The Doug Wahlberg Band has been a fixture in the Connecticut rock music scene for many years. After building up a ton of experience playing at packed clubs, theaters and festivals, and opening up for national acts such as: The Ramones, Mountain, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, and many others, they now have a new CD out titled "Flying Under The Radar". The 8 song CD will surely take them from the local ground floor and lift them up to be tracked on a national and international surveillance network. The songwriting pours out great songs such as the opening track "Love When It Rains". The band consists of Doug Wahlberg (Lead Guitar and Lead Vocals), Rich Genovese (Drums), George Miller (Bass), and Jeff Claypool (Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals). The talented band members have worked with major artists like: Rick Derringer, Ian Hunter, Neal Smith, and many others. I recently corresponded with Doug.
R.V.B. - Congratulations on your new debut album "Flying Under the Radar". What is behind the title? Are the songs on the album a collection that you have written through the years?
D.W. - After new member Jeff Claypool (guitars/keys) joined the band last year, we decided it was time to stop “flying under the radar” and expand to a national and international market. Most of the album’s tracks are new works, but the album does have a combination of old and new ideas.
R.V.B. - As a seasoned veteran of the northeast rock and roll scene do these originals have any Boston, Aerosmith, Cars or J Geils flair? (or all of the above)
D.W. - I’ve never heard us compared to these acts, but that is always up to the individual listener’s interpretation.
R.V.B. - How did the interaction go during the recording process? were the songs ready to go or were there inflections added by the various musicians in the band?
D.W. - The songs’ structures were already established, but the recording process is always collaborative.
R.V.B. - Can you give me a description of your band members... how you met them and how the chemistry works (The most important ingredient)
One year ago I stumbled across Jeff’s name and called him to audition as a guitarist/keyboardist. 24 hours after speaking on the phone, an emergency came up and I asked Jeff to fill in for a gig at Foxwoods Casino. The first time I saw Jeff face to face, was when I shook hands with him onstage before the first song; he has been a full time member ever since.
George answered our online posting seeking a bassist, but showed up to the audition a day early to hear the competition. At the time, George suggested we hire the previous bassist we had auditioned, before he had played a note. The rest is history.
R.V.B. - What made you decide to play the guitar?
D.W. - The Beatles
R.V.B. - Did you have a high school band? Where did you play and how did some of the early gigs go? Any Stories?
D.W. - Yes. My first gig was at the Westport CT YMCA. The entire band played through one guitar amplifier. Back then my mom had to come with me to bar gigs because I was only 15. That’s when I met Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers, who decided to manage me.
R.V.B. - Who were some of the big name bands that you saw live as a young man?
D.W. - Yes, Jethro Tull, and Jeff Beck
R.V.B. - Why is WPLR and WPKN consistently the best commercial and public supported station in the Connecticut, Long Island and NYC area? (love those stations) You have appeared on PKN a few times, correct?
D.W. - Yes, WPKN is integral to the music scene in Connecticut. General Manager Steve DiCostanzo is dedicated to helping independent artists. We love performing live on shows like Del in Transition. PKN was one of the first stations to debut Flying Under the Radar.
R.V.B. - What are some of your favorite live performances that stick out in your mind during your career?
D.W. - Some favorite performances were at The Ridgefield Playhouse opening for Blue Oyster Cult and George Thorogood.
R.V.B. - Did you mix your originals in with covers at first? Did you ever play all originals?
R.V.B. - I see that you did some work with legend Jose Feliciano... how was that experience?
D.W. - I was honored to be called on stage to play with him.
R.V.B. - Red Sox or Yankees/Mets?
D.W. - Yankees
R.V.B. - What are your plans to support the new album?
D.W. - Right now we are in the process of putting together a music video for Love When it Rains.
Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz
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For more information on The Doug Wahlberg Band visit their website www.dougwahlberg.com
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