HOMETOWN: San Rafael, Calif.
PLAYS: Pictured with his Guild acoustic
MEMBER OF: Solo artist, 2007-present; A Night at the Pictures, 2003-present
FAVORITE CONCERT ATTENDED: Arcade Fire at the Sweet Train Pavilion, Concord, Calif., 2007. "Arcade Fire is one of my favorite bands. ... They played really well; their stage presence was awesome."
FIRST SONG LEARNED ON GUITAR: Pharaoh Pharaoh (he was 13)
FAVORITE PERFORMANCE: A Night at the Pictures opening for Journey at Rockin' Blues by the Lake, Novato, Calif., 2005. "We won this battle of the bands, and the grand prize was an opening slot for Journey. ... There were a lot of bands on the bill. We played probably three bands before them. ... It was the biggest show we've ever played."
FAVORITE FOOD: Burritos
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Arrested Development
FAVORITE MOVIE: THAT THING YOU DO!
SONGWRITING PROCESS: "I'll focus on the music firsthand and then I'll write lyrics. Both are as equally important to me; I just can't write the lyrics unless I have the melody, so I'll get that down first. And then just in terms of lyrics and stuff, I ... try to stay away from just writing songs about girls.
A lot of times it flies right back in there, but I made a promise to myself a long time ago to make music that matters and to make music that can sort of cause people to question who they are, what they're doing, how they're affecting people."
PRE-SHOW RITUAL: "I always pray. ... I always write 'change' somewhere on me, whether it's on my shirt or on my hand. Most of the time it's on my left hand ... just to kind of remind myself why I play."
HANDPICKED CONCERT LINEUP: Death Cab for Cutie, any song off Plans; Derek Webb, any song; Hopefield, Drive and Black Market Time; The Beatles, Day Tripper; Ryan Adams, I Taught Myself How to Grow Old; Switchfoot, One Fire and 24; U2, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Yahweh