I started playing when I was 14. My first guitar was a $100 combo stratocaster with a Peavy Rage 10 watt amp. After 20+ years, I have never come close to liking the distortion on any amp like I did on that Peavey! JAJA!
The thought was to see if I'd actually learn my instrument before the parents would buy me something more expensive. So I joined a band in middle school, Gotcha! (new wave dude), because I had a guitar (that was the criteria for joining LOL!) and lifelong friends happened. I played the hell outta that guitar until it was just a piece of wood with strings. Traded it for a microphone because my band needed one.
Weapons Of Choice
1985 Gibson Invader Sunburst Les Paul solid Mahogany body with bolt on Maple neck and dual "Dirty Fingers" humbuckers, nickel plating, named "Liliana" -stock
Funny story. I was jacking around too much in get-high school so the Dec before graduation my Gramma and Mom decided to surprise me and motivate my ass to getting it done. Whenever the parents went to the mall, I'd go to a big music store named Cherijon's Music in Harlingen, TX, and I'd spend the whole time in there. One day after a few hours, my Gramma and Mom came in to the store and started chatting with Mr. Cherijon, owner and proprietor, and he comes up to me and says, "Young man, today is your lucky day." Now get this, Mr. Cherijon had only Gibsons and Fenders and high end brands. No Epiphones or the lesser models of the time. He says, "Go ahead and pick out any guitar in the store you want, because it's yours." Blew my mind! I had always gone in there and fantasized which guitar I'd get if I had the chance... dream come trues!
I chose 5 guitars and it came down to two; a 1985 Gibson Invader Les Paul and a 1988 Angus Young sig Gibson SG. The SG was a 10 on distortion and a 0 on clean. The Invader was an 8 on distortion and a 10 on clean. You can see why I chose the Invader. Best dang graduation present ever!
2006 Gibson Gold Top 50's reissue Les Paul Custom with chambered body, named "Dulce" -modded with Slash Seymour Duncan dual Humbuckers, Switch-On toggle switch, 50's wiring harness Gibson Les Paul orange drop capacitor short shaft pots because the shit Gibson started doing during this time was going transistor to make it easy to switch out humbuckers by simply clicking out a harness so players can swap easily; however, they sacrificed tone!
2011 Ibanez AEG Acoustic-Electric Blue Cutaway Sunburst with built-in pre-amp and tuner, gold plating, named "Juliana" -this is the dreadnought version with the 5" thick contoured bottom. Gives that deep sound.
Fender Stage 100 Head w/matching 412 Half-stack cab (4-12" Celestion G12T 100 speakers)
15" Peavy Black Widow cab extra speaker
Acoustic Brand 100 watt tube head with stereo footswitch
1988 Marshall Mini-Stack Lead 12 series in ivory white tolex
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner (every pro guitarist needs this!)
Dunlop Dimebag Cry Baby From Hell Wah (leads, vol boost)
Danelectro FAB Chorus (love this for acoustic parts)
Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter
Seymour Duncan SFX-11 Twin Tube Blue pedal
Behringer VD400 Vintage Delay
MXR Smart Gate
Whirlwind Selector A/B Box -Using this soon, the idea is to run the Fender Stage 100 and the Acoustic Tube head together and alternately.
Also will be getting some sort of looper pedal. :P I've only started collecting pedals with this band as I'd only prefer the tuner, but it helps out with giving our songs a little something so my settings are really subtle.
Truetone 1 Spot 9v Pedal Chain Power Supply -made my own pedal board, just like a dark lord makes his own ring or light saber :) buahaha! (what a nerdo!)
Snarling Dogs Brain picks .75mm (red) I like these for songs I alternate electric strumming and some distortion
Snarling Dogs Brain picks .88mm (black) I like these for when I'm playing straight out distortion and need to do thrash-riff picking
Ernie Ball 2215 Skinny Top Heavy Bottom nickel wound .10 gauge
Before these came out, I used to buy a pack of .10 gauge Regular Slinky and the .11 gauge Burly Slinky packs and mix the small 3 regular and the large 3 burlys. I just preferred the beefy sound outta my lower 3 and the versatility of the first three from these. .9 gauge was too small and getting to .11 gauge didn't allow for the bending I wanted. These save me bux and I like 'em.
D'Addario EJ11 80/20 Bronze Light Acoustic .12 gauge
About Being a Musician
I've always found that playing live is the best drug I have ever had, and playing rock and roll is the best decision I have ever made.
With regard to jamming with people, I'd rather play with a guy who doesn't know much, but who is super cool, than a guy who can play anything and is just a dick. Can't create with people like that.
Because of this attitude, I wasn't a band bitch that jumped from one band to another, and the ones I was in, were damn good and tight because we were all friends. As I was just a guitar player and not a musician yet, I learned from anyone I jammed with by picking up trix and practicing my techniques; learning how to really hear the music. After so many years with some time taken off (college), I decided to start writing and composing my own music. That's when I graduated to being a musician and that's when I started this band.
Top 5 fave albums; no order
Motley Crue: Too Fast For Love
Guns 'n Roses: Appetite for Destruction
Judas Priest: Turbo
Slayer: God Hates Us All/Repentless (tie)
Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks
Honorable mention: Faster Pussycat (Self Titled); L.A. Guns (Self Titled); The Cult: Sonic Temple
I don't really know. I never liked learning or playing covers because I didn't want to be a clone and sound like a particular guitarist or band. I've always thought of my playing as dirty blues sleazy punky rock! JAJA! Over the years my style was just me jamming out with people and improvising on rhythm guitar. I favored the right picking hand doing stuff over the super fast finger fretting most guitarists prefer. I like to use all the strings when I can and I guess because I don't have really long fingers, just big ole paws! JAJA!
Playing in the Hedonistic Punk Vatos pushed me into the lead axe spotlight. I have some stuff that is practiced tight but really my leads shit is all stuff I do on the spot using my experiences to guide me. It's the punk rock influence, but I do adhere to practicing with the band until we get real tight and then putting on a show.