A gentle giant with a musical genius, Carl Moszur is the soul and smile of the band. Born in January in Chicago. Moszur started playing the organ at age 11, to fill a spot in a band formed by his brother and cousins. Later, Moszur performed with the band "Hot Ice," where he met future bandmate Paul Martin, and in 1971 became M&R Rush's first and only keyboard player.
After high school, Moszur studied electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The principal writer of M&R Rush music, he is an acclaimed songwriter who won an honorable mention for his talents from the American Song Festival in the 1970s. His knowledge of music has proven invaluable when figuring out the tight vocal arrangements that quickly became an M&R Rush trademark.
Moszur's stage presence is also electric. His endless supply of energy lights up the stage, while his brilliant keyboards bring dimension and harmony to the band's highly polished sound..
Carl plays Yamaha keyboards and uses Roland amps.
M&R Questions & Answers
What Do You Enjoy About Playing in M&R Rush:
I enjoy writing a great song and having the rest of the guys getting pumped up about it.
What Do You Want The Audience To Remembers About a M&R Rush Concert:
I think they remember the energy and the fun we have performing.
Owl's are pretty cool. I had one flying alone side of my car watching me one summer night.
What People Say About You:
They find it hard to believe that I play in a rock band.
Favorite Artists Past and Present:
Led Zeppelin, Cream, Beatles, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Journey; Santana, Styx, Kansas, Yes, Foreigner, Bad Company, Def Lepard, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Boston - TO NAME A FEW.
Disc or Player in the Player Right Now:
No Secret - my daughters favorite group.
If You Knew This Question Was Going To Be Asked What Would You Have In The Player:
M&R Rush - Of Course!
What You Want People To Say About You:
That was just one of the boys from the old neighborhood.
Pepper Steak, potato casserole, pretzel salad, key lime pie and Deep Dish Pizza (Due's)
What You Most Often End Up Eating:
Something at McDonald's or Subway
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up:
A good Dad
Place Of Birth:
Roseland Community Hospital, Chicago IL.
Interests, Hobbies, Outside Of M&R Rush:
I enjoy doing fun things with my family and friends.
What Car Do You Wish You Owned:
A Jaguar - any model.
Minute Maid Lemon-aid Lite
Zywiec - A polish beer that has some kick, but goes down smooth.
First Rock Album:
Hollies Greatest Hits.
Your Former Bands:
In my first band I played with my brother Fred and two cousins Russell and Bill. We had no name. Later I played with Paul Martin in Hot Ice.
Most Disturbing Thing You've Seen During Your Years Of Playing:
A bad car / truck accident happened right in front of John and myself as we headed to play at Ferris State College in Michigan. A guy that was supposed to get married the next week was killed.
How Long Have You Been Playing Your Instrument:
Since I was eleven years old.
Favorite M&R Rush Song:
Heavy Metal Christmas - Did you get your copy yet??
Last Concert You Saw:
Journey and Sammy Hagar at the Tweeter Center.
The Styx 'Grand Illusion"concert at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. It's the only time I got goose bumps at a concert, from the show.
Movies You Recommend:
Braveheart, Gladiator, Meet the Parents, Me Myself and Irene.
Regular or Decaff Coffee:
How Do You Take Your Coffee:
Sugar and lots of milk. The way my Dad drank it.
What Your Band Mates Say About You:
I'm always pushing a new song. That I am always smiling.
Favorite Sports Team:
What You Watch On TV:
Father Ted, Friends, Frasier.
Why You Play The Instrument You Play:
My brother needed a keyboard player for his band.
What You Would Play If You Had To Choose a Different Instrument:
The Cubs not making it to the World Series In 1969
I'm not really a career person. I'm a gardener basically - George Harrison.
Most Embarrassing On-Stage Moment:
Falling on my butt at Chicago Fest after doing a Karate Kick.
Polish and Slovak.
What Do You Miss From Your Youth:
Favorite Day Of The Week:
Artist You Admire, But Do Not Listen To:
Coke or Pepsi:
Paper or Plastic:
Most Obscure Artist You Enjoy Listening To:
Artists People Would Be Surprised You Like:
Faith Hill, Madonna.
Magazines You Enjoy:
Men's Health, Chicago.
Ever Traveled Out Of The Country, Where:
Mustard or Ketchup:
Brothers and Sisters:
If You Went To A Casino, What Would You Play:
Your Dream House:
One that is paid for.
Leno or Lettermen:
Skill That Most Aren't Aware Of:
I like telling Jokes.
Musical Guilty Pleasure (Like It But Embarrassed To Admit It):
The Monkeys, Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Favorite Vacation Destination:
Left or Right Handed:
PC Or Mac:
How Do You Like Your Eggs:
Key Lime Pie.
Steak Or Fish:
How Do You Like Your Steak:
Medium - Well Done.
Morning Or Night:
High School Sports:
Track, Cross Country.
Dreams - In Color Or Black and White:
Being struck in the head by a golf ball. - It happened at our annual M&R Rush Golf Outing a couple of years ago!!
Life On Other Planets:
Trillium - I like the name.
My Keyboards, my home, my ping pong paddle.
Ideal Amount Of Sleep:
Do You Still Own Any Albums:
This is the fourth in a series if interviews with members of M&R Rush talking in depth about their music.
Let's start with your keyboard. You currently play a Yamaha. (Please elaborate on this.)
I like the Yamaha Motif 7 on stage because it has a lot of great sounds including piano and organ. This keyboard also gives me the ability to change sound patches "on the fly", as I am playing a song. In certain songs such as "Million Seller", I am able to use five different keyboard sound patches and switch through them at least ten times during the performance of the song. It's pretty flexible! I also run the keyboard through the record song mode where I have more control over the echo and chorus effects. In this way I can assign the different sound patches to the sixteen tracks in the recorder for quick changes. If you understand anything I just said, then you must be a keyboard player!
In the early M&R Rush days you used a Hammond M3 with a Leslie speaker. You added an electric piano and some synthesizers. This progressed to the Yamaha baby grand piano. Please take us through the progression of keyboards from the start to now.
My first keyboard was a Farfisa mini compact organ that my parents gave me when I was in sixth grade. It had that Monkees,"I'm a Believer", sound which was hot at that time. The next piece of gear I added was a Leslie speaker so I could play all those cool Santana songs like "Evil Ways'' and "Black Magic Woman". Then in 1972, my brother Fred hired a local Chicago band called STYX to play in the Quad at The I.I.T. campus by Comiskey Park in Chicago. I struck up a friendship with their keyboard player, Dennis DeYoung and ended up buying his M3 organ which was used on their first single, "Best Thing". Dennis sold me on the keyboard's percussion which you can hear on that song. I ended using that organ for years as it was perfect for ELP's, "Hoe Down" and "Welcome Back My Friends", as well as the Doobie Brothers "Jesus is Just Alright". As years went by, more of the music that M&R Rush was performing needed a piano so I added a Univox portable for songs like "Dream On", by AEROSMITH and "Imagine",
by John Lennon. That piano was alright for the time but it didn't sound like a real piano. Soon synthesizers became the next big thing in music so I added an Arp Axxe for the thunderstorm sounds in THE WHO's "Can You See the Real Me" and the sirens in REO SPEEDWAGON's, "Ridin' The Storm Out" and THIN LIZZY's, "Jail Break". Next, I added an Arp String Ensemble for sounds like the string sounds in ELO's,"Do Ya Do Ya Want My Love". Then in the late 70's Yamaha came out with their portable baby grand piano and of course I had to have one. It sounded and played like a real piano, because it was a real piano. And it weighed a lot, like a real piano, so the roadies really loved this new addition. Yea Right! It took two strong men to put it together and take it apart. Synthesizers kept upgrading, so I added a Korg Poly 61 which for it's time was a great poly synthesizer. It could pull off the sound of VAN HALEN's "Jump", which I recorded for Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl's version, entitled "Hump".
Come to think of it that's also me on piano on Steve Dahl's version of NIGHT RANGER's "Sister Christian", which he called "Mister Gearin". (Steve, if you read this, I'm still waiting for the checks.) Sorry, I lost my train of thought there. Next, I added a Prophet 5 poly synthesizer for songs like SAMMY HAGAR's, "Your Love is Driving Me Crazy" and SURVIVOR's, "High on You".
Is there any other keyboard instrument you would like to add to your set-up?
I'd like to add one more synthesizer on my left hand side just like the old days and pull out my swirling keyboard stand to give myself a little more mobility.
Your biography says that you were an engineering student. Interesting is that the medical researches say Math and Music use the same side of the brain. (Please comment on this)
For the most part I was pretty good at math. In fact, in high school the class valedictorian copied an answer off my paper during an Algebra-Trig test. So yes I think being good at math doesn't hurt you in music.
Have you had any formal musical training?
Yes, I took organ lessons long enough to realize that sheet music didn't always sound like the recording. So I would listen to the song and reproduce it on my own. I became pretty good at playing by ear. I believed this helped me to become a songwriter.
What keyboard did you play first organ or piano?
I guess you could say that I learned them both at the same time since my organ lessons were conducted on a piano. And to top that off, my teacher Don Reitsma was an accordion player!
Who influenced you as a keyboard player?
Of course two of my major influences were Keith Emerson who taught us all what to do with a synthesizer and Rick Wakeman another synth pioneer. But I always liked Greg Rollie the original keyboard player in both SANTANA and JOURNEY as well Gary Wright and Jon Hammer. And then there's the three Chicago boys - John Friga also known as Jonathan Cain of JOURNEY, Robert Lamm of CHICAGO and Dennis DeYoung who once told me that he considers himself more of a vocalist than a keyboard player.
Are there any Chicago area keyboard players today that you believe to be exceptional?
Yea, I heard about this tall blonde guy that plays for this exceptional rock band, M&R Rush. He's Great!...Just kidding! To be honest with you I don't get out enough to answer that question fairly.
In your opinion, who are the top players today?
Heck, I'll stay with my prior list of Emerson, Wakeman, Rollie, Cain, Lamm, and DeYoung.
How about pianists in other musical styles like Jazz, Big Band or Blues?
Chick Corea is an exceptional Jazz Fusion keyboard player that I admire.
Carl, you are the predominant songwriter in the band. Do your band mates contribute as well? Please take us through your song writing process.
Song writing starts with an idea, a beat or a melody for me. From there I like to just let it go and see where it leads me. I like it when something in the song surprises me. I never want to be accused of being predictable or boring. So I guess that's why most of my songs don't sound like each other. Over the years I have collaborated with Roger, John, Paul and Jeff on some of their ideas and look forward to doing so in the near future.
Are there any other musicians (non pianists) that you admire?
I enjoy the work of Don Henley, Joe Jackson, Eric Clapton and Eddie Van Halen.
What was the last band(s) or musician(s) you recently seen play live?
I don't get out as often as I should so it's been a while but I went to see Def Leppard. I plan to see Queen when come to Chicago.
Do you enjoy theatre?
Before I let you go, please tell me what CD's you have recently listened to at home or in the car (be honest)?
I've been recently listening to REO SPEEDWAGON's , "The Hits", GREEN DAY's, "American Idiot", and BING CROSBY's ,"The Christmas Collection". It is the Christmas Season!