I grew up in a tiny Brooklyn apartment where the radio was always on, tuned into the Classic Rock station. Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Pink Floyd, among others, was always playing. I started playing guitar in 2006, when I was 13 years old. I took to it immediately began teaching myself chords, trying to play along with my favorite albums... unsuccessfully. I taught myself how to read tablature and began to dive into learning how to playing lead guitar. I'd listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers on repeat, trying to learn John Frusciante's riffs and solos.
In 2007, I got my first effect pedal - a Boss© DS-2 Turbo Distortion - and that started me on a never-ending road...
In high school, I would go to the band room of my school during my lunch period to sit there and play guitar, which caught the attention of other kids who played guitar, including bassist Tyler Munson of Early Retirement. All throughout high school, we'd play guitar together both in school and out, forming band after band, none of which lived more than a few months. To this day, these guys are my best friends. Around this time is when I started taking vocal lessons to be able to tune my ear and increase my range.
In 2011, I attended Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. While there, I spent all of my free time in the practice rooms of the W. Carroll Coyne Performing Arts Center. I took guitar lessons, from Ed Ruchalski, and vocal lessons once a week, , coupled with singing baritone in the choir and playing guitar in the jazz band, for a short time. I worked closely with award-winning musician Todd Hobin (The Todd Hobin Band), learning about the music industry, basic studio recording, and all aspects of pro audio & live sound.
In late 2011, I formed a band - The Avondales. We practiced every week in a dark basement, writing original songs and perfecting covers, leading us to dominate the local pop punk scene. In late 2012, we disbanded. It was at this time that I became an intern at SubCat Studios, working with owner Ron Keck and freelance engineer Patrick MacDougall. I worked with engineers on dozens of recording sessions, both engineering and standing in on guitar.
In 2013, I formed a band named "Snowflake Bentley," with multi-instrumentalist Alex Goettel, drummer Tony O'Brien, and then-frontman, now-actor Vincent Randazzo. We played all over Central New York, playing to crowds of all sizes - and even becoming Le Moyne College's main choice for live music for their acclaimed "Dolphy Day." We released a 3-song EP titled "Handle With Care - EP" - coupled with our repertoire of cover songs, Snowflake Bentley quickly became known in the Syracuse music scene as the band to see.
During this time, recording artist Benny Mardones and the Hurricanes (John Mangicaro, Kim Fetters, Pete Levante, Andy Rudy, Todd Troubetaris & Kevin Farrell) came to Subcat Studios to record his album, "Timeless," released in 2016. I had the opportunity to assist with engineering the sessions and mixing the final tracks. Shortly after, Snowflake Bentley earned a spot on the line-up for The Benny Mardones Benefit Concert in Liverpool, New York, alongside Benny Mardones and the Hurricanes, The Todd Hobin Band, Hard Promises, Under The Gun and 3 Inch Fury.
In 2014, Snowflake Bentley continued to enjoy their local success. Due to members relocating and graduating from school, there was a change in the line-up... but we maintained our forward momentum. We continued to play shows and dominate the local music scene. In 2015, Snowflake Bentley ultimately disbanded due to every member having graduated and moving on to the next chapter in their lives.
In mid-2015, I moved to Fort Worth, Texas and enlisted in the US Army, and attended Basic Combat Training in Fort Benning, Georgia. During this time, music became non-existent for me. Luckily, I met James Goodman, a fellow trainee and an actor, vocalist, songwriter, and aspiring-author. He and I quickly became close through our love of music, which helped get us through our rigorous training.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to pick up a guitar for almost 9 months, so when I finally did, it wasn't the same... In Spring 2016, James and I received a 3-year military assignment to Vicenza, Italy. It was an opportunity to experience a new culture and travel through Europe - and it was a worthwhile experience. While there, I traveled across Europe, met and trained with foreign militaries, and had experiences that very few ever have the chance to do.
In 2018, James introduced to Joel Pickering, a Soldier nearing his discharge from the military. Joel was, and still is, one of the most talented pianists I've ever come across. The three of us decided to form a band - James on vocals, Joel on keyboard, and me on guitar - and dubbed ourselves "Circus On Fire." After learning of a local Open Mic Night opportunity on the military installation, we wrote 4 original songs to play that night. At the time, that was my first live performance in 3 years - and my first and only performance in a foreign country.
After that show, Circus On Fire wrote and recorded a 6-song EP, titled "Like a Silhouette - EP." Shortly after its release, James received a new assignment and returned to the US. I stayed in Italy, and decided to focus on establishing myself as a solo artist. I re-branded myself and released a number of songs on my own. I collaborated with as many artists as I could, from a distance, and began releasing video demos of effect pedals.
In late 2019, I returned to Texas - this time, near Austin. In mid-2020, pop rock band White Label Analog held auditions to replace their guitarist. Ultimately, I earned the spot. I learned every song in their catalog, by ear, and began acclimating myself into the band. Since then, we've recorded written and recorded new music & music videos - yet to be released. White Label Analog has plans to hit the studio in April 2021 to record our next set of singles.
More to come...