Wanderlust -pronounced 'won'der'lust (n) a strong desire to travel
Ever since the beginning of my life, I've loved to travel. Seeing new places and meeting new people has been one of my greatest passions. Being in a traveling band has made it possible for me to travel around the world several times, playing the music that I love. So, when it came time for me to put out my first ever solo album, there was no better name for the project than WANDERLUST.
I never actually decided, "Alright, now I'm going to record a solo album". It just sort of happened. FireHouse has always been my top priority, and at a certain point, I realized that I was writing and recording songs that fit my vocal style more and more. Musically, my songwriting style has always had a bit of diversity from the harder edged sound of my electric guitar, to the softer side of me that comes out in my acoustic guitar. I love both, and this album had to have that diversity.
Growing up in Virginia and being exposed to so much great music of the South, combined with my love of hard rock, heavy metal, funk, and blues, influenced me in the writing and recording of this album. After I had all ten songs written and the demos were recorded, I realized that there was something missing. I had played all the instruments: guitars, bass, keys, programmed the drums, etc., and even though I really loved the songs, they didn't sound like they were being played by a BAND. I needed to get the right guys to bring the most out in the music. I wanted the energy of the band to come through in the recording. The songs had a Southern vibe that kept shining though, and I realized that the two perfect guys for the gig were right in front of me: Michael Foster and Bruce Waibel.
Michael Foster, who I have had the honor of playing with since 1984, was the perfect choice for drums. His aggressive approach, powerful energy, and extremely dynamic and diverse style, combined with his amazing sense of creativity, took the project to a level that I had never imagined. His signature feel and groove is the backbone of the music, and I can't tell you how phenomenal he was in the studio, recording the entire album in only one day.
Bruce was the obvious choice as the bassist especially since he came from the exact musical place that I was going for (melodic rock with a Southern feel). I mean, the guy played in the Gregg Allman Band for over 10 years! I had already recorded demos of the songs, and I gave them to Bruce. He loved the tunes, and said that he really wanted to play on the record. I jumped at the opportunity to start recording him immediately. He would come over at about 2pm and we would record his bass tracks for one song until about 6. Then he would eat dinner with my wife and daughter, who he adored, (he absolutely LOVED kids) telling great stories about his kids and cracking us all up with his endless repertoire of jokes and impressions. After we finished eating, we'd go in the studio and listen to the song he had just worked on, touch up anything that needed to be fixed (which was very rare), and he'd leave with a big smile on his face. The album was nearly done but I wasn't completely satisfied with my guitar tone. Even so, I made Bruce a CD of rough mixes of all the songs. After he listened to them, he told me that he felt that this was the best performance he had ever recorded.
If Bruce was here to listen to the final mixes, I really think that he would have been very happy with the way that WANDERLUST turned out. I've dedicated the album in his memory in the hopes of keeping his spirit alive. When you listen to the album, I hope that you hear the overall sound of the band, and the magic that everyone involved brought to the project. Each song, different from the rest, has its own identity in the context of the album, yet there's still a common thread that ties it all together. Maybe it's the fact that everyone involved had a strong desire for making music and being out on the road, traveling for most of our lives on a bus, happy to wake up tomorrow who knows where, surrounded by new people, play the gig, partying for a while with our friends; and then we we'd find ourselves back on the bus, off in a WANDERLUST.
God bless you all and thanks for your support.