Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: March 2009
Brian Rademacher: Hey Rob and Tim thanks for coming over today.
Tim Mc Murtrie: Thanks for inviting us into your home, this reminds me when weíre on the road, this is pro.
Brian Rademacher: Rob tell us a little about your background?
Rob Moschetti : I got involved in music pretty early. Started learning guitar in elementary school through a friend of my brothers and instantly got drawn into BLACK SABBATH; the dark side of music. Once I heard METALLICA and the British envelopment of metal, including Timís first album "USA for MOD", SOD, METALLICA, ANTHRAX, MEAGADETH and all those offshoots of SABBATH, I was just hooked. I started a couple of original bands and little by little started opening up for my idols with these other bands and seeing that it was possible to excel in this genre of music. Put out my first album when I was twenty with a band called MULTILATION, which untimely got me to Tim in 1992. Tim and I started working together which pulled us out of that project back into MOD. He rejoined MOD and took me along with him. From MOD I jumped into PRO-PAIN, rejoined up with Timagain in PRO-PAIN when the band that we started he continued, and we went to Europe in two different bands and then from PRO-PAIN I did some albums with Billy in MOD, did a couple albums with PRO-PAIN and then bailed out on the business for a little while to start my own solo stuff and improve as a musician, I was kind of stuck on the power chord. I wanted to focus on being a musician, I played bass in MOD and guitar in PRO-PAIN. I wanted to fine tune the instruments and wanted to be a vocalist too. I did some vocals with Billy and Gary but never fronted a band. When the opportunity came up with Tim, I let him know I had my own project which I was singing in and little by little convinced him to let me sing. He originally hired me to play guitar. At our first meeting I told him Iím into the music but I am more interested in the vocals. Little by little the other singer he had wasnít working out and I was just there. The first song I sung for him was "Live Life" and once I started singing I saw his face light up.
Tim Mc Murtrie: He gave it to us, there was no way of saying no to him. Once he started singing it was a sigh of relief that we found somebody that was this great.
Rob Moschetti : The ten years I knew him he knew me as a screamer, the MOD record Iím just yelling and the PRO-PAIN stuff I just did a distorted speaking voice. I donít think he realized where I came in ten years. I progressed in those ten years as a vocalist. It works perfect for this project, I can do the heavy stuff, I can do the melodic stuff, and itís a perfect fit.
Brian Rademacher: Tim tell me about your past in music?
Tim Mc Murtrie: It started with Billy (MOD) in 1986, it happened through a (mutual) friend of ours. I used to work at Sam Ash in Paramus, NJ. There was a guy there that was the head of repairing instruments. Heís an old punk guy whoís in THE WRETCHED ONES, before that they were called THE BURNT. Billy would come in all the time and he told the guy Iím looking to form my new band and the guy mentioned this band called ANGRY CORPSE which I was in. We were seventeen; little skateboarder punk kids with green mohawkís and blew him away with the music which was half the MOD album. Half of "USA for MOD" album was written by ANGRY CORPSE and turned it into MOD. Thatís how I started. It went right from a basement never playing a show and our first show was opening for MEGADETH and FLOTSAM & JETSOM. It was weird because I was backstage with guys who I loved all my life, guys from the CROMAGS. I was sacred as hell. I was put into the real hardcore scene. But the cool thing was the curtain went up and all my friends in high school were there right in front, it was sold out. We did something right because we got a record deal from there. Johnny Z was in the crowd to witness it. He said Ďok I love ití and we were signed.
Brian Rademacher: Rob was there a time you were going to join ANTHRAX?
Rob Moschetti : NO for some reason on my Wikipedia someone posted that. The only connection with ANTHRAX was me and Billy toured with MOD in Europe and we did SOD stuff. So we toured Europe and I knew them through Billy. To tell you the truth ANTHRAX was looking for a guitar player and I donít think I was qualified at the time. I mean I did play two different instruments in two different bands and I can bounce back from bass to guitar and now vocals without looking like a smuck. Since I played in two big bands and played the two instruments I feel comfortable and I feel people accept me playing either or. Itís great, I love it.
Brian Rademacher: Letís get into some of the new CD.
Tim Mc Murtrie: Itís just a demo. There are about ten more songs and weíre not sure of a title yet. Rob did come up with a few like "Recipe for Disaster" or "Nature of the Beast" but nothing is confirmed.
Brian Rademacher: To me listening to it seems a lot of the songs are catchier then what you guys did in the past, like you said in MOD you were a screamer, this stuff is melodic, hard and catchy thatís why you got 4 Stars on our review. Whatís your take?
Rob Moschetti : To me Tim doing the RHYTHM TRIP thing helped this project a lot. Tim is very hook-oriented with the RHYTHM TRIP project. Even with PRO-PAIN Gary always structured the songs with a hook.
Tim Mc Murtrie: I take that all into my heart and our history writing music for other artists. We just put it all together.
Rob Moschetti : We want people to sing the songs. Some people have seen us before and if we do "Live Life" they sing along. We are not trying to confuse people. Weíre not DREAM THEATHER or RUSH. Itís simple, heavy, melodic and to the point.
Tim Mc Murtrie: Weíre going back to our roots. I listened to MAIDEN, PRIEST and SABBATH thatís where I started, and then I caught onto BLACK FLAG. I got turned onto BLACK FLAG at camp through the preacherís son.
Rob Moschetti : We werenít going to be LED ZEPPELIN or BLACK SABBATH, but we heard those other bands he mentioned, it made it more of a reality for us. I mean I know I will never be Jimmy Page but I could be Vince Stigma or James Hetfield. When I heard METALLICA, ANTHRAX and SOD it gave me hope. We both ended up performing for our idols and now our idols became our peers and thatís what made it reality. We ended up playing with MOTORHEAD in Germany and played soccer with them before the show.
Tim Mc Murtrie: Rob played in PRO-PAIN with SLAYER at Dynamo in front of eighty something thousand people that was cool. We came full circle and Rob is shinning. Heís taking stuff I wrote and Iím being blown away.
Rob Moschetti : Tim is kinda like my Pete Townsend, He writes everything and gives it to me and says do your thing. It gives me artistic freedom where Iím not his puppet. I add the bass, guitar and a bunch of vocals and over-do everything and back down on things if needed.
Tim Mc Murtrie: The stuff on the demo is not even mastered yet.
Rob Moschetti : Eric Rachel from Tracks East, he does album quality stuff and thatís how I got to Tim. Tim and Billy gave me confidence. You donít know how good you are, he and Billy gave me the confidence to do the vocals.
Tim Mc Murtrie: Rob has the stage presence going off on stage, jumping around and being a monster like being eye candy. He showed himself on the world stage and now he does everything and vocals too.
Brian Rademacher: When will the CD come out?
Rob Moschetti : We are recording at the end of summer and whether or not it gets picked up it will be a complete record. We are not desperate and donít want to give it away. We rather put it out ourselves then give it to some label that will give us a few bucks.
Brian Rademacher: You have some shows coming up?
Tim Mc Murtrie: Yeah we have Tiki Stadium in Keansburg on April 5 which is a Autism benefit put together by Tattoo Tony called Rock-n-Roll for Nick and April 17th our big premier show at Dingbatz opening for SUICIDE CITY which is Billy from BIOHAZARDí project and the show is being sponsored by WSOU. Then on JULY 18th will be another Autism Benefit for the Woodbridge Buddy Ball and we will rock out.
Brian Rademacher: Seems you guys do a lot for charities?
Rob Moschetti : Tim is always booking shows for charities; itís like working with Bob Geldof (laughing). I mean itís not going to make a difference for us to make a couple bucks, but if we can make money and it could help others then thatís great. We have to be a working band and be able to pay our bills because you get no royalties from labels. We have a great drummer in Rob Youells and Jeff Wood our bass player. You know the first time we jammed Tim wasnít even in the room and I started jamming with Rob Youells and I kept saying what is he doing drumming, he should be on the cover of Muscle Fitness and it turns out he was on the cover already! Heís a great guy and intense with his workouts. When I first met him I thought we would never get along but heís the nicest guy. Truthfully, I think my guns intimate him (laughing).
Brian Rademacher: What are you expectation of the band?
Tim Mc Murtrie: If the right people get on board and with the writing and Robís voice, we have a real shot to establish ourselves.
Rob Moschetti : My expectations are different. I want to get better as a musician and performer. I never took to the business end of it. I always said, play my ass off and if someone notices, great, if not it wasnít meant to be. I get frustrated with the business end of it, I was getting paid with PRO-PAIN and it became a business. I lost sight of what was important and I love to play and thatís all for me. I would like to make a living out of it but I would like to enhance the performance and walk away being proud. I want to walk away every night earning peopleís respect.
Rob Moschetti : Youíre never going to be completely happy with success. I had albums in the top 50 with PRO-PAIN, the next record only made the top 70 and the management and band werenít happy it wasnít a success. I said who cares if top 70 isnít a huge success. But when you have suits and money behind you and they say it was a failure because you didnít chart as high as your last record, it becomes ridiculous. If we sold forty thousand records I would be ecstatic, the record company might consider that a failure. No one is going to judge me as a failure, I judge that myself.
Tim Mc Murtrie: For me "MOD for USA" went gold which is pretty amazing and we got banned from Europe.
Rob Moschetti : The music industry is crumbling and metal music never relied on the music industry and thatís why itís thriving. It never had radio or MTV. This music stands the test of time.
Brian Rademacher: Rock is making a comeback, you have Rocklahoma, Rock The Bayou but you donít have a Thrash festival.
Rob Moschetti : Well when you had METALLICA and Mega-force bands signing to Atlantic and Elektra, it hurt the underground and bands want to follow the leader. They get so commercial but now they are going back to their roots.
Rob Moschetti : I get asked a lot what is it like performing in front of one hundred thousand people. To be honest to me it shouldnít affect your performance if you play in front of ten people or thousands. Itís great to see a sea of people out there but if theyíre not moving, you have to work that much harder. I get the same feel in a little club if the people are moving and enjoying the music. Whoever paid deserves to be entertained.
Stephanie Rademacher: Do you feel part of the success of thrash music coming back is partially due to the Internet?
Rob Moschetti : Yeah, I think so because we are not handing out demos as much because people can go to different Internet avenues. Everything back in the day was by demos. Our publicist even tells us you can do it yourself now.
Brian Rademacher: Tim you mentioned to me the club Dingbatz is like the New Jersey CBGBís. What are your feelings on Dingbatz?
Tim Mc Murtrie: I love the place, itís in my area. I have been going to Freddyísí original bar Dingos, across the street, which is a regular rock bar. Freddy opened Dingbatz because he loves music so much, Freddyís such a great guy. It has great sound, a home feel and is a top notch place to play.
Rob Moschetti : It reminds me of a club from the eighties, when I walk in their I feel Iím in Streets or The Chance. Itís not this big style club like BB Kings or a commercial style club where they charge you thirty dollars. Itís an old school club with and old school vibe.
Brian Rademacher: Tim what were you like in school?
Tim Mc Murtrie: I was the kid when walking down the hall other kids would say Ďoh shit here he comes, that kids pretty wildí. It wasnít in fear of anything bad; I was all metal and leather. I had an eerie look with a black trench coat and motorcycle boots. It was a wicked time.
Rob Moschetti : we hung out and were pretty strange, but when you had the jocks starting to listen to METALLICA and stuff like that so you know we were onto something. I was the burnout Jock that played Ice Hockey and played music. I was never in one click and marched to my own drummer. I had a bad reputation in high school. A middle class family raised me but I really wasnít a bad kid.
Tim Mc Murtrie: I know I was a bad-ass kid but we were the kids that protected all the nerds. Anyone who was a nerd and someone was bothering them; we would straighten it out for them. So we had our good side!
Brian Rademacher: What was the first concert you ever went to Tim?
Tim Mc Murtrie: It must have been JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN.
Rob Moschetti : Come on Tim that was your very first show? I saw Tiny Tim when I was five and I said to myself this guy is awesome (laughing). But my first metal concert was DIO. People where throwing bottles and M-80ís. There wasnít moshing yet. Moshing eliminated a lot of destruction in the venues. Later I went to ANTHRAX and CROMAGS at the Beacon Theater. I thought CROMAGS blew ANTHRAX away.
Tim Mc Murtrie: My first hardcore show was GBH, AGNOSTIC at CBGBís and WARZONE. I was a young kid from Jersey but it was open arms reception with no one bothering you. Very cool! Iíve been playing music for twenty-two years now.
Rob Moschetti : I hope the kids of today, hardcore kids, know that Tim was part of making this type of music acceptable today.
Tim Mc Murtrie: I was into THE RAMONES, SEX PISTOLS and THE DEAD KENNEDYS. I went to see all those bands. It was awesome and I hope the fans will accept FULL SCALE RIOT.
Brian Rademacher: Rob and Tim I would like to thank you for coming over for this interview.
Rob Moschetti : It was our pleasure.
Tim Mc Murtrie: Same here, I had a great time!