You have a fun new Christmas EP out! Can you tell us the inspiration behind it?
My good friend and agent, Birdee Bow, called me and asked if I had any Christmas music as she had some placement opportunities. I told her I didn’t but could put something together which I did.
I wrote that night my first original Christmas tune “Santa That Plays Guitar”. I also decided to record Jingle Bells and Let it, Snow. I got the songs done in about 2 days and as I am a studio owner, carving out the time wasn’t hard. Around the same time, another friend of mine that is a music supervisor emailed and asked me if I had any Christmas music. The response we got from the placement music supervisors was so positive, things like, I have a movie coming out next year that is all Christmas and I want every Christmas song in Stuckey’s Catalog and about 5 or 6 supervisors said, This guy needs to do a Christmas Album. So I started working on the numbers and deciding if I should do it. Did I have the time, money and proper connections to make it worth pursuing? Turns out I did and so I decided to move full speed ahead and I am so glad I did because so many people are really enjoying it! Besides “Santa That Plays Guitar”, “Let It Snow” and “Jingle Bells”, I also recorded “Oh Holy Night”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain”.
Who has been your biggest musical influence?
Oh, this is so hard! It really isn’t fair to ask just one because it depends upon what task I am working on. So for example, as a producer, my most prominent influence might be Brendan O’Brien. But, as a jazz musician, it might be Trane or Miles. However, if you forced me to just pick one overall primary influence it would have to be “The Beatles”!
Can you tell us about the new music you are currently working on?
I am writing new music all the time and I also have a huge back catalog that needs to get recorded or in some cases just mixed. In addition, I have some amazing friends that have agreed to be part of my next musical project including Ron Saint Germain, Nate East, Julian Colbeck, Mark Hornsby, Ross Hogarth, and so many others. I am honestly not sure what songs will get released next but I know it will be an exciting adventure!
If you had to name 2 of your top inspiration in songwriting, who would they be and why?
Oh man, it just depends upon the moment. There is so much great music out there to fall in love with! Just last week I was listening to a playlist with bands I loved in the ’90s, all of whom, had an influence on me. It was bands like “The Judy Bats”, “Dada”, “The Rain Birds” “Gene Loves Jezebel”…Other days it might be Sound Garden and Nirvana. And yet others may be Van Morrison and Neal Dimond…But, from a writing standpoint, I would have to say, again if you forced me to pick only two. The Smiths and Peter Gabriel, or perhaps I might trade them out and go with U2 and Neil Finn.
You have worked with some amazing artists. Do you have a dream collaboration?
You bet! I could spend hours putting my dream team together, but recently I have really become a fan of Shawn Mendes. That track Senorita is just amazing and I am also a big fan of Taylor Swift. I love her attitude—every track just has so much personality and every record since Red just keeps getting better. I love Lady Gaga and would love to play guitar for her! I also think Keith Urban is top-notch and of course bands like Foo Fighters and U2 would be amazing to perform with. Then some of my jazz heroes like Marcus Miller and Robert Glasper would also be way cool. And of course, I would be in Heaven to work with Johnny Marr, Billy Idol or Duran Duran!