AmForte had just finished up when Acoustic Energy came on. We were warned ahead of time that his show (this particular show) was R rated. No WAY was I gonna miss this! I HAD to find out what was going on.
About 2 minutes into his set, I was laughing so hard I kept snorting. I kid you not! I positioned my camera for a better view and put my headphones on. I found myself unable to refrain from making comments. I was laughing so hard and SO LOUD! Before I knew it I had gotten his attention and one thing led to the next and I found myself (or my avie) mud wrestling with his avie while he continued to play and sing. The whole time I'm shaking my head and wondering what the heck I was doing! But I was having a blast! I had a bad day, and it was a much needed release of steam. So, I was very appreciative of his sense of humor.
Now, here's the interesting part... At some point in his playing he used my real name, not my avie name. I wondered how in the world he knew it. Well, I don't know if he did it subconsciously, but it turned out we were already FB friends LOL You see, I had interviewed his son Evan Olmos some time back. You can see his interview HERE.
After some banter back and forth, I decided that there was no way I was letting him out of an interview! So I sent him some questions and he so kindly got back to me rather quickly :)
AE: I’ve been performing in SL for almost 12 years. I’ve been writing songs and performing in RL for almost 40 years
HGMM: Are you self taught or did you take lessons?
AE: I taught myself how to play guitar during my freshman year in high school.
HGMM: Which instruments do you play?
AE: I play acoustic guitar and noodle around on the piano.
HGMM: Who are your influences?
AE: I’ve never really been influenced by any musicians or public figures, per se, but I was inspired to begin writing my own music by my best friend’s mom who saw talent in me. I find inspiration in the people around me and people that I actually know or that I have met. It’s never a song or a melody, it’s a heart and soul that influences me.
HGMM: How did you come up with the name “Acoustic Energy”?
AE: I actually spent some time thinking about that name, Acoustic Energy. The two words describe me very nicely. I play the acoustic guitar and I always have a lot of energy. When I’m not performing, I’m either training for marathons or Ironman Triathlons. My mind, body, and soul never stop engaging. I decided on the name back when I first joined Skype.
HGMM: What are some of your favorite songs to perform?
AE: Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon, Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band, and All of Me, by John Legend. And of course a lot of my original songs.
HGMM: Where can folks see you play in SL?
AE: PARADISE DESIRES - every Friday evening at 8PM (Adults Only for my show at least.) http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Paradise%20Desires/116/36/21
UNDER THE WILLOWS - every other Friday at 6PM (Mostly play my original songs) http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Waterfront/52/104/44
THE PIER - every Sunday and Monday evening at 6PM
Other random gigs throughout the week.
HGMM: What is your target audience?
AE: My audience is a very diverse group - diversity with one common ground; a beating heart that animates each avatar. And I get that. So I sing to their hearts.
HGMM: What a great flippin answer!
HGMM: Do you play in RL as well as SL? If so, where?
AE: I don’t play in RL and I don’t have any desire to play in RL. I don’t sing in front of crowds too well. I’d do private concerts with a few people. I only need one listener to fill up my ego bank.
HGMM: What's the biggest problem you've had to overcome so far?
AE: I don’t encounter problems in SL. I’m trying to think of some challenges and I really can’t think of any. I guess, I flirt a lot over the mic, as part of my act, sometimes this causes challenges because people start sending me naked pictures. So, it’s a good problem.
HGMM: What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
AE: I enjoy my audience the most. They are more than a group of listeners, more than fans, more than avatars. They are my friends. And without these friends, my songs are empty.
I need their ears and hearts to explode life into my music, and to fill the space between the melodies. I’ve developed deep relationships with them over the years. Some have left and some have endured with me; such is life in both worlds. I've laughed with them, shared tears, listened as they spoke about their break-ups and I’ve encouraged them while singing at their weddings. I’m desperate to hear about their world.
My love for my listeners is deep and I'm in continual awe as each attends my performances over and over again. I love this group of friends and I try and say 'I love you' to them as often as I can, in and out of performances.
Tell us about that. Are you interested in RL photography or is this a graphics interest? What program(s) do you use to edit your artwork? Do you have an SL studio set up where folks might purchase them?
HGMM: I have to tell you, I stopped by your RL site and I am impressed! You're a talented photographer.
AE: I’ve always been interested in SL photography. And like RL photography it’s a saturated market. So, I mainly shoot for personal interest. I recently began a photo series called, “Reach” and I’m in the process of photographing subjects now for this project.
I use ON1 for my photography “darkroom”. But I hate the program and don’t really recommend it. I have a skybox and studio that’s not currently open to the public, where I create photoshoot scenes and display my works.
HGMM: If you could change anything about the music industry (SL or RL) what would it be?
I absolutely love change! And with that, I certainly would not change anything. People force change for many reasons. I can go off on a philosophical rant about this but I won’t. Ask me again at one of my bAsEment Sessions.
HGMM: I was privileged to attend one of these sessions last night after a show. I have to say, I wasn't prepared for the intimate atmosphere. This author found herself dropping walls and I became so relaxed. AE made us feel like we were sitting in his livingroom just having a chat while he strummed whatever came to mind.
HGMM: Can folks buy your music? If so, where?
AE: I've always been athletic and enjoyed playing sports and being active. Although, I didn't start participating in running type events until later in life; maybe, mid 40's. It started with a simple mud run which led to me racing in the Spartan World Championship mud run. Then I got into half and full marathons. This year, I taught myself how to swim so that I could train and race in Ironman triathlons, where you have to swim over a mile. I participated in 3 triathlons this year.
Next year I'll race a couple more and then the L.A. Marathon.
What's challenging is that I travel almost every other week for business; add that, with my photography, music, and all my virtual gigs, makes life a bit interesting.
HGMM: I am beyond impressed, as I'm sure my readers are! BEGINNING such an active lifestyle in your 40's when most people start slowing down, is amazing! To teach yourself how to swim so that you can compete is astounding in my mind.
HGMM: I have enjoyed this interview more than I can say, thank you so much for your time. I know that you are a very busy man and interviews aren't something you normally do. I am sure my readers are as appreciative as I am! Good luck in all of your endeavors. As driven as you are, I am sure you will make all of your dreams come true and we look forward to celebrating your future accomplishments!
Be sure and catch Acoustic Energy in Second Life and head on over to his photography page to see some truly beautiful work.
As always, don't forget to support the venues who use their own time and resources to bring us magnificent entertainment like AE and many others. When you see a tip jar or get a chance to support their art; be it music or photography or graphical work... throw a few linden their way so that we can continue to enjoy all that they bring to us for a long time to come.
God bless you dear readers and thank you for visiting my blog!