Interview with Allen McKenzie

Indian Music Mug
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  • Allen McKenzie1Hello Allen…welcome to Indian Music Mug

Thank you, it’s a pleasure to chat with you!



  • What have you been up to lately?

Just finished a tour of Indonesia and Thailand with FireHouse, it was successful and a lot of fun!



  • Take us through your formative years in music n the people you grew up idolizing.

I discovered The Beatles at a very early age, eventually moving on to hard rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock, but I enjoy many musical genres. My musical idol growing up, without question, was Rush’s Geddy Lee.



  • Tell us a bit about “Foxx”?

Foxx was a hard rock band formed in 1985 by myself and Dave Jackson, who played rhythm guitar and is the band’s frontman. We released two albums between 1989 and 1992, which are now available at Foxx reunited last year and plays live shows around Northeast Ohio when FireHouse has down time.



  • How did “Quest” come about?

After Foxx broke up in 1993, I joined Quest, a progressive rock band based in Cleveland, as lead vocalist and keyboard player. We released “Opposite Sides Of The Picket Fence” in 1994, an album influenced by Rush, Yes, Genesis, and Marillion. Quest disbanded in 1995, but we plan on doing a 20th anniversary re-release of “Opposite Sides” sometime next year.



  • How significant was “Peacetree” in shaping up your musical career?

Peacetree was the most prolific of my pre-FireHouse projects. We had a sound that combined hard rock, progressive rock, metal, and acoustic music and released three albums, as well as opening for many well known bands. It was this band that led me to my brief time working with Jani Lane.



  • Take us through your time and the work you did with late Warrant singer Jani Lane?Allen McKenzie

Jani came to see me play in a rock club after someone in his solo band recommended me to fill in as his bass player. I worked with him from October 2002 to April 2003, and this led me to FireHouse.



  • How did Firehouse happen?

Billy Morris, who was Jani’s, as well as Warrant’s, guitarist at the time, heard that FireHouse needed a bass player that could sing and called Bill Leverty recommending me, although it would be another few months before the band finally made the change.



  • Take us through your experience with working with the Firehouse members?

I couldn’t have met a nicer and more professional bunch of guys!



  • Touring with Firehouse must be a hectic business..How do you manage to keep up with it?

It IS hectic, but it’s all worth it when you see the joy on people’s faces when you perform!



  • What is your take on the current music scene? Do you think nowadays it is more about what sells than the quality of music?

To some degree, but there really is a lot of amazing talent out there, you just have to dig a little deeper to find it.



  • Tell us a bit about “Full Circle”?

We wanted to do an updated re-recording of the band’s hits that would show what we sound like NOW, as opposed to what we used to sound like. We’ve grown as musicians, and as people, and we wanted “Full Circle” to reflect that.



  • Allen McKenzie2What advice would you want to give to budding musicians to make it up to the top?

ALWAYS practice, work hard, and be ORIGINAL. Stay away from the things that have destroyed many musicians(drugs, etc.)




  • Any new artists/bands that has impressed you?

Much of the newer hard rock and metal is great! Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown, Volbeat, Halestorm, really talented bands.




  • Tell us a bit about your “shillong” experience …..Where do you rank that show among all the other shows and when can fans expect you guys again?

We’ve played Shillong twice, in 2004 and along with a show in Aizawl in 2008, and we played the Northeast last year in Imphal and Dimapur. Shillong, as well as the rest of the Northeast, has a reputation for rock, and I can tell you it is well deserved! We have such an amazing time there, and I hope we return soon!




  • Having toured all around the world how do you think different cultures from differents parts of the world affect your music?

I think our travels, and the many people we meet all over the world, provide for much inspiration in our music. We find that our experiences across the world absolutely provide a muse that informs that inspiration.



  • Any Indian artist you would like to work with in the future?

There are so many talented ones I’ve seen and heard in our travels that it would be hard to pick just one!



  • What is the best part of being in a internationally famous rock band?

Meeting so many people from all corners of the globe that love music as much as we do. That alone is reason enough to continue doing what we do!



  • The instruments you use and what criteria should be kept in mind while choosing the instruments?Allen McKenzie36

My main bass guitar is a 1995 Hohner PJ 4 string bass with HipShot D-Tuner, Fender Precision pickup and DiMarzio jazz pickup, but generally, my rule is “play whatever sounds good”.



  • Give us a sneak peak into your future projects.

Mainly the Quest re-release, performing live with Foxx soon, and resuming activity with FireHouse when we tour Japan in January.



  • Thank u Allen for taking out time and doing this interview….This your space …..Leave a message for your huge Indian fanbase..

Hello INDIA!!! This is Allen McKenzie of the band FireHouse, wishing you all peace, love, and happiness, and we hope to see you all again very soon!!! We love you all!!!!!


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