Monday, September 30, 2013

Upcoming Tour and New Fender Bass

Here's a teaser video for the new Fender Dimension Bass, I show up around 2:30 in.  I'm really happy to be helping Fender get the word out about this new bass style, it's somewhere between their classic Jazz and Precision models, and like all Fender basses it sounds killer with a band!
I'm also very excited to hit the road in a few weeks with 3 Inches of Blood!  I got connected to them through Gene Hoglan's manager and I really love their music, total old-school thrash with great songs.  It's gonna be a really fun tour, plus we'll be opening for thrash metal legends Death Angel, and sharing the stage with Battlecross, Diamond Plate, and Revocation.  We'll be all over North America in Oct-Nov so come on out to a show, dates are below!
Also, Gryphon Labs will be making our triumphant return to the Baked Potato on November 27th, come out and celebrate Thanksgiving Eve with us!
I've also been working on an upcoming album by a true guitar legend, but I can't say too much about that just yet...

Monday, July 1, 2013

North Of Sunset West of Vine

Last night was the third and final performance of North of Sunset West of Vine, which is a musical theater performance written by the incredibly talented vocalist Raya Yarbrough and music directed by Bear McCreary.  I really had an amazing time working with the band, cast, and crew, plus it gave me a great reason to use my upright again!  It's been many years since I've been involved in a musical like this, I played in a lot of "pits" in college but not so many since then. 
I've been fortunate to work with Bear on several projects recently, including the Queen tribute we did in late 2011, and it's always such a pleasure both professionally and creatively.  Not only is he an amazing composer (there's a reason he's worked on so many HUGE shows like Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead), but he also realizes the benefit of doing film/TV composing the old-school way, by actually writing parts for musicians rather than using sampled sounds and doing it all himself.  More often than not these days, the "bass" you're hearing on your favorite TV show is actually a sampled sound played by a keyboard or simply programmed into a computer, and the average listener can't tell the difference (a perfect example is the credits music for The Wire, which has an acoustic bass sample.)  Bear understands that while the sample-heavy approach might be economical and quick, nothing beats the sound of actual musicians playing their instruments, so he hires as much as a full orchestra on a regular basis.  It's looking like I'll be working with him a lot more starting soon, so boy am I glad he works the way he does!
In other news, my electronica alter ego Captain Apathy has released a new song, called "Billy Pilgrim."  You can hear it and download it for the price of "whatever you feel like" HERE

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

5/15 Gryphon Labs at the Baked Potato

Mikey Oliveri is one of my favorite people on the planet.  If you've seen Gryphon Labs anywhere in the LA area chances are you've seen him rocking out to our tunes in his motorized wheelchair.  He's such a huge music fan, and such an inspiration to myself and so many other musicians in this town, and I figured it was time to give him something back. 
So, Gryphon Labs will be playing the Baked Potato once again, and this time all proceeds from the gig will be going to Mike!  We'll have special guests like Scheila Gonzalez and more, so come on out and support an awesome dude!
Other than preparing for this gig I've been really busy teaching lessons and doing more recording sessions here in my home studio.  I really love both teaching and recording, if you're interested in either of those check out the LESSONS and SESSIONS pages of my brand new website! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gryphon Labs 3/13 at the Roxy

Come on out on Wednesday March 13th and watch me pull a double header!  First, at 8:30 I'll be leading Gryphon Labs, which will actually be our first gig of 2013!  Then, I'll be playing with The Great Wall, a killer band that I've been playing with for about a year now.  Chris Waldrep, the guitar player/singer/songwriter behind The Great Wall, did the art for the above poster as well as my other project Captain Apathy, and the live show he's put together incorporates some really amazing visuals.  Captain Apathy actually just released a remix of a Great Wall song, you can check that out HERE
I just got back from a quick trip to Manila, Philippines where I played a show with jazz artist Mindi Abair.  We actually spent more time on planes than we did in Manila, but it was still a fun trip and a eye-opening view of the other side of the world.
I'm really looking forward to the release of 2 albums I recorded late last year.  First is the debut full-length from technical metal band Save Our Souls.  Not only did the record perfectly capture this incredibly hard music, but I got to use my new Sandberg Custom Supreme bass and the tone we got is huge and crushing.
The other recording was with Young Beautiful in a Hurry, the funky pop/rock group led by singer/songwriter Brendan McCreary.  The songs Brendan wrote for this session are instant classics in my mind, just catchy enough to leave you wanting more.  We debuted some of these songs during a recent residency at Witzend, and they went over really well.  Combining elements of Prince, Queen, Muse, and Bowie, I really think this recording is going to blow people away.
So, I'm wearing a lot of different hats these days, but it certainly keeps things interesting!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Time in Dethklok...

It's been a little over a week since the last Dethklok show, and I'm still reeling a bit from all the fun I had.  Our final show of the tour in NYC (after being rescheduled due to hurricane Sandy) was one of those moments where everything came together for me.  The combination of the amazing music, the enormous amount of admiration and respect I have for the band members, the mind blowing spectacle of the video/light production, and the unbelievable fervor of the crowd made that night one of my favorite musical moments ever.  It also didn't hurt that it was at Roseland, where I saw my first club show ever back in 1993.
I keep saying that this tour felt nothing like work and more like a vacation, and that's due largely to the amazing crew that was taking care of us.  Just getting to live on a bus with Brendon Small, Mike Keneally, and Gene Hoglan was such a pleasure.  Not only are they all masters of their instruments, but they're all huge fans of music of all genres, not just metal. 
I have to admit that when I left ZPZ a year ago I was a little afraid I might never get to tour again, but even just subbing for Bryan Beller on this tour was such an awesome and positive experience that I'm excited to see where this crazy music business takes me next!