In 1985, Robert started a journey down the path to becoming a professional musician. He has played in several Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands along the way. 1984-1985 Death Stalker, 1985-1986 L.A. Bash, 1986-1988 Spitfire/Harder Faster, 1988-1989 Malteze and 1992-1996 GREED. He started out as a rhythm guitar player and eventually became pretty decent at several different instruments. He seemed to have a knack for writing and arranging songs and in the late eighties was told by several of his band mates he had developed a pretty impressive range and skill at vocals. This is ironic because he really sucked at vocals when he first started seriously playing guitar in 1984.
In mid 1996 he walked away from the band Greed (aka: Simon Le Greed) and his music career to become a full-time husband and father. Robert says, “anyone who has played in a gigging band knows it is almost impossible to do both without one or the other suffering and I thought my family was the more important choice. To this day I know I made the right decision. In 2000 I did a few albums for an Industrial/Electronic music side project I had called Digital Pump and even recorded and released two $GREED$ singles on MP3.com with impressive chart success there but it was short lived due to MP3.com being bought by a major record label. In 2004 the label removed all of the independent artist’s music from the site basically shutting me and all the other independent artists down with no venue for our music. It was at that time I stopped working on the upcoming $GREED$ album I was going to release in 2004 due to no venue to promote it or a way to produce CDs. I was crushed and didn’t pick up an instrument for almost 10 years. I firmly believe things happen the way they do for a reason.
In 2015 I felt with the new opportunities of the internet the time was right to revisit my “Heavy Metal” days and I came up with the idea of finally releasing a Metal album under the name $GREED$, although I didn’t actually get around to recording it until mid 2016. Because it was almost 20 years after Greed had ended I figured I would call the album “Better Late Than Never”. The 10 songs on “Better Late Than Never” were written between 1987 and 1994. Two of the songs were co-written in 1987 by my good friend and band-mate Marc Cornelius. Most of the songs lyrics deal with my personal feelings on various topics and political observations which goes back to my days of listening to and playing Punk Rock. The Album took approximately 5 months to record.”
I would like to thank one of my best friends Jerry Sandeen for getting me re-started playing guitar and encouraging me to be a musician. I learned a lot from him and for that I am eternally grateful. I took guitar lessons when I was 12-13 but ended up quitting after a year (got tired of playing Old MacDonald had a farm :). I would also like to thank all the musicians who have had an impact on my music in no particular order: Duane Kindoll, John Elmes, Dave Carruth, Jim Parris, Dori Chitayat, Scott Truelove, Fred and Rick Mayelian, Joe Tarolli, Kirk Lee, Barbara Malteze (Chicago Dan, John P., Chris and a very special Fuck you to Jerry!), Rob Labash, John Owens(RIP), Wyatt Tarver, Bob Hand, Mike Finnegan, Marc and Chris Cornelius, Louie, Eric Hunter, Jeff Ganns, Benji Gordon and Pete Emard. I’m sure there are a few I am leaving out but these are the names that I can remember at this moment.
I grew up at a pretty interesting crossroads in music. When I was a small child, Classical and 50ies/60ies music of all styles was what people I was around were listening to. When I was an adolescent during the 70ies, Stadium rock, Glam rock, Hard rock and the start of Heavy Metal were the new styles. I briefly got into New Wave in the very early eighties but the heavier new wave bands I was listening too and the NWBHM bands I listened to in the late 70ies pushed me towards Punk rock. I was heavy into Punk music until around 84-85 when I started noticing almost all of the new punk bands started to sound like noise, not music. It was at this time I started seriously playing guitar and really started to take notice of the new metal bands coming out. The Thrash and Speed metal scene was extremely appealing to me because it had the aggression of punk with technical guitars and vocals of metal. This really interested me and changed my life forever. In the 90ies I started listening to some of the industrial metal bands that were coming out Like NIN, Ministry, KMFDM and The Prodigy. Also although I really liked some of the new alternative and Pop punk bands that were emerging, I was also a little sour grapes over the changing of the guard at the time because it was that movement that pretty much sank the metal music scene and it was most definitely one of the deciding factors for throwing in the towel on my last band Greed. Myself and Jerry Sandeen who was playing bass for Greed at the time wanted to transition the band into a more Punk sound because it was where we both came from but Dave and the new drummer had no interest in that move. I am pretty sure it was the reason Jerry left the band/was pushed out by the other guys.
Musical influences include everything from all types of Metal, Punk, Industrial/Techno Electronic, New Wave, Mod/Ska, Death Rock, Hard Rock, Stadium Rock, Classic Rock, 50ies Rock, some Hip Hop/Old School Rap, Old School Country, Folk and Classical Music.
Some of my favorite bands in no order:
(Metal): Judas Priest, Black Sabbath with Ozzy and Dio, Iron Maiden and old Scorpions, Anthrax, Megadeth, Overkill, Metallica, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Accept, Pantera, Realm, Fight, Savatage, Metal Church, Motorhead, Grave Digger, Slayer, Dark Angel, Helloween, Hallows Eve, Flotsam and Jetsam, Destruction, Pretty Maids, Sanctuary, Slipknot, Lincoln Park, Korn, Disturbed, System of a Down and some newer bands like Steel Attack, Five Finger Death Punch, Bullet for my Valentine and Killswitch Engage.
(Punk): G.B.H., Subhumans, The Adicts, UK Subs, Blitz, Anti-Pasti, Killing Joke, Crass, Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, T.S.O.L., Suicidal Tendencies, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Channel 3, Angry Samoans, Agent Orange, Ramones, DOA, Stalag 13, Dr. Know, Youth Brigade, The Vandals, FEAR, Circle Jerks, China White, MDC and a few “New Punk” bands like Green Day, Blink 182, Offspring, Lit, Weezer and Sum 41.
(New Wave): Oingo Boingo, Devo, Adam and the Ants, Siouxsie and the Banshees, B-52’s, Gary Newman, The Vapors, Thomas Dolby, Depeche Mode, Yaz, Icicle Works, Modern English, Stray Cats, Bow Wow Wow, The Smiths, New Order, A Flock of Seagulls, Wall Of VooDoo, Missing Persons, Berlin, Enya, Blondie, Midnight Oil, Peter Gabrielle, U2, Talk Talk, Madness, The Specials, English Beat and way too many others to list.
(“Hard Rock”): AC/DC, Queen, SWEET, KISS, Van Halen, Montrose/Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Nazareth, Styx, Ram Jam, Cheap Trick, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Slade and way too many others to list.
(Classic Rock): Beatles, ELO, Pink Floyd, Foreigner, BTO, The Who, YES, Boston, The Cars, Steve Miller, David Bowie, Beach Boys, Joe Walsh, Neil Diamond, Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, Kansas, Early Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Grand Funk Railroad, the Pretenders and ABBA. There are a bunch more but to many to list.
We all know the classic metal albums so here is a list of some of my all time favorite Thrash/ Newer Metal albums. These are the bands that pulled me away from the punk scene: Anthrax – Armed and Dangerous EP (pivotal, this is the album!), Spreading the Disease and Among the Living, Megadeth – Peace Sells and So Far, SO Good, So What, Overkill – Feel the Fire and Taking Over, Metallica – Kill Em All and Ride the Lightning, Pantera – Cowboys from Hell, Dark Angel – We Have Arrived, Venom – Possessed, Slayer – South of Heaven, Destruction -Infernal Overkill, Realm – Endless War and Suiciety, Sanctuary – Refuge Denied and Into the Mirror Black, Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys part 1, Grave Digger – Heavy Metal Breakdown and Witch Hunter, Hallows Eve – Tales of Terror, Flotsam and Jetsam – Doomsday For The Deceiver and No place for Disgrace, Savatage – Dungeons are calling and Sirens, Metal Church – Metal Church and The Dark, Pretty Maids – Future World.
To set the record straight, as you can see up above, I have an appreciation for almost all styles of music, I even “appreciate” music I don’t like. Hate is a waste of energy and I try not to let it consume me these days. When I was a teen (like all teens) I “hated” several bands/styles of music which I won’t name but those days have long passed. As with anything “One man’s gold, is another man’s garbage.” I listen to modern Pop music with my Grand Daughter like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. It’s all good music to me as long as it comes from the heart, has a good beat and some melody. I don’t care if the artist that is singing the song didn’t write it. That trend has been going on in the music business since it’s inception! I just enjoy the MUSIC that sounds good to me.
For those that want to know, I play B.C. Rich guitars (American made mostly). I am currently using Line 6 Amps. I use T.C. Electronic and T.C. Helicon effects processors.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Bio.
Spitfire/Harder-Faster circa 1987
Malteze, circa 1989, The manager said “I didn’t fit the image the band was going for”. Glam Metal was pretty big at the time and what can I say, I’m not a “glam” kind of guy!