What inspires you the most when you create? -I try to work as much variety into what I do as possible. My solo music is a very personal ordeal, and I tend to pull at least 75% of my writing material from experience. The other 25% tends to come from folklore, urban legends, mythology, or poetry.
Who are your top 5 influences? It’s hard to rank these. Oysterband has been an enormous influence for quite a long time. They’ve bridged a gap between English folk music and rock for over 4 decades now. This is a band most North Americans are ignorant of, and that’s a shame. Brian Wilson is huge, both as a producer and as a musician/songwriter. David Bowie’s creative independence and courage is inspiring, to say the least. Peter Gabriel is often cited as an artist I tend to emulate, which is odd because I’ve only recently started listening to his work as a whole. Turns out, people were right, there are definitely some inadvertent similarities. Lastly, I’m going to have to go with Bruce Cockburn. He’s another underrated artist that has been doing music professionally since the 60s and is one of the best guitarists in the world.
When are your new projects coming out? Well, I released 5 full length albums and a single in the 2016-2018 stretch. This is no small feat, really. I decided after my last release in October that I would take a nice sabbatical, which I’m still enjoying. The good news is, there’s plenty to keep new listeners busy until I conjure up my next thing.
What helped you get into music? –I took piano for almost 20 years (into college). I taught myself saxophone, which I began in the 5th grade. From there, I branched out to all sorts of instruments and my roster sits somewhere around 26 different ones at this time. I’ve always enjoyed music, it’s something you either know you want to do or you don’t, and I’ve pretty much always known it’s my thing.
What is one thing you would tell your fans? –Listen to stuff you have to search for. Lots of music is thrust upon us because it has a lot of money to make since it took a lot of money to produce. Some of my favorite artists have done their own thing from the beginning, and even the bigger names had dry spells and uphill battles. Also, don’t be afraid of genuine expression. So many artists reproduce the same tropes over and over again, like their predecessors, and ignore the things they really want to communicate. Go for broke, find the real deal, and you’ll know it when you hear it, because it bleeds.
What are your biggest goals for 2019? –I’ve bounced the idea of releasing a couple singles, but we’re now into April and I’ve no real plan to piece together another album just yet. I’m giving a chance for “Heartbeat” and “Take Two” to shine, as I’m very proud of both of those records. Which, I suppose, remains my biggest goal: grow my audience, let the music speak, and hopefully it helps many people through whatever they’re going through. My goal is always to instill hope through my art, and everything else is icing on the cake.