I’ve played different instruments ever since I can remember. In grade school I picked up the cello, but my career as a classical musician never went too far past high school. (I actually remember being told I was wasting the director of the University orchestra’s time at my audition in college.) I was encouraged to pick up the cello again after college (and after honing my turntable skills) when I met a rapper turned hip hop folk guitarist named Adem in Madison. A former drummer, he would play “beats” with chords on the Acoustic guitar, and I would lay down basslines and float melodies on top. We played at a Cafe every Wednesday night for a year, I got my chops back, and we created something we called the Soul Rap Movement. I also started playing with experimental jazz saxophonist Hanah Jon Taylor, and learning rhythm structures from Rockameem, an African-Latin style percussionist from Chicago. It was an instrument that I had all but abandoned, but it was refreshing to play it in new and fun contexts.
When I moved to San Francisco, I was fiending to play with any and everyone perhaps for fear of losing it again. I tried the Jazz open mics, played with free spirits in Golden Gate Park, started another hip hop project, and even did my own kind of freestyles over beats (Check the intro here). One day when I was leaving the laundromat, and I overheard a guy with an Australian accent say, “Well, let’s get together again, and I’ll put an ad on Craigslist for a cellist.” I dropped my laundry basket, ran up to him and said, “I play cello!.” We got together, practiced, played, toured, recorded, and now we are Beaten By Them.
Right now we are on the road, in Denver, headed East to the reach the Atlantic Ocean. I really like that Ocean, but the Pacific is cool too. And this band definitely bridges the Pacific Ocean. Three of the members moved back to Australia, me and another live in California.
Here are a couple tunes:
Here’s where we’re playing below. If we’re near you, come thru and say Hi!
In case the image doesn’t load here are the dates, cities and venues:
Update: We have a tour blog!