Was there a particular reason you chose LA ?
My wife (fiance at the time) is from California but she lived in Edinburgh, Scotland with me in 2007 for 6 months before her visa expired and she had to return to her homeland of Los Angeles. So we came back in winter of 2007 and tied the knot. I also had a degree in music business which was more useful to me in a city like LA than back in Edinburgh where the music industry was very tiny and heavily bagpipe based. Luckily it all worked out as my wife and I are still happily married & have a lovely 3 year old son called Oliver. I was also lucky enough to land a job working at CBS Records which kicked started off my US music industry career and have been lucky enough to get to work along some of the most talented musicians in the industry (I also chatted on the phone with Robert Redford about "Carmageedon" once)
What do you miss most from home?
The "chippys" - Sausage supper, King Rib supper (which during my US based eating adventures I have discovered is essentially a deep fried McRib minus the bbq sauce.)
I am lucky to live close to a UK Shop/Restaurant in Burbank
The Buchanan Arms where I can go to get my fix of Irn Bru and Monster Munch.
I also miss Shetland traffic, as normally a Shetland traffic jam can be described as having to honk your horn at a handful of sheep blocking the road for a few minutes as opposed to sitting in LA's hours long snarling traffic jams.
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? If so why?
My first introduction to LA was getting off the plane at LAX during rush hour traffic and sitting on the freeway for hours and feeling jet lagged and car sick. It was brutal and not a good start but luckily my wife decided we should hop off the freeway and let it quiet down a bit and took me to this lil' place called "In 'n' Out" then I began to think "yeah maybe I could get use to this place." Took me several years to feel properly settled and find my niche (which is essentially a stool at my favorite craft beer bar Tony's Darts Away) but I feel very much at home now. So what started as a love/hate affair is now much more heavily leaning into the love category (but I hate the traffic, did I mention the traffic yet?)
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus Lerwick (Shetland)?
The LA roads have more than one lane in each direction and a distinct lack of sheep walking on them. Some of the LA stores are bigger than some of the towns in Shetland. In LA you have this stuff called 'Electricity" (just kidding Shetland does have electricity...well sometimes, depends on the weather.)
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
There is a great restaurant and bar in Burbank that the missus and I frequent quite often called Luna Vine. They have the most amazing cheese and charcuterie plate selection in all of LA. I am not a wine fan but if you are then you will also love the selection this place has. As a craft beer fan they also accommodate with a great line-up of rotating craft beers. My most favorite hidden spot however is not open to the public (well not yet) and that would be the inflatable hot tub I bought from Ralphs grocery store that sits in my backyard where I spend most of my evenings.
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here ?
Leave your warm coats behind. They will do you no good here and will leave you more room in your suitcase to pack useful things.
If your your life was a TV show which would it be and why?
Because I love propane and propane accessories.
Lastly, how can we find out more about you?
I am not that interesting but I am lucky enough to work with people who do many interesting things. For example Texas rock trio Oil Boom who I have the privilege of working with and have recently opened up for So-Cal legends Social Distortion. Oil Boom have also opened for the likes of Gary Clark Jr, Johnny Marr and have been featured on NPR and KCRW and many more. Well worth catching them before they get huge: http://oilboomband.com/
Another artist I worked with for many years named Dan Sartain (One Little Indian/Swami Records/Third Man Records) will be releasing a new album by end of the year called 'Tech Noir.' It will be released via One Little Indian in Europe and the US and you can expect to see him tour in both Europe and the US around that release (likely without a shirt on). Dan has toured with everyone from The White Stripes to The Hives and Gogol Bordello and has been releasing records for over 10 years (a true rarity in this industry.) He also just got engaged so congrats Dan & Sarah: http://dansartain.com/