Where were you born and where have you lived in the past?
I was born in the Philippine Islands. I moved around quite a bit when I was young from Minnesota and Washington to California 19 years ago. Ive been here ever since!
What early memories do you have of being exposed to music?
A man came to our elementary school with a guitar one day and sang the Don Mclean song “Starry Starry Night” about Van Gogh. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. I begged my mom after that to put me in band, but it never happened. Choir did happened to me later on in High School.
How old were you when you first thought about writing music? What was the first song you wrote?
I was four I believe. I just remember sitting on the floor in the Philippines with my mother recording story songs on our tape player (Once upon a time stories). One song went “…sing, sing, sing a song, song, song…” It was simple, but sometimes that is all you need.
What instruments do you play and what is your favorite?
I play guitar and aspire to play the fiddle. I’m not that great at it, but I love it! I figure if I just keep at it by the time I’m fifty, I’ll be able to play tunes that I enjoy.
Who taught you to play guitar? to sing?
My guitar teacher was, and is, Vladimir Yarovinsky. He’s like a father to me and an excellent local Carlsbad musician. After I learned guitar I just picked up bits and pieces from friends and self taught myself.
What bands do you like and how do they influence you? What are your influences?
Wow thats a tough one, theres so much good music out there. Some current stuff that I enjoy has to be: Sprout Farm, Coal Beautiere, Vetiver (Devandra Banharts band), Alela Diane, Merkaba Bandits, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Older stuff would be: Velvet Underground, Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Little Feet, Vashti Bunyan, Joni Mitchell, Diane Cluck, Memphis Jug Band and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, plus more. Check out this stuff; its good for you!
Are you in a band? Are you solo? Which do you prefer?Why?
My finance Carlos and I play together a lot. He’s in a local Carlsbad band called Sprout Farm. I don’t mind playing by my lonesome but I do enjoy the company of other souls.
What are the steps you go through when writing a song? Do you start with lyrics or chord progressions?
I really enjoy telling stories these days. Sometimes when I create, or stumble, across an odd note or melody, a hint of story pops into my head (intuition or your gut) So naturally I follow my instinct. Everything is inspiring when you really look at it through innocent eyes.
Describe the first moment when you realized you could sing, perform and write music?
I was just out of high school. I loved music and art but felt as though I needed to be realistic and absolutely and utterly truthful with myself. If I wasn’t being real with myself, I couldn’t be to other people either right! Candice George my best friend invited me to go over to her co workers house and hang out. When we got there we did there dishes and hugged everyone in the house. Is was filled with brotherhood. Jeff Slaven proceeded to play on his guitar with our friend Matt and I don’t know what came over me but my heart just spilled out of my mouth. I couldn’t help it, I just sang poetry and heartfelt things that were happening to me or had happened to me. It was very healing, at that moment I knew what I needed to dedicate my life to. Teaching through music was it!
How has having a daughter influenced your music? Have you been more motivated to write or less since her birth?
She is the muse in my life. I have an obligation to my daughter, her children and her children’s children and so forth to preserve the earth. You know we are only borrowing it from them. Nostalgic? Cliche? No, its just not about me anymore and never was.
What is your favorite song that you have written lately? Why? Probably “Sweetgrass”. I just wrote it in late January. Its about a daughter who lives close to the earth. She fishes, sews, is thrifty and loves her family. Its very colorful.
What emotions do you hope to provoke in your listeners?
Change for the better, change for the positive or just plain ‘ol warmth from a campfire.
You wrote a song in the perspective of a old House, How did you come up with that idea? Do you like writing songs in the perspective of other things? Why does this interest you?
I was inspired by a dream I had about this old Victorian house that sat on a hill. It was slightly lucid. The house felt alive in the dream, so I thought what if a house could tell a story. What had it been through? Who laughed or cried in its corners? Who built it? What type of relationships has the home had? The ideas were endless. I enjoy writing from different perspectives; it makes you look at things differently…. Its humbling.
You hand decorate you album covers, what does that scene mean to you?
This scene is what I aspire to teach, live and learn, just as the Native Americans did.
What are you future plans in terms of writing music and performing?
I plan to finish recording my album by this summer in 2008. I’m working on getting a tour together from San Diego to Northern California later this year. It would be fantastic to get together with other positive individuals to improve our environment here in Southern California as well as awareness in the condition of the earth.
Do you play local? If so, where can people go to see you?
I do play locally, so far just open mics and in my living room. I’m getting some shows together as of right now, when ready I will post them on my myspace profile. Cantina open mic Tuesday nights is a good place to catch me or other talented musicians. Bring your instrument too!
How would you describe the artistic community of Carlsbad? What does Carlsbad have to offer for a musician/ artist?
The art scene in Carlsbad is a little tough unless you know people. There are a lot of talented people out there with no outlet our group area to come to discuss, create, support each other and play. It would be nice to have some group or place to come to. It keeps people and kids out of trouble.
Is there a direction you would like to see Carlsbad’s art scene progress towards?
I would like the scene to definitely progress towards more earth and cultural awareness. There needs to be more good Folk music too! I will bring my share; I just hope to find more people with like musical and artistic minds.
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