Sean is a Alanta based guitarist who loves to blend the styles of rock and pop music into classical forms with his ever singing guitar. His songs and music are received by audience with expectancy that matches a lover waiting for the its counter-part to arrive and pour love.
Spanning a musical life of more than 30 years, Sean continues to enthrall the audience through his recordings and live-performances.
We had an email interview with Sean.
Q1. Tell us about your childhood. Share with us how you got attracted to music?
My musical journey began that historic night when The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. I was 9 years old and watched, with fervor and fascination, as those 4 Liverpool lads tore up the both the audience and the entire United States. Something happened to me that night. Some sort of fever took hold of me and has never let me go. I pleaded with my parents to get me a guitar and a Beatles album. That next week I had those two AND a guitar chord book. My mother always used to say that I said farewell to my friends, locked myself in my room, and played that guitar until my fingers bled! I still play/practice many hours of every day. I fell in love with the guitar and have never fallen out.
Q2. When it came to getting trained in music, where you studied or got tutored? Tell us about your routine at the time of your training.
As I mentioned earlier, I tutored myself. I found that instinct, or gift, was present within me from the very first day. In fact, I have played for so many years now, that I can tell what chords are in most songs, by hearing only. The guitar is one of the first things I encounter each day, upon waking. It’s a love, it’s a fever, it’s a passion. It is a fire that burns bright within me and has never dimmed. It warms me to this day!
Q3. How you picked up guitar as your instrument?
When I first saw The Beatles, and consequent bands, it was the guitar that drew me. I had been schooled on keyboards and the accordion when I was 5. Neither has inspired me, much. I still play keyboards, no accordion, but it has been, and always will be, the guitar!
Q4. When it comes to creating music, what do you feel important: training, intuition, improvisation or experimentalism?
My very first song was sold to the Kenny Rogers group, in Nashville. It happened the very first week out of high school, by taking a guitar, courage, and my music and “knocking on doors”. You cannot do that, anymore! Songwriting, for me, comes from within myself. I always feel it is a gift. Other than that, I could never tell you where it comes from. There are times that an entire song, music and lyrics, will spill out of me and blow me away! How does that occur? But, like anything on this planet, you must discipline yourself. Practice does make perfect.
There is something very spiritual about the guitar! It can be played in a variety of both standard and alternate tunings, and can also be a percussion instrument. And, the varieties of guitars, today, open up endless possibilities for experimentation. We are blessed to live in this “golden age of lutherie” with countless builders creating works of art from woods never before imagined as potential for stringed instruments!
Q6. Tell us something about your collaborations with other musicians. Do you feel it has increased your own repertoire?
I have worked in the studio with many famous artists, since the seventies. I will, on occasion, write with different artists. I think when you have an opportunity to play with, or for someone, it only expands your musical horizons. There are so many excellent known, and unknown, guitarists and songwriters, that I have always said that for every one act that makes it, several hundred better acts are still undiscovered.
Q7. Which one do you like—recording in a studio or performing live before an audience?
Between recording in a studio, or performing “live”, I will always choose the “live” performance. It is a fact that even now, after 30 plus years, I still get nervous before a performance, no matter how large or small. When those feelings cease, so will I!
Q8. When you sit composing a song or piece of music, how you prepare for it? Do you have a set pattern that you adopt?
I really have no set pattern for writing. The important thing is to be there, ready to work, and just try! I carry a digital voice recorder with me, at all times, to record any ideas that pop up. Some great songs flow out easily. Others, are still in the working process some years on. It’s all good because it’s all me! It’s a little difficult to explain, really. Just stay focused, listen to your heart, and be your own worst critic. Always remember, if you ask your family if your songs are good, they will always say “yes”. Choose a harder line for your own reviews. I have had music jump at the top of some charts and others that have fallen off like a rock. But, they are all good because they are all original!
Q9. How do you feel music has helped you as a person? Do you feel it has something particularly related to your personality in life?
Music has cause me to grow in unexplainable ways. I became a voting member of The Grammy Awards when I ws 19. I have won multiple awards for my songwriting. And, yet, I still wear the same hat size, if you get my meaning. Music is a gift, pure and simple, I want to go to my Creator and say, “yes, I used Your gift. I hope it pleased You”.
Q10. Apart from music, what else keeps you occupied?
I am learning how to trade on the Forex Market. That is a big time consumer. I am an avid reader, because gaining those new experiences can only help in my story telling. Choose life, live life as the gift it is, learn from your mistakes, and change your guitar strings regularly. Ha!
Q11. Do you think that something else can replace music in your life? If it were not music, what would you have been doing?
No one person can take the place of music. and, it should never be that way. no one has the right to tell you what you may, or may not, do! If I did not have music inmy life, I might have focused on my studies more, and perhaps have become something in the medical field.
Q12. Would you like to tell us about your instruments and other tools!
I love hand-made guitars! That special instrument that was created by one maker and imbued with a bit of their heart and soul. That being said,I also play a Martin, am a Taylor Artist, and the list could go on and on! Having a digital recording device, even if it is your cell phone, is invaluable to a writer and instrumentalist!
Q13. Share a message with our readers, music enthusiasts and budding guitarists.
For everyone out there that has developed a love for an instrument, or writing, or painting–do not give up and practice, practice, practice! Learning is always difficult, but if you love what you are learning, you will find a lifetime of happiness! Peace and love to all!