Where are you currently based?
I’m currently in Los Angeles during Covid but I’m back and forth to Vancouver a lot otherwise.
How did you first start playing music?
My mom was given a guitar from a boyfriend prior to meeting my dad. She had taken a stab at learning guitar when she was younger but the guitar had become a decoration for the house rather than an instrument. I was around 11-years old when I picked it up and got the music tablature for STP – Plush from a family friend. The following year there was a band program that all students had to participate in and there were 4-5 friends that all took up the guitar at the same time. We were all fairly competitive which helped push each other. I recall and passed around music books like “The Jimi Hendrix Experience”, “Tom Petty Greatest Hits” and “Bob Marley – Greatest Hits”. My first songbook was a simplified version “Eric Clapton – Unplugged” album which was frequently spun growing up.
What’s been happening recently and how has your Covid experience been so far?
Covid has been eventful. My wife is due January 3 with our firstborn. This has been a light at the end of the tunnel for us. We also built a recording studio in the garage of our house. Other than that we have been lucky enough to explore California and neighboring states.
Of course woven in the good news are trials and tribulations of living during a global pandemic.
Your new album ‘Bloom’ will be out on November 13, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
‘Bloom’ is perhaps the product of not having a tight grip on the musical concept of what I am or where I’m going. I’m sort of allowing music to dictate my direction in a way. Trusting the journey to be cliche. It has led me to the place I am now which is not much clearer than where I started except that perhaps with each step forward I can be more free in my musical choices. The stakes seem to be lower or somethin and the concept feels more free. Like most creatives, I suppose I’m a product of everything I’ve listened to and studied to date. My musical taste is broader than ever as I see past the artist and more to the song. I think as a youngster I would be much more attached to the artist and it would dictate how I felt about a song. Now I feel the song and less about the artist. I think these sorts of realizations came with learning who wrote some of the biggest pop songs 90’s to now. It’s sort of wonderful learning the journey of a song. Sometimes it touches 10 artists before it makes it on an album into the hands of say someone like Beyonce. I think that’s a beautiful thing.
How did you go about writing the music?
I had prepared 25 to 30 songs approaching the booked studio dates. Dan Klenner, the producer and I went on a little boat he had at the time out in North Vancouver and listened to the songs through some speakers and then swam and thought about each musical idea. From there we decided which ones were the most cohesive and scribbled notes. Following that we hit the studio 2-weeks, and broke down the songs, and built them from the ground up. As we got into the creative flow of things, we allowed that to take over and songs were sort of born out of that. For example “Bloom” and “Don’t Turn This Bus Around” were just improvisations on the spot edited down. Other songs like “Philly Night”, “Avalanche”, and “Million Pounds” were more developed before. I will say that lyrics were mostly all written/changed in the studio. I also experimented more with co-writing. I wrote with Thomas Hoeller, Erik Alcock, Greg Bevis, Dan Klenner to name a few that made it on the album.
Where and when did you record/produce and who with?
‘Bloom’ was recorded in 2018 in Vancouvers’ Space Studio with Dan Klenner whom I’ve worked with for the last 2-albums.
What programs/equipment did you use?
I used Teenage Engineerings’ OP-1to create the drum idea for “Found It” and for a bunch of other ideas. The Roland XP-60 we used a lot for the synth sounds and arpeggios.
The TC Helicon Voicelive 3 we used to create the vocoder effect used on “Don’t Turn”, “Bloom”, and “Tow the Line”. The software used to produce was Protools.
How did your single ‘Avalanche’ come about?
Avalanche started as sort of a funk-ish type song. I brought it to Greg Bevis first from a band called Bear Mountain whom we were doing some co-writing together at the time. We worked on it for an afternoon, then I believe Thomas Hoeller, and I worked it out live and toured it for a while to flesh it out before bringing it into the studio. There it changed and lost the funk sort of side and became more vibey with an avalanche finish.
What does Avalanche mean to you?
A metaphor for life; If you allow your life to flow and take chances and walk forward, then it can really take you. And it can swallow you whole or you can glide and land on top.
What do you like to do away from music?
These days I enjoy gardening, surfing, building things, and playing with my dog, Loki.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m all over the place on this. Anything from acoustic fingerpicking songs, Indian music, Paul Simon, Beatles, old rap and new age artists pushing boundaries.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?
The next 4 months are going to be very eventful with the release of ‘Bloom’ Nov 13, followed by a baby boy due Jan 3, and renovating our bathroom. That should be enough to keep us busy. I’m hoping to start planning some touring as the world opens back up eventually.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Northeastern Thai food is my favourite and favourite place to hangout is maybe a good set of stairs where you can people watch.