I grew up listening to the Beatles and KISS and I wanted to play guitar and be like them. I saw kiss in 1979 with my cousin Sean, (the band's merch guy) and I got focused on something that I loved the most, and that was basically music, rocknroll music. And in that same year (summer of 1979) I had the pleasure of seeing the Jam, an English 3 piece band, on a TV show similar to Saturday Night Live called Friday's, and that also changed my life as far as music and style. They had the greatest clothes and a 60's look, which was a mod thing, and I basically learned about the whole mod movement through the Jam, and then the Jam became my whole way of life from 8th grade all the way through high school. My early guitar influences would be the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Ace Frehley.
My second year in high school, I met Stan Frazier our drummer and another guy named Nick Sopkovich who were also heavily into the Jam and the whole mod movement. I ran into them at the Balboa peninsula, and basically because they were wearing suits with mod buttons, we looked at each other, started talking and became friends. So it's because of the Jam that Stan and I became friends. Then we just got together and I told them I played a little guitar but I realized I couldn't play any guitar solos, so he taught me some songs on bass. That was the first time I'd ever played bass. Nick could play any instrument, so he played guitar & piano, and Stan played drums. We jammed a Jam song and a Beatle song, and the Tories were born.
I like to stay at home and I'm basically a couch potato when I'm not on the road. I dig movies and I love collecting instruments- basically guitars. I've got some really weird and cool ones. I've got a black '76 Les Paul, a red '59 Gretsch, '66 rickenbacker, 2 Ibanez Artists, 3 Music Man/Ernie Ball Axis guitars, an early 80's Fender Bullet (guitar used on "Fly"), "66 Gibson SG, 2 Vaccaro Generator X guitars, a '63 Harmony acoustic, an Aria classical guitar. And for some weirder instruments I've got a Bamboo flute (used on "Live & Direct"), an acoustic Hawaiian slide guitar, a Fernandez mini American flag guitar, a Junior pro synsonics guitar (bought from home shopping network), an Appalachian Dulcimar guitar, a polkalaly, a banjalaly and a harmonica (I used it on the end of "Aim for Me").
10 Favorite Albums:
Love- Forever Changes
The Beatles- Rubber Soul
The Rolling Stones- Sticky Fingers
The Jam- Setting Suns
The Pretenders- First Album
Oasis- What's the Story Morning Glory
Led Zeppelin- Physical Graffiti
Deep Purple- Made in Japan
The Sex Pistols- Never Mind the Bullocks
Small Faces- Small Faces
Top 3 Concerts ever:
KISS in 1979
Johnny Monster & the Nightmares and NYC in Costa Mesa 1990.
The Jam at Perkins Palace in 1981.
Fear at the Cookoo's Nest in 1980. I hit Lee Ving in the head with a cup
because he said for people to throw beer at him
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
The Decline of the Western Civilization
I remember when I was young I used to write words down on paper just to release my frustrations and to get things off my chest. It was a good release. And my brother and I had this fictional band called BARF and we used to bang on pots and pans. No real instruments were allowed. We had two coffee pots, two bottles and a broken toaster oven. We made some bad sounds but you gotta start somewhere.
On the Bass Guitar:
I can't remember there ever being a single reason I wanted to play bass. I think it just happened upon me. I used to read this magazine called Action Now, and it had cool pictures of new wave and punk bands in LA and I always dug how the bass looked in those pictures. Not the bass player but the bass guitar itself. It looked like a big, ugly, scary beast. It wasn't as pretty as a guitar, whose six small strings give it a well proportioned look. The bass, on the other hand, looked downright foul by comparison with it's big fat strings and it's ultra-long finger board stretching out over a mass of paint, electronics and wood. It's heavy and it's long and you've gotta want to play this sucker, no timid shoulders apply.
I also liked the way the bass player looked in photographs. The singer always gets the chicks, the guitar player always gets the glory and the bass player usually gets the distinction of being the guy-behind-the-guitar-player-in-the-back-of-the-photo. I liked that. Everybody wanted to be a guitar player that I knew, nobody grows up dreaming to play bass. I bought my first bass for eighty bucks. It was a blue Hondo small scale bass. It had old strings and it was out of tune but it was all mine. I started figuring out songs and stuff to myself, nothing special, just stuff that I liked, and that's how it all got started.
I think influences can come from records we hear in our parents collections at an early age. So I'll list what I can remember from their collections: My Mom loved Seals & Crofts, Judy Collins, James Taylor, The Beatles, Joan Baez, America, Loggins & Messina and CSN&Y. My Dad's record collection included Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Traffic, The Doobie Brothers, Supertramp, Steely Dan, Sergio Mendes & Brazil Ć66, Cream, Stevie Wonder, The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshal Tucker Band, Wes Montgomery, B.B. King, Jose Feliciano, Canned Heat, Steppenwolf, Stevie Ray Vaughn and my his all time favorite group, Chicago. The first concert I ever saw was when he took me to a Chicago concert at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in 1975. Some rock, new wave and punk records I listened to over time include AC/DC, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Cheap Trick, Dokken, The Clash, The Damned, The Sex Pistols, The Circle Jerks, The Police, Devo, the B-52's, X, Black Flag, The Ramones, The Dead Kennedys, Redd Kross, Flipper, The Buzzcocks, Agent Orange, all the Rodney on the Roq records, and last but not least, my all time favorite group, T.S.O.L. And I'm speaking of the early years with Jack, Alex, Mike and Ron.
Favorite Authors and Books:
Rod Serling- Any original fiction from the Twilight Zone
Dean Koontz- Watchers
Jack London- To Build a Fire
Charles Bukowski- Love is a Dog from Hell
J.D. Salinger- The Catcher in the Rye
Ernest Hemingway- The Old Man and the Sea
William S. Burroughs- Junky
John Steinbeck- The Pearl
David Mamet- The Cabin
Ray Bradbury- Fahrenheit 451
Michael Crichton- Congo
Surfing. I don't surf as much as I used to, but I still surf when I can. I got a new board in December and it works awesome. Newport Beach has always been my home spot and I recently moved back from LA. I started surfing in 9th grade and got serious about it and did local contests and stuff and managed to get on the local surf team for a bit. Newport Surf & Sport was the shop and they gave me wetsuits at 20% below cost and got me deals on boards. It was fun. We did contests and stuff and promoted the store and had a blast. I remember always getting up at dawn on Sundays and paddling out into the freezing water for your first heat. It was a great memory. I was only on the team a few months cause I missed a trip to Mexico and got canned, but I had a great time. I've kept at it over the years here and there, just for fun, surfing with buddies from the old days who still live in Newport and trying to not loose my feel for it completely. I hope it's something I can do forever. Skateboarding. It was also something I did when I was younger. I come from the old days of minimal pads and skating pools. I just can't get used to those skinny little boards.
On singing: Watching the Sex Pistols on a ABC news broadcast regarding their American tour.
Early influences: Sex Pistols, The Clash, Chili Peppers, The Cult, Beastie Boys, Iron Maiden.
3 favorite movies: Menace to Society, Goodfellas, Good Will Hunting.
Why he loves his '68 Caddie so much: The elegance, class, and unnecessary hugeness of it all. It also holds a special memory for me cause when I was little my Grandma used to take me for rides in it to get ice cream.
Did you enjoy acting in Father's Day? Yeah, very much so. I found it ironic that the coolest guys on the set were Robin Williams and Billy Crystal.
What do you like to do when you're at home? I have two modes: The first is the guy who lies in bed all day and watches shows like Jerry Springer, and the second is the guy who stays out all night drinking beers with Marilyn Manson.
Favorite Sport/Team: (Tie) Hockey & Boxing My favorite teams are the LA Lakers and the LA Kings.
Favorite Color: Blue, of course.
Favorite Food: Fast
Do you workout to keep in shape? I try to, but it gets hard having fun and committing to exercise.
I remember I saw a band at a tennis club party and thinking it was the coolest f***ing thing I'd ever seen. Also, just falling in love with music at an early age and wanting to make my own music got me hooked. It was a cool release to be able to write your own songs with your friends and put a band together just for fun. That's how my first band, the Tories, got started. My brother Greg also influenced me into music and got me into learning an instrument. Bands early on that I liked were The Police, The Jam, The Who, The Clash, Devo, Foreigner, E.L.O., Elvis Costello, The Damned and Engelbert Humperdink.
Music is a huge hobby of mine even when I'm not playing with the band. Either listening or relaxing to my favorite records or whatever, it's a huge part of my life.
Golf - I love golf. I try to play as often as I can, and I like to play with our bass player Murf if he's not hungover. But it seems like there's never enough time. Sometimes you get to play in tournaments with guys from other bands like Adrian from No Doubt and Warren and Dave from The Vandals. I did one of those in Vegas last year and it was cool. Fishing - I like saltwater mostly but occasionally I'll do freshwater fishing. The biggest fish I ever caught was an 85lb Tuna in Cabo San Lucas. I'd love to buy a small fishing boat someday.
Cooking I am always in pursuit of the perfect kitchen! I love to cook. I'm not cutting edge or inventing anything, but fresh ingredients are the key to any great dish. From tomatoes and basil, to tarragon and sea salt, anything fresh like that you can get your hands on is good. I don't have any favorite recipes, I just cook out of magazines and stuff. There are good things that come from cans, but just the aromas, and the taste of things are better when they're fresh. Farmers Markets are good places for stuff like that. I wanna build my dream kitchen someday with see-through refrigerators and big stoves and tons of gourmet cooking stuff. Then I'd just get fat eating all that good food.
Top 3 Concerts ever:
Bad Manners @ The Goldenbear in Huntington Beach, CA, 1985. (It was an amazing show- scared me in a good way- powerful!)
Cheap Trick at the Universal Amphitheater in LA, 1983.
The Who and The Clash, LA Coliseum, in 1982.
Devo- Freedom of choice
Elvis Costello- Pump it up
Police- Regatta de Blanc & Outlandos de amour
The Clash- Give em enough rope
The Damned- Neat neat neat
Chet Baker- Chet Baker sings
The Jam- Setting sons
Sting- Dream of the blue turtles
The Who- Meaty beaty big and bouncy
Tom Waits- Heart attack and Vine
Twenty Dollar Bill
The Sure Thing
This radio station called KDAY, this 1580 am station, it was the only all hip hop format ever. They played hip hop 24 hours a day. And it was focused on the DJ's and it was based around straight hip hop DJing. That's where I got all my influence from. Guys like DJ Cash Money, Joe Coolie- he was a mix master on KDAY, DJ M-Walk, Tony Gonzalez, Ralph M (from Funkdoobiest) have all influenced me. Nowadays guys like D Styles, the Scratch Pickles and the Beat Junkies are doing cool stuff. I'm influenced by what people do and it influences me to do something different. If I hear there's a style out, that makes me want to do something different. Not trying to be rebellious, I just want to keep inventing and moving forward. I just try to be creative in my own way. If there's a style out, that means somebody's already doing it. So what you're hearing means that they thought of that five months ago, so you know? That's the way I see it, anyway.
DJing is my biggest hobby. When I'm not working with Sugar Ray, I'm spinning hip hop records, practicing scratching or just messing around and making beats. I use a SP 1200, a MPC 3000 and a MPC 2000 to make my stuff. And I have a Ensoniq ASR10 keyboard that I use. At home, I'm either making beats or playing SONY Playstation. Everybody at my house plays MLB '98 non stop. I used to be into Sega and that old hockey game they had, I think it was NHL '93. When the band lived together in LA, I played it with Murf so much we wore the cartridge out. We'd get into such heated games, it was crazy. Every time we came home from a tour it was either race to Del Taco or race to Sega '93.
RUN DMC at the Fresh Fest in 1984. The Raising Hell concert. It was the first time I got to see anybody in concert and there was 20,000 people there so it was a big deal. It made a huge impact on me. All the shows were based around the DJ's, so again, there's that influence.
KISS live II
Ice Cube- Amerikkka's most wanted
Del La Soul- De La Soul is dead
Main Source- Breaking Atoms
KRS ONE- By all means Necessary
Van Halen I
Parliament- All of Ćem
Rage Against the Machine- Evil Empire
Any old Godzilla Movie
Los Angeles Lakers
Florida State Seminoles
-from the official Sugar Ray website
--- from the official Sugar Ray website