Fort Wayne, Indiana
How did you first get introduced to music? What made you start writing/playing?
I was brought up on a lot of country music, then got into 70's and 80's rock. The first memory I have of actually wanting to play music was after watching the Green Day mud fight on MTV at Woodstock '94. For some reason that flipped a switch in my brain and from then on I knew the only thing I could do in life was play music. I actually started off playing drums first. Or "trying" to play drums. At the same time my brother was attempting to learn how to play guitar. We both realized we were pretty terrible at each instrument, so I gave him my drum set and he gave me his guitar.
Where were you/who were you with when you first heard “Liars” or "Look In My Eyes" on Octane? What was your reaction??
I was in the studio in Toronto recording vocals the first time I heard "Liar" on the radio. Someone came running into the booth yelling "get your ass out here you're on the radio!", and I went in to the office and "Liar" was playing on Sirius XM Octane. It was by far one of the coolest moments I've had in this business.
Where do you find your inspiration when you start to write music? Do you come up with the melody first, or the lyrics?
My number one rule is don't force it. I let the song write itself. I can't really say whether melody or lyrics happen first. It all gets worked out in my head over a period of time, and once I feel I have a good foundation I'll sit down with my guitar and start getting it worked out. I like to write songs about real life events/experiences so I get most of my inspiration from that. Seattle's 90's grunge scene has influenced me as a musician more than anything else in my life.
From the time you wake up how would you describe your typical day?
A big part of being in a band that people don't see is the business side of it, so a lot of my day actually consists of band business. When we're on tour I do a lot of press, radio, meeting the fans, then the show itself. When we're not on tour it's band business, press, and a lot of writing/recording.
What has been your favorite performance or tour so far? Why?
There are a couple that stand out in my head. First was on our recent tour with Five Finger Death Punch, All That Remains, and Hatebreed. We were playing a sold out arena in Waterloo, IA for 15,000 people and towards the end of the show every band and crew member got on stage together and had our photo taken with the screaming fans behind us. It was a pretty surreal feeling. Second was in Johnson City, TN on the Black Stone Cherry/Cavo tour. We had never been in that market before, but when we played "Look In My Eyes" the crowd was literally singing it louder than the PA. It's a pretty amazing feeling to show up in a city you've never been and get that kind of reaction.
What current projects or performances are you working on? Is a new record in the works?
Currently we're doing a few shows here and there, but are completely focused on getting our new record done. It's a long process but I'm extremely happy with how everything is turning out so far. I didn't even have a real band when I did my last record, so its been interesting to do things as a group this time around.
At this point in your life what would you say is your greatest achievement?
Obviously my daughter is my greatest achievement. She blows my mind every day. After that I'd have to say this band. I see a lot of other bands that have been ripped apart by this industry, so to have started this project thirteen years ago from nothing, and have it get to where it's at now is a great feeling.
What's on your iPod at the moment?
You name it. I try to be a very well rounded song writer so I have everything from Led Zeppelin to Garth Brooks to Shinedown. I have a LOT of Seattle grunge music too. I'm kind of obsessed with that! Haha.
Best advice you've been given?
Don't buy the big bottle of Jager.