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Interview with Michael Feighan, Drummer of Whitecross, King James and Guardian+Whitecross

 << I am so blessed that God let me be part of the Whitecross history - Michael Feighan>>

Posted on november 17th, 2017 | by Anthony Martinez 

Some time ago, looking for some information about Whitecross, I realized that it is easier to find information about Rex Carroll and Scott Wenzel, and very few data about other members like Benny Ramos, Michael Feighan, and even some members of the past like Butch Dylon or Mark Hedl. 

So I didn't want to overlook this, and I decided to start investigating a little more, just in those days the Guardian+Whitecross project was released, and I thought it would be a good idea to interview Michael Feighan,  and he accepted the interview, that's great if you ask me. Why?  Because he's the drummer for one of my favorite bands of all time, because he is the drummer who has been in the band for most years, and it's interesting to interview someone other than Rex or Scott, Although it would also be great to have an interview with them, to be honest I would like to interview a lot of people. 

So I hope to have an interview with Benny Ramos and some of the former Whitecross members soon. I hope it can happen. 

I'm really pleased with this interview, there are some things we didn't know about Michael Feighan, not only did he tell us about Whitecross, he also mentioned King James, the new Guardian+Whitecross project, and other of his musical projects. You have to read this interview.

CCR: Hey Michael, It's a great honor for me to interview you. I've always thought that you're one of the most talented drummers I've ever seen, and I'm not just talking about the circle of Christian bands, I mean all music in general.
Michael Feighan: Oh my goodness that is a huge compliment!  Thank you very much!

CCR: I often think that many Christian musicians do not get the recognition they deserve. In one way or another rejected in and out of Christian music. For example, I have heard comments like: If this boy hadn't been a Christian he would have been as famous as. . . In your personal case, did you ever have this kind of sensation, or did you get a comment of that kind_?
Michael Feighan: No I never received a comment like that, and as a Christian musician I have been blessed to play some amazing places like this trip coming up to guatamala!  It can be frustrating at times when as Christian musicians your not taken as seriously but I think if you work at the craft God has given you then you can also be a witness as well as respected by your peers.

CCR: Whitecross fans know more about Scott and Rexx Carroll, but this time we want to meet their legendary drummer. Where were you before your arrival at Whitecross?
Michael Feighan: I was living in San Diego and playing with butch Dillon, who was the bass player when I joined in 1991.  We were playing with a guy named bob hardy who had sang lead vocals for a band named servant, and he knew the booking agent for whitecross.  We found out about the auditions and decided to give it a go and praise God we made it! Lol

CCR: Bob Hardy of Servant? Wow, that's really interesting, thanks God for Servant, otherwise Bob Hardly probably wouldn't have met Whitecross's booking agent.
Michael Feighan: I know!! Yes I am so blessed that God let me be part of the whitecross history

CCR: And not only Whtiecross, but later on the history of King James and all the CCM in its golden age. But let's keep talking about Whitecross. Remember the first time you heard about Whitecross? When you joined, they were already a very well-known band.
Michael Feighan: Yes I definitely remember lol!
I was visiting a bible study in San Diego and a friend said:" hey check out this Christian band it sounds like the secular group " Ratt ", we listened and I was like wow!

CCR: It seems that comparing Whitecross and Ratt may be unavoidable..Lol
Michael Feighan: Yes that's true lol
We joke sometimes saying that we should do round and round as a cover Lol

CCR: Round and round while you Walk with me Lol
Michael Feighan: YES! I will present that to the band lol

CCR: I remember Benny Ramos once saying, "There may be two very similar people in many things, but there will never be two people who are exactly the same. And while some Christian bands often compare with non-Christian bands, I always think they deserve recognition for their talent, not for resembling others. Why can't we say otherwise? Ratt sounds like Whitecross, Iron Maiden sounds like Barren Cross. Lol
Michael Feighan: Haha! Yeah that's good, I like the way you think Anthony!

CCR: Music is a universal language, and "In the kingdom" proves it. Has it ever happened to you that a song sung in another language makes you feel some kind of reaction, remember something or someone, even if you don't understand anything in its lyrics? Well, that happened with some Whitecross songs in Latin America, especially "In The Kingdom". This song came to sound in some places like a "Romantic song", as it musically possesses all the power of a Power Ballad of the time, and many people were guided by their music although they did not know that it was really a Christian song.
Michael Feighan:  I am so grateful that In The Kingdom has been able to touch people who do not understand English. I believe if a song is written from the heart and  genuine, our spirit man  automatically connects with that song . Music is obviously a powerful language that God uses to touch peoples lives.

CCR: In the Kingdom is in my opinion the best ballad of hard rock Christian. And you were part of it. Tell us a little about the first video, where was it filmed? Who were all those people?
Michael Feighan: There were 2 videos shot for In The Kingdom, one was in  Nicaragua for teen mania ministries I believe and we got to watch all the kids minister to people of the community with skits and such, it was awesome!  They took us to a castle on top of some mountain to shoot the video which was very cool!  That was an incredible and humbling experience for me!  The other video was shot in the United States for a video compilation called metal mission (Heavens Metal Magazine Video) with Bride and a couple of other bands. That also was a great experience and my first encounter with the music of Bride and I was an instant fan! That whole time was kind of a whirlwind for me! It was my first year in whitecross and so many awesome things were happening!

CCR: Sure, I think you came at the best moment of the band. Did you imagine all this would happen?
Michael Feighan: Yes, it was a good time for whitecross!  And no I had no idea!  2 weeks or so after joining the band, we were on the road playing festivals and shows everywhere! It was amazing!  I was just riding the roller coaster having the time of my life!  I thank God for that!

CCR: The fifth album "High Gear" appeared in 1992, and although it didn't have the same success as "In The kingdom", it is for some the best album of the band, Scott raised the volume of his voice, Rex made really spectacular guitar solos, this would also be the last album with Rex Carroll. Tell us a little bit about "High Gear".
Michael Feighan: High gear was interesting for us.  I remember Rex showing me the songs before preproduction and his writing seemed to be influenced by mr big at the time, with all the guitar and bass runs.  I was really excited at the outcome.  By the time the album was mastered I think we were all a bit disappointed to be honest.  The production didn't come out like we hoped and things seemed rushed.  I still think the shows we had following were great and the band was sounding pretty tight at this time, but I know we had hoped for a different outcome with the final product of high gear

CCR: Well, in spite of that, it's a much loved album by fans of the band. Imagine if the production had gone as you expected. After that, Rex Carroll left the band, I imagine it must have been a very difficult time for Whitecross.
Michael Feighan: Yes that was crazy!! Rex and Scott were disagreeing on many things and I think they just needed a break from each other.  It is so important for members of a band to work as a team and be able to share their views with each other and build each other up but sometimes it can be extremely hard to not be offended and angry and distance oneself.  I'm glad Rex and Scott decided to work together again and I think their fans were also very happy to see that.

CCR: I'm also glad they continue to work for the kingdom within Whitecross.  The band's next two albums featured Barry Graul on the Guitar and Tracy Ferrie on bass. Was this period difficult? taking into consideration Rex's absence and the separation of the band with Star song.
Michael Feighan: Although it was difficult to see Rex leave, Barry and Tracy are great musicians and great friends of mine and have gone on to do some great things!  
After the initial shock of Rex leaving we did our best to make it work and actually had some great times with that line up.  The separation from star song was weird but music was taking a different direction and everything was gettin weird lol
With the introduction of grunge

CCR: Interestingly, many Hard Rock bands from the 80s could not survive the new wave of music from the 90s, some bands to survive had to change their musical style towards the Grunge, Bride and Holy Soldier for example, were other Christian bands that did the same. After this you didn't follow in Whitecross, Scott Wenzel followed leading with a very different line-up. Why didn't you stay inside Whitecross at the time?
Michael Feighan: Well at that time things were getting pretty frustrating and Barry and Tracy were leaving and Scotty and I were starting to disagree on a lot of things.  I got an offer to play with a band called "curious fools" that was going to be signed with gotee records.  Curious fools was kind of a cross between U2 and The red hot chili peppers lol
I got to record the album and they were going to really push the band and Toby Mac ( the president of gotee ) was real excited.  We were flown to New York for some shows and things were going great until one of their artists broke big and curious fools was shelved.  I had some awesome live shows with those guys! Even though things didn't work out like I would have liked , it was a great experience.

CCR: I'll bet you do. Did Toby Mac make any RAP influence on you? Haha, joke. It wasn't long before the band returned to the scene, this time with Rex and Scott, and a new bass player named Benny Ramos.  How did the band return at that time? Who was responsible for Whitecross re-emerging?
Michael Feighan: I believe it was a guy named Joe something that knew Rex and somehow convinced him and Scott to reform? I got a call from Scotty and he asked me if I would be interested in reforming the group to re record the first album and get some dates happening and I said " of course I would, what took so long?!" Lol

CCR: Tell me a little bit about Benny Ramos, he is now the bassist who has more years inside Whitecross, although he hasn't recorded much with the band. How did Benny become the Whitecross bass player?
Michael Feighan: Benny Ramos joined during that period when we reformed with Rex.  Benny has known whitecross and lived in the same area since before whitecross got signed to a record deal.  I met Benny during the In the Kingdom period. I knew him as an r&b guitar player and he and Butch Dillon had a little side project going on.  When Rex told me Benny would be playing bass I said ok cool cause I figured Rex knew what he was taking about!  I love that Benny is part of whitecross, not only is he a great bass player and musician, he is a great friend of mine that I truly respect.

CCR: 17 years have passed since Whitecross's return.. When will we have a new album of the band?
Michael Feighan: Good question! I would really like to see a new whitecross album! I think we could really put forth some great material, but without a record company or funds it's really hard since the band lives in different states.
But there are options such as pledge music and go fund me etc. 
I hope we can have the opportunity to record some new material because I believe it's been too long and the fans deserve it!

CCR: Yes, Of course, it is many years, 2017 would have been a good year to commemorate the release of their first album in 1987. But there's still time, I guess. I hope to have the next Whitecross album soon.  
Later you joined King James. How did you become a member of this band? I guess under the influence of Rex Carroll. To tell you the truth, Whitecross and King James share the same members with the exception of their vocalists.
Michael Feighan: Rex had asked me if I would be interested in being part of King James since Madison line records had offered a deal, so I said sure!  He said Benny would also. Be playing bass, which was great!  I am most proud of that album because Rex let me really ad ideas drumming wise that with whitecross we hadn't done before.  I was so pleased with how everything turned out with that album but unfortunately Madison line records did nothing for marketing and the album did nothing.  That was very difficult but in the end we have an album we are all very proud of!

CCR: Maximus is definitely a great album, I think King James and Whitecross share a lot in common now.
Michael, I remember that in 2010 you had a participation in the album "Liberty N' Justice / Light It Up" along with other outstanding artists of the 80s.  What songs did you play the drums on? And how did you become part of this project?
Michael Feighan: I can't remember the name of that song for liberty and justice? Lol . I was happy how it turned out though, I do remember that.  Justin Murr who is the guy behind liberty and justice called  and asked if I would record a song for the album and I said sure! So he sent me the track and I went to a studio in Dallas and recorded and had it sent to justin.  Barry Graul ( former guitar with whitecross) Was in Dallas at that time and he came with me and recorded some guitar on that track as well.
the song may have been called, "the devil made me do it " Can't be certain it's been awhile?  I do remember after that justin said he was forming a band of Liberty and Justice to do live dates and asked me if I would like to be part of it?  I agreed and learned about 12 songs to record and play live but it never came to fruition?

CCR: It's a shame, Justin Murr has done a great job with Liberty and justice. Well, let's keep talking about Whitecross. 
This year something interesting, unexpected, amazing, and great happened. I refer to the Fusion Guardian+Whitecross, without a doubt it is one of the most interesting events that have happened on the Christian rock scene this year. Who had the brilliant idea of doing this?
Michael Feighan: Well, I was asked by David Bach of guardian to do some shows in Latin America but they never worked out and then I got a call from a previous promoter in Brazil who wanted whitecross and guardian but it was too expensive to bring both bands.  So David asked Rex and I if we would like to do a project with both himself and Jamie, and I said: that sounds great!  I asked Rex and he was in, we then got together in Chicago at rex's studio to record songs we had picked from both bands


CCR: I guess that promoter in Brazil is the main culprit. Haha. Now I wonder, will they always be songs from both bands, or are you guys working on new music?
Michael Feighan: Haha true! I blame that promoter!
Well Jamie has a lot going on with other projects, but if we get any  interest from promoters I'm sure everybody would be excited to get on board. As of right now we are not working on new music with that project.

CCR: We'd love to have new music, it would be fabulous.
Michael Feighan: Believe me I am ready! I want a new whitecross album, I want a new king James album and I would like a new recording of the guardian whitecross project!  I would be very happy!

CCR: The fans are thirsty, I expect the rest of the guys to read this. It's been a long time since the last King James album, almost two decades of the last Whitecross album and the new project with Guardian, we really hope to have new music too. I'll send a letter to all of them haha.
Michael Feighan: Yes!  Good idea! Lol

CCR: When you released the project Guardian+Whitecross, many people were asking for Scott Wenzel, Tony Palacios and the rest of the guys from both bands. Is there a possibility that they will be part of this project? Could they make a Guardian+Whitecross 2? Lol
Michael Feighan: I think that would be awesome!  I know Tony is very busy road managing and doing sound for some big artists so I don't know, but I think that would be great!

CCR: I've been looking at the cover of EP "Revival" and it reminds me of Guardian's "Miracle Mile" cover. . . tell me if I'm wrong or not. Is David Bach who designed this cover for Revival EP?
Michael Feighan: Yes you are correct!  Lol

Both covers designed by David Bach

CCR: As a famous Mexican comedian would say: I suspected it from the beginning (Lo Sospeche desde un principio) Lol
They already have the EP Revival. Now, what's next?
Michael Feighan: What's next? Do you mean with that project?

CCR: Yes, I guess it doesn't end here, there must be more things in mind, a concert tour, videos, more music, etc.
Michael Feighan: At this point I'm not sure, I wish I could give you a better answer than that,  Jamie is working on a new Adrian gale CD right now so I know that's his priority at the moment.  At this point I hope we get some interest for live dates, I think that would help.

CCR: Well, that's not very flattering. I saw them very excited about the Guardian+Whitecross project, all the fans were also excited, waiting for news about this project, I really hope it doesn't end with just one EP, that would be really sad. 
Michael Feighan: Yes I agree, I would be disappointed if that's all there was to that project!

CCR: I'll try not to think about it.

Michael Feighan: Lol

CCR: Within a few weeks Whitecross will make a short tour of Guatemala. You have visited that country 3 times, what memories does Guatemala bring you? And what can you tell us about this next tour in that country?
Michael Feighan: Guatamala brings wonderful memories for me!  I'm not just saying that because of this interview, we have always enjoyed ourselves when we come to guatamala!  The fans of whitecross and of rock music are amazing in Latin America!  They are loyal to the bands and music they love!  I love my country but it's not near as fun to play music as it is in Guatamala.
My goal for our band this trip is to play to our best ability and to be available to the fans and most importantly to give God glory for who He is and what He has done for us and also for allowing whitecross to  come to Guatamala again!!

CCR: I never imagined you'd say that, it means you must be eager to get to Guatemala in December. Well, we talked about Whitecross, King James, Liberty and Justicie, Guardian+Whitecross, Guatemala, let's talk about you now. What does Michael Feighan do when he's not making music?
Michael Feighan: I live in the Galveston Texas area and when Whitecross is not out playing, I play with a few different Texas acts and then of course spending time with my family!
im also very much into spending time improving my craft.

CCR: Crafts? What kind of crafts?
Michael Feighan: Lol I meant in proving my drumming skills
Improving, basically I practice a lot!!
Because there are so many great drummers out there I need to keep my chops up!!

CCR: I mean, even in your spare time you keep making music???, that's great, music to my ears.  Wait, you sing too? Have you ever thought about being a vocalist in another band? I've seen you sing "Knocking on Heavens Doors"
Michael Feighan: I've thought about it, I guess it depends on what kind of band, cause I don't have the range like Scott has! plus, I enjoy drumming so much I would probably be looking back at the drums the whole time LOL

CCR: Probably haha. Michael, of all the things you've lived through in Whitecross, King James, is there any special moment, any moment that has marked your career within Whitecross or King James?
Michael Feighan: That's a tough question, there have been so many wonderful experiences.  I think playing in  Rio de Janeiro at the soccer stadium for 40 plus thousand people, was  surreal.  Also touring with Stryper for 2 weeks in Europe was amazing, although Michael sweet had left the group at this point.  Of course seeing people make a decision to follow Jesus is what all this is about and humblin that he would allow me to be part of this!

CCR: Wow, I'm really glad to hear that. What bands like Stryper, Petra, Guardian, Whitecross and others have achieved is proof of God's omnipotence, and that their purpose has been fulfilled. I really thank God for Whitecross and all these bands, you have been a blessing to many people in different parts of the world.
Michael Feighan: Thank you Anthony!  And thank you for what you do!  You are a blessing as well!

CCR: I really appreciate you accepting this interview, it was a great honor. I hope that in the next interview there's already an album  from one of your bands. 
Michael Feighan: Yes sir!  I very much enjoyed our conversation and hope to see you at one of the shows in Guatemala!

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