I recently took part in the PledgeMusic campaign for Armored Saint’s new live record called ‘Carpe Noctum’. One of the donation packages was a phone call with one of the members of the band of your choosing. I jumped on this opportunity to talk to one of the guys from one of my favorite bands of all time. I saw the Saint open for Queensryche in November of this past year and took part in the meet and greet at that show. I got to meet the band on their tour bus with a handful of other Armored Saint fans. It was such a great experience and all the guys were so genuine, welcoming, and friendly. John in particular really dug my classic old school Exciter – Heavy Metal Maniac t-shirt that I had on.
Joey Vera’s (bassist) wife has been handling a lot of the coordination and contacting in regards to the meet and greet and the PledgeMusic stuff. She emailed me the day and time that John would be calling me. The date was set for Friday 1/6/16 at 11:30am CST. I was actually at work, but I managed to find a vacant conference room and nestled in for my chat with the mighty John Bush.
John asked me where in the country I was and when I told him Houston, he asked if I attended the show in November. I told him I did and also told him that I was on the tour bus that night as well and that I was the guy in the Exciter shirt. John immediately remembered me. I cannot stress enough how humble and down to earth he is. Just an all-round awesome and good guy. The conversation was so comfortable and flowed naturally. No strangeness or awkward pauses. He asked about my ethnic background, my family, work, etc. He told me how he was initially on the fence about the PledgeMusic campaign and was conflicted about charging fans in that manner. I told him there’s a misconception from a lot of people that bands that do this and meet and greets are somehow profiteering when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Due to lack of record sales; bands have to come up with new and different ways to generate income to keep the band going. In the end he said he was really happy with the process and loves meeting and talking with fans. We talked about travel and how the band got to play in Japan for the first time in their existence recently. He said he hopes that the band can get down to play some places in South America that they haven’t been to yet. We really connected on our common experience of doing voice-over work. I told him about my short stint working at ADV Films in Houston and how I did voice-overs on a bunch of Anime cartoons. I also told him about my recent work as the voice for the Health Start e-book and video game. He told me I had a great voice and encouraged me to keep doing it. We also talked about kids and lamented the state of the digital age in which everything is instantaneous and disposable. As far as what’s happening with the Saint in 2017; he said there are a couple of shows scheduled for this year in Chicago and Wisconsin. He also said hopefully they’ll be playing some of the festivals in Europe.