Genji Siraisi, Gioioso, Snake Eye, Searizak…
Current location (home):
Grand St., Lower-lower East Side Manhattan
List all the places you’ve called home:
Grand Army Plaza, Park Slope Brooklyn, East Village Manhattan, hotels, tour buses and airports.
What are the earliest records/songs you can remember that had a strong impact on you?
Beatles, Miles Davis, My Dad playing kalimba and flute, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. TV jingles, old Bugs Bunny tunes.
Briefly describe your music taste as you were growing up, and as it became more focused:
Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Zeppelin and Kiss to Punk Rock to New Wave back to James Brown, Monk, Coltraine and The Rolling Stones to early Earth Wind & Fire, Sly & The Family Stone and 10cc to Al Green, Fela Kuti, Prez Prado, Disco and A Tribe Called Quest to Bjork, Chemical Bros., Patsy Cline, Air and Louis Armstrong. Pretty unfocused! Anyway, I’m leaving a lot out.
What led you to realize that you were a musician?
I don’t know, I woke up one day and realized I was a full time musician. I guess at some point I had much grander plans, but it all happened very naturally, and I feel I’ve been very lucky. Since I was in my early teens I knew I wanted to be in music. When two of the bands I was in were both signed to Warner Bros at the same time I quit my day job. That was a defining moment for me, but was really more about feeling recognized. Who really knows what the future will hold. More than once I’ve wondered if I’ll end up a fisherman or bricklayer in some far of place.
What other vocations/subjects (besides music) have you studied or pursued in life?
Audio engineering, graphic art, pacifism, rock climbing, Tai chi…I’m starting to get into circuit bending (rewiring toys and gadgets that create sound into sort of Frankenstein instruments).
How do you describe the music you make now?
Stuff that gets stuck in my head, things that help me express how I feel inside even though I don’t always know what that is. I try to only create music that gives me a tangible feeling of emotional satisfaction.
What musical influences most inspire you now (not necessarily current music)?
Street art, I know it’s not music but I relate to the idea of taking back of public spaces and the social grittiness of it. It makes me realize why I miss boom boxes.
Circuit bending, the physical co-opting of circuits and reconstruction of them, literally to pirate their functions. Creating a balance of defined purposeful scientific experimentation with chaos and artistic expression.
I’m also intrigued by the popularity of ring tones. It’s kind of like the antithesis of all the advances made in modern music and recording. As if, as we move further ahead with technology and musical complexity there is always a counter balance by some equal force of simplification.
Which other musicians/dj’s/singers have you most enjoyed collaborating with in your career? Highlights?
I really loved playing drums with DJ Jazzy Nice at the old Giant Step parties. It was a time experimentation, improvisation and just plain old underground partying fun. Carleen Anderson, Ultra Nate, Shock G, Tupac, Fred Wesley, Bernie Worrell, all extremely talented and great people to boot. Of course, Groove Collective has been an amazing experience and all the people involved with that I consider family. We all did a lot of growing and changing together.