I always wanted to make noise
So there I was, twelve years old, begging my parents for a guitar. I wanted to be a rock star. Not the kind of thing any adult would like to hear – their child wanting to be a musician. So instead my folks bought a classical guitar and enrolled me in lessons. Not content with that, the following year I harassed them for an electric guitar. I got a cheap one and plugged in into the stereo speakers at home. It sounded like mess, blew a fuse, my dad was not impressed. Thus an small amplifier was bought too, I think the brand was Gorilla!, a small amp but it sure was loud. Then I closed my door and stayed in my room for hours making noise.
It was probably better than playing my heavy metal records in the living room while I paraded around headbanging with my tennis racket. Everyone thought I was nuts.
There weren’t many live music clubs or venues to play rock ‘n roll at in Trinidad – a sunny Caribbean island whose main music was calypso. That was 1988 and not much has changed since then.
Most of my friends seemed stumped on to how to change things in the local scene and to a great extent so was I, but I always thought there was a bigger world out there.
I played in a few bands back home from 1990 until all my equipment was stolen in 2003. Shortly after that I left the country, headed on out to Canada.
What happened next was anything but planned.
I ended up in a few bands, formed my own rock band (BOUND) and played a few gigs here and there. Things never really took off for us, but I did join a project that was the brain child of singer/songwriter Drew Gonsalves – Kobo Town back in 2005.
Over the past 11 years we’ve released two albums, currently working on a third (to be released in the Fall of 2016), been nominated for a Juno award and have travelled all our Canada, Europe and the U.S.
I never thought I would travel the world playing music, I always hoped but didn’t know how to make it happen. It all started with one major decision – to leave for Canada and see what happens next.
I remember the second weekend I was in Toronto, I went to a free show downtown – Nickelback. I wasn’t a fan but I thought, ‘man, what I wouldn’t give to be on a stage that big, playing for thousands of people.’
Migrating to Canada.
It wasn’t an easy decision and there were many times I wished that I never left the comfort of home. But had I not left, I would never know what music was outside in the real world. And now that I know I can’t return to where I was before.
So now, I teach guitar, compose for film/TV and whenever I get that phone call for a tour, I pack a bag, grab my guitar and head on out to meet those guys in Kobo Town.
There’s many a story to tell – like the time when we missed the train from England to France, reaching just in the nick of time for our radio interview in Paris; there was that festival in Terschelling (Holland), we slept on a boat but there wasn’t enough room for us all, so I slept on the main level below deck, it was freezing, to top it off, everyone had to walk the plank to get on board, I was petrified of falling into the frigid water. There was the guy who rented us a room in France, overcharged us to use his washing machine, added his socks and underwear in with our laundry load and then stole our drummer’s socks.
As a band, we have a habit of getting lost everywhere, roaming around for hours, going into coffee shops and just browsing random bookstores and kick knack places. We usually end up lacking sleep and suffering from exhaustion but we always, always have a great time. Everywhere we go, we drop our bags in our rooms and hit the streets immediately. We’re roamers, looking for an adventure and a story to tell.
And that’s what it’s all about, the stories, experiences and people you meet along the way while touring and playing music. The adventures that come along with it.
I write my own songs about all these experiences, about things that have happened in my life, both on and off the road. It’s my own musical diary, a journal if you will. In some ways I’m documenting it all for no other purpose than for memory sake.
I guess it’s my hope than someone will take some joy and solace in my story as it unfolds in my music.
Someone will see a little bit of themselves in my music and my words.
So, thanks to you my dear listener for joining me on my journey. I hope you hear something of yourself in my songs.
Click to listen to my debut album ‘Side One: Journey Within’ here.