Dark Side of the Wall interview

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Dark Side of the Wall interview

The Dark Side of the Wall is not just another cover band made up of several members from other bands locally, in Louisville, Ky. Dark Side of the wall is a collective of multi -talented individual professionals who joined together to create a great masterpiece of tribute in honor of my favorite group, Pink Floyd.

With their combined talents these musicians have produced quite stunning performances evidenced by their latest concert in Louisville, Ky. These exceptional artists are extraordinarily dedicated to providing an awesome experience closely portraying their commitment, admiration and sincere appreciation for the artistry of Pink Floyd.

With true showmanship and teamwork they create astounding light shows sparing no expense with a drive to provide the very best they have to offer. With their combined talents they hit the nail on the head for creating the sound unique to Pink Floyd. Multi-talented band members show sincere dedication to music overall and give a sense of connection to Pink Floyd through their talents. These band members are to be congratulated on a job more than well done. Their passion for music is laced throughout every detail of their shows and performances. I was the most impressed with Myron, the sax player. His incredible talent took me back to moments in the past I shared only with Pink Floyd. Absolutely awesome, Myron. Thank you.

As a long time faithful Pink Floyd fan I have not readily accepted other performers who attempted to do any of Pink Floyd’s music because of the lack of true ability. But I must say in this instance these folks have done Pink Floyd proud. One of the words that best describes them is Professional. The other word would be Incredible. From beginning to end the talent never falters. Each musician, each voice compliments the other. Amazing


Daniel/LLM: Please introduce yourself, what part you play in the band and tell me if you had a choice, would you rather be trapped inside a wall or stranded on the moon?

Allen: My name is Allen Needham. I am the band’s producer as well as the lead, acoustic and steel guitarist. It might be interesting to what’s actually on the dark side of the moon.

Steve: My name is Steve Katsikas, I play keyboards and provide backing vocals for the band. I’d rather be stranded on the moon because both situations sound fatal, but only the lunar one would give me that awesome final view.

Jennifer: My name is Jennifer Lauletta. I sing backup and also perform “The Great Gig in the Sky.” I would freak if I were trapped inside a wall, so I’d rather be stranded on the moon where it’s open and the silence has a presence all its own.

Sarah: My name is Sarah Smith. I am a backup vocalist for the band. I’d much rather be stranded on the moon. It’s free, and open and seems much more adventurous.

Myron: I’m Myron Koch. I play sax on some songs, and was recently drafted to play bass whilst a uniform-clad Tony Z yells about riff raff getting into the room. About your first question: both sound pretty miserable. Flip a coin.

Caroline: My name is Caroline Petrik. I sing backup vocals as well as playing violin on a few tunes. I would definitely rather go to the moon. I have always been fascinated by space and would much prefer the vastness of the heavens to the claustrophobia of a wall. Heck, I might even push off the moon and just float as far as I could until the inevitable happened.

Mark: My name is Mark Whobrey. I play drums, sing backup vocals and do a few lead vocals here and there. I think I would prefer to be behind the wall because I enjoy counting bricks.

Daniel/LLM: Did you expect something like that for your first question?

Allen: No, more like “Why do you like Pink Floyd”

Steve: I was expecting something along the lines of “what is my favorite ANIMAL?” or maybe asking me if I knew the recipe for ummagumma pie.

Caroline: And no, I did not expect a first question like that. Very creative!

Jennifer: Absolutely not.

Myron: (silence)

Daniel/LLM: The name suggests Pink Floyd and the two stellar albums. So, are these the only albums you play from?

Steve: Not at all. The name reflects the two albums, but is an obvious reference to

Pink Floyd. You know what we do by our name.

Daniel/LLM: Do you do songs by other artists?

Mark: I expected to be asked about my line of sports brassieres.

Steve: Nope.

Daniel/LLM: Each of you are in other bands as well, right? Break it down for me here. Who are all the members in this band, what do they do and what other bands do they perform in?

Allen: I also play in “Fire Dept” and with Sarah in “Ballroom Blitz”.

Steve: I play keyboards and sing backing vocals in Dark Side, but I am also in an all-original progressive rock band called Little Atlas (where I sing lead). We just released our 4th album (which also features Dark Side Drummer, Mark Whobrey). And since you sort of asked, we’ll be performing in October at the New Vintage.

Myron: In the midwest, I play sax and wind synth in “Vessel” (vesselmania.com), and in

2014 will be touring the southern states with “Blu-Bop”, the world’s first-and-only Bela Fleck and the Flecktones tribute band (flecktonestribute.com). We have Bela’s blessing. (smiles)

Jennifer: I sing backup and “The Great Gig in the Sky.” I also sing for an Eric Clapton tribute band. I’ve formed my own jazz groups for more years than I’d like to admit. Since the rock bug bit me, I’ve begun forming my own rock/blues group called Jenny and the Jets.

Sarah: I sing backup vocals. I’ve done backup vocals for groups such as Wayne Young and the New Legends and Soul Inc. You can also spot me around town singing lead/backup vocals for Ballroom Blitz, The Sellouts and Tony and The Tanlines.

Caroline: I am currently the lead singer in a jazz trio called VoJazz. We are the house band at the Marketplace Restaurant on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. We just released our first album called Songs for Smiles. You can find this album, which is a good listen if I may say so myself, at the Marketplace Restaurant or on CD Baby online. I play with the Paducah Symphony, as well. I also teach violin, piano, and voice at Boaz Performance Academy in Floyds Knobs, IN.

Mark: As Steve K. stated I am a member of Little Atlas as well as Dark Side Of The Wall.

Daniel/LLM: What kind of impact did Pink Floyd have on you as you were growing up?

Allen: They have always been one of my favorites. When i was much younger, I was all about shredding the guitar, but a while ago I wanted a new musical challenge, play slower with more feel and also learn to play the steel guitar and recreate all the classic

David Gilmour tones.

Myron: My parents sent the single “another brick in the wall” with me to school for show-and-tell in the 4th grade. Of course, I knew I liked it personally, but I saw it’s universality when my classmates erupted in a chorus of “we don’t need no education”.

Steve: I wasn’t really into Pink Floyd as a kid, though my brother was. He was so obsessed with DSOTM that my parents took him to a psychologist (he was fine, BTW). I really got into them in college, starting with the Wish You Were Here album and working my way back and forth.

Jennifer: None. I knew the name and knew people were freaking over them, but I was busy doing floor-show performances in LA and Las Vegas and such. Even though Floyd was a product of my own generation, I never listened to them until I was invited to work with The Dark Side of the Wall. You might say that the impact happened after I grew up – or I might be in my second childhood.

Caroline: I didn’t listen to Pink Floyd at all growing up, but am grateful for the chance to immerse myself in this detailed, psychedelic, musical landscape now.

Mark: I can only say it caught my ear. I don’t know what made it stick out really. It is like trying to answer why your favorite color is whatever is it. It just feels right. I can say it did give me goosebumps at times.

Daniel/LLM: Do you find any groups nowadays coming close to the brilliant chemistry that made up Pink Floyd? At least for those particular two albums?

Allen: I love the creativity of Muse, most excellent.

Myron: That’s a tricky question. Those guys were cutting edge at their time, which

made them inaccessible to much of the public’s ears at the time. A modern equivalent might not be recognizable by most people for many years, but could turn out influential beyond measure in the years to come. Floyd’s Syd Barret albums, for instance, are easily traceable through much of today’s indie-oriented music, and examples are too numerous to mention. That being said, there are some bands/artists in the electronic genre that are really cutting ground, using a much wider palette of sounds than any previous group of artists. They have a fairly wide appeal already which will grow as the public becomes acclimated to new sounds. Watch the electronic groups. …and yeah, most of them will be overhyped. As usual, you have to sort through the garbage to get to the good.

Steve: I think Radiohead’s OK Computer is the 1990s equivalent of DSOTM. I also think Muse kind of channels the same adventurous spirit at times.

Caroline: I would agree with Steve that Radiohead has the same emotional draw for me as Pink Floyd. I also feel that some acts such as Florence and the Machine and SufjanStevens that are more solo centered acts are very creatively done and carry great emotional weight.

Mark: For me, the Steven Wilson band and his other band, Porcupine Tree, are the only groups to come along since Rush, Radiohead and Tool that have really gotten their hooks in me and won’t let go.

Daniel/LLM: This epic show you are putting on at the Iroquois Amphitheater, is this only once a year?

Allen: Currently once a year is what the Market would support, but we have been working on taking the show to more cities here in the mid-west.

Steve: Yes, we never know if we are going to do it again…we take it a year at a time.

Daniel/LLM: Describe this amazing event. I’ll see it in person but it’ll be after this interview. So get my imagination swirling. Try to trip me out with your description!

Allen: Sensory overload, imagine surround sound at an outdoor venue, this to our knowledge has never been done at Iroquois. Now you add in the theatrics of the character Pink, played by Tony Z, who also plays Bass for the band, and combine the visual and audio to present what we feel would be a Floyd concert done today.

Steve: We perform the songs with reverence, but not with a slavish dedication to perfection. You’ll hear vintage instruments, 7 part vocals, a brilliant sax player in Myron Koch, psychedelic soundscapes, and it will all be presented in a way that is theatrical, big, and over the top. All the while, the audio excursion is accompanied by video, uniquely designed to support the music and enhance the experience. Plan on going back in time and forward into the future, often in the same moment.

Daniel/LLM: I hear this is usually a sold out show. Do you plan on taking it to a bigger level? Also, do you ever perform this in other cities?

Steve: We do this show to share the celebration of the music. It’s a very spiritual thing for us. As we look out into the audience, we know we are sharing an experience that binds us all together. It is our plan to take the show out on the road next year.

Daniel/LLM: It does sound like an impressive show! What is the most impressive show you ever attended?

Allen: Pink Floyd 1995 in Detroit and of course Roger Water the Wall tour.

Steve: I have to answer that question by imagining shows in the moment (rather than comparing all of them in one fell swoop). I think seeing Pink Floyd in 1987 in Rupp Arena cannot be topped.

Caroline: There are many acts I would still love to see, but I had a ton of fun at the last DMB show I attended. Also, My Morning Jacket played at the last show I saw and they outshone the lead act in music and stage presence.

Jennifer: I’m really into the performance side of music, so I’d have to say Liza Minelli in “Liza with a Z.” It was too late to see Judy at Carnegie, so I got the next best thing.

Myron: It’s a tie: Pink Floyd and Phish. If Floyd passed the “production torch” to any one band, Phish is it, without a doubt.

Mark: Pink Floyd again !The Hoosier dome in 1994. Best concert to date.

Daniel/LLM: Speaking of impressive which of these odd scenarios would you find most and least impressive?

A dog digging up a bone and taking it to a police station

Pinky and the Brain finally taking over the world

Juicy Fruit making a soda version of itself to compete with Mountain Dew

Roger Waters and David Gilmore hugging it out. Then maybe also sharing lovers with each other

Caroline: I’ve always wished dogs could talk, so the first scenario is most exciting to me.

Steve: I’d say avoid the orange punch, Daniel, it’s bad for your brain, m-kay? 😉

Jennifer: Woosh – right over my head, but I loved Juicy Fruit when I was a kid.

Sarah: Two cartoon lab mice taking over the world would indeed be rather impressive.

Myron: Hm. I, um….I dunno.

Mark: Like they said at Woodstock. “Don’t take the brown acid.” Pinky and the Brain would probably do better at running things than any politician, however.

Daniel/LLM: Did those suggestions trip you out?

Steve: I play Floyd, so no.

Myron: a little?

Jennifer: I sing Floyd, but. . .yeah.

Mark: I like Turtles!

Sarah: Not really, no. Not sure whether or not that’s a good or bad thing…ha.

Daniel/LLM: Where can people go for more about you?

Steve: www.thedarksideofthewall.com

Daniel/LLM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Steve: I just want to thank everyone who supports the band, lives and loves music, and my incredible band mates who give me a psychological vacation every time we play this incredible music.

Jennifer: Just as I had decided to begin backing out of the business, Steve and Alleninvited me to become a part of The Dark Side of the Wall. My musical life got a kick-start in a totally different direction, and I’m loving every minute of it.

Daniel/LLM: I like to always ask that signature last question I am known well for. So, let’s say you were messing around with new sounds on your instrument. There is a particular chord arrangement that made you visualize a time in history or another planet where a psychedelic trip was the norm. What do you think you’d see, what was that chord arrangement and which of your favorite songs would best represent this?

Myron: As far as I can tell, a psychedelic trip IS the norm on planet earth. This is a pretty trippy planet we live on in general, and thanks to scientific advances, it’s going to get oh-so-trippier in the coming decades, as long as some huge catastrophic event doesn’t grind humanity to a halt. Sidenote: I’d love to play a concert in space with planet Earth as the backdrop.

Caroline: An F Major add 2 add 4 would make me feel like I was in a thunderstorm of oranges and sparkly dolphins on Jupiter.

Steve: ummm…blue, no green. Ahhhhhhhh.

Mark: The chord arrangement from We Built This City by Starship is perhaps the most amazing thing ever. I can not elaborate any further without getting all emotional about it’s greatness. It even relieves occasional irregularity.

Daniel/LLM: Thanks for the time. I hope you enjoyed the interview! I’m looking forward to this mighty show which we will have a review for. Thanks for the tickets!

Daniel C. Morrison – Louisville Limelight Magazine

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