HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas.
MUSICAL TRANING: In high school, I played trumpet, French horn,
guitar, and bass in various bands. Like many young musicians, winning a
few regional scholastic awards really helped with my confidence. From
there, I went to school in Los Angele and got a lot of deep knowledge
about guitar, but more than that, I learned that it was really important
to go beyond a single instrument, so I ended up getting a lot more
involved in synths and technology.
FIRST GIGS: Every musician starts off playing a garage
somewhere. It may sound cliché, but playing guitar in a few high school
metal bands got me my first stage experience in parks and clubs, and
since it was Texas, even a barn or two. Fast-forward a couple of years,
and I’m playing on the Andain album and ultimately, touring Asia and
Eastern Europe as musical director and programmer for the band. Things
happened really fast at that point.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Hibernation, Animals As Leaders,
Deadmau5, Guthrie Govan, and a ton of Chopin—who’s probably the main
reason I got into piano and keyboards in the first place.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: The biggest influence as of late would be the John Hopkins album Immunity.
It achieves the perfect combination of intelligent sound design and
melody, in a way that really evokes an emotional response—without being
masturbatory at all.
SYNTHS PLAYED: Roland Juno-60, Minimoog Voyager, Nord Stage 2, Elektron Analog 4, and Korg MS-20 Mini.
MY BIG BREAK: While they were recording in Austin, I was asked to play on Andain’s album You Once Told Me,
and that opened up so many doors. When Mavie [Marcos, the group’s lead
singer and songwriter] started touring, she needed someone to arrange
and program the live sets while also holding down guitar duties. Being
associated with Andain gave me a lot of credibility. About a year later,
Bright Light Social Hour asked me if I’d be down to be their touring
keyboardist. With them, I’ve done a ton of major festivals including
Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Wakarusa, and Sasquatch.
FAVORITE KEYBOARD GEAR: I love the Juno-60, especially the
chorus. The Korg MS20 Mini is just amazing. Its filters don’t sound
like anything else, and I use them a lot to process other instruments,
WHAT’S NEXT: Touring with Bright Light Social Hour takes
up the majority of my time, but I’ve got some new original electronic
tracks that I’m finishing up, specifically “Tahoe” and “Eve”. There’s
already some interest from a few dance labels, so I’m hoping to get
material out later this year or early 2015. I also placed a track in a
TV/web pilot called “The Plastic Mermaid Adventure Show,” in which I’m
playing a character called DJ Jellyfish. It’s funny and cool and
obviously a first for me. Finally, I’m also working on a soundtrack for
an independent film called Overcome that should be showing at festivals sometime next year.