I was interested and involved in music at a young age. I started playing piano when I was 5 and then started playing guitar and taking lessons when I was 10. I also learned to play clarinet/alto saxophone and viola/violin. Throughout grade school, I was involved in every musical group or class possible: jazz band, orchestra, marching band, theater pit band, music technology/production, etc. Along the way, I took a lot of music theory classes where I was required to write songs and sight sing. That's really how I got started writing my own songs and singing. Because I was so involved in music programs when I was growing up, I met a lot of great players and formed a couple of bands that played out in the local New Jersey clubs, bars, and soon we started playing out in New York and Philadelphia. It was a fun time.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
I am influenced by bands like Weezer, The Beach Boys, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Fountains of Wayne, and more. My friends and I loved listening to those records growing up and played covers of their songs all the time.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
It would be a dream to open for Weezer, Foo Fighters, and Hot Hot Heat on the Make Believe tour. I bought tickets for the New York stop on that tour and all three bands were amazing. It was one of the most amazing shows I have ever experienced and I pushed my way through the general admission section to get a spot front and center. I just think the sound was incredible that night and the audience was so psyched to be there. That combination makes it the perfect show to play.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Whenever I travel for a show, I try to make a stop on the east coast to see my family. The meals that are made by my mom are usually the best meals.
6. Why should people listen to your music?
The material or subject matter of my new album Venice is very relatable and is just an overall fun album to listen to.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
I would switch places with the Williams sisters. They are just kicking butt in terms of their rankings, endorsements, and charity work.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
If I won a Grammy...which by the way would be amazing and would make me jump up and down for days (or weeks), I would thank everyone who helped me along the way. Of course my parents who put me in all the music classes when I was a kid, my producers Jim Roach and Evan Brass, Thom Flowers who mastered the album, Reade Pryor and Danny Levin who contributed as musicians on the album, Kate Rentz and Liz Brass for the photography on the album, and of course all of my friends and music fans who came out to my shows and bought my record.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I would definitely change the way music videos are broadcasted. I do miss the old MTV where music videos were on most of the time rather than a million reality shows. Videos on MTV were the reason I bought most of the records I bought as a kid.
10. Memorable tour experience?
One memorable experience was when I was in my old band and played Whiskey Dix Saloon in Philadelphia. It was such a cool venue and all of the audience members were really into the music. They were dancing on the floor, they were clapping and cheering. It was the best show ever and very unexpected.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
For me, Absolute Punk is the go-to website for music news, reviews, interviews, or anything related to music. I always check out their reviews on new albums before I download. Also, I discover tons of new bands through the site. They are an advocate for new artists and new music.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
My favorite song to play on my current album is 'I Didn't Mean To' because it is meant to be 'the funny' song of the album. I love to see the audience members chuckle at the lyrics.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Vacation? What's that? I haven't taken a vacation in 2 years. No, I really work all the time.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
When I was a kid, Hanson and Spice Girls were always on the radio--so when I think about childhood and sleepovers I would have with my friends, Hanson and Spice Girls comes to mind because we would blast that stuff.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Hmmmm....that's a hard one to answer. If I could have a super power, I would like to be able to see into the future. This would be useful so that I know what to do all the time, every time.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
Yup. To prepare for a show, I usually do vocal warm ups which consist of arpeggios of cat noises (meows and raws). Very annoying to listen to, but good for reaching the range that I want.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Most fans probably probably don't know that I can be the most unhealthy person ever. I could just sit at a restaurant and order like 10 courses and consume it like a load. I also eat really crappy food in the studio like red bull (lots of it), coffee, and chips, chips, and more chips. Then instead of going to the gym after I eat that horrible meal, I take a nap.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Commercial radio is extremely difficult to get played on, especially for independent artists. But I would not pass up an opportunity to be played on radio. Radio is a powerful tool for artists and bands because it still has a huge audience. I believe my songs would be great for radio and would flourish and gain a bigger following that way.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I love to listen to music (of course!). I love discovering new bands and new music on the internet and checking them out live at a show. I am not just a musician/artist, but also a huge music fan!
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
No one would expect, but I am able to consume huge quantities of food and not feel full. It's really strange and my close friends think that I'm kind of a freak of nature.