Black Water Rising

An interview with guitarist Johnny Fattoruso of Black Water Rising
by Tina Hall
December 2010

Black Water Rising

Black Water Rising

The New York rock band Black Water Rising was formed by singer/songwriter Rob Traynor, along with drummer Mike Meselsohn, guitarist Johnny Fattoruso, and bassist Oddie McLaughlin. Their 11 song self-titled debut album is available now. Fans might recognize them from their stints touring with acts like Hellyeah, King’s X, Monster Magnet, Life Of Agony, Joey Belladonna (Anthrax) & others. Their song Rise was recently tapped as the official song for the New Jersey Devils.

Maximum Ink: What led you to become a musician in the first place? 
Johnny Fattoruso:  I would have to say it was a mix between hearing KISS at 3 years old and my parents. They weren’t musicians but when they saw I took a liking to music they put a guitar in my hands at an early age and in true KISS fashion I smashed it in the street..

MI: When did you first know it was what you wanted to do as a career?
JF: As soon as I saw Cliff ‘em All for the first time I knew right at that moment that I wanted to do this. It was so raw and I never saw Metallica play live until that video, I was 13 and just started taking lessons. I lost my mind when I saw that. If I didn’t go down the music route, I think it would have been sports or some form of writing or something I could do to express myself. I was a pretty creative/entertaining kid..maybe a stand up comic HA HA HA!!!

MI: What was it like to open for acts that you have? Do you have any stories from the road you can share with our readers? 
JF: It’s always a treat to play with bigger bands because the stage is bigger, the crowds are big and the sound is better so it’s been cool to do what we have done and play with the bigger bands. Some of the guys including myself have been in signed bands before and have a history with some of the bands we played with. Joey from LOA and I were in Stereomud together for about 5 years, so opening for them was like hanging out with family, great bunch of guys and Joey is like a brother to me so it’s just a good time. Stories from the road?? I have tons of them, but in BWR there was our trip from NY to Texas and back where I was shit hammered drunk somewhere and decided to play tackle football with a tree at 4 in the morning in front of the hotel and every time I tackled this damn thing, it would bend down to the ground and slingshot me up and on my ass. This went on for a good half hour. I do believe Mike recorded it on his phone, it’s kind of dark but once your eyes adjust to the screen you can see it and it’s fucking hilarious. Maybe we’ll post it one day. I have tons of stories but that is a PG rated one for ya..

MI: What is it like to work with the rest of the guys? 
JF:  It’s pretty easy, we don’t argue really at all so when we are working on music its easy. We are all in there for the same reason and no one is coming in and trying to throw a wrench in the gears, we just wanna play some good music.

MI: Did you ever imagine your work would be featured as the official song of the New Jersey Devils? 
JF: The thought never crossed my mind ever in my life. Being a song for any sports team was never a thought in my mind, so this is pretty cool to say the least.

MI: Do you get a rush out of hearing that? 
JF: To be honest, when Oddie called me and told me to go listen to it I was like OK so I did but I didn’t think I would get the chills when I listened. Every time I show it to somebody I get the chills because it’s just a cool thing and it’s used to charge up an entire arena of people and a team so yeah I get a little rush out of it.

MI: What do you hope your fans take away from the live shows? 
JF: I hope they get their money’s worth for one and also I hope they just embrace the power of live music and how it can change your mood entirely. Going on You tube and watching a live video is not even close to the actual live event. So I hope they get a great show from us and tell their friends and bring them down and just enjoy a good rock show.

MI: What do you like to do when you aren’t working? 
JF:  I’m a kick it at home type of guy, I love going to the gym, riding my mountain bike, relaxing on the couch watching movies, hanging with my friends drinking beers, and watching football. That’s basically it really, looking for some new stuff to get into to occupy my time.

MI: What was the best advice anyone has ever given you on working in the music industry? 
JF: My first guitar teacher who was 2 grades older than me in high school told me this and I remember it every time something stupid happens in this industry, he said, “remember John, the word business is a lot bigger than the word music.”  I’ll never forget that and it is so fuckin’ true!!!!

MI: What projects are you working on at the moment? 
JF: Trying to finish fixing up my home, it’s taking me forever and it’s not even that big HA HA HA!!!

MI: Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
JF:  I’d just like to send them all one HUGE THANK YOU!!!! That’s all I can say is thank you, they are awesome and have really made this worth doing. It’s funny b/c when people hear us they don’t like it they love it and that makes us feel so good you have no idea so THANK YOU ALL!!!!

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