I fell in love with music at a very early age. My dad played guitar, and I remember him listening to Bob Dylan.
When I was in fourth grade, I had an epiphany brought on by the release of U2’s The Unforgettable Fire. I still remember the first time I listened to this tape (I actually ended up wearing my dad’s tape out because I listened to it so many times). I remember being so enamored with Pride that I just had to share it with someone. However, the only person around was my grandpa, so I made him listen to it on my headphones.
I’m sure he really dug those crazy rock and roll sounds.
This album opened the door to my musical journey, and it also introduced me to two very important influences:
Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno.
The first band I was in was called Fish Paddle (Sam(urai) from I am Not the Janitor was also in this band). I was in high school, circa 1990. My friends and I were all into The Stone Roses, and so, one day at lunch, we decided to start a band, and we all went out and purchased instruments soon after.
I chose the bass guitar.
The next band I was in was a ska band. We were called Checkmate. We were part of the third-wave California ska movement. It was a fun time. We got to play with Let’s Go Bowling, Bad Manners, Hep Cat, and Desmond Dekker among others. I was never really super into ska, but it is really fun to play.
I then joined a band called Flaming June with three other super cool cats. We “tried to make it,” and moved to So. Cal. and all that. But we soon broke up. Playing with these guys was awesome.
My passion has always been in sonically interesting music. I like densely textured songs.
In 1993, I purchased my first 4-track recorder.
Together with my friends Jeff, Ryan, and Ronny, we learned the ins and outs of home recording.
It was then that I began work on my life-long project:
a 20 album Box Set.
I currently have 14 albums (a mixture of LPs and Eps) recorded.
Only 6 more to go.
By the time I am finished, I’m sure that “box sets” really won’t exist, as everything SHOULD be 100% digital download.
But it’s the concept that counts.
I recently started on my 15th project, and I will be introducing a new instrument to the mix, a Stage One pedal steel guitar.
Listen to more releases at Bandcamp
The 4-track Early Adventures of… (needs to be remastered, after I find the DAT)
Marvis – Marvis (w/ Jeff Martin (I miss my friend Jeff))
Twin Cam Akiko/Z Phantom 4 – The Sounds that Surround You (split L.P.)
Twin Cam Akiko – Space on Earth
Z Phantom 4 – Lo-fi Lullaby
Z Phantom 4 – Laying Down the Law
Z Phantom 4 – Three Unfinished Albums
Z Phantom 4/Barry – More Unfinished Business
Twin Cam Akiko – I Can’t Live With the Red-Lunch Box-Man
The Slow System Revival (produced by and song writing credits)
I Am Not the Janitor – Theoretical Trance Rock With Guitars (live bootleg)
I Am Not the Janitor – The Sofa Rehearsals (live bootleg)
I Am Not the Janitor – The Tailor’s Song E.P.
I Am Not the Janitor – Lunar Landing (Live)
I Am Not the Janitor…is dead (another live bootleg)
Carl Sagan’s Ghost – Music for Home Offices: Volume One
Carl Sagan’s Ghost – Behind Clouds
Carl Sagan’s Ghost – Darkness and the Light
Carl Sagan’s Ghost – MAAP:E1 Mixed by CSG
Carl Sagan’s Ghost – At the End of it All
Carl Sagan’s Ghost – The Colonial Spa EP
01. How long have you been making music?
Played in my first band in 1991 – so over 20 years. I started off plating bass, and my first official band was a ska band.
02. When did you start using electronics in your music making?
Very early on, out of necessity. I wanted drums in my music, but drum sets were too expensive and loud. So I got by with a drum machine, and went down an electronic path ever since. It’s just always easier to make music on headphones – doesn’t matter where you live, or who you live with. If you can make music silently, you can make music anywhere.
03. Are you an electronic purist?
No. I use some live percussion, found sounds, and also some acoustic instruments. Although these are often highly treated.
04. What is your current favorite piece of hardware? Software?
Hardware – it’s a toss up between the Waldorf Blofeld and the Korg MS-2000
Software – I’m learning Live 9 right now, and I’m loving it.
05. Do you use canned loops or samples? Why/Why not?
No – I usually make my own. Although I’m not opposed to using factory patches on synths – they are often great starting points for inspiration.
06. Do you use iPad/iPhone or other mobile computing devices in your music making?
Yes. My iPad is basically a dedicated Animoog machine, and totally worth the price just for that. I also enjoy Thumb Jam.
07. Was there a moment of inspiration… a certain track or artist, that ignited your passion for electronic music?
The production, engineering, and sound design of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.
08. How does visual art/photography inform your music making?
It rarely does.
09. Has the internet/Social Media changed the way you make music?
Yes – and I recently disconnected from almost all of social media. Not that I ever got popular or anything, but I’m taking it back to the underground – I’ll release stuff, but I’m no longer going to obsess over hits and likes, and I just won’t care on a personal level. I’ll just release stuff and if people discover it, cool. It’s too easy for me to get caught up in the social media thing.
10. What is your favorite artist or track of all time?
Favorite artist….toss up between Eno, Lanois, Harold Budd and Marconi Union.
Favorite album of all time – U2’s Unforgettable Fire.