I picked up my first instrument, the guitar, the day that I turned 12 years old. It didn’t take long before I began my instrument collection; I picked up a bass, djembe, didjeridoo, keyboard, drums, ocarina, some various native american flutes, maracas, a ukulele – the list is a little ridiculous. While I admit, I am by no means a maestro on any of these instruments, I like to have them around for the versatility and worldly presence they give my recorded music. I know a good bit about music theory, but I never let myself venture too far into the beaten path for any given instrument (aside from guitar). I feel like my best work comes from times when I feel a bit whimsical and pick up, let’s say, that ukulele that I haven’t touched in months. Rather than letting myself revert to patterns I’ve learned from a lesson or teacher, I’m forced to fiddle with the instrument until I find something that sounds good. To me, that discovery is a huge part of what makes music so fun, and it works for me. Then I pick up the instrument that I know a bit more about, like my guitar or bass, and begin writing the accompaniment to that unique hook. I think that whole process adds a unique factor to my music that you just don’t hear that often.
Another recurring element to my music is that I often try to simplify a song as much as possible. Generally, the majority of my songs are based on progressions of nothing more than two basic chords. I like to warp those chords and layer the music in a way that it sounds more complicated than that, but in the end, that’s really all it is: just two chords. Some of my favorite songwriters (Kurt Cobain, Brandon Boyd, Mike Shinoda, etc.) have a similar approach, and I guess it fascinates me in a way. Simplicity really is bliss, and music is a magical thing that can beautify that simplicity.