Roger Filgate grew up in Connecticut, in a musical family. His mother was a concert pianist, two of his brothers play pop and rock music, and the third plays bluegrass. As Roger describes the household,"There would be Hendrix blasting downstairs, the Beatles in one room, banjo picking in another, and then Mozart coming from Mom!"
Roger himself began playing the guitar at the age of ten, taking lessons from his older brother. He later added bass, lap-top steel, keyboards, and drums to his repertoire. As a guitarist, he cites Steve Howe as his main influence, along with Jimi Hendrix and Alex Lifeson.
In the early '80's, Roger moved to Los Angeles with a bass player friend. They formed a band that played on the club circuit, showcased with bands like "Guns 'n' Roses" and "L.A. Guns". He also did studio recording, and put in a year at Fender Guitar's Custom Shop, building instruments for celebrities.
Roger returned to Connecticut in the early '90's. He taught guitar, and did session work and engineering there and in New York. In January of 1993, he met Andy Powell in a local music store. They discussed some song ideas that Roger had, and agreed to get together to try them out. They jammed and tried out ideas and "definitely clicked as players and friends". After some weeks of such get-togethers, Andy invited Roger to tour with the band, first as a tech and later as a sound engineer. They continued to write together that year and the next. When Ted announced his departure from Wishbone in 1994, it seemed logical for Roger to step in and carry on.
When they began work on "Illuminations", the new team worked in "a little make-shift studio up in a barn, with bats crapping on our equipment and pigeons huddling up in the rafters". It was a long haul to the finished product, but as songwriters, producers, and artists Roger and Andy grew into partnership.
Asked about the direction of the band, Roger said," We're having fun, and that's the key. We're being very careful to conserve the musical language and integrity which made Wishbone famous to begin with. Things like twin lead guitar melodies, upfront bass lines, and great grooves. Our goal is to shoot for commercial success without sacrificing the integrity of the music."
In 1997, Roger left Wishbone Ash to pursue other interests.
Since that time, Roger once again joined forces with Tony Kishman to tour as "Twist & Shout", a Beatles tribute band. He also contributed Lap Steel guitar to the Niamh (pronounced "Neeve") Parsons album "Losen UP".
Currently, Roger has teamed-up with Rob Jackson, Sandy Nardone, and Chris Tatalias to form Blast Room. The bands songs feature powerful vocals, catchy melodies, killer guitar riffs, driving bass and thunderous drums. Their influences range from classics such as: Zeppelin, AC/DC, Hendrix, Rush, Aerosmith, along with more modern sounds of Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, & Red Hot Chili Peppers. Blast Room has captured the essence of these styles and more, creating their own unique sound along the way. For more information on Blast Room & their first release "Rock Is Dead" Click Here.
Rogers contribution to "Illuminations" was substantial, and we wish him the best in his new endeavor.