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Gary Nightingale

As a youth growing up in Fredericton, Gary Nightingale was exposed to a lot of music at a young age thanks mostly to his father Wayne, a well know local musician who has performed for many years with Fredericton folk group The Diamond Trio. However the younger Nightingale's musical calling was of a different nature than his dads after discovering rock music on the radio. Since those days Nightingale gone on to perform with such local bands as Kradle, Holy Order and Power Syndrome and has now been playing drums seriously for over 18 years. Today, Nightingale is content to work as his computer business while still being drawn to his love of making music. He has released 2 solo CDs and has no plans on slowing down anytime soon. This interview was conducted with Mr. Nightingale in the spring of 2003.

* Tell me about how you first got started in music and what year. Was your dad an influence?

My father was a complete influence yes. I was exposed to music at a very young age,.. I was playing guitar by the age of four. I used to hear him practicing all of the time - which led to me playing his guitar when he wasn't home - one of the first songs I learned how to play (basically - I was only four!) was "More than a feeling" by Boston... I learned how to play the main verse riff and the chorus by ear,. when I was in grade four I took my fathers electric guitar and amp to school and performed "More than a feeling" in front of the school,.. needless to say some people were a little shocked I think (the guitar amp was bigger than me!). I played around a little more the following years but I did not get serious about playing until I was 16. When I was 16 I used to play along *air band* with Motley Crew videos and VanHalen videos,. I had a set of drum sticks and I would just pretend I was playing,. well,. one of my friends thought I looked like I was actually playing these songs and wanted me to try and play them on a set of drums - I rented a set of drums from Tony's Music Box (for $25.00 if you can believe that); set them up on a Saturday Night; set up my cassette player; put in Van Halen's "Jump" - a bunch of my friends watched as I played Van Halen's Jump beat for beat,. it freaked me [and them] out as I really did seem to know how to play drums and I had never even sat behind a set.... I then played "Looks that Kill" by Motley Crew,. and once again - beat for beat I knew the song - which was all the evidence I needed to get started...

* Why did you choose to play drums?

It seemed to come naturally. I learned how to play drums by playing along with bands that I liked at first. I eventually got to a point that I was not moving ahead - I was simply getting better at what I already knew so - drum lessons were next - for six years. I studied drum theory under the Marketing and Communications Manager for Sabian Cymbals. With that knowledge I went on to more difficult material - I have learned to play almost every song Rush has come out with! Another band I play along with on a regular basis is Dream Theatre - I love the Ytse Jam!

* What was the first band you played with and at what year?

Hmmm,. I would say the first *real band* I played in was called Kradle (1986). This band toured all over Canada - we lived on the road - from city to city, bar to bar,.. I stayed with them for about 2 years.

* Your next band Holy Order recorded and album right?

Yes, I joined Holy Order after listening to their demo tape. It was just guitars and bass; no vocals or drums; - I was completely blown away within minutes of hearing it - it was truly unique. After being with the band for one year, Holy Order, was signed to a small recording contract with a Label in Europe. Holy Order's material was released on vinyl and sold several thousand copies in Europe. I still receive fan mail from that release, which was over 14 years ago.

* Tell me about your home studio without getting too technical?

As you are aware I play all of the instruments myself - as a result, a home based studio is pretty much required. I have a 16 track digital studio that is still growing.

* Tell me about you musical past with Power Syndrome, the cd and about the airplay you got in Italy?

I played in Power Syndrome for 6 years. We Released a CD "Bring it On" - the bulk of which were sold in Japan, Germany and Italy. I have a copy of a radio stations play list where Van Halen's song "Right Now" was number 14 and Power Syndrome's song "Urban Hell" was number one for over four weeks. We sold a great deal of CD's in Italy as a direct result.

* Any info you want to share about the recording of your solo cds

In order to record a song, I have to first "lay down the drum track" which is rather difficult as I have to do this "without any music accompaniment" - then the rhythm guitar; then bass; then keyboards; vocals; harmonies; solo guitar is last. After everything has been recorded (which can take up to 1 to 2 months per song) the song has to be mixed, mastered and finally burned onto a CD.

* You play all instruments right on them? When did you learn to play guitar,bass?

Well, I started playing guitar at a very young age - I play completely by ear - never had a lesson in my life. My experience with playing with so many bands that quite frankly had guitar wizards in them was like "learning on the job". I seem to able to learn merely by watching and listening. The bass is totally simple for me to play; bass and drums go together like bread and butter; I already know *exactly* what the drummer is playing - so playing along is a piece of cake..

The first time I played bass, I turned on "Distant Early Warning" by Rush (I already knew how to play the drums to this song and I had played this song with Power Syndrome for years - I knew it inside and out) - turned on my bass and played along with ease. It was another strange thing for me to realize that playing bass seemed to easy for me,..

* How long did each one take to do, what was it like working with yourself. Anyone else help you out.

Each song takes about one to two months to complete. Working alone has one main benefit - no one argues with me! hehe,. I pretty much get my own way. The whole experience is actually quite weird - when I sit back and listen it does not seem real to me - I would actually say that each time I write a song and record it I ask myself "how did I do that?".

* Where can someone get your cds. your website only?

The CD's will be mainly used for the record labels that I will be sending them to along with a video DVD I am in the process of shooting now. As a solo artist, I can not afford to professionally record, press, and release multiple CD's and because my CD "demo" has not been professionally recorded I do not feel that I can charge for it - that is just my take on it - I give them away to people that ask for one.

* What do you do now to keep busy?

I am the President of IBS (Internet Business Solutions) Ltd. - - which is a full Internet Service Provider minus the dial up service and a CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) Certified Registrar. We provide web hosting, web site design, email, ftp access and domain name registrations for several thousands of customers world wide. IBS Ltd. also designs custom software, shoots video, provides Internet training and other services as well.

* Any plays on forming a band again or are you too busy now?

I am so involved in "doing my own thing" that being in a band does not seem to be an option at this point - I do have "my days" where I miss it big time - but I have a set course - "a plan of action" - and I continue to follow it. It is not easy!! I have little notes I leave for myself around my house that tell me simply "NO!" - I dreadfully miss playing in bands but I feel I am getting close to an unfulfilled dream - so I continue to resist the temptation of joining a group.

Photos courtesy of Jeff Chase.

Click here to go to the Official Gary Nightingale Web site
Click here to go to IBS (Internet Business Solutions) Ltd.
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