What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I remember walking home from school, alone, when I was 8 or 9, and trying to think of the saddest and most dramatic melodies I could in my head. It wasn’t because I was sad. I just loved music. But it took a very long time for me to have the confidence to show other people my music, not until my twenties really, and even then, it took awhile for me to think I could actually pursue it on a serious level. The big moment was when I got laid off from a tech job in 2001. I joined Film School (band) and we started to get some attention in SF, touring a lot, getting bigger shows. This was after playing lots of terrible shows for a couple years. Around that time I put out an electronic album called “Astronomy for Children” and it got some good reviews (I couldn’t believe people actually liked it!) I toured in Europe. Things were picking up. Then I went through a tough break up, my world turned upside down, and I wrote my LP “Chemical Friends” with singing and lyrics and everything, it just seemed to pop out of me. Badman Recording Co put it out, and I have never really stopped. Around 2007 or so, someone in the commercial world heard my solo music and asked if I would compose on commercials. That’s been my day job for the last 12 years. Music has been all I have done since that fateful lay off.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Tiny Crustacean is a song about my daughter being born. She is 7 now! So I started this song a long time ago! I had shelved it, but I showed it to my band one day and they loved it. We started working on it, made some tweaks, wrote a bridge. Soon it became one of the peak moments of our live set. So we re-recorded it in my studio (I record at home) and it came out nicely.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I am a child of the 80s. I love a lot of the music. But I would consider David Bowie and the Cure to be my biggest influences. I have others obviously but these two seem to never go away for me. Outside of music, it’s my relationships – with my kids, my wife, myself, other humans, animals..
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I really don’t fit nicely into a genre. I have elements of folky singer songwriter, but I also tend to go shoegaze and New Wave. Sometimes I have a live band, sometimes it’s an 808 beat and heavy electronics. A have a bit of Tom Petty with my Cure, Police with my Radiohead. I don’t know how to say that in an elevator pitch. I just try to keep it fresh and interesting. I also don’t like to be too serious, so that has a way of undermining the whole sensitive folk thing..although I’m serious sometimes. I just like to have a balance. The Cure always had a nice balance on their best albums. Same with Bowie. I find genre-specific bands terribly boring.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
2001 Space Odyssey.
John Carpenter’s The Thing.
George Martin – Game of Thrones
Jung – Man and his Symbols
Zinn – A Peoples History of the US
Bowie – Hunky Dory
The Cure – Head on the Door
Talking Heads – Remain in Light
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I like the studio. I like the process. I’m a dreamer. Every song is like another chance, a new start.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Reynaldo Rivera came to a Film School show once. We have a photo of us all standing with him. So incredibly random.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
My track “Unicorns” is my attempt to go full Martin Denny. I did most of it using a Mellotron.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
More music! Vinyl later this year. A cassette limited release as well.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
If you could have another occupation, what would it be?
The Cat Whisperer!
Photo credits: Geoffrey Smith (1st one), Julie Butler (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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