PLACE OF BIRTH
The Firs Maternity Home, Leigh, Lancashire, UK
Guitars, amps 'n stuff. Doh!
ESP Explorer - with active EMGs.
ESP (LTD) Explorer w/ Floyd Rose Trem.
3 x Ibanez RG Series, Yamaha Drop 6, Jackson Shark Fin 7 string
Yamaha Compass Series 12 & string acoustics.
Marshall Amps & Cabs.
Boss GT10 Effects.
FAVOURITE TEN TRACKS
Ten Fathoms Deep
FIRST MUSICAL HEROES
TOP 3 FILMS
Night Of The Demon (1957)
Aliens (Director's Cut) (1986)
TOP 3 BOOKS
I've read 100s and can't really choose, due to my eclectic taste, but here's some:
Mark Ronson - Ghoul (1980)
Ben Kane - Rome (2010)
The Newgate Calendar (1774
- As old as me haha)
Bosdin Leech - History Of The Manchester Ship Canal (1907)
Chris Ayres - I Am Ozzy (2010)
Guy Martin - Guy Martin (2014)
Arnold Swarzenegger - Total Recall (2010)
Fred Dibnah - Made In Britain (2010)
TOP 3 CITIES
TOP 3 FOODS
Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodles
TOP 3 DRINKS
JD & Coke
DESERT ISLAND TOP 5
TEN - The Name Of The Rose
KISS - Destroyer
Metallica - The Black Album
Van halen - I
Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime
DREAM LIVE VENUE
Manchester Arena or
The Apollo Theatre Manchester
(Manchester is TEN's spiritual home and we've played neither venue in our 20 years of existance, which to me is just wrong.)
1) Which are your main musical influences?
Everything in short, but that’s not really answering the question is it? When I first discovered rock music, in the 70’s (yes I’m that old) we had what you would call today ‘Classic Rock Bands’. So it’s bands like:’ Deep Purple, Rainbow, Kiss, Slade, Sweet, Black Sabbath, The Eagles, Rush, Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, Magnum, UFO, Van Halen, Foreigner, Whitesnake etc. Then the ‘NWOBHM’ happened (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) and I got into bands like Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head etc. Later came:- Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Ratt, Queensryche, Metallica, Megadeth, Guns ‘n’ Roses . . . I think you get the picture. Basically if it was good, I liked it, and it became an influence.
2) Which are the most challenging TEN tracks to play live?
‘The Loneliest Place in the World’ is one that springs to mind, although we haven’t played it in its entirety since the ‘Vinny’ era. It has a very tricky arrangement, lose concentration even for a second and you’re f***ed, plus it was around 10mins long, and we also played it in two different keys, first half in Em and second (solo section) in Am, get the picture? It’s probably why we don’t play it any more, ha, ha! Still one of my favourite TEN tracks of all time, Gary and Vinny doing what they do best.
3) What's your first childhood memory of doing something rock related?
The memory that springs to mind is taking my latest record sleeves into art class, everyone did it back then. I remember having to get special permission to do a copy of Whitesnake’s ‘Lovehunter’ because it was considered (by my art teacher) to be ‘pornographic’, how times change. Incidentally that cover artwork was illustrated by Chris Achilleos who I actually got to meet in person many years later when Gary and I went over to his house to choose a cover for the TEN album ‘Return to Evermore’, whoever would have thought? ...cool stuff!
4) Which are your favourite three songs of all time?
Another very difficult question and impossible to answer because it changes all the time literally from day to day depending on my mood. The only way I can answer this is to say the favourite songs I’m listening to today are:- Halestorm - Here’s to Us, Stone Sour - Haunt Me, WASP - Wild Child, A Lil’ ‘Ain’t Enough - David Lee Roth ...but really there are 100’s more and many of them are actually TEN compositions.
5) Who would play you if a movie about the band was made?
God I don’t know? Hmmm...? Probably Johnny Depp because he’s my age, got a similar beard and is getting a bit ‘fat’ around the middle just like me!
6) What was your first day job?
‘Not a lot of people know this’ (doing my best Michael Cain impression) but I’m a fully qualified Interior and Exhibition Designer. My first job after leaving college was working for a large Development Corporation in Warrington as a Junior 3D Designer. This was before the advent of computers in the design industry (again, yes I’m that old) when everything was still done by hand on a drawing board.
7) Which hobbies/interests you have that could surprise people?
I’m really into engineering and mechanical things. This interest come from my father who was a Foreman Mechanic. I grew up in a world of ‘oil and engines’ with motorbikes, cars and trucks everywhere. I’m also very interested in industrial history and archaeology and have many books on the subject, yeah I know, what a geek!
8) Which are your favourite sports/teams?
I’m not really a sports person as in football etc. My thing is motor racing and bike racing (e.g. Isle of Man TT) but if I had to pick a team it would be my home town Leigh (Rugby League). I’m also a keen cyclist but hate all the ‘lycra clad ponces’ that go around clogging up roads at the weekend. I try to distance myself from all that ‘nonsense’ and do more off road ‘mountain bike’ stuff.
9) Where is your favourite place in the world?
Sat drinking a JD and Coke watching the sun go down in the Canary Islands with my partner Jane, it doesn’t get better than that, simples!
10) Who is your favourite musician?
This goes back to when I first started to show an interest in electric guitar and it has to be Edward Van Halen. One of the first concerts I ever attended was when Van Halen were in support of Black Sabbath (Manchester Apollo - May 1978). I can’t describe the impact his playing had on me, (and everyone else for that matter) it was like he’d come from outer space, it was a game changer, and it was happening right there in front of me. I couldn’t believe a guitar could sound like his did? It sounded like keyboards to my young ears. No one knew about ‘fret tapping’ back then and Eddie did his best to hide most of it from us because I do remember him turning his back on the audience when he played parts of ‘Eruption’.
11) What is your favourite breakfast cereal?
Full English - sorry I don’t do rabbit food.
12) What is your favourite music guilty pleasure?
For me it’s the Lady Rock Singers - particularly:-
Lzzy Hale (probably the best rock vocalist around at the moment). Amy Lee, Taylor Momsen and Sharon Den Adel. I also like Southern flavoured rock bands:- Lynryd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Black Stone Cherry and Blackberry Smoke. Oh and while we’re at it I’m quite partial to a bit of ‘Marilyn Manson’.
13) What is the proudest moment in your musical career so far?
Ten’s very first show in Japan at Club ‘Citta’ back in 1996. I remember looking around at the whole band and thinking wow, ‘this band is on fire tonight and ready to take on the world.’ Those first two records that we toured, (X & The Name Of The Rose) in my opinion, were Gary and Vinny at their musical peak and I was just very proud to be part of it.
14) Which would you say have been your role models in life?
Without doubt my father Richard Halliwell and Fred Dibnah OBE, both hard working Lancastrian men who took no shit from anyone and did ‘it’ their way.
Don’t get too busy seeing if you could, when it’s better to stop and think if you really should?