Posted on August 16th. 2017
Questionnaire by Omni on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Jason: Hello John and welcome to Metal To Infinity. I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to speak with us. We really do appreciate it. First of all John where are you originally from and what was the music scene like there when you were growing up?
John: We moved around a lot, was born in California, lied there as a kid then moved to East Coast, Philadelphia PA. and then Richmond VA. From there Texas, Houston. I have 2 older brothers so I was influenced a lot by what they were listening to, example is my brother Joe played me the “Force It” record by UFO and it inspired me to play guitar!
Jason: Who were the Guitar Players who had the greatest influence on you when you were growing up?
John: Michael Schenker for sure! Also Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, George Lynch etcetera.
Jason: Do you remember what was the point in your life when you knew you wanted to become a professional musician?
John: After I got out of High School, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, play Guitar all the time!
Jason: How old were you when you first started playing the Guitar? Did you take lessons or would you consider yourself to be a self-taught player?
John: I was 13, Self-taught, I had a turn table that would change speed to an octave lower, slow things down and I would pick out the notes!
Jason: A lot of bands and Musicians when they’re first starting out play cover tunes. My question is did you do that when you were first starting out? While I understand that playing cover tunes help a musician master their instrument / craft when they are first starting out would you agree that the one key element that any successful band needs is the ability to write their own original material?
John: I learned cover songs to learn from my favorites, but I always wrote as well, I still remember the 1st song I ever wrote! We would play covers to get the gigs and throw our own songs in the mix to get people to notice us!
Jason: In regards to Love N War’s songwriting process is there one person in the band who is the primary songwriter in the band or is everyone in the band encouraged to take part in the songwriting process?
John: I write the Music at my home studio, Me and Jeff split the Lyrics depending on wether I have an idea or not, But me and Jeff VandenBerghe collaborate, then we work it out with the guys at Practice!
Jason: The Music Industry in the modern day has really changed. I mean as great as technology is you also have to look at the fact that more and more fans these days or purchasing their music digitally where they have the option to purchase and download one song at or download an entire album VS. purchasing an actual physical CD. I miss the days of going to a local record store and checking out all the new music releases. I mean many kids today have no idea what a record or let alone a record store even is. I have to ask you John when your purchase music these days do you purchase your music digitally or do you still prefer physical CDS?
John: CD Baby! Hell Yeah! I’m old School!
Jason: Many bands these days, even well-established Artist because of the current state of the music industry have made the decision to live off the catalog of music they have and not record or release any new music. Now while I can understand the financial reasoning behind such a decision I have a great deal of respect for bands like Love N War who continue to release new music. So with all that being said I have to ask you John what motivates you and the rest of Love N War to continue to release new music when it would probably be much easier to just go out there and just be a live act?
John: I love to be Creative, like a Rolling Stone that gathers no Moss, I have to Create, its an extension of myself, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something and im moving Forward!
Jason: Could you share with us John the story of how you first hooked up with the other members of Love N War and came to form the band?
John: Me and singer Jeff VandenBerghe hae been playing together since 1982 !!! Donny Bragg our drummer joined us in 2004 and Bassist Ray Soliz in 2010, we recorded “Up the Annie” and are Currently recording our new CD titled “Edge of the World” at Endeavor Studio’s in Arcadia Valley Mo. Just south of St. Louis
Jason: Could you tell us how you came to name the band Love N War?
John: We were bouncing around names at practice and I suggested it as our new name and the guy’s loved it!
Jason: I noticed on your band’s Facebook page that the band has opened for bands such as Tesla, MSG, Y&T, and Black Star Riders. That’s a great list of bands to have done shows with. It must be a great feeling to know that Love N War not only has that experience but that you guys have the ability to open shows for such a wide range of artist.
John: It is exciting! We owe it to my friend of 28 years, Promoter of “Jet Speed Entertainment” who believes in us, supports us as professionals!
Jason: While I know Love N War is always performing live. Are you currently working on any new music? Can fans expect a new Love N War album in the near future?
John: Our new CD “Edge of the World” due for release this fall, by October/November!
Jason: In regards to a new Love N War CD do you think the next CD will be more of the same or do you think there might be somewhat a progression of the overall sound and type of songs that end up on the next CD?
John: It will be Heavier and ore Melodic for sure! We are Excited!!!
Jason: Is there anything left that you’d like to say to all the Love N War fans out there John?
Thanks Guy’s… Hope to Play your town in 2018!