Q:What’s your story? How’d you fall into music?
My mom bought me a guitar with lessons for my birthday when The Beatles hit and I’ve been playing ever since. I started writing songs about a year later. I fell into music from the earliest time I can remember. I’ve been into music since birth. LOL
Q:Who are you listening to right now?
DownTown Mystic…seriously. When I’m working on a project it totally consumes me and I don’t really listen to anything else. About 4 months before I went into the studio I listened to nothing but The Beatles. The new Beatle remasters came out and I got a bunch of them and started listening and couldn’t stop. I was rediscovering The Beatles all over again and it was great!
Q:What things – music, art, or other cultural factors – do you think will be big in the next year?
I have no idea. For me it’s always about music but I think music has been severely devalued in recent years. I decided about 5 years ago to stop paying attention to the charts and who’s hot and who’s not and I’m much happier for it! One of the reasons my new cd is called “Standing Still” is because that’s what I’m doing…by standing still I’m being discovered as something new and different because I choose not to follow the fads of the day.
Q:What are you looking to accomplish when you create music, and how does the music relate to the artistic side of things?
When I first get an idea that grabs me, I have to get it out and bring it into some form so I can continue to work and develop it. Artistically, I try to write something that has emotion and meaning to me. Usually I’m already hearing the arrangement and/or production of the recording in my head and that drives me into the studio. In some cases I’m trying to put down the definitive version of a song that has eluded me for 20 years.
Q:What differences have you noticed in the shift of DownTown Mystic from being primarily a single-person led act to a “meeting of the minds” between yourself and Bruce?
When I first took the name of DownTown Mystic, I wanted a name that represented who I was, and at the same time could also work as a group name. “DownTown” has a rock feel to it and “Mystic” refers to myself as a Numerologist as well as my interest and knowledge in Astrology, Tarot, I Ching, etc.
Shifting from myself to bringing Bruce in made it a bit easier for me because I didn’t have the burden of writing all the material. I’d worked with Bruce before so I was familiar with his style, which worked well with mine. With the new cd, “Standing Still”, I’m back to being the solo DownTown Mystic again and having fun with it.
Q:Are drugs/alcohol/recreational drugs good or bad for the creative process or is are the presence of those things just something based out of real life?
Talk about a “curve ball”! Where did this question come from? I hope they legalize marijuana sooner than later. It’s far better than smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. I think it can help with the creative process because it allows you to put aside the stress and general bombardment of the senses that modern everyday life puts on a person. As in all things, the key is moderation.
Q:How have you gotten more of your fans – Myspace or traditional word of mouth? Have you noticed anything different between these types of fans?
Definitely more fans via the Internet. I haven’t toured or played out a lot as DownTown Mystic, so I’m primarily a recording artist and I’m really only known in certain music industry circles and not by the general public. So having MySpace and some other sites has really helped me to get my music out to people who would not otherwise have heard of me. Plus they send me emails and tell me what songs they like and how my music has affected them…which is both flattering and inspiring to me.
Q: How did “Read The Signs” and your upcoming title expand upon the initial work of DownTown Mystic, and what is there left for the band creatively after the latest album is released?
I think “Read The Signs” showed a bit more depth in songwriting ability and was more of a group effort than the 1st cd, “Rock’n’Roll 4 The Soul”. The new cd, “Standing Still” centers more around my musical roots in Rock’n’Roll and is probably the most cohesive of the 3 cds to date.
What’s left creatively? Well, there were a couple of tracks that I chose to leave off of “Standing Still” because I didn’t feel they fit as well. Honestly, I think they rock a bit harder and point the way for the next cd.
Q:Who else in the music scene have you met and who is out there right now that you would like to collaborate with?
You know I’ve always been a “mainstream” kind of listener and writer. So my tastes & styles run with people like Tom Petty and Sheryl Crow. I think I could bring something interesting to the table with either artist. There are younger artists out there who I could easily work with but it’s not something I think about doing because my focus is on my own project right now.
Q:How should people find your music? Are there any other releases coming out that they should look into buying?
The best way to find my music is to go to my main website which is www.shala.com. That has all the info and links to everything DownTown Mystic is doing. You can find my cds on Amazon.com and CD Baby…go there and buy them! LOL
Q:What else should we know ?
DownTown Mystic will have a few things going on with the release of “Standing Still”. The 1st single, “Backdoor” will go to AAA & Americana Radio formats on 4/30, the day before the full cd is released. DownTown Mystic will be sponsoring the Alt/Country channel on Radioio for the month of May. Radioio is one of the leading radio stations on the internet at: http://www.radioio.com and it’s free to listen to, so check it out because DownTown Mystic will be featured every hour on the Alt/Country channel there. Check out your local AAA or Americana radio station and ask for DownTown Mystic as we’ll be promoting the new cd there. You can also hear all of our songs on DownTown Mystic Radio brought to you by Radiolicious, one of the leading mobile apps for smartphones. You can also find DownTown Mystic Radio at www.shala.com.