ERIC BLACKWOOD & ANTHONY J. FOTI ..... (Blackwood & Foti, Closenuf, Edison's Children)
REV. DR. BILL GRAM ..... (Killing For Christ)
PHIL JONES ..... (Phil Jones Band)
THEO CEDAR JONES ..... (Swaybone)
SCOTT KELLY ..... (Neurosis)
SETH MAJKA Interview 1
SETH MAJKA Interview 2
UNCLE BOB NYC ..... (3tles)

J.D. BRADSHAW ..... (Debbie Caldwell Band)
PAUL CROOK ..... (Anthrax, Meat Loaf, Sebastian Bach)
NICK DOUKAS ..... (Full Circle, Half Angel, student of John Petrucci & Al Pitrelli)
DAX PAGE ..... (Kirra)
MARTY PARIS ..... (Paris Keeling, Permanent Reverse, Barbarian Way)
RUINED MACHINES & MICHAL BRODKA ..... (Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 1
RUINED MACHINES (aka KENYON IV) ..... (World Of Rock Records, Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 2
CHRIS SANDERS ..... (Knight Fury, Lizzy Borden, Nadir D'Priest, Ratt)
TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY & DAMOND JINIYA ..... (Rebel Pride Band, Under The Gun Project)
"METAL" DAN SORBER ..... (Thy Kingdom Done, Ferox Canorus)
ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 1
ERIC STROTHERS & ZACH LORTON ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2
CHRIS MICHAEL TAYLOR ..... (Carmine & Vinny Appice's Drum Wars, Sunset Strip, Hair Nation)

A.L.X. ..... (Love Crushed Velvet)
GRAHAM BONNET ..... (Rainbow, Alcatrazz)
JOE DENIZON ..... (Stratospheerius, Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp, Sweet Plantain)
DORO ..... (Warlock)
TOMMY FARESE ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Kings Of Christmas, A Place Called Rage)
ANTHONY J. FOTI & ERIC BLACKWOOD ..... (Blackwood & Foti, Closenuf, Edison's Children)
ANGIE GOODNIGHT ..... (Fill The Void)
CORNELIUS GOODWIN ..... (12/24 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Band)
DAMOND JINIYA & TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY ..... (Savatage, Retribution, Under The Gun Project)
STEFAN KLEIN ..... (Dethcentrik, Dod Beverte, f.k.k.d.) Interview 1
STEFAN KLEIN ..... (Dethcentrik, Dod Beverte, f.k.k.d.) Interview 2
GUY LEMONNIER ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Kings Of Christmas, Wizards Of Winter)
ZACH LORTON & ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2
PARK SIPES ..... (Sunset Strip, Barbarian Way, Tune In To Mind Radio Kelly Keeling Tribute album)
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 1
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 2

SCOTT KELLY ..... (Wizards Of Winter)
ERIK NORLANDER ..... (Asia Featuring John Payne, Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane)
MICHAEL T. ROSS ..... (Lita Ford, Missing Persons, Raiding The Rock Vault Las Vegas Revue)

DAVE CRIGGER ..... (Foghat, World XXI, Michael Fath)
CHRIS NUNES ..... (Ornament Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Band)
JOHN WETTON ..... (Asia, King Crimson, Roxy Music)

RAFA MARTINEZ ..... (Black Cobra)


RODNEY MILES & ALISON TAYLOR ..... (365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes Book)
SEVEN (aka ALAN SCOTT PLOTKIN) ..... (Exile In Rosedale author, Public Enemy, Busta Rhymes)
ALISON TAYLOR & RODNEY MILES ..... (365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes Book)

MATT CHABE ..... (Bangtown Timebomb, Chapter Two Marketing)
JAMES MOORE ..... (Independent Music Promotion, Your Band Is A Virus Book)

MIKE "THE BIG CHEESE" CATRICOLA ..... (Heavy Metal Mayhem Podcast, Stillborn)

February 17, 2013

"Make It Sound Like Dokken Meets Dio" An Interview With PARK SIPES of SUNSET STRIP, BARBARIAN WAY

Feb 2013 (e-mail)

Park Sipes is North Carolina based lead singer of the 80's cover band Sunset Strip, featuring rising star guitarist Chris Michael Taylor (Carmine & Vinny Appice Drums Wars, Hair Nation) & also with the Christian rock band Barbarian Way with guitarists Marty Paris (Paris Keeling, Permanent Reverse) & guitarist/vocalist Steve Goatley. In 2012 he contributed 2 tracks to Tune In to Mind Radio: A Tribute To Multi-Talented Vocalist Kelly Keeling, performing both with instruments & voice, on songs written by Keeling of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Baton Rouge, King Kobra & a host of other bands. He's one of the many rising stars on the scene aiming for something other than the alt rock the populates the music charts.

I had Tune In To Mind Radio sent to me for my reviews blog & recognized all the contributors on the EP except for Sipes. But, he we shared the mutual friendship of Marty Paris & with a little more research I discovered he fronted the band Sunset Strip of which another friend had gotten off the ground over the past year. Anyone who works with Taylor & Paris I knew was talented & worthy of reaching out to & supporting. The fact that I found his age was a bit younger than the voice I heard also impressed me. I appreciated him answering some questions over e-mail about the Kelly Keeling tribute & other activities in his musical landscape & it's a pleasure to share a rising star on the horizon. For those that say there's no guitar heros left or not great singers or no great rockers ... they are if you look for them. I know a few.

Special thanks to my friend Sandy Serge, executive producer of Tune In To Mind Radio & owner of Surgeland Records, for making this happen.

* * * *

AJ: How did you get involved with the Kelly Keeling tribute album Tune In To Mind Radio?

PARK: A while ago, Sandy Serge of Surgeland Records contacted me about choosing a song to perform on a compilation album as a tribute to the artist Kelly Keeling. It sounded fun, so I obliged.

AJ: How familiar were you with Keeling's music or career before contributing to the album?

PARK: I was first introduced to Kelly’s voice from guitarist George Lynch’s album Furious George [album of classic rock covers featuring Keeling on vocals & keyboards]. This was circa 2005. Being a singer, I was impressed with his skill & personality. I then dove into more stuff, like BATON ROUGE & his solo album Giving Sight to the Eye (which happens to have "Rising Of The Snake" [one of the songs on the tribute album]).

AJ: How did you come to choose “Rising of the Snake“?

PARK: Since I was only doing one track for the CD, I wanted something upbeat. Sandy presented me with a list & I was already familiar with “Rising Of The Snake.”

AJ: How did you approach interpreting Keeling's song?

PARK: When I demoed the track, I basically did a cover; essentially an exact copy of the track in the same key. Sandy sort of intervened & wanted a different vibe to the song, to give listeners a reason to hear the new version. I then decided to slow it down a bit, change the key & make it sound like a DOKKEN meets DIO vibe (at least that was my aim).

AJ: Can you tell me something about bassist Mike Qualls & drummer Dallas Holder you recruited to play behind you?

PARK: Mike is a friend of mine who happens to enjoy playing bass. He performs for his church & I thought it would fun to include him. To be honest, nothing besides the novelty of being on a track with a friend was involved in the thought process. I met Dallas through Marty Paris & Steve Goatley. I enjoyed his work ethic, his personality & his availability.

AJ: On your 2 contributions to the album you work with Marty Paris. It was quite unexpected to hear your rock version of "Rising Of The Snake" & then go to a quasi-Americana take of "Free". Any thoughts on that second song with you, Marty & Steve Goatley?

PARK: It’s all a network & availability situation. Marty & Steve wanted to include “Free” on an album of some sort & since I was around, I sat down & played the bass & synth parts to fill up the otherwise purely acoustic song. Again, Steve, Marty & Dallas are all good guys.

AJ: You & Marty have a band called BARBARIAN WAY. Can you tell me more about this outing?

PARK: The band BARBARIAN WAY has been more of an idea for years now. Marty wanted to do a Contemporary Christian album & had a few songs written. He met up with Steve Goatley somewhere along the way & started writing with him. I’m excited that they want to include me in the project. However, I am more or less a utility player involved. Marty’s goal is to complete the album this year & go out to support the reason for making it.

AJ: Marty is known for being very helpful - such as through his NYC/NJ SKULLS PROJECT & helping your bandmate Chris Michael Taylor, amongst others - how did you 2 hook up?

PARK: I met Marty at the same time Chris did. I was in a band with Chris called STANDOUT when we were in our teens. After generating some local buzz, Marty was informed about us & eventually came to sit in on a rehearsal. It progressed from there. I consider Marty a dear friend outside of the music aspect.

AJ: Speaking of your bandmate, tell me about SUNSET STRIP.

PARK: SUNSET STRIP is classic rock tribute act. Chris has a deeply rooted passion for playing that type of genre (80s rock). He formed a band of musicians & basically called me up while I was doing some studio stuff in Tampa, FL. I crammed a set-list (most of which I was already familiar) on the way home & joined a rehearsal. The band is great & is comprised of awesome musicians. Basically anything outside of that is up to personal perspective. It’s a fun show.

AJ: Now, I have to confess on “Rising Of The Snake” you remind me vocally of Jon Bon Jovi. That’s a compliment. What’s your musical background?

PARK: Well, I’ve been a fan of hard rock for a long time. Despite my involvement in piano lessons, voice lessons & guitar lessons, I mainly didn’t gather a deep 'love for music' (as the cliché is used) until I didn’t have that obligation to attend a lesson. I later picked up on the theory aspect (& am still learning & developing different styles all the time). I play guitar, keys, bass & things like that, but I don’t profess to be a guitar player or anything besides singing. Singing is open to debate & in my opinion a grey area. I enjoy it the most & feel it’s my strongest presentation. As far as the Bon Jovi thing, I don’t know – Ha. Bands I enjoy the most are DIO, WINGER, SAVATAGE, DOKKEN & others of the such. I also write poetry & try to translate that type of influence to my lyrics (which you will hear in my upcoming solo album). I want people to be able to relate, but I’m not into pandering to the lowest common denominator, ya know? I’m not in any way insulting anyone. I just like what I like.

AJ: Anything I’m not getting related to your current activities or things folks should know about you?

PARK: I’m working on a solo record at the moment & will eventually begin performing it in support of said record. If my current endeavors pan out the way I intend, you’ll be hearing more from me. Of the millions of bands & artists out there, it’s naïve to think people will dig your stuff. My main goal is to do what I can, as best as I can & let the rest follow.

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