"Here are a few bands that, for various reasons, were integral to helping me along in my musical journey."
Bill began playing with Pure Steel Records (Germany) recording artist, Artizan in early 2014. He was a key songwriter on the critically acclaimed 2015 concept album The Furthest Reaches.
In 2018 the band released their followup "Demon Rider", of which, Bill was the principal songwriter (musically). A highlight for Bill was getting to perform at the legendary Keep It True Festival in Germany.
OLYMPVS is a cover band known for their high energy performances and crowd pleasing material. The band covers a variety of Rock/Hard Rock material from the 80's through today. They are also known to remake pop/dance songs into heavier versions.
The band has one of the best sound and light shows in North Florida.
Bill was never a fan of the Seattle "grunge" bands, with one exception. Alice In Chains is a band he quickly took a liking to, due to the dark, heavy songwriting and especially the amazing vocals of Layne Staley (no relation).
While filling in with friends Gerald Bullard (bass) and Stu Mowery (drums), Gerald said jokingly "we sound pretty good playing Alice In Chains, we should start a tribute band". Bill replied with "If you're serious, I know a guy who would be an excellent vocalist for this".
Enter longtime Pittsburgh musician/friend Mike Piroch. Mike and Bill have been friends for years but always in different bands. Mike has a Pittsburgh based AIC tribute called (ironically) "Staley's Comet". Bill asked if Mike wanted to get out of the snow for a bit and come to Florida to sing some AIC. The rest is history.
The group gets together as schedules permit.
CREATURE OF HABIT
Creature of Habit began in the mid 1990's, at the height of the "grunge" movement, with the intention of being nothing like the trends of the day. The band was influenced by Progressive Metal bands such as Queensryche, Dream Theater and Fates Warning.
After a couple demos, the band released their first CD "Endangered Species" in 1997. The title of the album was no accident, since the band's style was certainly not en vogue at the time. This was the first "serious" recording Bill ever did. He not only played on the album, but was the recording engineer and producer as well. It was a trial by fire.
In 1998 the band released their followup CD, "Prey", signalling their weathering of the "grunge storm" and turning the tables. Bill was again performer, engineer and producer.
The band had some lineup changes and played until the early 2000's. 2015 saw them playing a well received "reunion" show. As for the future, "Never say 'never'".
BACK IN THE DAY
Back In The Day was a tribute to the bands each of us grew up with, covering everything from hairbands such as AC/DC, Motley Crue, RATT, and Whitesnake to heavier bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Accept and Black Sabbath.
The band played for almost five years in the late 2000's to early 2010's. They had one of the coolest logos of any cover band too. How many different band fonts can you pick out of the logo?
Fun Fact: That is Ronnie James Dio's hand throwing horns in the logo.
Around 2011-12, Bill would sometimes run sound for longtime friends and former Scratch House bandmates Heath Kipp (bass) and Bob Rotto (drums) in their funky, dance, party band "DaPhunk Band".
Upon a vacancy in the guitar slot, Bill was asked if he'd be up for the job since Back In The Day had since called it a day. This was completely out of Bill's wheelhouse, but was extremely good for improving as a guitar player. Suddenly, there were very few guitar solos. The emphasis was on rhythm and laying down that groove to artists like Parliament Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and more.
The band, complete with horn section would come onstage in full suits and hats and would have the asses shaking from the first song to the last.
Bill played his last show with DaPhunk just a few days before moving to Florida in 2013.
Scratch House was the second serious band Bill was in. While not totally up his alley musically (Bill was into heavier music), this band brought much needed experience playing clubs and bars and improving his live performance. It was also one of his most enjoyable times in a band.
While the other guys were older and in college, Bill was still a teenager and considered it an honor to play with a group of more experienced musicians.
That's him, second from the right, and yes, those are handcuffs.
Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania
Xcelerator was the first band Bill ever played in. The band was a great learning experience and lasted through the high school years.
One of the most valuable lessons Bill learned was the first time ever performing live at the school talent show. The band played a three song set consisting of Living After Midnight, Breaking The Chains and an original called "Audio Demolition". During the first song, which called for a big whammy bar pull and dive, Bill's (over)excitement got the best of him and he broke not one, but TWO strings. Anybody familiar with Floyd Rose tremelo systems knows how badly out of tune it must have been. Only owning one guitar and having no other choice, Bill soldiered on through the set.
To this day, Bill NEVER plays a show without having at least one spare guitar for each tuning. It was an embarrassing lesson, but a lesson well learned.
That's Bill on the right, rocking the mullet, along with the Charvel model 6.