How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?
I had songs written that laid on the shelf for quite a while that I just had to give birth to. Some were vocal tracks I turned into instrumentals with vocal hooks. The title track, Midnight Rendezvous, basically sets the tone or defines the album in that it is a journey of love, or a love story. The tracks on the album are put in a certain order so that they may tell a story; the ups and downs of a love affair, physical and spiritual. The album cover suggests a spiritual connection between two beings. The back cover shows them riding off on a winged white horse; a strong suggestion of romanticism. My ultimate goals for the album would be to hear some of the songs as part of a film or television score. That would be great!
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of recording a new album?
Trying to come up with fresh ideas and writing music I feel good about while, at the same time, attempting to make it palatable to a wide audience is very challenging to me. It's hard to please everyone.
What in your life outside of your music drives you in a creative sense?
I would say acting. I mean, I've always been a bit of a ham all my life. As a kid I used to pretend I was Superman and Clark Kent. I'd run around the house in my long johns with my briefs on top and my mother's good sheets tied around my neck as a cape, using my sister as the villain. As Clark Kent, I'd have to be a totally different person; more mild mannered. Acting is very challenging. You have to make connections to characters you portray, drawing from your own experiences. Now that's being creative!
At what point in your life did you make the decision to become a professional musician and actually record your own album?
It was during my last year of high school. I had to decide what I seriously wanted to do with my life. I thought about being the usual doctor or lawyer, but I had no passion for either of those careers. I'd been playing drums since three years old and suddenly realized, "Hey, music is what I love! I may as well continue doing that!" I've been behind the scenes for so long. I mean, being a theatre musician means being anonymous. I thought doing an album might provide me with some notability.
When the times arise for you to give back for the success and abundance you enjoy, what kinds of opportunities do you look for?
I'd like to believe that my being here on earth has a purpose; that God has a purpose for all our lives ; that we all are connected. When I say that, I think of the movie, Its A Wonderful Life. James Stewart's character touched so many lives, that without him, things were quite different. I try to make it a point to give back everyday with a kind gesture or encouragement. This can go a long way. My wife and I wrote a show about HIV/AIDS, homelessness and drug abuse awareness that we perform around the New York area for churches and organizations that address these issues. The actors and my wife and I all do it on a volunteer basis.
How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do what you do?
I have a strong desire to create. It's an intrinsic part of my nature; my character. I'm at my best when I'm working towards something creative. It's what I need.