Growing up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, my parents started us listening to music at a very early age, letting us sing along to James Taylor and "Sesame Street" records. But all that changed one night when I heard Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog" when I was maybe 4 years old. That was probably my first introduction to rock music.
It was also probably my first introduction to cursing, too, but that's beside the point.
Through the years, my sisters and I were encouraged to play musical instruments. I started off on the clarinet and trumpet, like most every kid does, I suppose - I never went for the recorder, though (maybe I should). Then, after seeing a friend of mine play guitar in seventh grade well enough that he sounded like the guys I heard on the radio, I figured that was probably a thing that I needed to do. So I started taking guitar lessons in 1988, learning stuff like "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi, "Youth Gone Wild" by Skid Row, "Paradise City" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses.
You know - the classics.
In eighth grade, I dropped the clarinet (which I was still playing in the school band) and moved to the percussion section. And as a graduation present in 1990, my father bought me my first drum kit. It fell apart over the space of two years, and we traded up for a newer-model entry kit, which I would continue to play until 1999. More on that later. Also, during these high school years, I would be introduced to all manner of great rock - Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Minor Threat, Live, Metallica, and many others.
After playing drums and guitar in Spinning Infinity (a band that was started with my best friend) in high school, college brought along a whole new set of fun. I was the lead singer in a cover band called Scoundrel - imagine, if you will, guys with long hair thrashing about on their instruments, and this little Asian kid with a buzzcut as their frontman. Yeah, I totally didn't really fit in, but we still had great fun. After leaving them, I joined up with another cover band called Dali Lama, playing rhythm guitar and singing the odd song here and there.
After I left Radford University, I started going to an open mic in Alexandria, VA at Tiffany Tavern, where I met the two bands that I would wind up playing with after 1997. The first was a band called Choptank Murphy, whose lead singer asked me to join them on rhythm guitar. But thanks to school and work schedules, I couldn't fulfill that role well and dropped out. For Valentine's Day, 1998, however, they needed me to play drums for them because their drummer couldn't make the gig. I agreed, as I had taken over on drums at several rehearsals before, and I knew their songs, so it wasn't that much of a stretch. Eventually, I became their drummer.
We played at the Tiffany Tavern open mic one night where two people named Chris and Vivion were in attendance. To make an even longer story short, they (for all intents and purposes) stole me from Choptank Murphy, and I have been playing drums behind them ever since. Along with a guy named Brian (we call him "Freddy", though), we all formed a band called Juniper Lane - you might have heard of us somewhere or another.
And for the last ten years or so, I have been loving life being Juniper Lane's drummer. We've recorded 5 albums (well, four that we're admitting to doing, and three that we 're really proud of) and have played many shows from Atlanta to Boston. Along the way, during some downtime due to a near-fatal rock climbing accident, I picked up some shows with a friend named Viki Nova, who's a pretty great musician as well. I started playing drums for her at first, and then we started doing some acoustic duo shows together. From those shows came offers of solo acoustic shows on the side.
My acoustic shows are usually anywhere from the DC Metro area to Annapolis; oddly enough, these shows are getting notorious for very odd cover songs at a moment's notice. At a show in Annapolis, someone jokingly asked me to play Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"...
Which I did. God help me.
So come and have some fun at any one of the three types of shows I play: the solo acoustic shows, with Juniper Lane, or with Hang The DJ, a cover band in which I play drums AND sing the odd song every now and again... imagine, if you will, someone playing drums and singing the entirety of R.E.M.'s "It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"...
Check the schedule for further updates.
Also, you may be wondering what the DC Filmdom link is all about - I write movie reviews for DC Filmdom. Drop by for rants, screeds and opinions about the latest and greatest... or not-so-greatest. Thanks to Jenn Carlson, Moira Paz, Ariadne, the Pasa family, the good folks at Juniper Lane, Meg Linehan, Tom Roehl, Sam Wolk (for the sweet sketch) and YOU.