Ibanez: How did the recent tour with Dream Theater go?
Sean: The tour was awesome. It was the highlight of my musical career, and it was really laid-back. Everyone was really friendly. I got to hang out with the guys from Dream Theater. John Myung, who is kind of famous for not talking, talked to me several times and actually gave me a hug at the end of the tour. James LaBrie was on our bus on the last night of the tour, and he said, "Whoa! He must really like you. I don't think he's even given me a hug."
Ibanez: Were there any particular favorite cities or shows for you?
Sean: The three best shows were in the Canada leg that we did Quebec City, Montreal, and then Toronto. Quebec City was probably our biggest audience. I think it was about 10,000 people. The audience was all on their feet with their hands in the air and chanting, so they were really into it.
For Toronto, we decided to do something a little different with our single, "Bleed Me Dry". There's an instrumental break kind of in the middle, and we had been playing "The Spirit of Radio" during that section. So for Toronto, we decided to break out the beginning of "YYZ" right there, and the crowd just went nuts. They loved it.
Ibanez: When was Redemption started and how did that all come together?
Sean: I think it was in 2003. I've only been in the band since January 2006. I think Nick just randomly met Ray Alder at a gig and just bought him some beer and talked to him. Then a couple weeks later, he randomly met him again at a Saxon gig in Hollywood, and they kind of struck up a friendship.
Ibanez: How did you end up getting involved with the guys?
Sean: I was in a band with Chris Quirarte, the drummer. He was in a band called Prymary, and I was the first bass player in that band back in 1995. I had lost touch with him, and my girlfriend encouraged me to do a MySpace page for my music. So I did it, and I was adding friends on there like bands I liked and record companies and stuff. I happened to be on Inside Out's page, and I saw that Prymary had posted a comment on there. So I added them and left a comment saying that I used to play bass for the band a long time ago.
Chris pretty much immediately messaged me and said, "Dude, we really need a bass player bad, but not for Prymary. It's for this other band called Redemption, with Ray Alder on vocals. They¡Çre already signed to a label. Are you interested?" So I was basically in like that. Nick also got in touch with me through MySpace, and we shared some interests and liked the same movies. So he was like, "Dude, you're in!" I didn't even really have to audition.
Ibanez: How long have you been playing SDGRs?
Sean: Since 1994
Ibanez: So have you been playing 6-strings ever since you got your first 6-string SDGR?
Sean: Yeah, I totally modified my first 6-string SDGR. I happened to be working at Nordstrand at the time, and I was making pickups for him for a couple of years. Then last Christmas, I got the SR506BM as a gift, and I've been playing that one a lot. Also, I have the new SR1006 from you guys, so I've got a quite a few to choose from right now.
Ibanez: What's coming up next for Redemption and you personally?
Sean: We've got the Prog Power gig coming up in October, and then we're going to start working on the new record. I think Nick has a lot of the songs written already. For me personally, I still compose my own music under the name, Indica Trichome Project. So I'll be doing some more of that stuff.
Ibanez: Any words of advice for young musicians?
Sean: Practice a lot. That's what I did. 5 to 7 hours a day for at least 12 to 15 years. Then hopefully, things will fall into place. For me, it kind of worked out in a weird way with the whole MySpace thing. I actually thought I was retired and had given up. Then, the Redemption thing just kind of fell in my lap.
All the advice I've ever read always says to never give up on your dreams, and yet as soon as I kind of quit this all fell in my lap. So maybe my advice would be to give up on your dreams [laughs], and then everything will happen for you. I never gave up hope though. So practice and give up or don't give up on your dreams [laughs].