Los Angeles, CA
You might make an obvious assumption that my biggest influences are a handful of writers. That might be true to an extent, but it might sound weird to you that I'm more inspired and influenced by musicians and painters as a whole, more so than writers.
It's strange, I know.
Then again, I'm like a sponge that soaks up every artform. That's one of the reasons I encourage aspiring artisans to expose themselves to as much fodder that they can process. Books. Paintings. Films. Music. Nature. Whatever.
I also feast on pop culture. Most days I'm squandering my time delving into retro-pop-culture from my youth and early teens. I soak up as much as I can. High art. Low art. Shit in between and totally sideways. Sometimes nothing sticks. Sometimes it takes a while before something resonates with me. Sometimes I can shake the buzz. You know what I'm talking about. That buzz... that just fucking blows you away and you can't get enough of it.
Here is an interview PBS conducted with one of my heroes, Trey Anastasio....
Trey isn't even my most favorite member of Phish, but over the last couple of years, I've grown a deeper respect for him probably because we share the same demon -- an affinity for pills. It's been an up and down battle for me, but Trey has been completely sober for a couple of years. So many other premier guitar players (e.g. Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton. Jerry Garcia) pissed away their prime years because they were completely wasted and bogged down in crippling addictions. Trey sobered up in time to enjoy his peak years. I saw a couple of shows last summer where I got to witness the pinnacle of Trey's musicianship. I hope Trey stays sober and we can get another 5 more solid years of Phish and maybe stretch out another decade of the Phish.
Shit, I hope I can still bring it as a writer in the next decade. But on days when I'm struggling to find the right words or doubting my ability, I'll crank up a Phish bootleg, which fires me up and puts me in a groovy headspace to write.
This is one of those songs that gets me pumped up. It's vintage Trey from a show in Prague in 1998...