18 Nov We know you’ve all been yearning to know more about the only known Asian Neil Diamond Impersonator
1.What music are you listening to recently?
I’m a little late to the party on this but I was recently introduced to a band from Iceland called Sigur Ros. Amazing! I like the 2012 Van Halen album with David Lee Roth. It’s not unusual to find me singing along to early 80s Genesis with Phil Collins or The Best of Men at Work. Hmm…Halestorm is pretty rocking’. I love The Sundays, Stone Temple Pilots and Siouxsie & The Banshees as well as other groups that don’t necessarily start with the letter S.
2. How did you get started playing music?
In fifth grade my school attempted to offer music lessons on this funny plastic wind instrument called the recorder. It was a short-lived program but we all learned basic melodies. I was a big hit when I taught myself how to play both The Star Wars Theme and Macho Man by The Village People, solely by ear. A year later, when I was 12 I discovered my mom’s dusty acoustic guitar in the back of my closet. Soon after I met an older kid in the neighborhood who knew how to play guitar and owned all the Led Zeppelin albums…then it all fell perfectly into place.
3. What’s one of the coolest gigs you’ve played? and/or what’s one of the worst
Playing for several thousand at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was surreal. Performing in Barcelona, Spain in 2010 and more recently in Istanbul, Turkey were also career high points. As far as one of the worst? I make mistakes all the time. Wait ’till you see what I’ve got planned for tonight’s show.
4. Famous people you’ve met or played with
I once did a gig with the singer from Maggie Speaks.
5. If you weren’t in the band, what would you be doing?
I’m fortunate in that I have more than one job that I truly love. Since 1997 I’ve lived a double-life as an instructor in the Radio Department at Columbia College Chicago. If music wasn’t an option I’d probably be teaching full time. I’ve also painstakingly rehearsed the phrase “Welcome to Los Pollos Hermanos, where something delicious is always cooking. How may I help you?” just in case this guitar player / rockstar thing doesn’t work out for me.
6. What did you want to be “when you grew up”, when you were a kid?
As a child I really didn’t have any clear picture as to what I wanted to be. I just tried to stay positive and indulge in my creative side with work that I enjoyed which ultimately led to this moment.
7. What’s different about performing in S4 compared to other bands you’ve been in?
There’s a high level of musicianship and professionalism in this family of bands that I’ve never before experienced. (I believe that’s how I was told to say it.)
8. What’s a fact that surprises people about you?
There’s a dimmer switch on nearly every light in my household.
When you buy a new set of guitar strings it comes with a paper or cardboard proof-of-purchase. I’ve saved every single one since I was about 13. The box now weighs about 20lbs but the good news is that I think I finally have enough “Players Points” to redeem for those Hall & Oates / Billy Squire tickets.
9. What is something you want people to know about you?
…that I’m sorry and that it won’t happen again.
10. Do you play other instruments?
I’m the only member of the organization who is able to cover the guitar, bass and male vocal positions when needed. I’m considering attempting the female vocal position but I’m still working-off a few extra pounds from the Holidays.
11. How long have you been with Chicago Bands?
I started with Maggie Speaks as a guitar sub around 2004-2005. I’ve been with Spoken Four since Day One in 2006, up until sometime in the near future when Neal Schon from Journey calls me, seeking a Fresh, Fourty-something Fillipino Face to replace that current guy.