Front man Ted Moore admits he’ll be a lot more nervous singing for a Chilliwack crowd, than he is performing for 10,000 screaming rock fans.
As lead singer of Blaze of Glory, the “ultimate Bon Jovi tribute experience,” Moore tells The Progress he is totally stoked about finally being able to play for a Chilliwack audience next Friday night.
He’s been in Chilliwack on and off for 20 years, but this is his first real chance to play live for friends and family.
The singer-songwriter says he left the music business years ago, after a big record label deal went sour, and headed to SFU to became a teacher. He spent six years at the altar of higher education, and didn’t sing a note.
But the musically inclined Moore was eventually was drawn inexorably back into the biz a few years later. His Grade 7 students in White Rock kept telling him how much he looked and sounded like Jon Bon Jovi. He’d heard that one before in his music career — a lot.
Moore thought about how the tribute phenomenon was really starting to take off. The bands were being booked in big, classy venues like casinos and corporate gigs. That was something he’d always aspired to, with a one-stop-shop for a wide demographic — from kids to seniors.
He set out to make it happen. A few years ago, when he put on his concert duds and sunglasses, and climbed the stairs to the stage again, he became Jon Bon Jovi almost to a tee.
Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.
The online reviewer called the band “remarkably powerful” and “a spectacular tribute” to the music of multi-platinum selling artist Jon Bon Jovi.
Blaze of Glory is Moore on vocals, Randy Robertson on guitar, Mike Champigny on bass, Mike Russel on keyboards and Doug Grant on drums.
They’re performing Feb. 19, at the Echo Room on Main St. Tickets $10. Check out video and more on their wicked website at blazeofglory.ca.
Here’s how the rest of the Q&A interview went with Moore:
What’s it feel like to have a local gig coming up?
“We’re pretty excited about it. Blaze has never played here. Most of our shows end up being a long ways away in other provinces. This one is about playing for my family and friends and neighbours. They know me on the strata council, or running a computer company, or working as an education consultant. And now they’re going to see me as a rock singer. It’s rewarding. I’m going to try to do the show as I always do it.”
How did Blaze of Glory come together?
“| conjured up the idea for the group. I saw some of the tribute acts out there. Some were impressive, others not so much. I found it was important to not only sound like the band, but to look like them. There’s a large pool of talent in the Lower Mainland. So I started hitting the clubs, and I hand-picked each guy. It took me weeks and weeks of cruising the clubs and shopping musicians. I figured I would need contingencies, but I got my first choice. I’d pitch them my spiel and they’d say, ‘Ted, let’s do it.’ One was on tour with Doug and The Slugs, another in Prism, Crome and more. But they have actually grown fond of this group.
Any pre-show rituals you can share?
“Before I go on I like to have the band together for the last 10 minutes. We’ll go through the day, in a bit of a round table. We let go of everything that’s happened that day, and we manage to expunge the evils of the day. That’s a big ritual. Oh, and I always wear black socks for the show. Does that count?”
What do you play?
“I do pretty much what Jon Bon Jovi does, which is play acoustic guitar and lead vocals.”
You avoid backing tracks and every note is performed live. Why?
“I think we’re one of the few bands that does that. We’re pretty lucky with four lead vocalists, who are all lead singers of their respective bands. You might think that would be a recipe for disaster, but we have nothing to prove. We’ve been together for a few years. There’s none of the posturing or chest-puffing. When you’re on stage all the time, you can get carried away. But we keep it humble, and we remember we’re not the rock stars, Bon Jovi are the rock stars.”
Do you practise a lot?
“As the singer, knowing the band is there means a lot. We’re well-rehearsed with at least 150 hours of rehearsal time logged. I waded them through hundreds of hours of Bon Jovi concert footage when we first got together. We’d sit and study certain aspects of their performances, all the way from 1983 to the present. So yeah, everyone’s got the moves down and the clothes. We figure, if you’re going to do it, do it right.”
How did you avoid the spandex era?
“Ha ha. That was one of the first questions the guys asked at the beginning: which era were we going for? The one with poodle hair cuts and spandex? No, Bon Jovi got out of hair metal phase and headed into middle-America. That’s where we’re going to hit, from 1995 to 2001, and even some of the current stuff. But the fans, that’s a different story. People have a fondness for that time period, and the Bon Jovi fans who come out, take the opportunity to dig out all their fringed leather jackets, spandex and big hair, and come out to the show to have a good time.”