When it was announced that Paleface would be joining the list of people that have performed at the Canopy Club, some music listeners rejoiced while others wondered what the musician could bring to the plate. Get to know Paleface a bit more before you experience the energetic act live.
Smile Politely: Can you tell readers how you first got your start with music?
Paleface: I was working in a gas station not really doing much, and I was just banging on the tables because I was so bored and making stuff up on my own. That was the beginning. I thought to myself that maybe I could be a musician. I was watching a lot of videos on MTV, but then I started making up videos for like The Rolling Stones because they didn’t have music videos.
SP: How did you get the name Paleface?
Paleface: I don’t think I decided it. I was playing with artists that were different, they were sarcastic and they saw a really young male, and they called me Paleface. They’d say, ‘Here comes Paleface, he sleeps in the subway.’ Then Danny Fields came along. He managed the Ramones, and he discovered the Stooges and was Jim Morrison’s publicity agent. In 1991, The Doors and The Stooges were the bands that had all the major influence. He became my manager and he said he liked the name. Once you’re established as an artist, you can go along with it.
SP: Can you describe the first time you performed in front of a live audience?
Paleface: It was an open mic somewhere in New York City. I remember the first couple years there and just meeting the people I met. Beck and I became best buds. We did open mics and played shows.
SP: It’s known that you have a friendship with Beck, another popular artist then and now. How was that friendship established?
Paleface: I met Beck because he looked like a cool dude in New York and I just introduced myself. We were best buds for a while there. I told him where to play and we started hanging out from there.
SP: What made you decide to play folk music instead of another genre like hard rock, etc.?
Paleface: Well, with the beginnings of me as a person, the first music I heard was when my dad listened to Johnny Cash. Being from Connecticut, Bruce Springsteen was the thing. But folk music is real. Bruce is a rock and roller, but his music was real and it was just weird, but it was kind of fun. Hip hop was starting too, even in life the late 80s, and that was interesting to me. I wasn’t going to do any hip hop that made sense, though.
SP: Has there ever been a time at your show where you felt like you had a real impact upon the audience?
Paleface: I would say any time there’s an audience and they’re quiet at the end of the song or dancing. The live thing is the most immediate. I’ve never had any commercial success, I’m more of an underground artist, but it’s that immediacy with an audience. It’s like an exchange of energy. That’s something to strive for.
SP: Where do you see your music in five years?
Paleface: I see a big audience and songs that explode to the audience.
SP: Do you have a favorite song that you like to play live?
Paleface: We have a few. But it’s different every night.
SP: What’s your favorite song that you’ve written so far?
Paleface: That’s like asking who your favorite child is. If I had a hit song that would be it. I don’t know which one that is yet.
SP: What have you been working on recently?
Paleface: A new record. I don’t want to get into detail yet. It’s taken a long time, and I’m not going to put it out until it’s ready.
SP: What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
Paleface: I like listening to everything from like Bruno Mars and Adele. I like Alabama Shakes and I wish I knew more about hip hop. I like rock and roll. I like the old artists too. I still listen to old R&B with James Brown and Springsteen. There are a ton of artists. There are even new artists I like listening to.
SP: What advice would you give to your younger self if you could go back in time?
Paleface: For me, and this is a personal thing, I would say to not drink alcohol. That was a source for a lot of problems for me. Partying is a lot of fun until it’s not. There are a lot of people that can party and I’m not one of them.
SP: Which artist, new or old, would you like to collaborate with?
Paleface: An older artist would be The Rolling Stones. That would be cool. A new one would be Bruno Mars. That would be real fun. I think he’s the real deal. There were a bunch of people wondering why he did the super bowl, but then he blew everyone away. He’s loaded with talent.
SP: Any last words for readers?
Paleface: If you’re thinking about coming, come. Don’t be lazy. People say they want to come, but they’re too lazy to get off of their ass. Don’t be lazy. If you’re feeling like you need an energy boost or a feel good time, then come to the show. Then you’ll leave feeling better. Our goal is to get people to have a good time. When people come to me after having a good time, I feel like my mission is accomplished. It actually means something to someone. You can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
Check out Paleface at the Canopy Club tonight with Justin Rondon and P.M. Buys. Show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8.