Tuesday, December 16, 2014

hey guys! help me fund the next album and i just might start updating the blog again...


Thursday, September 19, 2013

SEPTEMBER 19—LA—having my bass and forgetting i ate it

oh, hey... it's my blog. it's been a year and a half since my last update—oops.

well, i hope to get back into posting here more, now that i have completed my move from PHL>LAX, have and a new project to promote (and recipes to upload)...

introducing spry imp:


Friday, February 10, 2012


Hey all - first and foremost:


... for helping me successfully create the funds to produce my second album, "Terroir." I'm very excited to get into writing again, and I'll be posting lots of updates about my progress on my facebook and twitter pages.

Also, I'll be offering some of the packages on my site, so if you missed your chance or wanted to use paypal to make your transaction, you'll still be able to make a contribution and receive some goodies!

So what else is new? Well, as usual, I've been running around like crazy... Where to start? In the middle of January, I took a trip out California to see my good friend Rynne, and swing by the cacophonous circus that is the NAMM show.  The expected week-long stay was extended to 10 days, and I also played a few gigs - one of which was at an event called Altbass, "an esoteric experimental bass event during NAMM" put together by Tom Shad (we hope to do more events like that on the east coast - check out the site for more info).  The other was house concert with the fantabulous Steve Lawson).  I even (finally) met my curly haired bass playing sistren one night at the Baked Potato. We were both there to see Holdsworth and Haslip, of course.

bass worlds collide

I even stayed an extra few days, since I had the opportunity to cook dinner for Meshuggah... did I mention that I had beautiful Wild Alaskan salmon hand caught by Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor to work with? Sometimes I don't even believe my own life... I hope to include the recipe for the oven poached fish, along with the hand rolled pasta with creamy mushroom fennel sauce that I served along side it in the sneak preview of my upcoming cookbook...

But really, I needed an excuse to escape the gray Philadelphia skies... the sunshine really filled me with energy... On the 26th, I took a redeye back home on the to have an early birthday dinner with the family, and then left again the next morning for Mexico City, where I reconvened with Adrian, Tobias, and John. I immediately passed out for 4 hours, and woke up just in time to go out to dinner with our lovely promoters. They took us to a funky Argentine restaurant (so... just veggies for me, please), and I slept for another 8 hours that night. Needless to say, I was nice and refreshed for the concert - I even had the time in the afternoon to walk around downtown with new friends (photos coming soon).

Soundcheck was a little stressful - we always hold our breaths until everyone's rig is working and sounding good. Luckily, John fixed some problems just in the nick of time.

Doors opened, and an hour later the always impressive bajista Alonso Arreola opened up the show. And what an awesome show it was - roughly 1500 ravenous fans showed up at the gorgeous Plaza Condesa for an evening of exciting experimental music.  As a mentioned earlier, it was my birthday weekend, so the whole concert was truly a special experience, as everyone in the crowd sang "Las Mañanitas" to me. So cool!

Two hours later, my 26th birthday officially started with shots of tequila añejo and sangrita at the bar.  I stayed up maybe a little bit too late, but I knew I'd be traveling all day, so I wanted to celebrate while I could.  Of course I regretted this immensely a few hours later, as I must have had lovely tint of chartreuse in my cheeks for the few hours that I sat - rather - slumped into a chair in the airport lounge...

Luckily I recovered quickly, and the next day, I woke up and immediately set up my rig. I was inspired by all the good times, and got right to work on the album...

Five songs later, Dom picked me up and we had DRGN KING practice down in South Philly. Our keyboardist/producer Brent has been getting awfully busy lately, so we were rehearsing for the first time as a trio.  Yay - another trio!

The next day was another wild one... I went up to New York City nice and early so I could hop on one of Tool's tour buses and catch their show at Izod in East Rutherford, NJ.  It was another magical evening - the birthday celebrations just didn't seem to end...

I decided to stay overnight, and took a train back to Philly just in time to walk on stage with DRGN KING.  It was an excellent night at Johnny Brenda's (Fort Lean and Nico's Gun also performed), and the crowd seemed very welcome to our new configuration.

My head is still spinning.

... Speaking of DRGN KING, we'll be playing at Cake Shop in NYC tonight.  Mike Visser from Springs (another band I play in) will be opening with a sure-to-be-killer acoustic set.

So I guess that brings us up to date... As said, check for more frequent updates on my facebook and twitter pages, and I hope to see you soon at one of my upcoming shows!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DECEMBER 10 - PHILADELPHIA, PA - Kickstarter launch!

Hey guys - I'm making my second album, to be released in May 2012!

Please check out my kickstarter campaign to help fund the project!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Trying to get up to date... here's a little something I did backstage in Fairfield:

The East Coast (and therefore lovely short drive) portion of our tour continued to Northampton, Massachusetts, where we feared we wouldn't be able to fit on the Iron Horse's microscopic stage.

Whew, we did it! I celebrated by talking a walk around the block:

And then I returned to the dressing room to catch the rumbling thunder below the stage as Stickmen played.

Hey look - I recognize that from our 2008 "Lucky to be Alive" tour:

The next day we drove up to Montreal, and stopped at a really nice little place called the Putney Diner in Vermont - definitely was the best breakfast of the tour!

And then there was soundcheck and backstage hang:

And the show:

Afterwards it was rather difficult to navigate the uniquely... um... cozy parking lot:

But we made it, and the next day I found a neat (also cozy) greasy spoon called "Cosmos." The inch of oil on the TV set said it all. 

I definitely skipped lunch that day:

We were totally stuffed on the drive to Toronto, and holy cow... we had an actual night off! I found an Indian place near our hotel, since we can't eat heavy curries before going on stage... well, I make an exception for Maharaja in Milwaukee, it's too darn good to pass up when we're in town. The shows at Shank Hall are always riddled with masala burps (unbeknownst to the unassuming audience members, of course... well, I hope).

Anyway, the food at The Host was very unique and tasty - I just couldn't get over how light it all was. The vegetables weren't over-cooked to unrecognizable mush and enrobed with ghee and cream (which, don't get me wrong, still makes for tasty eats).  I could've actually eaten at this place on a show day!

When I got back to the room I thought I'd pass out right away (at 8PM - egad!). Yeah right... I stayed up and played variations of Scrabble until 1 in the morning... oops!

The next day, I woke up and trekked to the Apple Store downtown to replace my computer's power supply, which stopped working in New York.  Not a good thing to have happen on the road... luckily, it was a gorgeous day (finally one without rain!).

I got back to the hotel and met with Tobias so we could head over to the Mod Club early, my heart set on making some soup for dinner.

Forgive me, it's been over a week so I don't remember the recipe exactly... I know it had red onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, cilantro, cumin, hot smoked paprika... it was darn good.

The cool thing about the Mod Club is that you can spy on the stage from the dressing room:

Or from the side of the stage:

The next morning we returned to a spot we found on our 2009 tour, Aunties and Uncles. I have to admit we also like dining there because the server we've always had there is a Prog Rock DJ.  He keeps missing our shows, though!

Next up: back to Amerrrca.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SEPTEMBER 28-SEPTEMBER 30: NYC + FAIRFIELD - How many more pies?

Oy... as I write this, I am sitting on a bed in a hotel in Kentucky, wounded. Such things like falling up stairs tend to happen before I have my coffee... I figured that finishing my blog post would take my mind off of the seething pain in my ankle and knee. It's as if the universe is reminding me that there is still such a thing as complete equilibrium, and therefore karmic balance. You'll see what I mean below.

Anyway (lalalalala), the story opens in Boston... upon leaving town, I visited my first ever Cracker Barrell (shocking, I know).

The experience was as mediocre as I expected, complete with undercooked hash browns and forgotten hot sauce. Still, I doubt that this will be my only visit to such a fine establishment. There are lesser evils out there in the U.S., such as Denny's and Waffle House, but hunger knows no boundaries. Oh, how I long for European breakfasts and rest stops...

We traveled onward to the great Gotham City, where we would play 2 nights at Les Paul's stomping ground, a teeny joint called the Iridium. We managed yet again to pack ourselves onto the stage, and the concert exuded joy from the reciprocal positive energy between the audience and the band.

There was also an ample air of whimsy that night, because it was Tobias' night to play in his hometown, and it was his birthday the day before. I had mentioned to Ade that we should try and recreate the scene from the Mexican restaurant on stage, but we didn't have time to do get the necessary supplies in Boston. I pretty much forgot about it, but Adrian was set on completing the mission, and set it into motion just before Stick Men took the stage.

See Tony's road diary to see the shots of the pie-ing that took place just before "e." I only managed to snap some after our set.

So that's why I think I fell up the stairs... well, I also admit that I am a total klutz. Adrian managed to get a spider bite the next day... so there's your proof that no deed goes unpunished.

Another great addition to the evening was that Eric came up with my Mom to see the show. It was just so great to hang out as a group again. The two drummers even battled head-to-head in an Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation showdown.

The next day, I ran into Ade at the elevator, and we decided to grab some lunch. We walked around for a while until we settled on a little French place a few blocks from our Upper West Side hotel.

The menu warned that the food would take a while, but it was okay, since we were fortunate enough to be able to leave our gear set up and were forgoing soundcheck. Thirty minutes went by, and our tummies were really starting to rumble. Adrian kept looking up anxiously at the counter to see if our food was ever going to arrive. Suddenly he realized someone familiar had just walked through the door. "Oh my gosh!" he exclaimed, "There's Matt Damon!" I glanced up shyly and saw a guy wearing a cap. I didn't want to stare so I quickly shot my eyes back to my dining buddy. "Are you sure it's him?" Adrian stared unabashedly, "Oh yeah, that's him alright."

Our server then briskly walked over (without food - wanh!) and asked us if we minded moving to the now unoccupied table to our right, so they could make room for a larger party. I looked across the table wide-eyed - holy moly, I thought, "He's going to seat Matt and his family next to us!"

And sure enough, he did. Our food finally arrived (mmm... open face omelet with roasted sweet potato home fries), and I had to quietly scold Ade to stop ogling. "But he's my favorite actor. I just can't help myself!" On our way out, he worked up the nerve to say something. "Hey Matt, I just wanted to say that you're my favorite." The actor looked up from under his brim and smiled that famous pearly grin, "Thanks, man. I really appreciate that." Being ever respectful, I didn't get a shot of them together until we hit up a rest stop a few days later...

That night we played another great one, and my good friend Tim Motzer even drove up from Philly to catch the show again.

***We interupt this broadcast for a public service announcement - do check out the 2 hour concert Eric and I did with Tim back in August. It is pretty darn essential!***

And just like that, it was like we were never there...

The next day we made the über long track to Fairfield, Conn. With all of the extra time, Tobias and I decided to walk the mile to the venue for little exercise. Halfway along the way, we found a way to put those calories right back in (and practice our kid smiles).

Pumpkin and maple walnut ice cream? Um, yes please!

I joked with Tobias that he better watch out...