Asheville, NC/Brooklyn, NY
How is this supposed to be written? Are you, the reader, supposed to think someone else wrote this about me? They didn't, because that's not generally how things go, at least not in my world. It's pretty simple - when I was 12 I became obsessed with Nirvana. Well, starting from the beginning, I liked Whitney Houston (it was the early 80s), loved the Beach Boys, the Bangles (again, 80s), and Bon Jovi (yet again, plus, I grew up in NJ). It didn't dawn on me until much later that I seemed to gravitate towards "B" bands. This phased out when I found Guns 'n' Roses around age 9, and built through 6th-grade-Metallica into my already mentioned Nirvana obsession. Luckily, at the end of my middle school career, during a fortuitous game of roller hockey (now we're talking about 90s), a local catholic school girl invited me to the high school battle of the bands. My older brother was willing to take me, and it was there that I first saw the band that would become Penfold, and so started my new obsession. Upon hearing that the singer had only been playing guitar for a year, and was at that moment in front of 800 screaming high schoolers, I saw that this was something I could do. After digging my father's old Kapa guitar out of the basement, and learning a few chords, I began writing some pretty bad Nirvana rip off songs, and put together a band. Penfold started playing shows in VFW halls and skating rinks, and my college band took that cue . A couple of years later, Penfold went on a 10 day tour (their only one), and I decided that I too could, and should, go on tour. Now, some 17 years after that roller hockey game, I've been lucky enough to get to play a lot of shows in many countries, make and maintain friendships with some the most incredible people in the world, and eat foods and drink beers I'd never have guessed I'd get to try. There are some days where Punk Rock doesn't make as much sense to me anymore. However, when I think of FEST, the people I've had the amazing pleasure of meeting, the beautiful cities I've been lucky enough to see, and the fact that we all get to gather in one place for a few days, I feel honored and humbled to be part of this all. Please come say "hi," and let's grab beer or two.