"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring AVATARI
Thank you for chatting with us! Looking back, what was the first album or “Vinyl” you bought? It was Ritchie Valens’ self-titled album. With “La Bamba” and “Donna” on it. I was little and I’d just seen the movie La Bamba for the first time. I had to have it and it did not disappoint!
You recently released your new single, “Saturday Night." Tell us about the writing process and where the idea came from. “Saturday Night” is really about young love, and that feeling you get when you’re about to go out with your friends and something inside of you says that you’re gonna meet “the one.” I’d long since met my one when I wrote “Saturday Night.” My wife, in fact, had recently given birth to our son. Something about that moment in time was so powerful and creative for me. Seeing life through his eyes. My heart was cracked open and I felt a vulnerability and innocence that I hadn’t felt for a long time. Maybe ever. And “Saturday Night” came out of me. Not sure the song is exactly about that time of my life. But it was fully inspired by it.
Where did you grow up and how has that influenced your style of music?
I grew up in San Francisco and I’d say that had a big effect on my style of music. I was at a Grateful Dead show with my parents as a toddler - one of my first memories. My first love is classic rock. Bands like The Doors, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones. The Beatles of course. That’s the music that was playing in my house and it was love at first listen. Even though the style of my music is probably more modern, the roots of the vibe of my music are in the songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s. And as far as San Francisco goes - I think there’s a part of me that was a love child, even though I missed the era. San Francisco is still so forward thinking and conscious. And those are big elements of my music. Freedom, love, spirituality, self-realization. Those are my jams.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs? My music is all about Love. Love of self and love of your fellow man. It’s about freedom and self-empowerment. I hope that when people listen to my music, they feel inspired to be themselves fully. To go after that dream that maybe they haven’t quite felt worthy of but that’s in the bottom of their heart. To make that stand in their life for something they believe in or care about. To let go of that demon or baggage they’ve been carrying around. Basically, to be a bit kinder to themselves and the people around them.
Is there anyone in your family that you can credit as being instrumental in your decision to go into the music field? I’d have to say my dad. He’s a musician - played in rock and roll bands growing up and for a big chunk of his life. Plays like Eric Clapton (really though!). And his band in college even opened for The Doors. And even though my dad hung up his guitar (as far as a career) he exposed me to some incredible music growing up (live and recorded). It deeply shaped my creativity and helped to set me on my path as a musician
What is your favorite sandwich? French dip. If there’s a French dip sandwich on the menu. That’s what I’m eating
Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown? First off, I have two hometowns - Los Angeles (the place where I currently reside) and San Francisco (where I grew up). I consider both of them home. But for the purpose of this question, I’ll go with San Francisco because it makes the answer easy - Gaspare’s. It’s an old Italian family-style restaurant. It used to be called Vince’s until Vince retired and passed the restaurant on to his son Gaspare. The food is amazing. My favorites are the pizza, the lasagna (to die for), and the minestrone soup. Also, the bread is ridiculous. But beyond that it’s the experience. The grapevines hanging from the ceiling, the black and white photos of old San Francisco, the juke box with Beatles and Motown songs playing, and “That’s Amore.” Gaspare coming out to greet you with a big smile. Ok maybe I’m a little biased - after all I did get to stand on a chair and watch the cooks make the pizza and spin it in the air, and feed me pieces of mushrooms and pepperoni when I was little. But still, how often does a restaurant stay exactly the same over multiple generations? Gaspare’s will always be my favorite spot
What is your favorite childhood cereal? That’s easy. Cheerios. With bananas and honey. I still love me some Cheerios
Finally, what's your favorite family recipe? Oooh my mom’s spaghetti with meat sauce. Perhaps you’re noticing a theme, but I love Italian food. And I will forever be a sucker for my mom’s spaghetti.