How would you describe the type of music you and your band creates?
Our music can be described as melodic power pop, but that would be selling the band short, as we really work hard at honing our craft by writing timeless songs. We find that great songs in every genre have influenced us, from country to blues to classical to punk. Those genres creep into our music and our musicianship in subtle ways.
Who are the founding members? Were there any changes to the band?
I am the solo songwriter of the band. Zac Zidron has been with me for 10 years and is co-founder of the band. I’m sure many rock bands can relate to drummer/ lineup changes and we are no exception. We’ve had more drummers than Spinal Tap. We were fortunate enough to meet a great session drummer, Larry Beers, who has also lent his skills for the last 10 years in the studio and for live performances when his schedule permits. Enter our current incredible drummer/member, Leslie Walle-Santos, who I had met at a gig. He has been with the band for 3 years.
What do you feel is the key to making a good record?
The songs for sure. Great songwriters write to please themselves. They also try to keep in mind that universal themes go a long way. Amazing songs come to life when every member in a band knows their role. I live by one rule when making a record: the song is king. I’ve never been able to write concept albums or EPs. I concentrate on writing the best songs I possibly can. The trick to making great records, in my humble opinion, is to always make sure the recordings are as close to the live band’s sound as possible. There have been many instances of bands doing what I call the “bait and switch,” where the record’s production value is amazing but the band cannot reproduce it live. Don’t get me wrong, I love production value. I walk the fine line between getting the recorded songs to have a live sound as well as a vibe and using production value sparingly.
How long have you been making music?
I have been making music since I was a kid, singing along to records and making fake guitars out of cardboard. I got serious about making music around 14.
What’s your favorite piece of gear?
I’m a gearhead - that’s a hard question! I’d have to say the entire band loves using the highest quality gear possible, right down to our patch cables and our straps. We love every particular piece of gear that we use on stage and in the studio. We are always on the prowl to find the right sounds to serve our songs.
Do any of your family members have a background in music?
Yes and no. My father was a ham. He was a great dancer and had incredible charm. My mother has an appreciation for the arts and understood the journey of a musician’s life, even though she wasn’t a musician. She was able to clue me in at an early age what it would be like for me to become a musician. The great love that I was given from my parents enables me to do what I do today and I thank them for that every day.
What are some of your earliest memories where music played a role?
It’s hard for me to think of a time when there wasn’t music in my home. One of my earliest memories as a baby, I was rocking out in my crib, probably to The Beatles. Not much has changed, but my music collection is bigger.
How do you balance music and your relationships - family, friends, love?
I don’t. Music is everything. I’m just kidding - sort of. Really, you have to find a balance. You have to make time for everything. I don’t think rehearsing a band to death makes the band great. It’s knowing the weaknesses and turning them into strengths. I find the secret to success in music is not forcing things and creating a continuous circle of writing, performing and recording. A musician’s life today is not always about making music, unfortunately. Musicians wear many hats and all these things take lots of time. In my experience, working in creative bursts versus long days is more effective. I think balancing my time with family, friends and music has allowed me to keep the quality of my musical output consistent.
Where do you guys find inspiration for your songs?
The female form is a great place to start! What can I say, I love beautiful things. Inspiration can come from everyday things and observations in life. I feel more like an antenna. I think the songs are already out there - I just write them down. Jamming with the guys really inspires me. We have managed to bottle some lightning fooling around in our rehearsal space. It’s inspiring to play with guys who can take the germ of a song, run with it and in a matter of an hour, walk away with a semi-finished song.
Do you have any strange or unusual practices while you are recording?
We work with an engineer and self-produce, so recording is a strange and unusual process. It’s a constant learning process and I love it. I think great musicians become extremely involved in all that goes into recording. Knowledge is power. We are hyper aware and relaxed at the same time as we are listening for many different subtle things.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see the songs being licensed in many different capacities. I see my music making more money that I ever thought possible. I’ve been doing what I love pretty much my entire life. I see more success and happiness in the future because I am doing what I love to do.