When did you begin making music, and did you ever ponder a different career?
Since my earliest memories, music was something that was just always there. My parents always had all kinds of music playing in the house, from the classic rock of the 1960’s, to my mother’s true love “the Beatles”, and even a lot of jazz and big band era stuff. She always had an affinity for the great singers…(Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Tony Bennet).
Growing up I would play guitar and sing, my brother Jon would play keyboards, and my other brother David would play the drums. (We had quite the little band). The combination of my mother’s “hippie roots” and disdain for modern appliances fostered an environment where playing music was literally our chief form of “play”. I remember being shocked to eventually discover that this wasn’t the norm in my friend’s houses. As a college student at Tulane University in New Orleans, I actually intended to go into the business school. I wasn’t yet sure what I wanted to do with my life, but this was, as everyone assured me … “the sensible path”.
How would you describe your music?
My latest project “SURREAL MACHINE” is a concept album which attempts to capture, through sound, and imagery the “near death experience” which so profoundly changed my life. It tells the story of my journey from the doorsteps of heaven, through the depths of hell, and everything in between. The “surreal machine” is LIFE, itself ( this insane, painful, beautiful opportunity we each have been given to grow and develop through the experiences we have, and the people we meet along the jouney). In a way, I am trying to reach that which can’t be expressed, but in the end, that is the struggle of all art.
What have you been up to so far and what can we expect over the coming months?
I feel as though I have spent a long time out in the desert (so to speak) on some kind of bizarre “vision quest” searching for my true inspiration. Now I feel as though I’ve found what I had been looking for, and have returned to share it with the people, in this time when it is so desperately needed. I just returned from a wonderful show out on the west coast, and am looking forward to sharing my music and art with the world throughout the summer… culminating in shows in Ibiza and Germany in early september. Seeing the way my work is inspiring people in their lives all over the world is the greatest gift I could ever receive, and the true “completion of the circle”.
If you could duet with anybody who would it be and why?
There are so many great artists who I would love to collaborate with, it’s so difficult to select just one. I’ve always seen Richie Hawtin as the true pioneer of combining sound and visual imagery into one cohesive art form which becomes greater than the sum of its individual parts, within the “electronic genre”.His “Plasticman” concept has provided the jumping off point for a great deal of what I’m attempting to do with “Surreal Machine”. To work with him on a project would be incredible. (I did recently become friends with him on Facebook, so hey, who knows?)
What’s your desert island disc and why would you take this one album?
If I had to pick one album… one band that effected me at that crucial time of life, the way the Beatles effected my mother, It would have to be “The Joshua Tree”, by U2. Not only is every song a masterpiece in its own right, but the way that album creates its own “sonic landscape” in which the music lives, taught me so much about how powerful it can be when sound and imagery effectively coalesce. Before that album came along, the scene was awash in glam metal, hair bands and total style over substance. The trend in music had reached such a point of “escapism” that the pendulum was ready to swing back. When that album hit, it felt so “real” and direct. It was a true paradigm shifter. I feel we have reached a similar moment in music right now. Everything has been pushed to such a point of absurdity that the only thing left to do is strip it all down to what matters. Something that feels “true”. I think the stage is set for the next “Joshua Tree”. It may not sound the same… but that’s how it needs to feel. That’s the direction my next album is headed. It’s time for another paradigm shift. Stay tuned folks.