Skip to main content

DownTown Mystic Exclusive Interview



Where are you from and could you tell us a little bit of your upbringing?


Born and bred in New Jersey in a town called Maplewood. I got interested in music from as far back as I can remember. There was always music playing, either from a radio or a record player. I took to rock’n’roll like a fish to water. When The Beatles came along I got a guitar and lessons for my birthday and haven’t looked back. Once I started playing guitar I was in various bands, rehearsing in basements and garages. The earliest performance I remember was like being 5 or 6 and having my friends back me up singing in the street to impress some teenage girl I had taken a shine to. lol


If I wasn’t a musician I probably would have been a DJ because I love playing records. As a matter of fact, my whole family loved records. We’d go out at night every week or so to a record store. It was a thing to do. My uncle built his own stereo and speaker system. The house would shake from the bass when he played his records. Now I know where I got it from! lol


What genre of music do you make and when did you first decide to be a musician?


My primary genre would be Rock, more precisely Roots Rock. This includes Americana, RnR, etc. and at Radio I get classified as AltRock, so it varies. I decided as a teenager I was going to be a musician and when I went to college I began to focus on being an artist. I was really into writing songs. I don’t know what it’s like today, but back then, being a musician had status. You were looked at differently and admired for it.


Who are some of the notable artists and people that influenced your career thus far?


My influences are pretty diverse but certainly The Beatles and Stones are early ones and then Buffalo Springfield and CSNY came along and got me interested in acoustic guitars and harmonies. I think the final influence would be Rockpile from the New Wave era. It was during that time that Tom Petty came along and I began to follow him. Springsteen was also around and my band was discovered by his bass player Garry Tallent. He was our bass player for almost a year until he had to go on The River Tour with Bruce. I would hook up with him again later as a solo artist. I recorded the DownTown On E Street release with Garry and fellow E Streeter, drummer Max Weinberg. Working with them was a real eye opener.


Could you tell us about your latest project?


My latest project is called AmeriKarma. I started recording tracks with long-time compatriots Steve Holley on drums and Paul Page on bass in January 2022. I’m mixing and still recording vocals as we speak. It’s probably the most diverse project, song-wise, that I’ve ever done. In May I released the 1st single Fly and next week I’m releasing the 2nd single Superstar with the To Sir Elton With Love Mix. Those 2 songs are a good example of the diversity I’m talking about because they’re as different as you can get.  


Originally I was going to call the album Americana, because all the styles of the songs fit that category, but then I changed it to AmeriKarma because there was this feeling of karma inherent in the project. I think the Covid Pandemic has a lot to do with it. It’s like a time warp hit the world and I think there’s so much we haven’t dealt with. The songs on AmeriKarmadeal with life and death and the emotions that come with all that. I think there’s going to be a lot of new music coming out about this period.


What should we expect from you in the near future?


I think I’m going to be very busy finishing the AmeriKarma album and putting out more singles before its release sometime next year. That means radio promotion and marketing, so that will keep me busy for some time.


Could you give us some advice that you can offer to someone who is just getting started in making music?


I usually get asked this from friends who want me to tell their kids it’s a bad idea. lol 


But if someone is really into making music and is serious about it, I think this is a great time to do it because of all the tools that are so easily available. It’s a totally different game now from just the 90s and early 2000s. Think about what it would be like if you didn’t have MP3s or a computer, let alone software like Pro Tools and streaming services like Spotify. I’m always amazed at what we have at our fingertips now compared to 20 or 30 years ago.


Are there any important achievements you have gained since beginning to do music?


I think one of my main goals as an artist was to get played on the radio. Radio was THE main place to get heard until recently with Streaming. But growing up we constantly listened to the radio because that’s where you heard new things. Luckily, I finally succeeded in getting radio play. I’ve had my music played on radio stations in 35 countries around the world. I’ve been #1 on charts in the US and Europe. But my biggest achievement has been in Sync Licensing. This was not something that was on my radar until 2009 when I submitted music to a company looking for songs for their music library. I had no idea what it was all about until I got a BMI Royalty statement a year later and found out that one of those songs had been placed on The Voice! Since then I’ve had my music sync-licensed on over 230 TV shows and films.


Besides music, what are some of the things that you are into?


One of the main reasons I’m called DownTown Mystic is because I’m a Numerologist with an extensive background in Astrology, Tarot, I-Ching and Runes. So I like to put a spiritual vibe in my music when I can although I consider music, by its nature, to already have a spiritual vibe. Every day is a mystery and I like having unusual experiences, so to speak. I also like being a Magician. It’s very close to being a Musician, just a couple of letters changed. lol


Are you currently on tour or planning to be?


I’m not touring. The pandemic nearly wiped out the “live” situation and in some cases, did. I prefer the studio right now.


Any last remarks?


I’m going into promotion mode with the new single coming out, so I can’t help myself…

I’ll be one of the Featured Artists next week on the M:M Music Listening page:

I would just like to tell everyone that the new single Superstar comes out on October 14 and will be available on their favorite streaming service. Thanks!


Popular posts from this blog

Michelle Rose Exclusive Interview

  Q:  What's it like growing up in Mpls?   Does the city have interesting stories about Prince?     A:  I only lived in Minneapolis until I was three, but I have fond memories of it.  Even now that I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, I still feel like I'm a part of Minneapolis.  I think a lot of Minnesotans have "Minneapolis Pride", even if they don't live in Minneapolis.  Minneapolis has so many fun things to see and do, and the arts are very important here, with so many theaters and live shows.     Prince put us on the map for music.  I hear Prince stories everywhere I go in Minnesota.  I've met so many people who were associated with Prince, including one of his dancers, and even a former Paisley Park employee working as a cashier at the local grocery store, so I've heard many Prince stories.  I wish I could've been a Chanhassen resident when Prince was still alive, because I know that many Chanhassen residents saw him casually riding his bike around

The Losers Club Releases A New Pop Punk Single And Video

  The Losers Club Releases A New Pop Punk Single And Video Denver based pop punk band The Losers Club has a single release that gets you caught up in its pure rock energy! The song is called "Freak Like Me" and it provides quite an up swing and extremely fun punk sound.  The song has a great video and it's one of the best ways to dig into this single.  What's "Freak Like Me" about? It may be more relatable than you think. Here is what the band says. "Well 'Freak Like Me' is about being really in your own head all the time and feeling stuck. But realizing you're not totally alone and there's a lot of other broken freaks out there who are going through the same thing. " - The Losers Club   Check out "Freak Like Me" along with more from The Losers Club on their  Spotify .  Watch the video  HERE .                                             Website TikTok Instagram YouTube

Planet Of Rhythm Exclusive interview

  GCoulda you tell us what it's like being from L.A.?   LA is a great city for music, like any other large city.   Of course the downsides are things like traffic etc. but it is a wonderful place to create music, to hear music and experience great performances. Could you name the members in Planet of Rhythm and the roles they play? Doug Hafford (me): songwriter, singer, guitar Greg Thomas: Producer Rhythm Guitar, Bass, backup vocals Chad McKinsey: Producer, Drums, Guitar, backup vocals Juliet Roberts: Lead and backup vocals (what a talent she is) Elliott Jason: Lead Guitars Jorge Orellana:  Bass, Sax    Who inspired you guys to make electric blues rock music; is it something you guys just have in common?   The music comes from our love of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s style rockers.   Of course much of that was inspired by earlier artists such as Robert Johnson, or Howlin’ Wolf etc.  We love the simplicity mixed with great musical performances, overdriven guitars and a strong driving bea