interview with Wilkes Booth

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Have any of you played in other bands? The most notable band was a band called rokzilla from Hollywood California and the that was 1989-1992. I was the guitarist. Our current drummer of 26 years only played in cover bands beforehand.
How is it that you started playing music? Music has run in the family genes and I was an only child so I cured boredom with music. Mainly writing my own music at a very early age.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? I am Dave Wilkes Booth, guitar and leader. Started band at 22 years old, I’m 49 today. Drummer is mike Fittos, he is 55 now. Bass player is Kevin rappenecker, 55 also. Our newest member is the singer, Todd Cragle. He is 48
Have you had other previous members? This band has had only 2 drummers, I think we’re on our 10th bassist, and since the bands start in 1992 we are on our second singer
Did you make music even when you were young? I started writing my own songs in second grade elementary school, and made my own demo cassettes until I started recording professionally
Where are you from? originally Rochester New York, moved to Hollywood California 1987-1994, then back to Rochester where I’m born and raised
What year did the band form? 1992 in Hollywood
What's your style of genre? Melodic hard rock
What inspires you? My enemies
How often and where do you reherse? We have a rehearsal facility with massive amounts of gear. We rehearse once or twice a week. We have 12 Marshall stacks, 22 piece tama drum kit, 3 bass stacks and state of the art PA for vocals
How have you developed since you started with the music? I have remained true to my roots, I’ve only gotten better with time and am proficient in all things metal
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I have a lake house with boats and I sit on my dock and drink beer all summer long
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? We have a manager that handles all the business. It’s easier that way so we can be creative and he worries about logistics
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We shopped the record deal in the 90s and the music scene has changed so that’s no longer a reality
What made you decide to make this music? Music is 100% my thing, I’m always creating a new melody
What are your songs about? When we were young they were about groupies, drugs and fun. Nowadays it’s mystical Dio type of stuff
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I do 100% of the writing. Our new singer has contributed lyrics to one song and we’re currently writing for album #5
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? I start with a riff. I turn it into a song with structure, opening riff, verse, pre, chorus and repeat formula with a guitar solo
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? no because inspiration strikes at any time
Have you done any covers live? Yes unfortunately crowds want to hear what they know and don’t care about my originals. We have over 100 cover songs in our list for shows, we pick and choose as the crowd dictates 
What language do you sing in? english
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? both out in Hollywood. We did a show at the country club in reseda to 5 people, don’t know what happened there. Most was 3000 people the day after my mother died, had to pull myself together for that one
What ages are most of your concert attendants? 21-65
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? we always change it up by creating set lists that accompany the venue and crowd best
Do you have a regular place you play live often? There are countless venues to play, we try to not revisit a venue the same year we play it
What was your first gig like? 1990 the roxy theater Hollywood California. I was hungry to prove myself
What was your latest gig? we just played timber creek amphitheater Saturday. We have a show next Saturday at a place called bathtub billy’s 
Have you had to cancel a gig? In our 27 year career I can count the cancellations on one hand
Where have you played live this year? It’s February and already this year we have played all over from buffalo New York to Albany New York
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? we have a pact to continue until someone dies
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? 2003 we opened and you can buy everything our band has to offer on there. Clothes, CDs trinkets etc
Where can people buy your merchandise? online at or at any of our shows
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? I would rather have people listening than not so I don’t care if they get it for free
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? artists today are contrived by the music industry leaders, no longer does a struggling band have a chance in the business. Justin Bieber was made by businessmen, he didn’t gig for chump change
What do you think of my work? i am very optimistic that you have the tools to advance unknown bands
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? i hope it will help but it doesn’t matter if it does not, we gave up the dream of superstardom years ago. The industry is a young mans game
Do you have any role models or idols? I have idolized Randy Rhoads since 1981, and I am my own role model because being anything but positive and supportive will get you nowhere in life
Why do you think that they exist? Because they have to bring the next generation in
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? older bands. Everything has been done now so new bands have less to offer
What have been your biggest obstacles? health and wealth
What advice would you give other bands or artists? get a very good day job in case the night gig doesn’t work
How do you get psyched for a gig? interacting with the crowd before a show fires me up
Do you have any new material? Yes we’re getting into writing album #5
What are your web sites? and Facebook/Wilkes Booth
How can people reach? direct email to me thru contact page on website
What are your plans for the future? to keep going as long as we can do it, and then record
Do you have something to add? its hard to convey 30+ years of experience. If you wish to discuss further I would be more than happy to accommodate you
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