S. M. W. – OnOne
A professional musician since age fourteen, playing, touring and collaborating with such accomplished musicians as Ace Frehley, Joe Lynn Turner, Eric Singer, Bob Daisley, Corky Lang, and John Corabi, it is not a ‘Far Cry’ to say that Karl is a rock star through and through. Since 1984, Karl has been teaching guitar, bass, voice and music theory. He owns his own professional recording studio, and regularly produces, records, and engineers many clients. He is also a long time member of one of New Jersey’s top cover bands, Far Cry as well as on his own developing the band Voodooland , whose cd “Give Me Air” (written and produced by Karl himself) has gotten rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Karl also co-wrote the song “Into the Void” with Ace Frehley for the KISS “Psycho Circus” album, which went platinum worldwide in 1999.
Recently, Karl took a few moments out of his very busy workday to give OnOne an exclusive interview!
I asked Karl what it is that he has been up to recently and his answer was somewhat surprising. He said that he has been playing the part of Musical Director for Flava Flav (Public Enemy, Flavor of Love). They have a few songs laid out with Flav singing! And get this, they are not rap songs, they are more pop/R&B hit songs. Karl and Flav have been contacted to do a few shows in the summer in Las Vegas, New York and Russia after Flav’s Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction. Karl also told me that he and Flav have become quite good pals as well. On top of that interesting gig, Karl is also playing in a band in the city at a club called 78 Below on Wednesdays, with the keyboardist from the band he plays with for Flav, named Kenny Harrison, who has played with the likes of Joe Lynn Turner and country and TV star Kristen Chenoweth who they also toured with 2 years ago. Karl and Kenny’s project has had the pleasure of playing with some pretty impressive musicians as of late such as the horn section from Paul Simon’s band and Billy Joel’s band in New York. Last December he played a birthday party and Joe Lynn Turner came down and did some singing even! Among those, J.J. French (Twisted Sister), Daryl Hall’s drummer (Hall and Oats), some of the guys from Steeley Dan, and Gerardo Valez the percussionist from The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Karl co-wrote the theme song and as well as many episodes of the Disney XD show “I’m in the Band”, a live-action sitcom that originally aired on Disney XD in the United States and on Family Channel in Canada. The show follows Tripp Campbell as he helps his favorite 80’s rock band, Iron Weasel, make a comeback. Looks like bringing the band back to stardom may be harder than it seems! As for his teaching career, Karl still teaches guitar, bass, and vocals and every other Thursday, along with his pal and fellow musician, bass player Kenny Aaronson(Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Billy Squire), they take their students to play at a club called The Station to showcase what they have learned. Karl and Kenny also played a Bahama bound boat gig with Kid Rock last year. Karl hopes to in the near future put out a new Voodooland cd, a live cut from their shows in Japan as well as getting together with Eric Singer(KISS), Bob Daisly(Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Dio, Uriah Heep), and Oney Logan(Lynch Mob) on a project that is a long time in the works.
I asked Karl if he had any crazy road stories from his times with Ace Frehley(KISS), the infamous hotel room thrasher. He gave me this jewel:
: It was either in Maine or New Hampshire in the middle of summer, I went to the hotel room where Ace and his then tech. were throwing knives at the walls and seeing who could get them to stick from the farthest away from said walls. I actually joined in in this activity! But what most people don’t know about this event was that Ace had bought a b.b. gun. He came into my room and started shooting at any soda or beer cans or light fixtures he saw. I decided to go downstairs and let him have his fun. When I got outside, I looked up at my window and said to Steve, the drummer, ‘There’s frost on the windows.’ Steve looked up and said, ‘Yeah!’ I then said, ‘But it’s like 65 or 70 degrees out here, how the hell is that going on?’ I looked a little more carefully and realized that both sliding doors of the window were shattered- but they never even fell or broke all of the way. They just looked like frost on glass in the early morning hours! Later, we were all in the van ready to leave for the rest of our tour and I heard the manager of the hotel saying that I owe them $3,000.00 in damages! After much discussion and much laughter out of Ace, he finally owned up to what he had done. In the end I think he had something like $10,000.00 or maybe even double that in damages to pay to the hotel. I think Ace was just bored then!”
I asked Karl who his dream collaborators would be and he told me that aside from Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton, he is pretty content writing on his own and doing what he is doing. But for now Karl is busy 5 nights a week playing the music he has loved his whole life and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon!