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I've been a comic book fan since I was very young, and I've always wanted to somehow connect my music with the comic book world. Recently, I thought about my favorite series, Marvel's "What If" collection, where each issue posed a question like "What if Aunt May had died instead of Uncle Ben?" or "What if Iron Man had become a traitor?", then spent the issue exploring the "road not taken". I thought about how much I enjoyed reading these books, and thought of a way to pay tribute to them with my next album. "What If...?" will pose similar questions in the music world. "What if Radiohead's 'Creep' had been written by the All American Rejects?", "What if Justin Timberlake had recorded R.E.M's 'Losing My Religion'?", and "What if The White Stripes were a reggae band?" are just a few of the "roads not taken" I'll be exploring. Keep an eye on my page...once this blog is done, I'm going to upload a couple examples. Some of these songs might seem "blasphemous" or "sacrilege" to die-hard fans and purists who feel there's no merit in toying with such sacred pieces of work, but I see it differently. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and my only goal is to entertain. These songs are intended for novelty, not unlike Weird Al Yankovic's parody work. So, before the haters hate, I'm NOT trying to do these songs "better" than the original. I'm trying to illustrate how often the alchemy of a hit song is like a fingerprint, and the smallest change will bring you to a completely different person. Enjoy the possibilities!
As my first blog, I'd like to give you some specifics about certain parts of my bio, and share a few things which didn't make it in. In my bio I mention 2 of the world's top 12 Drum and Bugle Corps. I was a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, California in 2001, and in 2002 I was a member of the Glassmen from Toledo, Ohio. I marched bass drum #3 in both corps. A breakdown of my experience playing musical instruments goes as follows. I've been playing piano since 3 years old (25 years), bass guitar for 16 years, percussion for 14 years, I've been singing literally since my first words as a baby, and I'm proficient at flute, french horn, and guitar. I've studied voice with Linda McNamara, Alfred Anderson, and my private singing coaches at Musician's Institute were Carol "Mama O" Rogers and Brian "Hacksaw" Williams. The man who guided me through learning the variety of instruments I learned was Samuel W. Mayes, and my parents, the Ohio-based duet Bobby and Linda Martin. From 2003 to 2009 I lived in Hollywood, California, where I attended the Vocal Institute of Technology, a branch of MI. During my time there, I auditioned for a few major acts (Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, Aly & AJ),I was a member of dozens of student bands, and I performed as a solo act regularly at clubs such as the Knitting Factory and the Karma Cafe. After graduating, I worked as a studio keyboardist, bassist and vocalist for a variety of bands, most notably Vanessa Bryan, Gina Galardo, Gabe Orozco, Paul Hammond, and Major Knocks Productions. After that, I joined an indie-rock quartet called Obscure Relevance as a bassist/vocalist, and in-between weekend touring I would make extra money writing scores for TV commercials, radio ads and theatre. I worked as Musical Composer/Director for the Off-Off-Broadway production of the 1953 drama "Take A Giant Step", and served as Composer for an independent production of Sheri Bailey and Dura Temple's "Southern Girls". That's a good place to stop for now...I'll do more sharing next time. Thanks for reading, take care.