Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
I was born and raised in Arkansas, and lived there most of my life until I moved to Austin, Texas in 2007. I always knew from a very young age that I would play music for a living; it’s just been a long row to hoe to get here. I started playing drums at around age 4 or 5 and got my first drum set around 11 or 12. My dad is a musician so music was always around, but mainly done in church. When I was learning how to play I’d normally jam with my buddy from church or practicing to country music radio in my dad’s shop. I started playing guitar around the age of 12 and focused on learning how to write songs instead of soloing. So, with a great sense of rhythm from playing drums and learning how to write a melody on guitar, I was able start writing songs that taught me how to be a musician. I feel it’s important as a musician to be able to write a song; it helps you understand the fundamentals of music. I moved to Austin to pursue my career in music, and went to school at Media Tech, which was then housed in the legendary Arlyn Studios. Spending countless hours inside the studio late every night, when I wasn’t playing a gig downtown, taught me invaluable lessons that I use today. Having the ability to speak intelligently within a professional studio or live setting is what separates the pros from the amateurs. My mentor, Mac, always used to say, “Do you wanna be local or professional? You decide.” That had a great impact on how I looked at everything from writing a good song to how I looked on and off stage. With a wealth of rock n roll knowledge, studio chops and experience on the road, I’m ready for the next chapter of my career with my debut album release. 2018 is going to be a great year for me.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Really just know who you are as an artist. All artists evolve over time, but always know your value and your songs well. Be sure to conduct yourself professionally and you’ll get further in this industry. The music industry is a tight knit community and is built on relationships. So understanding the business side of the industry as well as getting your music and act perfected is key to success.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Of course I do, but as cliché as it is, the show must go on. It’s not about how poorly you did or the bad notes you hit, it’s about rolling with it and just improving. Music is as human as the creators, and is subject to mistakes. Junior Brown once said that sometimes it’s the mistakes that end up leading you into new territory. So with that in mind, I try not to focus on the mistakes as much as I’m focusing on performing to the best of my ability.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Yes, I do tour. Hopefully next year the gigs will pick up because I’ll have an album to promote. The road is always an adventure. You meet lots of new people every day. A new place every night. It’s not necessarily the sanest lifestyle, but it’s only rock n roll, right? As far as any juicy rock n roll war stories, I usually stay pretty tame on the road compared to most. I’m so focused on just performing and advancing my career that I don’t allow wild shit to interfere with my goals.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
My main focus is promoting the release of my debut album. I do have a songwriting studio in my house and I’m working on getting the room tuned out so I can start demoing the songs that I’m currently writing. I constantly play and write as often as I have time to, so I’m trying to capture the inspiration as it happens. I’ll be introducing some new songs into my live set soon, but again, my main focus is the release of my debut album and promoting those songs.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Nowadays, you have to really think outside of the box to promote your music. Most everything has been done before, so you really have to be clever. First of all, you need to know who you’re marketing to, and what channel appeals most to your demographic, i.e. Facebook, print, local radio, etc.… Really, the best thing for me so far is Facebook and word of mouth. I think once I have material released to promote the marketing will be easier with having press around the release.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
One of my bucket list venues to play is Red Rocks Amphitheatre, just outside of Denver in Golden, Colorado. It is a beautiful venue and one of the best sounding amphitheatres in the country. I’d have to say I’d love to share a stage with Widespread Panic there. Every time Panic plays Red Rocks, it sells out a 3 day run. They are the only band to ever sell-out the venue every single time they’ve played…that’s an accomplishment for a band that flys under the radar!
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Well, I’ll be releasing my debut album in the spring, and plan on touring in support of the release. I know that there are summer festivals being booked right now in Europe, so I’ll definitely be on tour Summer 2018. When I’m not on the road, I’ll get back into the studio and start working on demoing songs for the next record…got to keep the train rolling, you know?
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Honestly, music is so ingrained in me, it would have to be related to music in some fashion. I have all kinds of trade skills, but I prefer to use my talents on the things I love, which is music and activism for musicians and creatives.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in the next year or so?
The release of my debut album, and me hitting the road with my band. I’m gonna try to hit every major market that’ll have me! 2018 is gonna be a great year for me, and I aim on just staying busy and keeping my eyes on the prize.
Exposed Vocals: Any Shout-outs?
Yea, I’ll give a shout-out to the Gypsy for helping me find my voice. Know that no matter what, you taught me a lot about myself and I’m forever in debt to you for it. Love you, brother. xx