How did you get started?
I was born into a musical family in Texas, started piano and composition lessons around age 5, performed all over the place when I was a kid, went to a performing arts high school, majored in music in college in Texas and the UK, and cut my teeth in rock, jazz and country bands playing at honkytonks all throughout the South. Being a musician is pretty much all I ever wanted to do (aside from freshman year when I was totally burnt out on music and was going to be the world’s greatest anthropologist - that lasted about 3 weeks).
Please list your top credits.
As a composer, I’ve been lucky enough to score a whole bunch of film and TV shows. I’ve worked with Robin Williams, James Franco, Bobcat Goldthwait, Peter Berg and JJ Abrams, among others. I’ve also toured with, musical directed and written for artists as varied as Everlast, Wu-Tang Clan, Dave Brubeck, Sophie B Hawkins, House of Pain, Dianne Warren, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Bobby Brown, and I was Britney Spears’ musical director for exactly one day.
What types of genres do you work in most?
I love all music, and try to keep my writing as varied as I can. For film and TV, I try to stick to indie projects – there’s so much more creative latitude. I love working with ALIBI for their ultra-wide array of commissions – I’ve done albums of everything from Amish tension to Thai folk music to whistling and beatboxing
What is your favorite track for ALIBI?
That’s a great question. I’ve been working with ALIBI since the very beginning, so I have a gang of tracks in that great library. Is it OK to say I like them all? I guess if I have to choose one, I’ve always loved this ALIBI commission of a raw, dark string album, and I think my favorite of those tracks is this:
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Hmmm… there are a lot. William Byrd, JS Bach, Brahms, Fats Waller, Aaron Copland, Erroll Garner, Led Zep, Oscar Peterson, Bob Wills, Terence Blanchard, Professor Longhair, Johann Johannsson, Hazel Scott, Alison Krauss, Chuck D, Sepultura, Thomas Newman, Vince Guaraldi, Dolly Parton, Chris Whitley, D’Angelo, Tab Benoit, Jeff Buckley, Kneebody, Childish Gambino, Killer Mike – I could probably just list anybody who made music one time. I’m currently really heavy into the giant easy listening orchestral covers of early 20th Century pop music.
What makes your work unique?
I like to think I have a ‘sound’ that can be heard in anything I do. I love to write all kinds of music, but you can tell if it’s mine if you listen closely.
Tell us one surprising thing people wouldn’t know about you.
I was appointed the junior mayor of Adelaide, Australia, when I was 12. Pretty sure it’s a lifetime appointment, so you can address me as Your Honor.
Your funniest/strangest music experience
I once got asked to write a song for a film about weed that was sung by the guy who does SpongeBob’s voice. During the session, Bobcat Goldthwait and I got into a lame-off of who had done the lamest gig. I told him I had musical directed [name redacted] on “The Tonight Show” once and Bobcat said, “Ooh, that’s pretty lame, but I was in ‘Police Academy 4’ so I win.”
Why do you like working with ALIBI?
I’ve worked with a number of library companies over the years, but ALIBI is far and away the best to work with. Their approach to working with music and musicians is bar none, and the folks that work there are bona fide stellar human beings.
Any words of advice to share with composer hopefuls?
I try to mentor as many young composers as I can, and if there’s one thing I tell them all, it’s to just keep writing. Never stop writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not; just keep doing it and it will always get better. Keep heart and keep writing, y’all!
How can people follow your work (website/Spotify/social channels)?
Head over to