Behind The Design

I look like this? Yikes.

This is a less than serious/professional look at the real Greg Bowers. If you want the straight facts and credentials, I am on LinkedIn.

I was born on the 116th anniversary of Abe Lincoln's trip to Ford's Theatre. The newspapers had intended to run my birth as the top story that day, but instead I got pushed out of the way for some Space Shuttle landing. Sure, they say it was historic and important, all I know is it knocked me back to the "Births" section, back by the Obituaries. How depressing.

The Authorities initially thought my childhood was somehow tied to alien abductions and the Sphinx, but I was cleared of all charges after my parents explained, "No, he's just like that." Countless conspiracy theorists were nonplussed.

After graduating from a cramped school in the shadows of two asbestos-lined smokestacks, I made the jump to university life, quickly finding out that Computer Science is for geeks. One year later, I packed up some clothes and moved to the land of kangaroos. After a few mind-warping years, I moved back to the land of my birth… Saudi Arabia. No, wait, Utah. A mysterious character whose name is a combination of great songs from the Beatles and the Who thought I was pretty nifty and used a transporter to cause me to plant my toukas in Seattle, Washington.

Forced to be a professional appreciator of music due to a startling lack of "instrument playing ability" (or so the doctors said), I've grown to listen to just about anything once. And trust me, you do not want to hear the sound of rhinos making sweet sweet love. It just may blow your mind.

I was raised with an artist's tool bag in hand. Unfortunately, everyone always noticed that I was really good with my school work, so of course I couldn't be an artist… I needed to be an engineer or doctor or something. Ugh.

I have this constant war in my head. I'm right brain, artistic and creative, and yet I'm left brain, analytical and logical. Both sides fight for supremacy. Which might explain a lot… maybe even the brain surgery I had in early 2009. No, wait, that was a granuloma.

Q&A with Greg Bowers.

Why do you spell so funny?
While I am an American, I lived for a few years in Australia. Among other things, Australia had a profound effect… on my spelling. Colour is spelled with a U. I'm sorry, it just is. Color looks wrong to me (and believe me, I have to force myself to spell it "color" when doing style sheets), despite 20+ years of American schooling. I initially attempted to eradicate all traces of my funny spelling upon returning to the States, but after a while I figured, "Why should I change? It's not like it's incorrect!" So, yes, I write words as such: colour, favourite, realise, and the like. I may slip up every now and then and type something daft like "aluminum"… but I still refer to my cell phone as my mobile, so I guess that makes up for it.
Do you have an accent?
Everyone has an accent. What a silly question…
Why on earth did you ever leave Australia (and where did you live while there)?
My country needed me. Plus, my visa expired. I lived mainly in Melbourne (Lots of places in Melbourne… Essendon, Glenroy, Richmond, Mill Park), but to be completely honest, I also lived in Bendigo, Vic, for 6 months and Tasmania for about 5 months (the doctors successfully removed the second head). Upon returning to the US of A, I discovered that (ideologically) my country largely didn't really want me back, let alone need me. So, I generally feel like an Australian living in the States, who just happens to have been born and raised here as well. Let's just say the country doesn't seem like the one I left in 2000.
Do you speak Australian?
Yes, dear, I can swear with the best of them.
You seem to pound things/ideas into the ground.
Aye, that's because I believe in them and/or what them to happen. I've mastered the fine art of not communicating anything intelligible without being subtle at all. So, I may think I'm broadcasting the most important details in the world, but no one will get it, and will get sick of my talking.
Are you talking about your dating career?
Pfft. I'm retired from that career. I gots me a Bean.
Enough of that. What is one of the most bizarre things that has every happened to you?
Not including my dating career... well, let's see. A site I designed was in Entertainment Weekly, but I had no idea about it until a friend emailed me about it. Needless to say, they didn't ask me about it, and certainly messed up a lot. However, I can say I shared that issue with Regis Philbin. Also, I've been attacked by a golden eagle, run head first into a television (it won), and I nearly became a Mexican citizen last year (but I said I wouldn't get into my dating career...). Also, I was so excited when Barack Obama was sworn in, I decided to have a seizure. Or perhaps that was the aforementioned granuloma growing in my skull.
You're kidding me, right?
Sadly, no.
How do you feel about Las Vegas?
Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
Cold or Hot?
Okay, now I'm confused. If you're talking about weather, hot. Hot hot hot hot hot. Just not humid, thanks. I used to love cold weather (you have to, growing up in Utah, home of the "Greatest Snow on Earth™" which is damn cold when you have to walk in it). Thankfully, summer in Melbourne cured me of that. After 44°C heat and 80-90% humidity most days, your body just isn't the same. I'm not saying I want those days back (at least not without proper air conditioning... I only had an oscillating fan and a water bottle in my flat), but they make 100°F days in the arid Utah desert seem quite nice. I wore long pants every day for a summer. The mild temperature scale of Seattle is ever so nice—
Has anyone ever told you that you're weird?
Constantly… but you're the one asking me poorly formed questions.
Okay then… what are three things you wish you could have?
Fiscal stability, a woman that is madly in love with me (got that one), and musical instrument playing ability (for which I am severely lacking).
What, no rocket-powered, monkey-navigated go kart, screaming across the alkali flats…
This interview is over!

More Q&A with GB.

So, I see people calling you GB in certain places. Does that stand for Gregory Bowers? And why do you do it? Are you lazy or something?
Of course I'm lazy… what a stupid question. But actually, GB is my first two initials (and technically my first and last as well). Gregory B Bowers. I started writing GB Bowers in the mid-90s to avoid confusion with my dad, who is also a G Bowers.
What does the B stand for?
Truth, Liberty and the... no, actually it's short for "Bus'yoass!"
That's not a question.

Oh, damn… he's at it again!

What kind of music rings your bell, mister?
Well, you can check out the stuff I listen to a lot by visiting the Explore section, or hitting my profile. Don't you just love web apps? I do. Anyway, musically, I'm pretty diverse. Hitting random on iTunes (a scary proposition… my library is over 120GB) will result in a mix of ambient, electro-indie pop, post-punk, Jay-Z (seriously, who doesn't like HOVA?), alt-country, argentine electronic folk, straight up indie pop rock, delta blues, and just about anything in between.
So you're kind of one of those hipster musical elitists?
Sort of... I don't think I'm that stuck up. I just like a lot of stuff and I'm generally not into Top40 (though I have my guilty pleasures, and like I said, everyone loves the Jigga man).
Do you have a favourite artist/band? Or is that a loaded question?
It is. It can really vary. I'll always be a HUGE Wilco fan. Jeff Tweedy could get me to buy him a drink at the drop of a hat. I'm also a pretty big Mew fan (thanks to Hicks for leading me to them before most people in the States knew about them). I love local/unsigned bands. I'd rather go hang out with 100 people at a good music bar or venue and listen to something new and unheard than spend 100 bucks on a ticket to go to some converted basketball court with awful sound and not be able to see a crappy major label band.
Liar. You are a hipster elitist.
Pfft. I defy labels.
Well, you obviously believe in music. Do you believe in anything else?
Sure. I am a strong believer in human potential, personal privacy, civil rights, pacifism, quantum physics, and generally keeping an open mind about things. I am a humanist. Love is a big part of my life.
Okay... let's get back into light-hearted subjects. What do you drive?
Right now I have a 2006 Subaru Outback XT. It's blue. And fast. And I'm not looking forward to my car payment this month. But it's a great car.
What are you... some sort of hippie?
Listen, you're the one that smells and isn't wearing shoes...