AKMS: Chris, you’ve been in the western PA music scene for a while now, what do you feel are the pros and cons of the scene?
CD: Well, I’ve been in the scene for 23 years now and I’ve seen it go through several changes. I’d have to say the biggest pro of the scene we have right now, is the brotherhood that is being formed with all of these bands.
Bands booking shows and sharing nights together, splitting costs and profits of multiple band shows. Also the charity and benefit scene that is going on. These musicians are more than generous with their time and talents than ever before. They jump at the chance to play a free show for a cause they believe in!!! Who would have ever thought 20 years ago that bands would be lining up and waiting for a chance to play….for free!!
I’d have to say the only con that I see recently is actually one that’s been around a while and I’m not sure I see it changing, its the rotation rut that some clubs get stuck in. There are so many great bands in this town that won’t get a chance to play in some clubs in the area because they only book the exact same bands in a rotation every month or 2. I can understand that sometimes the ” if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy is just downright safe business, but there could be the next big thing waiting at your door…..you just never know.
AKMS: What do you feel was the best moment you spent on stage, and why?
CD: I’ve had some great moments that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed but I’d have to say my favorite moment on stage was at Rock for Life’s Gigaroo when my daughter Zoe got to watch us live for the first time and I got to hold her on stage while I sang. She looked at me that day like there was no cooler dad in the world!!! She won’t always look at me that way but I’ll now always know what that look, looked like!!
AKMS: What does the future hold for your current projects? Do you have any upcoming shows? Recording Sessions? etc.
CD: The future for Flashback is looking great!!! We’ve recently had some great shows and have gotten some great exposure and we plan to continue to grow in 2017!! Playing at a Pittsburgh Pirates Block Party at PNC Park was definitely a huge moment for us!! Flashbacks last show of the year is a Peter B’s on November 19th if you dig 80’s music come on out and Party with us!!
Rokbot will be doing our last show of the year on November 12th…also at Peter B’s!! The plan for Rokbot in 2017 is to possibly do some recording. We get great reactions to our original music but have never put out any kind of disc….it may be time to put down some tracks and get something people can take home with them.
AKMS: Please tell us about Zoe’s New Beginnings.
CD: Zoe’s New Beginnings is a Non-profit my wife and I run. We deliver gift bags full of essential items that parents receive as they leave the NICU. We work with every hospital in Pittsburgh that has a NICU. We make monthly deliveries and the hospital distributes the gift bags as the babies are discharged. It’s our version of a graduation, from the NICU, present.
Our next fundraiser is at Jergels on Sunday afternoon December 4th. It’s a Christmas show for kids. I put together an all-star band and we play Christmas songs and get the kids dancing and singing and just enjoying the music and spirit of the holidays… oh yeah and there’s always a visit from the Big Guy himself for pictures with the kids. For more info check out our Zoe’s New Beginnings Concert Series page on Facebook.
AKMS: What is 1 question that you’d like us to ask the next interviewee?
CD: 1 question….I think I’d like to ask this…. If you could say a thank you to one local musician that is not a current band mate of yours, for being an influence and helping to mold you into the performer you are today, who would it be?
In the interest of fair play and answering my own question…I would have to say thank you the one and only Mike Palone!!
Where to find Chris Dittman:
Listen to the Pennsylvania Rock Show Episode on Rock Benefits including Zoe’s New Beginnings