I grew up in a small town in Minnesota called Elbow Lake. There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the “sticks” of MN, so I found love in rock ‘n’ roll at an early age through my older brother’s music collection. He moved out when I was young, joined the Air Force and was stationed in England when I was in middle school, so our family took a trip overseas to see him. When I got there, he showed me his electric guitar. I picked it up, and he showed me a couple of licks. I played that damn thing the rest of the time I was there. My parents heard me playing it the whole weekend and later that year, for Xmas, I got my first guitar. I was obsessed. I quit all sports and just focused on that.
The different settings for my latest album, Desert Cities – Part One, span from Denver to Seoul. Track three, Brooklyn, is a love song for the gritty and enigmatic Bushwick neighborhood and track four, Coming Home, rides the metro north to Midtown where home is not a place but a person (and a lovely oasis at that). Track two, Lost in Seoul, reflects on the foreign shores of South Korea, “the crowded streets, the angry East Sea, don’t mind if I belong here for a while.”
Only track one, Hold out Thirst, mentions a dry, barren, lifeless, sandy desert. Its brief and stark first refrain, “I went to the desert and held out my thirst,” captured something much bigger in me when I first listened back to the completed album. The desert, in this case, is where one goes to reflect deeply, to test themselves against the elements, physically and emotionally and to experience thirst as a fundamental sensation of life, to feel acutely alive. The remainder of the album (part two included, TBR Fall 2019) is born of this same desire.
I get asked several times a day what I do for work, and this is while I’m on the job. I make most of my money as a rideshare driver, but I consider myself a singer-songwriter and musician. So when the question comes up, “Is this your full-time job?” I happily reply part-time and ask if they would like to hear my music. I’ve made some great connections this way, and it really helped me prepare for the release of my new ep “Both Sides.”
My EP, When Pigs Fly, is the first body of music I’ve ever released. I purchased my first guitar little over a year and a half ago and only began writing songs after a year of learning to play guitar. However, when I found out how enjoyable it was to write songs, I knew that I was onto something.
For most artists, songs and albums are like snapshots of periods of time and their lives at those moments. Creating and expressing yourself can be both a healing and a learning experience – to know more about yourself and the world around you.
Last year I went through the worst and messiest breakup ever. I saw things I thought I would never see. I got to witness the ugliest part of human nature, and it was truly heartbreaking – and the ultimate test in life.
But I survived.
And I decided to express all those feelings through songs.
This is the story behind every track on my latest album, “メタポップ (Metapop).”
Seriously, have you ever told someone you write/perform music only to have someone ask what genre you play? Because that seems to be most of my experience with people, and it’s more or less the reason I decided to call this oh so important first EP I.B.F.R or, for those of you who skipped the title, Indie Blues Folk Rock.