It’s 2 AM. The phone rings. There’s an opportunity to open for a national artist at a major-label event. In Orlando. (Florida.) Tomorrow. (Technically today.) I’m in Boston. I have to pack a bag and catch a plane. Right now. (Bag is packed before I can think twice.) Snag: the guitarist is out of reach and we can’t commit without him. (He's in Indiana.) So I call everyone with a phone number I can find: his roommate, his parents, my parents, I call both the campus and local police begging them to bang on his door and wake him up. No use. Hours pass. We have to pass on the show.
I found sleep that night in 2010 knowing a few things I didn’t before. I was always a very dedicated musician. I started off as one of the biggest band kids you’ll ever meet - first chair All-State percussionist, multiple youth orchestras level. While growing up in orchestras and in two years at Boston University studying percussion, I was always making time to play rock shows and record. But that night I felt something different, and it took me two years at BU and a few back in Chicago working and touring for me to truly understand what I was feeling that night. I realized finally that I was happiest not repetitively playing orchestral music, note for note – but instead creating and working with musicians to make music that bites back.
There is nowhere that I feel this passion to create stronger than the recording studio. I adore performing, but absolutely love the feeling of finding magic in the studio, capturing music that somehow got stronger since it walked in the door, something that appeared out of nowhere and sent that visceral, pituitary tingle down your spine. I call this, simply, the studio monster. This monster is not found only by looking for it. It’s found by staying open. Quiet. Steadfast. Always ready for when it shows up. And so I stand by, ears open, with my new instrument – microphones, tape, and a skill set developed from a profound (and persistent) respect and admiration for all things technical – and I cannot wait to put it to work with great musicians, songwriters, and producers.
Music with soul. Music with blood. Music with teeth. This is what I was really after that crucial night trying to get to an impossible show. It’s what I was always after. Let's find some.