The Rockin Upbeat Express
This South Florida Rock n' Roll Icon takes a few minutes to put on a serious face, but only for a few minutes.
"I am absolutely my biggest critic....You have to critique everything you put out there. It's your brand...If you want people to like you and your music, you gotta be believable and relatable....You cant bake a fantastic loaf of bread one day and then the next day say, Ah, this loaf of bread doesn't need salt today...You have to be consistent and persistent....critique the recipe, perfect it, and put it out there."
By Jason Yarrow, September 2020
TRR: The Rockin Upbeat Express, that’s a mouthful to remember. I’m sure you’ve heard that before.
GLITCH: Yeah I know! I liked the name of the wrestling team "The Rock & Roll Express" from the 1980's....I added Upbeat to the name cause I wanted to convey positive musical vibes....That describes my music...I feel that 80's Metal and everything afterwards up and till today, turned off a lot of potential fans.....especially women. Not many women like violent music....Screamo/Death Metal....or violence in general....Look at the crowds at a metal concert....There aren't many women in the crowd....Mostly males....At least 70's and early 80's rock ALWAY'S brought the most beautiful girls to the show...3/4 of the crowd was women....not anymore...So I would like to change that...You can't have Tru-Rock Revival without the Fans.
TRR: What's your plan to help change the Rock n' Roll landscape?
GLITCH: Good Question! Tone down the violence, slow down the tempo to a beat and melody that not only today's generation can enjoy, but older people as well, and, BOOM, you just increased your fan base. It's also more diverse. It's gonna get rock music BACK ON THE RADIO!!!.....at least up for consideration.
TRR: Metal is very big these days, especially in Europe. Thoughts on that?
GLITCH: I'm not against some metal music. In my own opinion, to have that real Tru-Rock Revival, you gotta drop the demonic side of things and the violence for new fans to take you seriously.
TRR: You may piss off some metal fans along the way.
GLITCH: Yeah, it's gonna make the diehard metalheads mad, but the reward in the end in much better for everyone!
Glitch. How did you get that nickname?
GLITCH: I've alway's been eternally irresponsible so I gave myself that name, I think it sounds much better than Snoop Dogg or Eminem, don't you think?
TRR: Your sound is reminiscent of the 70’s/80's guitar driven songs that you heard all over the radio back then, especially “Flying High.” What inspires you when you sit down to write your music?
GLITCH: Not much, believe it or not. You pick up the guitar and start experimenting till you find a cool melody and build on that...As far as inspiration, if I'm mellow that day, I'll write a mellow sounding riff....and so on...I think sometimes when it comes to writing lyrics, I say to myself, "what lyrics and message would have MASS APPEAL?" "What would be relatable", and I build on that.
TRR: Who were you listening to as a kid? What or who got you interested in music?
GLITCH: Well, it wasn't Engelbert Humperdinck or Barry Manilow (Just Kidding), although they were some of the icons of that day...They're legends in the industry. I'm from a different generation though. My friends I grew up with turned me on to music and concerts. Up until then I was employed full-time without pay by my parents, doing various chores. Seriously though, I was listening to Ozzy/Randy Rhoads - Iron Maiden - AC/DC- Van Halen - Journey - Foreigner - Boston - Dio----rock before hardcore metal, you know?
TRR: What about in your house growing up. Was there a lot of music?
GLITCH: Definitely a lot of music!...We yous'ta have a 1975 - 4 door Ford station wagon...We would go to Miami to visit relatives every weekend. So, to keep me and my brothers from fighting, my parents would blast the radio on 10 to keep us quiet. I remember hearing Wing's and Fleetwood Mac and REO Speedwagon and Joan Jett cranked up!
TRR: Well, if your parents were going to drown out the screaming by you and your siblings, you can't go wrong with most of those bands.
GLITCH: Right! My favorite was "Let em In" by Paul McCartney and Wings!...Heck Yeah!
TRR: What is the first instrument you learned to play?
GLITCH: It was a guitar...It was a Silverburst Lotus electric guitar from All County Music...It's a Les Paul style guitar.
TRR: Do you still have it?
GLITCH: Nope, it's gone forever...But not forgotten.
TRR: That's too bad. That's a solid guitar and a great collection piece too. You write all your own songs and play all the instruments on your recordings. What instrument are you most comfortable playing?
GLITCH: Guitar comes easy for me I would say.
TRR: What about the most difficult? What instrument challenges you the most?
GLITCH: Tambourine!!! Cowbell too! It's freakin hard!..just kidding, I would say piano. Looking at the keys while I'm playing is like looking at fractals. Plays tricks on the eye's for sure.
TRR: Where do you record? Do you record on your own or do you go into a studio and have it produced and mastered?
GLITCH: I record final cuts in a studio.... I write all the music at home on the instruments until it's ready for recording, then I go into a studio and start with drums, then guitar, bass, vocals. Then Mix and Master.
TRR: You are a one-man music making machine. What about when you perform live; on stage, do you have a full band?
GLITCH: No, I have no band...I haven't performed live since 2001.
TRR: Really? Not since 2001? I guess you prefer to write and record more than get out on stage.
GLITCH: Yeah, I really do. The whole reason I perform all the instruments myself is I spent my time writing all the instruments at home so I figured let me keep it going....It's sounding pretty good, and I get a lot more done that way..I've been in a few bands before...They're is always a slow element to the writing process.... It's just more people to rely on.....It slows things up you know...I'm not trying sound negative about the band thing, I just get much more done and I've developed this sound and songwriting style that works..So that's my motivation....If a record label wants to build a band behind me, and go on tour playing the songs I write, then great! They do that with Lenny Kravitz and Hunter Hayes... That would be cool.
TRR: Who’s your fan-base?
GLITCH: My fan base is the whole world!....Think of all the people out there...I don't need to play a big concert hall....Gimme a guitar, and a micro amplifier I can latch on to my belt, I'll go to a concert hall and play for the people waiting in line to get in....I just have to get my music into their ears somehow, and hopefully they return for more.
TRR: Don't you feel that to get your music "into their ears somehow" you should get back on stage and bring it to the masses, along with working the social media?
GLITCH: Yes, for sure! But it's tough to get a manager and then book gig's and everything that goes with it. Take's away from writing time, you know? And only a few make it to that level. However, showing up to a local concert 2 hour's before the show with a guitar, a cord, and a battery powered micro amp, I can walk right up to folk's waiting in line for the show and play, and talk to them as well. Sometime's I might get 3-4 contact email's, maybe a tip, and hey, those would be the folk's to go to a show of mine in the future. So yes, getting back on stage is most important but instead of waiting 5 weeks for that booked gig, I can go out 7 days a week until then to locations all around this area to promote, pass out biz card's and meet new fan's.
TRR: You live in Ft. Lauderdale. In your opinion, how receptive are people in South Florida to going to venues to see and hear someone play rock music?
GLITCH: The scene has definitely taken a huge hit.....I feel people would be much more receptive to go to a local rock show if there were more radio stations playing rock music. They took Rock Music off the radio worldwide...They replaced it with Hip-Hop and Electronic music...And we didn't do anything about it...and now you're experiencing the diseased, rotted fruit of the act of taking Rock off the radio... Today's kids grew up with no Rock music on the radio.....That's why I think people aren't that receptive to going to a Rock Show.....And I'm bitter about that....We need to change that!...Demand EQUALITY ON THE RADIO!!!
TRR: I can't disagree with you about that when it comes to local radio. But, what about Satellite radio? You can hear classic rock, blues rock, alternative, metal, new rock.
GLITCH: Not everyone has satellite radio, nor does it have a marketing impact in the community like local radio stations. Let's take Y-100 for example. They are out every weekend at some event in the local area promoting and networking with the people. Think of all the car dealerships and businesses that advertise with them, much broader audience. And they're promoting Hip-Hop and Pop at these events. Think of all the local business commercials that advertise on those stations, all Hip-Hop and Pop but not Rock music.
Rock & Roll needs to get back on mainstream radio....Period!
TRR: Unfortunately, terrestrial radio is becoming a dinosaur and a lot of local businesses advertise on Satellite through local channels. But, even Satellite is always evolving. Let's get back to the pandemic for a moment. How has it affected you in a positive way?
GLITCH: It forced me to market my music much more.
TRR: In what ways? How have you been marketing yourself?
GLITCH: Sending e-mails, sending EPK's, networking on the internet, building the website.
TRR: Ok. Now, what about the negatives from the pandemic, besides the obvious ones, being isolated and unable to perform live.
GLITCH: The negatives are the uncertainty of the future of the world in general. It's scary.
TRR: What scares you the most when you think about the future of the world?
GLITCH: Getting overtaken by a tsunami from an asteroid impact off the coast of Florida!..HAHA...That would stink!!. Will the banks be open?....The Bar?...Hungry Howies?...I dont know. There's just a lot of uncertainty out in the world right now.
TRR: Do you consider yourself a musical perfectionist?
GLITCH: No, I don't consider myself a musical perfectionist, however, I'm always self-critiquing my writing skills verse by verse, line by line.....I think it helps you craft a better song in the end.
TRR: So, you are your biggest critic.
GLITCH: Absolutely!.....You have to critique everything you put out there. It's your brand...If you want people to like you and your music, you gotta be believable and relatable....You cant bake a fantastic loaf of bread one day and then the next day say, Ah, this loaf of bread doesn't need salt today...You have to be consistent and persistent....critique the recipe, perfect it, and put it out there.
TRR: Is music your full-time career right now?
GLITCH: It's my main drive and motivation, always has been, always will....it's not a career yet though, however I do practice in front of the mirror all the time just in case I get a call from a label or something that wants to see me live!...Gotta stay polished and on point, you know?
TRR: Man, are you ever serious? Lol.
GLITCH: When it comes to my music, I'm very serious.
TRR: Cool. Which leads me to this question. When you record, do you follow a pattern that you’ve become very comfortable with over the years?
GLITCH: I just make sure when I go in to the studio, I'm prepared and on the ball and I try to mix that with humor and fun, cause laying down all those compositions can get pretty intense.
TRR: What’s your plan for the rest of the year, musically.
GLITCH: The goal is to finish 8 more songs in the studio that back up the recent releases...Keep networking- writing - yelling at the T.V. when the news is on, you know, the normal things everybody does.
TRR: Don't watch the news. It'll drive you nuts. Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to?
GLITCH: Winston Churchill, Elvis, Nikola Tesla, Richard Dawson, Amelia Earhart, Babe Ruth and David Lee Roth.
TRR: Well, there you have it, old school thanking old school.
For further information about The Rockin Upbeat Express and Glitch, visit Bandivious, his Website or his YouTube channel.