Q: If you could change anything about the music industry today, what would it be?
A:Nothing, because by the time I changed it someone would turn around and change it again. That is how fast the industry changes, in terms of what they market, who people like and what they love to see and hear.
Q: What are your biggest obstacles as a musician?
A: Finding players who are committed and serious to make the time to try and be successful. I’m not trying to become the next Van Halen or change the world. I just want to make great music that all sorts of people like to listen to and can get into without knowing or caring if I am technically better than the next guitar player out there. If music is a priority in your life then there’s always time to practice and play. If you are too busy week in and week out then it’s pretty much a hobby, and that’s totally fine too, just don’t portray yourself as a serious player and find excuses why you can’t pull your weight in the band.
Q: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
A: I see both sides of it. Up and coming artists need exposure and to be heard and seen by as many people as possible. For the bands that have already made it, I understand they need the money to maintain the level on which they are to keep making new albums and touring. I always try to find new music from the bands I like to support them.
Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
A: I would love to really try to be a drummer and a golfer, hahaha. I played drums in high school marching band and learned to read music. I am a huge fan of all the big name drummers out there and it would be cool to be able to get behind a kit and play like those guys. I think I could if I had the time and lessons but I don’t. Same with golfing. I never really was into the sport but have tons of friends who do golf and they all are terrible!! Hahaha. They all say I wouldn’t be able to do any better, but I beg to differ if someone showed me how to.
Q: Are you available for private parties? If so how would someone contact you about booking?.
A: I’ve been asked to do stuff, but its so hard to find great players to play for cheap, especially doing the music I do. I would be more than happy to bring some pre recorded tracks and play a party for the right situation and money.
Q: How do you promote your band and shows?
A: My close friend Bob Holobaugh has his own video production company called CrewDawg productions and he has been very instrumental in helping me promote my music through videos. Right now social media is the place to be recognized especially now with the pandemic. In a sense it has leveled the playing field between unknown bands and known bands because we all can make videos and post for everyone to see. People have no choice but to look at YouTube or FB to find live music and the compilation videos are a dime a dozen. We are doing a few right now as well to go with the flow.
Q: What's new in the recording of your music? How has your music changed over the years?
A: I have been cowriting more lately and collaborating with musicians from all over the world, which is cool. I have met some great players and cool people and have also met people I don’t care to work with ever again as well. Musicians can be finicky people..
Q: If you could play anywhere or with anyone in the world, where or with who would it be?
A: I would love to do a small 2-3 week tour in Europe and go from country to country. The fans there seem to appreciate the guitar oriented stuff way more than in the States. It would definitely be a great time to just see everything over there and meet all sorts of different people.
Q: What is the best way to stay updated on current news; gigs, releases, etc
A: Facebook and the band website. www.projectalcazar.com
Q: What's next for your band
A: Hopefully recruiting a couple more big name players to write and record with and release a vocal album. Another instrumental CD is always on my mind as well since I record tons of ideas when they pop in my head. Most definitely several new videos on the way as well.
Q: Anything you would like share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
A: Just really excited about this new release “Lost in Centralia”. My close friend Bob Holobaugh went out and recruited some monster players for a couple new side projects with drummer Keith Carlock from Steely Dan/Toto. Then Allan Sorenson ex Pretty Maids drummer and an amazing vocalist from the UK named Jesse Smith to remake a song off of Sammy Hagar's "Standing Hampton" album. Then there is another side project with Columbus based band “Negative II Positive”. It is more radio oriented rock with a hard edge, great hooks and ripping solos. That video should be out in a couple weeks “Before it Gets Better” with the CD to follow on all digital and streaming platforms.
Q: Tell us the brief history of your musical career.
A: I have been playing for over 45 years. I truly despised learning how to play until the first Van Halen album fell into my hands and I never looked back. I’ve been mildly successful playing in cover bands throughout the years. I finally found my niche doing the instrumental thing. I would love to an album with a great vocalist, and I hope that may be in the cards here in the next year or so.
Q: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
A: Most all of the Shrapnel guys, Jason Becker Greg Howe Tony Macalpine, Paul Gilbert, Malmsteen, Vai , Shawn Lane. The list goes on and on. Mozart was a huge influence for me. The movie Amadeus inspired me enough to cover his 23rd Symphony in Gm on the Reasons for a Decade CD I did.
Q: What album has had the greatest impact on your life as a musician?
A: Probably the first Van Halen record. I just remember listening to it and staring at the cover and thinking “This is just the baddest thing that I have ever seen in my life.” Eddie with the black and white striped Strat had me starstruck.
Q: What song do you remember most from your childhood?
A: No real one song, but I know we used to listen to the AM radio in the car on the way home from church on Sunday with the Casey Kasem countdown, so I was exposed to a ton of different types of songs. I am still very fond of a lot of them when I hear them now. Adam Sandler seems to find the greatest old 70s songs for his movie soundtracks. We have the same memories. Haha.
Q: What’s your favorite accomplishment as a musician thus far?
A: Been a couple of milestones for me. One of them is winning a battle of the bands without a singer. That was quite an accomplishment. Opening for Dream Theater on their first Images and Words tour and how down to earth and cool Portnoy and Petrucci were to us after our set. Being mentioned in a Guitar World review of the Jason Becker Warmth in the Wilderness tribute CD . I always read that magazine front to back growing up and now my name was in it. Very cool for me.