Exclusive interview

CTS & Jeff Senour

Where did you all grow up? I started the band CTS-Called To Serve over 15 years ago with the intention of bringing a positive message to people through our music. I write the music and the band is not all the original members. I grew up in Southern California, Joe McGinnity our Drummer grew up in Illinois, Jerry our Bass player grew up in Wyoming and Dylan our Lead Guitar player grew up in Mesa, AZ.   

What inspired y'all to get into music? We all came from various backgrounds in music. My Mom was a musician- Violinist and Vocalist and is where I guess I got the music gene. We all played in various bands and Church Worship teams over the years and is how we all met over time. Jerry went on to become a music teacher and the rest of us have been in music our whole life basically. Each member brings a skill set to the band that makes CTS what it is today. The team of everyone coming together is amazing and our live sound is fabulous. The other great part of it is we all get along and are like family. We are not trying to out do each other but bring each other’s talents up to make the whole band sound like it does. 

How did the group come together? I had started the band over 15 years ago with different members and as bands go people come and go. I was referred to Joe our Drummer through a mutual friend and at the time, Joe had considered leaving music as he was not content with past experiences and thought about hanging up his drum sticks. When I called him and told him about the mission of CTS, he was thrilled and the rest is history. Jerry our Bass player was in his own band at the time I met him and doing his own thing. When we had an opening for a keyboard player he auditioned with us and became our keyboard player. One day we had to let our Bass player at the time go and were looking when Jerry asked if he could audition to be our Bass player. He had never played Bass guitar but is so talented, said he thought he could do it. He auditioned to be our Bass player and once again the rest is history. He was amazing and to this day plays Bass, Keyboard and Backup Vocals. Dylan our Lead Guitar player I had known since he was 13 as I lead a High School Worship team for a large Church in Mesa, AZ. Dylan at 13 was the guitar player for the team and got to know he and his family very well. One day an opening came up for a Lead Guitar player for CTS and I called Dylan to see if he was interested. He was 19 at the time and didn’t know if he would be interested, but he jumped on the opportunity and auditioned with us. Hence the union of the four of us came together. We just finished our 3rd Studio EP together and to this day we are all like family. 

What is a songwriting session like for the group? I write the music of CTS-Called To Serve and usually it starts with me on Acoustic Guitar with a Vocal. It starts as just an unplugged song. Sometimes I will just play it for the guys at a rehearsal or record a rough demo at home and send it to them. Then we all get together and collaborate on parts like drums, guitar and structure of the songs. When we go to the studio we are very prepared and rehearsed but the creativity really gets going when we arrive in the studio. We have worked with several amazing Producers. Our last album “Angels And Miracles” was Produced by Platinum Producer Jeremy Parker who produced Evanescence and Godsmack.   

What inspires you to create? I am a career Pilot with over 29,000 hours of Aviation experience, Screen Actors Guild Movie Pilot, Airline Pilot and Helicopter Pilot. Flying has brought a lot of perspective to my life when you see the world for hours on end from 7 miles high. It brings a sense of gratefulness and appreciation to your soul so those experiences alone have inspired huge amounts of song writing. Also, just the journey of life and the people we meet along the way have inspired every song I’ve ever written as well as my faith in God and the amazing world we live in. I have and still am living the dream as they say and through my music my goal is to inspire others of all ages to live their dreams. Too many people go through life on autopilot and hope for the best rather than taking control of their life and changing their destiny. Our music through every song is a message of Hope, Faith, Love, Kindness among others and that each one of us can make the world a better place through our existence.  

What is your local music scene like? The local music is scene is mainly the bar nightclub scene. We don’t play those much anymore and do more festival, performing arts centers and schools. We are more of a concert type of band rather than a bar cover band.  

Do you work with other artists? We have performed with other Artists but don’t really collaborate with them. We have played many events with other Artists and enjoy that. One of our good friends is Michael Bruce who is Alice Cooper’s guitar player and we have joined him on several occasions at some events.   

Do you all perform live often? We do perform live regularly, but at larger events so we don’t play every night. Many of our shows we fly out to another city, perform and return home. With Covid it has brought live performing to a halt and are hoping things start up again soon. We have cancelled numerous shows because of that. We also have done several online concerts but it’s just not the same as with a live audience. As a pilot by day, rocker by night, sometimes I will actually fly a helicopter in with VIP’s to our concerts, land in the Parking Lot and get out and perform. It’s a lot of fun and very inspirational for our audiences.   

Tell us about your latest project. Our latest project is our EP called “Angels And Miracles”. We worked with Platinum Producer Jeremy Parker and I think the album is amazing. We preserved our guitar rich sound, but also placed some synth loops in our songs to bring it a more modern sound without sacrificing our guitar driven rifts. I was released in March of this year and we are excited about it. 

What can we expect from you this year? As soon as things open up again, we are slated for several festivals and events across the country. We do a lot for Veterans and First Responders and will be performing at several events honoring them. We do a lot of fundraiser concerts as well and are eager to get going again with live performances. I also have a TV show called “Backstage Pass With Jeff Senour” where pilot by day rocker by night introduces the world to many amazing people doing amazing things and that will be gearing up more as well. It is our goal to inspire people of all ages to not waste one day wondering about what they should do with life but to get out there and make each day count. 

www.ctsmusic.com

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