From the moment I was able to walk and talk I was dancing and singing. My personality, my memories, and my relationships are created because of music. Some of my earliest memories were gathering family members at parties into living rooms for a show. I didn’t just improv a show for them. I rehearsed the choreography, the songs, and the emotion I was going to perform. This was serious to me. If I was going to put on a show for my family I was going to put on the greatest show they have ever seen.
At age 7 my parents decided I needed to actually learn about music and put me into guitar lessons. Just like every young kid I didn’t want to practice. My guitar teacher, Doug, knew this and would put me through hell. My lessons got more interesting when I started a band at 13. We would focus on the tricks of being a memorable front man, a powerful singer, and a live guitar player.
Doug was an intense son of a bitch. I respected and feared him but I would get in my own head and think I wasn’t good enough to continue. I would compare myself to others. I felt like I wasn’t picking things up as fast as I should and it would be easier to just give up. My parents didn’t let me quit guitar but instead each week I would have to face Doug . He believed if I was going to give up my dream then he was going to make me regret it. Our lessons were no longer about music but just psychological warfare. It was a reverse psychology experiment.
There was a breaking point for me where I wanted to prove to Doug, my parents, and myself that I could be good enough. There was this new motivation of rehearsing and learning more about music. I became obsessed with the idea that whatever I was doing was not good enough and I had to do more.
It was the Friday before Thanksgiving. I had basically put on a show for Doug at our lesson. My weekly assignments went smoothly, they had personality, and it felt natural. Doug stopped the lesson about 10 minutes in, and for the first time I could remember, he complimented me. He went on about me having a special talent. He told me it was my responsibility to never let anyone take my dreams from me. Whether I thought I could or couldn’t, I was right. He was proud to see me face him and literally/figuratively face the music. It was that day when I realized music is what I am.
I packed up my guitar, loaded up the car, and began to drive home. At the same time I was outside and driving off, Doug was inside his shop having a heart attack. He died within a few minutes.
It was soul crushing to a young teen. I was just finding my footing and it felt like I wouldn’t be able to share these experiences with him. I realized Doug truly never left. It feels like he is with me every step of the way pushing me to take chances, to learn from my mistakes, and to always get better. It’s my motivation for Marina City. He knew who I was before I did. He knew music isn’t what I do but it’s who I am. I couldn’t just let it go because things got a little rough. Music is there when I’m happy, when I’m celebrating, when I’m laughing, when I’m dancing, when I’m mad, sad, scared, doubtful, lost, etc. Music is a part of me and has never quit me. The least I can do is never quit it.
Favorite Record Store
Rolling Stones – Chicago, IL
Favorite Concert Venue
The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
Soundtrack Of Your Life
The Chicago sextet has already been named “Breakthrough Artist” by Rock Sound Magazine, “Artist You Need To Get Into” by MTV, “Artist You Need To Watch At Warped Tour and Riot Fest” By Altpress Magazine, “Band Of The Year” by Ernie Ball Guitars, and “Top 5 Best Unsigned Bands in America ” by Cumulus Media. After sharing the stage with Awolnation, Dorothy, The Neighbourhood, Welshly Arms, 888, COIN, and Morgxn, the alt pop group will be releasing new music in 2019 produced by Dino Zisis (Lady Gaga).