Hard Talk

The Man Behind The Keyboards of Many, The GREG FOX Interview!

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, the young Fox began playing piano at the age of five. A lifetime of playing music and sitting at the piano has allowed it to become second nature to him. He played piano and violin throughout his academic years, which led to learning guitar and bass. Soon after, he began to write his music. By the time Gregg graduated High School, he had performed for thousands of listeners and received numerous awards.

His early influences included The Beatles, Elton John, and Led Zeppelin. Still, when he first heard the music of Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Deep Purple, his passion for keyboards launched him on a musical journey in the tradition of the great rock and progressive rock keyboardists Rick Wakeman Keith, Emerson, and Jon Lord. That journey continues to this day.

In his early career, Fox polished his skills and performance abilities in the Pacific Northwest among many of the musical elite of Seattle. As a driving force of such successful club and touring acts as Ictus, Metro, and Radio City, during the ’80s and 1990s he played every venue and recorded tracks in every studio in Seattle while working in multiple original and touring projects simultaneously.

This led to his being asked to join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members from Heart, guitarist Roger Fisher and drummer Michael DeRosier, in the noted, original Seattle band “10 Bulls”. He then joined with Queensryche’s fem-Fatale Pamela Moore to form “Sister Mary”, produced and occasionally joined on stage by Hearts’ guitarist Howard Leese.

He has performed for hundreds of thousands of fans throughout Fox’s professional career in major venues across the country. He has recorded and performed with many well-known artists from acts such as Heart, Asia, Bad Company, Jefferson Starship, Billy Idol, Slash, Blues Traveler, Queensryche, Quiet Riot, The Cult, Alice Cooper, Toto, Yes, Pantera, ACDC, Michael Schenker Group, AGT Winner Michael Grimm, Iron Maiden, Vanilla Fudge, Ozzy Osbourne, and BB King.

Greg, recorded and performed with original rock groups “Beggars & Thieves”, “King Kobra,” and “Vargas, Bogert & Appice” with Quiet Riot vocalist Paul Shortino and legendary drummer Carmine Appice. 

Played for AGT winner Michael Grimm at his Grand Opening at The Flamingo, performed at the massive Bottlerock Festival in Napa Valley, and has been seen coast to coast twice on Access Hollywood “Live” TV.

Gregg was recently honored with an invitation to perform at NAMM 2013 for the “Living Legends” concert series where he performed with Alan White ( Yes), Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group- Survivor), John Payne (Asia), Frankie Banali ( Quiet Riot), Richie Castillano & Jules Radino ( Blue Oyster Cult) and Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden).

As a skilled studio musician and session player, Fox adds his rich keyboard tonalities and sound programming ingenuity to music of all types and does session work for many artists all around the country.

Fox also plays keyboards regularly in Las Vegas for Led Zeppelin All-Star band “The Moby Dicks” where he shares the stage with talented artists like Bonham/Lynch Mob vocalist Chas West and a plethora of luminary musicians including monster drummers Brian Tichy ( Whitesnake/Foreigner), Frankie Banali ( Quiet Riot) and Vinnie Appice.

Currently as the keyboardist for “Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses”, “The Renaissance Rock Orchestra” and “The Moby Dicks” keyboardist Gregg Fox continues to amaze audiences with his wild, energetic stage presence and his exciting blend of classical keyboard skills combined with many years of powerful rock experience.

And now an Interview with the Man himself, GREG FOX!

BallBuster: How old were you when you started to play keyboards?

Greg – My mom and dad were the organists and the choir director in our church! They got me started with lessons at 5 with a FANTASTIC pianist at our church. I had 12 years of classes and then went on to study piano performance in college and then at Seattle Pacific University. I left university early to start playing music locally. I played in many of the top Seattle bands over the years, including Ictus, Metro, Radio City, TKO, and 10 Bulls with Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees from Heart guitarist Roger Fisher and drummer Michael Derosier.

BB – Any specific band or musician you would like to tour or open up for?

Greg – Wow! At this point, it’s gutting, though, since so many of the influential 80’s rock bands are no longer touring ( or at least not doing large arenas!) I always dreamed of opening up for Led Zeppelin or Jethro Tull when I was a kid! I’d still love to open up for Yes or Kansas, but they’re playing smaller venues these days, and I like to think big! I want to perform at some major festivals worldwide in front of 50,000 to 100,000 music fans!

BB – Who are your influences when it comes to keyboardists?

Greg – Back in the day, I was always a fan of Billy Preston of my love of Beatles music. Also, Leon Russell. I always admired jazz greats like Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson and the groundbreaking keyboardist Chick Corea, who sadly passed away on February 9th, 2021.

I was a huge Elton John fan, of course, and his songwriting influences me to this day! But when ELP and Yes came on the scene, I’m a huge Keith Emerson fan ( RIP Keith), but Rick Wakeman from Yes was my biggest hero. Yes has been my favorite band most of my life, and Wakeman’s arpeggios and melodies strongly influence my solos and my classically influenced compositions!

BB – Do you have any endorsements?

Greg – I am endorsed by Hammond and by Korg.

BB – Any favorite keyboardists do you have?

Greg – Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess is undoubtedly the keyboard player with the most amazing skills these days! He’s a total monster! His keyboard skills are almost inhuman! The wizard!

BB – Have you ever played in the Sunset Strip during the 80s?

Greg – During the 80’s I was too busy playing gigs up in the Pacific Northwest to spend much time in LA. I was eventually writing music with the Heart guys Roger Fisher and Michael DeRosier and then working with Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee from Heart, guitarist Howard Leese on my project with my music in a band called Sister Mary with Pamela Moore ( sweet Sister Mary from the Operation Mindcrime Queensryche album) at Hearts’ recording studio Bad Animals in downtown Seattle.

BB – What was the name of your first band?

Greg – I can’t even remember the name of my first band! Lol, It was with some friends from college, and we did a few funky shows before we broke up. I remember doing a show on a little ferry the Puget Sound, and we hit a big wave, and my Arp Synthesizer fell off my Hammond C-3 organ during my synth solo in the song “From The Beginning” by ELP! Ha! The drums fell over too! LOL Classic! I then start a band called Icarus, and we built our recording studio called “Orange Recording” because the guitarists all had Orange amps! We tried to write songs like Yes, Kansas and Queen, but our writing skills lacked the experience necessary.

I then got in a Bremerton, Washington band called Ictus, and we toured all over the western U.S. with a real pro soundman, Alex Raphael, who tour Europe with Queensryche, Metallica, and Def Leppard. We had a massive PA, mass lights ( run by Alex’s brother Sam), and a great girl lead singer named Lorelei, my girlfriend! God, we had fun! It was a crazy group of great people, and it was so fun being on the road back then!

BB – Do you have your own recording studio?

Greg – Yes, I do! Almost all the work done on the new Renaissance Rock Orchestra records comes from Fox Studios! It all starts here in my luxury condo as I stare out of 25 feet of plate glass windows over the beautiful lights of Las Vegas! It always seems to inspire me to new heights in a strangely magical way. I record all my keyboards ( and sometimes vocals and bass) on my Pro Tools rig and Korg OASYS and Korg Kronos. I love the high-quality sounds and samples on these 2 Korgs! Many tracks come from the home studios of each of the renowned artists that perform on RRO records! It’s great to have the technology we have to create great music without being in the same room during the Covid pandemic!

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