Denman: How long have you been playing guitar?
Suzanne: Oh dear Lord! It will be 43 years this year. I started noodling with my dad’s old classical guitar when I was 6. But if we’re talking when I seriously started playing….that would be 10 years later.
Denman: Do you play any other instruments?
Suzanne: Hmmm….if by playing other instruments you mean having a bunch of synth effects and octave effects to mimic keyboards and bass…yes! Otherwise….not really! I used to play piano and keyboards but I can’t claim that anymore. I used to play bass, but I can’t claim that anymore either. That’s why I have Bob & Aaron!
Denman: Did you inherit the music gene from mom or dad?
Suzanne: Neither! Both parents came from extremely musically talented families and the music gene missed my parents completely! Can’t carry a tune in a bucket!!
Denman: Have you always been drawn to metal?
Suzanne: No! I used to hate it! There was a time where I absolutely, positively hated metal! My first foray into metal was back when I was a prog-head, I was searching online for bands that sounded like the band “Porcupine Tree” and up popped the band “Within Temptation”! Now not only does “Within Temptation” not sound anything like “Porcupine Tree”, they’re not Prog! They are definitely symphonic metal!
Denman: Did you play in any bands in your younger days?
Suzanne: ALL THE DAMN TIME!! And NONE of them went ANYWHERE!!!Denman: Tell me more about the ‘House of Gregory’?
Suzanne: So the “House of Gregory” is my real last name! When my grandfather came over from Italy, his last name was DiGregorio, which roughly translated means: of the House of Gregory, or Gregor, one of the two. So when I finally decided to write something that was almost a fictionalized biography, I came up with referencing my ancestry in the project title. The entire album is basically and allegory – a 19 song allegory! – of my…basically, my life and struggles to get to where I am now. Artists always seem to struggle. I was always trying to figure out where I fit in with the world musically and artistically and it’s only been over the past few years where I’ve hit my stride. But my biggest struggle was my weight. Having lost 100 pounds now, I feel like I’ve vanquished most of my demons. I mean…there will always be demons to battle…that’s part of being an artist. Setting those battles in a haunted house, which is the prevailing theme of House of Gregory, seemed appropriate – especially with all the ghost stories floating around on the Irish side of the family!
Denman: With that being said, talk more about DiGregorio.
Suzanne: The band, the project, oh my God, this band happened nearly by accident in nearly every facet! Lol! I had a producer, Tim Buss, who shot me an email off the cuff and got the whole project running, frontloaded the first influx of capital for the project. I had reached out to my buddy Dave Sykut, who is an audio engineer, and somehow he managed to not only take over producing the album, but supplying me with Katie Simone on vocals, Bob Horwatt on keys, and Jeremy Papay on drums. And then somehow or other, my old friend Aaron Griffith ended up playing bass on another project with me! Sorry about that Aaron! Lol! DiGregorio isn’t a band so much as a project, most everyone in the band has their regular music gigs and we are just getting together, so far, in the studio to make awesomely dense metal music happen!
Denman: How do you feel about your music being labeled as dense?
Suzanne: I think I prefer the term well-orchestrated! Lol! To explain Aaron, my bassist and long-time friend is the creator of several podcasts. He featured current single, “Dark as Night” and he used the description ‘dense’ no less than 42 times!! Denman: What is your vision for DiGregorio moving forward?Suzanne: World domination through symphonic metal!! (mmmmmwwwwwahahahaha)
Denman: Where can listeners find your music?
Suzanne: iTunes, Spotify, anywhere you would normally download or stream music, and of course, our website: DiGregorioMusic.com AND we’ll be putting a couple of videos up on YouTube shortly.
Denman: Any shows planned?
Suzanne: Possibly! I’m working on getting the band together to try and do a charity show this fall.
Denman: How about any other exciting things that you are involved in that your fans would like to know?
Suzanne: So there are so many things that I am involved in, I don’t know how I get everything done! Lol! First, and foremost, when I am not shredding, when I am not headbanging, I run a fencing club – Broken Plow Western Martial Arts over by Pittsburgh Mills. I like to say I am a fencer, but I really suck at it and I don’t practice, so I can’t really claim to be a fencer anymore! In addition to those two things, I help out Lady Jaye at First Angel Media whenever I can, and we are currently working on turning my fencing club into a part time non-pay-to-play venue for up and coming bands! I speak 4 languages…is that anything someone is interested in? Lol! English of course, German, Irish, & Finnish. I help run several fencing tournaments per year. And I have pseudo-jazz project on the side called, ‘The Leather Dog Experience’! I have done a couple collaborations this year: one on a rock opera being produced out in Colorado, and I played guitar for Danielle Walker, who goes under the moniker Inez on her song, “Love X Inez”. Is that enough?? Because I am also writing books! Lol!