November 28, 2010

Winters and DePizzo Chat with the Sun

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Sun: Hey guys!Jerry DePizzo: Hey!Seth Winters: Hey! How are you doing, Heather?

Sun: I’m pretty good. How are you?S.W.: Good, good. I’m sitting in this diner in the middle of New York.

Sun: Aw now I’m hungry. (Laughs) So Seth, how did you first start out?S.W.: I was never able to pursue my music career full time until this new album, As Daylight Shines. Until now, I would go play one night here and one night there for a song or two, but nothing full-time.

Sun: How did you two meet?S.W.: I met Jerry in April of 2006 down in Live Oak, Florida at the Allman Brothers’ Wanee Festival. I somehow got an all-access pass that day, and Jerry was standing outside their tour bus. We struck up a conversation and I asked him if he wanted to play on a track. He said yes right away. That was it, I guess.

Sun: Jerry, what did you think of Seth when you two first met?J.P.: I saw that integral element to make it big in the music; he was hungry for it. He’s extremely determined, especially over the last four years through all of the ups and downs of the music business. When I met him at the Allman Brothers’ festival, I didn’t know much about him, but he’s a smart guy and a heck of a guitar player, so I took a chance. Sun: Can you tell me a little bit about the album?S.W.: As Daylight Shines is a ten-track album with eight vocal tracks and two instrumentals. About 75% of the actual recording was done by the time I met Jerry, but he plays on one of the two instrumental tracks and was also involved at the very end in terms of making sure I had all the pieces together and helping me to figure out what a great record should sound like.

Sun: Who else plays on the album?S.W.: Aaron Comess, the drummer from the Spin Doctors, who will also play drums with me and Jerry on Dec. 2.

Sun: How did you meet Aaron?S.W.: I’ve known Aaron longer than any other musician. I met him when I was 15 at the Wetlands Jam, which hosted a bunch of heavy weight bands, and we’ve kept in touch ever since.

Sun: What do you think has shaped you the most as a musician?S.W.: My life experiences. I’ve had a lot of bizarre, unusual traumatic experiences that have shaped my music. And now that I’m healthy, I can channel those experiences. People say that you play best when you’re in pain. But that’s not true. You have to be healthy and in a good state of mind to really handle a music career full time.

Sun: What about you, Jerry?J.P.: My experiences — in life and as a musician — as well as the time that I have been fortunate enough to put in to music have certainly shaped my playing, my skill level, and my ability as a musician, a song writer and as an artist. More than anything I’ve been fortunate enough to do what I love for quite some time now.

Sun: How did you stumble upon the saxophone?J.P.: I honestly did just stumble into it in the true sense of the word. I always wanted to be a musician. When I was a young kid in the 80s, my uncle played guitar and listened to old Van Halen records and I thought it was unbelievable. Then in 5th grade I was allowed to pick an instrument and join the school band. I didn’t play guitar, so I figured I’d pick the next coolest thing: drums. But when I told the band director, she said, “Well, there are about 30 kids in the band and eleven are drummers. How about a trumpet?”

Sun: The trumpet?J.P.: My mom told me, “Your uncle has a saxophone. That’s what you’re going to play.” So I learned to play the saxophone. Now I play the guitar, drums, anything they throw at me. I met O.A.R. when they were at Ohio State. Initially, I was just helping out, but a sound check with them turned into a couple songs, which turned into a gig and then everything that it is today.

Sun: What would be your advice for anyone trying to pursue a career in music?S.W.: You don’t become successful until you’re absolutely happy. You shouldn’t play unless you absolutely can’t stand­ being away from music. J.P.: I’ve almost made a career out of what people told me I shouldn’t do, but it made me do it more. Know your destiny. Know what you want to do. And do what you love. You’re going to work your ass off no matter what you’re doing, so do what you’re passionate about. If you do that, it will come through your work and you’ll be successful.

Sun: Thanks for your time, guys! I hope to see you both at Castaways this Thursday!

Original Author: Heather McAdams