Life’s a party

Todd “Noize” Voss // Photo: Fred Lopez

Mount Dora rocker has nothing but fun on solo record.

Todd “Noize” Voss boldly announces who he is on the opening track of his first solo CD: a “Cool Rocking Daddy” with a blistering guitar.

The Mount Dora musician also tells listeners what’s important to him in the fun-loving title song: “Girls, Guitars, Motorcycles, and Cars!!!” (with three exclamation points because one just won’t do).

“The title song says it all,” he says.

Noize—most people know him by the nickname a bandmate slapped on him—released the disc in December 2016, thanks to free recording time from friend Kim LaFleur at Palladium Sound in Sanford and donations from around the world on gofundme.com. After decades of traveling in bands, the solo project was a labor of love.

It all started with a Kiss concert in the 1970s. Born in Racine, Wisconsin, halfway between the music scenes of Milwaukee and Chicago, Noize saw the boisterous, pyrotechnic, painted-face band perform at a nearby ice rink.

“There’s not a better way to be introduced to rock ’n’ roll,” he says. “When they came out, they looked 10 feet tall. I had seen pictures, but until you saw them live, you weren’t ready for it.”

The next day, Noize grabbed a guitar that had been gathering dust under his bed, and a lifelong obsession began. His band later played shows with Chicago up-and-comers Cheap Trick, and he became acquaintances with guitarist Rick Nielsen. Noize’s song “Loving Arms” is an ode to Milwaukee and those nights of heading home from a gig to a waiting love.

He’s now played 1,500 gigs and his résumé reads like “The Noize Heard ’Round the World Tour”: The States, Canada, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and shows for troops in the Middle East.

When Noize decided to make the CD, he was influenced by another KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. He didn’t want to write about doom and gloom—he wanted a party record. On the eight tracks, Noize’s guitar and Gene Katko’s drums produce a big sound with riffs and beats reminiscent of those ’70s influences, with an echo of rock pioneers.

“Better Days” is a catchy standout melodically and lyrically, and perhaps a theme song for Noize to get through recent personal hardships: “I will sing my way out of this one/All I want are better days.”

And he’s making the most of his days in “Say Hey,” the CD closer. There’s a new sheriff in town and he’s not going anywhere: “Life’s a party I ain’t leaving.”

“Music is such a passionate thing for me,” Noize says. “I can’t go a day without it.”

“Girls, Guitars, Motorcycles, and Cars!!!” can be purchased at cdbaby.com, bandcamp.com, or by emailing noizerocks@gmail.com.

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