Jay Scholl has had every opportunity in life to fail.
He was brought into the world by teenage parents who were swept up in the music, daze and confusion of the Woodstock-era.
Growing up, Scholl would listen to the greats of the time from Led Zeppelin to KISS. Some could say that his career in music really began when he would dress up as Ace Frehley at age 12 and play a few strings from an unplugged electric guitar in front of other kids in the neighborhood. His older sister would even charge 15¢ to let his classmates see him play.
Though as Scholl grew older, his parents fell deeper into a spiral of drug abuse, and he, too, found himself running with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble.
That is, until one day when Scholl’s grandfather whom he had long admired, an accomplished upright bassist who found success during the heyday of Glenn Miller and big band orchestras, saved Scholl’s life by saying, “You can’t play guitar in jail.” These six words led Scholl to quickly change his tune and begin to want to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather. Guitar was his way of tuning out from the world around him, and his grandfather was his saving grace.
As a teenager, Scholl formed the heavy metal band Triage, which signed with the MCA’s short-lived East coast effort, Infinity Records. The collaboration resulted in the band’s sole album Cinder Block. Scholl was officially off to carving out his own path to success in the music industry, just like his grandfather.
Following the band’s time with Infinity, Scholl formed the “in-your-face” jazz infused rock band Voodoo Babies in 1996 with bassist Matt Anderson and vocalist Lori Bernish, and quickly became one of Pittsburgh’s hottest bands. The trio landed several television spots as musical guests, performed at sold out venues along the East coast, and opened for several iconic acts such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Stevie Nicks, Linda Perry and No Doubt to name a few.
After meeting with world-renowned guitarist and producer Chris Camozzi (Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey), Jay co-produced the Voodoo Babies most successful album Bloom with Around Again Records.
Even as Jay’s career as a member of a regionally successful rock band continued to flourish, his burning passion for music led him to play with acoustic acts at local coffee shops and clubs, and also led him to unexpectedly find another calling in life as a television composer all the way in Los Angeles.
It was on the West coast where Scholl made a series of Zelig-like connections to Pat Benatar (he once did shots with Ed Norton at a Labor Day party she hosted), Tom Scholz, and the late Anna Nicole Smith with whom he fostered a close working relationship when he composed TrimSpa ads.
Scholl picked up two Telly awards for his commercial work with the supplement company.
Scholl was well on his way to creating the life he wanted for himself, but not before his mother was killed in a hit and run by a drunk driver. The sudden loss of his mother brought him to an unimaginable low that without the support of his trusty guitar, which he would play for hours and hours, and the support of M.A.D.D. advocates, he may not have survived.
Despite bouts of major ups and downs (he lost all three of his immediate family members within the last five years), Scholl has remained steady in his focus to hone his craft as a guitarist that managed to effortlessly bridge gaps between jazz, funk, rock, and even metal. Now as a solo act, Scholl is ready to make his family and himself proud. “I have always believed that I was in bands where we were collectively good,” Scholl explains. “But, I felt like I wasn’t in control of my own destiny. I thought, well maybe if I’m in charge of my own destiny, then I could shock the world.”
Record label- Rock Solid Talent Entertainment