I’ve been playing music since I was a kid. I played guitar in local rock and alternative bands in Las Vegas, where I grew up. In 1980 I was invited to join a punk band — I was intrigued by the energy and the styles. This band was called The Swell but we soon changed our name to MIA. After breaking up and reforming in Southern California, we started to gain a following. We recorded a demo for $300, and this got us a song each on the legendary compilations American Youth Report and Not So Quiet on the Western Front, as well as one side of a split album called Last Rites. I recorded two more albums with MIA, plus a few one-off tracks that were released on compilations, and we toured the US and Canada twice, plus a bunch of shorter regional tours.
After MIA I decided I wanted to go to college. I worked hard and got a full ride scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with a degree in Anthropology. Fresh out of school with my fancy degree, I got married and accidentally moved to St. George, Utah (it’s a long story, maybe you don’t want to know….) where I accidentally became a photographer. I got a job at the local newspaper and began shooting, next thing I knew I was a staff photographer. I did that for 11 years before starting my own wedding and portrait studio. I’ve been shooting professionally since 1993.
Meanwhile, circumstances brought music, which I had been ignoring, back into my life. I started playing again in MIA, doing some notable gigs on the 2008 Warped Tour and at the House of Blues. And I started signing a lot more. Now I sing in MIA and also for my own solo stuff. MIA is still fast punk rock, and I love it. It is a great band and I am lucky to be able to get together with original members and play music. I started doing solo shows as a way to keep up my chops for MIA but found that it gave me some great opportunities to grow musically. My solo shows allow me to display my musical tastes by playing songs from a wide variety of musical styles, both covers and original tunes.
Music was also something that brought me into contact with art. There were some amazing artists working in the late 70s and early 1980s as the underground movements of music and art collided and formed a modern Dada-ist revival. I became friends with some of the underground artists and was exposed to a lot of cool stuff. This continued when I went to Berkeley, where I was fortunate to attend events at the mysterious Piano Warehouse in Oakland. My career as a photographer has been influenced by my musical roots and the exposure to so many great artists.