2003 — 2010

I STARTED WRITING MUSIC around the age of 13, when my family got a cheap Casio keyboard. The kind you could get at Walmart. It had fifty or so pre-programmed sounds — drums, bells, cheap violins, etc. I would put my computer mic near the keyboard’s speaker and record my first songs.

Shortly after, I got my first guitar, and started writing songs on that. I was always much more interested in writing songs than becoming a great guitar player. I only really cared about instruments to the extent they allowed me to write songs.

Through high school, I applied that to my band Lankaster.

AROUND THAT TIME, I read a quote by some songwriter along the lines of “You haven’t written your first real song until you’ve written one hundred.”

I don’t know who said it, but it stuck with me. I became obssessive about writing and recording. I barely graduated high school because I would skip class to write and record.

By my first semester away at college, I had reached my goal of writing and recording 100 songs. I compiled them by year and recorded them all acoustically. 

The 100 Songs are available here. They are grouped by age at which I wrote them. They are mostly terrible and there is little they can do today but embarass me, but there they are.

I WAS VERY INTENT ON RECORDING in those days, and learning to produce my band. These are some songs from that time:

AND THEN I WENT TO COLLEGE, and essentially abandoned music. I figured it was over. I didn’t bring a guitar to school. I wasn’t the type to casually entertain my friends playing songs. I just liked to be alone and write, which was impossible in a forced-triple dorm room. So I went almost two years without thinking about it.

AT THAT TIME, EVERYONE IN COLLEGE was listening to electronic music, which was a totally new thing to me. I grew up with rock and punk.

At first I hated electronic. But over time I warmed up to it.

I realized that the programs I had used to record and produce my band in high school could also be used to make electronic music.

So I started to have some fun, making fully electronic music on my laptop. It took about a year to get the hang of it. But I was off to a head start: I had written my first hundred songs, which meant now I could write my first real one. That first real song became “In a Dream.

* Thank you to my good, old friend Clint Mehta for sharing the above photos with me years later