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A Dirty Dozen with DONNY from D < O > N – April 2023

| 16 April 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “D < O > N released two albums worldwide called Trial & Error and 2nd GEAR. With a style similar to Joe Satriani and David Gilmour, among others, D < O > N brings a new spin on the instrumental guitar rock genre with an 80’s feel on a modern rock/metal platform. D < O > N does not disappoint if you are a fan of this style of music.” We get Donny 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?

2nd Gear is an instrumental rock/metal album similar to Joe Satriani or Steve Vai. The difference is it’s not as “shreddy.” It’s more melodic and creative. Some of the hidden nuggets is that you’ll get a Whitesnake feel on some of it, or maybe even get a DIO feel to it. I try to be original with my writing style and try to not have every song sound the same.

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

I have always enjoyed music from when I was young. My musical taste has changed through the years from The Bee Gees to Missing Persons to Metallica, etc. Now, my favorite genre is prog metal. I listen to Darkwater, Dream Theater, and Queensrÿche. I think I knew I wanted to be a musician is when I saw my first concert (Ratt & Poison 1986). When they came out and just rocked the house, I said to myself, “I want to do that.”

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

Since I really just started being a musician 9 years ago, I think Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, David Gilmour and performers like that has given me the most influence in my writing.

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

I don’t think I can pick just one person. There are so many great musicians out there. BUT, if I had to choose someone right now, it would probably be Joe Satriani or Michael Wilton from Queensrÿche.

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 am a huge theme park and rollercoaster geek. When I’m not doing music stuff, you’ll find me at my local theme parks or traveling to other states to ride different coasters. Or I like to go see a good movie.

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?

My music is instrumental guitar rock/metal. The closest comparison is to Joe Satriani and David Gilmour with an 80’s touch. The only thing someone has said that made me “cringe” is that I should add lyrics. I don’t plan on having lyrics in my music. I want what I do to speak for itself without opening “Pandora’s Box” with people saying “Why are you singing about that” or “Isn’t this evil”, etc.

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?

Usually, we go out to eat, but the drummer, Doug Meyers likes to fire up the grill. As far as drinks go, we aren’t heavy drinkers. We just grab a beer or two every now and again. Since I’m the guitarist, I, Donny Watrous will pick up the acoustic and just jam out a little.

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

I’m not sure if you call it starstruck, but I got to hang out with Dragonforce a couple of times and I thought that was extremely cool. Herman Li and Sam Totman are great guys and down to earth. During the last time I hung out with them, Gus G was there as well. It was amazing getting yo hang out with all of them at one time.

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?

For me, the best part of being a musician is creating the music. I love sharing what I do with the world. I just hope others like what I do as much as me. If I had to give it all up, my dream job would be designing rollercoasters.

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?

I would have to say “Which band would you want to tour with mostly?” I would have to say my first choice would be Queensrÿche. If that wasn’t available, then either Joe Satriani or Dream Theater. I haven’t been asked a question I didn’t want to answer.

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?

The only regret about doing this is that I didn’t start 20 years ago.

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?

I would have to say that the original OPERATION: MINDCRIME album by Queensrÿche is probably the most intuitive and creative album. I have heard. It has chords that are “out of the box” and was my first real taste of progressive style music. I love the inverted chords and just the originality of the recording. Queensrÿche is a good influence on some of my own music.




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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