Getting out and performing live is an incredible experience. It is pure adrenaline. It’s exciting, yet nerve-wrecking. You rehearse for days/weeks/months in advance. You know the material. You’re ready to get out there and melt people’s faces off. Then the questions begin: Will people dig my sound? Will people even show up to listen to me play? What if I forget the lyrics? These are legit fears. But then the adrenaline kicks in. To play a show and look out in the crowd and see people truly loving it, that adrenaline is undeniable. Watching people sing words to songs we wrote is more valuable than anything money can buy.
My band, Shorefire, blends Reggae, Rock and Funk into something unique. While I can play electric guitar, bass, djembe, and drums, I like to think that my strongest instrument is my voice. Bradley Nowell (Sublime) has had a huge influence on my musical flavor. I also love anything that David Byrne (Talking Heads) touches. But, the people around me are my inspiration to keep playing. I’ve somehow managed to surround myself with incredible musicians. A lot of guys that I grew up with have formed some amazing bands: The Floorboards, Half Moon, Lazy Man Dub Band, Tobacco Apache, Groovascape, Barefoot West, Ripejive, and the list goes on. It’s incredible to be surrounded by such a COMMUNITY of musicians who promote each other’s shows and are genuine fans of the music.
If I’m not playing on a weekend or spending time with my sweet daughter, Lily, I’m trying to experience music in some form or fashion. I really enjoy watching other bands, whether it’s local or regional groups, playing in small or large venues. I listen to their tunes, watch their performance, admire them, and learn from them. Roanoke is such a cool city because it gives you all of that within a 10-mile radius. You can check out Huey Lewis & The News in Elmwood Park, and then walk right into downtown and catch a killer show from one of the great local bands.
My favorite local spot to play is definitely Martin’s Downtown. There’s always a fun crowd. The staff are amazing to work with and Jason Martin really knows what he’s doing. You’ve got all of your friends around you, tons of great music, great vibes, and a great crowd dancing their asses off…it’s always the best.
What’s on your personal playlist right now?
I like to think that I’ve got a revolving door policy when it comes to music. Right now, I’m obsessed with a group called White Denim. Literally can’t stop listening to those guys. There is also a group over on the west coast called The Expanders and they are another ‘go-to’- straight fire on every record. Also, John Butler Trio, The Arcs, Ween, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, The Expendables, Gary Clark Jr., The Meters and Talking Heads on repeat.