....Some kids received an Atari for their 13th Birthday in the 1980s; “Jimmy” received a stage! Mr. Vignato has been professionally educated for "musical theater" performance and has has built his rock voice over the years in rock cover bands and other musical theater shows. He has starred as the lead character in many local and regional rock musicals over the course of his career tweaking his stage performances and building up his rock n roll repertoire. From his teen years through today, he's been playing in cover bands, he also plays bass, piano and drums by ear. As a Lead Vocalist Jim has an uncanny ability to totally assume the roles and antics of rock's greatest icon's. Combining his on-stage mannerisms and vocal tone, Jim mirrors Dennis DeYoung & Tommy Shaw's and delivers an exceptional version of the Classic Styx Sound. Mr. Vignato has a deep appreciation of STYX's musical phenomenon and is truly excited about the success of the tribute band, “Rockin the Paradise”. Wishing the very "Best of Times" to all.
Born in Milwaukee, WI in 1992, Mike Hetzel’s initial interest in music was sparked by his piano/organ playing father (also named Mike). Mike began his musical journey at the age of 3 playing the piano. At the age of 6, he discovered his true musical passion, drumming!!! His dad, banker by day, musician by night, was able to present him with many opportunities to play with experienced musicians in the Milwaukee area.
After attending a local drum competition in 1999 called “Thundering Drums,” Mike began taking private lessons from Bob Lalko. Mike entered the “Thundering Drums” competition the following year and took 2nd place in his division. After a year or so Mike switched teachers and studied with Jim Kube throughout junior high school.
Mike started going with his dad to wedding/party gigs when he was eight years old and became the de-facto sound man/“roadie.” This sparked Mike’s fascination with audio which eventually led to the Hetzel’s building a full-service home recording studio in 2004. Over the next several years they would record countless demos and EP’s with local Milwaukee artists, most notably producing two jazz LP’s with Rick Aaron, and two gospel LP’s with Elliot Hughes.
From grades 6-12 Mike took part in the percussion section in the school band program. In 2010 Mike was the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz award from Menomonee Falls High School.
In 2010, Mike started a YouTube channel that features his drum cover/performance videos. Today that channel has over half a million views and several thousand subscribers.
Mike studied funk/R&B drumming with Jim Payne in 2012, as well as studying Pro Tools mixing and mastering with Jeff Baust through Berklee College of Music.
In 2013, Mike moved to Los Angeles to attend Musicians Institute where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Drum Performance. During his time there he also received the “Outstanding Student” award. Mike had the opportunity to study with Devin Kelly, Tim McIntyre, Jason Harnell, Rob Carson, Chuck Silverman, Ian Robbins, Russell Ferrante (of Yellowjackets fame), and many others.
While Mike was at MI, he became one of the go-to jury/recital drummers and played on 30+ juries during his 4 year LA residency, which allowed him the opportunity to play all styles of music with hundreds of different musicians.
Lead Guitarist/Lead Vocals
Born and raised in good ole Brooklyn , NY , yes, that’s right the best pizza and bagels in the world. From my early days of playing in garage bands to presently playing with Rockin the Paradise , I have always felt a necessity for music in my life. From the first time I heard the Beatles play, I knew my guitar would always be my best friend. I play keyboards, and drums, however my passion remains with the guitar.
Playing with many bands throughout the years, such as The Trend, The Crybabies, TR Touch and Mammoth, I have played all types of genre. Rock, Funk, Blues, Swing, and Southern Rock are just a few examples. Inspirations have been acquired from many famous artists such as Deep Purple, Foreigner, Journey, Bon Jovi and of course Styx . Current artists include Rascal Flats, All American Rejects, and the Fray just to name a few. There are so many talented musicians out there contributing to the music industry that it is hard to say all that I have drawn from. I played with recording artist Alive -N- Kickin, who boasts a gold record for their famous hit, “Tighter and Tighter”, for many years as their lead/rhythm guitarist and second vocalist. During these years I toured with many great acts such as Blue Oyster Cult, Brooklyn Bridge, Jay and The Americans, and Tommy James just to mention a few.
Having the opportunity to play in this Styx project is extremely exciting. Styx music and the influence they have had upon my life makes this project, and the line-up of musicians I am working with seem to be faith at its peak. Not very often do you get together with a group of musicians and know that it was “meant to be”. Time to Rock the Paradise !
Bass & Vocals
Performed, toured, and recorded with Dennis Deyoung for 23 years(1986-2009). He played bass and sang on 'Dennis DeYoung: The Music Of STYX' with a 40 piece orchestra live at the Chicago Theatre, which went double platinum. Performed on Soundstage(PBS) with Dennis and a 40 piece orchestra, and the DVD went triple platinum. Hank played bass and sang background vocals on the studio CD '100 Years From Now' as well. The title track went to number 1 on the adult charts. On the bonus track 'Goodnight My Love' on the live Cd, Hank sings with Dennis as a duet.
He also performed, toured, and recorded with James 'JY' Young from 1993-1998, and recorded the 'Raised By Wolves' Cd with him, and is featured on lead vocals on some of the tracks, as well as harmonies on all of the tracks.
On the STYX album 'Brave New World, he is on of two guest bass players, recording "What Have They Done To You', 'Heavy Water', and 'High Crimes'.
He also has a history with Todd Sucherman, playing and recording with Todd and the band 'Another Language' from Chicago, which wrote and recorded the song that turned into a hit for Van Halen...'Right Now'.
Hank continues to write, record, and perform with some of the best players in the industry. Most recently finishing a second Cd with Donny Brown, drummer, writer and vocalist of The Verve Pipe fame.