1. How did you get your band name?
My real last name is Middle Eastern although I was born and raised in UK/US. A record exec friend a few years ago told me I sounded like a terrorist and should change my last name. At the time I was trying to be a hip hop producer in NYC and called myself D-LUX, then a few years later I just extended the name to fit as an artist.
2. How did this band get started?
I am a solo artist who has a live band that I also record with. I have tried to be in actual bands before but always had trouble keeping them together and then re-starting them so I quite simply just decided to go out on my own and see what happens. It started from being fed up playing the music industry game and getting nowhere beyond A&R fools - I wanted to take it to the streets and see what real people think.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
Wow, so many - as far as the oldies go it would be mainly Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Childhood would be Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Soundgarden (Chris Cornell has the most amazing voice of his generation). Nowadays, I really like Muse, MuteMath, Gossip - all really amazing bands live too!
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Rolling Stones for sure - what a blast they seemed to always have. Nowadays, Muse or Green Day would be pretty epic - 2 of the loudest trios on the planet - and tight as hell. Foo Fighters would also be very welcome;))
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Honestly, the healthier the better because it starts to catch up with you and you gotta keep energy and clarity up for strong performances. So grilled fish, salad, rice. I don't know whether it is the best, but potato chips also feature heavily when on the road and are ALWAYS good!
6. Why should people listen to your band?
Good question! Erm, because I really want them too;) Well, I feel like my music is for the most part honest and true. After working at labels for a while I see how most bands get compromised along the way - none of that applies to what I'm doing - I call all the shots. I put into my music what I'm experiencing in the world: happiness, sadness, challenges, faith and trust issues - and then I do my best to put a conscious and ultimately positive spin on those things - from that angle I feel that my music is worth listening to if those themes strike a chord in you. I also think my band kick butt;)
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Three come to mind immediately. Carl Lewis - I remember being a small kid when he won a ton of gold medals in the Olympics - then just a few years ago I saw him at a restaurant in NYC and couldn't believe how healthy and fit he looked - that is miraculous! I think it would also be fun being Lance Armstrong apart from the one-nut business. I'd love to ride a wave like Kelly Slater too - that would be heaven!
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
That list changes every year. There are my parents and siblings who have weathered a certain amount of the road with me and my wife, Tiffany, who has been a rock though all kinds of times with me and often inspires me to keep going on, staying creative, staying positive. I don't believe in an old, religious idea of God but I do believe in a creative force that exists behind everything - I think I'd need to thank that too. Beyond that, it would be whoever had been in my world at that point and helped get the actual Grammy.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
The way winner takes all. Especially being in a city like LA which is so dominated by big acts who come in and take everything. I wish there was more of a real, vibrant rock club scene like there was a decade or two ago. It just seems that once a band/artist gets big, this whole machine evolves around them to just squeeze everything else out - it's starting to happen on the internet now. Five or six years ago most major acts were asking to have their videos and music pulled down from websites - now they dominate them.
10. Memorable tour experience?
Playing to several thousand peeps in SF with my zipper down, although some bands may plan that kind of thing.... haha
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
Well, although called Absolute Punk, it's nice that you guys cover a number of styles and genres. I think nowadays "Punk" is more than just playing or dressing a certain way. The group Daft Punk started off as a punk band, and although they now make squeaky dance music, I can hear that "get off the couch" DIY ethic and attitude in what they have done. And so - I like the way you guys are picking up on a state of mind in what you're covering. Your tagline "Music Mends Broken Hearts" is the cream on the cake - that says it all!
12. What is your favorite song to play?
Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix - (a) its always a crowd pleaser and (b) it's hella fun to play on a guitar and pretty easy!
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Kauai or Thailand.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Classical, I was raised playing violin and piano at age 5 or 6 and was accepted to a music conservatory when I was 7 years old.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
The ability to print real money, then I can buy up the billboard charts and book my own global tour.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
Yes, I like to do a yogic chakra meditation that focuses on each energy center in the body - I've found it makes a big difference!
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
That I'm quite shy and introverted - not something that comes across on stage (thankfully).
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
I'm not sure - does anybody under 30 listen to traditional radio anymore? The classification of genre has always been a stumbling block for me - web based radio and satellite stations seem a lot more diverse and open, maybe there would be better coverage through them. But current radio - pretty much a joke - I was bummed when the best station in LA (Indie 103.1) went under, I still miss it today.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Any outdoor physical fun fitness thing I can find - surf, camp, biking, boarding
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Phew, I don't think I have any. I'm trying to come up with every talent I already have and market it .... haha. I can play Didgeridoo - does that count?