Position : Vocals, Guitar
Birthdate : Thursday, March 6th, 1975
Birthsign : Pisces
Joined : 1993
Gear: Fender Strat, Gibson Les Paul, and an Ovation acoustic.
What is your favourite food? I like almost anything that is spicy. I even put hot sauce in my soup! Some of my favourite foods are: pad thai, steamed lobster w/garlic butter from House of Chan, steak, Eggs Benny, jerk chicken, mangoes, and all kinds of Japanese food, especially sushi.
Favourite movie? I watch at least three or four movies a week, so it's hard to narrow down my few favourite picks…. But here it goes in no particular order: Human Traffic, The Usual Suspects, Star Wars, The Godfather, The Breakfast Club, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Slapshot, and Eddie Murphy - Delirious (that's some funny-ass shit!)
Favourite book? Electric Gypsy (Hendrix Biography) by Harry Shapiro & Caesar Glebbeek, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Shlag turned me on to this book. I read it when I was feeling shitty about myself and was unsure about the direction my life was going in. I was amazed to find that this simple fable really helped me to gain perspective on things. On the surface it seems like a simple easy read, but trust me when I say that this book is extremely multidimensional and packs many inspirational messages. I highly recommend it.
Favourite band? Also really hard to answer for obvious reasons. Here's my top 7 in no order: 1. The Beatles 2. Tool 3. The Beastie Boys 4. Jimi Hendrix 5. Bob Marley 6. The Red Hot Chili Peppers 7. The Black Crowes. *I also love a lot of hip-hop acts like the Black-Eyed Peas, Tribe Called Quest, and Spearhead to name a few.
What are your musical influences? My dad and all of my aunts and uncles who schooled me on the guitar, Da Peppers 'cause they taught me and most Zygote members about the beautiful fusion of the funky shit mixed with the heavy shit. Crosby, Stiils, Nash & Young, along with The Beatles, they taught me a lot about vocal harmonies. Stevie Ray Vaughn and Hendrix. Some singers that have inspired me are Maynard (Tool), Chris Robinson, Joe Cocker, Chris Cornell, Freddie Mercury, and Janis Joplin. Over the past few years I've also fallen in love with Lauryn Hill, Sublime, Radiohead, and a lot of drum & bass like: Morcheeba, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Esthero, and Massive Attack.
Bad habits? I'm always misplacing my car keys, wallet, my brain… pretty much anything one can lose, I lose, but in my defense I always find what I'm looking for even if it's sometimes two weeks later. I guess short-term memory loss is more of a condition than a bad habit…. I have a tapping problem. I'm always tapping out rhythms with my hands on something… I think our whole band suffers from this… it drives people crazy. Biting my fingernails and leaving them all over the house is something I'm not proud of. (I know it's gross, I always intend to throw them out but there's that short-term memory loss problem I mentioned before…)
What is your most attractive feature? My tight little ass… wait a second, that's Ovakim's best feature!
If you could assemble a band of musical greats from all of history, who would be in it?
Songwriters- Mozart, Kurt Cobain, and John Lennon
Drums - John Bonham
Guitar- Jimi Hendrix
Bass- Flea (who is a cooler bassist, dead or alive?)
Horns- John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis
Keys- Thelonius Monk
Singers- Joplin, Marley, Freddie Mercury.
Now THAT'S a supergroup!
Tell me something that people don't know about another member of Zygote: Ovakim stabbed me in the hand with a steak knife at Hooters. Shlag hands down has the worst snoring problem in the world - I refuse to room with him on the road. For the past 8 years Brian has been lying to us about when he lost his virginity… I just found out this last week. Amir once ran across Dufferin Street buck naked in the middle of winter for a dare… his prize was a pack of butts. I'd like to tell more revealing secrets about the boys, but some things you juust gotta keep in the family if you know what I mean.
What's the strangest dream you've ever had? When I was 12 I had a dream that my dad was going to get into a terrible accident, and when I woke up the next day I begged him not to go out. Needless to say he went for a bike ride and got hit by a car and got laid up for a while. True story, it still freaks me out to this day.
Betty, Veronica, or Big Ethel? Veronica because she mostly resembles my beautiful fiancée Robyn. But Robyn is much sweeter than Veronica… minus a few days a month… lol
What is the best invention of all time? Indoor plumbing.
What's your favourite Zygote song, and why? Hard to say because it's always changing. I like different songs for different reasons. We have a new crop of 4 or 5 tunes that I'm enjoying right now but most of them don't have names yet.
Dream occupation (other than musician): Filmmaker.
What is your musical training/education? I took some jazz vocal lessons when I was younger and studied music in university but I'm mostly self-taught. I come from a very musical family from whom I have learned a lot.
Favourite Zygote show of all time? Also another hard question. Some of my favourite shows were from the early days when we would open for other bands and have to battle to win over the crowd. We were famous for that. We would get on stage and people would boo us, but by the end of our set the club would be going nuts. This happened a lot. A couple of Rivoli and Opera House shows stand out, and opening for Fishbone is obviously a huge highlight of our career.
Best concert you've ever seen? Tool at the Concert Hall. One of the best experiences of my life.
What was the first song you learned how to play? I don't exactly remember but I think it was a Neil Young tune…. isn't it always.
What other instruments do you play? My first instrument was the drums. Bass, piano, clarinet and sax, hand drums… my car steering wheel… Like most Zygote members I like to play anything I can get my hands on.
Favourite song by any artist? Don't have one.
When did you realize that music was your passion? I knew I wanted to be a musician ever since I was five and used to watch my uncle's band rehearse in my grandmother's basement, but I don't think it was until I was about thirteen and started playing guitar that I realized that music was one of the only things that truly brought joy into my life. When I was fourteen I heard Zeppelin II for the first time, and after that there was no turning back. I was convinced that my destiny was to play in a rock band and take over the world… or go crazy trying… bring on the padded walls and strait jacket!