June 20th 1983
Harwood Union High School
St. Lawrence University
Learned to play piano from my mother, sang in the school choir all through middle and high school, participated in the All-State and All-New England Music festivals (choir) from 1999-2001, Performed in the Harwood Union musical theater productions of “Good News” (1997), “Pirates of Penzance” (played ‘Sister ‘Edith, 1999), “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (played ‘Hedi La Rue’ , 2000), “Cabaret” (played ‘Sally Bowles’ 2001). Attended the Governors Institute for the Arts in 2000. Studied under Professor Michael Farley in the St. Lawrence Music dept. from 2002-2004.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Mad River Valley, Vermont.
What were some non-musical jobs you had?
Movie theater usher, dishwasher, babysitter, house painter, general contractor, fine woodwork finisher, waitress, sandwich maker, theater director at ‘Camp For Me’ at the Green Mountain Valley School.
When did you pick up the instrument?
I started playing the piano when I was 6 or so. My mom was a piano teacher so I learned by ear and from watching her.
Who are your musical heroes? Why?
I always loved Michael Jackson. From the first time I heard him. I remember being a little kid and thinking that every pop song on the radio was Michael Jackson…that is until I heard Madonna. I also fell deeply and unhealthily in love with Kurt Cobain and painted pictures of him that I hung all over my room from 5th to 8th grade. I’ve always loved that scene in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” where Jessica Rabbit comes out and sings “Do Right”. I always kinda wanted to be her. Also, while I’m on the cartoon thing, I remember watching “The Little Mermaid” and being pissed when I was 8 years old because I knew I could sing better than that lady they hired to sing Ariel’s parts. The Walt Disney Animated movies consumed a great deal of my time. To this day, my elementary school teachers say they remember me daydreaming that I would be a cartoon voice. (And for the record, no, I’m not just saying that because we’re on Hollywood Records which is part of the Disney Corporation.)
Top 5 recording artists:
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
The Rolling Stones
Top 5 records:
The Rolling Stones “Beggars Banquet”
Steeleye Span “Below the Salt”
George Harrison “All Things Must Pass”
David Gray “White Ladder”
The Kinks “Muswell Hillbillies”
Top 5 songs
“Angel of the Morning” Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts
“Fire” The Pointer Sisters
“These Days” Jackson Browne
“Will It Go Round in Circles” Billy Preston
“American Girl” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
What made you want to become a musician?
I always wanted to be on stage, and I always knew that music would be a part of my life, but I didn’t realize that Rock & Roll was going to be my true path until I tried doing other stuff, like writing and acting. Music came so much easier than anything else, it was the only language I could really understand. Also I think meeting Matt and Scott, and building this band up from nothing gave me courage and was something worth working for, cause it wasn’t just about me anymore. Having other people playing with you, believing in you and counting on you is reason enough to keep plowing on in this crazy world of music.
What would you do if you weren’t a musician?
I would probably be a bad TV/ B movie actor. But then that would get really depressing and, I’d have an ‘aha’ moment and stop acting to become a high-end party caterer. In another twist of fate, I might end up hosting Celebrity Death Match or a travel show about food and male prostitution.
Was there a record/movie/concert that changed your life?
First, watching my uncle Spiegle Wilcox play the trombone with his big band when I was 14 and he was 94 to a theater of adoring fans in Corning, NY in 1998. Later, when Matt Burr showed me The Last Waltz and told me that he wanted to start a band with me. Then finally, watching Radiohead’s set at Bonnaroo in 2006.
What’s your favorite and least favorite things about live performance?
My favorite thing about the live show is the energy of the crowd and the swell of the music overtaking me to the point that I forget everything else in the world, even the fact that I really have to pee.
My least favorite thing is getting severe electric shock on my lips with the entire voltage of a Hammond B-3…also walking on stage and realizing that I really have to pee.
What’s your favorite and least favorite things about studio recordings?
My favorite thing about being in the studio is being given the opportunity to make things right. Once you’ve messed up on stage, it’s already too late, but in the studio, there is less of that reckless feeling.
My least favorite thing about being in the studio is the whole ‘hurry up and wait’ factor. There’s a lot of idle time in the studio, but it’s not actually ‘free time’ – you can’t just leave and say ‘Going shopping be back in a few hours’…it’s like purgatory because you never know when you’ll be called back in to play.
What’s your worst nightmare?
Waking up and being 94 and realizing that the whole Rock & Roll band thing was a just a long dream and I’ve actually been a TSA agent at La Guardia all along.
What’s your greatest fantasy?
Waking up and being 94 and realizing that the whole Rock & Roll thing wasn’t a dream.