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Higher Education

2/20/18 - Special Guest: Edjacated Phools

Thanks to Edjacted Phools for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

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  1. Chicken Soup, by Matt Waller (Reggae, Alternative Rock)

  2. The Seams, by Edjacted Phools (Rock/Punk)

  3. Trying to be Heard, by The Radiographers (Rock, Blues Rock)

  4. Vanity, by Higher Education (Country)

  5. Mountain Home, by Kitchen Noise (Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Ben Tufts and the Craig Tufts Foundation Hosts Tribute Benefit Event - ‘100 musicians cover The Police’.

On Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, 2018, over 100 of the area’s top artists will gather at Gypsy Sally’s to pay homage to rock band The Police. This musical showcase is the eleventh event and fourth tribute show in the popular Ben Tufts and Friends series, hosted by local musician Ben Tufts. Tickets are $15 and available through the Gypsy Sally’s website. All profits from the event will benefit The Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Fund, established in memory of Ben’s late father, which provides scholarships for youth studying nature through exploration and adventure. The Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Fund was co-established by the Tufts family and The National Wildlife Federation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.



Alex The Red Parez - Raining Down

Soundproof Genie - Hollow Love

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Check the calendar, linked below, for the full list!

Fri Feb 23
Uptown Boys Choir @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St NE

Sat Feb 24
Ardamus @ DC9 by U St NW
Three Man Soul Machine @ Pearl Street Warehouse by Waterfront in SW

Sun Feb 25
Two Ton Twig @ Solly’s on U St NW
A Shrewdness of Apes @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda

Mon Feb 26
Caustic Casanova @ DC9 Nightclub by U St NW

Tues Feb 27
Time Is Fire @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St NE

Thu Mar 1
Touch The Buffalo @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

Edjacated Phools

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Edjacted Phool's Bio:

DC Music Rocks Guest Edjacated Phools.JPG

The Edjacated Phools are a 6-piece fusion band based in Baltimore, MD. Comprised of Devin Barone (drums), Tyler Garrison (bass), Nick Hatzis, (vocals) Kyle Sappington (vocals), Logan Sappington (guitar, vocals), and Ben Yancheski (keys), they combine an energetic blend of rock, reggae, hip-hop, ska and punk influences into a unique sound.

The band had an exciting 2017, having been selected to open for The Expendables for the second time on March 14th at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, as well Badfish at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD on May 5th. Edjacated Phools also signed with Raised Fist Records in August and released their debut album, Check The Vibes, on September 1st. The band also presented the 2nd Annual Hightopps Backstage Bash on September 9th.





DC Music Rocks Edjacated Phools.jpg
edjacted phools.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. The Edjacated Phools are a six-piece fusion band based in Baltimore, Maryland, with members in DC and in Baltimore. They combine an energetic blend of rock, reggae, hip-hop, ska, and punk influences into a unique sound.

     The band signed with Raised Fist Records in August of 2017 and released their debut album you just heard that track from called "Check the Vibes," back on September first of 2017, and I've been a fan of these guys since, gosh, close to when I started the show, I've been an ... I've been following these guys since before they were with the record company, and before ... Like, way back in the beginning. I've been following you guys, and I've been such a fan of the work that you're doing and the incredible songs that you guys are putting out.

    So, the bottom line for me, personally, is let me just fanboy for a moment and just say, it is so freaking awesome to have you guys here, man. Thanks for coming and doing this.

Logan:     Thank you.

Kyle:     Much love, much love.

Nick:     [crosstalk 00:00:58] thank you so much.

Brian:     This is ... Now, describe, for those folks who aren't familiar with Edjacated Phools, what is it that makes you guys special, would you say, if they see you guys?

Nick:     I would say the one thing that sticks out is our energy on stage. I think we try to keep it very, very upbeat, and so our kind of in your face dynamic, our energy on the stage and just getting people's face, getting people to kind of dance and move around a lot. And our songs are really ... A lot of them are uptempo. A lot of them are really dynamic and very high energy. So, we try to convey that on stage, and I think people feel that for sure when they come to our shows, so ...

Brian:     And what is ... So, if they come to a show, what will they likely see? What's an Edjacated Phools show like?

Logan:     It's definitely going to be smokey in the room.

Brian:     Because you like those fog machines?

Logan:     Yes.

Kyle:     Yes.

Nick:     Yeah, we love smoke machines.

Logan:     Fog machine supporters over here. Now, if you're gonna come to an Edjacated Phools show is what you're gonna get is a whole mix of good people, great music, better vibes, I think that at all of our shows you can always find really diverse, you know, flow of an environment of people. You can always find everybody who's in there jamming out, drinking, having a good time, and just enjoying the music with us.

Kyle:     Yeah. Bottom line is you're gonna have fun if you come to one of our shows. I've never had someone tell me they didn't enjoy one of our shows and that's kinda like what we pride ourselves on, whether we're playing a three hour bar gig or a 30 minute set opening up for a touring band. We just bring the heat, you know. That's what we like to say to each other, "Let's bring the heater."

Logan:     The heater.

Kyle:     And when we go on stage we like to bring that heat with us, you know what I'm saying?

Logan:     That's awesome. Where does the name come from? Edjacated Phools cause it's spelled funny too. It's E-e-d-j ...

Kyle:     So, originally, there's a couple songs called "Educated Fools" by Rebelution, Damien Marley, and those are both kind of big influences to us, at least me, and we were doing the whole Reggae scene thing so the e-d-j-a ... The original spelling was j-a-h, Ed-jah-cated Phools, but we dropped the jah and we just stuck with Edjacated Phools cause we thought it was more us.

Brian:     And you should know, Phools is spelled p-h-o-o-l-s. Edjacated Phools.

Nick:     Always play with their minds.

Kyle:     E-d-j-a-c-a-t-e-d. Edjacated.

Brian:     Edjacated Phools. That's it.

Logan:     We educate ...

Brian:     [crosstalk 00:03:22] right along with the Reggae vibe that you guys, like in that song we just heard it's a more ... I really like that one. Now, talk about the ... So there's some DC and then some Baltimore connections. So, talk about the DC connection that you guys have. You talked about University of Maryland earlier. You played football at University of Maryland.

Kyle:     Yes, sir.

Brian:     That's Nick. What's the ... And there's another connection. What ...

Kyle:     So, my name's Kyle and I own the head shop in DC, like a glass, borosilicate glass studio, basically. We're a gallery. We've represented a collaborative of artists. We represent over 70 artists and, yeah, we sell smoking devices and high end one of one art pieces.

Brian:     Nice. Wow. All right. So definitely connected to the head and smoking art scene here in DC.

Kyle:     Yup. Exactly man. You don't put premium gas into a Hoop D, if you know what I mean, you know? You've gotta put that stuff into something nice.

Brian:     God, I hope not.

Nick:     Put it into something nice.

Kyle:     Exactly.

Brian:     Oh, that's it. Hold it up. One love. I love it. All right, now and what about ... So now, you guys ... Well, first of all, introduce yourselves cause we've had you talking for a little bit, so introduce yourselves and then the other members of the band. Talk about that real quick.

Kyle:     Well, my name's Kyle. I'm Logan's older brother. Me and Logan kinda started this whole music journey together a couple years ago and we've kinda met everybody else along the way and formed this amazing group. To my right, I have Nick. He's my co-vocalist. He's the sexy one. I'm the mean one.

Logan:     So sexy. So sexy, Nick.

Brian:     The sexy one?

Nick:     The mean one.

Kyle:     Well I wouldn't say mean, but I definitely have a mean beard. I've been working on this for a while so ...

Brian:     Yes, you do. You should appreciate pictures of this man's beard. If you check out the episode details, I've got one there.

Kyle:     It's flawless.

Brian:     It's pretty serious.

Kyle:     But yeah, we've got Logan. who's my little brother. He's been bothering me my whole life, playing guitar, so finally one day he was like, "Hey, man. Why don't you just play with me?" And I was like, "Cool." And uh ...

Brian:     And then who else? There's 3 more members.

Kyle:     Yeah, we have Devin, who's Nick's cousin actually and he's a monster drummer, super talented. We have Tyler Garrison who's a bassist. He was actually in the classical orchestra band at Talsom University.

Logan:     Fingers.

Kyle:     Yeah, we call him Fingers. When we met this kid, he had the most calloused hands.

Logan:     His fingers were gross.

Kyle:     Like, really. They were disgusting.

Logan:     Come on. Let them know. It was really [crosstalk 00:05:44]

Kyle:     Yeah. It was bad.

Logan:     He's playing a lot of bass.

Brian:     Okay. [crosstalk 00:05:47]

Logan:     He's slappin the bass, man.

Kyle:     But he just has peeled callouses all over his hands.

Brian:     Wow.

Kyle:     And I was like, "Your fingers are special." Then we got Ben who's like Logan's childhood best friend, who

Logan:     Ben Mancheski.

Kyle:     We didn't originally want Ben in the band. We were like, "Oh, no. Ben can be in the band." And then Ben just put in work and learned how to play the keyboard, taught himself, and he's been a huge asset for us.

Nick:     He's like a utility member. He started off on Melodica. He's really just well-versed in music in general ...

Kyle:     Super talented.

Logan:     Got a great ear, honestly.

Brian:     Wow. That's awesome, guys. Now, talk about you guys ... So on the personal side, outside of music now. You guys, are there hobbies ... What do you do in your free time besides this?

Logan:     I work and I play music. That's about it.

Brian:     Say more. You work what? You play music just with Edjacated Phools? Is there a [crosstalk 00:06:40] too?

Logan:     Yeah. We do the whole band thing, and then on nights when the whole band can't get together, Nick and me, we actually, we play a lot around Baltimore and we do a lot of acoustic sets together where we'll go play.

Kyle:     The dynamic duo.

Logan:     Yeah. The dynamic duo.

Nick:     Yeah, we try to stay involved with music any way we can. We play local bar gigs, do cover shows. I mean, I'm really big into fitness and stuff so I try to stay pretty active. I still skateboard, snowboard, you know. Even wake board on occasion.

Logan:     Yeah, it's a lot of fun.

Nick:     Surf whenever we can. We like traveling so ... We're all are really family oriented, too so we have really big families. Spend as much time with family as possible.

Brian:     Really?

Nick:     And, you know, just try to have a well-rounded lifestyle where, you know, we are balanced and always involved in something cool.

Kyle:     Yeah, I just became a dad in August so I have 6 ...

Brian:     Congratulations.

Kyle:     I have a 6 month old daughter.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Logan:     Carter Jean.

Kyle:     Her name's Carter. Yeah, she's beautiful. Shout out to my wife for doing that.

Brian:     To both of you. You had to put it together.

Kyle:     She did the hard part.

Brian:     Clearly, clearly. Wow, man. Congratulations. And the family vibe sticks with you guys, too, cause you just said that you're all parts of different family. Your family members here in the band, too, which is [crosstalk 00:07:54].

Kyle:     I mean, really, I look at everyone of these guys like my brother so ... And if any of them ever needed anything, I'd do it at the drop of a hat, you know.

Brian:     Absolutely. Golly. All right, so now, talk about funniest moment as a band that comes to mind.

Kyle:     Oh my God. I don't know if I can tell this story.

Logan:     Are you all thinking what I'm thinking?

Kyle:     I'm thinking about the Expendables show.

Logan:     Yeah. Go ahead. You wanna take this or you want me to take this?

Kyle:     All right. I'll try to say it as nicely as possible. So basically, we had our first show at Sound Stage. We played with Pacifier and the Expendables. We opened the show up for them.

Logan:     And Tunnel Vision.

Kyle:     And Tunnel Vision. But, long story short, we all wanted to get pretty, you know, intoxicated that night so we decided to be responsible adults and get a AirBNB.

Logan:     We BNB'd it.

Kyle:     And us being the fools, we thought, "Why not just get the nicest Air BNB we can find in Baltimore for the night?" So we end up booking this mansion in Fed hill that's like 6 stories. It has libraries in it.

Brian:     Oh my God.

Logan:     The shower could hold 25 people.

Kyle:     It was like a Project X style house.

Brian:     Holy cow.

Logan:     It was amazing.

Nick:     You could read in every room.

Kyle:     But yeah, so Logan basically lied to the guy on AirBNB. He's like, "Yeah, I'm in town doing a video shoot." And I think the guy thought that Logan was doing porn at his place.

Brian:     Oh yeah?

Kyle:     So the guy decides to ...

Logan:     He stuck around.

Kyle:     Drop back in a little bit later that night.

Brian:     Oh good.

Kyle:     He comes home and there's like 55, 60 people just absolutely partying in this mansion like ...

Brian:     Oh my [crosstalk 00:09:25].

Logan:     It's getting wild.

Kyle:     No reservations, you know what I mean. Pretty much anything goes. The guy walks in and I'm just sitting at the table and I'm like, "Who's this old guy?"

Brian:     Oh, God.

Kyle:     He's like, "Where's Logan?"

Logan:     I'm literally in the corner talking to Fernando like, "Dude, we're screwed. We're so screwed, bro." And he's like, "What's wrong?" I'm like, "I don't know if this is gonna work out in our favor." And literally, right as I said that the guy tapped me on my shoulder and I turn around and it's the guy I rented the house from and he goes, "This is a lot more than 8 people." I was pretty much caught red-handed, [inaudible 00:10:02], but you know what, he was really chill about it. He thanked me for having all the people in the house take their shoes off. But the funniest part of this whole story is, right at the heat of the moment when I'm like freaking out and thinking this guy is gonna be so upset ...

Kyle:     Kick us out.

Logan:     He's coming down on me. I've got 65 people raging in his house. Our bass player, Tyler, walks right up to me and him in the middle of the conversation and says ...

Kyle:     He goes, "Yeah, this would be a great house to get weird in." And the guy's standing right there and just starts shaking his head and just like, "You guys need to go."

Brian:     Wow. So did you end up having to shut it down and leave or did you just [crosstalk 00:10:41]

Logan:     No.

Kyle:     No. We ended up just talking it out with him and we explained to him that we had some touring bands crashing at the house and we just got finished with a show.

Brian:     Thank you, Lance.

Kyle:     Yeah, he ended up being pretty cool, but there was definitely a designated talker on that night cause he walked into quite a party.

Brian:     Holy smokes. Now, talk about biggest success moment for Edjacated Phools so far. What comes to mind?

Logan:     Album release. No doubt. Our album release in July was definitely my proudest moment as a musician.

Brian:     Say more. How so?

Kyle:     Just, everyone came to support us that night, you know what I mean? It wasn't a show for anyone else. We had a great supporting cast. We had Never Ending Fall. We had Joint Operation. We had, you know, Foggy May. We had a number of super awesome bands, but the great thing about the Baltimore scene is that it's one big family, you know. Once you play with any of these bands, they're like family to you. They love you like you're their brother or sister and they definitely look out and show support whenever they can. And I think that's the most beautiful part about being in this scene is just the love that gets shared between, not only fans, but musicians amongst each other.

Logan:     For sure. The support is amazing.

Kyle:     But yeah, we had about 500 people come out to our album release party at Sound Stage in Baltimore and it was definitely one of the most fun nights for me. I thought we played a killer set and it was an extremely positive experience.

Brian:     Wow. That sounds amazing, guys.

Kyle:     What about you, Nick?

Nick:     So we do a ... It's called a Back Stage Bash. We do it at High Tops in Timonium. We put that festival on ourselves so to see kind of a festival that's being put on by us and a bunch of other bands coming out, pretty much the whole neighborhood gets together, and it's just a big festival style event that we put on and ... We're able to expose other groups, touring artists, DC artists, and just people, you know, you get on the bill and are into playing a big festival style show that we put on every year. We've been doing that now three years. We have another one coming up in September of this year and so that's one of our, I think that's one of our biggest accomplishments. Setting up a mini festival style event.

Brian:     Who's idea was that? How'd that come around?

Logan:     So, the original idea started with Fernando and me were talking about getting a whole festival together with Nick and Kyle at this winery ...

Nick:     Fernando's our manager.

Kyle:     Shout to Fern.

Logan:     Fernando Delgado. God, we love you. So it started out with just this idea like, "Hey, let's try to throw this festival at a winery." We ended up getting a bunch of good bands to respond and want to play the festival, but when we went to close the deal with the winery, the guy only wanted to sell one. So eventually, we decided ... I was talking for Fernando. I was like, "Hey, well why don't we just talk to our buddy Stink." And then we gave him a call up and we sat down and we had a meeting and we planned out the whole first event between Edjacated Phools and High Tops team. It really came together and I'm so proud of it. I couldn't be more proud of it. This year's gonna blow the roof off Baltimore.

Kyle:     Yeah, last year we had People's Blues of Richmond, Lits, Choppadelic, Bumping Uglies, us, Never Ending Falls, Stack Like Pancakes, Oogy Wah Wah. We had the Vibesman, Joint Operation, Neff. All those guys. It was a stacked line up and it's gonna just get ...

Nick:     Higher Education.

Kyle:     Higher Ed was the first year, they weren't the second year. It's just always a stacked line up and we always, you know, have a good time.

Brian:     That's awesome, guys. And now, one more question that I have ... This is one of my favorite questions to ask and it's for all three of you guys individually. It's if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Logan:     Work hard. I would just say keep working hard. Don't give up. Music is always an uphill battle and you never know really where you're at, but as long as you're doing it for the right reasons ... I think we all do music because we love to express ourselves and express a message that we can't do in our day to day lives that we do as a group of men and I love it.

Kyle:     Yeah.  I would say don't sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day ... There's things that happen in this life that you can control and there's things that you can't and at the end of the day you just should pay attention to what's important and what really matters and don't pay attention to little things that will just, you know, bother you, eat you up.

Brian:     What's an example of that, that comes to mind when you say that?

Kyle:     I'll give an example. Me and my brother were fighting a little bit earlier today cause we have two shows on Saturday. I'm supposed to work, you know what I mean? And I'm like, "Well, what if I can't make both shows?" You know. What's really important here? Should I come make this show or should I make the one later or ... What's more important? How do I make it work? You know what I mean? What's the point of getting all focused on the details? As long as it works out, it doesn't really matter.

Logan:     Don't sweat the small stuff.

Kyle:     Yeah. Don't worry about the details. Don't worry about everything. It's gonna all come together like it should in the end.

Brian:     Got it. What about ...

Nick:     I would say check your ego at the door, you now. We're all ... At the end of the day, we're all creators, but we're very opinionated and, you know ...

Kyle:     Passionate.

Nick:     We all have a place we wanna come from, musically. You can't really have an ego and be creatively collaborative at the same time, so as long as you leave that at the door then you can really be open to, you know, really creating something as a collaborative and having something that's really organically yours as a group, as opposed to imposing your creative will when we're in writing sessions or whatever it may be. So yeah ...

Brian:     Love it, guys. All right, and for those folks who want to find out more about you guys and follow what you're doing, where's the best place for them to go?

Logan:     Facebook. We're all over Facebook and our homepage, Please check it out. We have our website up. It's got all of our show dates. It's got videos. It's not news. It's got reminders for the band. Our Facebook, our website. We are on Spotify, iTunes, all of the social media sources so please, Google us if you want. Check out our music. We'd love to have you guys.

Brian:     Spell the name for them real quick.

Logan:     Yeah. It's e-d-j-a-c-a-t-e-d p-h-o-o-l-s.

October 25, 2016 - Special Guest: Sean Gotkin

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National Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. The DMV Musician facebook group - one of the places to find the musicians and those interested in DC music:


  1. The Night Is Ours - Turtle Recall (Rock)
  2. Chasing Highs - Higher Education (Reggae/Punk)
  3. Big River - Oh He Dead (Indie/Indie Soul)
  4. Strawberry Moon - Sean Gotkin (Rock/Indie Rock)
  5. Scorched Earth - Crystal Youth (Rock)
  6. Busted Cars & Broken Fences - Annie Stokes (Indie/Folk)
  7. Looking For Water - Lauren Calve (Folk/Roots Rock)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-




Sean Gotkin DC Music Rocks

Sean Gotkin is a Washington D.C. based recording engineer, producer and live sound engineer. He works as FOH lead sound engineer at local, iconic nightclubs the Black Cat and Iota Club and Cafe. As owner and independent operator of Blue Hippo Recordings in Centreville, he has several recorded projects out so far this year, including local rock/R&B group Crystal Youth and singer/songwriter Annie Stokes. Currently he is working on an album with reggae bastions Nappy Riddem. In his live incarnation, Sean has worked with local, regional, and national touring acts, such as Old 97’s, Rogue Wave, Sean Hayes, Kelley Deal (R. Ring), The Peach Kings & Quiet Company. Sean continues to strive to be the best at what he does, his focus and passion constantly trained on the local music scene and the raw talent it has to offer the collective. 



Sean Gotkin DC Music Rocks


Brian:     The track is Strawberry Moon and that was the music of Sean Gotkin. Let me tell you, Sean Gotkin is a fixture in the Washington DC. music scene. He's a Washington DC. based recording engineer, a producer and a live sound engineer. He's lead sound engineer at local and iconic night clubs in DC, The Black Cat and Iota Club and Café. He's the owner and independent operator of Blue Hippo Recordings in Centreville. He has several recorded projects out so far this year including local Rock/R&B group Crystal Youth and singer/song writer Annie Stokes, which we'll hear from a little later. Currently he is working on an album with Reggae Bastians Nappy Riddem, who we've proudly featured on the show, an incredible group. As a musician Sean has also worked local regional and national touring acts such as, Old 97's, Rouge Wave, Sean Hayes, Kelly Deal, The Peach Kings and Quiet Company. Sean continues to strive to be the best at what he does, and his focus and passion are constantly trained on the local music scene. The DC. music scene and the raw talent that it has to offer.

Brian:     The first time I met Sean was running sound at Iota, and he did an incredible job. I've been out to his house, I've seen the amazing things he's done with the recording space, and music is this man's life. It is such an honor and with great pleasure that I introduce to you Sean Gotkin. Say Hi.

Sean:      How you doing man?

Brian:     It is such a treat to have you here man.

Sean:      Thanks for having me here.

Brian:     Thanks so much for coming on the show.

Sean:      I appreciate the invite man. Thank you.

Brian:     That was Strawberry Moon and that was the music. So tell us about Sean Gotkin and the music and tell us about the professional.

Sean:      With Strawberry Moon basically, it's part of an EP I've been currently working on for the past 3 or 4 months. I'll probably be done by early next year and released by the early spring time. This was kind of a fast track single because it was just one of those songs that kind of just came to me very quickly, and there wasn't any waiting around it just kind of flowed out, so I just wanted to get it done and get it out there as fast as possible.

Sean:      As far as professionally, I do music really only part time now because sound pretty much takes up the rest of my free time that I might have.

Brian:     Run us through a week then. If sound takes up most of the time, what does that mean?

Sean:      During the days I'm always in the studio working on something, whether I'm mixing an audio bar, live studio project or one of the bands I'm working with, or just trying to tinker with something or play with sound and see what I can get out of the room. The rest of the time usually 6 sometimes 7 nights a week I'm either at Iota or The Black Cat doing live sound.

Brian:     Wow, so 6 or 7 nights a week, and then during the day. My goodness. Did I see on, I believe I saw on Facebook or something that there's a little one on the way too?

Sean:      There's a little baby girl coming in about 2 to 3 weeks. Cassidy Rose, very excited.

Brian:     Congratulations, that's really exciting.

Sean:      Thank you very much. Appreciate that.

Brian:     A new one on the way which means that your time is just going to get even more precious it sounds like.

Sean:      Even more precious, yes.

Brian:     What about you personally? So we got the sound guy, we've got the musician, now we're finding out that your going to be a papa bear. Tell us about ...

Sean:      For the second time.

Brian:     Already a papa bear, gonna add another one to that, which is no small feat. Tell us more, when your not doing those things what else are you doing?

Sean:      Usually hanging out with my kid Fynn, he's a little 5 year old boy, and he's one of the greatest things in my life, and I just love spending time with him, and talking with him. He's really big into music, I think he's going to be a drummer himself one day. We go down and play in the studio or he has his little toy corvette he loves driving down the street, we take that out.

Sean:      Also, I'm going out scoping out bands I love to go to shows and see new talent, see what's going on, keep my finger on the tab of what's happening here in the scene.

Brian:     You're at Iota and your at The Black Cat all the time, so when your going to shows are you going other places too?

Sean:      I am.

Brian:     Where have you found, is there a hidden gem that you found among the travels at all that you've ...?

Sean:      There's always the hidden gems. I definitely have my favorites out of those hidden gems, but I try to get around to the whole area as far as the bigger venues and the smaller venues, kind of see what's happening in both.

Brian:     Got it. Tell me one thing you love about the DC music scene?

Sean:      DC music scene, what isn't there to love about it? It's pretty amazing it really ...

Brian:     I said one thing.

Sean:      That's the problem it's so hard to narrow it down. I've been engrossed in this scene for a very long time and I grew up in an age where the DC. scene was really blowing up in the late 80's early 90's. Fugazi had made there mark on DC., GoGo had come out of here. I remember that explosion, and then it dried up for a long time. Now the well is just pouring out again with all these amazing artists.

Brian:     Every week on the show there's just so many more, it's so exciting to see them all coming out. Tell us about your, either a best show or a success moment that you have? You said you've been in the business for a long time, so talk about a big success. What comes to mind?

Sean:      A big success, probably one of my favorite shows, probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and it came out as close to perfect as possible, was a show that local drummer Ben Tufts put together back in the spring. Itwas an almost tribute show. They were doing two albums back to back and it was 50 interchangeable musicians.

Brian:     50, like 5-0, 50.

Sean:      50, and on top of that a packed sold out room. It was interesting, trying to manage that and get everyone sounding as best as possible and trying to get as faithfully sounding to the records as possible. It was a blast. It flew, flew by.

Brian:     I bet stuff happens really quickly in that kind of scenario, just constantly. That's amazing. Beatles tribute show, amazing one. Tell us about a time that you tried and failed?

Sean:      I've had a few of those moments and through those moments I've found ways to push through and find success. When I first started off I was really hungry, and I was kind of concerned with the amount of people that where in my field and whether I was going to break through. Especially since I started in my mid 30's. I made the mistake that a lot of engineers make at first which taking on way too much at first. Cause you think you can handle it all. Then you kind of realize after awhile, well I'm just a human being and I only have so many hours in the day, it's more important to focus on several bands or one band at a time than it is 5 or 6 bands at a time, and try to manage that with a live career at night.

Brian:     I take it you mean, when you say taking on too much, that means you had 5 or 6 bands that you were trying to record as well as the sound gigs at night.

Sean:      It was a lot. I thought for the longest time, Hey, this is no problem, I got this, and then your just like, okay, I'm kind of letting people down, I'm letting myself down so I need to reevaluate.

Brian:     At what point did you realize this isn't good, this isn't it?

Sean:      It was pretty much the moment that I was brought into the The Black Cat, which was early spring last year and I new that that was going to take up a lot of my time. I kind of quickly reevaluated my situation and ... It's all learning experiences, especially something like this. There's no rule books and you kinda of halve to make it up as you go.

Brian:     Make your way. See how it goes.

Sean:      That's it

Brian:     A lot of tries and fails and experiments and learning it sounds like. You said in there, you mentioned that this was, you started in your 30's. What were you doing before?

Sean:      I've always been into music and sound. My first job doing sound was at The Old Bayou in Georgetown when I was 20 years old. My first night there was Anthrax, Motorhead, and The Deftones playing.

Brian:     That sounds like a night.

Sean:      It was. That's where I got my start and I kind of did it off and on, but then I started doing carpentry for a long time and I owned my own carpentry business. I really just wanted to learn how to build my own house one day or build my own recording studio. After the market collapse I reevaluated that situation and I went back to school to learn Pro tools professionally and that's where I'm at now.

Brian:     That was your late 20's or early 30's?

Sean:      When I owned my construction company it was my mid 20's through my mid 30's and I started picking this up around 30, 35, around when my son was born.

Brian:     Most people are slowing down when there son is born. Look at you go. What do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Sean:      That's a great question. I like movie scores, believe it or not.

Brian:     Movie scores, so like tell us a top movie score?

Sean:      For right now I've been listening to a lot of John Byron he was also a masterful producer. He's done Fiona Apple, Kanye West album and Amy Mann. He's done The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack. The things he does is unbelievable with the string sections and the back drops and texture and color that he uses, it's mind blowing.

Brian:     It is incredible, and it's a way to hear, people compose. The music comes after the show not before. They don't design the movies around the music. Music is designed around the movies, so it's amazing to see that creative element too. Do you have any rules, as a sound guy or whatever? Are there any rules that you have? There's some musicians that listen and there's some local music fans too. Any rules as a sound guy?

Sean:      Yeah. Supposing that you have a competent sound guy, which there's a lot if us out there. Try to take our advice about the room that we're working in, that's always an important thing. If we ask you to turn your guitar amp down on stage, if your a musician try not to think about that so much as, hey, we're trying to tell you to turn your guitar amp down, we're trying to control the sound as a whole and trying to get everything for the house. So just as an example.

Brian:     I want to go on record and say that I love that you used guitarists as an example. I'm thinking of a few guitarists of the top of my head who love those loud guitars. Sound men appreciate it when you turn it down, that's ... What other rules?

Sean:      Basically, try to come into the venue and not have any preconceived notions we've all as musicians had experiences with bad sound guys. And we know what's that like or less than favorable venues or sound systems. As an artist you have to go into a venue and make the best of the given situation. If your getting something less than desirable, push through and do the best that you can do. If your working in a good room with a good engineer, work with that engineer. Make sure that your, there's a give and take in the conversation there ... Because it's basically as an artist, it's your night. It's all about you and sounding engineer is just there to assist you.

Brian:     The favorite question I always love to ask is, what's one piece of advice that you have to offer?

Sean:      Work hard.

Brian:     Say more.

Sean:      The reason I've gotten where I've gotten, in kind of a short amount of time, is just because I'm out there and I'm doing it. Really is like you said, it's my life and I make it my life, because that's the only way to really be visible and to make a difference on the scene is to be out there, be doing it, work really really hard. Develop a reputation whether your a sound guy, and artist, whatever you may be. Try to be the best of that and if your really good people will start noticing.

Brian:     As evidence of the amazing career that you've had from your mid 30's on. your making tracks. That's amazing. Tell folks if we want to find out more about you and follow you, where do we go?

Sean:      You can go to, or there's a Facebook page for Blue Hippo Recordings that you can look up or search, or you can find me on Audio Bar on Facebook, which is a podcast that's run out of my studio.