I've seen him play live. He looked like Elvis and I was like "wow, he's cool". That's how I picked it up. I've been into it ever since so I blame him for everything.
He used to do live shows?
Yeah, we used to go see him play.
Do you play an instrument?
Yeah I play guitar.
Did he play any?
Yeah he played guitar also. He sang like Elvis which was really cool. That's how I got into it.
How long were you and Billy in Talas together?
Three years. Two and a half to three years. I think something like that.
You also worked with Mark St. John.
Yes, I worked with Mark St. John. Worked on that five song CD. It's called The Mark St. John Project. I worked with Mark. It was good.
What was he like to work with?
He was all right. A very quiet guy. He was fine.
Was Talas the first major band you were in?
Yeah, that was the major thing. I've been in a bunch of other different bands but nothing like the status of what Talas was. The Peter Criss thing and the Mark St. John thing I did also. That was the major thing.
You worked with Peter Criss on the Cat #1 CD. Did you just write some songs or did you do vocals on it?
I was originally in the band. I was in the band for almost a year and we were just writing songs, rehearsing. I was singing at the time in the band. It was me and Peter, Ray, Mike, Mark the bass player. Mark St. John was in it in the very beginning but it didn't work out with him. I wrote a bunch of songs. A few of them made it on to records. I could no longer do the gig so I had to bail out on it.
Did you get to do any live shows?
No, that was the other Phil.
Have you had the opportunity to work with Peter since he left KISS?
No, but I'm going to give him a call. I don't know if he's going to do another record or not. I don't know what's going on. I got a bunch of songs for him if he wants to.
What's he like to work with?
Peter's all right. He's good to work with and pretty easy to work with. I thought went I first went there "oh my God. Okay, how am I going to deal with this"? It turned out to be pretty good. It wasn't as crazy as I thought it was going to be.
He's pretty professional.
Yeah, sure. If you were in one of the biggest bands in the world, you have to be.
Definitely. Did you have the opportunity to see him on the show Oz?
No, when was that? Did he play one of the prisoners?
He was on two episodes. He played one of the prisoners. Storyline is he was paid by another prisoner to say some dude killed some other dude. Then someone plants fake evidence and someone else tries to kill him. So far he's in critical condition.
Peter. The Catman. He's got nine lives. He's good at playing that type of movies. That type of thing. He's good at that. I think he'd be really good in a mobster thing.
He'd be awesome in a mobster thing. I can imagine him as the Godfather. He grew up with that kind of thing.
Yeah, he's part Italian too. He's Irish-Italian so I could see him doing something on The Sopranos. He's got that accent too. Works really well for him.
Do you do anything else like producing or engineering?
Yeah, I'm producing a few things and I've got my own studio now. I'm going to do another record after I'm done with Glass Mountain.
Tell me about your album, Glass Mountain.
It's on Z Records. It's going to be released in Europe and hopefully Japan. It's a rocking record. I've got a bunch of different guests on it. I've got Peter Lesperance the guitar player from Harem Scarem on there. Andy Curan who played in Coney Hatch. He's playing bass on a couple of songs. Donny Mancuso who played on Lou Gramm's first record, Ready Or Not. I have him playing on a couple of songs. I've got John Rogers from Brighton Rock playing on it too. It's just a bunch of buddies of mine just playing on this thing. Just a rocking record. I can't wait to release it. It's going to be my second solo thing.
Did Billy Sheehan get to play on it?
I'm still talking to him about it. I'm going to hear from him soon to find out if he can do it. He played on the first 24K CD, Pure, that's on Z Records. He played on that one. He played on one song, "Black Sheep".
Are there any particular tracks on your new CD that really stand out to you?
Yeah, "Glass Mountain" does and there's a ballad called "Donna". That stands out. There's a song called "Under The Night Sun" that's really good. It stands out. Those three are my favorites.
Are you going to do some touring?
We'll see how the record does. We're going to do a bunch of shows here in Toronto and maybe go back into my home turf in Rochester, NY and do a few things there and Buffalo. That's going to be fun to play back there again.
You recorded Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" for a project called Long Tom & The Dusty Danglers.
You can listen to that on my website. It's a country comedy type kind of thing. It did really well. It's signed. The first CD we were signed to Sony Records here in Canada. It did quite well for us. It was just a side project. A joke project. Two weeks later Sony wants to put this out. They send us out on a little record promotional tour. It was just a joke and they got a hold of it and loved it. They released it. Something we didn't even put much time into. John Rogers and myself are the main guys in Long Tom & The Dusty Danglers. We have an acoustic duet together called the Phil & John Show. That's what we do as our full-time kind of thing also with music. We play five nights a week with that. Then we've got our Long Tom & The Dusty Danglers little project happening and John does the odd shows with his old band called Brighton Rock. But yeah, you can check out "Maybe I'm Amazed" on my website. That's under the Long Tom & The Dusty Danglers Fresh Country Cheese CD. You can get it from there. You can buy it also. Email me and I can send the prices.
Are you working on any other projects?
Yeah, John and I are doing the Phil & John Show CD after I'm done with my solo thing. It's going to be a double CD of our best songs that we do like covers. It's called Acoustic Longhairs. We're doing that. I've got a CD coming out with Slav Simanic. I played on his first CD. It's called Water Of Life and I'm on his second one also. We wrote some songs. He's a guitar virtuoso kind of guy like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.
Any other thoughts or comments?
I'm just going to keep putting them out. Just keep writing them. 24K might be doing another record soon so I'll be busy. There's a bunch of CDs I've been on but I'm still tracking out that #1 single like everybody else is. You've got to be persistent. That's the whole thing. The whole key to this business. Eventually you get your calling and you can make some noise. Even if someone does your song I'll be happy. Even if someone covered one of my tunes I'd be happy with that.
It keeps your name out there when they do.
Exactly so it's a good thing. As long as I'm playing music all the time I'll be happy. If I'm working a regular job, that isn't me and I'd be wasting my time and everybody else's time so I have to do what makes me happy.
If you can make money at it, why not?
Exactly. You only come around this time here so go for all you can. If you're drinking and driving, please wear a condom everybody.