RQ: Yeah. Yeah, that’s definitely me. I’m just really glad that came across. Music is just something that I’ve just always loved to do. It’s my favorite thing in the world, to sing. I’m just happy that I get to do it. And with the circumstances now, it’s just so cool. I couldn’t be any happier about it.
MK: So, the House of the Good Shepherd is your full-time job? Are you kind of on a leave right now while doing the show?
RQ: Yep. That’s correct. I’m on a leave. They’ve been super flexible with me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue working there, depending on what happens. I’ve worked there steadily for two years and it’s a great experience. Whether I can continue working there or not, I just want to always be giving back to them. They’re a great organization.
MK: What drew you to work there?
RQ: You know, funny story. My mom actually worked there a long time ago in the 70s. The guy who’s playing guitar with me [Dave “Dinger” Wingfield], he’s my dad’s best friend and his wife is my mom’s best friend and she’s still working there. It’s where she and my mother met and became friends. After college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to play music. She thought I would be a really good fit teaching music at the school and told me about the position. I applied and got it on my own. She didn’t pull any strings or anything. I didn’t really know what to expect but I ended up falling in love with it.
MK: What do the kids think about all this?
RQ: They were completely shocked. Obviously I couldn’t say anything to anybody. But they can’t even believe it. They didn’t expect it at all. I just kinda said, “I’m pursuing a musical opportunity. I’ll be back to visit.” That’s basically all I said. I dont know if you saw the WKTV segment where they interviewed them; it’s one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.
MK: It has to be very rewarding for you.
RQ: Oh, absolutely. I just want to be a positive. Really, it’s just to be a positive, consistent force in their lives because it’s something they’ve never had. I just want to carry that forward.
MK: Is your style of music something they’ve been able to latch on to and be influenced by?
RQ: I don’t push it on them. I just kind of let them choose whatever they want to listen to, sing whatever they want to sing and just kind of help them do whatever they’re doing to the best of their ability.
MK: So you went to Oneonta. There’s a pretty good music scene going on down there.
RQ: I was in a couple of ensemble groups, basically just for credit. I was the lead vocalist with a funk band with Jeremy Wall. He was a founding member of the band Spyro Gyra, which is kinda cool. We played Stevie Wonder and Tower of Power stuff. I did a band called The Mothers of Intention. It was a Frank Zappa cover band. So we just did a bunch of albums of Zappa material. Yeah, the music scene there is very tight knit.
MK: You and Dave have been putting together some songs for an EP. Has there been any progress on that at all?
RQ: Ya know, kind of…I have some original material. It’s on Reverb Nation, a couple of songs on Soundcloud. It just takes me so long to write. I’ve been focusing on this and only this. It just takes me so long to write because I’m so hyper critical of everything that I do. Eventually I will put out my own material.