Excerpts From An Interview Conducted On October 8th, 2000. Republish Freely.

Q: What led to the creation of your new album, Adults Only?

A: I never started out with a solo CD in mind. It just seemed that singing and songwriting was the next natural step for me as an artist. Over a period of time I began to find my own vocal style and began to collect a few good songs as well. I eventually went in to record some material to see if I could get a deal. Well, after a lot of frustrating meetings with record execs the project became dormant until Jeff Worrell heard my recordings and urged me to finish the CD. So with the help of some outstanding musicians and Jeff's expertise at the mixing board we finally completed Adults Only. It was soon after that Kent Hartman of SonicOasis.com heard the CD and expressed great interest in making it available on the internet.

Q: How would you describe your musical style?

A: Of course, it's always difficult to categorize one's style since it's usually an amalgam of a number of influences but I'd have to say that R&B and pop are the dominant forces in my music. Lyrically I guess I write in a style much like that of Tom Waits or Randy Newman. Take that and a number of other influences and you get "Adults Only".

Q: Who are your musical influences?

A: As I mentioned, people like Tom Waits and Randy Newman really influenced me as a lyricist but you can also hear a bit of Chuck Berry, even Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter. A great set of lyrics can be timeless. Now when it comes to singing, I loved listening to all the legendary R&B singers like Little Richard, James Brown, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave and I'm sure there's a few I missed. Later on I started listening more to pop singers like McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton and Sting. When I first started singing, it took me awhile to stop imitating my influences and discover my own voice and style. It's pretty much the same learning process I went through as a drummer.

Q: If you had to compare your music to other popular artists, who would they be?

A: Because of our love of Blues and R&B, I imagine comparisons can be made between myself and Eric Clapton or Robert Palmer or even Peter Gabriel. But lyrically my work goes in a non-mainstream direction similar to artists like Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Lyle Lovett.

Q: What is your inspiration for creating new music?

A: It's a matter of vocabulary, whether it's language or music. As our vocabulary grows so does our ability to effectively express our thoughts and feelings. My musical education started immediately through exposure to music from radio and recordings and later TV and movies. I was fascinated with music and couldn't get enough of it, having no idea how all this would later affect me as an artist. As a drummer, I began to learn about song forms and arrangements and started listening heavily to R&B and Jazz. R&B because of its powerful rhythmic drive and raw excitement, and Jazz because it offered a true form of improvised musical expression. I think that planted the seed to compose music but later, after hearing pop artists like Bob Dylan and the Beatles, I became very aware of the power of words. Of course, this gave me an expanded vocabulary that I would need and use as tools to define my own voice and writing style. For me, all those elements came together on Adults Only.

Q: Who are the members of your band and what instruments do they play?

A: It's not really a permanent band. I was fortunate enough to know and work with some of the best players around. I produced the CD on a track by track basis which allowed me to select and mix particular musicians like colors for a painting. Bob Glaub and Lee Sklar for example, are both excellent bass players with vastly different styles. Todd Sharp, Andrew Gold and Basil Fung on guitars is another fine example. George Clinton on organ and Chris Spedding on guitar create some real magic together on "Buns of Doom". There were so many great players and performances on Adults Only that I'll have a hard time putting together a touring band half as good. Some of those tracks are really burnin'!

Q: Which is your favorite track on Adults Only and why?

A: I don't really have a permanent favorite from the CD. That seems to change from day to day depending on my mood. I do get a special kick out "Sailin' Shoes" because it was inspired by and is sort of my homage to a gospel group from the thirties known as the Golden Gate Quartet. I heard their music on the radio as a child and never forgot it. I love the humor in "The Wait" and "What's That Comin'". It's like that saying about children, they're all different but you love them equally.


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