Central Iowa Band Listings & More

Interview with Gary Seddon of Cylinder And More Than This

  • 1. So Gary what are you up to these days ?

    I've just been hanging out, enjoying our Iowa winter. It's so much fun loading out at 2:30 AM when the wind chill is 15 below!

    2 .How did Cylinder come to be ?
  • I got a little musically burned out back in the early 90's and got to a point where I felt I was just going through the motions, so I decided it was time for a break. Greg had been after me for years to dust off my equipment and get back into the music scene. In the fall of 2002, I saw Rush play at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. I guess that's what started the musical wheels turning again, because it wasn't long before I was trying to convince my wife that I needed a new guitar. A few months after that I was calling Greg, asking if he wanted to jam. He introduced me to Brian and Jim and man - did it ever snowball from there!
  • 3. Lead vocals -is it a new thing ?

    New thing is an understatement! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd end up with a lead vocalist gig. Sure, I did some singing in previous bands, but this is the first time I've had to worry about my voice making it through an entire night. It's a challenge to create a set list that allows me a few opportunities to rest my voice. Greg helps me by singing a few songs so I can just stand back and bang on my guitar. You know, rest the ol' vocal chords.
    .....One thing that's helped me tremendously is the fact that I don't smoke anymore. David Coverdale always used to credit Marlboros on the Whitesnake liner notes, and obviously that worked for him. (Not that I'm trying to compare myself to him - yeah right I wish!) I know that my voice is much healthier than it was back in my old "pack and a half a day" years. (More on gig nights.) Hell I almost feel like that guy on the Bowflex commercial. "Hey I'm 41, and my voice is in better shape than when I was 21!"


4. What other acts have you played with ?
How bout the other
guys ?
Back in the mid 80's some very good friends got together and formed a band called Straight Shooter. We had a blast in that band, but never got very far away from the old hometown. I had a chance after that to play with Zef, which was a very wise move. I learned a lot from those guys. We recorded an album at Mike Lawyer's Southriver facility in Indianola. What an experience! That's someting I'll never forget. Greg, Jim and Brian have all played in several bands, too many for me to recall at the moment.

5. What makes Cylinder different from all the other cover bands out there ?
Hmmmm, that's a good question. One that's hard to answer without sounding like a politician. Well, with the exception of Brian, we're all old!! (laughing) I guess the thing Greg and I keep discussing is our song selection process. We're pretty picky. We don't want to whip out the same old tunes you've seen every other bar band in the world play. We want to be different. Sure, we play a few standards so people can get up on the dance floor and get thirsty, but we also play some new tunes that I'm pretty sure no one else around here is playing.
  6. Seems like you guys have a pretty good southern Iowa gig thing going - any plans to expand towards other parts of the state ?
I think all of us want to expand our area as time goes on. One thing we've talked about is the fact the many of these smaller towns are practically starved for live entertainment. I think live music in these outlying cities is poised for a comeback. People are getting tired of Karaoke!

7. What are your biggest influences musically ?
Guitar-wise, I'm a product of the 70's and 80's. When I was learning to play, Ted Nugent, Angus Young and Eddie Van Halen were it. I've always been a Rush fanatic. Like I said before, it's Alex Lifeson's fault that I'm in a band again.

8. How about lyrically - sometimes there are great writers that don't sing that well - do you think style or content is a big consideration ?
You're right. I never thought Bob Dylan was much of a singer, but look at the volume of work he's responisble for. His music helped shape an entire generation!

9. Anyone your particularly impressed with recently on national or local scene ?
I've seen several bands in the Des Moines clubs that are so damn good. I really enjoy watching their shows. Makes want to go home and practice.

10. Any plans for recording originals - performing originals ?
We are definately going to be writing some stuff in the very near future. We have some time right now to do it. I seem to go through spells where writing is very difficult, and then other times the ideas just seem to jump out at me. Jim and I have been playing with some lyrics recently, so yeah, were going to be adding a few Cylinder songs to the set list.

10 again ... Tell us about your favorite gig (with Cylinder or before) ?
Zef- opening for Blue Oyster Cult at the Freedom Rally. What a rush, being on stage in front of all those people!

11. Tell us about your least favorite gig ( with Cylinder or before ) ?
Zef- opening for Blue Oyster Cult at the Freedom Rally. BOC wrote the book on how to screw your opening act.

12. What band ought to give it up and call it a day ? (if any)
Kiss. They now have one of the guys from Black-N-Blue dressing up in Ace Frehley makeup. C'mon Gene, you've made a mint. Put it out of its' misery will ya?

13. What did you think of the whole Janet Jackson - half-time thing ?
Didn't see it, don't care. Two celebrities trying to outdo the Britney & Madonna kiss.

14. Think its fair Justin gets to be on Grammies and Janet can't ?
See question 13.

15. Whats the best and worst things about the local music scene ?
Lots of good bands right now. There's some awesome talent here in flyover country. Don't know what would be the worst thing. Oh yeah, the loading out at 2:30 thing I mentioned before!

16. .Any big gigs or plans coming up in the spring or summer ?
I'll keep you posted on that one...
17. Ok I am running out of questions so lets to the rate the following on a scale from 1-10 - (Warning ..I took these from your songlist ).. ..As singers feel free to comment :
Pete Loeffler (Chevelle)
Layne Stanely (AIC)
Jon Oliva
Scott Stapp
Serj Tankian
David Grohl
Chad Kroeger
Chris Lehmann
Justin Timberlake
Britney Spears

I'd give them all a 10, except the last two. I think they'd make good extras in the next Spinal Tap movie!

Anybody else you care to rate or comment on ?
I have to thank my wonderful wife Suzanne. I couldn't do this without her encouragement and support.

Last chance to thank or dis anybody out there ... ?
Gotta say thanks to all the people who get out there and support live music. There's something so awesome about the energy you can feel from a crowd when they're having a good time. Without them, we would have no reason to exist!

THANKS GARY ! Look forward to seeing you and Cylinder soon !