Gregorian Rock combines ancient with modern to create a serene, yet pummeling sound.
Bio, short version
Once upon a time, a friend of a friend invited me to play keyboards in his country band. I had no experience (classically trained) nor love of country music, but I agreed. They paid me to have fun.
I didn't even know that was possible. Every paying gig I'd had up to that point was low wage, low skill, manual labor.
It was then I knew music was my future.
While searching for a new sound, this idea came to me: combine ancient with modern to create a serene, yet pummeling sound. I take Gregorian chant-style vocals and support it with progressive rock energy/instrumentation, and presto, Gregorian Rock!
I play keyboards, electronic wind instrument, Chapman Stick, and sing. You will hear the influence of my classical background, with hints of Neal Morse, Skillet, Iona, Frost, and 70s prog.
Bio, long version
My first name is actually Roland. My parents had the foresight to name me after the well known music equipment company in the hopes of securing an endorsement deal one day. Okay, that's not completely true, except my first name really is Roland and I really would like to get an endorsement deal. I was actually named after a French knight you can read about in the 12th century epic poem, "The Song of Roland".
Growing up, piano lessons were forced upon me for many years. I hated it. It wasn't until I stopped taking lessons that I discovered that playing piano was enjoyable.
Along the way, I discovered the Switched-On Bach records. Then a friend gave me the triple live albums "Welcome Back My Friends" (by ELP) and "Yessongs" (by Yes). There are lots of other musical influences, but those three run the deepest. As a result I bought my first keyboard, a Minimoog. After I played my first paying gig in a band (a country band!) I had a new career goal.
So I earned my degree in music from the University of North Texas. I and a guitarist friend formed a band with some guys with similar musical taste. We spent more than three years playing sporadically and struggling to keep the band together. When the band disintegrated for the last time, I was left with the sound system and the debt.
I refer to these years as my "starving musician period".
Eventually all the musical doors closed completely, I became highly disillusioned, and quit music entirely. About ten years later, I began playing again, but at my church. Music had returned to my life, but in a new frame.
In 2013 the first Gregorian Rock album was released. My third album, "Fire", has just come out.
Although keyboards are my main instruments, I also play a WX7 midi wind controller (an electronic wind instrument - EWI) and Chapman Stick.
The radio in my truck is usually found tuned in to the classical station. Some of the music that gets a lot of play on the iPod is Iona, Neal Morse, Frost, and Skillet (see links below).
Some of my favorite artists:- Neal Morse nealmorse.com
- Frost frost.life