Hi Kyle! Can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to these days?
I've been working on writing and recording new songs this winter and staying home as much as possible, fairly antisocial and haven't played live music in months…it feels great to hide out. Whenever I start to record, through some kind of inertia, new songs also come with it. I love how many years an album can span sometimes in age, one song could be three years old while another could be one month old.
What feels most important to you in this moment?
Health and appreciation for the moment. I have a marriage and a pet now, and a familial stability I never thought I would have. So it's making the most of my time with this person and this bird, both of whom I love so very much, coupled with the fact that we all perish someday and will all have to say goodbye and let go of everything and everyone we love. Good food is also important! And reading many books.
Can you remember the first song/poem/story you fell in love with?
It was most likely Music of my father's. I had a plastic rocking horse on springs in the living room, I think I learned Rhythm and how to dance riding that horse for hours rocking back and forth in time to the music. The first music I ever bought was Joan Jett & the black hearts 45, "I Love Rock n' Roll.” I was nine years old. I remember thinking about how she pronounced "me" as "may" and I was in love with the idea of her. She was interested in a 17 year old, I figured in 8 years maybe she would be interested in me, yeah may.
Do you have a favorite poem, song, or mantra that has been meaningful to you in your life?
"In My Room" or "Warmth Of The Sun" are the elevator music playing constantly at low volume in the elevator shaft of my ear canals. My father taped a Beach Boys marathon off the radio when I was young and I listened to it for four years until I lost it at winter camp. Major ingredients as far as songs that paint a feeling by matching the right words to the right notes & tones, their influence is immeasurable upon me.
Are you able to recollect your first memory of song writing?
I probably wrote a Shel Silverstein copy song/ poem when I was ten. He is who I wanted to be like the most at that age. His sloppy drawing style was so enviable and I knew at that time that the reason he could draw so well was that he was an adult, had already come full circle, and now had this carefree style. It's probably obvious that he could have been a major influence, I love him.
Are there any other major influences on your writing?
Raymond Carver may be my biggest influence with writing of all time, I wanted my songs to be able to do to other people what his stories did to me.
Are you able to describe where your lyrics come from?
Hmmm, not particularly, but fortunately I don't have to. It reminds me of when Henry Miller says that a telescope doesn't make the stars a whit more real to him in Colossus of Maroussi. Or how there is no empirical evidence of life after death. To find out where they came from could endanger the balance of the void, like changing the past in the movie Back to the Future, I call it "wet paint." I am constantly trying to maintain the state of that, that Lyrics and pictures are always aloft and in play and at work, breathing and growing, I'm happiest maintaining that state of mind.
Do you find that there’s a relationship between your song writing and painting?
Not really at all actually and I was talking to someone once who said this and that about how they draw upon different parts of the brain etc… and I don't care to label or understand any of it, that's what academia is for and it may be for a lack of true inspiration that those people need to describe it, to turn it into a job, but understanding how a car engine works doesn't keep you from driving it off the cliff, the fear of death helps us steer!
How would you say poetry connects us as human beings?
When someone is able to put into words a feeling that no one has yet described in that way, it almost feels like being gifted the experience of having that feeling. I think it's powerful and transformative to make ourselves open enough to receive that sort of nutrition and ingredients.
What role do you feel poetry plays in our world today?
Well I guess it makes up a lot of the substance of what we read in advertising, and copy, music, actual poetry. Mine still like to live in spiral notebooks and friends find used ones at thrift stores etc. and are nice enough to gift them to me. I still have all of my spiral notebooks from when I was 18 years old, as objects they feel timeless to me and it still feels the same cracking a new old one open. Some of the thrift store ones have yellowing pages like an old novel.
What is the path of love?
Not always putting our own needs first and taking care of the others around us.
What is the path of fear?
Only thinking about our own needs and shriveling up into a black hole of our own making? I've done it and it stinks.
What is your dream for the world?
Edible wallpaper and a chocolate river and to end all wars etc. which may require alien intervention at the rate we are going. But who knows, maybe humans can evolve past that at some point through nature itself, I don't think our grandest version is destructive ultimately.
What does it mean, to be tender?
Not being afraid of being vulnerable, being sensitive to others.
Who would you like to see interviewed on We The Tender Hearted?
Zeb Zaitz, Emily Wryn, Kacy Johansing, Werner Herzog.