“Some people know me only from the Dirty Mouth days. Some people might know me from the concert music, some from Bourbon Street, some might not know me at all. I’m comfortable with all these things. I’m not much of a networker, I just like people.
I think the whole Dirty Mouth thing has changed over the past few years. Instead of harassing the audience so much, we harass them with our choice of material. Like, we do ‘Chug All Night’ by the Eagles. That might be the worst song of all time. I feel like I could put a tie on and make a pretty good academic argument as to why that’s the worst song of all time.
I guess my approach to writing is, I’m fascinated by certain things, so all those things tend to make it in there. Like the record I did, I got very fascinated with the concept of, what if you had no choruses? What if you took out every piece of what you felt was extraneous? I had nine songs under two minutes.
The other thing I was fascinated by is if you have an odd number of beats, and you either double-time those beats or half-time those beats, the amount of beats or the amount of cycles to line itself back up. I hate when people call them odd time signatures. I’m not into that concept. They’re just numbers. It’s just beats.
The way I make a living is, I work on Bourbon Street. I have for years and years and years. I also play with Amanda Shaw. I like that band a lot. I like her a lot. As far as someone with a name, I’ve never dealt with anyone who’s easier to deal with—especially onstage. And I get to play jobs I wouldn’t have access to in the rest of my career.
Somewhere right around 2004, I started only listening to concert music for my own personal enjoyment—mostly twentieth century. I just stopped listening to everything except for that. And I’m still kinda that way. I don’t know why.
So I started dabbling in it. And then Katrina happened. We were in North Jersey, and I just needed a purpose.
Basically I got on a search engine looking for composition teachers. I finally found Daron Hagen. In that world, he’s pretty famous. He got me into competitions, he got me into festivals. Even after I moved back, I would fly up there and study with him.
People like to label other people. No one gets famous for being multifaceted. Not that fame is necessarily the end game, but I’m saying—you know, Eric Clapton’s famous for being Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton would struggle with my gig. He really would.”