Systems analyst rocking his way through life
June 27, 2012
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Monday through Friday, Anthony P. Rosata is a cool-headed, polite, hardworking and funny Army Contracting Command-Rock Island systems analyst. But ask the crowd at one of his band's shows about his persona and you'd get a whole different list of descriptors: heavy, loud and brutal, for instance.
After-hours, Rosata is a guitarist in the heavy metal band, My Pal Trigger. The band has been together for three years and has released its first recording, "The Damned EP," a demo featuring three songs that can be found on the Internet.
Rosata began playing the guitar in 1998 as he was getting ready to graduate high school. He met James A. Davis III, a member of a cover band that played Metallica, Slayer and other metal bands.
"It looked so fun that I knew I had to play guitar, so I bought a cheap little guitar and just started playing," he said. "I could barely play anything and I didn't even know how to change my strings."
Soon after picking up that first guitar, Rosata played in his first metal band and opened for bands such as Mudvayne and even played at the Ozzfest.
Since then, he has played in several other bands, including one that was more commercial radio rock than heavy metal.
"That band got some airplay regionally and we were on our way up with TV deals," said the systems analyst.
While the band's music ran as background tracks on two episodes of MTV's "Road Rules Challenge" and one episode of MTV's "Spring Break," it decided to disband due to creative differences.
After that band broke up, he and Davis created My Pal Trigger and decided they wanted to create southern-rock, bluesy kind of music.
So, how did the band transform from Southern-rock and blues to death metal?
"We would warm up and Ruben (Villegas, the band's drummer) would blast beats with his snare and he blew us away," Rosata said. "We realized he was being underutilized so we decided at that point to just have fun and be as brutal as possible and be a metal band again."
Rosata's interest in becoming an original artist began as a youth when his grandfather would play "Pop Goes the Weasel" and "Puff the Magic Dragon" on his acoustic guitar.
He says the joy of creating metal music is directly connected to the adrenaline high he gets.
"It's exciting and challenging to play," Rosata said. "It's physical. I'm tired and sweaty afterwards."
My Pal Trigger got a break this winter when it was invited to compete in a battle of the bands at a popular venue for live music in the Quad Cities.
"What that did for us was incredible," he said. "We developed a following from it. We had so much fun and the crowd interaction was just incredible."
Sue LeGros, an ACC-RI procurement analyst, said she typically listens to hard-rock, rock and alternative, and has an appreciation for metal, but doesn't consider herself a metal head.
Nevertheless, she has seen My Pal Trigger a few times.
"They put on a great show," said LeGros. "It's loud, of course, which is good, and lots of energy that pulls you in. They have an awesome time through their music and because they do, so do you."
Rosata acknowledges that not everyone will like My Pal Trigger's music.
"It is brutal music," he said. "It's really heavy and not for everybody. The people that do like this type of music seem to like our band. As an artist, you do what you do and because one person doesn't like it, you're not going to change for them."
Rosata says that he and the other members of the band are mainly just "enjoying the ride and having fun," but he added, they have developed merchandise and other professional materials.
"We're emulating what successful bands are doing," said Rosata. "We are prepared for a situation where, if there is someone who can do something about moving us to the next stage, we are ready to go."
As if he wasn't busy enough with My Pal Trigger, he also recently created another band, The Cattle Brains, along with Chad Clark, an U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center employee.
"Cattle Brains is just plain rock," said Rosata. "We're going to submit some songs to placement agencies to try to get on the air."