I guess I was in a chior when I was about 7 in school. Took Hawiian guitar lessons when I was 9. Brass in highschool. Started my frst band (FACTO) when I was 20.
What gear do you use?
I love my Yamaha RGZ electric, but my favourite instrument was my Larivee LV-03e. Right now I only have the electric.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Ween. I got into them because I bought "Pure Guava" on a whim. When I first listened to it I thought it was the worst album I'd ever heard, then for weeks I couldn't get the songs out of my head. I'm still convinced that they are the best musicians / songwritters I've ever heard.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
I have been in a few bands, mostly duos. FACTO was a group of about 4 of us, we just liked to mess around with sounds. Most of us didn't know how to play music so we just mostly made noise. It was allot of fun, the tapes are out there somewhere. Dead Popes On Display was a duo, Treason Van Arch and myself. We met through a mutal friend. The name came from what she said she saw when she went to visit Rome. We recorded lots and played allot of Open Mics around the Kitchener Waterloo (Ontario) area. Free Radicals, happened when I met Dave Hale on Galiano Island (British Columbia). He was writting poetry and I was coming up with guitar licks. We recorded some (a 5 track ep) and played a few Open Mics. Organik Beats happened when I met Matt Barnes on the streets in Victoria. Matt was a drummer (and a Break-beat DJ) and we decided to write and play some shows together. We recorded a EP on Galiano Island and a played a couple of shows there, then both went our seperate ways. After a couple of years we got back together and recorded a 9 track album in Halifax (Nova Scotia) and did a Cross-Canada tour, then went our seperate ways again. Since then Matt has released his own solo album (as Matt Hazard) which is well worth listening to. O!PiM is what Dirt (my girlfriend) and I called ourselves as we busked (and eventually toured) accross Canada. We played folk based roots music (some original some dug up from the dawn of time) with her on fiddle and me playing guitar. As O!PiM we recorded 2 full albums: 13 Songs We Like (all covers, limited release to our close friends) and Movin On (all originals). O!PiM is currently on hiatus. As "A Bitter Mind" (a name derived from a lyric in a Corosion of Conformity song and a description of what happens to me when I'm not creative), I have released more than a few EP's (too many to remember) and have yet to complete a full solo album. Guess I'm just picky.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Mmm good question. I love to jam with anyone who has the passion to play. I don't care about skill level, I dealt with that way too much when I was learning the guitar. I think that I would enjoy playing with lots of the artists I listen to, but I really love the magic that comes from a group of people who love what they are doing and usually are just as surprized as the people listening, by what comes out.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
I guess the smallest audience I've ever played to (not counting busking were I have played to just myself at times) would be hosting an Open Jam and playing to the venue owner. The largest audience I've ever played to would be the Bar Stage at the Summerfolk music festival in Owen Sound (Ontario) after I participated in a songwriting workshop (played our song on the stage).
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Abbey Road. I'd pick it because it has been my favourite album for as long as I can remember. I love it because it is the Beatles at the top of their game. That album has influenced how I write, how I mix, and how I measure my music. It is George Martin's best work in my opinion. I also never get sick of hearing it.