Tell us about your tour vehicle.
Until recently, I toured in a minivan. I now have a small SUV that will be pretty tight for touring, but depending on how many folks are with me, could work. If not, I’ll look to rent something bigger. I’ve always dreamed of having an RV to tour in!
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
I make a habit of packing a lot of snacks like Lara bars, nuts, fruit, and almond butter. I usually always eat what I’ve brought for breakfast and most times, lunch gets skipped on the road. The hope is that dinner is provided, but if not, I try to find a hearty salad and some type of protein like chicken or fish.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
All my musician friends laugh at me because I leave strings on for years and they rarely break!
Where do you rehearse?
If I’m rehearsing with a band, we usually go wherever the drummer is! If it’s a duo I’m rehearsing, it’s usually at my house, in my living room.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
The first song I wrote with piano and lyrics was at age 11 and it was called “Mr. Mystery.”
Describe your first gig.
I started playing gigs in coffee shops when I was about 15. I remember playing regularly at one in my hometown of Winston-Salem, NC and older men commenting to me afterwards that I should “learn some normal chords and play something more upbeat.”
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I was a Data Manager and I loved it for the most part. However, I am not made to be in a cubicle, and have an aversion to overhead fluorescent lighting, so despite my multiple lamps positioned all throughout, I did spend many lunch hours crying, wishing I could do music full time. That was about 16 years ago.
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?
I was lucky to get into writing for film and TV over the last 5-10 years, so the synch income increased and I could rely less on touring. I am hoping to do as much of that as possible into the next 5-10 years, as well as continuing to write directly with artists that need material.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
You can’t please everyone.