Q. When did you first discover you had a special singing voice?

A.  Well, I don't really see my voice as special, rather I think if you have a voice it's a matter of creating the right music around it. Your voice is a musical instrument like any other and it can feature well in certain styles of music better than others. Finding that style can take forever, it's easier though if you write your own music as you tend to write around the voice you have.

Q. How did your music career begin; what were some of your 1st gigs like?

A.  I started learning piano (as you do!) at the age of five. That was a terrifying experience, I was scared stiff of the teacher because she would make me very self conscious by gazing at my hands as I played waiting for a mistake,

then the guillotine would come down, even to this day I get nervous when people are up close watching. It wasn't until I took up drums that my passion for music became apparent, I just loved getting out there with the band

playing my favorite songs (mostly Beatles). The early gigs were so much fun, the only thing that mattered in life was the next gig.

Q. What is one of your favorite instruments and why?

A.  There are a few, but if I had to choose it would come down to two. The saxophone because it is so expressive and full of "feel," and the electric guitar because it is totally unique in its sound and ability to create new music. The electric guitar changed the face of modern music and forged a whole generation and direction in music.

Q. What does being a Scot mean to you?

A.  Firstly I refer to myself as a South Pacific Scot as I was born in New Zealand and so were my parents. My connection to Scotland came through my family name which started me on the road to writing about Scotland. It's in your blood and over the generations you still feel that attachment to it both genetically and spiritually. New Zealand has a high percentage of Scottish

and Irish blood so the connection is strong.

Q. What about Scottish history continues to 1) delight you? 2) haunt you?

A.  I love the stories handed down through the generations, there are thousands and I can pick up a book and find out new things all the time. The Scots are very passionate about their history and that passion is still around today. The haunting aspects fall on the more tragic side of history. The Scots have had an age old battle with the English and even though nowadays these things belong in the past, there are not many Scots who are not haunted by the past, it will always be in the blood.

Q. Are there quite a lot of Scottish people living in New Zealand? If so do they have the equivalent of the Highland Games and/or Scottish Festivals?

  1. A. Yes, there are a lot of ex-patriot Scots living here but more so the Scottish connection is one of the children and Grand children of Scotland. The South Island has most of the Scottish heritage. In fact the city of Dunedin, located toward the bottom of the east coast of New Zealand, is the old name for Edinburgh, and even the streets are the same names and in the same virtual location as Edinburgh in Scotland. Again yes, we have Highland Games festivals and our pipe bands have on several occasions gone to Scotland and won the World Champ pipe band contests.

  1. Q.What is it like as a Scottish recording artist living in your native New Zealand? and/or How are you supported and revered by the Scottish community in New Zealand?

  2. A. I have had excellent support from various Scottish societies in New Zealand. I play at some, though not a lot of Highland Festivals because NZ is a small population country so you have to diversify in order to keep afloat as a full time musician. I think I am regarded as a little bit "way out" by the more conservative Scots. But I've never had a bad gig at such places.

 Q. When you imagine your highest inspirations for your music and  career, what does this look like?

A.  The perspective has changed somewhat in recent times compared to how I saw  things when I was say 20. My vision of success is not so much one of being the biggest thing since sliced bread, but one of reaching people through the music. I learned this relatively recently. I was playing at a gig and a woman came up to    

 me and told me about her daughter who had a motor neuron disease and  was confined to a wheelchair. She said they were at a shopping mall watching a street performer who used my music as a background for his show.  The young girl was really taken by the music so they went to the local record store and bought a copy. The woman said that since

then, even now, every night the young girl will not go to sleep until that song is played; and by the end of the song she is asleep, and this is every night for over three years. That is definitely success.