(Rules of The Gauntlet: The artist (Like in this case the Bad Ass Hard Rockers Dark Sermon) is sent a butt ton of questions ranging from standard to stupid from which they must choose at least 12 to answer and return them to us with a minimum of tear stains.)
How long could you live without money?
Well, I’m going on 23 years, and I’m still alive, aren’t I? I’ve gotten embarrassingly good at budgeting and being thrifty. You learn to adjust and live that way after a while. Although the dream is to earn a decent living playing stages all across the world, the low pay hasn’t deterred me yet. I’ll find a way, and I’m sure I can last until then. I don’t need fancy cars or designer shoes, I just want enough to pay for food and a place to sleep. Right now, my overhead is low. When I settle down, I’m sure it’ll be a different story.
What was the last song you listened to before this interview?
I’m actually listening to Seether’s “Gasoline” right now. Sue me.
What’s the most embarrassing band you listen to?
I love Motion City Soundtrack. Never jammed them too much growing up, but I came across some of their music last year and I’ve been hooked ever since. Just found out they’re breaking up and I’m heartbroken because I never had a chance to see them.
What song would you want to check out to?
I’d want to die to the last half of “The Hurt That Finds You First” by Meshuggah. That is the most calming, centering rhythm and pattern and vibe I think I’ve ever heard. Super heavy but totally peaceful.
There’s a good chance you will look back and be embarrassed by your current hairstyle. Discuss.
Right now, I only have hair on the top of my head, and it’s about 14-16 inches long. The sides and the back are shaved. I mainly did this for practicality. It gets ridiculously hot in Florida and having thick hair is basically a death sentence. Being able to put my hair up and out of the way during the summer is essential. When I’m 40 I might think it looks dumb, but if I cared about looks, I’d have a crew cut, man. I’m sure I’d look much more palatable that way haha.
If you could accomplish one thing in a music career what would it be? When you achieve that will you quit?
I know this seems outlandish, but I really want to bring rock and metal back to where it was. When I was just a kid, rock bands played to tens of thousands of people all the time. The industry was so much different, and the scene was so much different. I want to reignite the spark that rock used to have when I was growing up. If life moves in seasons, there’s no doubt it will make a comeback, and I want to be on the front lines. Oh, and I’d only quit when I run out of ideas, which is hopefully never.
Would you accept 1 million dollars now to give up any and all music forever? If not what is your price?
While it would be a relief to be out of debt, I don’t think I could ever quit music. I have way too many riffs in my head. Too many lines, too many ideas. If I ever put down the pen, I have no idea what I would do with my brain anymore. I am on this earth to create, and to be prohibited from doing that would take more than any amount of money. If I have my way, I’ll be 80 and still jamming.
What do you geek out to besides your music? Please geek out on your geekiness.
I actually geek out pretty hard with improv comedy. I have been doing it for 8 or so years, and I still love the intricacies of it. Now that I think about it, I get pretty geeky with faith, art, science, and space as well. Come talk to me at a show about any of this stuff and you’ll have my attention. There’s just so much in this universe to learn about, and I get hyped every time I’m presented with new information. Learning helps me feel alive.
If you had a time machine what would you do with it?
I’d fast forward hundreds or even thousands of years and hope that human beings are peaceful enough to stop murdering each other and destroying the planet. That’s an awful lot of finger crossing, though
What master musicians would you like to study with?
I’d really like to get inside the mind of the drummer of Meshuggah. His patterns aren’t math-y, they’re way more groove-oriented instead. I don’t know if that counts in your book as a master musician, but Lord, I’d just sit there and listen to anything he had to show me.
Where do your song names come from?
I keep a folder on my phone of song names and concepts that I add to every day. I’ll be in the shower or driving to the gym or watching a movie and then, all of a sudden, I’ll have a string of words flash in front of my mind’s eye. I write it down as quickly as possible so I don’t forget it. When it comes time to sit down and write, I pick a concept that matches the feel of the music and then expand and flesh it out. I have hundreds of tracks in y phone just waiting to be unwrapped and written.
What is your philosophy? Motto?
Karma is real. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. Allow instead of applying force and effort. Do whatever feels right, and make sure your head, heart, and gut all agree before you pull any triggers. Trust your instincts. Align yourself, think healthy thoughts, and make an impact. Treat yourself with respect. Put good out, get good in. It gets easier with practice. Trust me.
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