The news of the passing of Eddie Van Halen sent titanic shockwaves throughout the entire music world. While the debate as to who was the greatest guitar player of all time may never be settled, few would disagree that Eddie Van Halen was likely the most influential guitar player of all time. Many would agree that Van Halen set the tone for the coming 1980’s when they burst onto the national scene in 1978. Since that time the band’s music and the groundbreaking work of Eddie Van Halen has inspired countless artists.
Among those inspired by the guitar playing of Eddie Van Halen is Kodiak guitar player Chris Biggiani. He has said that his playing from the top down draws a great deal of influence from EVH. Kodiak’s general sound has a real Van Halen vibe to it and the similarities don’t stop there. Guitar player Chris Biggiani and drummer Pete Biggiani are brothers, just like Eddie and Alex Van Halen.
Carmine Appice, the legendary drummer whose work includes Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, met Pete Biggiani years ago when he just a kid. Pete won a contest to perform in Appice’s “Realistic Rock For Kids” video. The two stayed in touch and once the band’s lineup was completed with the addition of singer Eric Dalton and bass player TJ Haefner, Pete Biggiani brought his band before his drum mentor. Carmine Appice immediately recognized the group’s potential and began managing, producing, and mentoring them.
In a relatively short time Kodiak has earned a sizable amount of acclaim on the national scene. On the strength of just 2 singles they have earned the attention of record labels, television producers, and music lovers. Through it all Carmine Appice has compared them to a “young Van Halen.”
While there are apparent similarities between the 2 bands, Kodiak is no Van Halen clone. This band has their own identity and their own set of rules. They may draw inspiration from the work of the most influential guitar player of all time, but they are definitely blazing their own path. It is, however, great to see a bit of Eddie Van Halen live on in a band that is ready to seize the future.
Tune to Jersey Rock on 95.9 The Rat Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 11:30 pm to hear great tracks from Kodiak! Pete and Chris Biggiani along with their mentor Carmine Appice will call in to the show each night. On Tuesday we’ll premiere a brand new Van Halen-inspired tune!
Learn more at kodiakband.com!
Check out Kodiak’s epic set on the Jersey Rock Home Showcase!