• Describe your sound in 3 words
Eclectic jazz fusion
• You are not afraid to experiment by blending different genres. Tell us a few things about your creative process.
Yeah definitely, I take that as a compliment, so thanks. True to the prog tradition, I like to explore endless variations on musical ideas and different tonal realms. I establish a mood, and then I follow that mood wherever it leads me and that’s how most of the songs come together
I play bass in this project and some tunes start there, but I usually start by writing keys and building the rest around it. It helps to be working with some extremely deft musicians, obviously improv features in my music quite a bit so I do have to consider which parts to leave unwritten. Generally, whatever they put down is just what the doctor ordered. In rehearsals, I’m often making aesthetic decisions about which soloists are going to feature where or giving suggestions to do with style.
• You use synths in a way that it is still possible to perform your music live. Was this intentional? What would be your dream performance venue?
You bet it was, I’m no purist but I’m all about the live experience & I think playing synths live is conducive to that. My dream venue would probably be Red Rocks in the US. Either that or the moon. I want to play the first gig on the moon. Pink Floyd eat your heart out
• You do improvise in your music. Is improvisation a talent or a skill?
It’s an interesting question, it’s something I’ve thought about because I also teach music. It’s sort of a Venn diagram, but I see talent as instinctive, rawer and more innate, and skill as the product of serious discipline over time. Talented performers might struggle without the skill to back it, and skilled playing without talent can sound sterile. Especially when we’re talking about improvisation, a spontaneous art form, it’s likely the marriage of talent with skill that significantly moves listeners.
• What is your favorite album of the past year?
That Tom Misch/Yussef Dayes collab album “What Kinda Music” is magical. The drumming & production blew me away
• If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
More gender parity on show lineups would be a good start. I think it’s improved over the past few years, but there’s a lot more work to be done and I hope the trend continues
I’d also like to see artists receive a greater share in streaming revenue than we currently do. If there was any path to a “sustainable” music career before the pandemic, it has pretty much evaporated for the time being with venue closures, lockdowns etc. Of course, being an artist, I will continue to make music under any circumstances, but it’s a shame to think that some people might not see this as an issue; we could all be enjoying a higher calibre of music if they did.
• Which book should we read while listening to your album?
I love “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, it’s a delightful parable about a shepherd from Spain who goes on a spiritual journey to the pyramids. I think it would complement our vibe
• One last thing we should know about you?
Well, since you asked… anybody who knows me can verify that I am an absolute fiend for hummus.