I've been on tour with Billy Idol for the last two months. We're in West Palm Beach, FL and the tour is going great.
You get to tour with him a lot, don't you?
It was a light schedule last year but he just put out a new record called Devil's Playground and we're touring to promote it.
Did you get to play on that?
When you were with KISS on the Revenge tour, it said they needed an offstage keyboard player. Why did you have to be offstage?
KISS has never had keyboards on stage. I was just excited to be able to work with Gene and Paul in whatever capacity they needed because I was a big KISS fan and I was glad to be a part of that tour. It's the only gig I've ever done that and the only reason why I did do it is because I'm such a fan of the band.
You look like Paul Stanley and Cher's love child. I like that.
You got to play with Dream Theater for a while too.
They were looking for a keyboard player in '94. I auditioned and I had a five year run where I was playing with them. Three world tours, three albums, and then after that I put out my first solo record, Planet X in 1999. I've been releasing solo records and Planet X my band ever since then while also touring with Billy Idol.
What is the difference between your music in your solo records and the music with Planet X?
My solo records are more diverse. More rock and other styles. Planet X is just its own kind of sound. It's very progressive metal. We're doing a new record right now for Planet X featuring guitar player Allan Holdsworth that we're very excited about.
When will that be released?
That will be out in the fall of this year.
I got the feeling that your solo stuff was more rock.
Yeah, the solo stuff is more stuff that I enjoy listening to. Planet X is just more off the hook.
I noticed that your drummer is also playing in Soul Sirkus.
I haven't heard their music yet. What does it sound like? Is it like Journey?
It's basically rock but it doesn't sound like Journey. Yeah, there are some similarities because it has a guy in Journey in it but it has its own sound. It's really incredible because it has all these talented guys in it including your drummer and Jeff Scott Soto. It's really amazing. You should hear it.
I'd like to.
Tell me about your latest release, Mythology. I was listening to it and it was really cool.
Thank you. Mythology was released late last year and it has a lot of the same people that have played on my last record. Zakk, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Tony Franklin. Also Brian Tichy plays drums on three songs and he co-wrote a lot of the material on Black Utopia as well as Mythology. Also plays guitar on a song "Trojan Horse" that we wrote for Eddie Van Halen. It's a tribute.
Tell me about "The River". Zakk sings on it and it's really cool.
When he goes in the studio, you just turn record on and let him go. He just started to sing it and we plugged up a vocal mic and it ended up sounding good. We ended up turning it into a song. It was very spontaneous.
He has an incredible voice. So much emotion and soul.
What were the thought processes and inspiration behind Mythology.
Basically when I make solo records, I try to collaborate with people I'm into and whatever we come up with ends up on the record. That's really cool to be able to have that creative freedom to do that.
I love the album cover too. Who designed the cover for you?
Thank you. This guy named Matthias from Europe.
Are there any particular tracks on here that you really like the most?
I think "Day Of The Dead" is really cool with Allan Holdsworth on guitar and Zakk together. I think there's a really cool contrast of all the players. It's very metal fusion.
I love the guitar work on that one. Any touring plans?
For Mythology? I'm going to be pretty busy with Billy this year. There might be some festival dates but nothing scheduled as of yet.
Any other thoughts or comments?
Thank you very much Angela for talking with me and throughout the years you've been very good and I appreciate it.