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Dead Of Winter ’09: Vince Nez

Aleric (Vince Nez) seems to be a bit of an enigma, despite being so active in the Portland scene. A friendly person and mega-talented musician who is one of those uniquely versatile players that can sit in with and build off of just about anybody’s music, he gave some of the most expressive and in-depth responses to our 7 questions. Do not miss him tomorrow at the Dead Of Winter show at SPACE!

How long have you lived in Portland?
I’ve lived in Portland for about 5 years. I moved here from Arizona…

When did you start playing music?
I took clarinet and guitar lessons in 4th grade, but didn’t really get into playing music until my sophomore year in high school, thanks to some friends who inspired me to play just by pickin’ it up and doin’ it themselves. When yer best friend just picks up a guitar and writes a respectable song, that’s when it’s time to do the same thing. That, and the teenage hormones, very very inspirational in jump starting the passion to play music.

Who do you perform with normally?
I play with as many people as I can here in Portland. I’ve been jammin’ trombone with Over a Cardboard Sea a lot lately, still pretty new to that instrument but it has been really fun. Ive been asked to guest play by a lot of friends including Andrew Frederick, Ian Paige, Josh Loring, and others. My personal projects are called Freddybear, named after my favorite bear growin up, and Jamsterbation, named for, well i guess its pretty self descriptive. Both projects contain most of the same songs but Freddybear is usually the live performance manifestation and often includes my brohskis John, Jake, and Dave. Jamsterbation is a recording name i have used for about 10 years and contains a large library of sometimes embarrassing, sometimes crappy and sometimes even good recordings. Regardless of the quality, i made sure and put my heart into every recording. This is my main project and the name i relate to as much as my own name, Vince Nez. I have been accused of being clever by giving myself the stage name Vince Nez cuz it could possibly rhyme with pince nez (french for pinched nose, a type of glasses with no ear rests) but i aint that clever.

Other than SPACE, what is one of your favorite venues in Portland?
My favorite venue to visit in Portland is Blue. I can get some meatballs, watch some killer music 4 nights a week and pay donation directly to the musicians. Oh yeah i can drink beer there, mmmm.

Who is your favorite Portland musician or group, other than yourself or those you perform with?
My favorite local music to listen to on CD is Big Blood. My favorite performer to watch is probably Mink Wilde, nobody rocks like Minke Wild.

How are you tackling the challenge of performing this material alone, when you usually perform it with others?
Yeah, i practice most days. If its a cooperative effort I try to get a recording or give a recording in addition to a talked out practice. It makes it easy to practice on your own time.

What are your musical plans for 2009?
In ’09 I plan to get better at reading music, I plan to Jamsterbate as much as possible, hopefully with the recording gear rollin’, I plan on getting better at the instruments I’m jammin’, definitey plan on playin’ music with good friends. Yup, keep readin’, keep writin’, keep playin’, thats the plan. It would be fun to play out a little more, we’ll see how that goes.

SPACE Reader

🕯️ The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️