Tell us about your childhood and how music played a part in that.
I have amazing parents who are endlessly supportive of my music to this day. My dad plays guitar for fun, so while I didn’t grow up in a musical family per se, there were instruments around the house. I remember being impressed by my older brother who was taking piano lessons; he learned how to play God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, which I thought was super cool. Especially before I played music, instruments and how they worked seemed so mysterious – why does it make the sound it does? Where do you even start in learning to play? Is it difficult or easy? So my curiosity was peaked, and eventually I went to a summer camp where one of my friends brought his bass guitar. I thought bass would be easier to learn than guitar (not true!) and I started with that. I got obsessed with it from the get go, and here I am now playing music just about all day every day.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
One of my early heroes was and is the bassist Jaco Pastorius. His work stretched my idea of what’s possible on the bass, and hearing his work with songwriters, Joni Mitchell in particular, is a beautiful example of how bass can be a prominent accompaniment. Upright bassists like Paul Chambers and Scott Lafaro also really formed my approach to the instrument. On the singer/songwriter side, I love Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney and they’ve been big influences.
If you could play any venue where would it be?
What instrument do you wish you could play and why?
Piano. Ray Charles is one of my heroes as I said before, and I really wish I could play like him. That soulful dirty jazz/blues piano just kills me.
Where did you first perform and in front of how many people?
It was at church, we had a “Youth Mass” which was just Mass with folky contemporary music. I’m not sure how good we sounded but our hearts were in it! Outside of church, one of the first times I played was at my high school’s battle of the bands, and I do remember that being a defining moment. Again, I doubt we sounded that great, but it was so much fun being in front of people and playing music, having it come out of our hands and it being live and real. I love that feeling still.
What is your most embarrassing musical moment?
Maybe when I was playing a song in drop D with a band, which is where you tune the low E string down to a D. I accidentally tuned to D# instead of D, so on the first note of the song I just laid into that D# while everyone else was on a D. If you’re wondering, half steps against each other in the bass do NOT sound good! My guitar teacher was there and told me if that had been a real gig I would’ve gotten fired! I’ve since worked it out in therapy…
What is your go to song to sing in the shower?
Actually, a lot of times I’ll sing whatever comes to mind in the shower, sometimes songs I like or songs I’ve been learning. But from time to time I’ll come up with a melody or the beginning of a song in the shower. It’s a good place to let my mind wander to things I wouldn’t normally sing.
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