Primary school offered lessons for two instruments - the recorder, and the piano. I started with the former and became bored rather quickly. Started piano at age 9. Classical lessons and exams for the next 8 years before dumping complicated rote learning for jazz and improvisation.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
First PROPER concert, excluding the recorder school hall performances, was 1992 when I was 17. Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Blood Sugar Sex Magik tour. Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Victoria. Unfortunately Arik Marshall was on guitar (just after John Frusciante quit to pursue a career in heroin). Went with my school mate Brad Alcock. When they dropped Give It Away the crowd went insane, and the three giant mirror balls came alive and spewed shards of swirling light around the arena. Awesome.
What gear do you use?
CME UF8 88 key fully-weighted midi keyboard, a pair of Technics SL-1200MK2s, an E-MU Vintage Keys rack, Cubase, Ableton, Audiomulch, a shirt load of VSTs, a piece of shit Samick semi-acoustic guitar, a piece of crap Behringer Strat copy, a tonne of vinyl, what's left of my brain, and a ceramic ocarina from France. Love the keys and decks. Work primarily in Cubase.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Rockit by Herbie Hancock, Breakdance-Electric Boogie by West Street Mob, and Pump Up The Volume by M.A.R.R.S. Changed my life.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
Shaft nee Sweetback nee Audubon. Played poor mans acid jazz pop funk. Made two records. Solo for the last 15 years as Strange Hermitage.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Royksopp, Siriusmo, DJ Shadow, Justice, Chemical Brothers, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, Muse, Goldfrapp... Heaps more besides, but these guys come to mind at present. Envelope pushers.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
Biggest? Shit, playing solo piano at school concerts - a couple of hundred bored parents and kids. Smallest? 1 - very close friend.
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?