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