Tell us more about yourself? How you got started in the music scene?
I started singing in school plays, choir, and church, when I was around the age of six. My father was always in bands, and I’d go to some shows or watch their band practices. I was just so amazed by it… My family really had a deep love of rock ‘n roll music. Eventually, my brother wanted to start up a band in high school, and I was selected as the singer. I went from singing Les Misérables to singing War Pigs. Things just escalated from there.
Are you looking to spread any particular message?
I’m truly a representation of an indie, DIY artist, and I’m doing the majority of the work myself every single day. I do hope that I can inspire other independent artists that they can find opportunities out there too, and just keep inspiring my fans. I just believe in always being kind. We all have to help each other out!
How was it working with Luke Ebbin?
I was in bands for years, so finally making a solo album was a scary leap. I was so lucky to be surrounded by such humble, talented people while making this album. Luke, being one of them. He quickly became a close friend of mine.
How would you describe your music?
I like to think there’s something on my album for everyone. There are songs that lend themselves to more of the pop genre, or sound more indie, but they always sound like me. I think the album has a lot of range and appeals to a lot of listeners.
What has been one of the funniest moments you have been or took part while touring?
I swear that there’s never a dull moment while on the road! I’ve had people get tattoos of my face in various places on their body, or want me to sign odd places, or people who try to sell my stuff on Ebay. I’m really starting to see it all. It’s kind of awesome. Of course we’ve experienced the usual van breakdowns, break-ins, and getting lost in the middle of nowhere too.
By paying attention carefully there’s something of Alanis Morissette. What are your music influences?
I love Alanis, so that’s a great compliment! I grew up admiring a lot of male front people, like Chris Robinson, Steven Tyler, and Mick Jagger. I also grew up listening to a lot of powerful, female singers like Alanis, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Carole King, etc. I’d certainly say that they’ve all influenced me in one way or another.
How you felt when you heard your music was featured on The Ghost Whisperer and Vampire Suck soundtrack?
Having my music featured on TV and in movies allowed me to reach so many people around the world! It’s still surprising to get so many CD orders from different countries, because people are fans of that show or movie, and heard my songs! It really provided a new medium for me to connect with people.
How was performing on such big fests and shows like SXSW, Sundance Festival and such?
Each festival I’ve played at has come at different stages in my career and been incredibly different. Sundance was during my first experience with touring. It really proved to me that I could last on the road, in close quarters with a bunch of smelly guys, and that I was cut out for this. I played SXSW after the release of my solo album and there were amazing bands in every single bar or venue. I’d love to play that festival again. I’m really looking forward to doing a longer run on Warped Tour this summer! It’s going to be one to remember.
What can fans expect from your performance at Warped Tour this year and how you felt when you heard the news?
I entered the Ernie Ball/Vans Warped Tour Battle of the Bands on a whim last summer, and ended up winning the entire contest out of an initial 23,000 bands. It was something that I never in my wildest dreams expected. It made me want to take more risks. Having a “Why not?” attitude can pay off.
I always put a lot of time into preparing a great set, and I definitely have a talented band behind me. I think fans can expect a fun rock ‘n roll set as always this summer, and I can’t wait to meet everyone after each show! I’m so grateful for everyone’s support.
So you are hitting the studio now with Matt Squire to record a new album. Can you give us any details about that?
I’m currently working on some new songs for the album and will be posting more details soon!
Are there any more plans for the near future?
I’ll be playing New Music Seminar on June 18th in NYC, heading off on Warped Tour, then returning to my hometown to do a few Pittsburgh events, and work on some new music to release!
Do you feel you are moving on the right direction?
Naturally, like anyone else, I question things and have moments of doubt here and there. Looking back over the past year or so, every time I’ve had even the tiniest doubt, I just worked even harder. It turned out that something fantastic was waiting around the bend. I always remind myself of that.