Cosmic Lovechild, Whitney Tai, has an uncanny way of lyrical storytelling in a metaphorically rich way that is captivating to the open soul. Having created a road of her own with her band of brothers that enhance her electric live shows, Whitney and the guys create a space full of Dream Pop wonder. I caught up with Whitney Tai Bassist, Christian Rivera, to discuss his creative collision with Whitney, finding peace in driving while on the road, music being the core of his life and much more.
Tell us about your experience of meeting Whitney and how you two connected to in turn desire to play music together.
It’s actually quite funny: I went and saw a show in Hollywood with a mutual friend. Afterwards, we went to the Burgundy Room for some drinks, and he invited her to meet us, and made the introduction. After talking for awhile, she told me about a dilemma she was facing: she had a show booked in San Francisco, and needed a bass player to fill in. Without even considering the fact that (a) I wasn’t a bass player, and (b) I didn’t even own a bass guitar, I blurted out “I’ll do it!” She sent me some material to learn, and I got myself a bass, and figured it all out. The rest is history. I guess the lesson here is that sometimes unique opportunities come along that you have to say yes to, even if you haven’t got it all figured out just yet. You just never know when or even if a similar opportunity might present itself.
Detailed question, how has your life changed ever since working in the music industry?
I’ve pretty much done music for my entire life. Even when I was in the military, I’d always make time for it. I can’t really say it’s changed my life, because it’s something I’ve always known. I will say that because of this journey, I’ve seen some of the most amazing places and met some of the most amazing people. I couldn’t imagine spending my life any other way.
Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?
It’s actually an ongoing thing. It’s the constant challenge of trying to improve myself as a musician and as a person in general. There’s always some new concept to learn, one more rep, another person to help, and so on. On some days, I don’t feel adequate, so that can be a bit of a struggle at times. I just try to start each day with a positive mindset and focus on improving the things that I do have control over.
What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?
To me, it’s just a fact of life. I think it’s something that can be a very helpful tool if used properly, but on the other hand i do feel that some people take it a little too far, like it can be an addiction. I see some folks who seem to base their entire existence on how many “likes” and followers they can get. Me, I’d rather use it to promote my music and keep in touch with my friends and fans around the world, and just go live my life.
No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.
Wow, I never really thought about that. Music really encompasses every aspect of my life. I live and breathe it, so I really don’t put my energy into much else; wanna see my guitar collection?
As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?
Honestly, on van tours for instance, I love to drive, especially at night. There’s just something about that endless ribbon of asphalt laid out before me that allows me to really contemplate life’s big questions. Keeping in touch with loved ones back home is another way to stay sane. When I’m not driving, I love to read and handle business. In fact, I’m completing this interview on the I-40, just east of Memphis!