Influences: (in no particular order) Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorak, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Dizzy, Count Basie, Henry Mancini, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Aaron Copeland, Lennon & McCartney, Tom Petty, Randy Newman,Billy Joel, Leonard Cohen, Ray Stevens, Ray Charles, Elvis, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Marvin Gaye, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Leiber & Stoller, Donald Fagan, Walter Becker, Frank Zappa, Sting, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Chrissie Walter Becker, Harry Nilsson, Prince, Eric Clapton, Schubert, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Patrick Leonard, Bryan Ferry, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, Peter Cetera, Jewel, Robbie Robertson, Kevin Gilbert, Susanna Hoffs, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Tom Waits, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Jimmy Webb, Max Martin, John Fogerty, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Rodgers and Hart, Brian Wilson, Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, Richard Carpenter, Pete Townshend, Buddy Holly, Woody Guthrie, Ray Davies, Jeff Lynne, T. Bone Burnett, Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, Alison Krause, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Rush, Dave Grohl.
Sixth year participating in FAWM and it will be a challenge this year. After more than 30 years in Southern California I will be moving back up north to Washington state to be nearer my family in the middle of February. This means dismantling and reorganizing my studio so I'll probably be doing a lot of "gorilla" recording this year. I'll be sticking with No Visiting Dogs for the project name and will continue the KISS method of production. I'd like to try more one-take submissions this year as well as more experimental projects.
Born in North Dakota. Grew up in Washington State. Lived most of my years in Southern California (Orange County) with a two year stint working in the Land of the Noonday Moon (Alaska) and soon to be relocating back to my old stomping grounds.
Recap of my sordid musical past :~)
Piano lessons as a youngster (hated them but regret that now). Trombone in grade school. I got a chance to assist the high school band director each summer with new 4th grade students during a camp to prep them for the school year. Learned to play a bunch of instruments with the 4th graders (no pressure) including tuba, baritone, french horn, trumpet, clarinet, and drums.
Played in the concert band, marching band, stage band, pep band, and jazz choir (bass) in high school and had a blast. (Band geek anyone?)
I will miss jamming with a couple of bands (here and there) in So Cal but will certainly find others to play with after I settle in up north. I play drums, bass, guitar, and keys relatively well and I enjoy writing and recording. I like to play and do musical mad scientist stuff (previously in the little bedroom studio I like to call the Sonic Dog House - the Sonic Igloo when I was in Alaska - soon to be a basement bunker studio). I have done location recording and the first year's FAWM tracks were recorded in Matt's rumpus room behind the Orange Curtain with my mobile rig (www.soundclick.com/JulianSpenis).
Some FAWM history:
2009: First FAWM and we did it! I had the privilege of collaborating with some dear friends and great musicians for FAWM 2009 (Julian Spenis). We had a blast and I think we created an awesome album!
2010: Disappointing finish (actually no finish at all) due to technical difficulties. Next year I'll submit early and often to dodge the "cosmic block."
2011-2013: Unable to FAWM due to health issues, returning to school (completed doctorate in psychology), and life in general distracting me from the creative process.
2014: 15 songs this time (with the late addition of one collaboration with another generous FAWMer), Back collaborating with my musical pals again (this time as Fishy Scnitzel) focusing on capturing simple ideas simply. I also used a couple of new instruments that I had been wanting to play more (ukelele and banjo) as well as some other tools I had wanted to try out (a synth program on my phone and Garage Band on my iPad).
2015: Fourth year of FAWM and completed seven songs this year (all on my own - no collaborations materialized) so if I double my productivity (or halve my sleep time) I should be able to get 14 done next year, no sweat! looking forward to great things this year.
Major goal for FAWM 2015 was to increase my own output over last year's creations. My plan was again to use the KISS method (keep it simple stupid). Again focused on getting ideas down rather than more polished demos. There were again lots of one-take creations, however, sadly there were no stream of consciousness pieces this year (no collaborations). 😞
2016: My first year of completing 14 songs by myself (with one awesome collaboration). It was a very productive month and I realized I could get in the zone and be working on several concepts at once. I actually "worked" at songwriting this year and the output shows the value of that. I utilized lots of different instruments and tools and created a varied musical landscape.
How's the move going?
Thanks for the feedback on "Speed Away"!!
So, what is that in your photo? A reel to reel?
Yes, we will figure out something. Moving eh? Never fun. Never as easy as one might think. Wow. That is something that I don't envy. Let me know what you want to do. I'm in.
Hey there! I am still up....working on a tune....Thanks for the nice comments! How are you doing? If you want to collab or anything, just let me know. I am pretty much up for whatever this year. You are certainly one of the "faces" that I look for each year.
Hey!! I was wondering if you were around this year! Good to hear from you. How are things in your world? You have always had such encouraging things to say. Thank you!