Does writing music come easy for you?
Honestly, it depends on the song. Some songs take months to write, even years. And some come out fully formed the first time I sit down to play something new.
What was the boldest move you've ever made?
Definitely moving to New York City. I had spent my entire life in a small section of Texas, and it's true, the longer you stay in a place, the harder it is to leave. But I had a huge breakup that, though it was painful at the time, ended up being the fuel that propelled me and my best friend, photographer Teresa Nasty, to come to the Big Apple and make our dreams come true.
Who do you admire in the LGBT Community?
RuPaul suddenly comes to mind. I love the way he's brought
modern self-help thinking to competitive reality TV and
effectively normalized drag culture for all of America.
Tell us about your ‘coming out’ experience.
At this time I was still closeted at school but telling a select few
people about my secret. Basically, my mom read some notes
I had written to my friend Lula Mae at school about boys who I
thought were cute (this was in Junior High in a tiny town called
Archer City). Then my mom listened in on some of my
telephone calls. When she had gathered all her evidence, she
confronted me one Saturday afternoon. With tears in my eyes,
I couldn't respond or even look at her. I was sent to a Christian
psychiatrist in Dallas. However, after a short interview, the
therapist informed my mother that she should stay out of my
business and let me figure it out for myself. Score one for the
Christian Psychologist! I kept my sexuality a secret except to
my closest friends all the way through high school. But when I
went off to art school, I did it as an out and proud gay man.
Did you see any particular music artist as a kid that made you think…I want to do that!
Tori Amos. Sarah McLachlan. Jeff Buckley.
Do you have other artistic talents? Painting? Sculpting?
What do you find most attractive in
Good eyes, nice teeth and a hot body
are great, but it's a person's energy that
ignites true passion in me. I met my
current boyfriend in a dance club, but
what I noticed about him (after I noticed
his smoldering eyes and cute butt) was
how easily he laughed, how honest, nerdy
and guileless he was. That's what sold me.
What do you hope that people get or
feel from your new CD?
This album expresses a lot of my deeper emotional impulses. I've always wanted to write an album like this. My hope is that it would touch people and allow them to connect with their own emotions--like how every time I listened to Tori's "Baker Baker" back in college, it could make me cry.
How have you changed as a person in the past 5 years?
I feel like, since I've been living in NYC for the past five years, I've lived three or four different lifetimes already. I'm braver now. That's for sure. I've learned a lot about the realities of how the world works but at the same time realized more than ever how important it is for me to retain and maintain my innocence. It's part of what connects me to the divine.
What are you working on now?
I am rehearsing my band for The Make Up's album release tour. I have a group of super talented musicians I'm very proud to be working with: Mitch Mitchell on keys, Brian Ferrell on guitar, Ariel Weissberger on drums, Nikki D'Agostino on sax and synth, with my good friend and fellow singer/songwriter Greg Serebuoh singing backup. I'm so excited about the show we're creating and the music we're going to write together for my next album!