You are the bass player for Lizzy
Borden and also the founder of the band Legacy. Can you give us a
brief history of your other highlights?
Hey Metal Express!!! I have done
everything from playing top 40 to death metal, to acting on TV/Movies,
to writing a reference book about the music industry. I like to keep
it interesting and try different things. I don’t like to brag so just
read the bio on my site if you are interested - Let’s move on!!!
What is your role in Lizzy Borden
compared to Legacy? Do you have any writing or producing credits with
Over the years Lizzy Borden has always
been Lizzy’s band. He does the writing and co producing. We are in the
studio working on the new CD/DVD right now; we have contributed songs
and ideas as far as the production. We will see what ends up on the
final album. Either way it sounds great, very different than what
people are used to when you think of Lizzy Borden!!! We are all very
excited about it. I know a lot of musicians will do anything to get
their songs on CD’s, even though they are crappy songs and that was
never my thing. I consider myself a hard worker, and part of
continuing to grow and learn for me is working with all kinds of
people, in all areas. I personally don’t care where the original song
idea came from. After all, some of the most successful bands and their
biggest hits, like Aerosmith, Kiss, Bon Jovi, etc., co-wrote with
How was Legacy formed?
Legacy was an outlet for me to boss
people around, have them play my songs, the way I want them too be
played (Haha I am kidding). No seriously, we took a break from Lizzy
Borden and I decided to put together my own project to jam and record
with, as an outlet for my songs, the rest is history.
“Legacy” means “Something handed
down from an ancestor or a predecessor.” Why did you name this band
Legacy and what is its significance?
I guess in my own way the Legacy CD is
a small tribute album to all the great bands out there that I respect
and grew up listening to. I always liked band names that are just
short names like Kiss, Motorhead, Ufo, Whitesnake, etc. I had heard
there was a band with the same name before my time (?) We did a
trademark search and Legacy was not taken, as far as a name for a hard
rock band. There are vacuum cleaners, a car, real estate agents and
things like that.
Give us a capsule of a live Lizzy
Borden show compared to a Legacy show.
I love playing live! No matter if I
play in front of 30,000 people or at a packed club of 250 people, it’s
all great!! Lizzy Borden has always been about putting on a big, blood
and guts, horror show. Legacy is more musician based (as of right
now). I am taking baby steps with Legacy; we will see what happens as
far as a full scale live show. Right now, I am just glad to be getting
this album out in the States and then we’ll see what happens from
there. Don’t get me wrong, if the opportunity is there, I would put on
a huge show, using smoke, fireworks and all the good stuff. But from a
logical stand point, unfortunately, playing a small club tour is not
feasible to do all that fun stuff. Either way, if it all ended today,
I would have no hard feelings whatsoever. It has been a great journey.
In the early days I played a lot of shows not making shit just because
I loved it so much. We traveled in a van and played every little hell
hole there was to play. We also headlined shows, had tours worldwide,
and played and toured with some of the biggest bands out there (Deep
Purple, Dio, Motörhead, etc.). As I see it, it’s not about the
destination, it’s the journey.
Let’s focus on the Legacy CD. The
best song with the most attitude on this CD is “Mission of Mercy”.
Given the lyrics, “I’m on a witches kill and I’ll heal til the day I
die,” exactly how pissed off were you when you penned this song?
Ha-Ha - That’s the alternate
personality coming out. You’ve got to let the anger out somehow
right?!?! I just do what comes out of my heart and hopefully people
can see it that way too. “Mission of Mercy” is actually an old song. I
think the riff was one of the first ones I ever wrote in my life.
People often ask me about my mind frame, what it meant to me, and
where my head was at the time when I wrote a particular song. See
that’s the wonderful thing with music, each person interprets them
totally different from the next. I have stopped telling people. I just
tell them, “Listen, and let your own mind decide what you want it to
mean for you!!”
Legacy vocalist Chris Roseberry is
an incredible singer. How did he come to join the band, and when you
first heard him, was he the vocal embodiment of what you were looking
He is very powerful, bluesy, and has a
great vocal range. Chris was one of the first singers I was referred
to when I put the word out there. I knew he had a great deal of
experience in the L.A. music scene which was very positive. I was not
looking to deal with some druggie, loser- type guy. Last thing I
wanted was to make this CD a drawn out process, and having to audition
a ton of players and singers. Chris came in, added the missing parts,
and we banged it out in no time.
Tell us a little bit about Jonas
Hansson and Stephan Emig.
I know I wanted a kick ass guitar
player to put some cool shredding down. Jonas Hansson is an old friend
of mine and was a natural choice to call. Jonas is one of the original
so-called guitar heroes coming out of Sweden. Silver Mountain was out
touring Asia before guys like Yngwie were. He was busy doing
soundtracks for movies and “The Jonas Hansson Band,” but he loved it
and came in and did a great job. I called up my friend Joy Basu (note:
guitar player with Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, etc.). He was
teaching at the Los Angeles Music Academy at the time and recommended
this young, crazy, German drummer that blew away students and teachers
alike. Stephan came down and we ended up jamming to everything from
the Scorpions to a mix of jazz and fusion. Stephan is one of those
all-around great drummers; this guy can play everything and does it
For people who are into intelligent
lyrics, there are obvious lines of poetry riddled throughout the CD.
One of the best lyrics can be found in “Leave It Alone,” with the
stanza “’Cause I’ve seen myself in so many people whose lives are such
a long and lonely walk … so I just want to run.” How did you come up
with that lyric?
I love the fact that you noticed the
lyrics the way you did. Not many people do that. From a musical
standpoint that song is one of my favorites to play. That line you are
referring to was written by Chris, but I think we can all relate to
that statement. I think we have all been there at some point.
Everybody definitely has a dark side to them. How many people are not
out searching for that one thing and have that facade built up…
especially if you live in Los Angeles (laughing).
How does the songwriting process
work in Legacy? Do you take the lead on every song or do the other
members come to you with riffs, lyrics and ideas?
On this particular album most of the
basic ideas are mine. It was my project from the start, but for the
next CD I am open to any song ideas, lyrics, production, hell you
mention it. I’d rather sell millions of albums and share the fame and
money that comes with it, than sit with a big ego, do all my own
material in the basement in-between humping pillows, drinking beer and
doing shitty numbers as far as CD sales. Hey do you have any song
Is the song “My Last Sunrise”
influenced by Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” or is subject matter
the only thing they have in common? Since this is the second best song
on the CD, tell us how this was written?
As you can tell it has a total dark
Vampire theme to it, but no, it has nothing to do with Sting. We wrote
this song for the movie “Interview with a Vampire” with Tom Cruise and
Brad Pitt. Unfortunately David Geffen decided to go with just Geffen
Recording Artists for the soundtrack, but it was very cool to be
considered, if only for a minute.
There are three instrumentals on the
Legacy CD. How did you come up with “2.4.1” and “Astral Sundown?”
Both of these songs are riffs that I
played around with during sound checks etc. It’s actually a funny
story of how both of them came together. I got the idea of making them
into songs one day as I sat around working on bass sounds in the
studio. There was a drum beat going on in the background and I started
to play the riff. I showed the lick and melody to Jonas and I love how
he took it to the next level. There's definitely some top notch
technical playing in there. I came up with the name “Astral Sundown”
as I looked up in the studio and there was some funky painting hanging
on the wall. It looked like an Astral Sundown in Space. I went,
“That’s the name for this song!!” I actually bought the painting from
the owner and I still have it in my garage somewhere.
What is your main focus today? Lizzy
Borden is in the studio right now recording their next release. Where
does Legacy fit in?
I don’t sleep more than 4 hours a
night. Who needs sleep anyways? HaHa! It’s working out pretty well
actually. It’s just a matter of planning. In addition to doing the
Lizzy Borden and Legacy bands, I am also working on a new un-named
heavy project with Lizzy. It’s a really heavy-type project. We sat
around working on songs one day and we both said, “Hey, this is
awesome but it doesn’t sound anything like Lizzy Borden!” So we
decided to make it totally different and release it under a different
name. Most of the music is already recorded but I have no idea as far
as when it will actually be finished and out in the stores. I have
these 2 other little bands and CD’s I am focusing on right now.
Legacy and Lizzy Borden seem to be
about as far apart thematically or conceptually as two bands in the
same genre can be. Do you see it this way?
Sure, it’s very different in many ways,
but it’s definitely not a problem whatsoever. Like I mentioned
earlier, years ago I played with everybody and everything from top 40
crap, to playing hotels and weddings, to getting my aggressions out
playing death metal on the weekends. I love old school metal but there
is also some elements of newer stuff like Rob Zombie on Legacy as
well. I like the idea of bridging the gap. Many people will definitely
be very surprised when they hear the new Lizzy Borden CD too, very
70’s. It feels like I cover 30 years worth of music styles with all of
these bands and projects combined. I guess I get bored and I like
trying new things so it’s all good!!
I will be in Sweden next to promote the
Legacy CD. We are finishing up the new Lizzy CD/DVD for an early 2004
release. In between all of this, I am giving private bass lessons to
students in the Los Angeles area and I’m also working on a group Bass
Seminar. It’s going to be awesome. I will invite some famous Bass
Players to come down as guest performers and speakers. Even though I
am still learning, I wish I would have had the knowledge I have today
when I started out playing. If you are a bass player (beginner or
advanced) you don’t want to miss this seminar. I am working on the
details as we speak.
Any closing remarks on the industry,
Lizzy Borden, Legacy or anything else that is on your mind right now?
Keep doing what you are doing, bro.
Love your radio station. I check it out all the time!!! Keep checking
my website for news on Legacy, Lizzy Borden, and all the other good
stuff. As always, let me know if there is anything else. Take Care!!
Article appeared at:
Metal Express Radio Norway
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2001-2003 DERRIC MILLER