I knew at a very early age that music was one of my great passions. Music quickly became a major influence in my life.
That blue sparkle drum set next to the Christmas tree one snowy Christmas morning was a dream come true! I practiced hard and often to Kiss, Steve Miller Band, Kansas and many other albums. I jammed with friends with guitars, basses, and keyboards. We all took turns singing. We played high school dances and religious functions. I played with various bands throughout high school and college. I auditioned for a band of older guys that were playing clubs and they all stopped midway through “Falling in love” by the Scorpions. I had been singing and playing drums and they were shocked at the way I could sing. The leader informed me that I was their new front man and they would just find a different drummer!
John West the front man was born, and I played clubs in bands for a couple years doing originals and covers. I bought a guitar and played it everyday. I did a little bit of studio recording and enjoyed it so much, I moved to New York City from small town Cortland, NY(also hometown of RONNIE JAMES DIO). I sang in various bands and did more songwriting and recording. We eventually showcased for a number of major record labels, but the record deal was elusive. The band Witchdoctor with CHRIS CAFFERY was one of my highlights during this time.
I moved to California in 1992 and soon after I auditioned for BADLANDS. I got the gig and we played a series of live shows and recorded some demos. I then toured Europe with Michael Lee Firkins, and recorded with other talented artists, including COZY POWELL. In 1996 I wrote and recorded the first ARTENSION album with Vitaly Kuprij and Roger Staffelbach. It was my first real full length recording contract. The album was an instant hit in Japan and Europe, and my career was off to the races, including a short stint as lead singer of LYNCH MOB in 1998. I joined ROYAL HUNT in 1999 after a brief collaboration with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, and a time singing for TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA.
I created four solo JOHN WEST albums, seven Artension albums, and six ROYAL HUNT albums between 1996-2006. I racked up many frequent flyer miles and completed numerous successful tours of Japan, Korea, Europe, Russia during these years. The fan support was such an amazing experience.
I have been fortunate to appear yearly at the CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF TOURNAMENT in Mexico as a featured entertainer, which is such a great time.
In 2007 Lonnie Park and I started TEN MAN PUSH and quickly became “The Official Band Of Motocross” in less than two years. We have toured America every year since, and have enjoyed movies and television placements of our original songs. We also enjoy numerous sponsorships including being an official JAGERMEISTER band. We have created and released two full length cds and are approaching the finish of our third.
I continue to do various studio sessions as a singer/songwriter. Most recently, projects for Mythodea, Neils Vejlyt, Freddy Villano, and Delta.
2013 marked the worldwide release of Artlantica on SPV records. The album received rave reviews throughout the metal press and community. www.artlanticamusic.net The project was essential in reuniting me with former ARTENSION band mates Roger Stafflebach and Steve DiGiorgio. Also appearing on the album was Mistheria, John Macaluso and Chris Caffery.
2014 was another busy year! First, there was my involvement in The Progressive Nation At Sea music festival. I performed a set with Chilean rockers Delta and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. It was great to share the stage with so much talent. Afterwards, Delta and I also teamed up on some studio recordings of their previous material. 2014 saw the release of the star-studded American Mafia recordings, on which I wrote and sang two songs. Next I did a new album for Danish guitar wizard Niels Vejlyt and his Sage’s Recital project. This should be released in 2015!
Speaking of 2015, I am off to an early and rockin’ start! Rehearsals have now begun for the Extreme Guitar Tour starring Uli Roth(Scorpions), Vinnie Moore, and Craig Goldy(Dio). I will be the lead singer for all three acts on the US tour beginning in January.
Big thanks to all my loyal friends and fans! I hope to see you real soon on tour!