After a 7 year stint as a drummer for Ani DiFranco, he taught himself guitar and started writing songs. Not long after, he was spotted in a bar and quickly signed to RCA / Victor. After releasing and touring two albums, he moved to Los Angeles to write for other artists. Though his writing career was successful, he woke up one day and realized he had to create for himself again. The sounds he heard in his head were songs written with the buzz of a synth, old drum machines, and songs with soaring vocals (MIA, Santigold, Owl City).
So White Elephant Orchestra was born.
The new songs are mixed by Grammy award winning Dave Pensado (Peaches, Pink, Prince) the first singles have already been played by KCRW, KCSN and World Café, CBC.
Check out our interview below and take a second to listen to newest track “Electric Dreams Of Tokyo” out now!
Full record set for release in 2020.
Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your latest single, “Electric Dreams Of Tokyo”?
Electric Dreams Tokyo is my fan letter to Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama
She is very open about her mental illness but she somehow uses her art as therapy to deal with life and to actually turn it into a positive thing.
That’s why I came up with the lyric:
“You flipped the charge
So you could march
To the sound of your own drum”
I only wish more people could do that
How has your community contributed to your success?
I’ve always said I don’t have any Grammys but I certainly have a community of people who support me in my music in all ways possible.
Even listening to my music is the support that I will never take for granted.
This has included when I would play rough mixes to people whose opinion I really respected and they came back at me with positiveness to keep me going and there is nothing better than that. As an example, I sent my music to Grammy award winning mixer Dave Pensado with a letter not thinking he would ever have time to read it. It turned out he made the time and it turned out to be an amazing collaboration.
What advice would you give other musicians?
If you want to survive in the music world then however hard you think it will be, you need to times the difficulty by 10 and then you get a better idea of what’s in store. If you’ve read this answer and you still want to pursue it, then go for it.
Describe to our audience your music-making process.
Every day I wake up and go straight to the studio and stay there for eight or nine hours straight. I believe that I’ve been given the gift of music and to show my respect for that I feel it is my responsibility to go to bat for it every day. It is similar to sculpting where I start molding sounds, start vocalizing something and all of a sudden you have a song idea.
If you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?
Phantogram, Bjork, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, LCD Soundsystem, Santigold, M.I.A, Gorillaz,
What first got you interested in music?