Tell us about yourself and your music
I started playing guitar at 10, jamming with my older Brother who played drums. By 16, I was writing songs and playing in bands, playing Bars before I was old enough to be in them. Between ’73 and ’76, I was touring the Mid-West as lead guitarist with Kilgore Trout. We opened for Aerosmith a few times, and I got to jam with Grand Funk on a version of “Heartbreaker” one time, lots of fun. In ’78 I bought an old Hearse and traveled the country for 4 1/2 years playing acoustic songs I’d written, settling in Arizona for awhile, where I played with a solar-powered rock band…we could plat anywhere! Came back to Michigan in ’95 and got the old band back together, which, with a few changes over the years, became Moss Agate. By then, I’d written over 300 songs, so we had a lot to choose from…but I wrote new ones, instead. We started out easy with some blues/bluesrock, but each album has gotten heavier, with our last being full blown classic style rock. Our second album, Madman At The Wheel, has four live cuts from a show we did with Savoy Brown in 2009.
Talk to us more about your latest release
For our fourth full length album, Stokin’ Da Boiler, which we just released, we added a sax player and stepped things up a bit…. it’s a great party album…it ROCKS! For the cover, I had Denis Preston do the cover art, he’s been doing insanely good album covers since the ’70s, thought it would be a good fit….we love it! Look for us in February’s issue of Fireworks Rock and Metal Magazine..issue 78, for a review of the album.
What inspired you to write this release?
I wanted to do an album of different styles of classic rock from the ’70 and ’80s, so I drew inspiration from all of my old favorite bands of that time….Deep Purple, David Bowie, Savoy Brown, Robin Trower, Black Sabbath, Johnny Winter, etc., etc….it seemed to work, the album is doing very well!
Any plans to release a video?
We have some live videos on youtube, featuring several versions of the band over the years, and are planning some videos for our new album. The link I provided has some cover tunes on it, as well as originals, it was our first show with this line up of musicians at Bridgestock.
Any plans to hit the road?
We are currently scheduling for a summer tour from New York through Chicago, with a few scattered shows further South….still working on dates.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
We try to be ourselves, rather than a stamped out version of every other band out there. I figure, if we like it, and are having fun doing it, it’s catching, and others will like it and have fun at our shows, too. So far, it’s working!
Who have you been listening to lately?
I still listen to the classics, but I enjoy listening to emerging artists, as well. I like Cody Brooks, out of Nashville, a lot of heart in his music…kid can flat play a slide!
Tell us about your passions
Fossils, classic cars, art, and custom carpentry. The great outdoors! I lived for 18 years without running water or electricity during my travels…loved it!! Also love fishing.
What else is happening next in your world?
Pretty much just music at present. I closed my construction company and am devoting my time to writing, performing, touring, and recording. There will be some great new stuff coming from us shortly!
Thanks for an awesome interview, Robert!