Interview - The Waking Point
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I have always wanted to get into music but I got distracted by science. After I ran my head through Zeppelin, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, and Alice in Chains, I realized that I wanted more and the kind of music I craved didn’t really exist, so I taught myself to play the guitar. If I didn’t switch my focus to music I’d be doing geophysical research abroad, I fell in love with hard and psychedelic rock while pursuing graduate school in Australia.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to go to the Mojave Desert and explore with my camera. The less people around the better, I take my little Fiat on 4wd routes if need be to chase a desert fox. My favorite part is coming home and loading up the pictures into photoshop to see what I can create. Nature drives my musical creativity, when you’re alone in the elements you are so aware of yourself and your experiences carry new mental weight.
How long have you been around as an artist?
I released my first single Rose Colored Violence in April, after finishing my studies at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood where I trained in music production and vocal performance for the past year. I have been producing my EP for the past few months at my home recording studio that I built in northeast LA.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
My hometown is Portland, Oregon, one of the icons of the 90s grunge scene. But I spent most of my life moving around and living abroad. I didn’t fall in love with grunge until I was living in Australia and discovered Kurt Cobain’s lyrics while battling depression.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
The Waking Point is the name I came up with as part of my activism on climate change. As a scientist we are painfully aware of how little time humanity has left to prevent climate catastrophe. The Waking Point is a play on the Earth’s climate tipping point and our need to wake up and rapidly enact change.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
I am a brand new recording artist, my first gig before the pandemic was the Artist Development Show at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. We made it to the final round of the competition but then everything closed for the pandemic. It was my best show because it was the first time I had ever performed my originals live and it was the best I’d ever felt, but I guess it was the worst show too because it was the same day that California declared a state emergency. So yeah my timing coming into the live music scene in LA was awesome.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already.
When the pandemic is over I will play all the hard rock venues in Hollywood, and my biggest dream is to play Red Rocks someday. Right now with large group gatherings banned indefinitely I guess I’d have to say I’m excited to play on YouTube and TikTok. And my kitchen is always an option, its got good reverb.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Alive: Alice in Chains, Korn, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Alice Cooper, Metallica
Dead: Nirvana, Pink Floyd
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Learn to produce your own music, learn multiple instruments so you can be independent if need be, but also to better communicate with your band mates. Be choosy about your bandmates, you want people who are die-hards for the same artists as you. If you play rock learn how to use Logic Pro X, it’s amazing for song writing event though everyone in the industry worships Pro Tools.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
If I could go back in time I’d tell myself to buy less pedals but more plugins. I spent a lot of money getting gig ready right before the plague hit, I wish I could have spent that now on mixing and effects plugins.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Bad Girl means the most to me, it’s the most personal and even though it’s a hard rock song it gets me super emotional every time I listen to it. This song is the most representative to my weirdness and dark sarcastic musical style. It’s powerful, creepy, melodic, and weird, I have a hard time pinning it to a specific genre. I wrote it over Spring Break when dealing with some passionate anger and binging on Black Sabbath.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite to play is Bad Girl, but Rose Colored Violence with its more poppy elements is definitely more popular, it’s much more punk.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I am an independent artist so I produce my own music and play all the instruments on my releases. Then I teach the songs to my supporting band. The creative process usually follows a tough period, and the creation of new material works as a therapy for me.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
My music is the fullest expression of myself. I can only write what I feel, it has to be personal to be a moving melody. The elements of my music and lyrics reflect a lot on my dissatisfaction with American society and the destruction of our planet, my struggles with monogamy and authority, and of course the unsettling sexism I experienced while pursuing a male dominated science.
Do you ever have disagreements in collaborations, and how do you get past them?
I haven’t collaborated on music creation yet since right now I am a DIY artist, but even in a supporting band you run into disagreements, ie the guitarist not wanting me to play rhythm on my song with him etc. I get past these issues by being straight up and calm. I don’t get angry but I don’t let people push me around and I don’t back down when bullied.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My first EP Rose Colored Violence comes out in August, and leading up to the release I will be releasing a second single Bad Girl out June 26th. The second EP will come out before Christmas. I am using the stay at home order to write and produce as much as possible from my home studio, and would like to start collaborating with other songwriters in the near future, as both a top line songwriter and producer for neo grunge/psych bands. Once large gatherings can resume I am going to gig like crazy, I want to go on tour with a rad supporting band and spread the hard weirdness as far as I can go.