Who am I musically? A former subway musician who now does arena rock in his bedroom? A more soulful Beck? Prince if he were gay white guy living in Massachusetts? I don't know who I am musically or otherwise. That's why I go to therapy. But I can tell you what I like... I grew up in the 1980s New Hampshire. I was the only kid in my school who listened to stuff like Gary Newman and Blondie. Everyone else liked 'Eye of the Tiger' from Rocky. They were really into Journey too. I like Journey now. I didn't then. I guess I was what you'd call a 'New Waver.' As I grew older there was the inevitable embracing of depressing music like Morrisey, The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Cure. That's when I started getting really depressed all the time. It sucked being an openly gay teen in New Hampshire in 1987. Morrisey really spoke to me. Later on I got REEEAAALLY into the heavy duty goth stuff like Christian Death, and punk rock stuff like The Circle Jerks and Black Flag. I got a mohawk. Oh, Sonic Youth was a biggie. I loved them. They were all arty and lived in New York. I really wanted to be artsy in New York too. In the 90s, like everyone else I thought Acid House very important. All that sampling Dee-lite did was cool, and I always thought Lady Miss Kier had a great voice. And later on Beck blew my mind with his album 'Mellow Gold'. All that lo-fi stuff he did gave me hope, and made me realize maybe I didn't need a big fat record deal to create cool stuff. Also the whole return to 'organic songwriting' people like Sinead O'Conner, and Tracy Chapman were doing affected me. Sinead is so cool. I love that she ripped up a picture of the Pope. And her music is so diverse. One song is just her with a folk guitar and the next song is her with a drum machine and a violin. I love that. What a great voice. Patti Smith has always been here in my head too. Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake. Bob Marley, Annie Lennox, Karen Carpenter, Jill Scott. Oh Yeah...and then there's all that really deep rich soul magic from Marvin Gaye and The Reverand Al Green. My point is...somewhere in this mess my head has created lies my music. I don't know who the hell I am, but finding out the answer slowly over time continues to be an exciting adventure. Meanwhile, all I can do is tell you who I've listened to over the years, and thank God for their great music. They've all influenced me. And that's a beautiful thing.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of