Sometimes I worry I'm leaving things too late. I'm 34 chasing a dream that most are done and finished with by my age. My friends are settled in careers and family life & I'm still out here doing basically what I was doing 10 years ago. I never thought it would take this long, when I was 25 I thought I was a year away from being discovered. I wasn't.
Still, I feel I'm a pretty lucky person to have known what I wanted & where I'm going since my early 20's. A lot of my peers often tell me they have nothing to be passionate about so I'm lucky in that respect.
I've felt since my late teens that I had something important to contribute, at the time I was playing rugby pretty seriously & presumed that that feeling meant I was going to be an All Black, music to me then was just something I listened to when I trained.
Then one day while listening to something it struck me that I understood what the artist was doing - the structure of his song, what he was playing - it was kind of like understanding a maths equation for the first time. I was in the States at the time & I decided when I got home I'd need to get a guitar & start working this stuff out for myself.
I came home & a friend of mine had a guitar body in his shed with no bridge or nut, so I carved some out of bone. They were so big that the action on that guitar was twice the size of a standard guitars. It made pushing the strings down so hard that it killed people's fingers to play it, I think that's why I became a strong rhythm player, it was such a tough guitar to play - & I started with the heaviest strings available - I could only play barre chords. I would play E then slide up the frets - F, G, A, B etc. That's how I learned to play, it's called a power chord. All of the first songs I wrote were major chords, simple but effective. I still remember the thrill I got when I first strung that guitar, it was exciting, I knew I was onto something.
I really liked that guitar but ended up wrapping it round our clothesline in a moment of creative frustration, something I've regretted since. I've had other guitars, but that one was special.
So that's how I started all this.