1. How did you get your band name?
The name of the band is Vinca Minor. This is the name for the lesser periwinkle, which produces violet-purple flowers. This species is less aggressive than the Vinca Major species. The flowers are solitary in the leaf axils, though form large colonies as groundcover. Do I think we are groundcover? No. Do I think we are solitary in the midst of a colony? I think the music on this album is very lonely and “isolated”. I am very aware of us being solitary beings in a larger colony. I think flowers are beautiful and I am a big fan of beauty.
2. How did this band get started?
This band got started in the later half of 2009. I had become very interested in German electronic music and had always been a fan of ambient electronic music. I was unable to find people who were interested in working with me on a new project – one of my bands broke up and one went on hiatus at the beginning of the year. Because of this, I decided that I would go back to way I originally started making music, bought the Akai MPC5000, and went to work by myself creating what became the album “Isolation”. I have since added a keyboardist, Juliana Brandon, and an accordionist, Marchette DuBois.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
I am influenced by a lot of music. My biggest influence, however, is Nina Simone. Her music is like religion to me. She had a passion when she played that makes you feel every word, every note she plays as if it were the most important thing on the world. I also love the Dirty Three – especially their live shows, Arvo Part, Sigur Ros, Johann Johannsson and so many more.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would it be and why?
I would love to tour with the Dirty Three. Firstly, I would be able to get to see them play every night. Secondly, I would love to be able to talk them. When my other band, Saeta, was recording with Steve Albini, we asked him about them and he said that he would wash their car for them if they him to. He thought they were great.
5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
I think I would have to say a cat. I see how mine live and I have to say that I'm pretty jealous. I really, really love sleep and see that mine do as well. Mine also love to play my electric piano when I have it on. It's sort of free-jazz, but it's really interesting. We're shopping for a label right now to release their debut album.
6. Why should people listen to your band? Why not?
I believe it's a solid album. We've been getting great reviews. The wonderful Kramer deemed it worthy to be released on his label, Second Shimmy. Finally, my cats really like it. I know it's kind of like your mom liking your album, but in this case, my mom doesn't like my album - she's very honest about these things. She likes pop music (which I do as well) and says I need a good beat. Now many people may agree with this (especially those that prefer beat music). However, while there may not be traditional beats on this album, there is rhythm on this album, albeit subtle. It's more of a textural rhythm. It's admittedly not so great for the dancefloor - subtlety tends to get lost there, but it's wonderful on the headphones. Did I talk you into or out of listening to the album or is it the contradiction that is the answer. I'm not a very good salesman, obviously. My honesty is my undoing.
7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
I would love to see the first track from our album, From Here, Eternity, in Guitar Hero/Rock Band. It weighs in at a little over 16 minutes and I believe is 60 BPM. It also uses an ebow for the guitar line (I don't know how that would work exactly). Additionally, the guitar is effected to sound more like a keyboard. I think you can figure it out, but it may be challenging to some listeners. So, I think it may be a bit challenging.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Well, after AbsolutePunk.net, I would thank Kramer, as honestly without him, I probably would have packed it in long ago. He's given incredible support to me and for that I am eternally grateful. Besides that, I would have the usual - family, friends, etc.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I would bring the focus back to the music. It's so sad how much that has become neglected. It's now a means to an end instead the end. I have faith it will turn around, though.
10. Memorable tour experience?
I toured Italy with my band, Saeta, and everything about that was incredible. Besides that experience, the most memorable experience was when I was playing bass in a band called Ms. Led. We were playing a Ladyfest in Austin, TX (We were a four piece and I was the only male). I was in the Green Room with our guitarist at the end of the evening and our drummer and lead singer had gone out front to get the van. When our guitarist and I went outside, it was chaos. There was this huge brawl going on. Knowing our lead singer, I knew she was somehow involved, so I went out into to try to find her. Fortunately for me (I really don't like violence at all) she has a very loud voice and was giving someone what-for. When I found her she was kicking someone who was on the ground with some other girls from the show. I realized she was blind with rage at this point, so I bear-hugged her and pulled her out of there. I believe she may have hit me as she didn't realize who I was. I think two people ended up in the hospital that night, unfortunately.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
I assume you mean AbsolutePunk.net as I checked out ap.net, and really that didn't mean much to me.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
Right now, my favorite song to play is Waves. It's pretty simple, but I think I accomplished everything I wanted to with one. We've also added a tag to the end for live shows.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
It's been kind of a long time since I took a proper vacation. I think the last one I took was in Italy. I was visiting a friend of mine near Milan after a show my band had in Sweden. That was very nice, so I'll say there.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
My dad would often listen to Mario Lanza on Sunday mornings. I don't really remember my past very well, though, so unfortunately I don't have many memory triggers. However, one thing that really brings back some nice memories for me is the smell of the earth in Spring recovering from the frost of the winter. I love that smell.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
I'm not sure I'd really like superpower. It seems like a lot of unnecessary responsibility. I don't really have much use for flying and I would hate to know people's thoughts. I think I can figure that out well enough as it is. No, thanks.
16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
Well, seeing as nobody really knows who we are, I don't think we have. I've seen some modest success with my music and have been very fortunate to have had some wonderful experiences and worked with some incredible people. For these things I am grateful and Iook forward to what the future brings.
17.What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Not surprisingly, I suffer from pretty severe depression, which they have given the label Bipolar ii to. This is the type of bipolar where it is mainly depression with only an incident or so of mania. I'm also currently working with my doctor to get off of the clonazepam I've been taking for many years, which has been extremely difficult so far.
18. What's your favorite holiday? I don' really like holidays.
There's so much pressure when you should really be enjoying the holiday. I like some of the rituals I have associated with some holidays, though. For instance, I enjoy drinking eggnog and watching It's A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm either making music, listening to music, studying reading or watching movies. It's really not very glamorous, but it's what I enjoy in life. I always like to feel like I'm accomplishing something, so I don't really allow myself much free time. As I stated previously, though I do love sleep.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Those known get exploited as much as I can and those unknown get equally exploited when the opportunity presents itself.
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