Where do I begin? I know! At the beginning! I began my life in a little town called Presque Isle, Maine. It really is quite a fantastic place. As a matter of fact, all of Maine is quite extraordinary. Shortly after my birth I spent a long period of my life in New Jersey. I wasn’t a particularly special kid, I just kind of blended in with the scenery. I probably was a little weird, but to me, everyone around me was a little weird.
My cousin Billy introduced me to music very early on. I was 6 years old when I got my first album, which happened to be Rush’s 2112. My father played music around the house constantly and taught me the ways of music collecting and care. He has a vinyl collection that rivals my CD collection. After plowing through album after album that included Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Cars, Steppenwolf, The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen and finally Van Halen, I was fully versed in rock music by the innocent age of 9. It wasn’t until 1983 that I began to identify with one genre of music: METAL. By this point I was listening to Ozzy Osbourne, Zebra, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Ratt and Def Leppard quite regularly. And I was only 13!
By the time I entered High School, I knew that I was different. People that I went to high school with favored bands like the Grateful Dead and U2, but I liked things a little more aggressive. Plus, my dad didn’t like the heavy stuff, so that made things even more fun. I liked the way the music made me feel. It made me feel strong. It made my blood flow. It made me feel powerful. Simply put, it just ROCKED.
By the time I entered college, the metal explosion of the 80’s was at full speed. I was going to every metal show that I could see, sometimes catching a national act every night of the week. Metallica one night. Yngwie Malmsteen the next. Megadeth the next night. Pantera the night after that. And so on. I exaggerate, of course, but it was pretty damn close to that. I lived in New Jersey after all. It was the heavy metal capital of the world! At least it seemed that way to me…
So while in college at The New York Institute of Technology (I studied film production), I discovered that there was more to life than metal. Bands like New Order, Janes Addiction, Depeche Mode and The Cure caught my attention. It’s possible that exposure to these bands warped my mind, but it was more likely the culture that I enjoyed. I had friends that I liked, and they were far more interesting than the metal friends that I had. My college roommate (Sean Bade) gets full credit for exposing me to bands that prior to 1988 I had never heard of. He had a CD collection that rivaled mine (in fact, I think that it was LARGER, and I had a lot!) that included bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. In fact, I still to this day remember the day that he brought Pretty Hate Machine back to our dorm room. I think that the CD had been released that week, or pretty close to it. I never admitted it to him that day (because I had to pretend that I was Sooooo METAL!!!), but I fell in love with what I heard. Within a few months I owned that CD and everything that Ministry had made to that point.
So I discovered industrial in 1989. I guess that is where it all began. That is what led me to be who I am today.
Shortly after leaving college, I started to drift away from metal (and industrial, for that matter) and began to get in to Gothic music. From 1993 until 1998 I considered myself a ‘Goth’, but in hindsight I was never ‘Goth’ but instead just hung around a lot of people who thought that they were ‘Goth.’ Nothing against them, but in hindsight, that really wasn’t me.
All the while, I continued to listen to just whatever the hell I felt like. I would go see bands like Razed In Black, Front 242, Switchblade Symphony, and Download, while living a double life by going to things like Ozzfest and catching whatever 80’s revival band (Berlin, Flock of Seagulls, Gary Numan, Gene Loves Jezebel) that I could get to see live.
I could even be spotted at a Prince, Sting or Rush concert as well. Go figure.
I was in two bands, playing bass guitar in both. Both were short lived and very different from each other. They were both metal and were at opposite ends of the metal spectrum. I haven’t picked up my bass in almost 5 years. It’s a Peavy T-40. Thanks for asking.
In 2001, I began to write for Outburn Magazine, a pleasurable task that I still endure to this day. I have written close to 400 published music reviews and I have interviewed bands like Type O Negative, Spineshank, Unearth and As I Lay Dying, just to name a few. Also that year, I started the short lived music review web site The Razor Blade Dance Floor that featured music reviews of Industrial Rock bands. That would be the foundation for the podcast of today.
The original RBDF folded in 2002, shortly after I began writing heavily for Outburn Magazine. I turned my focus to my family and my career and lost sight of my love for music.
In 2005, I realized that I needed to contribute more to the world of music. My contributions to Outburn, although fulfilling, weren’t stimulating me enough. I decided to begin writing reviews outside of the magazine for a venture that I felt was going to revolutionize MySpace. I thought that if I got involved in advancing the careers of unsigned MySpace artists, I could begin to give back to the music world and make a difference. The response was poor at best, so I pulled the plug on that idea and turned to podcasting, an idea that I conveniently ripped off from downloadable internet radio shows like The Ungodly Hour, Cyberage Radio, Real Synthetic Audio and The Rock and Roll Geek Show. In a lot of ways, my show is a hybrid of those 4 podcasts.
Music is important to me. I love it. I need it. I can’t live without it. It is my addiction and my saviour. And for that reason, I will always be doing something related to music.
For the rest of my life.