Here’s a collection of the most frequently asked questions, in no particular order.
Why Did You Leave Rhino On Air?
Would it be lame to use that tired old excuse “creative differences”? Without getting into details, let’s just say that what I thought was a creative endeavor built upon community support for The Arts turned into a cult of personality based around one particularly nasty and ill-tempered little woman. I enjoyed the creative and technical challenges surrounding the launch of Rhino On Air (I put together its infrastructure, original web site and music archives myself), but I was very glad to break free of the constant drama, ass-kissing and back-stabbing. Only a few of the original hosts remain. The rest have left, like me, spitting one particular person’s name. And in the end, that’s all you really need to know about why I left Rhino On Air. One impossible little woman with a Napoleon complex…
Do You Plan To Complete “M.E. Caldwell”?
Eventually, sure. I love the old girl and I want to see her get her due. But I’m very protective of her, and I’m not willing to submit her to the gristmill of mainstream publication. I suspect that when M.E. Caldwell is published, it will be either through a small, independent publisher or it will be self-published. Possibly as an e-book (much more likely).
Have you had any formal musical training, or are you entirely self-taught?
A cousin once showed me how to play a few songs on bass. But when I played them well he stopped showing me stuff. Beyond that, I’ve had no training. I always wanted to learn to read music and pick up music theory, but it just never happened.
Did you always want to be a writer?
I never had a choice in the matter, really. I’ve been spinning tall tales since I was in elementary school. I figured I’d best stick with what I’m good at. Besides, you can grow old and ugly and still have a career as a writer. Who wants to see a fat, old rock star?
Do you consider yourself a guitar player or a bass player?
I’ll always think of myself as a bass player. I started playing guitar because I had to. Not because I wanted to be Jimmy Page. I always wanted to be John Paul Jones. But I never found my guitar hero counterpart.
Do you play with a pick or with your fingers?
Both, actually. It all depends on which song I’m playing. But it might be safe to say that I play electric guitars with a pick usually but sometimes use my fingers, I play acoustic guitar with my fingers usually but sometimes use a pick, and I usually play bass with my fingers but sometimes use a pick. While we’re at it, I should probably mention that I play keyboards with my fingers, and drums with whichever part of my body has the most rhythm in it at the time.
How many guitars do you own?
The total is 9. Two electric guitars, two acoustic guitars, and six basses. But I plan to someday give one of the basses to a friend. So it might have been more accurate to say the total is 8.
Are you a Democrat or a Republican?
Neither. I’m registered as an Independent. I vote for whoever I think can do the best job. Admittedly, that’s most often not going to be a Republican. But when I first registered to vote, it was as a Republican. The Democrats are full of shit, too, but I definitely consider them the lesser of two evils.
When was your first time on stage?
Well, an exact date is impossible. But I think it was in 1987. I was bass player for a band called Legend, which was founded by some teachers from Kings Mountain Central School (in Kings Mountain, NC). My first gig with them was in front of a packed auditorium at Central School for some kind of student assembly. I learned 40 songs in a week. Well, okay, I learned two or three and faked the rest. I was too worried about remembering the songs to be nervous about the audience.
Is it true that you are a witch? Do you worship the Devil?
It might be most accurate to say that I’m a Pagan. I don’t think of myself as a witch and most of my beliefs are my own. I’m fond of telling people that I’m “Wicastan”. And it’s sort of true. I went my own way a long time ago, and I’ve never looked back.
By the way, my name, Wicasta, has nothing to do with Wicca. It’s a Sioux word. Before you ask, no, I’m not Sioux. The name was given to me by an ex-girlfriend, who was Sioux.