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You’ve got a new group of musicians together to tour Proof Of Life, can you tell us some more about them?
“I have Andy Wood on guitar, he’s an equally amazing person as he is a musician; such a fun loving, laid back country boy. Just a great guy to have around. He’s an extremely talented player; there’s nothing he can’t do. There’s no limits. Things that he can do like the mandolin playing, banjo and all these other elements I’m excited about going forward. We're going to be able to experiment with him in the new songs.
“Then I have Chad Szeliga, formerly of Breaking Benjamin. He’s just a monster player and he was also Black Label Society’s drummer, but he recently retired from that band to come with me. He’s another one of those guys where there’s nothing he can’t do, so it’s almost a matter of toning him down. He doesn’t even look like he breaks a sweat for my shows because of how he played with Black Label and Zakk Wylde.
“Travis Comer was the lead singer and lead guitar player in his band [The Last Hour]. In this project he does a couple of leads but he’s mostly rhythm guitar and background vocals. He’s another talented musician and adds another level of being able to organically reproduce what I do on the records with vocal harmonies and background vocals. Because we don’t use any backing tracks or Pro Tools; we’re just straight up.
"He’s a guy that was a Creed fan and was in a band that covered my material. He actually got into music because of Creed and it was a big inspiration on him. My guitar player Artie Rincon from my first solo record, The Great Divide, had a family and at this point didn’t want to go on tour and leave his family. He said, ‘I know the perfect guy for you.’ So basically it’s a Creed fan who is joining my band, it’s kind of cool because he’s like a younger kid and he still acts nervous around me sometimes! The first week he was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m actually here.’ He’s very talented.
“On bass we have Andy Waldeck. He was the singer and bass player in a band in the late nineties called Earth To Andy. Then he’s did songwriting and [worked with] Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots. I think most recently he was doing a kind of hired gun gig for Daughtry. I met Andy in 2010 in New York and we sat down and started writing songs together. I really liked what we were doing so he came out with me and did some full acoustic band tours so it seemed natural, with him being my friend and a very talented bass player, to come along for this project.
“I’m really excited about the band and the chemistry is really good, there’s tons of mutual respect and I think the sky’s the limit. It’s just a matter of, right now, us continuing to organically come together.”