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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Survivor's Dave Bickler, More Than a Tiger's Tale

In the movie Rocky, Adrian asks Rocky why he wants to be a fighter. His response: “Because I can’t sing or dance.”  Dave Bickler can sing; “Eye Of The Tiger” proved that. Whether he or Survivor could have imagined that song would go to #1 all over the world, win a Grammy, a People’s Choice Award, receive an Academy Award nomination, and become one of the greatest motivational songs of all time, well, probably not.

Sometimes though, the taste of success can be bittersweet. Following an extended tour, Bickler developed vocal problems and was forced to leave the band. Memphis singer Jimi Jamison stepped into Bickler’s spot, and Survivor recorded the extremely successful Vital Signs album.

After two more albums, Survivor went on hiatus, regrouped with and without Bickler, and finally in 2013, the band toured with both Bickler and Jamison together. The experiment proved to be successful, and with the one-two punch of both lead singers, Survivor hit the road on a larger scale this year.

After interviewing original band member Frankie Sullivan during the first tour with the two lead singers, and Jimi Jamison as this tour was getting underway, I was lucky enough to hear the perspective of the Survivor journey from Dave Bickler.

Kath Galasso: I’m going to ask you a question I asked Jimi (Jamison) when I interviewed him. In your vocal process, is there a certain way you work into it, or do you just go in and sing?
Dave Bickler: Well, I do just go and sing, but singing does require some thought. You have to be sure that you have enough breath to get through it, there is some thought that goes on in my head while I’m doing it. I couldn’t explain it exactly, but you use different parts of your voice too. There’s a full voice, a falsetto that you can transition between for certain things. So I do think about that.

Going back to your first stint with Survivor, and when “Eye Of The Tiger” happened, that whole roller coaster ride, what was the most memorable thing, what stood out the most?
Obviously we had the hit record so then we went out on the road, and doing the big halls, the big sheds, that was amazing. And I do remember when the record went to #1. We were doing phoners for the record company and they told us “your record just went to #1.” That was a good moment. Cause that’s why I got into it in the first place. I wanted to be in a band, I wanted to make records, to be able to do it for my living, and all that stuff, from when I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. It’s cliché but it’s true.

For the rest of the interview with Survivor's Dave Bickler, click on the link to OnstageMagazine.
Survivor's Dave Bickler, More Than a Tiger's Tale


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