How did you get into music?
Jane: My mother was a music teacher, so I was encouraged to sing in choirs and take up musical instruments. I was useless at anything with strings but good at drums and flute. I discovered rock music via an older set of kids that my mother taught. I was primary school age.
Jon: I first started playing like lots of people probably do at school with my mates. It was early 80’s and we were all into rock music and just wanted to be like the bands we were listening to and going to see.
Robin: When I first watched "Bon Jovi - Live in London" on VHS when I was about 3, I knew I wanted to be a guitarist. I got my first guitar for my 8th birthday and my grandad said, "If you learn Apache by the Shadows, all the way through with no mistakes, I'll give you £50". Two weeks later, I played it for him and bought a Squire Strat with the money from my first "paid gig"!
Mike: I always sang in choirs at school but was given a bass guitar for Christmas when I was 13. From then on it was music and I was playing in my first working band at 15.
Greg: I started playing an acoustic when I was 14. I learned Zeppelin, Stones and blues scales to start with and then joined a covers band when I was about 18.
What are your influences and inspirations?
Jane: My favourite vocalists strike a light in me. Always been a huge fan of Danny Vaughn. Very much love the vocals of Marcie Free, Eric Martin and Steve Overland (FM). All great vocalists.
Jon: Drummers such as Ian Paice, Pete Jupp (FM), Greg Bissonette, Mark Brzezicki (Big Country)
Robin: My first Guitar inspiration was Richie Sambora, being raised loving Bon Jovi. When I was about 9, I discovered Randy Rhoads and fell in love with Les Paul's. My other biggest inspirations are Gary Moore, Luke Morley (Thunder), Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde and Steve Vai
Mike: Paul McCartney was my first but then John Deacon, Michael Anthony and Neil Murray (Whitesnake). I listen to all kinds of music and play along to develop techniques that influence my playing and practising.
Greg: Journey’s Steve Perry on vocals and Neil Schon. Huge influences on my musical path. Gary Moore (when he’s in rock mode rather than blues) on guitars can’t be beat. No one else comes close!
What advice would you give?
Jane: Firstly have a steel like belief in what you do. Be prepared to grow and take on new ideas but never lose what makes you, you! Don’t take negativity or criticism personally and use it to positively move forward. You will need to work well in a team and have self believe but don't get arrogant.
Jon: Work hard but always enjoy it but be the best you can be. Play to the one person watching exactly the same as if you’re playing to 1000.
Robin: It won't come straight away and you’ve got to work hard at it. Practice your instrument instead of playing your PlayStation. Find people who have that same drive as you, and who you can get on with, because if you don't, it will affect the music and yourself. But most of all, keep playing what you love and be the best musician you can be.
Mike: Have a professional approach to everything you do in music, from your appearance to looking after your gear. You won’t go very far with a bad attitude and broken kit. Thank the sound guy!!
Greg: Go for it, it’s better than any other hobby. But treat it exactly as that, as it’s really hard to make a living in music. Getting a job is not going to kill the dream. It helps pay for it!
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
We are currently in a touring cycle at the moment promoting the new album ‘Into the Light’. We have a UK tour coming up and some shows with Hardline and Kee Marcello (Europe) to follow. We are also looking at some more dates later in the year. Once we have completed these shows, we will look into the writing and recording of the next album.
So here's to you Iconic Eye wishing you nothing but luck in everything. Well that's going to do it for me so until then be radically righteous & I'll catch you on the flipside!