David MacDonald, is the lead vocalist of Who’s Next, a Who tribute band who tours around New England and New York. MacDonald, like most musicians, started out in local garage bands as a kid. He had two passions back then, visual arts and music. He earned his BFA in illustration and continued with his love of music singing in karaoke bars after college in the early 1990’s.
Frequently people have approached McDonald to tell him how much he looks like Roger Daltrey of the Who, especially when he would be singing on stage. Even Daltrey himself, after meeting MacDonald face to face, told MacDonald that he looks more like him than he does.
Examiner spoke with MacDonald about his band, how it was meeting Daltrey and his future plans.
Examiner: How did it come about that you became the lead vocalist for Who’s Next? The band is based out of New York City, how did they find you?
MacDonald: “In 2000, I walked in to a Long Island, New York club to see Who’s Next. I was approached by fans and the leader of the band, Bill Canell, who asked if I could sing. My first jam session was a bit rough but with a little work I fit in nicely. I’ve been performing as the Roger Daltrey front man since 2000.
Examiner: How was it meeting Roger Daltrey for the first time?
MacDonald: “It was a very surreal meeting. I was escorted by his personal assistant to Daltrey’s dressing room before their final “Quadrophenia Tour Show” in Providence, Rhode Island in 2013. The first thing Daltrey said to me, ” Hello Dave! That’s a nice smashing jacket you’re wearing.” I laughed and asked if he wanted to trade jackets. He praised my bands efforts on raising money for the Who teenage Cancer Charity and then we discussed methods of voice preparation before a show, etc.
The most important thing he told me was to always have ” fun” when performing!”
Examiner: I understand that your band performs for several of the charities that Daltrey has been involved with for many years.
MacDonald: “Yes, one is Nordoff Robbins, a musical therapy program designed for children and teens that have cancer. My band presented Daltrey with a check for the funds we raised for his charity at the Providence show.”
Examiner: Does Whos Next play all over the country?
MacDonald: “Our gigs are primarily booked in the Northeast and East Coast regions. We have some regular Corporate Events that we play yearly. Most of the other “Who Tribute Acts” cover the other parts of the United States. Occasionally, we may subcontract a ” drummer or bassist” from other Who Tribute bands. We are friendly with our competition! Afterall, it’s all about the music.”
Examiner: Have you played in other types of bands?
MacDonald: “I only performed in a few classic rock bands as a substitute singer usually to help out with charity events. I never fully engaged myself in a steady band back in my early years. I was too busy working and handling family matters.”
Examiner: Ever explore writing your own material?
MacDonald: “I never gave it much thought because I was always afraid of sounding too cliché! I am sure there’s something I could write about. I have been approached by some Amateur Song Writer’s in the past, but, it never really got off the ground and developed into something.”
Examiner: Tell me about the other guys in the band?
MacDonald: ” Bill Canell is on lead guitar and the Pete Townshend on the band. Will Shelly on bassist is the John Entwistle and Rich Savarese on drums is our Keith Moon. All are from Long Island New York where they live with their families.
Canell formed Who’s Next in 1998 and has been a passionate Who fan since his early childhood. He dreamed about forming a Who tribute band and basically “willed” all the members together. Every member actually resembles the real Who. I was the missing piece of the puzzle when I finally joined in 2000. We all get along pretty well and channel lots of ” Who Energy” when we perform. We try to capture the true energy and personalities of the real Who on stage at all our events. It’s actually like becoming ” possessed ” on stage once the Who music envelops us all!”
For more band info: http://www.whosnexttribute.com/