What is your songwriting process
I usually start with the melody. My goal is to create the kind of melodies that you hear once and you’re humming them all day (or maybe even all lifetime) long! From there I try to make the lyrics REAL. Even of my funny songs usually contain a grain of truth.
Who did you collaborate with on this project?
Salim Nourallah produced, Sarah Henry (Grand Poobah of Palo Santo Records) pretty much co/produced, Matt Hibbard (whiz kid!) engineered. I did most of the vocals and instruments except John Dufilho played drums. I gave him some direction and even though he’s a big-shot (The Apples In Stereo etc.) he was really cool and easy to work with. We are putting on the finishing touches right now but Salim has already done some guitar work (and is sure to do some harmonies and other things as well). I also plan to include Paul “Angel-voice” Averitt (The Happiness Factor, Hard Night’s Day) on vocals and Colin (Say no more) Boyd! P.S. Some of my orchestrations are based on my sometimes back-up band The Music Snobs (Beat-Nick and Daddy-O Joe) who are also in The Moncho Poncho.
What genre is this project?
Alternative (60s Pop?), Surf, Punk.
How were you discovered by Palo Santo Records?
Well I’ve known Salim for years. I first met him back when he was in the band The Moon Festival. My brother was like “Man you’ve got to hear this band!” We were instant fans! A while back Bucks Burnett (ex manager of Tiny Tim, owner of The Eight Track Museum etc.) was acting as my manager. His number one suggestion was that I get out and play more. Not an easy task due to my work schedule (which was all over the place). However about a year or so ago my schedule opened up to where I could have one solid week day off, same day every week. I chose Tuesday because Salim was hosting an open mike that night. That’s where I met Sarah Henry (the Grand Poobah of Palo Santo Records). Besides performing I was also filming some YouTube comedy skits (The Stu Dicious Show) and she really liked those. Anyway I signed with them Sept 10, 2016!
Who are your musical influences?
The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Sex Pistols are my three all time favorites! A lot of others come to mind (pre-army Elvis, Ziggy era Bowie, The Smiths) but I’d like to single out The Monkees because they are the closest model to what I’d like to accomplish- They had a comedy TV show, they were also a touring act, onstage the would make jokes, they had some funny songs however the majority of their songs were just “really good songs”.
Tell me more
I went straight from buying toys to buying albums and instruments! There has never been anything else for me, I don’t have other hobbies (aside from putting together the comedy skits which is related). Even when I’m not playing live I am always writing and recording demos. Which has probably not been so great for some of my relationships. Producer Al De Lory (Glen Campbell, The Turtles, Donovan) and producer Neil James encouraged me to pursue “performing” as opposed to “songwriting”. Years ago I sent a demo to De Lory (who was semi-retired) and he passed it on to James (who’d worked with artist such as Merle Haggard and Bruce Springsteen). He wrote me a letter and I also spoke to him on the phone. He liked my voice “Most of the demos I get sound just like somebody else but you don’t sound like anybody else! You’re like Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger or Willie Nelson, when you hear them you recognize them!”