LEAD VOCALS, GUITAR
I was drawn to music as early as can I remember. My mom played guitar so we always had music in the house. We had instruments from autoharp to ukulele. Mom’s favorite was an old 1965 Baldwin Jazz Top electric guitar and a vintage amplifier. At the age of 5 or 6 I would play it every it once in a while. I would pluck those strings for hours not even knowing a single chord. I just loved the sound and how it felt to play.
I started performing music in 5th grade band, playing the saxophone. That same year, a teacher brought in an electric guitar and played some Metallica – a band I had just discovered. On my birthday that year, my parents took me to buy my first guitar.
My friend Jeremy always wanted to play the drums and loved Metallica. We didn’t have a drum set, so he played on drywall buckets until our little hearts were content. By the 6th grade I was ready to give up the saxophone and focus soley on guitar. One day I was playing on my parents’ front porch when a man stopped by and said “Hey, sounds good! What’s your favorite band?” I said “Metallica” and he said “I’ll be back.” Later he returned with his son Nathan who was a few years older than me. We played together and hit it off immediately, playing and challenging each other on a weekly basis. I tried singing at that point, but could’t imagine singing in front of an audience.
Then, Nathan’s dad took us to see Metallica at The Kentucky Motor Speedway. I remember hearing the bass drum soundcheck when we first walked up. It sounded like a giant beast stomping around. That show was incredibly moving. I’ll never forget watching and imagining myself on stage the entire time. I remember crying, getting chills and being extremely connected with the music. From that day forward, I knew this is what I wanted to do.
My first real shows were behind the drums in a pop punk band. The bass player would end up playing in Malorium, my first serious project. We played a few shows here and there and started to record a CD but it didn’t materialize. During my junior and senior years in high school, I discovered influences like Shinedown, Soundgarden, Alter Bridge, Breaking Benjamin, Korn, Linkin Park, System of a Down and Audioslave. At the time I wanted to sing those styles. I would go up to my room and put my voice to the test trying to sing Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington.
After high school I met some friends that led to a new version of Malorium. We played everywhere we could and released our first EP. We opened for a group called Rootbound and I would later front that band. While with Rootbound, we played countless clubs, pubs and parties, and opened for well-known acts including Peter Frampton, Seven Mary Three and Jackyl. We had tremndous times together and I grew as a musician and a person. One night we shared the stage with locals Atlantis Becoming and little did I know that I would soon join them to form Lift the Medium.
In 2012 I received some devastating news. I was diagnosed with a polyp on my right vocal chord. Initially I thought surgery was necessary, but with faith, hard work and determination I was able to rehabilitate my voice on my own. Five years later I’m proud to say that I’m sounding better than ever and have moved onto bigger and better things.
In each musical project I’ve been in, I’ve pushed to do something completely different from the last, striving to improve as a musician and songwriter. I got into music for the love of music – not girls, fame or any of the shallow reasons you hear about. I have doubted myself at times in life, but at the end of the day I know exactly what my purpose is now – to uplift people though the music of Lift the Medium.