Psychotic Waltz Biography
First, I can honestly say, that without my father, who passed away in a car accident while I was recording the new Darkstar CD in Germany last winter ('98) Psychotic Waltz would probably have never existed.
It was when I was a kid, I saw him play an electric guitar and it gave me goosebumps, my dad was rockin'!!! From that moment on I was in love with the instrument. He and my mom were very supportive of me learning to play, getting lessons, and buying me my 1st equipment.
In 1982 we moved to a new city, where I met Buddy at my new high school. We got along really well, both played guitar, and loved heavy music. We formed a high school band for a short time with some friends, but it never really came together. He moved away to another city, but we kept in touch. He gave me the number of a local guitar teacher who was really good, as I still really sucked. That guy turned out to be Craig Goldy, who later went on to play for Ronnie James Dio, 2 truly amazing and gifted individuals. That was in 9th grade.
The next year I was introduced to Norm Leggio. An amazing drummer from the next town over, El Cajon. We jammed for about a year, doing all the classic metal cover tunes...Paranoid, Lights out In London, Crazy Train, Green Manalishi, Diamonds & Rust, Are You Ready To Rock... Never really thought of writing our own stuff, that was 10th grade.
Next year we stopped jamming, it just got old, and we went seperate ways. I was now introduced to a kid in my school who was supposed to be really good. Turns out he had heard the same thing about me!! His name was Brian McAlpin. We began a very intense friendship that lasts to this day. Our styles just seemed to mesh really well, and we got along great.
Tragically, he was in a car accident and broke his back in 1984. That was in 11th grade. I'd bring guitars to the hospital and we'd jam into the we hours of the morning. We started writing songs there... about silly things, like squishing flies in the room, life as a piece of dog shit...but we also made some dark eerie stuff. You can hear some of it on the "Live& Archive's" cd.
When he got out of the hospital, I suggested that we jam with Norm, I knew it would work. It took a while, but Norm finally agreed. He had also met a killer bass player at his school named Ward Evans. As soon as we jammed, we new we had the best metal band in San Diego!! Now we were able to pull off way harder cover tunes, like Queen of the Ryche, Fast As a Shark, Hellion/ Electric Eye, The Trooper,...but we had no singer.
Again, Norm came through with a friend of his named Mike Hall. A really cool guy, and he had a P.A.!!...he was in. It wasn't long before we realized he wasn't what we wanted, then I suggested my friend Buddy, he was now starting to sing, was pretty good too! So I brought him to band practice one night, and it was like a 2 ton heavy thing falling on all our heads!! It was a done deal, the band was solid. And at Brian's suggestion, we named ourselves "Aslan", after a charactor in the novel "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe", by C.S. Lewis.
Somewhere in there we had also began writing some original stuff too, it was actually this 4 track tape that inspired Buddy to join the band, the song he loved the most???..."Spiral Tower"!
We gathered a rather intense local following very quickly, as there weren't many bands back then, and most of the existing ones kinda sucked, there were a few though that were good.
With our money from local shows and T-shirts that we made, we were able to go into a real studio, and record our 1st demo tape. Three songs, with side 2 haveing some of me & Brian's dark 4 track bedroom recordings. We started to get local radio play, and an ever-growing following in our hometown. Things were lookin' good!
I forgot to mention, that this whole time, my best friend since 3rd grade, Mike Clift, had been doing all the art work for us. Shirts, flyers, demo cover, stage props... he really loved us, we're still best friends.