A few years ago I found myself banging away on a $12 Casio from goodwill in a basement in Edmonds making some weird experimental pop songs. Soon a pandemic was upon us and I decided to buckle down and learn how to make beats and use Logic to record. Some friends gave some pointers and drum kits to download, and soon I was off and running, making beat tapes and collaborating with vocalists over the instrumentals.
“I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free.” I like those lines from the famous gospel song “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” especially as sung by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who convey in both their instruments and voices all the hardship and pain that often precede or surround the moments of happiness and freedom that singing can create, the way one really depends on the other to achieve its full impact.
I create a lot of different kinds of things. Singing is the one among them that always gives me more back than I put into it, leaves me feeling happy and free. Whether it’s dark or light in my life at that moment those sounds are being made, I always feel that a good eye is still on the sparrow.
When Beast Folk formed in 2018, we were not called Beast Folk. It was a melding of the minds of a few friends who frequented Darrell’s Tavern in Shoreline, WA. I was slated to play the Hybrid Festival in Everett. Being an acoustic performer engaged in an event that mostly revolved around metal was a jarring task of fear management. I needed a band.
The album A Beard Of Stars from Ataraus Minor was recorded accidentally on purpose when I bought my first bass guitar and wanted to practice to some T. Rex songs. I started recording, and a week later, the album was finished. I played and recorded everything you’ll hear. The words and music are, of course, by Marc Bolan.
I’d rather retreat into a world of sound that I made up than have to deal with the world as it’s given to me. Maybe then I can come up with a clever idea to change it. Music has always been sort of an escape for me, and sometimes I choose to isolate myself from those who love me the most so that I can just play. Solitude is great, but don’t get solitude confused with loneliness. I look at solitude as being good company to yourself and loneliness as being double un good company to yourself.