4AM: musician, producer, DJ, writer, aural antiquarian, futurist—hurling bricks at the windows of mediocrity… Word.
Physically, San Francisco. Mentally, in a state of perpetual learning, and in an eternal quest for pizza and chili dogs.
I express the wonder I feel on a daily basis living in a world where everything makes an unfathomable symbiotic sense. I’m trying to get people to think and feel beyond their city block or social status. Someday I hope to get it down to a science.
I’ve been collecting records since I was knee-high. I began experimenting with samplers and DJing in the mid-90s. My first official release was Electric Third Rail by Octavius/4AM in 2001.
My hands shook the entire time.
Great music is daring, touching and life changing—I hope to be like my heroes someday.
That depends on the person… For the casual listener, I hope they like what they hear. For someone that wants to spend time with my work, I hope I stir their emotions.
Man, there’s so many… Musically, I’d say Charles Stepney, Scott Walker, Eugene Record, David Axelrod, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Chris Connor, Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, The Funk Brothers, Pale Saints, my bloody valentine, Minnie Riperton, Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, Mavis Staples, The Emotions, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, The Monkees, Bread and, most recently, a lost San Francisco band called Automatic Man. We could be here all day.
I also tend to pull a lot of ideas from books; I’m an avid reader and love speculative fiction and history. I feel like I structure my albums a lot like a book. As much as I love a great pop song, I’m truly floored by a great concept album with songs that relate like chapters to an overall mood or story.
Documentaries and Antiques Roadshow on PBS.
I’ve been paying dues for a long time. I’ve played in almost every type of band possible, and I’ve DJed almost every style of music in an attempt to be a “successful musician” and to get people to like me. What I’ve realized is the people that truly impact society are the ones that realize their gifts and refuse to compromise their vision. Submitting to the immediate will of pop culture will give you an instant (approximately 2 seconds worth) of fleeting coolness, but it won’t make you great or fulfill all your needs. In fact, it will ultimately destroy you. My goal now is to do what makes me happy, what moves me and speaks to my artistic sensibilities. Whether it’s an edit of a fun pop song or a concept-heavy album full of ambient sounds, warm bass, textures and dusty drums. Both are in the works… Word.