Ballistic is from an album I recorded and produced called Guitars for Veterans and features Jeff Watson from Night Ranger – you know their huge hit “Sister Christian” from 1983 written by the band’s drummer Kelly Keagy. Jeff had a very interesting approach for the track, he recorded different textures to start out his solo and then cranked out great riffs. He had even spoken to Steve Vai about the solo and Vai was in total approval. I had recorded the drums live with my long time first call musician Reggie Pryor. I played bass and all guitar melodies and take a solo at the end. I recorded and mixed the entire album on a Otari RADAR II through my trusty modded Trident 24 from the ’86. I even mixed all of the tracks to ½” tape to retain the fat tape sound.
Note of caution: As good as the converters sound on the RADAR it completely crapped out after the record was mixed and I lost all files for the session. I sent the drive out to several rescue companies but to no avail. It was completely unsavable! After that experience I went out and rebought a 2” Otari MTR 90 2” Tape Machine – drums just don’t sound the same without tape!
It’s funny I get asked this question a lot, “why does an artist known for Smooth Jazz do these hard rock instrumental albums?” Well, the answer is easy, that’s where I began my career – I love rock instrumental music! Even before there was a category for it. I remember Joe Satriani telling me that it was so hard to initially get a record deal for his music because the near sited record executives kept saying there was no such format. However, I enjoyed the very early days of the Smooth Jazz format and was in the format before they coined the name. I must say the format has been very good to me as I was just informed that my Smooth Jazz catalog has hit 32 million streams – so someone must be still listening. Crazy I haven’t recorded a Smooth Jazz record in 20 years.