My birthday was yesterday. I didn’t celebrate. My real present came Sunday night courtesy of Rob DeLuca, bassist for Sebastian Bach‘s band, who hooked me up with killer seats for the Poison/Dokken/Sebastian Bach show at The Schott in Columbus. I’ve been a fan(atic) of DeLuca’s since his days slinging bass for Spread Eagle and though the band never blew up the way they should have, I still tell people about driving DeLuca and singer Ray West to a party in Akron after a Spread Eagle show at the Akron Agora in ’90 or ’91.
If you thinking about checking out one of the upcoming shows – there are still a month and a half of dates left – do yourself a HUGE favor and get your ass to the arena early to check out Baz and his band tear things up (here’s my review of the Columbus show).
After the jump … Rob DeLuca answers some questions I sent him via email on an off day on the tour.
Playing with Baz, I’m guessing, has given you your first arena touring experiences. Is it all it’s cracked up to be? As the opening act on both the GN’R and Poison tours, do you still get taken care of pretty nicely while on the road and playing arenas or is it basically the same as playing clubs only a lot more red tape?
Spread did a couple big festival shows but you’re right, Baz is where I’m getting most of my arena experience from. I’ve been lucky because we’ve been treated VERY well. We do work hard at getting the audience revved up, act professionally and respectfully. So I think that helps too.
I’ve heard Baz say different things about the Poison tour. I’ve heard your set is going to be exclusively stuff from Angel Down. I’ve also heard that some Skid Row songs will be tossed in. I’m sure fans are hoping for a Skid Row heavy set. Do you have a predetermined setlist for the whole tour or do you change it up every night or every couple of nights? (On a side note – I think Angel Down is AMAZING and would love if the whole set was stuff from that CD but the reality has to be that you’re playing to a Poison crowd so you probably have to toss in some Skid Row songs for the fans who have no idea that Baz has a solo record out).
We change the set every night but it’s about half and half right now, maybe a little more of Angel Down than Skids.
18 or so years ago, when Baz was a fan of Spread Eagle, would you have ever guessed you’d be onstage in HIS band playing Skid Row songs? Were you a fan back in the day? What’s your favorite Skid Row song to play?
No I didn’t expect this, it’s a wild experience. I love playing “Monkey Business”. That song is SO heavy in arenas!
You didn’t play on Angel Down, did you? Why not? Does Baz have a recording bass player and a touring bass player? You’ve been a ‘hired gun’ for a TON of bands (I’m guessing that if you don’t make a living solely from touring with bands like Joan Jett, UFO, etc., you probably make enough to pay some bills) – is it tough to play other people’s material all the time? Does Of Earth give you the ability to do that creative stuff you’ve got building up inside you?
Steve DiGiorgio was still in the band when they did Angel Down and had done all the demos. So he was always going to do the record before he left. I don’t mind playing other people’s music as long as it’s good. I’ve been lucky to play in REALLY great bands. Yes Of Earth also gives me a different outlet that’s important for me to express.
On the Of Earth topic – what’s the latest? I know you have to put it aside for periods of time while you tour (and make money). Will there be a full length Of Earth release? Any time frame on that? Since you’ve worked with a wealth of artists, have you thought about bringing in “special guests” for Of Earth recordings or do you want to keep things very separate?
I want to keep it seperate. The band are so talented, I think we’ve got it covered. The record will be finished this fall, if I don’t go back out on tour much. It’ll be available on Lovember Records in 2008 or early 2009.
Now, as you know (I hope), I’m a HUGE Spread Eagle fan. You and Ray ‘disappered’ for quite a long time and it’s only been recently that your fans have been able to find out what you’ve been doing. How huge has MySpace (and the internet) been for you? It seems like without MySpace Spread Eagle may never have had a resurgence in popularity (I know, it’s not like you’re selling tens of thousands of CDs now but I’m guessing without MySpace, you probably wouldn’t have reissued the CDs or gone on tour).
Myspace has definitely helped! Our friend Ray Freeman Jr. put together a nice page for us, but Peter Kalish at Lovember Records and I had been planning a tour before we had a Myspace page. The page surely helped promote that 2006 tour though. I love the internet and look forward to connecting with old and new friends.
What is the status of Spread Eagle now? I know Ray is involved with his own projects and you have a full plate between touring and Of Earth. Is there any chance that the two of you will work together and record new songs for either Spread Eagle or with a new name? How about touring? I know it’s not economically feasible to hop in a van and tour as Spread Eagle but is there any chance you might do another short run (and please, please, please play in Ohio)?
I would love to do another tour Chip. As you mentioned it’s just so damn hard to break even. I’d really like to tour overseas too if we could find a promoter who’s willing. Recording is less likely since the record industry is so hurting right now. Recording under a different name doesn’t interest me at all.
The Poison tour will keep you busy through the summer. Do you have any future gigs lined up or do things like the UFO tour fall into your lap with short notice?
Not at the moment. I couldn’t do the UFO summer U.S. dates due to Baz’s busy schedule. It’s usually very short notice when something comes along.
Last question – whether it’s on the Poison tour or a club tour with Baz, is there any chance you could talk him into doing a Spread Eagle cover? And, whether or not you can, what song would you want to do?
I’m not sure if he would, but I’d choose Broken City!