Mike Visaggio - Questions
1. Where were you born and when did you
Well, It was a long time ago in a galaxy far,
far away. 1952 in Brooklyn. Music isn't discovered; it just comes at
you and you find something you like as you sort through everything
you hear through the years. But I started playing in
1961 on the accordion. I was a nice Italian
2. Musically who or what inspired you
to play and who do you admire as a
My cousin Joel played the accordion and I
wanted to be like him because he was popular
among the cousins.
But as for turning serious about music, it was The Beatles. I
playing "She Loves You" on the accordion, for
crying out loud. But when I heard Felix Cavaliere play the Hammond
Organ for the Young Rascals around 1968 I knew that was what I
wanted to be doing. My musical heroes are the big three progressive
keyboard players of the 1970s: Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Tony Banks
of Yes, ELP and Genesis
3. Do you have any formal training???
If so, where did you study and who have you studied
After accordion lessons I was basically
self-taught, but, I went to Queens College in New
studied under Prof. Paul Maynard, who could do things with his feet
on the pipe
organ pedals that most of us will never do with
our hands. He turned me on to Bach (You will analyze this sonata and
you will like it). But my best teachers were the Big Three whose
work I endeavored to learn and who never gave me a
4. How did you arrive at your current
bought it. If you mean how did I decide to play keyboards, I think I
answered that already, but the idea of being a multi-keyboardist was
of course pioneered by the Big Three I referred to earlier, and I
and a lot of other progressive music players have gone down that
path because it makes such wonderful sonic textures
5. When you write/play what are you
trying to do or say with your music?
I'm trying to give life to an idea from God. I
believe inspiration comes from God, but it's a
fleeting thing, and when He lays something on
you, you'd better do something with it or it will disappear. Music
exists in time, not space, and so you have to capture the moment the
best you can, give it shape and be
6. What other interests outside of
music do you have or had?
I'm a student of the Bible, a spiritually
minded Christian most of the time I hope, and I am a big baseball
and football fan (New York Yankees, New York Giants) and I have a
little hobby with a table baseball game made by the APBA game
7. What do you consider your greatest
Helping raise and launch two kids who have
turned out OK except that I disagree with them
on politics. I
mean, what's better than seeing your kids grow up and start making
way? Musically, I suppose it would be managing
to put out a CD and finding out a lot of people can relate to my
music. On my day job, I drive trucks and have over three million
miles in the bloodstream of American commerce without hurting
8. What are your musical
Very simple. I want to have Kinetic Element
become one of the major bands in progressive
music. I think we have a
great mix of styles and influences, everyone is very good at what
they do, and we have an abundance of good material waiting to be given
9. Any words of advice to anyone, about
Stay away from music as a career. She is a very harsh
10. If you could have lunch with three
people, living or dead who would they be?
Man, that's tough. One would be my Lord Jesus
Christ because I would want to ask him to
clarify a few things so
I could find out whether I was right or not. Another would by
Washington so I could pick his brain
on liberty. And a
third would be Karl Marx so I could kill him on the spot. Just
11. If you were stranded on a deserted
island what 5 albums would you take with
Mystery tour by the Beatles
The Yes Album by Yes
The Lamb Lies
Down on Broadway by Genesis
Tarkus by Emerson Lake &
and one modern prog CD, let's see, who would it be?
The Flower King by Roine
12. If you could play another
instrument what would it be? Why?
It would be drums. Then I could do it all
myself and not have to get everybody in a band to
agree with me.
Rapid fire questions, one word or short
13. What is your favorite
song? Starship Trooper (YES)
14. Favorite singer? Jon
15. Favorite drummer?
Neal Peart (Rush)
keyboardist? Keith Emerson (ELP)
guitarist? Jan Akkerman (Focus) and Steve Howe (YES)
It's a tossup.
18. Bass guitarist?
Chris Squire (YES)
19. If you were to have any superpower
what would it be? Flying, Who
want to get a
bird's eye view of everything?
20. Favorite food? I
will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
drink? Things go better with Coke!
movie? ZARDOZ (I must be the only one who even
actor/actress? Kevin Costner. Field of
Favorite color? Blue, blue, blue, I got dem blues
Favorite car? 1969 Ford Cougar.
26. Favorite place to
vacation? Anyplace else than
Motivational phase that you love? Don't
wind up living in an a van down by the