Rock band KODIAK consists of Eric Dalton on vocals, Chris Biggiani on guitar, Pete Biggani on drums and TJ Haefner on bass. Originally from Toms River, New Jersey the quartet, by happenstance, were introduced to Carmine Appice after drummer, Pete, submitted into a contest via Modern Drummer Magazine with Appice and Pete won. Appice became interested in the group after developing a bond with the Biggiani family, and upon hearing KODIAK’s music, decided to work with them. Appice’s legendary novelty for the band is just as strong as it was when he was developing projects for hitmakers and chart-toppers Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Sly Stone and Pink Floyd, to name only a few.
Helping produce KODIAK’s upcoming debut album, he also directed the video for their latest single, “Alone,” which is a great rock anthem, filled with a roof-raising, shout-along chorus, with souped up, overdriven six-string, garnering the group comparisons with their predecessors, Van Halen, whom they feel honored to be compared to. “Alone” captures the group’s New Jersey upbringing, featuring footage of their local hangouts, and the beach at Seaside Heights. The video was also edited by Robert Neilson who brings eye-catching detail to the video, with bright washes of primary color and filters. Check out the video in our interview below, and learn more about the history of Kodiak, working with Appice, touring, and their fun music favorites!
What is each of you guys’ familial history with music?
Pete & Chris Biggiani: Our dad played drums from a very young age and and got me started on the drums at the age of 2! Chris got introduced to guitar at a very young age too he was only four years old.
TJ Haefner: Me and my cousins have always been collaborating with ideas and I learned how to play the trumpet from them and my father.
Eric Dalton: Everyone on my mom’s side of the family played instruments and my dad was a professional bass player, which really influenced me the most to start playing.
How did you guys get involved with the legendary Carmine Appice?
Pete: When I was 11 my dad and I saw a contest in Modern Drummer Magazine for a contest to do a drum DVD with Carmine Appice and I submitted and I was lucky enough to win. After shooting the video Carmine became very good friends with my parents. Chris and I would always send him our music and when I brought up this new band he was very interested and that’s how we got involved!
How do you guys feel about being compared to band legends like Van Halen?
Chris: I think it’s really cool. Van Halen is one of our favorite bands and they’re definitely one of the great rock bands. To be compared to them is really awesome especially for me as a guitarist with Eddie Van Halen being such a big influence.
Your new video for “Alone” features many facets of where you guys grew up in Jersey. Was that intentional and what do you hope viewers and fans take away from the video?
TJ: The hope is that the viewers see that we are a fun loving band who enjoys what we do.
What was the collaboration like with the director and producer for “Alone”?
Eric: It was a lot of back and forth on what exactly everyone wanted. A lot of time and effort went into multiple shots, including shots that didn’t make the final cut; but that’s what it takes to get a unique product.
Who or what are you guys most inspired by musically and lyrically?
Chris, Pete, TJ & Eric: We are most inspired by Van Halen, Def Leppard , Guns N Roses, and of course our manager Carmine Appice!
You guys are heading out on tour this fall. What’s the best thing about touring, and what do you like least?
Chris: I really love playing shows and seeing all the different places we get to go! I really don’t have a least favorite thing about touring!
Pete: Well I love playing shows in different city’s/states every night and experiencing every place as much as I can for the little time we are there! I hate being away from my dog and the back row of the van sucks to sleep in; it’s too bumpy!
TJ: The experience in itself is great. Being able to travel with you’re friends and play music you love every night is a dream come true. I really have nothing I don’t enjoy about it.
Eric: The best thing about touring is when you finish an awesome show and are at an emotional high. Definitely makes you feel on top of the world. I’d say the least favorite is the driving.