How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?
My ideas for songs tend to develop from either a mood or a particular beat/rhythm that I hear in my head. Frequently it is both. I start with that and over time the created piece takes on a life and form of it’s own in terms of the song structure and melody. I don’t write with any particular “concept” in mind except perhaps to focus on my most recent performance and recording techniques that I have acquired. The “concept” album is something I may try one day, however.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of recording a new album?
Remembering the idea(s) I have and getting them recorded the way I hear them in my head! This is of course difficult because I am not proficient on all of the instruments that I hear for a song. It also causes some “lost in translation” issues when I get someone else to come in and lay down a track over an idea that I created. This is the main reason that I tend to do what I call the “collaborative soul” approach, which is to allow the session person or band member to play what THEY feel and hear for a track. Unless it moves the creative vibe in the wrong direction, that’ll be what I tend to go with. Nevertheless, I still tend to forget more cool ideas than I get to write down or record.
How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?
I view music and art as another facet of myself. It is what makes me more “well rounded” and keeps me from just sitting around and watching Anime or Sci-Fi videos on my off hours. It is also the thing which allows me to decompress my life stressors and channel that into self-fulfilling creative energy!
What artists do you feel akin to or in the same tribe with?
Any and all of the seriously funky musicians who write and play grooves that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and your head and upper torso nod to the beat! A few examples would be funky cats like George Duke, Marcus Miller, George Clinton, Prince, Jean Luc Ponty (of course, given the violin thing and all) and even someone like Lee Rittenour or Carlos Santana whose music is full of energy and attitude! These would be the “tribal elders” that everyone aspires to be like!
What elements do you look for in a song that makes it especially satisfying for you to perform?
PHAT is an acronym which stands for “Pretty Hot And Thumpin’”! This is the basis for all of the grooves I create. Even for the laid-back, mellow tracks. The beat is in the pocket and the bass grooves over that to weave a tightly knit back bone. Over this I like to layer my keyboard sounds generously.
What in your life outside of your music drives you in a creative sense?
As an Emergency Doctor, I regularly encounter the entire gamut of human experience. One can never assume they have experienced the highest highs and/or the lowest lows in that profession because there is always some twist or special nuance to what you are seeing on a daily basis. Despite all of that, there are some consistencies of human nature which tend to play themselves out over and over, which will bring to bear a certain predictability that comes with experience. It is the need to decompress from all of that coupled with myriad moods and perceptions that give rise to a great deal of ideas.