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A Dirty Dozen with MO’ROYCE PETERSON from TRAGEDY – February 2023

| 9 February 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Good times are guaranteed, so get ready to shake off those seasonal blues! One of New York City’s most famous tribute bands, TRAGEDY, are getting ready to embark on a massive US tour with Steel Panther and Crobot – which starts later this month! The trek kicks off on February 24 in Las Vegas, and concludes on April 8 in San Diego, CA. See below for a complete list of dates. The vibrant glam rockers will be hitting the road in support of their upcoming studio album I Am Woman, a decided contrast to sleaze rock tropes, offering 14 tracks of newly-reinvented disco and soft rock anthems, celebrating womanhood in all forms!” We get singer / guitarist Mo’Royce 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?

The new album is I Am Woman – all songs originally made famous by female artists.  There are always many delicious layers in a Tragedy casserole.  Hell, even the cover art is loaded with symbolism and references. Musically, there are allusions to Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Megadeth and Queen, among others.  All with overarching themes of humanity and how incredible Tragedy is.

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

When I was four years old I saw a string quartet playing and I wanted to be a violinist.  On my fifth birthday my photo made the front page of the newspaper – playing the violin while wearing a Milwaukee Brewers batting helmet.  It wasn’t until decades later I realized that moment would be the peak of my musical career.

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

For sure.  Seeing Gregg Ginn’s Gone when I was a lad.  Discovering a cassette of Sad Wings of Destiny long after it had come out.  Seeing my first R-rated movie: Saturday Night Fever.  Seeing footage of Heart from the 70’s (the talent and sensuality is breathtaking).

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

Karen Carpenter.  She secretly had METAL in her veins.

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

I love drinking ice-cold German pilsner outdoors, with friends and family.  And being a tourist in Europe.

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?

I would describe it as disco-metal – a metal tribute to the Bee Gees & Beyond.  Putting the band description in the band’s name was the smartest thing I’ve ever done.  When I first started putting out music, some critics compared my singing to Geddy Lee. At the time that really bothered me because I thought of myself as an art-rock guru, not a prog nerd.  But I don’t care anymore – and my voice changed! And I love Geddy Lee.

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?

Disco Mountain Man is known to cook up some tasty grub if we ever have a kitchen on the road.  Andy Gibous Waning is great with the campfire songs.  I love making cocktails.  Gibbon Ass Freehly and The Infernal Demigibb are very good at drinking.  Lance sucks at everything.

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

Every time I look in the mirror, baby.

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?

I love making people smile.  This band’s purpose is to make you smile in a thousand different ways.  If I weren’t a musician I’d be a sex therapist…which is basically what I do now as an artist.

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?

Every interviewer (except you so far!) wants to know the origin story of the band.  I don’t blame them for asking, I mean who wouldn’t want to know how we came up with such a ridiculous idea?  No one ever asks me about my favorite color.  The answer is: sparkle.

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?

I didn’t study sound engineering or music (beyond middle school) – I was basically self-taught.  I’ve always been hungry for knowledge, but I didn’t know how to find what I was looking for.  That, and I should have gotten Jack Black’s home address the night we hung out.

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?

If you had asked me that before the Get Back doc came out, I would have said Abbey Road.  But now I’d say Sad Wings of Destiny.  They invented like twenty metal subgenres on that album. And I’d love to watch Halford develop all his character voices in real time. It still blows my mind that they were recording that way back in 1975.






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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