Photo by Linda Lee.

This week,  the “Tuesdays with…” feature is shown a week earlier because today’s talented creative will be playing this weekend!  I wanted to let you know about him so that you can go see him and his band play.

Yianni Naslas is the bass player  for the band Barnacle Bill.  His band mates, Stuart Klinger plays the guitar and Steve Wickins plays the drums.  All three members sing!  How’s that for talent?  Barnacle Bill released their first album, Towards the Pebbled Shore in 2006 and their second album just came out.  These guys take their time with their albums, but you know what they say, good things take time.

Barnacle Bill will be playing at the Bowery Electric on May 21st (Saturday).  Go check them out and support your local artists!  If you can’t make it to NYC on May 21st, you can buy their cds online.  Want to listen to it first before making your purchase, listen here first.

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ep: Could you please describe your creative process?
Yianni: My creative process includes and stems from both practice and inspiration. Playing with the band at rehearsals, playing alone or collaborating to develop a song from an idea, or just noodling on an instrument all sustain the creative process by keeping music in the foreground and keeping the flow loose and the skills limber.

I find that playing a lot helps to foster more creativity; ideas flow easily and are usually better (IMO) than when I haven’t played or tried to write for a while.

There is also the occasional gift of a song (or part thereof) coming down in a dream – there, the process or “work” involves waking up and getting out of bed in the middle of the night to record or document it so that I have something to work on in the days ahead!

Ideas for lyrics can come to mind at any time and it helps to have a notebook handy to capture those. I later revisit the quickly documented music or lyrical ideas and work to develop those that seem promising.

ep: What is your favorite piece you created and why is this your favorite piece?
Yianni: My favorite piece is usually the one in progress, the one that is developing from a promising idea or “germ”. For me, writing better songs is the challenge and goal and though it can often be frustrating, it is from this process where the most creative satisfaction is derived.

ep: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?

Yianni: If I could give advice to the me of 5 years ago I would say buy low and sell high! Oh, and take a chance, go for it, even if you think you’re not ready – going for it helps get you ready.

ep: Apart from creating/designing things, what do you like to do? 
Yianni: Apart from creating music I like to walk with my wife and 1-year old son. I look forward to playing catch and snowboarding with him in the years ahead, if he agrees to it.

ep: How did you start out in music?
Yianni: Music was special to me starting at a young age. I loved listening to the 45s my parents played, usually Greek pop from the early 60s. And of course there were the Beatles. As a teenager I made up songs up in my head but it wasn’t until I was 19 that I realized I could actually be in a band. I got a bass, joined a band that a friend had started, and began having lots more fun.

ep: What inspires you/where do you find your inspirations?
Yianni: Inspiration often comes from seeing other bands play and being impressed by them. Inspiration comes from knowing there is an unfulfilled goal and setting out to reach it – for me, an example would be writing a song with an irresistible dance groove. Inspiration also comes suddenly, like a song in a dream. Again, there the tricky part is waking up to do something about it.

ep: What is your favorite book?
Yianni: My favorite book for the time being is The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity, by Daniel Reid. It is quite practical and also helped me spiritually and psychologically during a difficult period.

ep: What is your comfort food? 
Yianni: I feel very comfortable after eating the carrot cookies sold at a certain stand in the Union Square farmers’ market.

ep: Do you have a favorite quote? What is it and why is it your favorite?
Yianni: I like a quote by Picasso, “Youth has no age.” The positive qualities of youth, such as enthusiasm, can be enjoyed and appreciated throughout life. But hopefully, my bratty, know-it-all days are behind me.

ep: What’s in your freezer right now?
Yianni: My freezer right now contains frozen breast milk. The ginger ice cream was finished earlier tonight.

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Thank you Yianni for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate in this feature.  Congratulations on your second record release and good luck on your show this Saturday!

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