Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable breakdown stories?
2007 Ford Econoline e150. There’s a new-ish engine with about 270k miles on the vehicle altogether. “Manny the Van,” has seen better days but he’s hanging in there! *Knock on wood* I had a trailer catch on fire outside of El Paso, TX and we put it out with a bunch of Red Bull. The tow company was called Camel.
Also, one time our driveshaft broke in Sayre, Oklahoma. We were stuck there for five days with nothing to do, that was some years back. Funny enough, my future wife was with us. She was dating my guitar player at the time.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Let’s just say my plate gets a little lighter between the Whole Foods buffet and the cash register. Also, they have a lovely sample section of sprays and lotions. The Hobo day spa tip came from Kelsey, from Sir Woman.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
Not sure… but I always have a back-up guitars and strings. I buy all my string at South Austin Music, they have quality strings for a good price.
Where do you rehearse?
Most notably, the Delta Spirit rehearsal space we had in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was flooded by Hurricane Sandy. It was pretty sad. We lost about $20,000 worth of gear. Ultimately, it was just stuff. Some folks lost a lot more than that during Sandy.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
Man I have no idea. I was 10 years old when I started writing songs. I definitely went through my share of phases. Nirvana, to new metal, to hard core, to Christian, to Dylan and Waits. It took me a long time and a lot of bad songs before I feel like I started writing the good ones.
Describe your first gig.
It was at the Galaxy Theater (now The Observatory) in Santa Ana, California. It was a pay to play first of four on the bill. I was 17 maybe 18 years old.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I worked with special needs students after I graduated high school. I did that for a couple of years. By the time I was 22, I was able to get my hustle going enough to become a full-time musician. This is the only thing I’ve really wanted since I pick up a guitar at age 7.
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?
Financially, it has remained pretty steady (*knock on wood again*). It takes being on the ball and keeping yourself busy a year ahead of time, but it can be done. 5-10 years from now we’ll see… I can only plan a couple years ahead. I hope to write better songs, play some really fun shows, and produce a couple talented people along the way.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
I wouldn’t tell the younger me a thing. Even if I met my past self, he wouldn’t have listened to me anyway. I’ve had an amazing career and life, I’ve got nothing to complain about over here 🙂