Name: Ken Petrie, Jr. Birth: 7.30.82: New Orleans, LA Instruments: Bass, Guitar, Bagpipes My Story Had my next door neighbor not bought an electric guitar roughly ten years ago, I doubt that I would've ever realized that I had any musical skills what-so-ever. I picked it up one day and just started picking out riffs from anywhere music could be heard. It all just snowballed from there. I eventually bought the guitar from my neighbor (don't worry. He officially lost interest. This wasn't a hostile takeover or anything!) and, like most new musicians, practiced for countless hours every day. My father, a radio salesman, reccomended that I take up the bass, knowing that bassists are usually harder to come across than guitarists. He felt so strongly about this, in fact, that my next instrument was an electric blue Fender Jazz Bass w/ a Peavey Minx 110 amp. Not even knowing what a 'bass guitar' was until seeing my new Fender, I started feeling my way around on it in the exact same manner I had been on guitar for the past few months: by ear. I took lessons for a few months, but it made music in general seem so 'sterile,' for lack of a better word, that it seemed to take the art out of it. From there I just decided that if there was something I wanted/needed to know, I could just look it up. My influences at the time were mostly classic rock (ZZ Topp, Aerosmith), heavy metal/speed metal (Metallica, Slayer, Ozzy), and the like. While in high school, the radio station my father worked for was on some strange mailing list from Metal Blade Records (which, if the name didn't give it away, is a huge metal label) whereby sets of promotional CD's would be sent to the office each month (I guess they assumed that if the station played Van Halen and Journey, what's wrong with playing Cradle of Filth, right?). Since the station had absolutely no use for this music, guess who heard every last disc? Hearing everything from Armoured Saint to Cannibal Corpse tremendously improved my skills as well as my creativity. One day, however, I came across a Progressive rock CD from a group called Dream Child. This was my first real taste of anything 'progressive' and it blew me away. Odd time signatures, riffs that sounded heavy & fast w/o sounding so damn angry, I had never heard music like this before. It didn't take me long to realize that progressive was truly my favorite flavour of the Rock genre. It wasn't until late high school that I joined Actinium, a 3-piece hard rock group involving myself on guitar, Steven W. on Bass, and Aaron L. on drums. We were all in the marching band (what, you weren't?) and our trio could commonly be found at football games cranking out 'Crazy Train' during the '3rd quarter break.' We have a few originals, and when completed, I'll likely post them as well. From there I was introduced into the world of jazz. It started when I joined my high school's jazz band. We tried gigging off campus as an 8 piece group called 'The Wise Guys.' We even had, dare I say it ... uniforms. Not just any uniforms, NO, sequened vests w/ matching hats (guess who showed up after everyone had picked their colors and was stuck with hot pink?!). After eveyone had graduated, I switched to bass, joined with trumpet player Charlie K. and drummer Aaron L. (from Actinium), and kept on gigging as '3 Straight Up.' We're still gigging to this day (in fact, I'll probably be putting our CD up here soon). I'm also involved with my college jazz combos and am doing a few gigs here and there with them, but I personally think my old high school chums and I have much more potential as professional entertainers. My most recent musical influence comes directly from my lineage: bagpipes. I've been playing for roughly 4 1/2 years now in a group called 'Kilts of Many Colours' (whose name is a creative attempt by the pipe major to cover the fact that we're too broke to afford matching kilts), all the while soaking up the essence of the celtic sound. If you haven't heard much celtic music, I highly recommend listening to more. To recap, my current influences are: Dream Theater (not to be confused w/ Dream Child), Jaco Pastorius (argued as THE best fusion jazz bassist that ever lived), Dave Weckl (heavy funk/fusion/rock style: just my taste), Bill Evans (jazz guru as well as alumnus of my university), Greg Howard (virtuoso of the 'Chapman Stick.' I recommend looking up both him and the instrument), The Rogues (extremely talented bagpipe gruop), as well as my 'roots.' Slightly different than my list of ten years ago, eh? About the Briffs As far as writing is concerned, I've been writing original music for just about as long as I've been a musician, but my ear has dramatically evolved through the years. I still try to write in different styles, not limiting myself to just one genre, but what I've put on 'The Briffs' (the first CD I've posted) is something of a fusing together of the styles I've picked up over the years. What makes things difficult for me is the fact that I can't find musicians to perform live with. Therefore, the entire CD is all layered. The bass and guitar is all live, all drums are synthetic (parts written by me), and the keyboard on the first three tracks is also synthetic (parts written by me). I'm trying to show my skills as a bassist/guitarist, not a keyboardist or a drummer. My good friend/'3 Straight Up' bandmate Charlie K. did all of the recording/mixing (thanks). I hope you enjoy. There's more on the way.