Piper with the well known Irish rock band the Dropkick Murphys.
What kind of pipes and chanter do you play?
I play a set of 1951 Henderson Silver & Ivory (Celtic Pattern) with multiple chanters as my studio set (R.G. Hardie, Shepherd, Dunbar Ellis and an old Henderson chanter)…on stage I now play R.G. Hardie.
Where do you hail from? Where do you live now?
I am originally from the UK, but grew up in Canada (landed when I was 9)…and have been living in Dorchester, Massachusetts for the last 5 years.
Tell me about your piping career. When did you start? What bands have you played with?
My piping career started when I was 15 with the Calgary Highlander Cadet Corps. I had/have always been fascinated by the look and sound of the Great Highland bagpipe. To my understanding, my mother and grand-parents had Bagpipe music around me when I was very young. I have had the good fortune to play with a few great pipe bands and a lot of great pipers during my career. I graduated from the Military school of piping in 1990 in Ottawa, Canada. I served in Yugoslavia in 1992 and served as a rifleman and a piper. I piped for the Commander-in -Chief of the UN forces, as well as other general piping tasks. For the changing of our regimental colors, I was a member of a large Pipe band that performed for Queen Elizabeth the 2nd in Calgary, Alberta. I have also played in several Calgary Stampede parades with The Calgary Highlanders regiment. I have played literally all over the planet and feel very blessed to have done so.
What has been your proudest moment in piping so far?
My proudest piping moment to date has to be all of them…to be a musician who has a career where I can play pipes, travel the world and make a descent living at it…I am very proud of that.
What has been your most stressful moment?
I don’t get a lot of stressful moments… except when I go out of tune or drop a reed on stage…I try to stay as calm and laid back as possible…
Who were you taught by?
I was instructed for most of my career by P/M Robert Henderson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He mentored me in all aspects of piping and it is with all my thanks to him that I owe my abilities. In my opinion he is one of the finest Piobaireachd players I have ever met and that has played a pivotal role in ways and movements I use currently.
What do you do as a day job?
The band is my day and night job…I am fortunate enough to be able to strictly concentrate on the band.
What other hobbies/pursuits/past times do you have?
Music and piping has been my obsession for as long as I can remember…I enjoy reading books about Military History, Religion and also enjoy watching movies.
Where is the most interesting place your piping travels have taken you?
My career has taken me from Australia to Europe, Japan, North America, The United Kingdom and everywhere in between…I would have to say Japan is probably the most interesting place that I have ever played.
What would your most perfect piping event be? Say if you could snap your fingers and make it happen. Describe.
My idea of a perfect piping event would be to watch my son play…he’s only 3 right now and is going to be a great piper…I can’t wait to see how he develops…