The intra-band interview series continues with Misa turning the questions on me, the newest Husky:
First off, how did you get the name Son?
I moved to a hippie commune for a couple years after college. Lots of people there change their names, and I was sort of drawn to the idea of choosing my own name. Somebody suggested “Sun” with a “u” because of my hair, and I sort of liked the sound of it, but I didn’t want to compare myself to the sun. That seemed sort of arrogant to me. I liked the idea of “Son” with an “o” because it ties into the blues tradition that I love so much, and because I felt like I was coming there with a lot to learn. I was coming there to grow and be a young person in a community of all ages, and by the time I was moving away two years later I was used to it and didn’t want to drop it. That’s still how I feel – no matter how old I get I think life is about learning.
How did you meet us?
Last summer I went on tour as a mercenary bassman for a band from Richmond, VA called Haints in the Holler, a wonderful indie rock band. The very first week of the tour we were in beautiful Denver, Colorado, playing a show at the 7th Circle Collective, a cool little DIY-venue. Also on the bill was this duo all the way from North Carolina called Redleg Husky. I really enjoyed talking to them, and I enjoyed their set. So we stayed in touch, they came up to Richmond, my band came down to visit them in Boone, and then after that trip to Boone I got back and there was a message waiting from them saying, “Hey, this is kind of crazy, but do you want to join the band?” and I said, “Hell no, that’s crazy, there’s no way.” Then I thought about it and decided to do it.
What made you want to join Redleg Husky?
I just heard y’all had good beer at your house… So, I was living in Richmond, VA, and I was playing music full-time. But I was playing in bands with people who weren’t doing it full time, so I had to play in a bunch of different bands to cobble together a living. For a while I had been feeling really envious of the bands in Richmond that were all in it together, lived together, were going on the road all the time, were doing it together. Then when you guys invited me I thought, “Yeah, this is exactly what I’m looking for. They’re all about it, they share my passion, they realize that it’s possible, they believe in themselves, they believe that they can do it, and I believe in them. I think their music is awesome. And I really like them as people, too.” So on a creative level, on a professional level, on a personal level, it was all a good fit.
You recently moved here from Richmond. How are you liking Asheville?
It’s been great. I haven’t had a ton of time to go out on my own yet in town, but I’ve really enjoyed it when I have, and these mountains are incredibly beautiful. I just pinch myself every day...I can’t believe that I get to live in this beautiful place and play music for a living. It just seems like those two things are so good that I shouldn't possibly have both.
People ask us sometimes – why does your bass look so weird?
If you’re referring to the fact that it’s fretless, it’s because the chunkiest bass lines can only be played when there are no frets to get in the way.
What musician/genre has influenced your playing style the most?
It’s tough to say because I’ve played in a lot of different bands, and have played a lot of genres of music. I guess the two that come to mind are Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers Band and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. When I was learning bass in high school, part of the way I taught myself was learning all the bass lines from Dark Side of the Moon and the Allman Brothers’ Fillmore East albums. That was one of the first things that I ever learned how to play, so that’s my foundation, that’s my fundamentals, and I think I still probably come back to that in my playing. Berry Oakley’s playing especially... I think he’s awesome. It’s so much more dynamic than what many bass players in rock and blues do. May he rest in peace.
Do you play any other instruments?
I sure do! I really enjoy playing acoustic guitar, both lead and rhythm, and in my main band in Richmond that’s what I was doing. Then, in the last year or so, I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on an old Yamaha organ. I definitely would not be comfortable playing that out live at all, but I enjoy noodling on it at home.
What do you love about music?
I’ve been absolutely obsessed with music since I was two years old, since I first consciously heard music. When I was two years old, my dad gave me a tape player and some Beatles tapes. He taught me how to use the tape player, how to work the stop and the play and the rewind, and take the tape out and flip it around and everything. That was it. I was hooked. From then on, I had that thing with me all the time. Go to the kitchen to eat breakfast with the tape player. Playing with my toys with the tape player on. Those tapes on, all the time. It’s just always been that way. Anything I’m doing, I want to have music playing. I have no idea how I can put it into words. To listen to and play, just be around music, that’s why I wake up every day.
If you could time travel, what time period would you go to?
Probably early human civilization, or pre-human civilization, to see the earth back then. And then play the first bass line. [cackles] I’ll bring a generator and a bass amp and a bass, and play the first bass line. No, but to see what the planet looked like before we took it over, to put it nicely. That’d be beautiful.
What is your favorite kind of pie?
Oh my God… How much time do you have? For those of you out there that don’t know me, I really love pie a lot. It’s the best food there is, hands down. If I could eat it for three meals a day and wouldn’t die, I’d do that. Favorite kind of pie is impossible, but I’ll say the best pie I ever had was a brambleberry pie in Custer, South Dakota. It was a bunch of different berries. There was a pie shop in this giant purple building in the middle of this straight-laced town. I went in, I bought a slice, I left, I ate it, I turned my car around, I drove back and got a whole thing because it was so incredibly good. Oh my God. Someday, I will go back there and have more. Hopefully with y’all. It’d be great.
What is your daily hair care routine that enables you to achieve such long, luscious locks?
As my roommates and bandmates can attest: very long showers. They’re very important. The highest quality, all-natural shampoo and conditioner. Daily brushing. And a rich, vitamin-filled diet to keep it all healthy. I can teach you, but I’d have to charge.