What inspires you the most when you create? –Without trying to be too esoteric, my passion to create is fueled by my desire to feel and express a sense of the world through the language of music – which is a gift to us all from a higher vibration and greater intelligence than what we know materially in these five-senses we toil within daily. Music was the language I connected with first while still in the womb, with my accidental hipster mother’s favorite artists; Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and composers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. Anytime, I hear any of that music now, it’s like I’m swaddled in a cocoon of warmth and love. Today, it’s super-inspiring to create on that level of emotion and expand on all those before you to spread the same kind of messages.
Who are your top 5 influences? –Only 5 is tough, but these are what make me tick, definitely #1 – The Beatles, first & foremost – they set the bar so high, everybody has been trying to catch up since then. They paid their dues from the dawn of rock and roll and toiled and honed their craft before being let loose in the world. I love that by the time of Sgt. Pepper, they could basically stay at Abbey Road Studios for as long as they wanted. Coincidentally, it also marks the beginning of their period of music that I find less exciting. Which historically though brings me to #2 – Bob Dylan, of course, another high bar-setter, who merged folk, poetry and popular music into an art form and in his journey re-invented himself over and over – while exploring different styles of music along the way. Similarly and trailblazers in their own right at #3 – The Clash, as they were the first group to really excite me, make me want to start a band that could push boundaries and musical styles and all the while say something by doing it. Not just be a ‘rock-star’ who was more interested in portraying an image of Maserati’s, models and bling, all fun and exciting but not really that dangerous. Like the dark and moody austere revisionists at #4 – The Jesus & Mary Chain, who exploded into my adolescent mind connecting to what was going on inside my head at the time and still now, a lot of the time, sometimes, anyway… All hormones and confusion and excitement. Noisy screaming feedback until you can’t stand it anymore– because this world is so screwed up, but so damn sweet that it tastes like cherries. Ironically, which brings me to the dilemma of my # 5 – a tie between Nirvana & Social Distortion, who both took all that angst and emotion and synthesized it, without the use of computers – when everybody else was digitizing theirs, and let the message rip but in a way that would soothe and comfort you and instil a sense of well-being even at those moments when you wanted to break glass and freak-out inside. They kept you chill while the world spun wildly. Thankfully, or not, I’ve matured as a person and a musician and can appreciate all kinds of music today, even if I don’t like it, and there is a lot out now, that I don’t like, at all. Yet, as my core influences were open to new ideas, I can also respect most of it, either for the artist’s talent or their message, the production technique or originality. But, when it is missing any of the elements from my top 5, I have difficulty finding much about it that I can speak kindly of and would rather not listen to and say anything at all.
When are your new projects coming out? –Just finishing a new EP “Live Fast Die Jung” for release in November 2018, which is a slightly different approach for us, as we’ve released 7 singles up until this point, since May of 2017. We had started in early 2017, from the ashes of a former band, that I had joined and really whipped into shape, and were gaining quite a following, starting to play big stages, when it all came apart at the seams. Just like that, a classic case of too much too soon for the other members. Although bitterly sad, wasting such potential, I was able to channel disappointment into positive energy, form SPEEDING MOTORCYCLE and keep the wheels turning, working relentlessly on new songs, and experimenting with different recording styles. So after this upcoming EP, which is almost a concept record, we will hopefully have the 8th single out for the holidays also, as a bonus for fans, or in early 2019 at the very latest. Either way, we are super-committed to continuing the regular single-release schedule into 2019 and have a full-length album release for later in the year, as well. In between time, we are working on a Rock Opera, that is planned for a Spring 2019 release, called “Dragon’s Heart – a Rock & Roll Fantasy”, about an alien who had last visited Earth in 1995, when Bill Clinton was President and Donald Trump was a bankrupt has-been doing Pizza Hut commercials. When the alien returns in 2018 he finds Trump as President, and his supporters wanting to lock-up the Clinton’s. It tells the tale of the alien catching up with old acquaintances, some who knew he was an alien and others who didn’t while ascertaining whether this is only a momentary reflection of the American Psyche or something else – that his fellow aliens need to be concerned about or may choose to intervene with….Stay tuned!
What helped you get into music? –My mother, to begin with, whether she really had a good taste in music, or it is what I chose to listen to, it all began in the womb. Afterward, while growing up, and living in an inner-city neighborhood listening to all kinds of music and meeting a lot of different kids, my parents were always supportive, although their first choice of an accordion didn’t sit well with me. We settled on piano lessons, but what an awful way to learn how to play music – conservatory style. Blech. Particularly from a grouchy elderly woman who smelled like mothballs. It wasn’t until later when we moved to the suburbs, and I didn’t feel like I fit in, around all these uptight kids, that I felt the need to play drums. Which was also a bit grueling, in hindsight, I mean, I spent a year with a practice pad and a book of rudiments and then a year with only the snare drum! I stuck with it though and once I could play all the rudiments in the book, finally my father got me a set of drums, with crappy hardware, cymbals and without the stool. He said I could use a spare fold up chair we had in the garage instead, and a pillow. Which, don’t get me wrong, I was very grateful for the drums but soon, I was spending all of my after-school paper route money on cymbals and stands, and alas finally, a drum-throne. Hallelujah! Just the other day a friend I eventually gave the drums to, when I got into guitars, told me he was still playing them – which was super cool to hear. Yet with guitars, I suddenly was able to see the world in a completely different way. Unfortunately, it was also when my on-going GAS, guitar acquisition syndrome, began.
What is one thing you would tell your fans? –Rock and Roll is Too Old to Die Young!
What are your biggest goals for 2018? –To keep on schedule and have as many people as possible know about and hear my music. -And, be featured in Soul & Peaches Mag 😉