Charles

Even though he had been exposed to classical guitar during primary school, Charles really began playing guitar midway through high school. "I think that putting my hands on Pearl Jam's Ten record was the definite moment when I understood why I needed to be playing music--both to make a statement, and for the feeling of letting it all out," he says. "At that point, I remember playing guitar with my brother (Phil, other Plum Shark founding member) for hours each day, learning all the classics and the popular rock songs of the moment." From there, Charles would rapidly absorb whatever he could in the large scope of rock, from alternative to progressive and metal.

These influences would soon translate into his own songs, which he would start writing and recording for fun. As with any learning process, things evolved for the better. Summer 2003 was a turning point--while on an internship in Montreal, Charles wrote a few songs that would lay the basis for Plum Shark. From there, he got Phil on board - they started writing more seriously and enlisted other musicians to fulfill their vision.

Charles' focus on songwriting, similar to the likes of Neil Young and the whole Seattle scene, reflects integrity and honesty. Clearly, it is all about making music, writing songs that would transcend time. "The idea, from the start, was not to limit ourselves to a specific genre," he says in retrospect. "But most importantly, I've always needed to feel the songs, to vibrate with them." Along with contributions from the other band members, this would make an explosive combination that would shape Plum Shark's output.

With his love of music and his background in software engineering, Charles was able to take the lead on all technical aspects related to the band. This DYI approach involved a lot more work but enabled him to learn how to produce, engineer and mix records. The amount of time Charles has spent, throughout the years, working on the band's records and producing folk-rock band Tous Azimuts has got him into a comfortable zone to produce the next Plum Shark record.

Quick Facts

All-Time Favorite Albums
Hard one -- changes from day to day. Pearl Jam's Yield sure is in there. Otherwise, I also have to give it to Neil Young with On the Beach. However, recently, I've been playing a hell of a lot the last Queens of the Stone Age album, ...Like Clockwork. Great, great rock record. Songs are well written and have a lot of depth, feeling. In my mind, this will become a classic record. Three thumbs up.

Favorite Soul Device Song
Three Times for the eerie vibe of the song - it is definitely a standout track - or Read Between the Lines, for the attitude.

Most Memorable Concert You've Seen
Neil Young's December 2008 concert at the Montreal Bell Centre. Even though he is getting old, he still delivers songs as if they were just written. Extremely moving. Otherwise, I'd say the intimate (but LOUD!) concert of The Mars Volta in a small ballroom in Burlington, VT.

Favorite Guitar Solo
Going back to my metal days, I'd say something off of Rust In Peace (Megadeth). Mustaine's last solo in Holy Wars is just powerful - he is hammering on his pentatonic scale at full speed, taking no prisoners. Then, Marty Friedman's solos on Tornado of Souls have a nice exotic and melodic touch. On that record, Megadeth really was, as they used to say, the 'World's State-of-the-Art Speed Metal Band'.