June’s Writer Spotlight: Gregory Wooldridge

Gregory Wooldridge, aka pinflap, is a pop/contemporary acoustic singer and songwriter. Wooldridge plays with an old Guild he gigged with for years. Here he shares about his solo project, influences, and performances in this month’s installment of Writer Spotlight.

 Sample a song:  The Branch by Gregory Wooldridge

Greg, tell me about yourself, how did you discover your love for music?

I always had an ear for music. I remember taking music aptitude tests when i was young and scoring off the charts. played the french horn in 5th and 6th grade.

Did you grow up in a household of musicians and it’s in your DNA?

my mother’s side of the family was very talented. My grandmother played piano. I had an Uncle who was an amazing player. He could play pretty much anything. My Mom always sang for weddings and in the church choir. I had aunts that also played. that side of the family was rich in talent.

And how did you know you were ready to perform as an artist?

when I started playing guitar at age 21, I knew exactly what I was going to do. 3 months later I was in a band.

I follow you on twitter, so what’s the pinflap mean?

pinflap is just another made up name I have been using for anything from gaming characters to email to log in names. I have a rather good imagination.

Describe your perfect day when all of your juices are flowing.

kind of depends I guess, because the best stuff I have written, didn’t really come on ideal days. but, if I had it my way, I would get up at my leisure, put on some coffee, eat a little breakfast, then grab a guitar and just sit down and write.

As a kid, who and what type of music did you listen to, and who/what would we find on your iPod now?

growing up i listened to The beatles, Hendrix, james taylor, led zeppelin, Jethro Tull. that kind of stuff. my ipod has everything on it from Michelle Branch to A Perfect Circle

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

Ian Anderson

Give us details about someone you collaborated with, a band or member you rolled with, or someone else.

I have always written solo, but I used to hang with my old lead player, Mike Love. back then we were best friends

Here’s a scenario, you arrive at an arena to do a sound check and a bunch of fans are waiting at the door. What’s the conversation like?

hey guys, how’s it going? depending on the answers, I guess it would go from there

Along the same line, share a time when you were each of these, whether writing or performing: meticulous, fanatical, maniacal.

in my earlier years playing rock, I was very meticulous about the way I wanted things to sound. I guess you could say I was a fanatic when I was into Rush and bands like Queensryche. that’s when my writing was a little maniacal I guess. the harder i could make it, the better.

So, let’s create the perfect band, who’s on bass, vocals, etc?

Pino Palladino on bass, John C Mayer on guitar. Steven Chopek on drums. Steve Perry on vocals.

Now describe the first gig.

the coliseum in LA

Where is the wildest place you were when you grabbed something to write down some lyrics and what were they?

wildest, hmmm. well, not sure but i wrote the lyrics to Passing Us By on an Airplane

Many songwriters dig deep into previous relationships for inspiration. Describe some of your experiences and how they relate to your current solo project.

well, yeah sometimes the deepest feeling create some of the best material. it hurts and it just has to come out. for me a lot of healing happens when I write about something that hurt.  a lot of the songs on the current project were written with one person in mind. we were close, and then I’m not real sure exactly what happened, but we split and it hurt.

Tell me about this sentence on your myspace page, “So what if the abyss, is shrouded in a kiss, lost in paradise, and nothing quite as nice. a basic form of lust, or is it love unjust, the trickery of fate, or feelings changing state.”

well, i just kind of random threw that out there. it’s just there to make you think, lol

Pick an accomplished artist’s song that you would perform with that person or band (current or deceased).

well, I really like Michelle Branch. Her music really grabs me. I get it, and it moves me, so I would probably pick Hotel Paper. Now, during your rehearsal, change it up and let us be the fly on the wall: what’s your conversation like as you share your creative thoughts?

The only thing I might do is play a break a little longer so we could enjoy it a little longer. I would just say hey what if we just kind of extend a break in the middle, maybe add a little guitar solo.

Where do you see yourself in a decade and what’s happening in the world?

in a decade I hope to be playing, back in LA, and just writing new stuff. as far as the world goes, who knows?

Now, look back, what would your advice be for present-day Greg?

concentrate on the music, stay in california, don’t move to dallas. stay focused.

How about anyone else clambering down the composing corridor, what is your advice to them?

if you know writing is your gift, then embrace it, and give it everything you can.

never give up the dream, ever. if you can find your gift, your passion, then follow it.

Put on your headphones and listen to Gregory Wooldridge @

http://www.reverbnation.com/pinflap

http://www.myspace.com/gregwooldridge

http://tweetmysong.com/8ivx24

follow and fan him at his facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=104038809629306

tweet together on twitter @pinflap:

http://twitter.com/pinflap

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