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 grew up in a musical family in a small town in Florida. My dad, grandpa and three of their friends had a 40’-50’s era dance band for over 30 years. They had a band trailer full of gear, and I’d crawl in there and mess around with stuff. From years old, I was messing around with instruments and gear. I ended up in punk bands and went to college outside of Nashville for music and recording. While there I got interested in film sound. I moved to Los Angeles where I worked on lots of films and video games as a sound designer.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
“the anima of” is a selection of songs I wrote and recorded around 2006 – 07 in San Francisco. It was a very difficult time. My wife left without giving any warning or reason, I lost a friend to cystic fibrosis, another friend and his family was dealing with severe mental illness, I was mugged on a bus suffered a concussion and broke my left hand.. It was a shit year.
As far back as 12 years old, I’d write songs about life stuff I was dealing with. When all this went down I was in the pits of despair, major depression and PTSD. One day I mentioned to my therapist that I was writing songs about all this shit. She was really encouraging. It seemed once a month I was coming in with another tragedy to work through. She’d say keep talking to friends and family, keep getting sunshine, and keep writing songs. My hand was pretty messed up, but I relearned how to fret chords with my pinky, ring and middle finger and just kept strumming on.
Today my life is unrecognizable, I’ve remarried to my beloved, I have 2 kids and I live in Atlanta. Partly to get the songs out of my soul for good and partly to perhaps help someone else in similar circumstances…I finally felt ready to make the final push to release these.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
For this album my musical influences are Sparklehorse, Woody Gutherie, Springsteen’s Nebraska album, Conor Oberst, Daniel Johnston, Matt Devine.
Non Musical? Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath is referenced in Lucas Valley Road. Travels with Charlie.
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?
It’s me. I was miserable making this, and I didn’t hide it. There is hope in it too. I blend rootsy songwriting with diverse swings of textures and energy. Harmonious to rawkus, simple and direct to disorganized mayhem. Straight to the heart at times, oblique and untethered at other times.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
(hard to pick 3, but…)
Music: Springsteen – Nebraska; Radiohead – Ok Computer; U2 – Joshua Tree; Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
Movies: Dark Days, Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now
Books: Stranger in a Strange Land, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Majic Bus
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I’m definitely a studio rat. I’ve been in a studio every day for 30 years. Music is the tip of the iceberg of studio work for me.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
My dad and grandpa were semi-professional musicians – Singer/Bassist and Tenor/Bari Sax in a dance band. They’d made $75-100 each Friday and Saturday night for over 30 years. When I started getting into music as a kid he’d say over and over have fun, but don’t ever expect to make a living at it. I ever so slightly moved away from music in college and into sound design…and did ok if I can say so. This is the basis of “Working Man’s Guitar” Song #5 on the album.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
If Pilot – It’s quirky gritty nonsensical and psychedelic. It has a lot of meaning for me. Listening back it represents how laughably fuck’d things were. The name is literally about being a pilot of ifs. Like how the hell was I supposed to keep my job or my sanity through all this? Piloting the if’s as good as I possibly could. There is a lot of oddness to the record. I’m odd. I like odd sounding things. Most of the songs have some component of heading over a cliff into….?
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
This is 12 of many many many more songs I’ve written. I’ve considered unearthing more of those. I’d also like to push into the darker spacious textures of Old Joe, Shadows and Going Crazy Wurly – mix my songwriting with more expressive studio textures.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Who is this record for?
With these songs, I would just love to help someone turn the corner on an impossible situation. Dr. Dog’s song The Breeze was one of those songs for me. Quite literally if one person got something from this chronical it’d be so worth it.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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