Exclusive Interview with Marc Anthony
by Beth Fox news Jordan
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A few days ago, I had the opportunity to chat Marc Anthony, the drummer for the band Widow, based out of Raleigh, NC. Marc is a HUGE fan of Eric's and was thrilled to have the chance to tell us his story. This is just another reminder of just how much of an influence Eric had on his fans lives! ROCK ON Beth Fox News
Hey there Marc ... thanks for joining us today! First, tell
us about yourself growing up. Was music always a major influence
in your life?
Marc Anthony......First of all, I wanted to say that this is an honor as Eric played such an enormous role in not only my musical career but also in my life. So, thanks for this oppurtunity. Music was an important part of my life from a very young age. My older brother listened to various styles of music all the time and so I, honestly, can't remember my life without music in it. My first love was motorcross but at some point I decided I would choose a safer career and that led to music. I initially got a guitar when i was probably 14 or so but that didn't really work out. I wanted to be a guitarist and lead singer. I used to could nail alot of the old Journey songs vocally but then I guess my voice changed and I was outta luck! My musical career, and in essence my whole life, changed when my brother brought home a KISS album called Music From The Elder. At the time, I really wasn't a big KISS fan as I was way into stuff like Journey, Kansas, Peter Frampton, Angel....just to name a few. I had heard KISS was doing a concept album and I've always loved concept albums (such as Pink Floyd's The Wall) and it was really quite amazing how all this started. He played "Just A Boy", "The Oath", "Odyssey", just to name a few....and I remember going.....man, this is super cool. I was like, "Who is this?" He said KISS. I said..."Yeah, right. Who is this?" He then told me it really was KISS and told me about their new concept CD, and how they had got a new drummer named Eric Carr. I was immediately captivated by Music From The Elder and it remains my favorite KISS album. And I think I somehow identified with Eric.....being the new guy. I'm not sure how to describe it but from that point I was very into KISS and especially Eric Carr. I listened to The Elder and was trying to learn how to play some stuff on guitar and was always wanting to be a lead singer...so I got where I could do The Oath pretty darn good but it wasn't my destiny, I guess. I was the biggest KISS fan in the world (at least I thought I was) when Creatures of the Night came out. Went back and got all the old albums. Loved them all, especially Dynasty and Unmasked, some albums most KISS fans don't like as much. It took me about......ummmmm...all of 2.2 seconds into "Creatures"...with Eric's thunderous drum fill at the beginning and I then knew what I wanted to do and who my hero in my life was going to be. Hearing his tasteful fills in "I Still Love You", his incredible precision and desire to play what fit the song was such an inspiration. But you know what really did it for me and why I immediately wanted to be like Eric? His drum sound was un-freakin-believable! So heavy and so powerful. It was cool that such a lil' guy like Eric was so powerful and so I also identified with that. To this day, there isn't a drum sound that can top the Creatures album, imo. That and the larger than life Fox persona. The makeup, the costumes. I collected everything Eric Carr and my walls were covered in pictures and I literally slept, drank and breathed his drum parts and his whole vibe.
> Beth......Tell us about some of the musicians and/or bands you looked up to and why.
Marc Anthony......... Eric Carr was the single reason I began playing drums. So Eric was it for me and I really loved KISS after Eric joined. Probably my other biggest influence was Robert Sweet of Stryper. In all honesty, I think I play more like Robert Sweet than anyone else I was influenced by but of course I can only wish to be as good as my drum idols. Both Eric Carr and Robert Sweet had the coolest drumsets. Huge drumsets! My drum idols are all so amazing and I'm just trying to learn all I can and play good for the song. Bands such as KISS, Stryper, TNT, Queensryche....Scott Rockenfield was another one of my biggest influences.....Tommy Lee...especially their early albums and the whole showmanship thing he did. I love drums because they are so powerful and I love driving a heavy straight beat down people's throats just like Eric did with something like "I Love It Loud". But I also love....and I do stress this...I love putting on a show. I never let it get in the way of the drum part and more importantly the vocals, melody and the overall song, but I dig a great showman behind the drums. In that department, Eric and Robert Sweet along with Tommy Lee and Carmine Appice played big roles but the cat that I stole most of my bag of tricks from was the original drummer for Enuff Znuff. Vikki Foxx was incredible! I studied all his stick tricks and learned how to do all of them and then, eventually, came up with some cool stuff of my own. At least I hope its cool! I was also influeneced heavily by non-drummers. Paul Stanley and Tony Harnell of TNT are two major influences. Great songwriters. I play piano, keyboards, a little guitar and sing as well as write songs, melodies and lyrics (much like Eric did) so its more about songs than it is about drums to me. Its all about a great melody and great song.
Beth...... I know you play the drums in your band, Widow. Was the drums your first instrument of choice (was that the first instrument you learned to play)?
Marc Anthony.......Actually, I initially wanted to be either a guitarist or a lead singer. But I pretty much sucked at guitar and wasn't sure if had the courage to be all alone out front as a singer. I think I take on a different persona when I hit the stage and when I climb behind my drumkit. I'm pretty shy, actually, but once I get behind my drums I'm kinda like a different person. Drums are definetly my thing but I also love playing keyboards, a little guitar and really love singing as well. But the drums are my favorite!\par \ul\b
Beth....Are you self taught or did you have lessons?
Marc Anthony.......I studied under East Carolina Pecussion Master Daniel Greider and later studied with Jason Patterson of Cry of Love. Jason played such a pivotal role in my development and he is so amazing. So, yeah, I took lessons and stuff and I highly recommend lessons but for the most part I'd say it was me in my room jamming to Creatures of the Night, Shout at the Devil, Operation: Mindcrime, To Hell With The Devil (just to name a few) that helped develop my style. But its all a work in progress. You can learn from everyone and it is crucial to listen to all kinds of music. I think the single element that helps me the most is the fact that I play other instruments and am a songwriter. Thus, I don't think of everything from a drummer's point of view but rather from the song's point of view. That's what counts....
Beth......You mentioned KISS' Eric Carr as one of your biggest influences. Why is that? What was it about Eric that appealed to you above all of the other talented drummers of that era? What made him so special to you?
Marc Anthony.......Eric Carr changed my life. I identified with him. The new kid. His power, his precision, his showmanship. His drum sound was unparalleled and his drumkits were masterpieces. His Fox persona made him almost like a super hero in my eyes. I remember watching the Animalize video when it came out. He had that massive chrome Ludwig kit. Multiple bass drums. His solos were entertaining. Most drum solos are the part in the show when everyone runs to buy a T-shirt or hit the restroom or something...cause some solos can be....well...boring. Especially to non-drummers. When Eric soloed...everyone paid attention....not just the cats who knew what a paradiddle or ratamacue was. The whole audience paid attention. And the reason being was that he soloed musically...incorporating samples at times to make the whole thing musical. He was also a phenominal singer and songwriter. I practically memorized the issue of Modern Drummer he was in and how he come to be in KISS and how he got that massive drum sound. I was so taken in by his presence and influence. And I still am, to this day. Eric was and will always be, the best!\
Beth.....Do you think Eric's influence has affected your playing today .. if yes, how so?
Marc Anthony...... Oh yeah.....you can hear Eric's influence in my playing, I think. Of course, I can only dream of being as talented but y'know I really try and I think i've really got some of the most important aspects that Eric brought to drumming. He played what fit the song, played it with power, good meter and was always considerate of the vocal melody. Sometimes he would play the most simple grooves but they fit so well. Eric was a rock star who entertained. In that regard, I'm trying my best to do those things as well. And I create these monstrosities of a drumkit becaue I think the drumset is like the jewel of the stage. Cool, big drumsets are awesome looking. Of course, I could play what the song needs on a 4 piece but again......rock and roll is entertainment! I want to have fun and let the audience take the ride with me. Both sonically and visually. As we speak, I have a custom new massive Sonor Designer kit being made. In mirror chrome! Another Eric Carr influence! 3 bass drums, 5 toms, 2 floor toms, snare...cymbals hanging from chains. It's going to be like my own little playland up there! Speaking of Sonor drums, I must thank Sonor and Hohner/HSS for their continued support throughout the years. I have been a Sonor artist since 1997 when I first signed the endorsement agreement. Thanks so much to everyone at Sonor/HSS, especially my artist rep., Sean Cox. Sean, you're the best! Everyone at Sonor/HSS are not only great business partners but great friends. And Sonor Designers are quite simply the best drums on the planet.
Beth......Did Eric influence the other aspects of your life as well?
Marc Anthony.......He did. Eric seemed like such a kind person and he seemed like he felt fortunate to be where he was. And I really feel like that. Its really amazing when people come out and spend there hard earned money and their time to come to a Widow show or buy our CDs or are interested in the Marc Anthony Project. I, and we as a band, feel so fortunate and blessed to have the fan support that we have and also have the record company behind us as well as some great people in the industry who believe in what we do. I believe in treating people with respect and being honest. And I am so grateful for any degree of success we have had or I have had musically. When a kid comes up to me and wants me to sign a drumstick......I mean, really....that is amazing cause I'm a nobody but I guess to him I am someone and just like I used to look up to my drum idols (and still do), so does that kid. I never take that for granted and I feel really fortunate that Widow has such great fans. We cannot thank them enough and are forever grateful to each and every one of them.
Beth.... Did you ever have a chance to meet Eric?
Marc Anthony....Unfortunately, I never met Eric. It would have been a dream come true, though. I, like all his family and fans, miss him alot.Beth\ulnone :\b0 Did you ever get the chance to see him perform live? If so, tell us about it.Marc Anthony\ulnone :\b0 I was able to see Eric several times live. And each and every time I was totally blown away and in awe. I thank God I was able to see him in makeup because that was such a special thing to me. I oollect all kinds of Eric stuff but the makeup days were so special. His solos, his drumkits, his singing. He was like a little kid back there rockin' out! Paul Caravello (Eric) was and still is the master and live in concert he really was unstoppable!
Beth.......What's your favorite Eric song and why?
Marc Anthony.......Wow...there's a hard one! I'd say........ummmm...wow. Ok, got it! "I've Had Enough" off of Animalize. Quite simply the most amazing drum track and an incredible song. "Creatures" is up there as well. Everything on Music From The Elder is so tasteful and so great as well. That's such a hard question....to try to pick one, I mean. But if I had to pick one.....I'm sticking with "I've Had Enough". The tom fills in the bridge are so creative and amazing!
Beth.......Tell us a little about your band Widow.
Marc Anthony.......Widow was formed in the winter of 2000 when lead guitarist Cristof got together with lead vocalist/guitarist John E. and bassist Joshua. Widow's debut cd on Tribunal Records, "Midnight Strikes", recieved critical acclaim worldwide. I actually joined Widow around August, 2004 and it has been the best thing of my musical career. I feel so fortunate to be a part of Widow and honestly would like to take this oppurtunity to tell Cristof, John E. and Joshua how happy and proud I am to be a part of this band! We are the best of friends and that really shows, I think, in that you can tell that we love playing music together and love being around each other. The group is influenced by many of their own experiences, plus groups such as King Diamond, Crimson Glory, Warlord, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Yngwie Malmsteen. We love and are influenced by everything from death metal and horror movies to glam rock and hot chicks! We are honored to be signed to Cruz Del Sur Music and our new 2005 release, "On Fire", was released worldwide thru Cruz Del Sur and Spiritual Beast Records. Check us out at www.widowusa.com, www.myspace.com/widow, www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/prev_widow.htm. "On Fire", along with Widow merch is available thru www.widowusa.com.
Beth......Tell us a little about your website and the band's
Marc Anthony......Widow's official website is www.widowusa.com There you can listen to select tracks as well as buy merch, leave feedback, see some cool pics and check out the latest tour dates. We plan on taking Widow all across the US and Canada as well as Europe and Japan. International Widow! Widow's brother site is www.myspace.com/widow Tour dates, song downloads, lots of cool pics and an incredible fan base are present here. Again, we can't think the fans enough. I think I can speak for the guys when I say that we feel extremely fortunate to have so many people who love Widow. Thanks so much for your support. Then there is my solo project which I am super excited about as well. The Marc Anthony Project. (creative name, huh??) my site is www.myspace.com/marcanthonyproject. The Marc Anthony Project is all about melodic rock. Take stuff like TNT, Cold Sweat, Journey and Widow....throw them all together and stir and the result is kinda like the Marc Anthony Project. In addition to playing drums, I have always wrote songs on keyboards and guitar as well as singing vocal melodies and writing lyrics. My writing process would start with a vocal melody and then the music and lyrics evolved around the vocals creating some very melodic songs. I've poured my heart and soul into these lyrics and music and vocal melodies. I handle drums, keyboards and piano, backing vocals and programming on the CD. I also sing lead on the final track.....a ballad I wrote called "All of Me". I'm very fortunate to have some of the best talents around performing on my solo CD project. Roy Cathey (www.the-fifth.com) is quite simply the most amazing singer. I loved him when he was with Cold Sweat. Now he is a great friend and contributing his great talents to my songs. Eric Aittala is one of my best friends and a former bandmate and he has been huge to this whole project. Eric has been there with me the whole way since I started working on the Marc Anthony Project. Also contributing their awesome talents to the M.A.P. will be my Widow bandmates, Cristof, John E and Joshua. They have not only been willing to contribute but have also been some of my biggest supporters of this project and ecstatic about the songs. Thanks so much guys. You're the best!
I'll let you have the final word ... Marc Anthony\ulnone :
It is quite overwhelming to me to be able to do this interview.
Eric was my biggest drum influence and the single reason I picked
up the drumsticks. Drumming has become a huge part of my life
over the years and thus Eric changed my life. So, to Mr. and Mrs.
Caravello I'd like to say thanks for Eric and want them and Eric's
fans to know that I hope to in some small way do my part to carry
on his influence and legacy thru my drumming and life. I'd also
like to dedicate my interview on EricCarr.com to the loving memory
of my older brother, Brent Bowden, who was tragically killed in
a car accident in 1994 and to Eric Carr. Both inflenced my life
more than you will ever know.
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