How long have you been playing music? I've really only been playing for maybe for the past four years. I've been into music my whole life, like . . . every different genre basically. I kept getting different instruments. Some of them I bought myself for pretty cheap, and others people just borrowed or left over at our house. I'd just pick them up and play them. I've never had a lesson before. It's all pretty much self-taught.
What are your influences? I listened to all kinds of stuff. Sixties and '70s rock 'n' roll is pretty much my foundation. I listened to The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin. I really like Jack Johnson or anything that kind of has a nice acoustic mellow sound to it.
Describe your sound and style. I'm mostly sort of, like, folk/indie/rock 'n' roll. When I perform, I usually have one of my friends help me out. They usually sit in on the drum set. Sometimes, we do some pretty funk-sounding stuff . . . almost, like, borderline hip-hop.
Are you influenced by any hip-hop artists? I listen to Aesop Rock, RJD2 (and) Phynite from the (York) area. There's an artist called Jedi Mind Tricks and another called Listener Project that's really good. I try to take a lesson from any different kind of artist I hear.
Where do you play? So far, I've just been performing around the Red Lion and Dallastown areas, mostly over at RLH Guitars. I'd love to expand into bigger cities and everything.
Do you play originals? Yeah, for the most part. When I perform at, like, a bar or coffeehouse or something, I like to play a lot of covers because covers sort of help people know about the kind of music you're into . . . and what you're all about. I like to cover some Beatles songs or Bob Dylan or Dispatch.
What inspires your music? I guess nature basically. I like to play different places. I come up with a lot of ideas outside. I live right in Red Lion, so it's hard to find a forest to walk to. I've been playing a lot in the streets. I took a trip up to New York (City) recently and got to do some playing in the subways and in Times Square. I think in New York you're supposed to have a permit. I got kicked out of a couple of places. I was there for Fourth of July weekend. I made about $10 an hour. Some people will come up and ask you questions or a lot of people want to stop and play the guitar. If it's a particular song they like, they'll stop and listen and dance to it. Really, all you need is five songs you know really well, and you can just cycle through.
Heading into the studio anytime soon? I'm going to be recording here within a month probably.
What is coming up in the future? At a show that I had a RLH Guitars, I got to show a little tiny movie that I made and the crowd really seemed to like that. Ultimately, that's what I'd love to do, like, be playing music and have my movies playing behind me and sort of have a live music video.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF