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| 12 December 2017 | Reply

It is so hard sometimes getting a neutral perspective when talking to a musician that also happens be a longtime friend, but it isn’t hard at all when that friend is guitarist extraordinaire Pete Evick.  A music junkie himself, he goes beyond being a guitarist in the Bret Michaels Band.  He is an accomplished musician in his own right, as well as producer, mixer, author (be sure to pick up a copy of The Moments That Make Us if you don’t have one), business person, friend, and father.  It is always a good time exchanging texts and phone calls with Pete because he is genuine – he cares about what he does and those around him.  After a little coordination (due to his working as needed for his thriving Shining Sol candle business), we were able to chat for a few minutes after he closed up shop one evening…

Photo: Todd Jolicoeur – ToddStar Photo

Toddstar: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule Pete – I appreciate it.

Pete: No, thank you man. Thanks for being patient.

Toddstar: Always for a friend.  Listen, you are one of the busiest dudes. We talk about this all the time and you have so many pokers in the fire, but let’s start with Shining Sol Candles.  How is that doing for you guys? It’s been a couple years now. How’s things cranking out?

Pete: You know what, we’re right in the middle of the holiday season, which is the busiest season for something like this and we are already above last year’s numbers, so I don’t want to jinx it but, it’s onwards and upwards. We’re doing great things and I couldn’t be more proud.

Toddstar: That’s awesome. You guys have done some cool things. You’ve done some, I don’t want to call them endorsements or sponsorships, but you’ve done things with bands, you’ve done some stuff with KISS, you’ve done some stuff with Twisted Sister, you even added a Debbie Gibson line. How did those things come about? Was that kind of marrying the two things you love, or is that just straight business?

Pete: Well, so they’re licensing agreements is what they are just like anything: NFL or Star Wars or rock bands. I made the license agreements with the artists to build a user likeness in the candles. It started with Twisted Sister. Dee and the guys are friends of ours and when AJ passed away, their drummer, I had the idea… I said, “Man, why don’t we guys do a candle and put the logo on the top of the candle and try and tribute the AJ,” and they thought that was a great idea and their management thought it was a great idea and so the candle’s called The Fire Still Burns, kind of in tribute to AJ. And then from there, I went to the Warrant Cherry Pie. The Warrant guys are my buddies… I went to them and they thought it was a great idea and we made that and did well with that. And from that, I went to Def Leppard, KISS and Aerosmith.

Toddstar: Very cool. Again, marrying two things that you love.

Pete: Absolutely.

Toddstar: Alright, let’s talk about the other thing that you love and that’s being in the Bret Michaels Band.

Pete: 13 years already, Todd. Can you believe that?

Toddstar: I know, right? But you know, of all the journalists you’ve talked to, I’m the one that can probably tell you they were there when that shit started in Detroit.

Pete: That’s right, that’s right. You remember. Downtown Hoedown.

Toddstar: Exactly, man. You kicked off your Bret Michaels career here in Detroit… like you said 13 years, man. You’ve been parts of a lot of projects, but it’s really cool to see Bret finally broke the cherry and put out a holiday track – “Jingle Bells” (ITUNESAMAZON) – for a good cause, of course.

Pete: Oh yeah, all the proceeds go to St. Judes, and Bret had so much fun doing it. I was so proud to play on it and he kind of let me do that little lead guitar part in the middle of it exactly the way I’d wanna do it. He loves it, man. We have that kind of ACDC, Def Leppard drum beat going in the beginning of it and turned it into a rock song, man. I think it’s very true to Bret Michaels and very true to the classic song. That’s just what we needed to do and I think he nailed it and I was incredibly proud to be a part of it.

Toddstar: You guys definitely nailed it.  What was it about “Jingle Bells”? What was it about that song instead of any other song that made him and or you decide that should be the track?

Pete: Well, it’s all him, all his decisions. It’s just because it’s universal. It’s not necessarily a Christmas song. A lot of people celebrate a lot of different things these days, and “Jingle Bells” is just a universal happy holiday’s song and it’s upbeat and cheery, and he loves the song and that’s where we went.

Toddstar: That’s awesome. As you mentioned, everything goes to St. Judes, which is phenomenal. Bret’s doing another cool thing. Can you tell us about New Year’s Eve? You guys are doing a cool internet live show on New Year’s Eve that’s also gonna benefit charity.

Pete: Yeah, we’re doing the Stageit show, which you and I have talked about the Stageit shows before… I’m a big advocate of that type of thing. We’re gonna stream a total song acoustic set and have a Q&A with Bret. It starts at 10:00 pm EST / 7:00 PM PST, and it gives everybody the opportunity to just see us and just do it before they go out and party for the night.

Toddstar: And then also just before that, a few days before that on the 27th, you’re going to Detroit once again, lay down a little holiday spirit along with some good rock and roll–

Pete: MotorCity Casino. What an awesome room, the MotorCity Casino. Are you going to be there this time or are you going to be in some strange part of the world? It’s been a couple years, man. You talk about me being busy, you’re the one who’s busy.

Toddstar: I know, right? Between MotorCity Casino and The Machine Shop, I’ve missed you the last couple times. No, I’m definitely gonna be there. This is a show I’m not gonna miss.

Pete: That’s great. I can’t wait.

Toddstar: I was even gonna tell you, if you guys need a place to stay I’ll be living about four miles from there. You guys need a place to stay, a place to hang out and have a drink, you come on over.

Pete: Maybe we’ll crash your place and party up.

Toddstar: Sounds good to me. So what else is on the horizon? I mean, I know this year Bret got tied up with some dates with Poison, and that gave you guys some free time. What can we expect from Pete in the coming year?

Pete: You know, to be honest with you, we’re gonna focus on playing with the solo band, we are going to have some Bret Michaels Band dates. I will probably focus on trying to produce or mix a couple acts. I always love doing that. I always like to take the opportunity when Bret goes off to do the Poison thing, to not tour.  At this point, my son is gonna turn 16 in March. I look forward to buying him a Ford Mustang, just like my dad bought me. That’s a past family tradition with my family, and straight out of MotorCity, right?

Toddstar: Has there ever been any thought to you releasing your back catalog. A lot of that stuff… you go to Amazon or anything, it’s all CD-Rs, man. Is there any chance that you’re gonna remix or remaster some of your old solo stuff, or band stuff, before you join Bret’s band?

Photo: Todd Jolicoeur – ToddStar Photo

Pete: You know, the very first Evick record, I would love to just re-record. I did that very primitively. I did it in my basement, primitively. I did it in my basement with very, very low gear, just to get it out there. I’ve really… a lot of the people that follow me that listen to it all the time, so I kind of cringe because I know it doesn’t sound great, but the songs hold up. So I would love rerecording these by our first album again, but other than that, I’ve got a couple really good song ideas of my own that I think are spectacular concepts, but I just haven’t had the time to just sit down and write just for myself in a long, long time. I was hoping to do that during the Poison tour, but Shining Sol took over. Maybe this year, I’ll get to do that.

Toddstar: Again, I know you’re a busy man Pete, so I wanted to thank you for your time, and I cannot wait to go see you on December 27 at the Sound Board inside MotorCity Casino here in Detroit to celebrate your 13th anniversary in Detroit with the Bret Michaels Band. And like I said, you need a place to crash, I got it.

Pete: Right on, Todd. I’ll see ya later, man.

Toddstar: Alright, brother. We’ll talk to you soon.

Pete: Thank you









Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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