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’ve been recording and performing music for over 30 years. I started out as a teenage expat singing Linda Ronstadt covers in UK pubs. Once in the USA I formed Devils Wielding Scimitars with guitarist Scott Tyburski. We released 3 albums during the 90’s on a Rough Trade distributed label, the last produced by Kramer of Shimmy Disc. I have since released several solo recordings under my name, but still with Scott producing, recording, and co-writing.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
“Magic” was recorded in my home studio and mixed by the brilliant Floyd Reitsma at Studio Litho in Seattle. It’s a highly personal album describing recent events I experienced. Rick Beato told me change one chord in “Holding Pattern” but I didn’t really do it. I did add an inverted bass. The whole song is based on just two chords, Ebsus2(#11) to Bbmaj7(no3). It’s sort of a drone synth loop but played live on an acoustic guitar, with a hippie lead at the end. It’s sad, but beautiful.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Linda Ronstadt because she could actually sign as opposed so many current artists now-a-days who just sort of fake-sing or who switch on autotune. Also Nina Simone is badass, for everything.
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?
Scott and I try to define ideas concisely and thoroughly bringing ordered yet creative elements to traditional song structures. We stitch the songs together like boiled wool, and bend tonalities to suit our needs. It’s sometimes obvious and other times more hidden. But coupled with the way I sing, which is different than the yodelers or more affected voices out there now, my recordings end up sounding idiosyncratic. A recent blog called it “punk-flavored art-rock children’s rhyme” which isn’t far off. Sort of a Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks thing. I’m the Karen Carpenter/Laura Palmer of indie folk!
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
“Simple Dreams” (Linda Rondstadt), “Benefactor” (Romeo Void), “The Neverhood” (video game) soundtrack, Terry Scott Taylor
Book – Quiet by Susan Cain
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Well, I haven’t performed live is some time, but I like it better. I don’t really enjoy the recording process. Too many interruptions from pets.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
At CBGBs in New York, the club’s drunk sound engineer was unhappy with our drummer’s kick drum sound, so he approached the stage mid-set and proceeded to stomp it so hard he put a hole through our drum. The A&R people from Elektra were not amused.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
I really have no idea how to answer that, but maybe “Georgia O’Keeffe” since it sounds a bit like Pink Floyd?
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
More recordings, and some songs that will hopefully appear on TV shows. And me playing some house concerts, in front of my cats.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
How many pets do you have?
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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