Day job: I’ve been in sales. Most recently I was selling high-end manufactured homes.
Band: Based out of Eugene, Oregon, Code Red was formed by guitarist Cory Smith and me, because we wanted to play all of the artists that nobody in this state is covering, and because we really love bands from the ’70s and ’80s. We are playing more private and outdoor festivals all over Oregon than ever, because everyone wants to hear these bands again. They love this music!
How I got started: I began playing piano when I was five. I played for four years and then took up the trumpet in school. I played the horn all the way through high school and into the Marine Corps. I moved to Oregon after that and played in a few big bands, along with some funk and Motown projects.
Influences: Several, including the Beach Boys and Boston. They have nothing in common except the one thing I love most: perfect harmonies! I love singing the high parts in these tunes when I’m not singing leads. Also: Van Halen, Elton John, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Poison, AC/DC, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Cars, Sammy Hagar, and Led Zeppelin. I love them all.
Why I play: I always wanted to cover my favorite bands, and I formed Code Red so I could. I believe in playing everything as close to the original as possible. If it has horns, bells, organ, electric or acoustic piano, whatever, it’s going in there. People really appreciate it when you go the extra mile or two to get authenticity. We mainly play parties and festivals, corporate and non-profit, in large and small venues. I just love to play.
When Roger Lloyd plays with Code Red, his primary keyboard is an Ensoniq TS-10. “It may be a little older, but it performs flawlessly,” he says. “I love its pianos and thick strings. I use it for everything except organ and electric piano, for which I use an Alesis QS 6.1 [soon to be replaced by a Korg M50]. I use two Roland pedals — one for sustain and the other for program change steps in the middle of a song. I use the Peavey KB 300 amp, which has great tone. It’ll blow your socks off when turned up, even outdoors. For vocals, I use Shure SM58 wireless and wired mics, and a Shure wireless in-ear monitor system.”
Boston, Greatest Hits (Sony Legacy)
Tom Scholz, founder of the rock band Boston, is one of weekend warrior Roger Lloyd’s favorite musicians. “He’s a genius, and I love listening to his Hammond,” says Tom. “Especially in ‘Smokin’,’ another song we cover.” That tune and other Boston classics sound better than ever on the remastered edition of Boston’s Greatest Hits, released earlier this year.
Check out these keyboard-heavy acts, on tour this month.