Tell us about your tour vehicle.
I drive a 2000 GMC Savannah and just added a 4×6 trailer. It was an old border control vehicle. When I got it, it had no front passenger seat, rubber matting instead of carpet, and no insulation. The plus side, is that it had only 50,000 miles on it, and government owned vehicles are well-maintained. On the first leg of my national tour I added 8500 miles to that number.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
I go through phases. When I can bring my Yeti cooler on the road, I eat a lot of veggies, fruit and boiled eggs. When I don’t bring the cooler, I try to hit groceries stores whenever I can, but that’s not always easy.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
I haven’t broken a string in two years (knocks on wood). The strings I buy are ten bucks each, so I guess it costs about $1.17 to replace one string.
Where do you rehearse?
We rehearse at various rehearsal studios around town. The best, cleanest and most well-managed one I’ve been to is Summit Rehearsal studios in Altadena.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
Oh wow. You know what, I think I was eight and I wrote a song that compared my sadness to eating a bowl of Dr. Atkins strombolli, which tells me two things 1) my song-writing has improved and 2) I didn’t really understand what the atkins diet was.
Still though, the metaphor almost works.
Describe your first gig.
The Greentree Elementary fall festival. My friends and I had a band called Payday. We had two songs. The adult band that was actually hired to play let us use their instruments. A girl painted our band name on her cheek at the face-painting station and I remember feeling so embarassed/flattered it hurt.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
Before I went headlong into touring and music, I sold OTR tires for large haul trucks and articulated dump trucks. My favorite day job was working at CVS in high school.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
It’s more than it was at the beginning, but I still keep a tight budget. 5-10 years? I know better than to predict that sort of thing. I have all I need, if more comes in, so be it. More money, more problems.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Stay anchored to the music. The business part is a necessary evil, but is fickle and unpredictable. Stay anchored to the music, always.