In June of 2014 I began the interview process with a music blogger via email. I talked of my early musical influences as well as the influence of dreams in my songs. Nothing really transpired from our exchanges so I thought some of you might find it interesting…
On my musical beginnings:
I’ve been interested in music for as far back as I can remember. There’s a cool picture of me as a toddler listening intently with large headphones on. My parents had an old beat-up guitar I used to pretend with when I was old enough to walk. I had other toy instruments around, like bongos and such as a kid. My grandma had an upright piano I used to play on all the time when we visited. I’ve always been playing and listening to music. I’ve never had music lessons but would try to play songs by ear. It wasn’t until high school that my friends started showing me guitar chords. I remember guitar was a challenge to learn, much more so than the piano.
I think what got me into music was how I could escape and make-believe with it. I remember thinking Michael J. Fox playing “Johhny B. Goode” was one of the coolest things ever! I used to jump around with a toy guitar and pretend I could play it. My parents also had pretty good taste in music and I remember listening to a lot of Elton John, Queen, Madonna, Creedence Clearwater, and, of course, Michael Jackson. I also listened to a good amount of classical piano music as a kid too.
I started writing classical style instrumental songs on the piano in my early teens. Later, in High-School, I was trying to write rock songs on the guitar. I was so jealous of my friends in rock bands. They were nice enough to let me tag along. That’s where I picked up those early chords.
On the influence of dreams in my songwriting:
Yeah, I think my subconscious has always been present in my songwriting, but as I got older I just became more aware of it. I think the nature of songs are so mysterious. They don’t take on any physical form but are only alive in the mind. I enjoy trying to tap into other people’s subconscious with the use of symbols, feelings, and imagery. I’d rather that a song not make literal sense. I think it’s good to leave interpretation open-ended. I’m really into multiple meanings of lyrics. Using dream imagery, I think, helps me tap into that shared ancient human experience.
On other artists’ musical mystery:
Well, Bob Dylan is known for his “stream of consciousness” style of writing, which I think also translates into “stream of subconsciousness” in a lot of ways. Nick Drake’s magnificent and foreboding album “Pink Moon” has been described as a “fever dream”. Pink Floyd deals a lot with the idea of “self” and sanity. I also think John Lennon was a visionary of the dream culture. His song’s “Imagine” and “#9 Dream” are obvious examples. These artists knew how to find a common thread that people could connect to on a deep level. Some of this also has to do with your mental state and/or what drugs you take.
On using dreams as a muse:
I have a pretty extensive dream journal, and yeah, there are some recurring themes there. A lot where I’m fighting evil forces with other people. I dream in wildly imaginative, and fantastic introspection. There’s a website called “Dream Moods” which I consult a lot for meaning. They’re pretty spot-on.
As anyone who dreams knows, you can wake from one in a pretty affected state of mind. Most of the time I would play off these intense emotions and try to translate them into a song. It’s all just feelings, and when my waking (sometimes boring) life wasn’t giving me enough to move on, I’d try to use these dream feelings.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to email me below if you wish to ask me a question. Maybe in the future I can post an interview with your submitted questions. Cheers!