Interview: Zane Carney
Back in September, Zane Carney released his much anticipated solo debut, Confluence. It combines his influences as a world class jazz guitarist and the dark, mysterious sound that he created with his brother, Reeve, for their bluesy rock band, Carney. Confluence not only introduces Zane as a captivating lead singer, but also a diverse songwriter.
Zane’s passionate, energetic, show-stopping guitar playing style has attracted the attention of some of the finest in the industry. He is currently playing guitar for John Mayer on his “Born and Raised” tour, as well as for Broadway’sSpider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. When music is not keeping Zane busy, he spends his time being creative in another way: acting. He is truly a jack of all trades and a master of all of them.
After the European leg of the Mayer tour finished, Zane took the time to speak over the phone with Music Vice writer, Laura Antonelli. They discussed the unexpected setback caused by vocal problems, the excitement and buzz surrounding him as a solo artist, and how he has survived being in the entertainment industry for two decades.
You recently had to cancel all your solo shows for the rest of the year due to some vocal problems. You seemed to be battling it for a while now judging from the blog you wrote about it. What’s happening now? Are you okay? Any updates there?
Yeah, oh man, really good updates. I guess I gave all the background in that post, but I’ve been given some different advice this time around that’s proving helpful. They basically just said speaking in quiet environments in a healthy way is better for a recovery than pure vocal rest. It’s astonishing. Every day I’ll do a little siren which is a vocal exercise to warm up your voice. I keep adding notes to my range even though I haven’t had surgery yet, so it’s going real well. I have a feeling that when I go to the doctor again, they’re going to say either that I don’t need surgery or it’s much less invasive than they originally thought. Not speaking loudly or singing is healing things though, so that’s the update.
So you’re feeling pretty good about it now then?
I am. I was just looking at our schedule on John Mayer’s website and we’re playing in Australia in April. I’ve been given an offer to perform at the Byron Bay Bluesfest the same day that John plays, but just on a smaller stage doing my own thing. So that’s the day I’m looking to be all better. I want to get recovered by mid-February, do some gigs, and get ready for that April Byron Bay Bluesfest show. So I’ll have an exciting come back [laughs].
Yeah, you just got back from Europe playing guitar for John Mayer. How was that experience?
Yeah, it was great. We’ve been doing a lot of world travelling in the past two months. We’ve gone to South America, Denmark, Amsterdam, Norway. Every audience has such a different character and quality. It’s just nice to get to know how to perform for different cultures. It’s a great learning experience.
What has changed the most for you? It seems like your fan base has grown a great deal since you’ve been working with John Mayer?
Yeah, absolutely … John Mayer’s fans are music nerds and I mean that in the best way possible because I consider myself one too. It’s been cool to have guitar players who are just so passionate about the way that they play and they’re asking me questions. They want me to sign my guitar pics for them. It’s just an honour to have up and coming guitar players say that they’re looking up to me. I’m like, “What the heck?” I’m not old enough to be looked up to yet. [laughs] I’m just lucky to be playing with John, so it’s special.
Well, you’ve been playing guitar since you were 10 years old, so why did you decide to debut as a singer/songwriter now?
I guess it felt like a necessity because Reeve has been given so many great opportunities to act. He was the star ofSpider-Man [on Broadway], he’s been cast as Jeff Buckley in an upcoming biopic, and now he’s playing this character in a Showtime television program [Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful.] The offers and opportunities have just been too salivating. Is that the right word? They just seem too good for him to turn down. Over the past three years, Carney has sort of been halted, and it’s all been for good stuff for both him and me. There came a point about a year and a half ago when I was talking to Reeve and said, “When do you think we will be able to get back to creating?” I realized that I didn’t want to put any pressure on him to stop his creative train. I also knew deep down that I wanted to create my own music as opposed to being hired by someone else to play their parts. I thought that there was one of two things that I could do: I could just play guitar music and do an instrumental album like Jeff Beck or Wes Montgomery would do. Or I thought, “Well, I spent so much time and energy in learning how to sing background vocals for Carney. Let’s see if there’s anything there.” So, I contacted my vocal teacher and said that I might want to work on lead vocals now. I obviously should have taken more lessons because I wouldn’t have blown out my voice like I did last month [laughs], but I had enough confidence to see what was there.
Once I wrote a song or two and heard the feedback from people, it seemed like it might be something worth investigating. It suddenly then just snowballed once John Mayer called me. It was just something about him calling me. It kind of lit a fire underneath me. I basically said to myself, “Okay, here’s an opportunity to play guitar for someone. Do you really want to try to write your own songs because people are continuing to ask you to play their songs?” I kind of answered the question and said to myself, “Yeah, I do want to write my own material.” So being hired by John actually made me work even harder on my stuff. Here we are now and the album’s been released. It’s wild.
Yeah, let’s talk about your EP. It’s called Confluence. I think the title matches well with what’s happening musically on it. Because it’s like a merging of all your different musical styles such as jazz, blues, pop, and rock and roll. So was that your intention with the title too?
Yeah, well, that’s great that you picked up on that. That’s cool. I mean, it’s funny. You even worded it more simplistically. My goal was kind of to express that I’ve had a message verbally that I’ve wanted to share every day that I wake up. I just love communicating what I’m feeling, experiencing, and learning. The confluence for me personally was that music was finally linking up with my thoughts [laughs] or my words. The things that I maybe couldn’t express as succinctly with the guitar, I could now say with the lyrics. So that was kind of the merge that I was excited about. It’s still a challenging merge for me. I’ve been so grateful to have the guitar be a natural upward movement since I started playing. But with singing, I’ve just had all these setbacks with my voice kind of breaking down. So it’s been a struggle, but I’m so excited that they finally found out what is actually going on with my voice, and they are going to fix it for the first time ever. I have the EP out, though. People are hearing what I sound like when I do sing and what I’m interested in writing about, so I guess it’s all happening in a pace that it’s supposed to be. It’s exciting.
Yeah, you mentioned Carney earlier. The song that reminds me the most of Carney’s music on the EP is “Fade to Black” —
Oh, absolutely [laughs]. I was actually nervous about doing that song a little bit because I thought people would think that I was trying to jack my actual band’s style [laughs]. I guess you can’t really jack your own band’s style? I guess that’s just how you are. When I was writing the song and hadn’t finished all the lyrics, I thought, “What the heck? This sounds a little bit like ‘Testify’ but this is exciting, I have to finish it.” I mean, in my live set, “Fade to Black” is a moment when the song could be six minutes or it could be 13 [laughs]. I kind of take my time with it, but it’s cool that you noticed that.
So what was the inspiration behind it?
Well, to be honest, I was talking to Gabrielle Aplin. She opened for John Mayer on the Europe tour. I found out that she’s a huge T.S. Eliot fan. I shared with her what I will share with you right now being that I was reading a bunch of T.S. Eliot. I was looking through the pages and thinking, “Man, I wish that I could write a song that had lyrics somewhat like this freaking amazing poetry.” There was one page of a poem. I think it was T.S. Eliot. To be honest, it might have been in a collected works book, so it might not have been him for this line. It said, “See how it weeps,” something like that. Something about that lyric, I don’t know why that line hit me. So I threw the beginning of it into “Fade to Black.” I then said, “What the heck? Why don’t I just write a whole song that has these overtly poetic sounding lines?” I’d been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, so I thought, “What if I do poetic lines with a story behind it?” I was also actually listening to some Wes Montgomery and he has a recording called, “Willow Weep For Me.” Something about the word “willow” came to my mind. I started writing the whole second verse surrounded in this area in my mind where there were these willow trees. It was in a period of two days that all this inspiration just came in at once.
The night before I had a gig in New York City at The Bitter End to do my debut show about a year and a half ago … I finished that song in the taxi on the way to the gig [laughs]. I was just writing stuff hoping it rhymed. Reeve actually came up to me after the show and said, “I knew the other songs but that new one, I really like the lyrics.” I was like, “Well, that’s funny because I finished it 20 minutes ago in the cab and I don’t even know what I sang.”
I know there are people who enjoy digging deep and methodically fine tuning things, but, for me, I think the stuff I’m most happy with musically has been stuff that I haven’t judged and I just let it be. “Fade to Black” lyrically is one of those songs.
I noticed that there are two different versions of “Talk to Me Baby.” There’s a version on your EP that’s just your voice and then on YouTube there’s that acoustic duet version that you do with Raffaella Meloni —
Yes! Oh yeah!
Tell me about the evolution of that song.
I met Raffaella because I was cast in a short film called The Mermaid Complex. About two years ago, I was getting back into acting again [Zane was a child actor on the sitcom, Dave’s World] as part of that whole thing with Carney being on a halt. I realized that the [guitar-playing] jobs I was being offered were the same jobs I was offered seven or eight years ago when I was only interested in playing guitar for other people. It didn’t exactly feel like it was a backwards step, but I had gotten to a place with Carney where I was allowed to create whatever I wanted. I didn’t want to go back to just playing guitar for people. I wanted to create. So I figured, “Well, maybe I’ll get back into acting.”
I auditioned in the spring and got the part. They found out that I wrote songs so they said, “Wow, this could be a real interesting thing. How about we have one of your songs in the movie?” I basically had just finished “Talk to Me Baby.” I hadn’t even recorded a demo of it yet. I said, “Well, I have this tune that describes the energy of the movie.” It’s about a girl who stutters and falls in love with this guy who is accepting of that, and he kind of encourages her to sing. I said, “I wrote these lyrics before I read the script but it’s pretty much about this movie.” They agreed and were like, “Let’s do a music video for it and use it to promote the screenings,” and so that’s how that happened. Once it was finished, I thought, “Well, it works as a duet, but I enjoy this song and want to do it on my EP on my own.” So the version you hear on Confluence is actually the second recorded version of it, so it came after the fact.
I think “Doesn’t Matter Where We Go” is a fun song. It makes you want to dance and the lyrics are cute and sweet. I think out of all the songs on the EP, it has the happiest vibe. Tell me about what influenced it.
Yeah, something about a song like “Doesn’t Matter Where We Go” is that it’s a tune that never would have worked in Carney, but it is a part of things that I want to share based on my experiences. I couldn’t be able to express them in a dark, carnival environment where I’m the dude that has the long hair and kind of scares you [laughs]. … I remember when Carney started working at Spider-Man, I can only speak for myself, but I was extremely intimidated by the female dancers because they’re so talented, graceful, and beautiful. It turned out they were intimidated by us and especially by me because my role in Carney was sort of a little bit mysterious. … And the way that Reeve and I like to dress kind of looks a little bit like, “What’s going on with you, dude?” [laughs] Once they got to know me, they were like, “You’re like the happiest person. You’re positive. … I thought you’d be this womanizing, egotistical, rock and roll dude, but you’re not.” I said, “Wow, interesting!”
So when I finally started writing songs, I thought, “Well, let me just write as I actually am” instead of playing a role. I mean, I loved playing that character in Carney. It is a part of me, but there’s a whole other part of me too that I wanted to share. So “Doesn’t Matter Where We Go” just allowed me to do that. I had that melody and the riff on the guitar, and thought, “Man, this song makes me feel good, but I don’t know what the words should be yet.” I tried writing it about maybe something spiritual. I then stumbled upon the idea of it being fun if it was not a love song, but a courting song. The idea got into my mind that this was an art that is in some ways struggling to survive in this culture. The idea of courting someone [laughs]. … It’s a lot more about instant gratification now. I thought, “Oh man, it’d be fun to write a song, not from a different time, but from this time.” It’s just allowing me to experience that the possibility of courting is still a possibility in my life today. … So I guess it’s sort of a hopeful song for me to sing.
What is it about “Cry Me a River” that made you want to cover it on this EP and at your solo shows?
Oh man. Well, one of my favourite movies of all time is V for Vendetta. I love that film. I watched it five times in the theatre. Now, to be fair, I did have a crush on Natalie Portman before she was married, so it wasn’t weird.
Who doesn’t have a crush on her?
I know, right? Girls and guys alike. I saw the movie and “Cry Me a River” came on when she’s cut her hair and the guy is standing there wearing his mask. I said, “Oh yeah, I forgot about this song” because it wasn’t a standard that I heard as a jazz guitarist. Most of the songs jazz guitarists learn, there are about 300 of them, and “Cry Me a River” oftentimes is not on that list. So I heard it and thought, “Man, these chord changes are great.” Barney Kessel, the guitar player, has an amazing intro in the song. So I went home and was just playing around with it. We ended up covering it with Carney at a show at Molly Malone’s [a venue in Los Angeles.] Arthur Hamilton, the songwriter himself, actually came to the gig to hear us do it. He was like 80-something at the time and it was special.
About two and a half years ago, before I realized that singing was going to be the way that I wanted to communicate as an artist and a creator, I was just dabbling with guitar stuff at my shows. … I would play a whole jazz guitar set with originals and covers, and then I’d say, “Hey guys, I’m going to sing a song too.” I’d see, as I think they should have reacted, that the audience would be like, “Why? You’re playing guitar. We don’t need to hear you sing.” So I sang the song and there was an overwhelming response at the three shows that I played in a row. They were like, “You need to stop just playing guitar. You should only be singing in your set. Why are you only singing one song?” So I said, “Oh, ‘Cry Me a River’? I’m just messing around.” They were like, “No, you should do it.” So, I guess “Cry Me a River” was the bridge to me believing in myself as a singer, so that’s why I put it on the EP. I mean, I had no idea that I even had anything there. I thought singing backup vocals was kind of going to be the most of what I did. “Cry Me a River” would just be for fun, but turns out people like hearing singing more than fast guitar riffs [laughs]. You know what? I’m happy to oblige, so that I can actually give people an experience that makes them feel better when they leave, not confused from all the notes that they just heard [laughs].
I find there’s a lyrical vulnerability and a theme of heartache and sadness in some these songs. And you said in an interview that you wrote them in a time when you took a break from dating. Do you find it difficult to sing them live when you put so much of a personal aspect of yourself into them?
I find it harder to listen to them than I do to sing them. I don’t know what that’s about. Listening back to them, especially if I’m playing them for people, there’s a little bit more judgement of being like, “Oh man.” If I’m having a day where I feel closed off emotionally, I go, “Why did I write that? That’s such a dumb lyric.” If I’m then having a day where I’m self-accepting, I’ll say, “Yeah! Freaking first lyrics of ‘Talk to Me Baby,’ I stand behind them.” So it kind of depends on my mood.
Whenever I get into performing them, it’s so easy to get in that state of mind because they are naturally written songs. All the lyrics have been extremely honest. Plus, having a background being raised in the entertainment industry as a child actor, I feel comfortable covering my own songs; here’s the song: I happened to write it, but whether it’s “Cry Me a River” or “Fade to Black,” I want to get inside of what it is that I’m trying to share with people. I’ve found that a lot of writers, directors, and actors have a similar struggle as a lot of singer/songwriters. Being that just because we’ve written the material doesn’t mean we know how to convey it in a way that’s meaningful. Such a great example of that is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” He does it so beautifully, but, Jeff Buckley, there’s something about the way that he covered that song where it’s like, “Man, I would love to do the best version of my songs out of anyone” [laughs]. Another is Ray LaMontagne. I can’t imagine someone doing a Ray LaMontagne song. I can’t personally imagine someone doing a better job than him. I’m just taking notes from artists like that who I admire and respect. So I can find tools and ways to make sure that I’m not just assuming that because I wrote a song that people will get it. I will say it’s been an unexpected blessing to be encouraged by people at my shows and people in the industry to consider myself a lead singer. I get to kind of fulfill all of my creative ambitions at once: I get to act, I get to sing, and I get to play the guitar [laughs]. So it’s like all three are happening whenever I do my solo shows.
I know Reeve is no longer with Spider-Man on Broadway. Do you still play guitar in the pit for it, though? I feel like you’re way too busy.
Yeah, I’m unable right now just because of the commitments to John Mayer. If I’m not mistaken, we have a little bit of a break in the touring for a month or two at the beginning of 2014, so I’ll be back at Spider-Man for sure.
I know it’s been awhile now since it happened, but what was it like going from being in a full-time rock band with Carney to being in the band for a musical?
It was interesting. It’s funny. All the steps have been forward. The Spider-Man thing at times felt like a sidestep, but it actually was just a forward push. When I was 16, I started playing bar mitzvahs, cocktail events, blues clubs, and all these different gigs as a jazz, blues, and R&B guitarist in L.A. But as things progressed with Carney, there was a subtle shift that I had kind of taken myself off the market for being hired because Carney was what I was doing. So I didn’t get called for as many gigs because people assumed, “Well, you’re doing Carney. You’re on tour opening for the Black Crowes. You’re busy.” So when Spider-Man came along, it was actually kind of a comforting thing. It reminded me of when I was in my early twenties and I was fortunate to be hired, as I am right now with John Mayer. Where it’s like, “Oh, here’s a gig.” So I actually enjoy the comfort of that.
There’s a little bit of an unwritten sort of unexpressed thing in the music community. It’s that a lot of artists, singer/songwriters, and pop singers have these amazing and tangible gifts that allow them to be the faces of their music and to communicate with any human being in the world. The instrumentalists in their bands, though, oftentimes have just wildly impossibly gifted musical abilities that most artists would dream of having maybe a tenth of it. Some of the drummers who play for famous artists are some of the best musicians I have ever heard in my life and their names are never mentioned. So there’s something actually flattering when someone will say, “Hey, I want to have you play with me.” … So being hired by Spider-Man was a huge compliment. … Maybe people don’t know our names, but someone like Bono or The Edge is trusting three members of our band to never make a mistake and to sight read music. I actually kind of prefer that respect and admiration from other musicians. It is like, “Wow.” I’d rather have that than success, fame, and money. I rather have a community of musicians who trust me to create with them. That’s important to me.
I watched this interview where you said that you were happy you went to college. I believe you were also a music teacher before, right?
Yeah, I’ve done a little bit of that.
I just wanted to discuss the importance of music education with you. Do you think you would be where you are now had you not gone to college?
There’s an analogy that I actually heard from the doctor that looked at my voice that I think best expresses how I feel about it. He said that there’s a guy who goes to a mechanic and the mechanic asks him, “What’s wrong?” The guy says, “Well, my car’s been sputtering.” So the mechanic looks at the car, sort of slides his hand across it, and gives it just a little hit with the back of his fist. The car starts working. The guy says, “Wow! That’s amazing! Thank you! How much do I owe you?” The mechanic answers, “That will be $1001, sir.” The guy replies, “$1001? All you did was hit it with your fist! I could have done that.” The mechanic says, “No, no, no. It’s only one dollar for the hit that I did with my hand. It’s $1000 because I knew where to do it” [laughs].
So that’s kind of how I experience music myself. More important to me than all the scales are the fundamental reasons why and how music creates feelings that I feel when I listen to it. So getting educated about why a G Minor 7 chord makes me feel similarly to a B Flat Major chord but different [laughs], and why those two chords share three notes and how that can help affect it. The little things like that kind of allow me to make the choices that I make when I play music. So I love sharing the things that I’ve learned from kind of slowing down, literally sitting down with a song that’s seemingly simple, and just analyzing to death what’s going on inside of it. So that when I want to recreate that feeling, I can with a slight difference. I’ve been given a gift of patient teachers who’ve seen a desire in me to learn those things. So what I do is give Master Classes every now and then. They’re called Master Classes, but I wouldn’t call myself a master. I do these things where I can offer perspectives that maybe a student hasn’t thought of before just like how it was done for me. It feels like an important part of why I make music. It’s kind of the understanding of how music works, so that’s why I’ve done that.
You recently played a solo show with Reeve, right? He came and filled in vocals for you.
Yeah, thank goodness, man [laughs].
[Laughs] I feel like there isn’t, but is there any chance of Mr. Green Volume 2 [the follow-up to Carney’s debut album] ever?
Oh, there’s totally a chance of it! Oh man, I mean, absolutely. I wonder if it might be a few years from now. I think that if and when Carney reforms, it would be a different look than it used to be. I think it would be less hard hitting sort of rock and roll. I think it would come back to songs like “Looking Glass” and “Amelie.” I think it would kind of be more in that territory. I think Reeve and I might sing together and/or do lead vocals on different songs. Our sister, Paris, might join the fold like she used to. So I don’t know if Carney as it was with the four members, the sound it was before, will reform. But I’ll tell ya what. If it does, I will absolutely be on board, but I don’t know if it’s my call. It’s really kind of Reeve’s call at this point, so we’ll see.
You mentioned you were a child actor. You were acting before you even played guitar.
And you still act. You’re on the web series, Big City, playing the character of Dan. Tell me about how that came to be.
Yeah, well, I got a text from a friend. She explained that she was writing this web series and using it as a way to be creative. She’s basically just doing with it what I’m doing with Confluence. So instead of reading other people’s words, she figured, “I have certain things that I want to say, so why don’t I write the episodes and act in them?” So I got a text from her saying, “This is what I’m doing. Someone told me that you used to act in a sitcom when you were a kid? Do you want to do this?” I wrote her back saying, “Wow, that’s a pretty sweet audition process” [laughs]. She wasn’t even sure if I had anything, but she was willing to offer me a role. I said, “Well, yeah, I’ll show you some stuff that I had done. I mean, it’s been a long time.” Maybe since I was 14, the only acting opportunity I had was six months of drama in high school where we did three shows. I remember coming to that thinking [cockily], “Oh, well, I’m a pro, man. I used to get paid and everyone will see how good I am.” No, I was freaking terrible [laughs].
Big City was a great opportunity to be creative, which, again, is kind of the theme I think in this interview. Some ways all the stuff that’s happening is being born out of a desire to create my own words, my own sound, and be part of the writing process, as opposed to being a player in someone else’s vision. So it was great when she offered for me to sit in on writing sessions, brainstorm funny ideas, and produce certain episodes. We also discovered that a lot of our friends who are successful actors and musicians were super on board too. They feel the same way. They don’t want to have their own expression of themselves to be on a big budget where the writer makes them say every word that they wrote. Actors often times want a say. So we’re getting friends to join in just because they want to help us write and they want to adlib, so it’s blossomed into something spectacular. The next season is starting in a few months and we have Fran Drescher in an episode, we have Katelyn Tarver from the show Big Time Rush, we have Caitlin Crosby, and half the cast of Dave’s World guest star too. So it’s really starting to pick up. I also get to write the music for the show so that’s pretty cool, too.
Yeah, that’s awesome. In a recent interview, you said that you don’t drink or do drugs. How do you manage to avoid and stay away from the excess which seems to cause the downfall of so many musicians, actors and just any celebrities in the spotlight? And you’ve been in this industry since you were a kid, so how do you stay away from it?
Well, yeah, first of all, I have to give credit to my Mom because she was not interested in having any of her kids act. Something about the genetics that she and my father produced in us three kids, it was kind of inevitable that we would be in the entertainment industry, just something about our makeup. We just love performing, we love creating. The onslaught of managers and agents kind of approaching the three of us on the street and all this weird stuff, she was eventually like, “Ahhh, I guess I’ll let them do it.” So that would be number one, she wasn’t a stage mother.
I mean, I drink a little bit. I don’t want to paint myself as too much of a saint, but I don’t often do it. I’ve probably been drunk less than seven times in my life. I don’t know. It’s not something that I get much out of it. Plus, I think playing guitar in a non-rock environment as a studied jazz guitarist helped. I think discipline is maybe a little more part of my life than most “rock and roll” guitarists or even actors. So to me when I have repercussions, I’m a little bit quicker to say, “Oh man! Feeling drunk was terrible! I’m not going to drink for the next six months” [laughs]. It’s enough for me to stay away.
That being said, there are a lot of other temptations in this industry that are outside of the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. I think greed, the pride, and ego: those are all things that I succumb to pretty much on a daily basis. I’m not even trying to paint those things as a sort of consolation prize. I think those things are more deadly and detrimental than some hit of a drug. I mean, it’s the lifestyle of chaos. So that’s sort of what I want to write about in my songs once I do a full album, the underlying things that led me to kind of stay small, stay bitter, stay greedy, stay confused, and stay angry. I think that in some ways I envy someone who isn’t sort of controlled by a lot of darkness, but they get drunk every now and then. It’s almost like that to me is the right place to be than trying to have so much ambition to make some meaning out of this life. I think that’s more treacherous and more ingrained in the entertainment culture than the surface distractions.
I don’t know. That’s just my opinion, but I have been around it for awhile. I’ve been lucky to learn from people who have done it in a way that’s made their lives feel whole. I’ve also seen adults when I was a kid whose lives were clearly not whole and were falling apart based on decisions. So I guess I’ve been given some great learning lessons.
I noticed that you’re very active on social media and I just wanted to get your opinion —
Yeah, oh man, I can’t wait to not be [laughs]. I’m actually a private person. … I purely do it to help allow my creative dreams come true. It’s the main reason why I do it. … The only thing I enjoy is communicating with other human beings in a hope that whatever is happening creatively with the music can also maybe happen by connecting with people to share what I’m learning and learn from them. Other than that, though, as far as sharing what’s going on and, “Hey, isn’t this cool, isn’t that cool,” it’s just such an unnatural thing for me. … Putting up photos of where I am, I don’t like sharing that stuff. I kind of want to stay private. If someone asks a question, “Hey, why did you do this?” I’ll answer them back. Or, “Hey, do you think you can help me figure out why G 7 Thirteenth Sharp One chord is a better way to end a song than a B Minor?” I’ll write them back. But if it’s like, “Hey! Where are you?” For me it’s just not a natural thing I want to share. I want to share my whereabouts with three people in my life, not three million.
So last question, any full-length album plans? You’ve said that people in the industry have been approaching you, so what’s going on there?
Yeah, it’s cool. Playing with John has definitely allowed a lot of casual conversations to happen with people who have the power to help spread the music. I’m just kind of taking it slow and keeping my ears open. The real goal to me is to make sure I give 110% to John for the length of this tour and then see what happens after. So I’m kind of not acting on any sort of approach until probably September 2014. So I wouldn’t think a full-length would come out in 2014. I think in 2015, I will be signed to some label, if I’m lucky by someone that believes in me, and then releasing a full-length in 2015. But, you know, this journey, it ain’t happening on my clock, I’ll tell ya that much [laughs]. My voice shutting down was definitely not part of the picture for me. I’ll try to have as much patience as possible, though. I definitely have new songs. I’ve almost entered back into the song writing phase now that the chaos and creation in the backyard, to quote Paul McCartney, has happened, so we’ll see where this thing takes me. I’m just flattered and honoured that people come to my shows and don’t think, “Oh, wow, you’re a guitar player who sings” but they come to me saying after, “Oh man, how come you never sang? You’re a singer.” It’s crazy that people who are casual listeners and music industry people are saying that to me. It just doesn’t make sense to me yet. I’m not sure I even believe in myself yet, so it’s cool that they do.