Would you sign to a label, given the opportunity?
Well, I have been given the opportunity, and I probably will be doing something label-related either late next year or in 2007. It is a difficult decision, though, and the only way I would ever consider working with a label is if they allow me lots of freedom, and if they aren’t greedy.
What significance does the title “Songs About Trains and Other Things” hold to you?
I am one of those people who gets antsy if they’re in one place for too long. I like to keep moving and explore new places. There is a general theme of restlessness and transport in a lot of my songs, and that’s pretty much where the title came from. The songs aren’t just about trains, though, there are cars and boats in there as well. On my upcoming album, i even make mention of planes, which I suppose is really breaking some artistic ground for me. It will be shocking and scandalous.
How do you balance time between your solo music and Continental Light Brigade?
For a while, it was a little tough, but the CLB is pretty much on indefinite hiatus, so it’s easier for me now. So most of my time is spent on my solo stuff. Johnny and I are still very good friends, but we needed a rest after playing with each other for several years without any real break.
Do you have a practice routine you follow?
I don’t ever really practice performing, or even playing. I spend most of my time writing and recording. When I play live, I pretty much just play according to how I may feel on the night (or day) in question. I like to keep things a little more spontaneous, it’s more fun for me that way, and the audience as well. It also makes tour less monotonous. I do like to practice my rockstar poses in front of the mirror, though, right after I’m done sculpting my faux-hawk.
Does it get tiring being on the road?
The only thing that gets tiring is the driving. Since I tour alone, I don’t have anybody to share the drives with. Truthfully, I’d rather be walking, but that’s kinda hard to do with so much gear. I do plan to tour on foot one day, but that won’t be for a while. Exploring new places never gets old for me. I find that I start to miss my dog after a couple of weeks, but that’s about as homesick as I’ll ever get. And every time I get home, it usually only takes me a couple of weeks until I feel the need to leave again.
Do you have a favorite place to eat when on the road?
Other than any good local places (I usually try to support the non-chain restaurants), I most often find myself eating at Subway and Waffle House. Subway because it’s healthy, good, and cheap. And Waffle House is just Waffle House. You can’t help but love that place, cigarette smoke, dirty utensils and all.
Do you have a source of income other than your music? If you do, how do you balance your time between the two?
I work for the school district here in Ventura. I’m pretty much on call to work whenever they need anyone to do anything. I work a lot in special ed classes, just helping out. Those classes usually need a lot of adults, and it pays pretty well. The only downside is when you have to change diapers and such. The kids are usually a lot of fun, though. I’ve also delivered books, tutored, and worked as a translator. Not having a regular job is nice, it lets me take long breaks for tour and all. Another plus is that schools usually get out around 3pm, so I always have plenty of time to spend on music. Sometimes it kinda sucks having to go in to work with a bunch of hyperactive kids after a late night, though. I try to keep my bar gigs to a minimum.