For such a long time we have been notified of the awesome talent that was Erik Kotzen. Finally we caught with him - under his new guise as John Rocky. Hailing from Brazil, John has fast become one of the very best performers in Second Life in a relatively short period of time. I finally caught up with John in between sets on his busy schedule ......
Michael: Hi John - thank you soo much for taking time out to do this interview with Toggle For Music. Its a real privilege to interview someone so highly regarded in the Second Life music industry!
Michael: First up - Could you tell our readers something about your background - as a musician and vocalist in RL - and how on earth you came to be involved in the crazy world of Second Life?
John: Well, first, of all it's a pleasure to me to be part of TFM and thanks Michael for calling me to give you this interview.
So, I've been working 100% with music since I was 26, but my music life started when I was a child, I been part singing with some cover bands, released some songs on Spotify with heavy metal bands and also with my solo career, I been in China for a while, singing in 5 stars hotels, bars and private events.
I met SL through a singer on my facebook, he was a singer here already that time, and he taught me everything I needed to start to sing here and helped me a lot in the beginning of my career here.
Michael: You are a wonderfully gifted performer ...do you remember what made you start to play and who were your early influences - and who are they now? Have they shifted as you have got older?
John: Thanks Michael, I really appreciate your words.
Well, my early influence was my father, he's a musician (not officially) but he can play acoustic guitar, he wanted me to learn to play acoustic guitar and then I started, after that, when I started to learn electric guitar, I started to listen Dire Straits a lot, and always had a strong influence from Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden when I started to learn how to sing, they still are influences to me, but I have lots of different influences now, and it's normal, as you grow, you musical taste changes, what is a cool thing, cause you start to bring all of them together to make your own style.
Michael: Do you remember your first Second Life gig - the venue and how it went ?
John: Ohhh you're bringing so funny memories hahahah
Yah, I remember! My first (not official) show here was in a venue called Serenity Gardens, It was with a inappropriate equipment, and the only thing I knew to speak in English was "ok, let's go" hahahhahah. My first official show, with a good equipment and streaming with good quality was on SolarWinds (venue that I still sing nowadays). Was amazing, but I felt some pressure about to make the things right and make ppl have fun. good memories.
Michael: Was there anyone here who helped you, or inspired you, during those early days?
John: Yes! Gabriel da Silva was my mentor here, he was my manager in my first year and taught me everything I needed to be a great artist here. Unfortunately fate decided the two of us wouldn't be friends anymore, but, well, shit happens sometimes.
Michael: Following on from that is there a gig you remember above all ?
John: Yeah, you are really bringing me so good memories with that interview!
My first time in SL Birthday and Linden Fest was a BLAST! I remember there was A HUGE crowd out there and I had lots of ppl coming to my Im saying they never heard a Brazilian Rock singer in SL, it was like amazing for me!
Michael: Do you have a favourite song / genre ? - any special reason for the chosen song ?
John: I'm quite eclectic, but, my favorite genre is Heavy Metal/Prog Metal and my Favorite song is "Metropolis" by Dream Theater. I'm a big lover of surrealism, and progressive metal in my opinion is the surrealism of music, I can easily compare this Dream Theater song with some Salvador Dali painting.
Michael: Is there a performer(s) in Second Life you particularly admire ?
John: Maximilion Kleene - He is incredibly talented, he's kind, he's real and I'm lucky I'm his friend and can sing with him sometimes.
Michael: It can be hard trying to find your place in the SL music scene with so many performers on the grid - something you have clearly done. Do you have any advice to new performers on how to break through and stand out?.
John: I think what makes someone recognized for their work, not just in the music business, is persistence and consistency. If you want to get something done right, you have to understand that you have to have consistency.
Michael: What would you say pleases you the most about performing in SL - and conversely what would you say irks you the most ? (aside from annoying interviewers)
John: Well, what I like most about performing in Second Life is, in addition to providing entertainment, the possibility of playing for people from different parts of the world in one place, this is the miracle that technology provides us through SL. leaves you extremely fascinated.
I wouldn't say there's something that makes me upset or irks me, sometimes I don't like it when someone asks me for a song and I don't know how to play or sing hahhah
Michael: If you could tell your noob John anything, what would it be?
John: Hard question...
I think I would say to him: "start with your real name", man... this name change from Erik to John (which is my real name) gave me a lot of hard work!
Michael: Finally, in closing, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
John: I would just like to thank TFM once again, thank you too and congratulate you for the beautiful work you have done to spread SL's live music.
I would also like to tell readers to continue supporting SL artists and clubs and music venues, we know that everything in the real world is increasingly heading towards the metaverse, so the more we support this live music scene, the more alive it will be and the more talented artists will appear and we have only gain from it! Thanks to everyone who comes to my shows and I look forward to see you