CHARLES WOODARD (a.k.a Sirr Charles) VOCALS
I began my musical journey in 1977 at the age of 8. My earliest recollections of performing were singing in the church choir and playing a ukulele, taught to me by Catholic nuns. Music was also prevalent at home where I often heard the sounds of Elvis & Johnny Cash.
At 15, I began to delve deep into the world of Metal: Slayer, Dio, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Exodus. I developed a passion for all genres of metal and the musicians that I wanted to emulate. At the age of 16, I showcased my guitar skills with my first official band, “Syck Tycket”. My very first show took place in the auditorium at my school where we performed covers. What an awesome feeling, such an adrenaline rush. I needed more! This was my drug of choice! My vocal debut was with the metal band, “Altered Angel” while I was a senior in high school. This is where I had my first opportunity to write my first songs. “Reach for the Stars” was my first song that received airplay on local radio station.
My father being a drummer is what started my interest in playing the drums initially. I had gotten to go to a few of his band’s practices from time to time, but around the time I was 12 years old, he started letting me bang around on his kit unsupervised. He had an older 1970’s era Ludwig Hollywood series 5 piece in blue sparkle. Unfortunately for me though, I am left handed, and he is not, and he really did not want me moving his set around. Between this and the lack of any real formal lessons, I forced down the road of playing as a righty instead. It also ingrained some really odd methods in my playing style in the future. Around 15, I started getting into metal music. It was “love at first listen,” and I couldn’t get enough. I still didn’t have my own drum set, and my dad only set his up when he needed to practice or learn a new song. But I did have a new stereo, and a big old pair of headphones. So this led me to air drumming with a pair of sticks I had “borrowed” from my dad. Many nights, instead of going to bed, like I was supposed to do, I would find myself sitting on the edge of my bed, “playing” along to Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” or a bootleg copy of Metallica playing live during the Master Of Puppets Tour.
I was blessed to grow up in a family that loved and embraced music. My father, however, had the most immense impact on my future as a musician. My father, David, is an exceptionally talented guitarist and performer. He shared his love of musicianship through Johnny Smith, Chet Atkins and Herb Ellis recordings. I was able to watch him perform with jazz icons and bands all over the northeast. His support and understanding allowed me to get started very early in music.
I will never forget the first time I heard “Aces HIgh” by Iron Maiden. I listened to that song over and over and over again. I went into the basement and grabbed an old bass of my fathers and attempted to play it. It was quite a disaster. I played the song for my father and unlike most dad’s of the time, he was not only impressed he encouraged me to start listening and playing heavy metal. Shortly after, he brought home Live After Death on VHS. That was it, I had to be in a band! I purchased a B.C. Rich Warlock bass and spent hours attempting to play along with recordings in my room.
I started as a fan of pop music. I discovered Hair Metal in fifth grade and quickly graduated to Thrash Metal. I gave up my budding trumpet career and began taking guitar lessons. After learning basic techniques at my lessons, I would go home and learn Metallica songs from magazine transcriptions. As soon as we could, my friends and I started a band (Living Dead Beavers).
A few years after high school, LDB stopped playing. A few months later, I joined a friend’s band, eN-Dor-pHin, and subsequently experienced some amazing things. We played all over the northeast, including CBGB’s in New York on two occasions. The highlight for me was when Neil Kernon agreed to produce our record. He lived with us for a few days, and traveled with us to Haverhill, MA to record.