“15” Interview from November 2004

Originally published in November 2004:

Hello.  Where are you?
In my studio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

It’s our round.  What are you drinking?
A glass of Vouvray [a white French wine] – 2001 Champalou.

Can you remember what you were doing 15 years ago?
I had just begun dating my now-wife and was working at a college radio station in Iowa City.  I made digital sound collages and spliced-tape promos in the station’s recording studios.  It was a blast.  Spent a lot of time at Joe’s Place and the Deadwood [two Iowa City college bars] programming the juke box for things like Revolution #9 by the Beatles, the Hawaii Five-O Theme, and anything by Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Oh, and playing Nintendo, mostly Tetris.  We were flat broke.

What was the worst thing about being 15?
Not having my driving license yet, but I learned the bus system in the town where I lived [Des Moines, Iowa] very quickly.

Did anything good happen to you when you were 15?
I became a DJ at a local public radio station (KDPS 88.1 FM in Des Moines), and while my tastes certainly weren’t as broad and refined as today, at least I had the good sense to play “Out Of The Blue” by Roxy Music as my first tune.

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Computers, software, and the like.  Back in 1982 computers were very expensive, had little memory, and you really couldn’t do much with them.  Our school had mostly the Commodore 64 and a couple of Apple II machines.  Today there is so much opportunity, and it’s a great thing.

What’s been the highlight of the last 15 years?
Oh, so many.  The birth of my two daughters.  Meeting and marrying my wife, Ann.  Living in Kansas City for a number of years and attending art school.  Making music.  Showing art.

What’s the best record of the past 15 years?
Probably “Luxa” by Harold Budd.  I love everything Budd has released, but this is the best of the bunch.

What’s your worst fashion faux pas of the last 15 years?

Where do you see yourself in 15 years’ time?
In another part of the country, hopefully, perhaps some place a little warmer.  Still making music.  Still making art.  Still doing something to keep the mind open and active.

What question do you hate being asked?
Would you like to buy some vinyl siding?

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
A painter.

What’s your personal motto?
Don’t worry about it.

When was the last time you listened to your old radio shows?
A couple years ago I transcribed some cassettes of shows onto CD via computer.  One of my co-hosts from the KDPS days, Kris, and I had been in email contact and I sent her a number of CDs.  They were rather sloppily done, but I think she liked them.  I have some 30-odd shows from my high school and college days on cassette.  Some day I’ll get them all converted.  The music’s still good.

What music are you listening to now?
A lot of XM satellite radio – mostly jazz, alternative rock, classic country, and techno.  Christmas music with the kids (it’s late November).  Polka music on Sunday mornings (local radio show catering mostly to the Czech/German population in Cedar Rapids).  As for individual artists or albums, I love the new Dosh CD called Pure Trash.  He’s amazing.

What do you think of Radiohead?
Not really on my radar anymore.  They’ve done a bit of a Pearl Jam, haven’t they?

Sum up the last 15 years in one word:

What’s next?
A live laptop appearance at the Cherry Building in downtown Cedar Rapids on December 4, 2004.  Hopefully many more appearances in 2005.  Lots of music on the hard drive waiting to be finished.  Equipment on order.  Music publishers, please get in line to start your bidding war!