Back when I lived in Ames, IA, I was the drummer for all the bands I played in during High School and College. I was always a little bit jealous of the guys that were actually writing the songs and singing. Towards the end of College, one of the bands I was in for about 2 years broken up because our guitar player, Jason Munday, got recruited by a bigger band. It was then that I decided to pick up a guitar and learn the basics on how to play. I quickly moved in to producing my own songs, but then the biggest challenge hit – I wanted to try and sing. I tried covering a Ben Folds song called “The Luckiest”. It went terribly, at least I thought so. The girl I sang it to thought it was lovely, but I knew I had a long way to go before ever trying to take music and production seriously.
I started writing joke songs just for fun to see what I could make. I felt the creative juices flowing, completely unrefined, writing song after song over and over until I finally started to get the hang of it. I learned much of the theory behind music by researching online, but I also was taking music theory classes at my college, as well as song writing classes and music composition. I started to post my work on MySpace.com in 2006 and was getting a few dozen plays a day, with a random comment coming in every few days. It made me feel great, like I was really doing something awesome – maybe for the first time in my life I felt like I had a purpose. After that, I focused more on finishing College with good grades rather than expecting my degree to take me places. I had places to be. With my guitar and workstation at my dingy apartment with my messy roommates.
I was watching a Harry Potter movie with my then girlfriend, Meegan, and I wanted to show her this new instrumental song I had written. I think she liked it and she started humming a melody over the top of it. It sounded AMAZING. Now that I think about it, this was probably the first time I had collaborated with someone musically. We started to come up with words to the melody… “He smiles when she’s not looking, she daydreams when she’s not there. It won’t be long before the discover that Ron and Hermione love each other.” We called the song “Accio Love” and remember I wanted to keep working on the song even though my girlfriend had just come to visit me. I remember she got a little annoyed with me because I was so deep into creating – she probably felt neglected. I feel bad about that now, but at the time, more than anything, I wanted to finish the song.