Like Husker, I grew up around music as well. My dad played the trombone and his side of the family were all talented musicians. My Uncle is a singing pastor down in the Tampa area, with a couple of albums to his name. My sister and I would fight over the house stereo system, to spin records until we each got our own cassette boom-boxes for our rooms. We listen to the same type of music back then, mostly pop. Once I found my brother's stash of heavy metal, he never saw his cassettes ever again. Dokken and Metallica ...And Justice For All, were regular runs for me. I wore out countless cassette walkmans and even more Dokken "Back for the Attack" cassettes.

What was your first album that floored you? Huey Lewis and the News: Sports - It was the first cassette I got that I loved every single note of every song. It was amazing to me that a rock n' roll band could have a brass section and still sound cool. I was in awe of how well written each track was.

Whose gear really influenced you to get into this bizzarre hobby? - Nuno Bettencourt. Not only did his music inspire me to get into the more modern music, his tone and musicianship was a real inspiration. I tried to buy his gear and ended up with a N2 Washburn guitar, but couldn't afford the amps he used. My sister had Extreme "Pornographiti" because of their love ballad "More than Words." I was making a mix tape for the girlfriend and wanted to copy that onto it. When I went through the rest of the album, I was like, "HOLY SHIT!" But the first song was the catalyst.

What did you see to steer you into rock and roll? - I just thought it was cool to be into the hard rock, Heavy Metal scene. My friends were into it, and I loved the sound, and the music. I loved Dokken. I had zero desire to play on stage to get the chicks. It honestly never dawned on me to join a band to get pussy.

This album never gets old:

What age did you realize rock was so important? - I never felt that Rock per say was important, but I knew that music as a whole was very important. I learned that very early in life. Probably realized it for the first time around 6 or 7 when I received my first walkman and a couple of cassettes. Alabama "Roll On" was one of them.

Did pop influence you first? - Very much. Since we listened to mainly radio, I was heavily influenced by Pop music. Even my mom and dad listened to the pop stations. Then Pop-country came along, and I was out. lol.

Some of the regular songs I would play from the family collection: