Born 3/26/62 in
Montour Falls, NY.
I think I started
playing drums – you might say banging – around 10 years old.
At age 12 I was a good little baseball player. I had a great
pitching arm. Then my right hip blew out. Operation, 4
pins in my hip (half of one is still in there), crutches for several
months, no sports for 2 years. But when I saw KISS on
television in '75, that was it. I was worried about pitching
for the Yankees someday. I wanted to do that! And here I
I played throughout
high school, in the band and with friends. I took private
lessons and was practicing at least 2 hours a day, if not 4 or 5.
I lived in the country; there wasn't anyone around to bother.
I was playing in bars when I was 17. I moved to Tampa, Florida
in '81. Played in a couple of bands, covers and originals.
Moved back home in '82 and did the same there for 2 more years.
In '84, I moved to the Boston area, knowing there were more
opportunities musically. I eventually left the idea of music
to make money, whatever it was, and got a day job and concentrated
on doing original music.
was formed in 1989. Founder and guitarist Matt Leff brought in
vocalist Zak Stevens and we played New England for 3 years.
Did well, but no record deal. Zak left and joined Savatage.
I left Boston and moved back home to retool. In '94 I was
called by Zak to join Savatage. No audition. Zak's
word and the strength of the demos we had done earlier got me in.
Within 3 months of
actually playing in the band I had toured the states, been to Japan
and recorded a live album – my first professional effort. I
always said that if I could do at least 1 tour and record 1 album I
would have won. 3 more CDs, world tours, magazine covers ,
respect, adulation. All of this with one of the world's
Orchestra was formed in 1996 out of the success of Christmas
Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 off the Savatage CD Dead Winter Dead.
TSO has done 4 CDs and sold millions of copies. The winter
tour has grown from 7 shows in theaters in '99 to close to 100
shows, selling-out arenas and using 2 bands to cover the west and
From Horseheads, New
York to Madison Square Garden. Not bad for a farm boy.
The most important
thing to happen to me in my life has been the loss of my sister, and
best friend, Terry. She died in a car accident 11/11/03.
You are never prepared for things like this, and when they happen it
puts so many things in a different perspective. She is
survived by her husband, Bill, and sons Jeff and Bradley. The
boys are the main focus now.
Chris Caffrey is one
of my favorite guitarists, one of my best friends, and has been my
partner with Savatage and TSO for the past 11 years. In
February '04 we went into Spin Studio in Queens and recorded his
solo CD(s) Faces and God Damn War.
My best studio experience to date and, honestly, one of my favorite
CDs. I've always loved Chris' songwriting and style. He
did a tremendous amount of work and it is something we are both
proud of. It was also great therapy. The CD was first
released in Europe, followed by its American release and a world
tour in 2005.