Dawn a.k.a. 'DVJ'
DVJ was born in Virginia, but at a young age was moved to Northern California, specifically South San Jose. She considers South San Jose, her hometown. Music has been a part of her personal life since she could talk.
Raised by a young, single mom in the 70's she was exposed to the greats!
Always making up her own songs & writing poetry, she then moved onto Karaoke. This meant sneaking into bars with fake IDs JUST to be able to sing.
In her 20's she took on some voice over work & was trained as a radio DJ. That didn't seem to provide the personal interface for her, so she auditioned for live, local cover bands.
In the early 2000s, she relocated to Maryland found a band and joined! From Southern Comfort, to Imposter, Radio Graffiti to The Shatners...
Creating life changing relationships along the way, she has ventured out with Moj & John to form 'Red Sky Dawn'.
*Band name was NOT her idea actually, Moj came up with it and well... here they are!
Influences and favorites of hers; Dire Straits, Peter Frampton, Travis Tritt, Chris LeDoux, Shinedown, AC/DC, Eagles, Journey, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Metallica, Bruno Mars, B.T.R., Melissa Etheridge, Jackson Brown, Bad Wolves, P!nk, Christina Aguilera... the list goes on...
Bass guitar, Keys & Vocals
History: JJ joined Red Sky Dawn as part of the 3-some that left The Shatners, in late 2019. JJ joined The Shatners in 2017, but has held down rhythm sections with Moj for the past 20 years, in a number of Annapolis-area bands. JJ started playing music at age 5, studying classical piano for over 10 years. He continued to immerse himself in music through high school playing bass clarinet in concert band, saxophone in marching band, and bass guitar in the jazz band. In addition to this, JJ ran a popular rock band in the Northern Jersey area throughout his high school years, playing keyboards and bass.
After obtaining degrees in engineering and music, JJ built a recording studio that served NYC area artists, collaborating on compositions and performing live at NYC showcase venues in Greenwich Village. He also took on jingle and soundtrack projects, as well as writing and providing music direction for Off-Broadway musicals. JJ also was an engineer with Aurosonic Ltd, a first-call mobile recording company based in Queens, NY.
JJ lays down the low end and provides backing vocals, as well as taking lead on a few songs. He loves the instrumental connection & is a die-hard Rush fan. JJ also operates SoundDogStudio.com providing recording, mixing, and production services in support of regional artists.
Goals: JJ believes that music may in fact be the greatest “life sport,” providing mental stimulation and rich human interaction far into the upper years. He feels he is just entering his prime and is thankful to be devoting more and more time to music these days. JJ’s goal is performing the complete first side of Rush’s Moving Pictures album. Look for it in 2020!
Influences: JJ’s early album collection included Boston’s first release, Rush 2112, Kansas Leftoverture, Eagles Hotel California, Van Halen II, and a number of Alan Parsons Project records. This eclectic collection was indicative of JJ’s wide-ranging interests that led him to perform, compose, arrange, and produce in nearly every genre of music. As a bass player, his influences have included Geddy Lee, Sting, John Taylor, John Paul Jones, Chuck Rainey, Leland Sklar, Marcus Miller, Abe Laboriel, and Nathan East.
Equipment: JJ is discerning to a fault when it comes to live sound, and that includes his bass gear. He is partial to Fender traditional four strings – American made Jazz and Precision basses; and when a five string is needed, his Spector comes out to deliver the super lows. JJ relies on Markbass and Aguilar amplification.
Guitar & Vocals
Mike moved around a bit as a child, from Okinawa to Frankfurt to St. Louis, but always with Maryland as home base. His family moved back for good when he was 15, and he has lived in Anne Arundel County ever since. But it was in St. Louis that he took “Intro to Guitar” in 8th grade after being inspired by bands like AC/DC, Van Halen, Zeppelin, Dokken, etc., and his life was forever changed. After that he had a couple months of basic guitar lessons but is essentially self-taught.
Mike has now played in many bands and other projects for over 30 years, some of which have combined to release several EP’s and albums of original music. These bands include his first band Driver You, The Goon Squad (fka Bastard Squad), and Long Story Short (LSS). LSS is when he really began playing live more regularly, playing venues such as The Vault, Fletchers, Thunderdome, Michael’s Pub, etc.
In early 2009, a friend invited him to try out for the band Sons of the Radio. Mike auditioned on a Monday, played his first gig with them just 2 days later, and their first original show was at Rams Head Live in Baltimore only a month later. SotR went on to play over 500 gigs, release 2 albums, play numerous venues around the Baltimore/DC areas, and open for several national bands. Other notable venues include the Fillmore Silver Spring, Baltimore Soundstage, 8x10, Ottobar, Sonoma’s, Looney’s, FedEx Field pre/post game, Molloy’s, Tin Roof, and the list goes on. He also had the privilege of playing 2 bucket list venues with SotR at the 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion. After playing upwards of 6-10 gigs a month in their prime, SotR slowed down in recent years, and then the pandemic hit. In spring 2021, after 11 active years and a year of quarantine, they decided to go on indefinite hiatus, so it was time for Mike to find his next chapter.
Enter Red Sky Dawn, which is in fact, the first band Mike auditioned for once he began his search. As he learned over the years, if it feels right, go with it. So, he did! In his words, “I am thrilled to get back to playing live, and honored to be included with these 3 extremely talented musicians! I’m very much looking forward to seeing what my quiet confidence and blues-rock style can add, and what great things this band can accomplish!”
Influences: Billy Duffy (The Cult), Jimmy Page (Zeppelin), SRV, Angus Young (AC/DC), Eric Clapton, Dean DeLeo (STP), Van Halen, U2, Pearl Jam, AIC, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, REM, Soundgarden, Jack White, Toadies, Pixies, Garbage, Tool, Slash, Ozzy/Rhoads, Black Sabbath, Descendents, PJ Harvey, The Cure, The Beatles, Metallica.…and basically anything he listens to.
Gear includes his prized 1982 Gibson Les Paul Custom and various other Les Pauls, Gretsch semi-hollow and hollow body, Gibson Firebird, EVH Wolfgang Special, Tele, Strat, and more. These are usually played through his Marshall JCM 800 for large venues or Friedman Runt-20 for smaller rooms, and Marshall cabinets, with various effects pedals.
Bill "Moj" Mojica
Drums & Vocals
History: Bill, or “Moj” as some like to refer to him, is a 3rd-generation drummer. He acquired his first drum set at the age of four. His grandfather helped him discover his love of Latin-infused rhythms. His father, Bill Mojica, Sr., taught him everything else. Bill was blessed to attend countless rehearsals and live performances growing up, and learned what it meant to be a professional musician. He played with a number of his father’s bands including, Joy, The Bell System and The Headliners, to name a few. He studied at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and played in the concert band at school. He was, and continues to be, a student of the percussive world.
Bill formed a band while attending Salisbury State College. They developed quite a following. When he left to transfer to Towson University, the remaining members created the highly successful Y-NOT?! band. Moj has been fortunate to work with a variety of talented groups over the years including Rhythm Method, Layers, The Jokers, Connections Band, and The Shatners Over the last three decades, he is frequently contacted as a fill-in drummer, able to cover a multitude of genres. Bill is excited to launch his new adventure, Red Sky Dawn.
Goals: Selfishly, Bill lives for the elusive “perfect performance,” where everything is seamless, effortless and otherworldly. He takes great pride in connecting with fellow band mates; playing a “lick” with either JJ or Fred, unrehearsed and in the moment. The other true joy is unbridled laughter on stage. Aside from that, there is nothing like the rush of adrenaline you get from the crowd. That indescribable energy, transferred from the drum set to the crowd, and back to the drum set, is why he loves what he does. Each of us has our own pulse, but to be able to be in harmony with everyone in the room, well, that’s utopia! If the crowd is exhausted at the end of the night from dancing, smiling non-stop, and, just wanting more, then Bill’s goal is complete.
Influences: First, his father, who, to this day, continues to participate various drum lines, writes music and tours the east coast playing for the love of drums. Bill’s musical tastes range from old school R&B, Rock, Jazz Fusion, Prog, Latin, and everything in between. As for drummers, the inimitable Neil Peart of Rush changed his life forever in 1981. The Moving Pictures album is and was a sonic masterpiece. Moj continues to worship at the altar of The Professor. Along the way, other legendary drummers helped to forge his identity including, John Bonham, Steve Smith, Stewart Copeland, Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta and Terry Bozzio.
Equipment: Bill currently uses a Yamaha Stage Custom set for live shows. He also has a Tama Superstar kit (Cherry Wine finish like The Professor), Pearl silver sparkle kit, Rogers Holiday Blue Onyx, a custom-made 6-piece maple set. He maintains an ever-growing assortment of snare drums, percussion equipment (mostly Latin Percussion) and anything that makes noise. Bill recently switched to using Meinl HCS Cymbals, but still loves his Paiste collection. He uses PDP and Yamaha cymbal hardware and DW 9000 bass drum pedals. Over the last thirty years, Moj continues to use Dave Weckl signature drums sticks. Both batter and resonant drumheads are by Evans. None of this would be possible without the assistance of his trusty drum tech, Sherri.