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A Dirty Dozen with WHO ON EARTH – June 2022

| 22 June 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “New Jersey hard rock quintet WHO ON EARTH are back with another hard-hitting single and video from their forthcoming debut album, Blame, due out this fall. The new track, titled “On The Brink”, delivers a potent combination of earth moving vocals, guitar virtuosity, powerful bass, and thunderous drums that have seemingly been lost in the modern-day shuffle! Somebody needed to pick up the torch for hard rock and heavy metal with real grit and gusto and without a gimmick. Enter Who On Earth. The New Jersey quintet— Coosh [vocals], Pete Rizzi [bass], Joe D’Aqui [drums], Steve Eagle [guitar], and Rob Dams [guitar]—deliver a one-two punch of hard-hitting hooks and airtight instrumentation bolted down by pummeling grooves and piercing riffs. With virtuoso guitarist and producer Mike Orlando [Adrenaline Mob, Noturnall] in their corner, the musicians pay homage to rock’s past as they usher in its future on their independent full-length debut, Blame.” We get Pete & Coosh to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Pete: Our latest single is called “On the Brink,” a song about the common man; the 99% of the people who are finding in harder and harder to make ends meet while being constantly bombarded with all sorts of manipulated media.  At the end of the day, we have to focus on the things in life that matter most which is friends and family.  The timing of this song couldn’t be better and is sure to be relatable by most people we think.  Things are fucked up right now and we are all on the brink of losing our cool!

Coosh: It may take a moment as they’re listening to realize that this song is written about them. It will eventually kick in that it’s their daily battle we’re talking about.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Pete: My parents were big into rock n roll, and I remember listening to their albums as early as 8 years old.  Meatloaf, Zep, old Billy Joel, Queen.  That was when it started.  In my early teens I realized that I wanted to play an instrument.  After a lame attempt at guitar, I picked up the bass and found my passion.

Coosh: I always loved singing and one day a band lost their singer and I was at the right place at the right time.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Pete: For me it was Iron Maiden and the bass playing of Steve Harris that really lit me up, especially on their first too albums.  I was hypnotized by Eddie.  My first show was Maiden / Queensryche at Radio City in Jan ’85 and that set me on the course of creating music!

Coosh: I can’t pin point any one artist, but at 13 I saw James Brown and I will never forget the energy I felt from his performance, it was like everyone was in a trance.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Pete: Neal Fallon from Clutch.  I admire his voice, lyrics, groove and ability to evolve and experiment for so long and consistently deliver amazing songs.

Coosh: Jay Buchanan from Rival Sons, he has a way of drawing out your emotions to the song, which allows you to be more connected to the music.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Pete: I love riding my Harley Softail.  I usually ride 7-8,000 miles a year.  I go in the direction where there are the fewest people and living in the Northeast we have hundreds of miles of amazing roads.  Phone in the side bag, taking in nature on the road with music pumping – that’s my meditation.

Coosh: I’m an avid fisherman and feel my best when on the water out of sight of land.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Pete: I would say that our music is the result of four decades of influence from almost every genre of rock and metal; blended in a way that although reminiscent of dozens of bands is still fresh and new.  Every song on the album is very different from every other song.  We’re proud of that and the comparisons to established bands are almost never the same.  Of all the “I hear a little bit of…” I would say, Molly Hatchet was a head scratcher but for the most part people pretty much hit on one or more of the 50 or so bands that have influenced us.

Coosh: We write from personal experience or from observation of those around us as well as current events. No cringy moments as of yet.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Pete: Coosh cooks and breaks out the Jameson, Joe breaks out the wine, Steve breaks out the guitar and I just take it all in while eating some avocado toast.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Pete: I have to say I don’t really get starstruck but then again, I haven’t really come across any of my true idols.  Meeting any member of Maiden would probably make me pretty damn excited!

Coosh: Metallica concert in Jersey and when Volbeat hit the stage I got chills.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Pete: The creative process of writing songs. And recording.  Hearing how songs evolve and grow with each contribution.  If I couldn’t play music, my dream job would be a DJ / interviewer like Eddie Trunk.

Coosh: Connecting with band mates in these special moments when you’ve created something magical. I would be a Chef.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Pete: We don’t get tired of answering any questions.  We are thrilled that there is interest in us and our music.  It’s our favorite thing to talk about.

Coosh: Can you go back and remember the first time someone was effect by your ability, before you even knew what you would someday become. What is your favorite band?

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Pete: After a few years into college, I abandoned the dream of making a living out of playing music and instead got an accounting degree and figured it was time to settle down and do the domestic thing.  I am blessed with three boys, but I can’t help but wonder what I might have done if I would have really gone for it.

Coosh: I quit a band just as it’s popularity was rising because I thought I was neglecting my children. My kids didn’t like that and never felt that way.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Pete: Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind.  It’s my favorite album by them and it came out at a time when I was just learning to play. “Where Eagles Dare” brings me back to a happy time of my adolescent life when things were pure, simple, rebellious, exciting and honest.




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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