What was the first instrument that you picked up, and when?
I first played the acoustic guitar when I was 8 because I wanted to be like Elvis and Eddie Van Halen.
When did you pick up the instrument that you currently play? How did you pick that instrument, and how did you learn to play it?
At 12, I started playing the upright bass, and then began playing the electric bass two years later. Initially I wanted to play the drums, but the thought of marching in the school band with a simple snare was NOT “Fonzie Cool,” so I opted for orchestra. On my first day of orchestra class when I saw and heard the upright bass in person, I was hooked.
What instrument do you wish you could play, and why? Have you tried to play it, with or without success?
As a child I was interested in playing the guitar because of the abundance of melodies written for that instrument but the bass just won me over. Sometimes I wish I could play the piano so it would be easier to write and arrange music.
List all bands that you’ve been in, and in what cities and states.
List some of your favorite bands (3 max) and musical influences, and tell how they influence you.
- Tribu de Ixchel – Houston, TX
- Black Queen Speaks - Houston, TX
Living Color – Their creative compositions and arrangements are original and unique which make their sound instantly recognizable.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – They have the same qualities as Living Color but their energy level is off the charts. Their belief in their music is inspiring.
Stanley Clarke/Jaco Pastorius – They exemplify the yin/yang theory in modern bass playing. Their precision, grace, finesse, musicality, phrasing is/was genius.
Define the Black Queen Speaks sound. Where do you think most of the band’s musical influences come from?
In my humble opinion BQS’ sound is purposely BIG!!! We’re not the kind of guys who hold back punches; we like to go for the bleachers, throw the 70 yard bomb into three defenders and somehow pull out a touchdown! BQS is most definitely not like most music on the airwaves today. We’re not nice and don’t want to be “nice.” By “nice” I mean safe and comfortable, kind of like how a turkey sandwich is “nice.” Don’t get me wrong a good turkey sandwich with some Baked Lays is yummy but it won’t feed the soul; not like a good ole cheeseburger, with chili, fries and onion rings and a big chocolate shake. How much of our daily life is restricted: don’t drink this, don’t smoke that, don’t eat those? Well, BQS aspires to be that shot of “life” into people’s regimented existence. Influences…? Wow, that’s a tough one; I think we pull from 40+ years of rock history over various sub genres of rock music. We’re very careful when concocting a new song not to sound “too” anything… we listen to our inner voices which have been influenced by the greats, i.e. ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Guns n’ Roses, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, P-Funk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and try to weave a song that is hopefully both interesting and thought provoking to the listener.
Tell me something about yourself that would probably surprise people to know about you.
I worked in pawnshops for 8 years so I can easily name the offering price of 98% of the stuff that is brought in on Pawn Stars.