I’ve always loved music, but I came to it a little later than most. I started learning the guitar at age 16, teaching myself using a tuner, chord book, and eventually the internet. I wanted to play because a bunch of friends started learning the guitar.
My first high school band was called Skylite. We were messy, out of tune, and badly EQ’d, and the audience loved it! Looking back, I think they loved us more than our music. . .
Music has been a huge element in my life. It helped me find confidence, meet people, and make friends . As my musical ability grew I also found that I had a love of being on stage, finding it addictive, always wanting to get back up there and play for people. Being young and a lot more crazy, I was wild, unleashing aspects of myself that I had never really known. I would jump, run, and fly around on stage, letting the music flow through me as some sort of impressionist conduit.
I met Troy when we were both in school at California State University Long Beach, and we had a literature class together. We became friends and musical buddies. I was in the Barrelhousers and he even booked us a show at a pub he was working at.
In 2011 he called me up out of the blue and asked me to join the band at least through St. Patrick’s day. He had lined up a whole band focused around a violinist from England. Helmut was on drums, and I was playing guitar and mandolin. We played through St. Patrick’s day of 2011, but the band shortly imploded due to clashing personalities, and I left going back to my musical life.
Over the years I subbed for the band, playing a few gigs here and there, once we went to Two Harbors Catalina Island for a weekend where I played guitar and the bass lines at the same time. I would never have thought that I would come back to the band, but I love the guys I’m playing with, and it works with my other creative endeavors.
I’ve been a part of a ton of music projects, and I thought I would list a few. . .
The Black Dots – (2004-2008) Pop Punk, Rock
The Barrelhousers – (2009) Rock, Blues, Harsh Bounce, Jam, Folk, LOUD
The Humble Hooligans – (2011) (2016-Current) Irish Traditional, Original, and Contemporary
MOVE – (2012) Folk Rock, Classic Rock, Modern indie folk. Cover band projects: The Clash, David Bowie, Prince, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Neil Young, and many more. Cover music from the 50s-modern music
Plant Tribe, psychedelic rock
St. Thomas’ Good-Time Jam Band
Sparrow-Dana Benedict – fantasy, beautiful haunting
Alyssandra Nighswonger – dream pop
Taylor Crawford – acoustic singer songwriter
Nothing But Flowers – 80s guitar/synth pop, Dance/Rock,
Junatime – Synth Pop, Sexy Groovy Sad
Janie- Fill in Guitar/Bass – Americana/Folk Rock
Thy Squid – Special guest – Progressive Punk Rock/Post Rock/Alt
Big Sun – Ft. Guitar guitar – Psychedelic Jazzy Rock
Jon Zell – MOVE – Folk Rock Singer Song Writer
I once lived a musical dream, playing with WEEZER at the Yahoo Launch, Forum in Inglewood, and with River Cuomo for an in-store jam session.
I couldn’t have done any of this without some pretty awesome people, and I would like to thank them too! Big Thanks to the Local Long Beach music community. Josh Fischel, inspirational man that worked his hardest and did his best to make dreams come true. DREAM BIG! Creator of the ‘Music Tastes Good’ festival in Long Beach. Sadly, he passed away in Oct 2016 just after the closing of the first MTG Festival. He inspired everyone around him to work for their dream and to chase their passions with a positive attitude and determination. Freeman Land, Ryan Pena, two of the best musicians I’ve ever known. Inspired me to push myself as a musician. Pushed me to be better, expand my creativity, express openly, freely, and FEARLESSLY!
Jack Carter and Kyle Cohen from a now defunct musical collective called ‘Mexico is a Lie’ (Folk, emo, rock, acoustic music mostly, jammed on each other’s songs, recorded some of it). Two of the most fun, encouraging, and enthusiastic musicians who shaped me as a person and musician. Jessica Tercero, Danger Inc. Guitarist, badass, crafter, lover of cats, encouraging and leading by example.
I’m just so grateful for everyone that has been a part of this journey, and that I get to continuously grow and make music with people I love!