Tag Archives: Heavy Metal

¿Who Dis?

This past week, for some reason, I surpassed the 100 follower mark.  Insane, right?!  I thank each and every one of you for following me, by the way!  In honor of that, and also in honor of a recent discovery and mutual follow and their “About Me” blog post, I thought I should do one of my own!  Just in case y’all are reading this through WordPress’ Following<Reader section of their website and that “About Me” section just isn’t really there.

Oh, still reading!  Whew!  Cool!  Well, hi there!  My name is David.  At least, that’s the handle my loving parents glossed me with.  For about the past 10 years, most people have known me by my band name, Clone.  Yep, I’m one of those imaginary rockstar dudes.  Even worse, I’m a drummer!  I know, the old joke is that drummers really aren’t musicians.  I get it, I get it.  Haha!  In any event, yes, I am a drummer in a band with my most of my best friends and our name is Searchlight Needles.  Look us up!  You’ll find our first album is up on all your favorite digital music outlets.  I’ve been a drummer nearly all my life.  Some of my favorite memories as a child were playing drums on my couch with flyswatters.  I’d be drumming along to 80’s hair metal, because that’s what I really loved back in my youth.  Well, I take that back.  I’ve loved all styles of music since I was young, if you want me to be honest.  That’s one thing that I can tell you right off the bat.  Music is my life.  I was raised on The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Grupo Mazz, Selena, Emilio Navaira, “King” George Strait, Reba McIntyre, The Judds, The Latin Breed, and Led Zeppelin just to name a few artists my parents exposed me to.  From there, my godfather (who is a badass, by the way.  I miss that dude and I need to really reconnect with him), dropped by the house one day when I was about 6 and brought me a stereo system.  It was one of those receiver deals with two separate speakers.  Not a boom box, this thing was legit!  Naturally, I just wanted to hear whatever songs the radio had for me.   Well, not too long after, I found it.   Mötley Crüe had a new single out titled “Girls, Girls, Girls” and I was in love.  From then on, it was a love affair with heavy metal music that continues to this day.  I got into the aforementioned Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Poison, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, and the list goes on.  Yes, Glam Metal!  It ruled!!!  That’s why I love the band Steel Panther so much too.  But that’s another story.

Where was I?  Oh yes, me.  So, yes.  Not only am I a musician, er drummer.  Whatever.  I’m also just your regular ol’ dude who is passionate about many other things aside from music.  One thing people will tell you about me who know me in the real world is that I’m passionate about the relationships I keep.  I love my friends and family.  Without them, I’d be nothing.  Most of them put up with my stupid qwerks, my crazy moods, and my tendency to find the joke in anything.  If I’m talking to you and I haven’t made at least 1 joke in about 5 minutes, you know something’s wrong with me.  I can have my serious moments too.  Take religion, for example.  That’s one thing I’m serious about.  I’ve blogged plenty about it, so take a look around at my previous posts and find out about that journey.  I think it’s kinda cool.

I suppose I should mention this too.  In an odd turn of events in my life, I’ve also never been married nor do I have any children.  I think that topic in today’s society deserves a blog all of its own, but yeah, I’m a regular guy living his life out solo deep.  To be honest, I always imagined myself being married and having kids as a kid myself.  I was always waiting for it to happen, as stupid as that sounds.  I think it actually gives me a nice prospective on life, though.  I’ve found the blessings in it all, so it’s not all that bad.

That’s really all I can think of about me that can’t be explored further here on my blog.  I’ve actually been blogging here on WordPress since November 5, 2011! I’m coming up on 7 years here!  94 posts (including this one) and counting!  Well, I actually had more, but I deleted some that no long had relevance in my life/didn’t represent me well.  I’m sure you’ll find something interesting about me in those other 93 posts!

So, thank you again for following me!  You keep reading, and I’ll keep on writing!

Advertisements

For the love of music

I started this blog 5 years ago today.  FIVE!!!  Can you believe it?!  A lot has happened in those 5 years.  Deaths, moves, stupid relationships that I SHOULD HAVE NEVER gotten myself into, divorces that friends had, babies that friends and family had, parties, drinking… more parties… more drinking, and just a little bit more partying and drinking.  Oh!  And jamming here and there with the band happened.  It’s been a fun ride.  I’ve gotten the chance to meet a bunch of new people from all over the world, created close friendships that will last longer than, well… a while, and I’ve also gotten the chance to really know myself.  One constant thing that hasn’t changed, however, is my love for music and specifically the love of playing my drum set.  I think I’m in love just as much or even more than I was when I wrote this love blog to my preferred brand of drums 5 years ago.  It was my first real blog, actually.  It’s what I was and still am in to.  Playing music.

Funny thing about playing music, though, is that I haven’t done much of it in the past year and a half or longer.  Life and near death has gotten in the way of the band.  Nothing sucks more than that, man.  Right now, my drums are sitting zipped up in their cases in a corner of my bedroom.  My beautiful red burst Tama Silverstar 5 piece maple shell set is nothing more than a side piece right now, a constant reminder of what was and what could have been.  I miss playing so much.  Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t want to play anything with anybody just for the sake of playing either.  I need to feel a part of something and I need to play the music that makes me feel alive.  Pretty much that means everything with the exception of that speed metal/death metal garbage.  I don’t care what anybody says, that “music” SUCKS and I’ll admit that I’m not fast enough to play blast beats and hit my snare with occasional tom fills for 4 minutes or so at a time, but I also find that trash very boring even if I could build up my stamina to do it (which I know I could if I just sat at my drumset for a while nonstop every day for a week or two) I still would refuse to join a band that played that garbage.  Anyway, my very strong dislike for that crap aside, it’s very unlikely that I’d be able to get a group together that would play everything from George Strait and Alan Jackson, to Michael Jackson, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, The Gap Band, and Bruno Mars, to Mötley Crüe, Poison, Bon Jovi, Ratt, Guns n’ Roses, Van Halen, Chickenfoot, and of course I can’t leave Pantera, Metallica, Steel Panther, and Hellyeah behind either.  Who would want to do that, right?!  Those are just some of the things I’d like to cover off the bat.  Anyway, it won’t happen.  But it would be nice if it did though!  Instead, my drums will stay where they are, in my bedroom until we (Searchlight Needles) get off our asses and decide to play again.

Getting back to that, looking back I really miss everything about being in the active band scene.  I miss the practicing, the gigging, and most of all the recording.  Granted, we’ve only recorded one album 5 years ago (that you can still buy on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon or stream each track on YouTube too!  We’re a topic on there!), that was still an experience that I am craving to have again.  I think if I had the money for it, I would probably be constantly recording.  It’s so much fun to create music, record it, and have it there as a permanent memory.  AND you can share your creation with the world if they want!  It’s a beautiful thing with this technology in this day and age.  It also sucks at the same time because with the exception of a lucky few artists, there is no more money left in music.  I should make myself clear that I don’t play music for money because I’ve never made a dime from playing with my current band and I have been very happy about being able to play and create with my best friends, but in the crazy chance that some record exec were to hear it, there’s no way that a indie band like ours would make it in today’s music business culture.  Sure there have been very famous bands that have come out of here, most notably At The Drive In and the band that came out of that breakup, Mars Volta, but out of the countless other bands only another hipster/weird/who knows what band named The Royalty have gotten signed, but their contract got terminated after a year and that band pretty much broke up after that.

So, I say all that to say that I miss creating music.  I miss playing the songs I like playing right now and I’m dying to play the songs that I really love to put my little percussive spin on them, then to create my own music from all of my musical influences after that.  I want to do it for the love of the art and not for the cash or the bar tab I’d get for doing it.  I hope it happens sooner than later!

An insight into my love of music

Of all of the influences in my life, I want to say the biggest one is music.  I LOVE music!  My entire life revolves around music.  Ever since I could remember as a child, music was playing in my house.  I grew up with a number of different genres of music too.  My mom and dad would go from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, George Strait, Hank Williams Jr, and all the way to music like The Latin Breed, Emilio Navaira, and Selena and everything in between.  I never found it strange to listen to a rock track followed up by a Tejano tune.

There were plenty of weekends where our nights would be filled with so much music that it would fill my soul.  I remember those nights listening to the pop songs of the day, like tracks from Prince, The Police, A-Ha, Wham!, The Go-Gos, The Bangles, and Madonna to name just a few that got added into the mix along with everything else.

It was when I was about 6 or so when my godfather came over to our house in Anthony and brought me a stereo receiver and a pair of speakers (hey man! It was 1987!) that I also started to expand my musical horizons.  My parents, for as much as they did kinda monitor what I would watch and listen to, pretty much let me listen to whatever I wanted to and that’s when I turned the dial over to the rock stations in the area and found hair/glam metal.  I remember summer days when I’d be blasting out Mötley Crüe’s new hit single “Girls, Girls, Girls” and just having a rocking time in my bedroom.  Looking back, I wonder why my mom didn’t come in and ask what the hell I was listening to, but I was hooked on rock, man!  Soon enough, my sister and I were listening to Bon Jovi and I felt immersed in the rock genre.  I wasn’t out about it, you know?  It’s not like I could demand that I grow out my hair and aqua-net the hell out of it, or could I show up to 1st or 2nd grade with a Crüe or Poison shirt on, but I loved the music nonetheless.

I was 7, 8 years old and I was as nearly as all over the map with music as I am now.  I loved country music, loved Tejano music (and the beautiful women Tejano singers), loved classic rock from the 50s, 60s, and 70s (even though 70s wasn’t really classic back then), really started to get into the pop/R&B/Hip Hop music of the day too, and I loved my hair metal.  I really have to say that I love my parents for exposing me to such a wide variety of music and allowing me to discover so much more too.

Things started to come to a focus even more when I was around 8 or 9 when a good friend of mine and I decided that we’d really get into Aerosmith.  That band is still one of my favorite bands, although I’ll be honest in saying that I really like their earlier work when they were really rockin’.  Anyway, this was the Permanent Vacation/Pump era and this is where things are starting to change for the band.  We didn’t know any different and we loved the band for what they were.  I was a pretty big fan.  I had a few tapes, and I even got the permanent vacation home video (that was later borrowed and never returned by my 6th grade teacher.  LOL!) It was the first time that I focused any fandom to one artist.

Things took an even bigger swing musically when I moved to the east side of El Paso when I was 10.  It was the fall of 1991 and Metallica’s self-titled album (commonly known as the black album) had been released in the summer of that year and the single “Enter Sandman” was all over the place.  I really can’t tell you why I hadn’t heard it before.  Maybe it was the fact that I was really into listening to my CDs at the time and not the radio, but again my sister came to my rescue and turned me onto this song.  That changed my entire life.  I don’t know what it was, but I quickly became obsessed with that band and that song.  I remember it was later on that year at some point that I got the black album on tape and I listened to it nonstop!

Things didn’t change much for about the next 8 years.  Anybody that knew me in high school that I don’t really talk to now would probably recognize me and know me from all of my Metallica shirts.  I think I counted 16 of them at one point.  I was that into them.  The timing of me getting into them and their changes were hand in hand as well as by the start of high school in 1995, I was also branching out into blues, and more of the contemporary heavy metal of the day.  Metallica, at the same time, were writing and recording their albums Load and ReLoad at the time and those disks are very blues heavy, much the chagrin of many a heavy metal fan.  It was them cutting their long hair off, AND playing blues-y music that really pissed all of these heavy metal guys off.  I didn’t care.  I LOVED it.  I was listening to almost anything I could get my hands on.  Jazz, Classical, Industrial, Heavy Metal, Funk, Blues, you name it and I was into it.

High school was a funny place for me, when I really think about it.  Being in band (marching, symphonic, and jazz) really lit the fires of my love for awesome drumlines (because I was on the snare line in marching band), classical music, and all sorts of jazz.  I mean, I liked jazz music beforehand thanks to the jazz-rock fusion bands my dad liked and listened to, but the pure jazz ensembles and famous artists like John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald, etc were unknown to me at the time.  I would find myself listening to the local jazz station just soaking up everything they were playing.  Heck, even when they’d switch to classical music, I’d still be listening.  Jazz and Classical music, I found, would give me such peace and still do.  The talent by all of the musicians just blows me away.  The composers as well, just amaze me.  I’m probably one of the few weirdos who love movie soundtracks and composers in that subgenre like John Williams, Danny Elfman, Ennio Morricone, and Jerry Goldsmith to name a few of my favorites.

So, I say all of this to say that fast forward to now.  I’m still into the same styles of music as I was before.  I’ve actually branched out into more specific subgenres like chillout/downtempo/lounge/whatever else you want to call it jazz music, Bebop jazz, old-style country like George Strait, Alan Jackson, and the like, Heavy Metal that has awesome guitar solos and great drummers but isn’t too fast like Metallica, Pantera, Hellyeah, and Steel Panther (yes, I know this band heavily conflicts with my religious beliefs, but damn do I love the music!), and I still listen to everything else that I’ve mentioned previously as well.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have music.  Music is usually the first thought of mine when I wake up and aside from listening to podcasts, listening to music is what I do most often.  It’s what continues to shape my life. So, I guess if you really want to know more about me, just take a look at my music collection and you’ll get a taste of what made me who I am today.