WAYNE FINDLAY: International Recording Artist, Composer, Producer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Bassist and Keyboardist, Background Vocalist for: THE MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP/TEMPLE OF ROCK/ULI JON ROTH/NO SKY TODAY/ENDANGERED SPECIES/SLAVIOR/VINNIE MOORE BAND.
Hailing from San Diego California, Wayne Findlay started his classical piano training at the early age of 5. With private Instruction, he developed and progressed on piano and begun competing in Bach and Beethoven piano competitions. At the age of 11 he began guitar lessons and soon found the love for electric guitar. Wayne started his first rock band at 11 years old, and has continued until today. Heavily influenced by classical music, at 14 he started taking private classical guitar lessons from world class artist Fred Benedetti. In 1986 Wayne received a scholarship to San Diego State College for classical guitar performance and composition.
While in college at SDSU he found a flyer from a local music store looking for music teachers. He applied and began teaching guitar, piano, organ, bass, theory and composition. Before long Wayne had 60 students a week, 10 a day/6 days a week! During this time Wayne still found time to record and gig around town playing in his band Valiant Alliance and then Castle. It was a very developmental stage during this period, and he decided to take a break from teaching and concentrate more on his rock band.
Needing a change, Wayne moved to Maui, Hawaii in 1993 to refocus. He began teaching a bit and took on odd jobs. Even though in paradise in Maui, Wayne felt the strong pull back to the mainland to fulfill his musical calling. He decided Hollywood might put him in better company musically, so after a short 6 month stay in L.A., he made a fateful meeting while taking a weekend break back in San Diego.
Wayne’s long time friend Lance asked to meet him at a bar, where there was someone he had to meet. When he got there he was introduced to Kelly Keeling (Blue Murder/Guitar Zeus). They hit it off right from the start because they both had so much in common. Kelly was working with Guitar Zeus with Carmine Appice (Ozzy/Rod Stewart) and Tony Franklin (Firm/Blue Murder). He soon began transcribing Kelly’s crazy tunings for their upcoming second album. This lead to a guitar tech position and the opportunity to see the ins and outs of Hollywood studios. Wayne taught for Guitar Zeus at the 1996 NAMM show which also included tech-ing for guest artists John Norum(Europe), Jennifer Batten(Michael Jackson), Doug Pinnick and Ty Tabor(KingsX) and Doug Aldridge(Whitesnake).
Afterwards Wayne and Kelly started the band Kattywompus back in San Diego and did a few gigs around town. Kelly got the call to sing for Michael Schenker and began working on the MSG Unforgiven album in 1998. The management asked Kelly if he knew a guitarist/keyboardist/singer. He passed Wayne’s name along, and he got a call in early 1999 asking if he wanted to audition for Michael Schenker in Hollywood. Then the following week he was asked If he wanted to audition for Vinnie Moore also. So with 40 songs to learn all the guitars, harmonies, keys and backups in 1 month, he auditioned and got both gigs. On the MSG Unforgiven US Tour 1999 Wayne played 1 hour with Vinnie Moore, then 2 hours with MSG every night. Wayne continued on with Michael Schenker and MSG in Europe co headlining with Thin Lizzy and Glenn Hughes. That same year MSG opened for Motorhead at the Sweden Rock Festival, alongside the Scorpions, Dio and David Lee Roth.
On hiatus in June 2000, Kelly Keeling, Carmine Appice and Spencer Davis asked Wayne to play keys on the Spencer Davis and Friends Alaskan Tour. The years between 2001-2006 , was extremely busy with MSG on multiple world tours, and playing massive festivals, such as Wacken for 70,000, Sweden Rock Fest., Graspop, Bospop and many more.
Wayne continues to compose and produce with his other bands, as well as teaching when not on tour with MSG. In 2007 his band Slavior released their self titled debut and toured the US and Japan. Wayne was featured in Guitar World magazine for their Betcha Can’t Play This! article in the August 2007 issue. More MSG world tours followed and even an acoustic tour supporting the Schenker/Barden Dance Gypsy Lady CD.
During the next break with MSG, Wayne wrote and produced No Sky Today with singer Paul Jones(Robot Lords of Tokyo) in 2011 and released their debut CD, toured the Midwest twice and released their video for “Final Hour”. While on the Temple of Rock World Tour 2011 -2012 with MSG, which included Dean guitars CEO Elliott Rubinson on bass, Carmine Appice on Drums and David Van Landing on Vocals. Wayne was asked to also perform keys and backing vocals with Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions) throughout the South American leg. Once again he played double duty for both bands.
Next up was the Bridge the Gap CD and world tour 2013-2014 featuring the new Temple of Rock band line-up adding Doogie White (Rainbow/Yngwie), Herman Rarebell and Francis Buchholz (Scorpions). They toured extensively and shot a DVD in Tilburg, Netherlands 2012 and bonus footage from the High Voltage Festival. Temple of Rock has just finished their 2015 Spirit on a Mission world tour and DVD and continues into 2016.
Wayne Findlay is currently the longest musician to work with Michael Schenker, entering his 18th year at this point. Their personal and working relationship has continued to grow more and more over the years. This has lead to collaborating and co-writing 5 songs on the new Temple of Rock album Spirit on a Mission with Doogie White. Bringing more of Wayne’s Dean 7 string Trident guitars and orchestrations into the mix has taken the sound to another level, and continues to be a crucial part in the evolution of Michael’s Schenker’s legacy…