Hiya Garland thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
There are a few key people in my personal life who inspired me to play music but the original influence was my grandfather. He and I were very close, in many ways he was a primary father figure for me in my youth until he passed when I was 16. He played saxophone in the navy band in WWII as well as in a jazz ensemble called the Modernaires. As a child, I was immediately enthralled with music and musical instruments, particularly the patinated Selmer tenor saxophone he would play on occasion. This led to my playing saxophone in the middle school band before moving on to playing guitar at around 12 years old.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I was born in Martin Army Hospital in Columbus, GA. I moved upwards of ten times as a child, funny enough not due to military relocation. Because of this, I don’t really have a hometown to claim but I have been in Nashville, TN for the past 8 years where I met my incredible wife and stepdaughter. I began playing guitar in middle school and owe the core of my musical roots to classic and alternative rock. My biggest classic rock influences would be The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and Fleetwood Mac. My biggest alternative rock influences would be The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, TOOL, Radiohead, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Dave Matthews Band. I am also heavily influenced by basically every other musical style but particularly the songwriters of the 70s such as Nick Drake, John Denver, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Neil Young.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
This is a particularly difficult question to answer but I would say that the 3 albums that influenced me the most during my early musical formation are Blood Sugar Sex Magik by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Crash by Dave Matthews Band, and The Beatles 1.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
I would say the first song I remember being truly inspired by would be “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
Great! I am so grateful for my life, family, and community. I have been able to make a living as a musician for over 5 years and am looking forward to what the future holds! I am particularly grateful for people such as yourself who have connected with my music and are sharing it with their community.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
I think artists can help by encouraging a safe and loving environment as much as possible. As individuals, we can influence the greater culture by holding ourselves and each other to the standards of safety we expect. Nobody, especially women, should feel unsafe enjoying live music. I think being aware of your audience and your venue, as well as knowing their security measures is important to providing a safe experience for everyone involved.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
I utilize every possible avenue while considering my relationships. There is a tasteful way to inform your friends, family, and the public about your music without constantly spamming them. The music industry is built on relationships so I think building long term relationships is far more important than short-term numbers. Numbers are an important factor in growing as an artist but the quality of the numbers is as or more important. Having your music heard by the right audience is key.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?
I am from the south.
I am fascinated with Ancient Roman civilization.
I have 4 electric guitars.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
This is another difficult question to answer and like most opinions I have, is a duality. From a purely artistic standpoint, I am critical of the entire music industry. On the other hand, from a capitalist standpoint and as a devil’s advocate, they are extraordinarily successful and offer artists (particularly independent artists) a means to build a fanbase and connect with fans in a way that has never been accessible before. If anything, I am more critical of the current music consumption climate and the role music plays in modern society than of Spotify, which is essentially just mirroring the demand.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
I find conspiracy theories to be fascinating and entertaining. I do think diving in should be handled with care as essentially all of them have a compelling rabbit hole that could lead to an unhealthy obsession.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
I didn’t buy anything I don’t need but I did build my stepdaughter an extravagant treehouse with a television which was totally frivolous and unnecessary but totally awesome and a labor of love.
What was the worst experience on stage?
This isn’t a one-time situation but was always a cringe moment when it used to happen. Nashville, TN has changed a lot in the past few years, which is neither good nor bad. I used to play downtown at a bar called Crazytown (now closed, renovated, and renamed) and seemingly every night, security would have to pummel someone unconscious and drag them outside. There were a few times in particular that were pretty brutal and still make me cringe thinking about them. Saturday nights are still busy and occasionally get out of hand but this was next level ridiculous. The behavior that led to this happening ties back to your question about women not feeling safe at shows.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I don’t eat meat. I am not judgmental of anyone’s food choices and don’t like to make this a thing but people are often surprised when they find this out for some reason.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I write message driven music that has a unique and original sound.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
“The Point of No Return” addresses climate change and self destruction. I feel that this is the most impending existential crisis facing humankind.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
Climate change is a particularly important topic for me. I find it a shame that this topic has been politicized. I aim to avoid politics and communicate messages that unite humankind as best as I am able. I wanted to present this idea in the context of music or art to hopefully allow people a new perspective without the hostility of ideology in modern society.
What was the recording process like?
I am also a music producer and produce all of my music at my home studio.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I made some major studio upgrades in preparation for this single and the remaining songs on the EP. I also made major upgrades to my guitar and guitar rig. There were some learning curves, trial and error, and plenty of physical work that went into getting the setup dialed in. I have a bachelor’s degree in music production and worked as a studio assistant with a Grammy-winning producer so fortunately, I have training and experience that allowed me to execute this project. I enjoy working on my own material because I also learn and grow as a music producer and session musician in the process. I love learning in essentially all forms so I welcome a challenge and a chance to grow.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Not at all! I am happy with the outcome and am looking forward to writing and producing more music.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
A huge thank you to anyone who took the time to read this and/or listen to “The Point of No Return”. I am so glad that you have connected with my music and hope it can provide something of value on your life. Much love to you all!
Thanks for doing us today folks, send this back on a word document and ill get it all ready for you.