Tell me about your band Velvet Skies.
We're a group of long time friends who decided one day we wanted to start a cover band. We have Emilee Solina and Cam Thibault up front, Jeff Duhaime on rhythm guitar/ keyboards and synth, Brendan "Bo" Frain on drums, Jay Del Signore on lead guitars and myself on bass. We play anything from Taylor Swift to Pantera.
What are some of the key factors when choosing songs for a Velvet Skies show?
We typically choose songs that people know. We look for songs that were popular when we were growing up, songs that are popular now, and a bunch of stuff in between. We aim for the right combination of a little bit of EVERYTHING...... If that makes sense....
Describe a typical Velvet Skies fan.
We have a really awesome (WMRC AWARD WINNING) fan base. We have people of all ages and of all types coming out to our shows. I typically feel like we play something for everyone so it feels natural to say our fan base consists of pretty much everyone and anyone. We've played shows for kids and we've played shows for adults of all ages and the reactions are almost always positive.
Do you remember your first time playing for an audience? How did that go?
Little known thing, we got our first show at the old patriots through our friend Bobby Gosselin (who just filled in for us at City Side) when he was playing there with his band "Cousin Johnny". We opened for them with barely 45 minutes of music. For whatever reason (maybe just dumb luck) 190 or so people showed up and totally caught the bar off guard. They were expecting a slow night and all of a sudden the place was mobbed. People were dancing and singing along and I was petrified. HA! All I could do was look down and try not to mess up. Emilee handled it so well though. We were all so wet behind the ears and absolutely petrified. At least I was. We still can't believe the amazing support we received that night.
What makes a music venue more successful than another?
In my honest opinion so much of it has to do with the natural amount of regular customers that frequent to the venue. There are a few bars around here that do a good job of making live music "appealing" if you will. If you can have a good combination of regular customers who enjoy music as well as getting bands who can pull some people in the door then it takes a little bit of pressure off of both parties. The best thing both sides can do is get to know each other and work together. There are tons of good examples in this Greater Milford Area as well as the Rhode Island circuit.
First Flea, now Ant. What is it with bass players and insect nicknames?
Haha, well it's funny because Michael P Balzery is a huge influence of mine. It just so happens that my aunt started calling me "Ant" when I was a kid and she is ironically enough the same aunt who introduced me to RHCP. I have no idea if any of those said things are connected or relevant to each other but that's just how it worked out, lol.
You’ve got a lot of energy on stage (and off)! What’s your secret?
Well my biggest influence on bass growing up was Cliff Burton. He used to try and be the most animated and most active member on stage. It's just always something I kind of lived by. My biggest thing is trying not to screw up while jumping around, ha! I have very vigilant band members who don't hesitate to point out when my antics cause me to miss a note.
Name three songs that shaped you as a musician.
Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth), My Name is Mud, Joe's Garage.
What kind of musical legacy would you want to leave behind?
In the words of Andrew W. K... "A party one".
What song would you never ever play again if you could?
To be honest with you if I never have to play "all about that bass" ever ever again Id be pretty stoked.
See Ant and Velvet Skies Liz's Diamond Bar and Grill in Hopedale on December 19th for their Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!