Individual Questions & Answers
Guitar and Vocals
Q: When did you first start playing music?
A: In my early teens, about 14 or 15. I played guitar. I had an older cousin and whenever I'd see him at family gatherings or whatnot he'd pull a guitar out of a closet. And he was so into it and it was so amazing that I had him show me a couple chords.
Q: What were your influences back then?
A: Definitely my cousin, he really lit the fire for me. And then I got into The Beatles and some friends of mine showed me records like ACDC's "Back in Black"...things like that.Shortly after that a friend and I started writing funny songs together even though I only knew a few chords. And then a year later I got involved with a local band.
Q: What was the first album that you bought?
A: It may have been a Devo record like "Freedom of Choice", or "Back in Black", I'm not sure.
Q: What bands were you in before Summercamp?
A: My first band was with a friend, Rod Ikenberry, who's a producer now. And when we were about 15 our band was called the Pseudo Surfers and we just wrote joke songs about surfing and neither of us surfed. And then we got into a more serious band situation and dropped the Surfers and called ourselves The Pseudos. And we played a few gigs, actually one with the Meat Puppets. And that was when Tim and I met and we had a few bands together. One of them was called 6's and 7's, another one was Nonfiction and then Old Man. Old man was when it really started to gel. It was around then that Tony got in.
Q: Can you tell me about your writing process?
A: Quite frankly I'm always trying to experiment with different ways of writing, it's always a challenge. Some of them are effortless and some of them are really hard work. It's difficult to have the song and the full arrangement make sense. Some never get finished. In the mean time I'm writing other songs, though.
Q: How was recording for you?
A: I've always been recording songs as they've been written since I first picked up a guitar. I started with a 4-track and then upgraded to an 8-track. Tim and I since we met have always been recording. So this record was a continuation of a process we'd already been doing. We all know how we want our instruments to sound. We'll have a studio engineer, but we're all producers. It's fun to be able to express yourself. I feel extremely fortunate.
Q: Are you the one who makes his own guitars?
A: Yeah, my Dad is an industrial designer and I grew up with that designer mentality of if you can't buy it, make it... So I started working at a shop with my Dad as an apprentice. My present project is a braceless top guitar. I'm into creating things that are innovative. That's exciting to me, that's what turns me on. That's why I love music. I lucked out having all that access and having my Dad be so supportive.
Q: Tell us about Santa Barbara?
A: I was born and raised there. I don't really know anything else. The first time I went abroad was when I graduated from high school and went to Europe and I realized what a jewel of a place Santa Barbara is.
Q: When is your birthday?
A: It's March 3rd.
Q: How do you like touring?
A: Actually I'm enjoying it. It's totally exhausting and relentless, you know we're barely making every show. We get into town at 6 o'clock and as soon as we roll in we unload our gear, play, load out, find our hotel, get into bed by 3am and we have to leave by 8 the next morning. On the other hand it's fun. I'm really a song fan. From The Jayhawks to the Beatles to Jellyfish to Johnny Cash...
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