Published on June 17th, 2020 | by Al Geiner


Q&A with Walker’s Cay~

Walker’s Cay is an original rock band based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Members include Gary LaBarr, (Vocalist/Rhythm Guitar/Keyboards), Mike Swain, (Lead and Rhythm Guitars), Tim Morrissey (bass) and David, “Dave” Pistilli, (Drums).

Gary LaBarr has gold and platinum record status for his work in various original band projects, working as a musician, producer, and arranger.

Mike Swain is considered to be the “technical wizard” for the band, due to his 30-plus years as a licensed control technician at a nuclear power plant. Mike is also a professional recording engineer, specializing in the Pro-Tools recording platform.

Tim Morrissey comes to Walker’s Cay with quite the resume as a professional bass player and recording artist. He is a “gear geek” in regards to his intense interest in achieving that “perfect” bass sound. Tim loves the older analog components of sound, stating that “anything with tubes, is ALWAYS a good thing!”

Lastly, David “Dave” Pistilli lays down the tasty “back-beat” that Walker’s Cay is known for. With a rock/jazz style type of percussive education, Dave is the epitome of musical class, knowing “what NOT to play” in Walker’s Cay music!

Walker’s Cay gets its name from an “out island” in the Bahamas. It was visited by Gary LaBarr, (a private pilot), and some friends back in the late 1990’s. Not only did this beautiful island stand out in Gary’s mind throughout his life, but the name of “Walker’s Cay” did as well.

The music that this band writes, records and performs, is reminiscent of such classic bands as Styx, Journey, Def Leppard, Toto, and Heart, just to name a few.

New single, “Tell Me” reached #1 on the iTunes AND Google Play charts in South Africa!


What first got you into music?

I was into music as a kid after I saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Also, there was always an old piano around our house while I was growing up, and I used to go and bang on it.  So I actually think that it was the piano!  Ha!  I really got the music bug when MTV “hit the streets!”

Who inspired you to make music?

The Beatles, and my Cousin Lainne.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

It is a mixture of the Pop/Rock Genre.  Music with very nice melody lines, and memorable chorus lines.

What is your creative process like?

It is different at different times.  Sometimes “a lyric” comes to mind of a situation in life, and then I write the melody to that, and sometimes I get an idea for a chord structure with a melody, and I start with that as well.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Probably Tommy Shaw or Dennis DeYoung of Styx.  The guys from Def Leppard, or Bryan Adams would also be a thrill!

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

Probably Def Leppard.

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Be nice to people, and do NOT be a hypocrite!

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

No…Too much going on in there!  🙂

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

I would love to be an actor!  (Any agents, producers, or directors out there looking)?

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

I personally have in fact been blessed to perform all over the world.  There are so many GREAT venues to say the least.  However, I really enjoyed playing The Penny Arcade in Rochester, New York back in the 1980’s.  That venue gave so many up and coming musicians their start, including such fantastic artists as Great White, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Godsmack, Blue Oyster Cult, The Ramones, The Joe Perry Project, I mean the list goes on and on and on!  The late great venue owner, Greg Sullivan, did EVERYTHING that he could to help all of us achieve success in this business.  He was an Angel in the rock world!  I would rather NOT state my least favorite venue(s), since there were several of them.  And in all honesty, it was NOT the actual venue itself, but rather the owner, manager, or support staff of that particular venue that made the experience a total disappointment.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

The Internet has helped, (and has definitely hurt) this industry.  The help part…Fantastic promotion of artists, bands, and talent for just about free of charge!  The bad part?  With today’s technology and Internet tools to “help develope” an artist, it is NOT really helping real musician’s that actually go out and tune their instruments, write songs without some one else’s loop’s or samples, and who does NOT rely on technology to “do the job” for them.  It is way to easy now a days to be an “artist.”

What is your favourite song to perform?

I think one of my new songs that I wrote, called “Why Oh Why!”  It has some very nice acoustic guitar stuff in it, and the chrous line is a killer!  🙂

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

With a band?  Or in my life?  Ha!  Absolutely NO comment!  I plead “The 5th!”

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Again, if you are referring to the music industry, it is simple.  Work hard, and have integrity.  Dedication to the core, with NO B.S.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

Get rid of technology…Do it all from your heart, your mind, your hands, your mouth, and your soul!

What’s next for you?

Basically, just waiting for things to get back to “normal,” with this virus situation.  It is so sad.  But it is worth waiting it out.

How important is the current climate crisis to you and how do you think you could help?

I am not sure that I understand the question, but if you are referring to the virus and isolation that is going on in the world right now, I think that besides being a very bad thing for all of us, maybe we can become better musicians in the long run, but taking the time, and writing better music, and, more importantly, being nicer to each other…I mean, where are we going now?  🙂


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