What is your process for writing riffs/songs
I generally write ideas in short spurts and then develop and refine them over time. The ideas that stick and feel strongest when listening back are the one’s I’ll naturally gravitate towards and cultivate further. It’s unlikely I will go too far down a road with a new idea if it doesn’t give me the goosebumps or make me feel something real. I want all my songs to be a sort of ‘best of’ my creative voice and nothing less. I’ve noticed the things that seem to appeal most for me are originality, strength of melody and harmony (as in a song), and overall groove.
What can Cynic fans expect from Onward with Love (OwL)
We’re finishing an album now and will be promoting it while in Europe and back in the states later this year. This project is a true collaboration with my friend Amy Correia where we dive deep into archetypal and mythic work with theatrics and meditational movement. The entire vision for this work is like a spiritual practice and its aim is to be of service.
Tell us about the guitars & amps you use- p’ups, strings, cables, tubes etc… because GEAR NERDS
I have signature model called the ‘Masvidalien’ through Strandberg Guitars. It’s a beast and a beauty! My dream instrument. At the moment I have two setups for live; I’m using the Bias FX (Positive Grid) rig on my iPad with a blue tooth midi pedal. I’m also planning to incorporate my analog signature chorus pedal from Protone into the signal chain! For strings I use Cleartone 10-52’s nickel-plated strings, cables are usually Monster. With Onward with Love (OwL) I play a Carvin CL450 nylon string and run it through a simple setup direct pedal setup with my signature chorus pedal.
How does doing session work translate into your work with Cynic and Onward with Love (OwL)?
Session work is about wearing different hats and being easy to work with. Knowing how to show up for someone else’s vision. I find playing this role useful for me as a musician who also gets to be completely engaged in free and unique projects like Cynic and Onward with Love (OwL). They both inform each other. Session work always teaches me how my creativity is an active/in the moment event and that it trusting in what I have to offer means everything when creating my own music.
There are a million horror stories out there about life on the road…
I remember one particular horror! When on the Death DTA tour, sold out show at Irvine Plaza NYC peak of summer the AC broke! We thought Sean or Gene who were trading drum seats would collapse and die not to mention the rest of us suffering from unbelievable heat exhaustion and the gear, lights and everything else at its wits’ end.