What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
If I have to classify my music, I would say it is somewhat acoustic rock(ish). Early on I started my punk band “Liquid Image” and my influences were mainly 90’s punk like Face to Face, Millencolin, and NoFx. Later on I kind of grew tired of the same forbidden beat. As I found myself slowly running out of angst, I made the switch over to acoustic guitar and from there I formed the acoustic rock trio the Stained Glass Saints. We now play under my own name. The music now has a much mellower vibe. Its best just to hear it than to try and describe it.
What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever's available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?
I’m endorsed by a really small underground guitar company called “Timberline”.For my style and for what I do I think their guitars are awesome. Really good action and a great sound. Plus not many people have heard of them, which is kind of attractive to me. Everyone wants to play a Taylor or a Martin. Baaaaa. I say get out there and check out some new sh@t! As for guitar sound, I prefer playing with an acoustic that has more of a mid-range so it helps cut through when I play out with the band. But all their guitars seem pretty solid. They actually offered me their $2000 top of the line model. I tried out all of their models and ended up picking their lowest range model which I think sounds the best(for me)! I guess to me its all about the sound rather than the bling. Im more of a plain Jane type musician when it comes to my guitars.
Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?
I perform out solo and with my trio. I like playing out solo but its always a way more upbeat show when playing with the full band. John Crittenden is the bassist and Keith Mcbean on drums. I fill in-between with vocals, acoustic guitar and ukulele at times.
We mostly play out in San Diego and Southern California and on occasion Hawaii. I’ve played some bigger venues like the Viper Room in LA a few times, but I honestly prefer some of the local spots in San Diego. I think its getting more difficult to find decent live music venues these days. With the huge emergence of DJ’s and the club scene. It appears that live music has been kind of taking a backseat. I think there is a large number of people in San Diego that rather get dressed up, go downtown to a rooftop bar and listen to a DJ and drink expensive drinks instead of seeing live music. When I meet people that are stoked on live music and are at one of my shows, I try to let them know my appreciation for coming out to see live music.
Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?
I’m always playing originals. We just shot a new music video in Bali and Sumatra for the song “Wayan and Friends”. I decided to donate all proceeds of iTunes sales to SURFAID in order to help the people in Indo that got rolled by the last tsunami. Especially since I spent a month there meeting the people and surfing their waves; I felt it is only right to help out with whatever I could. You can check the music video out on the website and donate by buying the song on any downloadable site.
If we do play covers, the covers aren’t the norm. I’ll play some punk songs on the ukulele or we will do a Face to Face or NoFx song super lounged out but with a Latin spin on it; Anything to keep it interesting and somewhat fresh.
How long have you been a songwriter? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Do you think these topics will change over time? I’ve been writing songs since I was about 3 years old! Ha. My 1st song can be heard on the 2nd Liquid Image cd as the hidden track at the end. Its me singing a song I called “chuckle baby” that my mom recorded. Haa LOL. Its classic! So yes hopefully my songwriting topics have changed through the years. I like to write about life, warm places, drinking beer and coffee, surfing my favorite breaks, good times and bad and anything else that crosses my path along the way.
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands and play music professionally?
My advice to others would be to go for it. Following your dreams can be an inspiring thing. It helps fuel us through life. But it always helps to have a good plan, otherwise you may find yourself running out of gas before you get to where you want to be. I’ve always just kept a steady pace with the end goal in mind while answering the question…”Do I like what Im doing?” As long as your liking what your doing without having to sacrifice too many of the important things, then your probably doing it right.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?