Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town about 35 miles east of Athens, GA, called Elberton, GA.
What influenced you to get into music?
My dad had an old Gibson acoustic and was going to learn to play guitar, but he never did, so I finally just asked him if I could use it, and I taught myself how to play on that old, beat up guitar. That and one of those chord books that you can buy. I grew up before the internet was a thing, so we had to learn everything by just listening to records over and over, and then figuring out the parts. I always say how much easier it would've been if I'd had access to the internet and YouTube, like I do today, to learn the chords and lyrics to a song. But yeah, I listened to what my parents had at first, which was just Elvis, Beatles, Neil Diamond, and the Oakridge Boys, and then, when I got old enough to save up my allowance, I'd buy my own records, and it'd usually be R&B stuff, like Prince or Michael Jackson.
Besides guitar, I know you play several other instruments, were they all self taught?
That's right. I play guitar, bass, keys and drums. And I completely taught myself. I was just a natural at every instrument I ever tried to play. I was, and still am, a singer, so I think that helps. I can hear the music in my head, so it was always just a matter of transferring it to the instrument through whatever means... usually my fingers. And after that it just becomes muscle memory. I did take a few courses in music theory when I got older, in college, and once I'd learned that, it really helped bring it all together for me and everything I'd learned on my on made a lot more sense.
How did you come about the name Hatchatorium?
Well, it's hard to come up with a band name that hasn't been used before or even currently being used, and I had just moved into a basement apartment, so I had this idea of being down here in the basement, creating music, and I always think of anything that ends in -atorium as being a lab, so I guess I thought hatch = create, so I came up with hatchatorium, because I pictured myself being down here, hatching music. LOL. Plus, I googled it, and it didn't exist, so I knew I had an original title.
Through the years, have you ever played in other bands?
God yes! I've been in so many band that I can't remember most of their names. Most didn't go anywhere, but some did alright and released albums and opened for other, bigger bands. That was back in my early 20's when that happened, though. I was in a band called Mind's Eye that did pretty well, and before that I was in my very first band with my brother and some other friends, called The View. I was in a lot of bands that only played a few shows in my 20's, but I can't remember the names or much else, because I did quite a few "substances" back then. I wish I could remember more, because I have glimpses of memories and I know it was probably really fun, but unfortunately I don't have complete memories of it happening, and that sucks. So don't do drugs, people! You won't be able to remember the cool things you did because of it!
Where do you generally record?
I usually can't afford studio time, so I usually record down here in my basement apartment. I use a couple of different programs, like Audacity and Mixcraft, that I use to mix everything, and I have some Line 6's to run my guitars and vox through. I don't always use the same set up, either. I'm constantly experimenting with different arrangements, trying to get a better sound, and then sometimes I'll just like the way something sounds because it doesn't sound polished and it still has a lot of static and has that live recording feel to it.
What is your songwriting process like?
I tend to write in spurts, and I usually wait until I have several different song melodies and guitar parts written in my head before I sit down and actually try to create a song out of them. But when I do, I take the melody line and write either a bass, guitar rhythm, or keyboard line, and once I have that, then I come up with lyrics to the melody line, and then just put it all together into a song. I'm always writing lyrics because you never know when something you've written before will fit perfectly into a song you're writing, and it makes the process of writing song lyrics so much easier when you have a pool of lyrics to draw from.
How often do you play live?
Well, not very often, lately, because I can't get any guys who won't flake out on me at the last minute. I played two gigs this past Summer, but I had to turn down a booking agency 5 times because my band flaked on me at the last moment. I finally told the guy at the agency, Reece, that I wouldn't be available to play anymore, because I didn't feel it was fair to him to keep backing out at the last moment, like that. The problem seems to be that these guys want to get paid before the gig, and I can't pay them until I get paid, which is AFTER the gig, but as to why they agree to play the gig in the first place, if they're only going to back out at the last moment, I don't know. There are a lot of trolls in this business, as far as I can tell. Because not only could these guys have made a decent amount of money, but so could I, if they had just played these gigs! I mean, I was being contacted by a major booking agency to play at The Masquerade and even places like the Tabernacle, to play this past Summer, and it was based solely on the music I had online, so that's a pretty good indication that they want you pretty bad. And I couldn't get a reliable group of guys to play the gigs. To me that's sad. But, to answer your question, I'll probably be able to play live at least once a week if I can ever get a reliable band together, or afford to hire hired guns, because I still have my booking contacts, and they said whenever I had a reliable group of guys, to give them a call. They were very understanding about it.
Tell us about your latest project.
My latest project is the album I'm working on, called Flooding Fates, and it's due out on April 1, 2018. And I've written and recorded 6 songs for it, already, and I've released those songs as singles, also. One of those songs, Tonight, is getting A LOT of streams and downloads, and I've gotten a lot of good feedback from people on it, so I think it may be able to breakthrough. So if anyone is reading this, please check Hatchatorium out on Spotify or iTunes or any of the other music platforms, and get the song Tonight! Because a lot of people seem to think it's a hit song. And what's really funny about it is that I almost didn't release it or even let anyone else hear it, because I wasn't sure if it was any good or not. That's always how it seems to work for me though... I never seem to know what's good or not out of the things that I write.
What can we expect from you in 2018?
Hopefully I'll have put some guys (or girls) together to back me up by the time Flooding Fates is released, and if I have, and the album looks like it's going to do well, I'd like to tour that album and see if we can make some money next year! And who knows what else the new year will bring? New opportunities are always appearing, so you never know what's going to happen. You can only try to be ready for it when it happens! Thanks!
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