Tell us about your tour vehicle.
2000 Dodge Ram 3500. Has 210,000 miles. We blow at least 3 tires every time we tour and it always happens in the middle of fucking nowhere. Air conditioner died in mid tour this summer.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
If we’re lucky and the promoter honors our rider we’ll munch on veggies, hummus and fruit in the green room before shows. I always eat an apple every day and as many fresh greens and veggies as possible. We hit up health food markets and snack on trail mix. I have a huge sugar compulsion though so I break down and fiend on gummy worms once in a while. And sometimes I catch Mike macking down with a vanilla and peanut butter milk shake. Sometimes you get really weird cravings randomly when you’re driving for hours. I bought pumpkin pie at a truck stop once and that was a mistake…
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
I break a lot of strings cuz I play so aggressively. I go through E, B and G strings constantly. We pay the same price everybody else pays!
Where do you rehearse?
Our studio is pretty tight. It’s on the 4th floor of a warehouse in downtown LA. Lots of natural light and a high ceiling. We set up half the room for live jamming and the other half for tracking demos and quick over dubs. No super crazy experiences to share but one of the building owners was an original guitar player in Megadeth so that’s pretty badass.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
I think it was “Lie of Love” and the lyric was something like “When the lie of love happens to you / Where do broken hearts turn to?” It was about child abuse. I wrote it when I was 14 in a Christian rock band. It was the only kind of music my parents would let me play without getting grounded.
Describe your first gig.
It was at a church youth group event at an apple orchard in rural Michigan. I hung sheets of black plastic behind the band and aimed work lamps at it for extra visual impact. I remember lots of hay and the scent of horse manure.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
My current job is being a full time big mouth in Moving Units. I’ve never had a favorite day job. I despise them all equally.
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’ve learned how to do my own accounting which has made a huge difference. I budget everything using spreadsheets so I know where all the money goes all the time. It’s a game changer. And its helped me grow my business by making smarter spending decisions and trimming wasteful expenses in areas that used to go unnoticed. For instance, I was recently able to offer Mike a salary working full time with the band because I could see the financial advantage to doing so based on my spreadsheet figures.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Never expect someone else to make you successful. Be as “hands on” as possible. It’s a common mistake for new artists to assume the record company or their manager or their booking agent will make everything happen. Those relationships are vital but ultimately its your career and you should always be in the driver’s seat.