* Your musical inspirations? 

My musical aspirations have always been to communicate
with others through the medium of share my
very personal emotions and feel the "connectivity"
that music provides to humans.  Practically speaking,
I would like to be able to make music for the
remainder of my life so that my own internal impulse
to create is satisfied as well.

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

Oh...I have a huge list.  I would say that Enya has
had the most profound effect on my "musical" life.  I
love Celtic-based music--Loreena McKennitt,
Nightnoise, Moya Brennan.  I am also into world music
(Agricantus, Madredeus, Ofra Haza, Vas, Irina
Mikhailova), and Classical (Berlioz, Rachmaninov,
Schubert, Handel, Tallis).  I have a big "folk"
collection (Sarah McLachlan, Cowboy Junkies, Gordon
Lightfoot, October Project), and I love many of the
electro artists out of the UK like Goldfrapp, Kosheen,
Frou Frou...Oh, and I love 80's music (Duran Duran,
New Order, Rick James, Prince, Stacy name it).

  Right now, I would say Lisa Gerrard is kind of my
be-all-end-all. I cannot listen to her voice without
my jaw dropping.

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

Definitely.  But maybe in a less than conscious way.
I listen to music incessantly.  I always have music
on--at work, at home, in the car, at the gym--I think
it is a poweful influence in my life.  And I know that
certain religious hymns have really lifted me up when
I've been down.

* Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing--

I think that music does something unique and powerful
to the human mind.  It can enlighten us, inspire,
motivate, etc.  I definitely believe that sound
affects our spirits and, therefore, our physical


The music of Sleepthief was conceptualized by Justin
Elswick, a full-time attorney with a deep love of
epic, transcendent-styled electronica/world/ethereal
music. In order to more fully realize his vision,
Justin has collaborated with some of the best female
vocalists working in the world of 'electronic' music
today including Jody Quine (Balligomingo), Harland
(Delerium, Pole Folder, Ferry Corsten), Kirsty
Hawkshaw (BT, Silent Poets, Swayzak, DJ Tiesto, Opus
III), Kristy Thirsk (Rose Chronicles, Delerium),
Nicola Hitchcock (Mandalay), Roberta Carter Harrison
(Wild Strawberries, ATB), Kyoko Baertsoen (Lunascape),
Caroline Lavelle (B.T., Art of Trance, Vangelis),
Jerri Eckert (Desert Wind), and Lauren Edman (a
talented new vocalist from New York). Mix engineer
extraordinaire, Israel Curtis, has also lent his sonic
skills to the project. The music of Sleepthief is rich
and varied, ranging from the drum-and-bass pulse of
"The Chauffeur," to the celtic-influenced melancholy
of "Tenuous;" from the cineamtic beauty of "Sublunar
(Sweet Angel)" to the middle-eastern energy of "Desire
of Ages." What is certain is that Sleepthief has
created a moving and powerful debut album that
showcases the mystery and beauty of the female voice.
Sleepthief's full-length album, "The Dawnseeker" will
be released in Fall/Winter 2005 in both stereo and
surround formats and will include several bonus


* Your musical inspirations?

When I was young, there was always music in the house, whether it was my mother's piano playing - Debussy, Chopin, etc. - or our record player spinning everything from Stravinsky to Simon and Garfunkel. By the late 70's, courtesy in large part to a record store job under a great, open-minded manager John Thompson (who later became very influential in the Cleveland music scene of Devo and Pere Ubu) I was listening to quite a variety of music. Some favorites of mine were Robert Wyatt, the German group Can, Cluster, minimalist Steve Reich, as well as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and some quirky pop music like Talking Heads, Television, and Roxy Music. But some of the home-made electronic music coming from Europe really struck a chord - it opened my eyes to the possibility that you could make exciting, personal music on a small scale, without involving huge record companies and expensive recording studios. It was more a philosophical influence than a musical or stylistic one, I suppose, but it was very inspiring.

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

A few from a very long list:
"Rock Bottom" by Robert Wyatt
"Sowiesoso" by Cluster
"Soon Over Babluma" by Can
"Music for 18 Musicians" by Steve Reich
"Exodus" by Bob Marley
"Kind of Blue" by Miles davis
"Concerto for Orchestra" by Bela Bartok
"Lustwandel" by H-J Roedelius
"Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares"
"After the Rain" by Terje Rypdal


Tim Story was born in 1957 in Philadelphia, and currently lives in the small river town of Maumee, in northwest Ohio.

Tim's intensely personal style as a pianist, synthesist and composer developed from years of experimentation in his home studio, and a love of composition. Along with his self-taught, idiosyncratic approach to the piano, Story saw the great potential of the new breed of electronic music instruments that were evolving in the early 70's. This affinity for synthesizers, as well as electric guitars, tape loops and kitchen utensils, is evident in the early recordings. The careful juxtaposition of acoustic instruments with electronic textures, and an inventive approach to composition are common threads running through most of Story's work.

Tim Story's work has garnered an international reputation for its haunting elegance and meticulous compositional detail. When writing and recording, he often spends months carefully working and refining the shape of each composition until he achieves the desired emotional and intellectual effect. His seemingly simple pieces distill harmonic and melodic ideas that are often quite complex. "I like to work with a finite palette of sounds and keep paring things down to a pure, though often ambiguous, expression. Simplicity shouldn't imply simplemindedness. I think of the deceptively simple, ironic pieces of Erik Satie, or the lovely yet challenging piano music of Debussy. The very best of these pieces appear so effortless and perfect that they seem as if they've existed forever..." Story also cites a diverse range of musical preferences including Bartok, Arvo Part, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Dwight Ashley, Can, Cluster and Robert Wyatt.

" ...a goal of mine is to get the listeners to put something of themselves into the music. I want to prod the listener to find his or her own feelings about a piece, even if those feelings are sometimes uncomfortable. As Charles Ives said, 'Beauty in music is too often confused with something that lets the ears lie back in an easy chair.' I like to think of good music as a sculpture or a Japanese garden, where you can never experience the whole from any one point. Music that insinuates, you must move through it, live with it for a while, before it yields its secrets."

In addition to eight solo albums and dozens of compilation appearances, Story's work has appeared on numerous television and film soundtracks, and was nominated for a Grammy award (for 1988's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow", a children's recording, with Glenn Close), and a NAIRD "Best Album" award for "Beguiled". Notable collaborations include two acclaimed cd's with Dwight Ashley, and the recent "Lunz" with Hans-Joachim Roedelius. Tim's music has consistently landed on critics' annual "top ten" lists.


As a musician, I played guitar for many years, including seven years accompanying the late singer-songwriter, Tim Buckley. Today, I play solo acoustic piano and have recorded a CD entitled Phantom Light.

As an author, I have written two published books: Blue Melody: Tim Buckley Remembered and Inside Paul Horn. I recently completed a novel entitled Diamondfire: The Journey, and am looking for a literary agent.

As a poet, I have published numerous individual poems, including many of those included on my web site at

In addition to vocalist Tim Buckley, here are five artists who for me have stood the test of time -

Guitarist John McLaughlin: esp. Love, Devotion, Surrender (with Santana); Apocalypse (with the Mahavishnu Orchestra); and Handful of Beauty (the third of his Indian music series).

Miles Davis: esp. Kind of Blue; In a Silent Way; Agharta; Pangea.

Keith Jarrett: all of his solo piano performances.

Chopin: Nocturnes (as played by Maria Joao Pires).

Bach: all of Glenn Gould's piano/keyboard renditions, esp. The Well-Tempered Clavier; Toccatas; and The English Suites.

At one time in my life, filled with hopelessness and despair, I seriously considered suicide. Three musicians and their works put me back in touch with my highest spiritual Self. Because of those musicians and the life-affirmative beauty and intensity of their music, I pulled back from the brink and find myself alive and well today. Those three musicians were -

John McLaughlin, his astonishing guitar solos on Love, Devotion, Surrender and his amazing compositions and soaring guitar flights on Apocalypse;

Keith Jarrett, his enduring Koln solo piano concert;

Beethoven and his Ninth Symphony, particularly the immortal 4th movement Choral.


Lee knew joy in the running when he was a high school football halfback, and when he ran the 100-yard dash, the 220, and the 880 relay in track. He knew joy in the music when he played piano and put together a high school jazz quintet.

Listening: Dave Brubeck, Erroll Garner, Sonny Stitt, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Chico Hamilton.

He knew joy when reading Will Durant's Story of Philosophy, connecting with Plato, Socrates, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Voltaire, Spinoza, William James. And he knew joy in his senior English class when reading Byron, Shelly, Keats, Coleridge, and Emerson.

When the time came, his well-meaning parents sent him away to the University of Colorado, where tradition-oriented instructors propounding orthodox institutionalized ways of life tried to shape his thinking into perceptual modes unsuited for his inquisitive, creative spirit. He found himself brooding, drinking too much, trying to write. Confused, dissatisfied, he struggled inwardly with himself, outwardly with his studies.

On his own, encouraged by a friend, reading: Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, T.E. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, Melville, D.H. Lawrence, Thoreau, Colin Wilson, Styron, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg. Listening: Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Horace Silver; Beethoven, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky.

In his sophomore year he left CU, moved to California, re-entered school, got married, and graduated from San Francisco State College. Reading: Goethe, Thomas Mann, Schiller, Shakespeare. While still a student, he picked up a second-hand guitar and began strumming and singing folk songs. His brief attendance in graduate school at UC Berkeley did nothing to expand his mind or his talents. Although making straight A's, he dropped out, disgusted with the narrowness of the curriculum.

Reading: Nikos Kazantzakis, Henri Bergson, Tolstoy, Nietzsche. Listening: Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, Beethoven.

 He and his wife moved east. After teaching high school English in New Jersey for a year, and after his marriage dissolved, Lee threw away his suit and tie. He grabbed his guitar, typewriter and suitcase, and abandoned the rules, roles, and lifestyles of conventional, mainstream America.

He ran away to Mexico with a vivacious, dark-skinned dancer named Jennifer Stace and traveled on to San Francisco, where he wrote his own folk songs and sang them in North Beach clubs and coffee houses.

Listening: Odetta, Pete Seeger, Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt, Howlin' Wolf, Spider John Koerner, Tom Rush, Gordon Lightfoot.

When he felt ready, he headed for New York, where a new chapter of his life opened. Odyssean explorations beckoned, sometimes delightful and thrilling, sometimes dangerous, always alluring, and for a few years revelatory. . .

In the spring of 1966 in Greenwich Village, he met a 19-year-old singer/songwriter named Tim Buckley. Buckley liked Lee's guitar playing. Lee liked Buckley's voice and songs. They teamed up. Throughout the late '60s and early '70s, Lee played lead guitar with Tim on seven of the nine albums Buckley recorded while alive, including Goodbye and Hello, Happy Sad, and Starsailor.

Listening: Miles Davis, Gabor Szabo, Bill Evans, Roland Kirk, Jim Hall; Aretha Franklin, Dr. John, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills & Nash, Pink Floyd; Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy; Luciano Berio, Cathy Berberian, Xenakis, Olivier Messiaen, Penderecki.

He toured America and Europe with Buckley for seven years, and remained one of the singer's best friends until Buckley's untimely death in 1975 from an accidental overdose of alcohol and heroin. Lee later appeared on many CDs issued after Buckley's demise, including Dream Letter: Live In London, Works In Progress, and Once I Was. Lee's book, Blue Melody: Tim Buckley Remembered (Backbeat, 2002), is a combination biography and memoir that celebrates Buckley's life and music and the years Lee spent with him. Britain’s Uncut music magazine voted Blue Melody one of the ten best music books of 2003.

Those touring years included an excess of alcohol and drugs for Lee, which led to a classic fork in the road: live, or die. Lee participated in a drug rehabilitation center called Synanon; he attended AA meetings; he visited a psychotherapist once a week. Eventually he got better and entered a new phase.

In 1973, after seven years as a professional musician with Buckley, he decided to pursue his long-time dream of becoming a writer. He combined his love of music and words by writing about music and musicians.

During this phase of his life, he listened to virtually every generic style and hundreds of musicians, including Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, Miles Davis, Jan Hammer, Keith Jarrett, Joe Pass, McCoy Tyner; the Ohio Players, Ike and Tina Turner, the Isley Brothers, Al Green; Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Mickey Newbury; Beethoven, Bach, Khachaturian, Chopin, Tchaikovsky.

His articles, interviews and reviews appeared in dozens of periodicals, including Down Beat (West Coast Editor, 1975-1981), the LA Weekly, Billboard, Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, Pulse, Jazz Forum, LA Free Press, Players, Coda.

Jazz and pop musics led to spacemusics rooted in meditation and world cultures. Beginning in the late '70s, expanding his psyche and his soul, he wrote for Body/Mind/Spirit, New Realities, New Age Journal, and many other publications dedicated to psycho-spiritual evolution and higher-consciousness.

Listening: Henry Wolff, David Parsons, Paul Winter, Chaitanya Hari Deuter, Steve Roach, Kevin Braheny, Michael Stearns, Peter Michael Hamel, Terry Riley, Harold Budd, Brian Eno. Reading: Fritjoff Capra, Marilyn Ferguson, Dane Rudhyar, Alvin Toffler.

He co-authored flutist Paul Horn's autobiography, Inside Paul Horn (HarperCollins, 1990), and in 1991 received the Crystal Award for Music Journalism at the New Age Music Convention in Hollywood.

He also recorded a solo acoustic guitar tape entitled California Sigh, featuring synthesists Steve Roach and Kevin Braheny and pedal steel guitarist Chaz Smith.

Having resided in Los Angeles for 25 years, Lee and Sonia Crespi, his loving mate since 1975, moved to New Mexico in 1990. They rented a one-bedroom hand-built adobe house 14 miles northeast of Santa Fe that bordered wilderness on the outskirts of a small Hispanic village named Rio En Medio. Their back yard consisted of a National Forest, with a primitive trail leading high up into the mountains to tiers of waterfalls and beyond. The seven years they spent there were among the happiest of their lives.

Listening: wind in aspen trees, stream water, thunderstorms, rain on the roof, coyotes howling at night, the silence of the stars. Reading: Osho, Lao Tzu, Teilhard de Chardin, Richard Maurice Bucke, Alan Watts, Hermann Hesse, Tagore, Rumi, Kabir.
 In Rio En Medio, Lee plunged into new approaches to his own music (solo acoustic guitar) and new kinds of writing (autobiography, fiction, essays, poetry). It was here that he wrote dozens of short stories, including "Buddy and the Blue Yarn Trail," "Crystal City Ice-falls," and "The Question."

He played original solo guitar music in Santa Fe's hotels and in concerts. He camped in high mountains, hiking the trails with Sonia. He fly-fished streams and rivers in northern New Mexico and southwest Colorado. All the while, he carried his camera with him. He gave seven photo exhibits in Santa Fe.

In 1997, he and Sonia moved to Oakhurst, California, in the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite. Lee set his guitar aside, bought a piano, and began playing his own free-floating, stylistically expansive, improvised solo piano music, which has few if any references to folk, rock, jazz, or Euro-American classical genres.

Listening: Peter Michael Hamel, Eno, Stephan Micus, Harold Budd, Keith Jarrett, Glenn Gould playing Bach, Beethoven's String Quartets, Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Alan Hovhaness, musics from Morocco, India, Japan.

In 1998, Underwood began performing live poetry readings. He published numerous individual poems in Light of Consciousness, In the Grove, ZamBomba, The Central California Poetry Journal, Say Yes and One Dog Press. Reading from 18 books of poems, he appeared live in San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakhurst, Mariposa, Yosemite, Fresno and elsewhere.

At home, reading: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Han-shan, Ikkyu, Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snyder, Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, e.e. cummings, Anthony Burgess; Osho, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Buddha, Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, Karen Horney, Abraham Maslow, Ken Wilber.

He gave a two-hour solo poetry/piano concert at the Sierra Arts Center in Sonora, and three other poetry/piano concerts at the Oakhurst Library (with a Yamaha concert grand). On one occasion he performed his poetry and solo piano music in Oakhurst on the same bill with Joyce Jenkins of Poetry Flash. For two years he co-hosted the radio show, "Between The Lines: Poetry To Take You Home," with Preston Chase on KFCF, 88.1 FM, Fresno.

Today, Lee and Sonia live in a modern two-storey cabin beside Lewis Creek in a mountain forest four miles north of Oakhurst. It was here that he wrote Blue Melody.

Listening: whispering pines, susurrant streamwaters, and inner silence, the radiant emptiness from which all songs are born.

In 2003 he recorded a solo piano CD entitled Phantom Light, a Special Edition limited to 100 copies. In 2004, he completed a novel entitled Diamondfire: The American Odyssey of a Universal Mystic. He plays piano regularly, occasionally performing privately for friends and publicly for wider audiences.


Jump, Little Children

Feist- Let it Die: Amazing voice, great songs, creative arrangements. has an almost cabaret feel to it.

Hem-Rabbit Songs: Another awesome female vocalist. Classical meets alt-country. Features Catherine Popper on bass, a classmate of ours from NCSA, who now plays with Ryan Adams.
Danzig-Danzig: good straight up Rock and roll
Aimee Mann-The Forgotten Arm: My favorite artist released a beautiful concept album last may that is fantastic.

And finally: Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works Volume 2. I've probably gone to sleep to this album 1000 times since I first got it in 1995. Richard James is a genius, and this is easily his most beautiful sounding work.



Ward Williams says the best thing about being Jump, Little Children's  cellist is making other people happy with music. Williams, who was born in  Winston-Salem June 2, 1971, comes from a "very musical family." His Dad, who  played bass and guitar in college, taught him how to play the guitar, and  then when his high school orchestra teacher told him that the cello had a similar range, he became a cellist.

Williams' main interest outside the band is practicing insight  meditation, a Buddhist form of prayer. He first became interested in  meditation when he took a class at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and  it has been a part of his life ever since. "Live life in the present. Admit  that you are not in control. Be kind to yourself" are the mantras that  Williams follows. His heroes include The Buddha, Yo Yo Ma, Jacklyn Dupree,  Minnie Lou Raper and bandmate Jay Clifford.

"I'm such a blabber mouth, I tell everybody everything, so there are few  surprises," says Williams of himself. However, he has found that when other  people find out he does wood-working, a hobby that is somewhat new for him,  they are actually surprised. "I don't seem like a handy kind of guy." he  says.

Aside from being the "responsible" band member, Williams also has the longest tongue, which he willingly shows off at audience members' requests during concerts. For the purposes of this interview, he measured his tongue for the very first time. Using a steel ruler, he estimated that when extended, from the back of his teeth to the tip of tongue measures exactly two and three/fourth inches.


Jay Clifford, lead vocalist and guitarist for Jump, Little Children, took  one semester of voice lessons in college and hated it.  He hasn't taken  another lesson since, yet his soothing, textured voice has only grown more so  during his musical career. "My voice has gone through a lot of musical styles,  which has kind of let it find it's own voice," he says.  Clifford grew up  hearing his mom sing and play the piano around the house, and as early as middle school he was learning songs by Journey, Joni Mitchell and James  Taylor.
Clifford writes his songs about things that he has personally experienced. "Recently I have been writing a lot of stuff that's written specifically for one person…not that it's an inside joke so to speak, but I want it to be very potent, a deeper level of communication between me and another person," he  says.  One thing that Clifford says he does not do is try  to manipulate his life to include conflict and self-destruction as many artists do. "I'd rather live my life and let music reflect it," than the  other way around, he says.

When not writing songs, Clifford, who was born November 21, 1970 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, enjoys windsurfing, sailing, running and making bread. "It's not a very typical rock band type thing to do I guess," he says.  His heroes are not the typical rock band heroes either; Mathalia Jackson, a gospel singer with "one of the more soulful voices out there" and  Frank Kraft, the flight director for all of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo  flights to the moon, are at the top of his list.

When onstage, Clifford says he often tries to recreate or relive the moment of when the song was written.  However, he says, "it's not as if through the whole show I'm bearing my soul.  There's moments of that, but a  lot of it is my mind wandering to whatever…I love the feeling of playing and  singing and being caught up in the whole process of performing and hearing  the others.  I love observing the crowd and the other guys in the band." Clifford, who says that others would describe him as the dark, distant,  quiet band member, adds, "I'm not particularly unpredictable because I'm  always everybody's friend.  Every three months I'll say something that everyone gets crazy about.   He is most inspired when people "move away from themselves or towards themselves," and doesn't like it when people are  stagnant and not moving and not discovering things about themselves.
Being in Jump, Little Children has allowed Clifford to continue to move and discover. "Over the last 10 years if I hadn't been playing music, I'd be a shyer. smaller person…Writing songs lets me say exactly what I needs to say about certain situations.  A lot of people pass through life without capturing the moment and saying what they need to say about things," he says.


Jonathan Gray, born August 5, 1972 in Durham, N.C., believes in living in  the moment and enjoying yourself, and he appears to follow this philosophy  each night on stage as Jump, Little Children's upright bassist. Although he  says his "knees aren't so great anymore" from jumping around as he plays, and  the smile on his face causes his cheeks to hurt, he is usually "that  happy," and his smile is genuine.
The first instrument Gray played was the piano, and he also played the drums and guitar before his dad, who played bass, gave him one when he was  16. Before joining Jump, Little Children, Gray was a member of the Charleston, South Carolina band Big Stoner Creek. They had a weekly gig at a  local club, and he began playing the bass more regularly to add variety to  the band's instrumentation. During that time he became interested in buying  an upright bass, and by the time he joined Jump, Little Children he was the  proud owner of one. He learned to play the upright as he mastered his new band's songs, and it became his primary instrument.
Gray, who describes himself as the "short, fat, happy, people person" in the  band, says he spends 50 percent of his waking time reading, "and there's  still a million things I haven't read." He is trying to catch up on reading  classics like Nabokov and Faulkner, and as he's done in depth reading about  boxing, Mohammed Ali has become one of his heroes. "I think he was an amazing  artist at what he did for a living. He was also a really great loser. He didn't lose much, but he was amazing at it. I'm sure he's a human like  anyone else but he seems to have done a lot of good for being such a powerful  person," he says.
If he wasn't in Jump, Little Children, Gray says he would probably be "trying desperately to figure out what I could do otherwise. I think I'd be a good teacher. I thought I was going to be a Spanish teacher." Being in the band has offered him the opportunity to "live unbelievably well," he says.


Matt Bivins may be the most contradictory member of Jump, Little Children. While he calls himself the "dynamic, sexy, melodramatic" one, the  harmonica, tin whistle and accordion-playing Bivins, who shares singing  duties with lead vocalist Jay Clifford, also says that he is "very shy,"  sometimes even on stage. While he enjoys performing, it's something he's had  to teach himself to do, and he says that manifesting his stage persona is  sort of like "flipping a switch on." Again showing that he is a complex  individual, Bivins states that he and Clifford are inverse in that they are  very similar as to the way that things affect them, but while Clifford  internalizes things, he externalizes them.
When not performing, Bivins, who was born in High Point, North Carolina  June 5, 1972, likes to play board and video games, write poetry, watch  movies, go for walks, busk, read and do a lot of "geeky Internet stuff." He  also enjoys eating pommes frites, drinking egg creams and claims he knows  where to find the best matzo ball soup in New York City!
"If there's one kind of rock star I'd like to be, it's him," says Bivins of U2's Bono. His other role models are his maternal grandmother, who "was kind of impressive for someone who in a way didn't have a life of her own. She kind of lived for other people, but she always did what she wanted to do...[and] she told me to be a musician" and his mom, who has "definitely done what she has wanted to do her whole life." Being in Jump, Little Children has allowed him to see the world and learn about human nature and interpersonal human relationships.


Evan Bivins describes himself as the "introspective" and "funny" member  of Jump, Little Children. While he is usually hidden behind his bandmates on  stage, his drum beats and ethereal songs make his presence known. Born September 9, 1974 in High Point, N.C. near Winston  Salem, Bivins says his inspiration for writing songs is "different every time…a lot of creativity  comes out of painful experiences in your life and a need to turn that painful  experience into something beautiful. With any creative person, pain is a well-spring for where that comes from. It's okay to create things out of fun  too…I don't really think of myself as a song writer, I feel like a guy who  writes songs."
While onstage, Bivins says he is "mostly trying to concentrate on my playing, trying to be in the moment of the song. If I'm not solid then the band is going to sound pretty scrappy." Dan Fisherman from the Mommyheads and  Stewart Copeland of The Police top his list of favorite drummers. Other inspirations include Radiohead, U2, The Beatles, Charleston, S.C. drummers Jack Berg and Quentin Baxter and Columbia, S.C. based singer/songwriter Danielle Howle "A lot of the people who I've learned from are the people  I've been able to see in person." That list also includes bandmate Jay Clifford, who Bivins says he's learned the most from since they live, work  and tour together. Sting classifies as his song-writing hero of all-time. Bivins says Sting's 'Why Should I Cry For You' gives him chills every time  he hears it.
In his free time, Bivins watches "lots and lots and lots of movies" on his DVD player. He likes making sushi and going to the beach as well. Although  people who don't know him might not guess it, Bivins is quite a humorous  person. "I love making people laugh. I work hard at making people laugh," he  says. Bivins has also had the widest variety of hair colors in the band. "We  used to get called hippies a lot. I really took offense because I'm not a big  fan of the whole hippie movement [meaning the smell and jam bands]. [I did  it] in rebellion more than as any representation of my personal moods. I wanted to look like a punk rocker," he says.
Bivins says that while he's never been a particularly religious person, he thinks that life is a pursuit of spiritual fulfillments. "For me I gain that a lot through music. I don't think I've ever felt closer to God, whatever that is, than when I've written a song that I felt is poetic in some way and says exactly what I want it to say," he says.
"I've always felt deeply fulfilled," says Bivins of being in Jump, Little Children and getting to work at a job he loves. "I feel honored that the guys that I'm with want to play my music. I respect their opinions more than just about anyone I know personally," he says.

written by Jennifer Coleman


musical inspirations: the sky and whats beyond, love, moments.

favorite artists: Verve, Lush, Slowdive, Spiritualized, Helio Sequence
music has gotten me through everything and turned my most sullen emotions into beautiful moments.

In an age where style is rewarded over content, cynicism inevitably becomes second nature. Passion and originality have given way to cut-and-paste songwriting and carbon-copy imagery churned out for commercial mass consumption. All is not lost. There is a light that still shines. This is HELEN STELLaR.

Listening to the complexity of their sound it's hard to believe that HELEN STELLaR is only a threesome: Jim Evens on vocals and guitar, Dustin Robles on bass, and Clif Clehouse on drums. Originally hailing from Chicago, the trio is now based in Los Angeles.

In 2002, HELEN STELLaR caught the attention of KCRW's Nic Harcourt, host of the world-renown radio show "Morning Becomes Eclectic". A week after receiving their first release, The Newton EP, Harcourt put it on the air. "That was a crazy time for us," says Jim. "We started getting all these emails from people we didn't know asking who we were and where we came from. Then Nic Harcourt himself called us because his listeners wanted to know about us and he didn't know what to tell them." This attention brought HELEN STELLaR to L.A. for the first time, where Harcourt attended their first show at The Knitting Factory. When the show was over, he asked the band to play live on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" – an honor given to only two unsigned bands before them.

The endorsements kept coming – as Richard Milne of Chicago’s WXRT 93.1 FM exalted, “[The Newton EP] is so good that if I could play all four tracks off this EP, I would, because they flow so well; everything segues beautifully. Just phenomenal – better than 99% of the stuff I get.”

Most recently, HELEN STELLaR's music made its way to former Rolling Stone rock critic turned filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Singles, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky), who fell in love with and included the track io (this time around) from the Below Radar EP in his upcoming film Elizabethtown. "What an amazing meeting that was," says Dustin. "To be approached by an artist with so much respect in the music community was such an honor. He uses music so well in his films and to hear he wanted to use io we were extremely flattered."

HELEN STELLaR draws comparisons to London's "shoegaze" movement of the early 90's with thunderous drums, thick-grooved bass melodies and distorted guitar bliss. But elements of their sound transcend the genre. For one, the vocals – Jim's voice soars above these huge compositions with its emotive capacity, bolstered by heart spun lyrics: "There's more to life than death, moonlight in every breath and love is ocean deep/There are stars that you can't see, stars I swear we'll reach/You need me to lead - I need you to believe..." - Our Secrets, from the band’s latest EP I'm Naut What I Seem. But their recordings are only the tip of a multi-sensory experience that is HELEN STELLaR. Not to be missed, their live show has become increasingly powerful. In person, the music has room to breathe, to come alive with an encompassing quality that allows it to not only be heard but felt as well.

HELEN STELLaR's artistry comes from remaining open to all possibilities, long or short, make believe or real. With three EPs under its belt – The Newton EP, Below Radar, and I'm Naut What I Seem - HELEN STELLaR has laid claim to a brave and beautiful sonic niche combining the best elements of space-aged electronica and legendary rock 'n' roll.

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