1)How did I get my band name?:
It was given to me by my mother (at birth)
2)How did this band get started?: I have been doing solo acoustic shows since I became a professional gigging musician in 1995. Intimate solo acoustic shows are at the heart of my passion for music. When I play with a band it is usually the group of session musicians who played on the album.
There are far too many musicians who have influenced me to list them all. But some artists whom I am most influenced by are: James Taylor, David Wilcox, Mac Mcanally, Sade, Rodney Crowell, and Colin Hay.
4)Bands I'd like to tour with:
I'd love to have toured with Jim Croce or James Taylor. I'm such a huge fan of the storyteller and those two guys did it (and James still does it) as well as anyone ever has.
Well this one will be easy since I'm answering these questions from Brussels, Belgium where everything tastes amazing. Their cheese and ham are absolutely wonderful. But yesterday I had a creme brûlée that makes all other creme brulees shake in the knees. It was insanely great.
6)Why listen to me:
I hope people would enjoy listening to me because they can relate to some or all of the situations and emotions I write about in my songs. I have tried to strip away the superfluous and put a simple music between the lyrics and the listener so that we can connect more directly and intimately. Then we can share the stories of the very profound emotions we've shared more naturally and purely.
7)If I could be an athlete:
If I could be an athlete I'd be Chipper Jones. The guy is in his last big league season but he is producing at All Star levels. It must be an amazing feeling to have no stress every day when you show up to the ballpark. He undoubtedly headed to Cooperstown and yet he still is adding to his legacy.
8)If I won a Grammy who'd I thank:
Absolutely my Mom, stepdad and Brother. The three of them have been my backbone long before I ever picked up a guitar and they have continued to help me along every step of my journey.
9)Change the music industry:
I'd make publishing deals fair for the songwriter. By this I mean I would make the money generated from a specific song during the publishing contract split between the publisher and the artist (as it is now) HOWEVER I'd give the artist back 100% of songwriting rights once the term of the contract was up. After all the writer created the material. There's no reason (other than antiquated traditional business practices which weren't in the artists' favor) that the creator shouldn't have all the rights to the material he/she created (even if he/she chooses to share it with the publisher for a short term).
10) Memorable tour experience:
My band was playing in Bishkek, Kyrgystan, on a USO tour for the military. I already was puffed up with American pride to be doing something for the heroes in the American military but during a break the base commander brought me aside. She told me "Thank you for doing such a exemplary job. These young soldiers are headed down range to war and a lot of them won't make it back. Therefore this will be the last live music they ever hear." If I ever doubted the power and importance of music, that moment assured me that music (in that case specifically , my music) matters.
11) absolutepunk.net mean to me:
To me, any outlet that fights to bring quality music to the masses deserves a big pat on the back. Doing so is not an easy job and most of the time it's a thankless job. But it is a job that matters. And among all the outlets that do such a service for music and society I believe absolutepunk.net has to be in the upper echelon. They have a wide reach and they utilize that to spread well constructed articles and thereby expose the world to music and musicians that we'd otherwise be unfamiliar with. Good on you, absolutepunk.net
12) favorite song to play:
"Bird on a Powerline" is my favorite song to play because audiences tend to "get" the song instantly. Even when I am playing for an audience who predominantly speak a language other than the language the song was written in, the audience tends to latch on to it. Music is a universal language and it is fun for me to play "Bird on a Powerline" because I get to see that displayed very palpably.
13) favorite vacation spot:
I tour so much I really never get vacation. Therefore I treat the tour like a permanent vacation. So with that being said , I think Kwajalein is my favorite spot. It is an absolute paradise. It has a slow pace of life , palm trees, hammocks, deep blue green water. The people there are the nicest most genuine people ever. Damn.... why we are doing an interview? Let's head to Kwajalein.
14)music that reminds me of childhood:
Although it doesn't sound like the music I produce now, any time I hear BloodSugarSexMagic by the Chili Peppers or old school Weezer I'm instantly transported back to my youth. It's actually startling how powerfully the link between those songs and that time period is for me.
The superpower I'd choose given the option is flight. Partially because it's just be cool to fly from gig to gig but way more importantly I wouldn't have to deal with airports anymore.
16)pre show rituals?
I don't have any true pre show rituals. I will say if I can at any way control it I like to have about 10 minutes before show time to relax and clear my mind of everything including the show. I find if I do that I'm much more likely to "get in the zone" during the performance.
17) most fans don't know:
I speak French, I have a B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics, and I have survived bone cancer.
18) state of radio:
I think it's obvious the golden days of terrestrial radio stations has passed but I do not think that means they must go the way of the dinosaur.
I personally love it when I find a solid radio station that really cares about music and only spins quality stuff (plug for my hometown station 92WZEW). Listening to a station like that is still my favorite way to find new artists and music.
And, yes, I believe my music would flourish quite well on radio. Well... if it was on a radio station like the one I described above.
19)spare time activity:
I really like to read and I really like to play disc golf. Both of those activities take me away from my everyday routine quite quickly and put me at peace.
20) hidden talents:
I can do some very horrible magic tricks.