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Interview done on the site

NINA

What can I say I love Synthwave and NINA album Sleepwalking is excellent, one of the best albums of the year and this is what she had to say. I recommend you get the album it’s excellent.

http://www.ninasounduk.com

1. How did you get into Synthwave?

I remember watching ‘Drive’ and being completely in love with the Soundtrack, as it had so many 80’s references and I’ve always been a huge fan of 80’s music. I’m an 80’s child after all.

2. Are you happy how people have responded to the music?

Yes, very happy. My fans have been waiting long enough for my debut album, and I’m glad they liked it. It’s extremely rewarding.

3. How did the album Sleepwalking come about?

It took a good 3 years in the making and it’s a collection of 11 very personal songs. I worked with different producers all around the world, so it did take quite a while to get it finished but I’m very proud of it.

4. Was the writing process different to earlier material?

Yes. It was quite different this time, as I worked with a different team before and it was a very different experience. For my debut album I wanted to be completely in charge of the writing, creative process and also the visual aspect. The most important thing for me was to be comfortable throughout the entire process and to stay true to myself.

5. What was the inspiration behind the album?

Most of the songs were inspired from personal experiences but there are a couple of narratives in there too. I visit different subjects like being bullied in school during my teens, the struggle of my mum being a single parent in the 80’s in Berlin, having my heart broken, protecting the ones we love and also falling in love for the first time.

6. Was the recording process different to earlier material?

Yes, it was. This time we recorded 90% of my vocals in my home studio, which I’m very comfortable with and gave me more room to play around and try new ideas. I also flew to Sweden to record a couple of songs with Oscillian, who is an amazing producer based in Norrköping.

7. How does a song start for you, where does the idea from the song start?

Usually from personal experiences. I would write down what’s on my mind, without worrying too much about a rhyme or specific sections.

8. How important do you think things like NewRetroWave are important to the scene and of course getting your music out there to an audience?

NRW has been great to gather synthwave and retrowave fans together around the world, through social media. They are very important in this scene. They’ve been super supportive with all my releases and I love the fact that they keep growing incessantly.

9. What the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

I used to suffer from stage fright and a friend who grew up in the music industry once said to me “nerves are your friends. They push you further and help you be the best you can be on stage.” And it kind of stuck. The more I performed, the more I realized how true it was and I started to channel the energy differently.

10. Do you have moments where you just can’t write, how do you snap out that?

Definitely, I would go for a walk, or play with my cat, or watch some Netflix. Anything to take my mind away from the song I’m writing. I usually go back to it the following day with fresh ears and new ideas. Every song takes a lot of re-visiting. It’s all part of the process.

11. What do you do for downtime to full the fire for your music?

I love photography, so I take lots of photos with my vintage cameras. I also enjoy going to the cinema, I probably would have tried to pursue a career in acting, if I hadn’t chosen a career in music.

12. Do you have any rituals before going on stage?

I need peace and quiet before going on stage. I’ll drink lots of water (maybe even a whisky on the rocks!) and warm up my voice.

13. Do you think your writing has changed a lot from when you were starting out as a musician?

Yes definitely. I find it much easier now to open up about personal experiences, and I feel that I’ve finally found my sound.

Scarlet Drive

Scarlet Drive are an Aussie band doing good things and this is what they had to say about it all.

 

Scarlet Drive:

Michael ‘Milli’ Millimaci

Michael Madafferi

Maddey Eccleston

Brandon Francis

https://www.facebook.com/pg/scarletdrivemusic/

1. How did you get into music?

1. Milli: I got into music at a young age, my dad is a musician so I’ve been going to gigs since I was 2. I was exposed to a lot of classical music and bands like The Beatles, The Police and Dire Straits became the soundtrack of my early childhood. At 3 I started playing piano, which I continued until I made the jump to guitar and haven’t stopped playing since.

Brandon: I was actually inspired by School of Rock to start playing guitar until my brother got me into playing drums which led to the band today

 

2. How did the inspiration for the song Ceto come about?

2. Milli: Ceto was born out of a chord progression I came up with and jammed with the guys until the song structure gradually formed. The song’s melancholy but driving dynamic was the perfect fit for the message I wanted to convey.

Maddey: At the time we were listening together to a lot of bands we idolised and understanding how they convey their message, and that gradually translated that into how we could create our own message.

 

3. How does a song start for you?

3. Brandon: With the band most songs start from just jamming, like one of us would have a cool guitar riff and from that we build around it.

Maddey: Like the calm before the storm, but with a bit more tension.

 

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

4. Maddey: The inspiration comes from wanting to share what we have, and being able to share it with people who can engage in the moods and messages we create

Brandon: Personally, from experience and just anything I’m really passionate about because I like writing in first person

Michael: I draw my inspiration from other people around me and also from the greats.

Milli: We have quite an eclectic mix of individual music preferences, but some of the artists in common are the Chili Peppers, The Beatles, The Pixies, Sticky Fingers and Tired Lion.

 

5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

5. Michael: Our songwriting has become more melodic and focused more on catchy and interesting hooks.

Maddey: The songwriting has gotten more complex as we’ve been able to understand it more.

 

6. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?

6. Michael: Just be yourself, no one can do you better than you and if you can find a way to express that through music and playing you’ll find success within.

 

7. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?

7. Brandon: Our music is pretty diverse and our songs come from different places, especially since we all have input on the songs, so there isn’t one particular theme

Michael: Our music i feel is more of an experience and feeling rather than set genres, our overall sound will always be similar but no two songs sound quite the same.

8. Do like to write with out inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?

8. Milli: I don’t think I really have a preference. We once wrote a song a couple minutes before we went on stage with music blaring and the lyrics haven’t changed since. What’s most important is your connection with the music and if you can focus with a distraction then do what works for you.

9. How important is having a plan in place for your music?

9. Michael: I feel that having a sense of direction within the songwriting process is important for establishing a theme and feel of the songs.

Milli: This is a bit of a tough question because I think it’s all about striking a balance between having a plan and being prepared, but also maintaining the spontaneity and passion that makes music so exciting. Some things can never be pre-planned.

10. How important is your brand Scarlet Drive?

10. Michael: The brand scarlet drive is important to all of us because it represents our unique personalities and passion individually whilst also having a collective sound and family bond.

Brandon: I think everyone just needs a passion, whether it’s music, art, collecting Pokémon cards or rubbing your belly while patting your head. Just something to distract you from the real world. And mine is Scarlet Drive.

CJ Burnett

I love Synthwave, I just really dig it and when I came across CJ Burnett thanks to NewRetroWave just had to interview him and this is what he had to say.

https://www.facebook.com/cjburnettmusic

 

1. How did you get into music?

I come from a musical family so since I was a kid there was always music in the house. My father who is a guitarist would always play classics like The Beatles, Eagles, and country or bluegrass. My mother always had 60s music and 70s disco in her car so I was always exposed to music. My music taste would eventually grow. I picked up guitar when I was 10 and got into synthesizers later on.

2. What inspired you to do Retrowave music?

I discovered the synthwave scene from a movie called “The ABC’s Of Death” back in 2013. One of the segments in the movie had this very awesome synth instrumental track. I enjoyed it so much that I had to look up the artist. I found out it was by a duo called Power Glove and from there I discovered their other music and many other artists in the same genre. Before that though I’ve always loved the 80s era, there’s just something special about that time period and was always interested in making music inspired from that time period. However it wasn’t until about a year or so ago that I decided to make and produce my own music.

3. Are you happy with the response to the music?

Very much so. So far the response has been very positive.

4. Where does an idea for a song start for you?

I usually start with a bassline or even a melody and then I start jamming over it until I find something that I like and then build off of that. When I make a song I try to paint a certain scene or emotion whether it be something that makes you nostalgic, something you can dance to, or listen to driving down an open road.

5. What was the inspiration for your album and are you happy with responses?

My inspiration for this album was my love for 80s music, shows, movies, video games, sports cars, and the night life in New York City.

6. Was the production of the album different to earlier material?

This was my first effort however before this release I did a few demo tracks. I guess the difference would be that I got better at producing and I’ll continue to as I do it more.

7. How important do you think are sites such as Newretrowave?

I think they are important to the scene because they give great exposure to up and coming artists as well as new material from artists that have been in the scene for a long time. The New Retro Wave youtube channel is how I discovered most of the artists I listen to. There are also many other great channels, stations and blogs out there such as Neon Nights, The 80s Guy, Beyond Synth, Recall FM, The Shadows Hand, Synthwave Emotions. The list just goes on.

8. Why do you think the Retrowave scene is so supportive?

I think people in the scene share a lot of the same interests and also the fact that the genre is still somewhat underground so I think the community is just tighter naturally because of that.

9. What do you hope people get out of your music?

If people can connect with my music and take them back to a certain memory or simpler time of the past then that’s very rewarding to me.

10. What next for yourself?

Right now I am working on a follow up EP as well as some collaborations which should be out hopefully in the spring or summer of this year.

Gene Micofsky

I meet Gene in LA and dug what he was doing. So had to ask him some questions about it all.

http://www.genemicofsky.com/

1. How did you get into music?

My mom bought me a guitar in 1st grade, but I didn’t get
serious about music until 12. I grew up in row homes in South Philly, and had a neighbor (I
learned later) was an exotic dancer. She dated all these very cool, long-haired musicians.
How typical?! Soon after, I started begging my parents for an electric guitar. They gave me
an incredible ’57 Stratocaster reissue, which I still play. My dad let me keep his records in
my bedroom for a period, so I had the unique opportunity to hear many classic albums for
the first on vinyl. It infused in me a life-long love of 60’s and 70’s rock.

 

2. How did the song Crazy Times come about?

The idea for the song began during a
conversation with a friend at my kitchen table. We were discussing how crazy it was that Trump
was elected, and the Los Angeles protest that followed. It was suggested I write a song about
these crazy times. It took a week of pondered how I would set the words “Crazy Times” to
music. I came home from a gig one evening and started the strumming the chords that
eventually became the song, and the entire just fell out of me rather quickly. It was such a brief
song that I thought I was only half-finished, but ultimately decided the short form was perfect. I
feel like it captures a passing moment.

 

3. How does a song start for you?

It happens all different ways. The most common way is a
compelling musical idea that I either play on a instrument or hear in my head will kickstart the
process. I will initially sing nonsense until it starts to feel like something substantial, which often
leads to a hook that inspires lyrics. Then I start to build the song around that. On a daily basis,
I muse on concepts and ideas for songs. So at this point in the process, I dig around the idea
bag so to speak, to see what will fit. Occasionally, as in the case of Crazy Times, the concept or
catch phrase will inspire the music. This version of the process happens very frequently when
I’m asked to write a song for film or tv. You know you need to capture a certain mood or
emotion from the start, so the process is very much influenced by that.

 

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I think many creative musicians are also
obsessed music fans as well. As a result, the wellspring is deep and difficult to trace. I listen to
and draw ideas from everything: classic rock, blues, soul, folk, country, classical and
soundtracks. I still love discovering new artists when I can. Subconsciously it all works it’s way
into the cocktail at some point.

 

5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

Of course! And
especially for me, because I started writing songs at 11. Everything you do as a musician is a
constant evolution and the journey from immature novice to mature professional is painful and
difficult! As you get older and more experienced, you learn more about yourself. You develop a
more refined taste, and your toolkit becomes larger and increasingly focused. Balancing the
poetic aspects of lyric writing while maintaining a directness that feels genuine has been a long-
time refinement process for me.

 

6. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?

I once had a composition teacher react to hearing my early student film music by saying “You
sound like Danny Elfman rip-off. You need an identity of your own.” It was so embarrassing,
but I later appreciated his harsh candidness. Being a mimic never serves anyone, and it was a
difficult but incredibly valuable life lesson.

 

7. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?

Hard to say. I like to remain aloof to my patterns. I always tell people, “If I have a sound, don’t
ever tell me!” I think being self-aware is crucial to a certain point. Beyond that it can be very
self-destructive. There’s always that fear of repeating yourself or becoming predictable.
There’s a handful of themes I’ve discovered re-occur on my upcoming record: money, mortality,
roots, and self-awareness/revelations.

 

8. Do you have any new material in the pipeline?

I’m just about to round the final victory lap
with mixing a full length record titled Amusia that I’m really excited about. It’s very much a
songwriting record, where the lyrics and narrative are paramount, however it embraces a wealth
of my musical interests as a composer, producer and arranger.

 

9. Will the recording process be different to earlier material?

I have a home studio where
many of my projects start. Every instrument on the Crazy Times single was performed by me at
home. However with some of the other songs on the record, I sweetened the deal a bit by
adding guest musicians. I tracked trombone, drums, piano, cello and upright bass; some of
which was done at a few larger studios.

 

10. What next for yourself?

The release of the record will coincide with a larger-scale release
party show in Los Angeles. While that’s in the works I am producing an EP for a locally-based
singer-songwriter. I shot a second music video with Gregory Kasunich (also director of Crazy
Times) for a song called Not That Strong off the record, that is nearly finished. I also write
scores for film and tv and occasionally concert works. I have some interesting film projects
coming down the stream this year, including a really compelling short film written by Gregory
Kasunich.

Jonny Taylor

Jonny Taylor is a talented singer songwriter with a new album out called Dig Deep and this what he had to say.

1. For someone unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe the Jonny Taylor sound?
A little bit rock, a little country rock, slight flavours of grunge influence.

2. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. A peek inside the inner workings of your artistry if you will.
For me, it normally always starts with a vocal hook. Then that hook will get me thinking about something, then the music will fall into place around it. Occasionally it’ll be a guitar riff that creates the template for an entire song, but 9/10 times it starts with a vocal idea.

3. What’s one of your favourite live moments that comes to mind?
A few years back I did a support slot for Leo Sayer at Albany and Bunbury Entertainment Centres. I just performed solo but the crowd were so unbelievably receptive, it was awesome. Not to mention the loving vibes from Leo and his team. So much energy!

4. How important is social media to you in regards to engaging with an audience?
I love it! Especially being based in WA where it’s not as convenient to be in the Eastern states hubs – it’s a real blessing to have instant contact, and being approachable to fans is also really important.

5. What inspired you to take music more seriously?
I really like it! Haha. A motorbike crash in 2006 forced me to quit my construction job and so I took it as a sign to change direction and make a living out of making music. Never looked back.

6. What’s spinning on your playlist atm? Any guilty pleasures?
haha nothing I’m too ashamed to admit! I had Velvet Revolver and Audioslave going the the other day, then switched to John Williamson for a little country poetry. I guess that sums up my influences pretty well 😉

7. You’re a fan of keeping the album format alive but do you think there’s more of a benefit to release singles or EPs with the influence of streaming platforms arguably
shortening attention spans?
Totally. The EP thing is definitely trendy, and dare I say it’s probably the sensible thing to do these days. For me personally though, a full album is a body of work that takes a lot of time for an artist to pour their heart and soul into, and I hope the value of that is never lost.

8. When not consumed with all things musical, what do you do to tune out or reset?
My wife and I have a farm in the WA Wheatbelt, so I love to get out there with her and ride motorbikes and switch off from the world for a while.

9. Your new album ‘Dig Deep’ is doing the rounds now, what does the immediate future hold?
A big fat tour! I’m heading off on national tour at the start of Jan and don’t have a set end-date, so I’m going nomad for a while. The more opportunities to get this record out, the better.

10. Lastly, Prince or Michael Jackson?
Aaaah, here’s the guilty pleasure from your previous question! Haha! Michael Jackson. There’ll never be another like him.

Dig Deep is out now via Red Rebel Music/MGM feat. Diamonds and Better Day
JB Hi-Fi – iTunes/Apple Music – Spotify – Google Play

jonnytaylormusic.com

Hen

Photo by Alexander Matthew Images

I’ve known Hen for ages and with a new electro pop sound and a new album coming out next year in march. I had to interview her for Parx-e again. So we chatted last Friday before her gig at The Thornbury Theater and this what she had to say. Hen is a fantastic musician and her new songs she played on Friday were amazing.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficiallyHen/

JonoJosh

JonoJosh is a talented Canadian musician who is doing good things. This is what he had to say when he answered my questions.

https://www.facebook.com/JonoJoshOfficial/

1. How did you get into music?

That’s kinda a funny thing for me because the reason I was named JJ was that my mom felt before I was born that I was going to be jumping and joyful. Anyone that knows me knows that this is inherently true. Music and the arts have been something I’ve enjoyed since I was born.

2. How did the inspiration for the song Chances shape the song and the way it came out?

It’s a strange thing when you are writing about a true story because one hand you want to respect the person it was written about by letting it be their story to tell. And I struggled with this for some time with this song. I was lucky that I got to sing the song for the family affected by it and they received it very positively. And when I wrote it that was the entire purpose of the song… It was meant to be sung just for them. But then I kept coming back to it and I realized that maybe it was meant to have a larger life than that.

3. How does a song start for you?

I love writing music. Usually, I start by getting inspired by a phrase with a melody that I really like. I’ll repeat the same line for ages until I feel inspired to say something else. Sometimes this process goes for weeks before the song is completed and sometimes the entire piece will be finished in 15 minutes. Chance was one of those songs that wrote itself in about 15 mins. Every word of the song needed to be said so I had to keep it the way it was. Only one word ever changed over the years since that first writing and it was actually changed back for this recording.

4. Where do you get your inspiration from?

my live show is very inspired by the gospel singer Tye Tribbett, Tonex, and my brother Nathan Gerber. My songwriting, however, is very different. Becuase I write based on an idea and not a Genre I can’t actually say it’s inspired by any other artists… There are a lot of musicians that I really look up to and even some that people compare us to: Anderson Paak, Dangelo, Dina Washington, etc. But that’s always an after effect, not an initially planned idea.

5. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

I think it has absolutely. My songs are a bit straighter to the point now… I think my older songs that I wrote 10 years ago are so steeped in imagery that they bring a completely different color to the pieces. (and yes I really doubt you’ll find those anywhere).

6. What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?

“Find the reason why you do what you do and that is what will bring fulfillment.”

7. Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?

It does eb and flow but that being said I tend to go project to project. The current project is a very live feel which is a departure from the Outside Ep. However that being said we do plan on returning with some more electronic music next year, and after that, I’m hoping to do a full-length Motown themed album.

8. Were you happy with the response to your debut EP Outside?

I was! That EP had a life on it’s own that I couldn’t have ever guessed would happen. Some of the songs got used in Crux the Musical. I think the coolest thing was going out dancing and hearing Hypnotized come on! Outside was such a fun experience to have with the fly crew. Which is partially why this Ep is coming out. It’s basically the aftermath of the outside EP. I would almost go as far as saying this is Outside 2.0.

9. What do you like about the scene where you are from?

Toronto artists are so supportive of each other. We often write together, or we support each other at shows and on top of that, these artists are trendsetters: Monowhales, Andi, Moonhead. The quality of live music is truly elevated here.

10. What next for yourself?

The fly crew loves to do experiences. So we currently are planned to do an acoustic Experience on the 26’th in west Toronto. Check out the JonoJosh facebook page for more details as it will be very limited seating and on January 18’th we are going to be performing with Silverlinings and Tringa at the Supermarket. If people want to find me though I will be performing every day in Grease Toronto at the Wintergarden Theatre in Toronto which opens November 9’th.

The Midnight

Ok The Midnight are like my favorite act at the moment. They are total love letter to the 80’s. Their songs are just magical and the production is excellent. Comprised of Danish Producer, Songwriter and Singer Tim McEwan and American Singer-songwriter, Tyler Lyle. So I had to interview them.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/TheMidnightOfficial/

1. What was the inspiration behind The Midnight and how it formed?

Me (Tim, the producer) and Tyler (lead singer) met in a writing session back in 2012 and it instantly felt special. There is a Japanese term: Mono no aware. It means basically, the sad beauty of seeing time pass – the aching awareness of impermanence. These are the days that we will return to one day in the future only in memories. That is what The Midnight is.

2. How does a song start for you guys?

Tyler lives in NYC and I live in LA so usually we like to be in the same room. I’ll play him some rough ideas or sometimes even just some chords on a synth and if Tyler is feeling it then he’ll just start writing. Other times I’ll send him rough ideas from LA and he’ll write in NYC and send me vocals. It really depends on what’s logistically possible.

3. Where does inspiration come to you guys for the music?

For me it’s music and movies. I get really inspired by visuals.

4. Has the songwriting changed from when you guys were starting out?

not at all. It’s still the exact same process, except that Tyler no longer lives in LA so we have to work over the internet sometimes. But we prefer to be in the same room.

5. How important is things like New Retro Wave to what you guys are doing?

New Retro Wave is and continues to be a huge factor i the Synthwave scene. They’ve been a big support for us on both Endless Summer and Nocturnal and we have a great relationship with them.

6. How important is the scene you guys are in and the support you guys are getting from fans and your peers?

The support is huge for us and I love how tight nit the community is. I feel like we all support the success someone is having because we know that it helps the whole scene grow.

7. Do you think Bandcamp plays a big part in what you guys do?

Bandcamp is great because it allow an artist to instantly upload their music, making it accessable for the whole world. But for a more mainstream reach, you really need the major streaming platforms and online stores. Bandcamp is by far the better platform though, in my opinion, in terms of the product you’re getting. It allows the artist to choose his or her own price and also allows for the customer to donate or pay more. Bandcamp also offers multiple high quality audio formats such as WAV, Lossless, AAC etc.

8. Are you happy how the music has been received so far?

The reception for ‘Nocturnal’ has been incredible so far. It went straight to no. 1 on Bandcamp and stayed there for 10 days. The week after, it made it to no. 17 on the official Billboard dance/electronic album chart, which is insane! We’re blown away and humbled.

9. What do you like about collaborating with others?

It’s just like adding a new spice to your kitchen. Suddenly you have this other dimension is your sound.

10. What has been your favorite gig to date?

We’ve only had one live gig so that’s easy to answer haha! San Fransisco in July this year. It was an EPIC night. People flew in from other states and even other countries. It was amazing.

11. What is next for the band?

We’ll be dropping a new EP next year around summer time and also start to play a few more live shows in select cities in the US.

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Eddie Berman

Eddie Berman is a talented American singer songwriter with a new album out called Before The Bridge. He kindly answered my questions and this is what he had to say.

www.eddiebermanmusic.com

1.What was the inspiration behind the new album how was it structured?

I wrote the album between getting married to my wife Joanna and the birth of our first kid, Bridget. There was an intense type of introspection that took hold of us in the lead up to having a child, where we were forced to look at the dissonance in our lives and figure out how to possibly ease it. I wasn’t directly thinking about any of that as I was writing the album, but I see, in retrospect, how all of that bled in to the content and structure of the songs.

2.Are you happy the way it turned out and what do you hope people will get out of it?

My band and I recorded all the songs totally live, sitting together in one tracking room. So what’s captured on the album is a very immediate and organic expression of these songs — and I’m really happy with how we performed them.

I almost always thing it’s best not to talk too much about what a song is about – so that anyone who listens, receptively, will get something unique out of it.

3.How was the recording process different to your earlier material?

The recording process was very similar to my past albums. We recorded, again, with the incredible engineer and mixer Pierre De Reeder at his studio in Los Angeles. We tracked it entirely live, just us sitting in a room together, with our instruments and voices bleeding into every mic.

4. How does a song normally come to you?

In writing songs I always start with the guitar (sometimes piano or banjo). I’m noodling on the guitar all day – whether I’m sitting with my one year old daughter or watching a baseball game, I’m usually picking at the guitar. Eventually through the hours of playing, a progression or melody that I dig emerges – so I’ll record myself singing gibberish over with the guitar. Then, sometimes right away and sometimes months later, I’ll sit with the recording and replace the gibberish with actual words. The songs come from a sort of marriage of the unconscious and conscious.

5. What inspires you now when writing music from when you were starting out?

When I was younger I think I drew more from things I consumed. I didn’t have enough life experiences to say anything terribly interesting — books, music, and film were responsible for most of the grandeur of my inner life. Like a lot of young artists, my earlier work was hugely derivative of the writers and singers I loved. Through the slow course of working and evolving, eventually I started to sound less like I was doing a bad impression of those folks.

6. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?

It’s been about 10-15 years since I started writing, so I certainly have more to draw on now, especially as a husband and father (in a world that appears to rapidly be coming apart at the seems).

7. Do you have moments where you just can’t write and need to take a break?

The vast majority of the time I have writer’s block and/or some heavy-duty undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. I usually write in intensive bursts, so I just need to be receptive to when the flood gates seem like they’re starting to open.

8. Since sadly Tom Petty passed away, what your favorite song of his and what did he mean to you?

One of my very favorite childhood memories is when I was 5 or 6 years old, sitting in the front passenger seat, driving around with my dad, listening to his Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ‘Greatest Hits’ CD. “Free Fallin’” was my favorite then and is still my favorite today. Every time I hear it, I immediately feel like a little kid again, silently sitting next to my dad, driving around with the perfect San Fernando Valley soundtrack.

9. Are you happy with the support from your fans and your peers getting behind your music?

It’s been great seeing the overall response to the songs from “Before The Bridge”. I know the comfort and catharsis, especially when I was younger, that other songwriters brought me – so anytime I get a message from someone expressing that they’ve gotten a semblance of that from my music, it’s really beautiful.

10. Social media how does it play a part in what you do?

I’ve never been big into social media personally or professionally. (**But please go follow me on them so I get yelled at less by my label and management!**) I mostly post pictures that I take around Portland and some videos of me fingerpicking.

11. Will you play Australia some time soon?

We’re rolling out the larger 2018 tour plans soon, and I’m really hoping we can make it in the spring. (the northern-hemisphere’s spring, that is.)

12. What is next for yourself?

I’m starting to write the new album now and we’re putting together some tour dates for the next year. Other than that, I just bought a new bike, so I’m hoping to ride around Portland a lot before the weather turns.