Interview with Tom McDyne (Dorian, Shut)

Metal Express Radio scored an exclusive interview with guitarist Tom McDyne who covers his work with DORIAN, SHUT, CIRCLE II CIRCLE, RATT, ICED EARTH, DOCTRINE and announces joining JON OLIVA’S PAIN as a “touring member” for the 2008 live dates.

Metal Express Radio: Hello Tom! Thanks for taking the time to speak with Metal Express Radio and your fans.

Tom McDyne: Thank you for asking! Wait, I have fans?

MER: You and vocalist Jim Dorian have a project named “DORIAN”. How did you and Jim hook-up?

Tom: I wanted to start a project with a great singer that could write incredible melodies and lyrics with a great voice that also had a great image. Doesn’t everyone starting a band want that? It just so happens that Jim Dorian fits all of the criteria. Anyway, a friend of mine, Lora, said to me, “You should go see Jim Dorian play out tonight.”. Lora then told me all about Jim, and thirty minutes later Lora and I were at the club where Jim was performing. I couldn’t believe my ears. I told Lora, “That’s him!”. Before I knew it; I was over at Jim’s house showing him some riffs and the rest is history. Thanks, Lora!

MER: The DORIAN track “Siren’s Scream” ended up making the ProgPower USA VII (PPUSVII) sampler CD and there were even DORIAN DVDs floating around PPUSVII. How did you guys manage to make that happen?

Tom: “Sirens Scream” was recorded at Shut Up Studios audio recording facility in Clearwater, FL with Gary Schutt engineering the whole deal. The timing was right with the CD single to meet the deadline for ProgPower USA VII and Deron from Metal Ages Media was VERY helpful! The video was shot by Gary Schutt in late August ’06 and we (Gary and myself) didn’t finish editing until a few days before PPUSAVII. Roughly 400 of the free grab bags at PPUSAVII had the DORIAN “Sirens Scream” DVD video single and about another 100 were handed out as well. If I had another week, every grab bag would have had the DORIAN DVD video.

MER: How’s the fan response been to “Siren’s Scream” thus far?

Tom: Deron from Metal Ages Media was kind enough to say, “The DORIAN tune is one of the tunes this year that has me the most hooked and is near the top on re-listens. Damn fine tune and I can’t wait to hear more! I have the strong feeling DORIAN will make a few nice waves with a debut album.” Additionally, the comments below the DORIAN YouTube video are great too. Also, these guys from some online radio station called kept asking for an mp3 of the song too so we just sent them the entire ProgPower USA VII 3 CD set, event program guide and DVD video. 🙂 Last year when I was at NAMM several people recognized me from the DORIAN video which was cool, but kinda’ weird. I wasn’t expecting that.

By far, my favorite comments have come from Dan Campbell. “Congratulations on the hook” and “Everything sounds killer”. Believe me, Dan doesn’t just give those out, especially to a former member of CIRCLE II CIRCLE! Dan was Criss Oliva’s (SAVATAGE) guitar tech for several years. Dan also managed CIRCLE II CIRCLE and Zak Stevens for many years. Dan liked the DORIAN video so much that he brought the CIRCLE II CIRCLE raw footage from when they played ProgPower and had Gary Schutt edit their two most recent videos. That right there says a lot. Thanks again Dan!

MER: In the DORIAN video, who plays second guitar, bass and drums and are they or will they become part of the DORIAN lineup?

Tom: In the video, Michael “Riffmastah” Carpenter (TAKEN BY FORCE / STREETS) was on second guitar and he is an awesome lead player as well! On bass is Morgan Ashley (GOLDY ROXX). Morgan and I have been friends since the early 80’s and he is an incredible songwriter. On drums is Josh Jones from CHAOS. Yes, having a Thrash/Death Metal drummer in with DORIAN is overkill, but it just shows how versatile Josh is. Just the other day Josh called me about joining him and JAMES RIVERA for a project but as you read further on in this interview you will see why I probably won’t have the time – unfortunately. Anyway, a bit of trivia, OLIVER HANSON (MILLENNIUM / EYEWITNESS) was originally going to be the drummer in the video. When he couldn’t do it, CHRIS PISTILLO (TIWANAKU / THE ABSENCE) was asked, but then he had something come up and couldn’t do it either. When the DORIAN project is turned back on, we will see where everyone is regarding being permanent members; but Jim and I have another project we are putting 110% of our effort into right now. More on that in a bit.

MER: Did these gents also play on the audio track version of “Siren’s Scream”?

Tom: No. Josh Jones, Mike Carpenter and Morgan Ashley were pulled into the project after the recording sessions. However, the bass line was written by both Morgan and Gary Schutt. Gary played the bass line on the actual recording and sang backup vocals on the “Not Waiting” part. The drums were written by LIAM THOMAS SMITH (7th ALLEY / ALLEY ANGEL / CACHET / CRY TOUGH). Liam’s primary influence is BOBBY BLOTZER – which is exactly what this song needed. SOLID!

MER: Your site makes mention of a DORIAN EP. Are you and Jim working on a DORIAN EP or perhaps a full release album?

Tom: We never did send out our EP to any record companies due to some internal setbacks. We had a few record deal offers from some labels we had never heard of on MySpace; but that’s not what we were going for. Another reason is because of a project that both Jim and I are totally stoked over has been taking up 110% of our time, more on that later. Rest assured, you will be hearing more from the DORIAN camp sometime in the future. We just don’t know when.

Until then, here are a couple of cool DORIAN things. I am currently working with Microsoft to release “Sirens Scream” for a future version of GUITAR HERO as a download exclusively on XBOX LIVE. A three-man team (Jason Basler, “Kumba”, and myself) made this happen. Jason and I did the hacking, Kumba synchronized the DORIAN video, and then I programmed all of the guitar notes. I already had the connections at Microsoft. Here is a clip of actual gameplay from Jason (he can play the game better than me!) Also expect to see Sirens Scream hit iTunes and possibly a slightly different edit of the SS video on iTunes as well.

MER: Your MySpace site and Jim’s seems to be pretty sparse, any reason for that?

Tom: Yes, both Jim and I are very busy with another project right now, more on that in a bit. We will improve on the sites in the near future. The reason why the MP3 of “Sirens Scream” isn’t up on MySpace is because you are only getting half of the presentation that way. The video really gives you the full “picture” of what DORIAN is about.

MER: Are you doing anything on the side as a solo effort?

Tom: No.

MER: You’ve played with quite a few high profile musicians. What’s been your most memorable moment so far and why?

Tom: How ’bout a few memorable moments that are all equally my favorites. Here’s one… touring 6 countries in approximately 13 days with CIRCLE II CIRCLE on the same bills as JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, QUEENSRŸCHE and many more in front of 10’s of thousands of people at many of the Open Air Festivals! Then there was the time Morgan Ashley was doing commentary on a radio show with “Cowhead” in the Tampa Bay Florida area and booked me with Stephen Pearcy of RATT for a live radio spot! Then, how about playing “Lay It Down” by RATT and “LiveWire” by MÖTLEY CRÜE with JEFF SCOTT SOTO on vocals, GARY SCHUTT on bass and ALEX PAPA on drums. Surely not Jeff’s most memorable moment, but it sure was one of mine! I would post a picture but Jeff would kill me! If you look hard enough, you can find it on the Internet.

MER: Speaking of RATT, when we searched for your radio spot with Pearcy on YouTube, we typed in “RATT” and it actually shows up on the first search result page even before some of the official RATT videos. With over 16,000 views in just over a year it would seem there is some demand to see you with them. Is there any chance of you working with RATT in the future?

Tom: Well, here is the deal. Warren DeMartini is my primary influence. If it weren’t for Warren, I wouldn’t have started playing guitar. I wouldn’t have toured Europe; and I certainly wouldn’t be able to do this interview. Anyway, I have kept in touch with Warren over the years and have kept him updated on my endeavors, thanking him each time. Things obviously got pretty serious on my end with the CIRCLE II CIRCLE gig and it certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

To answer your question, when I got wind (December 2006) of a RATT reunion tour, the first website I checked was John Corabi’s. In a December 12th post on John’s website I found this “……most other pages are saying that John will be part of the impending RATT reunion, but management and John have not been talked to at this time……” When I saw that, I ran with it. I touched base with Warren in person at NAMM, then Stephen and Stephen’s manager Jeff Keller, Bobby and Juan received DVD press kits in the mail the next day, which were followed up by phone calls and emails. Although I received positive feedback, nothing materialized.

Bottom line is this: I know every single solitary note of every single solitary RATT song ever released. Well, truth be told I never did learn Way Cool Jr. properly, but … If Corabi were to ever move on from RATT for whatever reason, I would hope my phone would ring.

I would like to thank JEFF SCOTT SOTO for vouching for me when Bobby Blotzer called him to inquire about me. A few other guys that were ready to have my back, reference wise, were WADE BLACK from CRIMSON GLORY, TODD PLANT from CRYPTIC VISION, RICK NIELSEN from CHEAP TRICK (a good friend of Warren’s) and TIM “RIPPER” OWENS of ICED EARTH. Thanks, guys!

MER: Speaking of ICED EARTH, early last year there was quite the rumor mill about you joining them. What’s the story?

Tom: You said it, not me!!! Now that you let the cat out of the bag, here goes. I read on Bravewords that TIM MILLS could not do the ICED EARTH tour. Within 24 hours, Jon Schaffer had my DVD press kit on his doorstep. Jon called me a few days later, and we talked. If I passed the ICED EARTH audition, that meant learning some of the most difficult rhythm guitar riffs EVER written in the history of Metal in an EXTREMELY short period of time AND auditioning for some solos on the new record! Talk about pressure! I informed Jon that I had worked under similar circumstances and I was not pleased with my personal results. I felt that ICED EARTH deserved to be properly represented. Then it was down to me auditioning for just the ICED EARTH tour, and that made things a lot less stressful. I also rushed to get a “demo” of me playing “The Coming Curse” out to Jon after messing with it for only a few hours (I recorded myself on top of the original recording). The Curse demo was just to let Jon know I can in fact get these rhythms down, and in a timely manner. However, shortly after I sent it, I found out that Jon’s local friend TROY SEELE would fill the position and that’s cool. With the time crunch and geographic logistics I, too, would have chosen a local friend as well! Congrats, Troy! Jim Morris from Morrisound (the official 6th member of ICED EARTH) informed me just the other week that Jon was impressed by the Curse demo. Jon was very nice to talk to and was very professional. Oddly enough, a riff that helped me with the Curse riff was a song by OZ FOX / STRYPER called “The Way” that I learned back in the day. Thanks, OZ!

Oddly enough, a riff that helped me with the Curse riff was a song by OZ FOX / STRYPER called “The Way” that I learned back in the day. Thanks, OZ!

I hope that my honesty with Jon will be taken into consideration should this opportunity arise again. This was actually my second shot at ICED EARTH. My first shot, I actually redid the entire song “Green Face” and did a very quick promo video for the solo that you can see below. BOBBY JAZAROMBEK was impressed enough with my full version of “Green Face” that he mailed it to TIM “RIPPER” OWENS and it turns out that when Ripper called Jon to tell him about it, Jon had actually just received his copy! 🙂 Thank you Bobby and Ripper! Unfortunately, Jon had already made his decision on a new guitarist before he received my CD. But hey, they say that the third time is a charm right? 🙂

MER: What is going on in the SHUT camp?

Tom: Gary Schutt got off tour with JEFF SCOTT SOTO recently, and Gary is always recording incredible music. I think we are shooting two music videos in early / mid 2008.

Gary Schutt and Sam Conable just formed a cover band with drummer Michael Catone called Forty Stories that everyone should check out as well.

I look forward to playing the original Gary Schutt material live, I’m sure it will be sometime soon!

Gary has his own production company called “Shut Up Productions”.

MER: Tell us about your time with CIRCLE II CIRCLE.

Tom: It was a great experience and it really got my foot in the door. I can’t thank Dan Campbell enough. Going on tour is one of those things that nobody or nothing can take away from you. It’s an experience that stays with you for life. I really enjoyed playing solos from CRISS OLIVA, CHRIS CAFFERY, AL PITRELLI, ALEX SKOLNICK and of course MATT LAPORTE!

MER: So what is this other project that you are “totally stoked over?”

Tom: It’s called DOCTRINE. The DOCTRINE tunes are multi-faceted. We have several different set lists (all original). The only one I can talk about right now is the “orchestrated rock” material. If you like the late SAVATAGE and JON OLIVA’S PAIN (JOP) material, then you will most certainly like DOCTRINE. Below is a blurb from the initial DOCTRINE press release:

“DOCTRINE is a new band founded by majestic keyboardist and songwriter DR. DANIEL “DR. DANger” FASCIANO (credited on TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA / SAVATAGE / JON OLIVA’S PAIN albums). A partial list of band members is as follows:

Lead vocals – Jim Dorian (DORIAN / MONARCH / ANOMALY)

Lead vocals – Tomey Sellars (VH1’s Born to Diva #2 out of 800 finalists!)

Lead guitar – Tom McDyne (DORIAN / SHUT / ex-CIRCLE II CIRCLE)

Keyboards – Dr. Daniel “Dr. Danger” Fasciano (songwriter / orchestration)

Bass – Sam Conable (CRYPTIC VISION)

Drums – Nate Keefer (TAKEN BY FORCE)

More band members to be announced very soon.”

MER: What is DOCTRINE up to right now?

Tom: Right now DOCTRINE is tracking at MORRISOUND and GLOBAL ARTISTS MANAGEMENT’s audio recording facilities. So far it looks like only the drums, mixing and mastering will be done at MORRISOUND in Tampa, FL. All other tracks will be done at GLOBAL ARTISTS in Pinellas Park, FL. The album should be done early / mid 2008 at the latest if all goes as planned. A DOCTRINE music video is also in the planning stages. The bar was set so high with the DORIAN video it’s going to be tough to beat, but we will!

Here is a short video clip from the show that was actually released specifically for this interview. Please keep in mind that the audio portion of it is from a video camera! I think we all had about 1 square foot of room each to move around on that stage. Also, out of Jon Oliva’s entire career, he has only introduced two bands, and we were one of them. Jon has quite a story on the 1st band he introduced, trust me, it’s enough for a full interview, and you should contact him for that.


MER: VERY cool clip, we can’t wait to hear more!

Tom: Thank you, it’s hard to believe that the audio came out as good as it did from a handheld video camera, but I can’t take any credit. Doc is an AMAZING songwriter. His music sounds great through an old transistor radio!

MER: DOCTRINE, that’s a very original name. Who came up with it and what is the meaning behind it?

Tom: I came up with the name and conceptual artwork 24 hours after, yes, after the original concert posters for the September 29th, 2007 JON OLIVA’s PAIN / BLACK REIGN / DOCTRINE show were sent out. 🙂 We were originally billed as “KLOUD 9”! I felt that a band name based on the founding member / songwriter Dr. Daniel Fasciano was appropriate. You know, “DOC”trine as in “DOC”tor Daniel Fasciano? We also threw around the name “DOCTRINITY” for a few minutes. As far as the meaning behind the name DOCTRINE, most, if not all definitions of DOCTRINE fit the bill, minus any religious aspects. My personal favorite is “a body or system of teachings that has already been judged”.

MER: Any more DOCTRINE shows coming up?

Tom: We are working so hard on the album it is uncertain if we will be able to commit to shows in the near future or not. Of course, if JON OLIVA’S PAIN has a show, then we would of course open for them. Jon says we are his “exclusive opening act”. I’d periodically check the DOCTRINE MySpace page for any possible concerts coming up. It would be cool to do a show in late March / early April, we will see. After all, Jon sprang the first show on us!

MER: Any other DOCTRINE members at NAMM with you this weekend?

Tom: Yes, Tomey Sellars and Sam Conable are wandering the halls causing trouble I’m sure! DR. DANger had a flight booked and NAMM with pass in hand, but an INCREDIBLE opportunity for DOCTRINE came up and he is “taking one for the team” and staying behind to finalize the details on that one. Thanks, DOC!

MER: Wow! We can hardly wait to hear the DOCTRINE material. We get a preview before it’s released right?

Tom: Yes, and will be the first industry professionals to hear it. The debut DOCTRINE album will not be an independent release; it will be on a major record label released in Europe and the U.S.A.

MER: You have quite a few product endorsements, tell us about those.

Tom: Yes, I am officially endorsed by SOLDANO, DR STRINGS, STRINGLIFE, and TREMOL-NO. This year at NAMM I am proud to announce that I am now officially endorsed by SCOTT DIXON CASES, DIEZEL via SALWENDER INTERNATIONAL, X2 DIGITAL WIRELESS, VINTECH and now have representation from Randy Fuchs at ARTIST RELATIONS.

If you can believe it, I have actually caught some flack from other musicians about my endorsements; I guess they think I am one of these guys that go to NAMM with the sole intention to get an endorsement, totally not the case. I have many friends that I only get to see once a year, and that’s at NAMM. Sure, I conduct business at NAMM, but that’s a PRIMARY FUNCTION of NAMM and is the sole reason why it is not open to the general public; now isn’t it? Besides, how much sense does it make anyway, “Gee, I think I will spend $1,000 on a trip to California to get a guitar string endorsement or whatever”. A few of my endorsers don’t even exhibit at NAMM!!!

Here is my view: Endorsements are validation for what I have been doing since 1984. If a company will endorse what I am doing, that means the world to me, and it’s a personal achievement in my life. It is also an honor, privilege and responsibility to spread product awareness.

MER: Seems like all you are missing is a guitar endorsement.

Tom: Yeah, I actually had a surprise meeting with a guitar manufacturer today at NAMM, I didn’t realize I was talking to the lead designer / engineer / manager at the time, and then when it finally sunk in I was taken off guard to the max! Deer in the headlights big-time! I look forward to finishing my conversation with “Michael” after NAMM. Turns out his band is going to be on Guitar Hero as well!

MER: You performed with Zak Stevens and Jon Oliva reuniting on the same stage at the Les Talent memorial show. Tell us about that.

Tom: First things first, the show was to celebrate the life of LES TALENT. Everyone in JOP has been friends with Les for quite some time. MATT LAPORTE was kind enough to ask me to play a few SAVATAGE songs with JOP and Zak. Wade Black jumped up on stage for Mountain King as well. It was an experience I will never forget. I actually have some video footage of the show, but the audio didn’t record for whatever reason. I suppose I could have somebody sync the video to the CD tracks and put it on YouTube? Thanks again, Matt!

MER: Any chance of you working with Jon or Zak in the future?

Tom: Yes, Jon is producing the DOCTRINE album, so I work with him several days a week. Jon is also singing on two songs that he wrote most of the lyrics and melodies for. The working titles for those tracks are “Intro” and “Outro” which will obviously change. There is also one song that Doc and Jon co-wrote together that will be on the album, too. Additionally, there are going to be many high profile guest appearances on this album. In fact, some of the guests don’t even know it yet, but they will soon!!

To further answer your question, I will be joining JON OLIVA’s PAIN as a “touring member” in 2008 thanks to MATT LAPORTE!!! Here are the first of many 2008 tour dates from IntroMental Management:

Apr. 25 – NORWAY – Haugesund @ Karmøygeddon Metal Festival
Apr. 26 – DENMARK – Copenhagen @ The Rock
Apr. 28 – GERMANY – Aschaffenburg @ Colos-Saal
Apr. 29 – AUSTRIA- Wien @ Planet Music
May 01 – SWITZERLAND – Pratteln @ Z7
May 02 – ITALY- Piacenza @ Fillmore
May 03 – ITALY – Florence @ Viper Club
May 06 – SPAIN – Vitoria @ Azkena
May 07 – SPAIN – Madrid @ Caracol
May 08 – SPAIN – Barcelona @ Salamandra 1
May 10 – GREECE – Athens @ Gagarin
May 11 – GREECE – Thessaloniki @ venue tba
May 13 – GERMANY – Essen @ Turock
May 14 – NETHERLANDS – Tilburg @ 013
Sept 27th – Atlanta, Georgia @ Center Stage – ProgPower USA – co-headlining with ICED EARTH 🙂

MER: COOL! Will you be performing on the new JOP album?

Tom: Matt was kind enough to ask me to play a solo on the album. The working title of the song is called “The Open C song”. I start the solo and then Matt comes in and we take turns until the end when Matt finishes off the solo with a harmony. The style of my parts of the solo aren’t something you would expect from me after hearing the Sirens Scream solo, but the solo parts certainly serve and fit this song.

Matt and Jon were also kind enough to invite Jim Dorian and myself to sing backup vocals on the following “working title” tracks, “Before You Hang”, “Adding the Cost”, “Global Warning”, “Fire Fly” and “Open Your Eyes”. Thanks again to all the guys in JOP! All hail the “TnF” chorus! On a side note, there is also a short riff on the JOP album that I believe may possibly have been co-written by Dr. Daniel “DR. DANger” Fasciano with Jon Oliva. Then again, I could be wrong. It’s possible the part that Doc wrote was implemented all the way back on a Savatage song called “Morphine Child” off of the Poets & Madmen album. With the “fun” these guys have during sessions, we may never know for sure. 🙂

MER: So how did you get the gig with JOP anyway?

Tom: Funny story. Matt LaPorte filled in for Andy Lee (CIRCLE II CIRCLE) one night and needed a tech. Matt conducted what he calls a “social experiment”. See, Matt figured I was a guitar ego guy and of course I thought the same of him, but we had actually never met, how stupid is that? Anyway, Matt’s social experiment was “Let’s see if this Tom guy has some Rockstar ego or not.”. So Matt asks me, “Dude, I need help for this show, will you help me?” Without hesitation I said, “Of course, man, let’s do it!” After that, we have become great friends.

It turns out Matt is a closet DORIAN fan! I mean we are talking stalker level kind of stuff! Here is an example, Matt and LEE HARRISON from MONSTROSITY (busted, dude!) actually downloaded my videos from YouTube and created their own Tom McDyne DVD with custom menus and photos. FREAKY funny stuff! Matt will call me on the phone and say, “Is this the lead guitarist of DORIAN?” We both just laugh about this kind of stuff and it’s pretty much non-stop. There are too many people out there that take themselves way too seriously instead of taking the music seriously. Matt and I just laugh about the whole deal.

MER: Any other JOP members here today at NAMM?

Tom: Yes, CHRIS “KONG” KINDER is here, I’m sure NAMM will never be the same. Matt promised me he would attend the 2009 winter NAMM and I will hold him to it!

MER: Tom, thanks for your time! Check back with us when the DOCTRINE album is done! Also, would you be interested in doing a Guest DJ spot before you go on tour with JOP?

Tom: Yes on all counts. THANK YOU Scott!


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.