require('viewssponsor.inc'); ?>ROB ROCK - Fighting The World
Although a headlining talent overseas, most are still unfamiliar with Rob Rock's body of work, which includes Impellitteri, '80s supergroup M.A.R.S. and recent contributions to Avantasia and Warrior. "I've been playing in bands all my life and I step out (solo), only to find out no one knows who I am!" For some odd reason, when people hear the name, visions of lame ballads come to mind, which couldn't be further from the truth. "I read that," recalling my mention of the misconception in another article. "I thought, 'What is he talking about?' I haven't heard that myself. Maybe it's all the Bob Rock, Robin Brock, Rob Rocks. Impellitteri used to put a ballad on every record. That's the only ballads I was doing."
"I was really happy with the reaction," says the veteran singer, of his band's appearance at the NJ Metalfest, the first North America show outside of their native Florida. "The crowd was great, but getting up there and back was a hassle, about an 18 hour drive. I didn't realize it was so much death metal, but that just made us stand out more."
Onstage, the band differs from everyone else, due in large part to guitarist Rick Renstrom, a remarkable talent, despite a birth defect that left him with under-developed arms and just three fingers on each hand. One listen, or better yet, witnessing him live, proves Renstrom is not handicapped. In Jersey, the guitarist had the added pressure of taking center stage, as the second guitarist bailed on his bandmates just before the lengthy trek north. "We had Hank Coffey on guitar, for about a year," says Rock of the pared down line-up. "He got busy doing his own demos and decided he didn't want to do (the Rob Rock stuff) anymore. He's young and more into the rap-core stuff. Of course, in his 22 year old maturity, he decided at the last minute, 'I don't feel like going up to Jersey. I'm done.' I wish he'd have given me notice, so I could replace him! If I go back to Europe, on tour, I've got a couple of guys in mind, but they aren't local. In Florida, I like to play out once a month, to keep the band tight and try out new songs live. Until I went solo, I wasn't playing live much, other than Japan tours or a couple of LA dates."
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