Westword Music Showcase 2005

Page 17 of 42

Herbie Hancock, Me'Shell NdegéOcello, Jay Dee, Madlib, Soulquarians, etc.

How do you pay the bills? What are your day jobs?

We are all full-time musicians, except for our drummer, Dameion Hines. He's a certified massage therapist.

Finish this sentence: If we didn't have to worry about money, we'd...

Be able to pay for our own studio time and record countless albums like Frank Zappa.

Finish this sentence: We'd rather...

Be on a support tour for the Roots. Oh...and paid.

Who would play you in the screen adaptation of your life?

Samuel L. Jackson.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In a high-rise apartment somewhere in New York, sipping a martini.

What's the biggest misconception about you or your band?

A small lesson on jazz: Jazz is improvisational music. We mainly perform hip-hop and soul, with lots of improv between the lines. We're not a traditional jazz band. That would be bebop/swing music.

Give us a random factoid about yourself or your band:

We do not like our band name. We have been stuck with it for the last four years and haven't been able to find a better one that we can agree on. Band names aren't easy to come up with.

Elliott Smith or Jack Johnson?

How about "Black Jack Johnson"?

Weezer or Winger?

Who are these people?

Jay-Z or Z-Trip?

The Rock.

Football or foosball?

Football. Go, Broncos!

Parting shot?

If you'd like to support this group in any way shape or form, please contact us. We are a band of the people, and we LOVE you all. Thank you!



Myself and my baggage.

Native or transplant?


What's in a name?

That's the name on my birth certificate. As far as I know, I'm not named after anyone in particular.

When did you form/start performing?

I started playing out in Denver as a teenager about twelve years ago. I played guitar in a band called Idlemind with this guy named Patrick Park. After that band dissolved, I joined the Czars in late 1998. I was with them until last November. I've been playing out solo for a few years by myself. For a while, it was all instrumental, mostly improvised music. I even played in a free improvisational group called The Way Things Go with Tyler Potts and Anne Angyal for a while. Eventually, I began singing a bit, too -- mostly songs I'd written that didn't work for the Czars. For the past year or so, I've been focusing on song structure and form in my music, so I've incorporated folk elements.


I'm nearly finished with a full-length album that will show up in the fall. Moving backwards in time: What Would This Be For?, With the Czars: Goodbye, X Would Rather Listen to Y Than Suffer Through a Sea of Z's, The Ugly People vs. the Beautiful People, music for the soundtrack to I'd Rather Be...Gone. With The Way Things Go: The Way Things Go, and Roger Green and Anne Angyal Duo.

Who or what do you think you sound like?

I'm a composite of all the music and experiences I've had throughout my life. I sound like myself, as true as I can be to myself, in that moment. It is both limiting and liberating to know I can only be me. That said, you can hear elements of the music I like in my own music. Because I love pop music, folk music, jazz/improvisational music and ambient music. I put all of these kinds of music into my own.

What are some of your noteworthy recent feats?

I've played guitar for Ron Miles, whose music is something I love.

What albums have had the biggest impact on you?

There have been so many; it's hard to say...I think U2's Joshua Tree was huge for me. It showed me that guitar playing was more than guitar soloing and that albums are distinct entities. It also introduced me to that Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois type of sound. The later Beatles and Radiohead's The Bends were records I listened to on a daily basis in high school. John Coltrane's Blue Train was where I first figured out that jazz (from that period, of course) had form. Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, and particularly the song "Blue in Green," made me want to play improvised music. Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left has had a lot of personal impact on me. And The Czars' Before...But Longer obviously impacted my life quite a bit.

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