Where did you grow up, and what influenced you to get into music?
I grew up all over the place. By the age of 12, I had already lived in England, Australia, and the US. I also grew up learning to play the piano and the viola. My biggest influence was probably (clichť, I know) the Beatles. They were the ones who inspired me to learn the guitar, and I thought that the twists they put on popular music were mind-blowing. I wanted to do something like that.
How many instruments do you play?
I play three main instruments (four if you count acoustic and electric guitar as separate instruments)- piano, viola, and guitar. I can play a bit of drums, bass, and mandolin as well, and Iím thinking about learning the saxophone.
What is your songwriting process like?
Itís different for every song, but the one thing that must be in place in order for me to write a song is emotion. If Iím not strongly feeling a particular way (happy, angry, sad, etc.), itís nearly impossible to write a song. When the emotion is there, however, the process is a breeze. Usually I write the chords first, then the melody, then the lyrics, but there have been several occasions where Iíve written the lyrics first. On ďDonít Believe in Love,Ē the chorus melody and chorus lyrics came to me all at once, and it was just a matter of finding chords that fit with it.
Do you write for other artists?
Not currently, no, but Iím very open to the idea.
Do you perform live often?
I busk quite often, which I find is a great way to get my music heard. Iíve done a few smaller live shows but nothing serious.
What is the local music scene like in Vermont? Is it a supportive scene?
Itís a very supportive scene! I have several good friends who are musicians themselves, and we all come to see each other perform and help each other book gigs.
You are still fairly young, but your music and voice has a mature sound.
How would you best describe your music genre?
I usually describe it as ďalternative,Ē but I find that to be a bit of a cop-out. My music is a combination of grunge, lo-fi, classic rock, and folk. Occasionally you can hear some psychedelic influences as well.
Are you open to collaborations with other bands or artists?
Absolutely! The idea of writing for another artist or playing/singing on one of their records intrigues me.
Tell us what you are working on currently.
Currently, Iím planning my second album, which will be a total 180 from my first. My first album (The Reason Why I Donít Believe in Love) was a very stripped-down, personal record. This next record is going to be a rock opera and therefore much bigger. Iím working on finding session musicians to play on it. A lot of it will consist of orchestral music Iíve composed.
What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?
Right now Iím taking it easy, but towards the end of the year, you can start looking forward to that second album. I may also try to play some gigs in the Midwest (as my hometown is in Iowa) over the summer.
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