Exclusive Interview with Marc Anthony

by Beth Fox news Jordan

 

 

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A few days ago, I had the opportunityto chat Marc Anthony, the drummer for the band Widow, based outof Raleigh, NC. Marc is a HUGE fan of Eric's and was thrilledto have the chance to tell us his story. This is just anotherreminder of just how much of an influence Eric had on his fanslives! ROCK ON Beth Fox News

Hey there Marc ... thanks for joining us today! First, tellus about yourself growing up. Was music always a major influencein your life?

Marc Anthony......First of all, Iwanted to say that this is an honor as Eric played such an enormousrole in not only my musical career but also in my life. So, thanksfor this oppurtunity. Music was an important part of my life froma very young age. My older brother listened to various stylesof music all the time and so I, honestly, can't remember my lifewithout music in it. My first love was motorcross but at somepoint I decided I would choose a safer career and that led tomusic. I initially got a guitar when i was probably 14 or so butthat didn't really work out. I wanted to be a guitarist and leadsinger. I used to could nail alot of the old Journey songs vocallybut then I guess my voice changed and I was outta luck! My musicalcareer, and in essence my whole life, changed when my brotherbrought home a KISS album called Music From The Elder. At thetime, I really wasn't a big KISS fan as I was way into stuff likeJourney, Kansas, Peter Frampton, Angel....just to name a few.I had heard KISS was doing a concept album and I've always lovedconcept albums (such as Pink Floyd's The Wall) and it was reallyquite amazing how all this started. He played "Just A Boy","The Oath", "Odyssey", just to name a few....andI remember going.....man, this is super cool. I was like, "Whois this?" He said KISS. I said..."Yeah, right. Who isthis?" He then told me it really was KISS and told me abouttheir new concept CD, and how they had got a new drummer namedEric Carr. I was immediately captivated by Music From The Elderand it remains my favorite KISS album. And I think I somehow identifiedwith Eric.....being the new guy. I'm not sure how to describeit but from that point I was very into KISS and especially EricCarr. I listened to The Elder and was trying to learn how to playsome stuff on guitar and was always wanting to be a lead singer...soI got where I could do The Oath pretty darn good but it wasn'tmy destiny, I guess. I was the biggest KISS fan in the world (atleast I thought I was) when Creatures of the Night came out. Wentback and got all the old albums. Loved them all, especially Dynastyand Unmasked, some albums most KISS fans don't like as much. Ittook me about......ummmmm...all of 2.2 seconds into "Creatures"...withEric's thunderous drum fill at the beginning and I then knew whatI wanted to do and who my hero in my life was going to be. Hearinghis tasteful fills in "I Still Love You", his incredibleprecision and desire to play what fit the song was such an inspiration.But you know what really did it for me and why I immediately wantedto be like Eric? His drum sound was un-freakin-believable! Soheavy and so powerful. It was cool that such a lil' guy like Ericwas so powerful and so I also identified with that. To this day,there isn't a drum sound that can top the Creatures album, imo.That and the larger than life Fox persona. The makeup, the costumes.I collected everything Eric Carr and my walls were covered inpictures and I literally slept, drank and breathed his drum partsand his whole vibe.

 

> Beth......Tell us about some of the musicians and/or bandsyou looked up to and why.

 

Marc Anthony......... Eric Carrwas the single reason I began playing drums. So Eric was it forme and I really loved KISS after Eric joined. Probably my otherbiggest influence was Robert Sweet of Stryper. In all honesty,I think I play more like Robert Sweet than anyone else I was influencedby but of course I can only wish to be as good as my drum idols.Both Eric Carr and Robert Sweet had the coolest drumsets. Hugedrumsets! My drum idols are all so amazing and I'm just tryingto learn all I can and play good for the song. Bands such as KISS,Stryper, TNT, Queensryche....Scott Rockenfield was another oneof my biggest influences.....Tommy Lee...especially their earlyalbums and the whole showmanship thing he did. I love drums becausethey are so powerful and I love driving a heavy straight beatdown people's throats just like Eric did with something like "ILove It Loud". But I also love....and I do stress this...Ilove putting on a show. I never let it get in the way of the drumpart and more importantly the vocals, melody and the overall song,but I dig a great showman behind the drums. In that department,Eric and Robert Sweet along with Tommy Lee and Carmine Appiceplayed big roles but the cat that I stole most of my bag of tricksfrom was the original drummer for Enuff Znuff. Vikki Foxx wasincredible! I studied all his stick tricks and learned how todo all of them and then, eventually, came up with some cool stuffof my own. At least I hope its cool! I was also influeneced heavilyby non-drummers. Paul Stanley and Tony Harnell of TNT are twomajor influences. Great songwriters. I play piano, keyboards,a little guitar and sing as well as write songs, melodies andlyrics (much like Eric did) so its more about songs than it isabout drums to me. Its all about a great melody and great song.

 

Beth...... I know you play the drums in your band, Widow. Wasthe drums your first instrument of choice (was that the firstinstrument you learned to play)?

 

Marc Anthony.......Actually, Iinitially wanted to be either a guitarist or a lead singer. ButI pretty much sucked at guitar and wasn't sure if had the courageto be all alone out front as a singer. I think I take on a differentpersona when I hit the stage and when I climb behind my drumkit.I'm pretty shy, actually, but once I get behind my drums I'm kindalike a different person. Drums are definetly my thing but I alsolove playing keyboards, a little guitar and really love singingas well. But the drums are my favorite!\par \ul\b

 

Beth....Are you self taught or did you have lessons?

Marc Anthony.......I studied underEast Carolina Pecussion Master Daniel Greider and later studiedwith Jason Patterson of Cry of Love. Jason played such a pivotalrole in my development and he is so amazing. So, yeah, I tooklessons and stuff and I highly recommend lessons but for the mostpart I'd say it was me in my room jamming to Creatures of theNight, Shout at the Devil, Operation: Mindcrime, To Hell WithThe Devil (just to name a few) that helped develop my style. Butits all a work in progress. You can learn from everyone and itis crucial to listen to all kinds of music. I think the singleelement that helps me the most is the fact that I play other instrumentsand am a songwriter. Thus, I don't think of everything from adrummer's point of view but rather from the song's point of view.That's what counts....

 

Beth......You mentioned KISS' Eric Carr as one of your biggestinfluences. Why is that? What was it about Eric that appealedto you above all of the other talented drummers of that era? Whatmade him so special to you?

 

Marc Anthony.......Eric Carr changedmy life. I identified with him. The new kid. His power, his precision,his showmanship. His drum sound was unparalleled and his drumkitswere masterpieces. His Fox persona made him almost like a superhero in my eyes. I remember watching the Animalize video whenit came out. He had that massive chrome Ludwig kit. Multiple bassdrums. His solos were entertaining. Most drum solos are the partin the show when everyone runs to buy a T-shirt or hit the restroomor something...cause some solos can be....well...boring. Especiallyto non-drummers. When Eric soloed...everyone paid attention....notjust the cats who knew what a paradiddle or ratamacue was. Thewhole audience paid attention. And the reason being was that hesoloed musically...incorporating samples at times to make thewhole thing musical. He was also a phenominal singer and songwriter.I practically memorized the issue of Modern Drummer he was inand how he come to be in KISS and how he got that massive drumsound. I was so taken in by his presence and influence. And Istill am, to this day. Eric was and will always be, the best!\

 

Beth.....Do you think Eric's influence has affected your playingtoday .. if yes, how so?

 

Marc Anthony...... Oh yeah.....youcan hear Eric's influence in my playing, I think. Of course, Ican only dream of being as talented but y'know I really try andI think i've really got some of the most important aspects thatEric brought to drumming. He played what fit the song, playedit with power, good meter and was always considerate of the vocalmelody. Sometimes he would play the most simple grooves but theyfit so well. Eric was a rock star who entertained. In that regard,I'm trying my best to do those things as well. And I create thesemonstrosities of a drumkit becaue I think the drumset is likethe jewel of the stage. Cool, big drumsets are awesome looking.Of course, I could play what the song needs on a 4 piece but again......rockand roll is entertainment! I want to have fun and let the audiencetake the ride with me. Both sonically and visually. As we speak,I have a custom new massive Sonor Designer kit being made. Inmirror chrome! Another Eric Carr influence! 3 bass drums, 5 toms,2 floor toms, snare...cymbals hanging from chains. It's goingto be like my own little playland up there! Speaking of Sonordrums, I must thank Sonor and Hohner/HSS for their continued supportthroughout the years. I have been a Sonor artist since 1997 whenI first signed the endorsement agreement. Thanks so much to everyoneat Sonor/HSS, especially my artist rep., Sean Cox. Sean, you'rethe best! Everyone at Sonor/HSS are not only great business partnersbut great friends. And Sonor Designers are quite simply the bestdrums on the planet.

 

Beth......Did Eric influence the other aspects of your lifeas well?

Marc Anthony.......He did. Ericseemed like such a kind person and he seemed like he felt fortunateto be where he was. And I really feel like that. Its really amazingwhen people come out and spend there hard earned money and theirtime to come to a Widow show or buy our CDs or are interestedin the Marc Anthony Project. I, and we as a band, feel so fortunateand blessed to have the fan support that we have and also havethe record company behind us as well as some great people in theindustry who believe in what we do. I believe in treating peoplewith respect and being honest. And I am so grateful for any degreeof success we have had or I have had musically. When a kid comesup to me and wants me to sign a drumstick......I mean, really....thatis amazing cause I'm a nobody but I guess to him I am someoneand just like I used to look up to my drum idols (and still do),so does that kid. I never take that for granted and I feel reallyfortunate that Widow has such great fans. We cannot thank themenough and are forever grateful to each and every one of them.

 

Beth.... Did you ever have a chance to meet Eric?

Marc Anthony....Unfortunately,I never met Eric. It would have been a dream come true, though.I, like all his family and fans, miss him alot.Beth\ulnone :\b0Did you ever get the chance to see him perform live? If so, tellus about it.Marc Anthony\ulnone :\b0 I was able to see Eric severaltimes live. And each and every time I was totally blown away andin awe. I thank God I was able to see him in makeup because thatwas such a special thing to me. I oollect all kinds of Eric stuffbut the makeup days were so special. His solos, his drumkits,his singing. He was like a little kid back there rockin' out!Paul Caravello (Eric) was and still is the master and live inconcert he really was unstoppable!

Beth.......What's your favorite Eric song and why?

Marc Anthony.......Wow...there'sa hard one! I'd say........ummmm...wow. Ok, got it! "I'veHad Enough" off of Animalize. Quite simply the most amazingdrum track and an incredible song. "Creatures" is upthere as well. Everything on Music From The Elder is so tastefuland so great as well. That's such a hard question....to try topick one, I mean. But if I had to pick one.....I'm sticking with"I've Had Enough". The tom fills in the bridge are socreative and amazing!

Beth.......Tell us a little about your band Widow.

Marc Anthony.......Widow was formedin the winter of 2000 when lead guitarist Cristof got togetherwith lead vocalist/guitarist John E. and bassist Joshua. Widow'sdebut cd on Tribunal Records, "Midnight Strikes", recievedcritical acclaim worldwide. I actually joined Widow around August,2004 and it has been the best thing of my musical career. I feelso fortunate to be a part of Widow and honestly would like totake this oppurtunity to tell Cristof, John E. and Joshua howhappy and proud I am to be a part of this band! We are the bestof friends and that really shows, I think, in that you can tellthat we love playing music together and love being around eachother. The group is influenced by many of their own experiences,plus groups such as King Diamond, Crimson Glory, Warlord, IronMaiden, Judas Priest, and Yngwie Malmsteen. We love and are influencedby everything from death metal and horror movies to glam rockand hot chicks! We are honored to be signed to Cruz Del Sur Musicand our new 2005 release, "On Fire", was released worldwidethru Cruz Del Sur and Spiritual Beast Records. Check us out atwww.widowusa.com, www.myspace.com/widow, www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/prev_widow.htm."On Fire", along with Widow merch is available thruwww.widowusa.com.

Beth......Tell us a little about your website and the band'swebsite.

Marc Anthony......Widow's officialwebsite is www.widowusa.com There you can listen to select tracksas well as buy merch, leave feedback, see some cool pics and checkout the latest tour dates. We plan on taking Widow all acrossthe US and Canada as well as Europe and Japan. International Widow!Widow's brother site is www.myspace.com/widow Tour dates, songdownloads, lots of cool pics and an incredible fan base are presenthere. Again, we can't think the fans enough. I think I can speakfor the guys when I say that we feel extremely fortunate to haveso many people who love Widow. Thanks so much for your support.Then there is my solo project which I am super excited about aswell. The Marc Anthony Project. (creative name, huh??) my siteis www.myspace.com/marcanthonyproject. The Marc Anthony Projectis all about melodic rock. Take stuff like TNT, Cold Sweat, Journeyand Widow....throw them all together and stir and the result iskinda like the Marc Anthony Project. In addition to playing drums,I have always wrote songs on keyboards and guitar as well as singingvocal melodies and writing lyrics. My writing process would startwith a vocal melody and then the music and lyrics evolved aroundthe vocals creating some very melodic songs. I've poured my heartand soul into these lyrics and music and vocal melodies. I handledrums, keyboards and piano, backing vocals and programming onthe CD. I also sing lead on the final track.....a ballad I wrotecalled "All of Me". I'm very fortunate to have someof the best talents around performing on my solo CD project. RoyCathey (www.the-fifth.com) is quite simply the most amazing singer.I loved him when he was with Cold Sweat. Now he is a great friendand contributing his great talents to my songs. Eric Aittala isone of my best friends and a former bandmate and he has been hugeto this whole project. Eric has been there with me the whole waysince I started working on the Marc Anthony Project. Also contributingtheir awesome talents to the M.A.P. will be my Widow bandmates,Cristof, John E and Joshua. They have not only been willing tocontribute but have also been some of my biggest supporters ofthis project and ecstatic about the songs. Thanks so much guys.You're the best!

 

Beth

I'll let you have the final word ... Marc Anthony\ulnone :It is quite overwhelming to me to be able to do this interview.Eric was my biggest drum influence and the single reason I pickedup the drumsticks. Drumming has become a huge part of my lifeover the years and thus Eric changed my life. So, to Mr. and Mrs.Caravello I'd like to say thanks for Eric and want them and Eric'sfans to know that I hope to in some small way do my part to carryon his influence and legacy thru my drumming and life. I'd alsolike to dedicate my interview on EricCarr.com to the loving memoryof my older brother, Brent Bowden, who was tragically killed ina car accident in 1994 and to Eric Carr. Both inflenced my lifemore than you will ever know.
Marc Anthony

 

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