"At age twelve I was a good little baseball player, I had a great pitching arm. Then my right hip blew out. Operation, four pins in my hip (half of one is still in there), crutches for several months and no sports for two years. But, when I saw Kiss on television in 1975, that was it. I wasn’t worried about pitching for the Yankees someday, I wanted to do that! And, here I am."Jaff Plate has endorsements with Paiste Cymbals, Pearl Drums, Vater Drumsticks, TKL Cases. He also uses Remo Drumheads and Roland V-Drums and electronics. Previously Jeff used Ludwig, Gretsch, and Yamaha Drums, Sabian and Zildjian cymbals, and Gibraltar hardware. About his musical inspiration, Plate says:
"The band Chicago got my attention when I was very young. Then I saw KISS on television and it was all over. After that, there are too many to mention."Jeff Plate played throughout high school, in the band and with friends. He took private lessons and was practicing at least two hours a day, if not four or five. He lived in the country, there wasn’t anyone around to bother. Plate continues:
"I was playing in bars when I was seventeen. I moved to Tampa, Florida in 1981. Played in a couple bands, both covers and originals. Moved back home in ’82, and did the same there for two more years. In 1984 I moved to the Boston area, knowing there were more opportunities musically. I eventually left the idea of playing music to make money, whatever it was, and got a day job and concentrated on doing original music."Wicked Witch was formed in 1989. Founder and guitarist Matt Leff brought in vocalist Zack Stevens and they played New England for three years. Did well, but no record deal. Zack left and joined Savatage. Jeff Plate left Boston and moved back home to retool.
"No audition, Zack’s word and the strength of the demos we had done earlier got me in. Within three months of actually playing in the band, I had toured the States, been to Japan, and recorded a live album, my first professional effort. I always said that if I could do at least one tour and record one album, I would have won. Three more CDs, world tours, magazine covers, respect, adulation. All of this with one of the world’s greatest bands."The Trans-Siberian Orchestra was formed in 1996 out the success of ‘Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12/24’ off of the Savatage CD "Dead Winter Dead". TSO has done three CDs and sold millions of copies. A fourth will be released in October ’04. The winter tour has grown from seven shows in theaters in ’99, to close to 100 shows, selling out arenas, and using two bands to cover the east and west coasts. From Horseheads, NY, to Madison Square Garden. Commenting Plate: "Not bad for a farmboy." On a more serious note, Plate explains:
"The most important thing to happen to me in my life has been the loss of my sister, and best friend, Terry. She died in a car accident 11/11/03. You are never prepared for things like this, and when they happen it puts so many things in a different perspective. She is survived by her husband Bill, and sons Jeff and Bradley. The boys are the main focus now."Chris Caffery is one of Plate's favorite guitarists, named one of his best friends, and has been his partner with Savatage and TSO for the past nine years. Plate:
"In February 2004 we went into Spin Studio in Queens and recorded his solo CD's "Faces" and "God Damn War". My best studio experience to date, and honestly one of my favorite CDs. I’ve always loved Chris’ songwriting and style. He did a tremendous amount of work and it is something we are both proud of. It was also great therapy."The CD has been released in Europe, with an American release and world tour in early 2005. Commenting on this efford, Plate tells:
"It is my proudest and best performance to date. 30 drumtracks in 5 days, a lot of work, but well worth it. A pleasure and privelege working with Chris."About his plans for the near future Plate reveils:
"I'm going to do some serious touring with TSO and Chris Caffery, take care of and help raise my 2 nephews, build a house, and maybe get a little lucky..."In February 2006 Jeff Plate joined Metal Church, replacing Kirk Arrington as Metal Church's drummer. One month later, in March, Chris Caffery he would no longer utilize the services of Plate.
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