Bert started with classical piano lessons as a small tyke, then switched to guitar at age 16. He walked from his Southeast Portland, OR home to Guitar Crazy on Hawthorne Blvd. With $170 in twenties and bought a nice black Squier Strat with a maple fretboard. Then he realized he needed an amp and bought a small Peavey Rage (solid state). It was officially 'on.' That winter his family moved to the chic Eastmoreland neighborhood. Locking himself in his room the following summer, he learned all of 'Siamese Dream' and 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' as well as other classics by Stevie Ray, Clapton, and Hendrix. At the end of this period there was nothing he could not play on six strings. His senior year of high school he learned that his coach planned to platoon him in the outfield with another inferior underclassman, so he quit then and there and formed the proto-industrial outfit Sick Duck with his childhood sidekick Ezra Meredith. Wearing outlandish fur costumes that would've blown David Bowie's mind, they were easily the loudest band at Cleveland High School's 1996 Battle of the Bands. Trivia buffs note that Bert's brother Ted appeared during the show on cast-iron frying pan. Bert then matriculated at hallowed Dartmouth College in the fall, arriving at his new home sight unseen. The gambit paid off handsomely, as the small and inviting campus nurtured multiple solo and ensemble projects. Freshman year the power trio Adultery pounded skulls with alternative and punk covers, while sophomore year saw the band's evolution into a four-piece named Polski Fiat. Sophomore year also saw Bert walk-on the baseball team, but his coach was disappointingly rigid. After spotty attendance at the ultra-boring practices and showing up for lifts with egg and other dried fluids in his hair from pledging Animal House-frat Alpha Delta, it was suggested he not stay with the team (this despite his excellent performance on the bench press). He spent that summer on campus, as is the Dartmouth tradition, and in the spirit of academic adventure enrolled in an Electro-Acoustic Music class. His TA during that class was none other than Owen Grace, a musical genius who took him under his wing and offered encouragement and insight. Bert had recently begun recording his first solo efforts on a little Tascam Porta-02 4-track, and he and Owen kneeled on the floor of the Electro-Acoustic Music studio in Hallgarten Hall as they transferred the nascent tracks into Pro Tools. Thus began Bert's lifelong love affair and allegiance to Pro Tools. Junior year was filled with more solo work on the Porta-02, followed by a semester in Greece. That was awesome. Senior year Bert formed the seminal punk-industrial band Urine Tenant with Jeremy Spurr and Alex Ray, blistering through frat parties with alarming aggression and volume. They spiked their hair with gelatin and dropped liquid acid before each show. Insane. Their first show was on the front porch of Alpha Delta... The lawn was packed, first week of school... wide-eyed freshman and belligerent upperclassmen reveled in the sonic assault as Bert plugged in as many amps as he could rent and took the stage in a paintball mask looking very scary. Bert was currently under Dean's Review with his enrollment in jeopardy for a series of drunken vandalisms... would Urine Tenant's first show also be their last? They played the show not knowing Bert's fate... men were somber, women wept, but they all rocked (and drank). Bert sweet-talked the Dean, telling him and his creepy panel that he would quit drinking. This was a total lie, but the following week he learned that he would be allowed to stay and graduate, albeit on probation. Score a big victory for Rock! Urine Tenant continued to play shows the entire year, gathering a vocal following of beer-swilling maniacs. They even played some shows for the benefit of/fight against hunger (200 college students screaming F*** HUNGER!) After graduation, the boys of Urine Tenant relocated to Northeast Portland, Oregon and rechristened their outfit Drone Offensive. They played a number of high-octane shows at legendary Portland clubs like Satyricon... Bert playing so hard in his furious down-stroke style that his guitar was covered in BLOOD after every show. After his drummer married one of Bert's friends from Cleveland High School and absconded to Virginia, Bert formed a new band called Port Authority with best friend and longtime collaborator Ezra Meredith. The new sound was country-rich, and audiences responded with magical fervor. After playing outdoor rodeos and downtown honky-tonks alike, Bert moved to Seattle to get into the film scene. His music took a little break, and in 2006 he decided to move to Los Angeles to fast-track his career. After two years writing songs... he gives you... his most polished and mature material to date. Please enjoy!
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