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Meet the musicians

Friends Jason Haskins and Robby Richey are among six local talents who will perform at the Estacada Library's 'Save it For a Rainy Day' acoustic evening April 7. Here are their answers to questions about their music...

JASON HASKINS:

Q: When did you begin playing guitar?

A: I started playing about five years or so ago, but really became serious about three years ago.

Q: Do you play any other instruments?

A: I've been playing drums for about 6 years, but again I became serious about a year and a half ago. I dabble in piano, bass, and harmonica, but consider my strong point drums.

Q: What bands have you been involved with?

A: I play drums in a band with Robby and my two other friends, Erick Sturgill and AJ Morrissey, and we've been playing together since the last quarter of 2006. We're an experimental grunge band of sorts with a

lot of Middle Eastern themes and I find the band really captivating not only because we're best friends, but because the music we play is so original and complex.

Q: Tell me about your song writing.

A: I would say that all of my songs are very personal and deal with a lot of my emotions. I wouldn't necessarily call my songs diary entries, but they reflect a lot of my feelings. I'd say about half of my lyrics have

metaphors in them, but the other half are self-explanatory, and I like that because I think that it helps the listener-usually my friends-understand me a bit more. I wouldn't say all of my songs are truly just 'bah-humbug' sad or melancholy just to be melancholy, but I think they are sincere-at least that's what I hope for.

Q: Will you please share a sample of your favorite song and tell the story behind it?

A: 'Made a scene no one saw / kept it to myself / afraid

to talk and to listen / I've done all I can / Another night spent alone / It could have been so much worse / Arguing without the use of words.'

This is my newest song 'The Use of Words,' which I'll be performing for the first time for anyone and I wrote it about a lot of my feelings about my friendships-not about anything in particular but about everything. How my girlfriend and I are: how my friends and I treat each other, and a lot of the problems that have surfaced. I think this is my favorite song that I have written because it has so many parts that I think many people will understand or at least relate to about a deteriorating friendship. It has a theme that's all too common to a lot of my songs in the way that I usually just write about problems or negative thoughts, but rarely come to a conclusion by the end of the song on how to make everything better, and this lack of closure, I think, has a deep meaning to it, as I have to deal with it every day and you (and everyone else) probably have to cope with everything that I bring attention to.

Q: How did you become involved in these library concerts?

A: Last year I signed myself up for a Battle of the Bands that Rhonda Feagle, the coordinator for the teen section, was putting on and I don't know how it happened, but before we knew it we were friends and ever since then I have participated not only in performing and setting up concerts, but volunteering in the community and at the library.

I think that what makes these library concerts more fun to play than the ones in Portland is the fact that I'm sharing the stage with my good friends such as the really talented Lukas Robinowitz and definitely one of the best musicians I have ever had the privilege to meet, Jim Cuda, As well as my best friend Robby and his phenomenal lyrics and instrumentation.

ROBBY RICHEY:

Q: When did you begin playing guitar?

A: I first began playing guitar when I was fourteen. My Uncle Chuck was the man who got me interested. He taught me a lot of the basic chords. I don't know how he had the patience to teach me because I had a really hard time at first.

Q: Do you play any other instruments?

A: Yeah. I can play mandolin, bass, piano, and drums. I do have to admit that I don't play them that well. I just know the basics. I've taken some piano lessons but never finished. I wish I could play it a lot better; I love the sound of a piano.

Q: What bands have you been involved with?

A: A lot of my friends play music and have bands. I'd have the bands come meet at my house and we'd play music all day. I try to involve myself with music and bands as much as possible. I'm in a band right now called Burning Cold. We have a really unique sound. We have just finished some recordings and I'm excited as to where we'll go.

Q: Tell me about your song writing.

A: My song writing is more like poetry writing. I have several songs that were at first poems. Those are some of my best. I write poetry for my personal enjoyment with no intention of making them songs; it just happens. I also have lyrics that I later changed to poems.

Q: Will you please share a sample of your favorite song and tell the story behind it?

A: This isn't one of my favorite songs; it's just a song I feel like I can share:

Verse: 'As a shadow I linger haunted by the impurities of love and hate / As a pen I carve your words on a sheet / As a postcard I wander like a vagrant sending my heart / As a blade of grass I move underneath the sun, victim to the breeze.'

Chorus: 'What can I do to make you smile? / It means the world to me / Contentment is hard to find / You are the comfort I need to survive.'

When I wrote this I was feeling rather lousy. It's about being there for someone no matter what. It's about questioning whether or not you can face the harshness of love. The strongest emotion I feel when singing this is disappointment. I had that overwhelming feeling when writing it.