If had to sum up music in three words, which would you choose?
That's so hard! So I'm just going to go with the first three that come to mind. RAW, EMOTIONAL, CONNECTION.
What is your biggest passion in life?
I'm going to go with two: Music and family. Music is my life force. It keeps me going and inspires me every day of my life. It has actually saved my life on numerous occasions. I have no idea what I would do without it. And I could say the same for my family. I'm blessed to have an incredibly deep and loving connection with my blood relatives. My parents, my sister, my extended family; and also my own little nuclear family that I've created - my wife and my three-year-old son, who I love and cherish beyond what words can express. But I would extend this to my best friends, my fans, and my biggest supporters. They are my tribe. This bond is what motivates me to be the best person I can be each day.
Have you celebrated any recent victories? If so, tell us!!
I'd say the biggest victory for me over the last year, is that during a period of time where I wasn't able to play any live shows, I've actually built my fanbase more, and I feel more connected to my fans than I ever have. It's incredible and I never would have guessed it. But the tools for an artist to connect with fans through the internet (live-streaming, social media, emails) are so powerful. And as I look forward to releasing an entire album's worth of music next year and touring (yes the pandemic will end - believe it) the euphoria of playing live music is going to be unprecedented. I cannot wait.
If you could have anyone cook you dinner, who would it be and why?
Can I bring them back from the other realm? I'm going to go with Bob Marley. Of course, he was a legend and a master musician, performer, and poet - all things that I aspire to be. But his message really transcends music. His songs are permeated with spirituality. And that's my intent with my music. To cut to a core of Peace, Love, and Hope. To bring people together. So I think we'd have a lot to talk about. And I'd have so much to learn from him. Maybe I should do a google search first and see if he was a good cook?
If you had a time machine would you choose to go back in time or visit the future?
Wow. That's an intense question. I spend so much time trying to live in the present. I think it's important to appreciate the journey rather than get caught up in obsessing over the destination. Seeing the future might spoil the surprise. So I'm going to go with the past. There's no better teacher than the past. That's my main reason for re-visiting past events. It tells me most of what I need to know to create a better future.
Do you have a favorite holiday song?
Tough question. There are so many amazing, iconic, nostalgic holiday songs. I'm going to pick two. 1.) "I'll be Home for Christmas" this song is so beautiful and heartbreaking. And especially when you think of the time and place it was released: during World War 2 when servicemen were not able to be at home with their loved ones. It really captures that feeling of loneliness that comes up during the holidays. In particular for people who may not be able to be at home with their families. That could be very relevant for a lot of people at this time.
So as not to be a total downer, I'm also going to go with 2.) "Santa Claus is Back in Town" by Elvis Presley. This song is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. It's totally carefree, hilarious, and cheeky - "Hang up your pretty stockings, turn off the lights, Santa Claus is comin' down your chimney tonight." Elvis really knew how to make an innuendo. I might need to cover that song.
Are there any holiday traditions you are looking forward to this season?
I love Christmas trees and Christmas music. I'm actually Jewish, but my family was all about celebrating holidays in general while I was growing up. So we basically took every opportunity to celebrate. And I think Christmas really does it right. Aside from the religious aspect - you've got the lights, the music, the spirit of giving and showing up for your fellow man. What could be better?
How do you recharge?
I play my guitar. I hang out with my wife and three-year-old son. My son keeps me on my toes, but he also makes me smile and laugh a lot. I spend time with friends and family. Of course, that's been so much harder the last ten months, but we've found ways to stay connected (phone calls, zoom, letters even!). I love reading a good book, and I love a great binge-able series on Netflix or Amazon. Meditation is an amazing way to recharge. Did I mention playing my guitar?