What!? I haven't updated in half a year!? Time flies! Here's the highlights of what's happened:
The biggest developement these past months was that I joined Harrison Nida's (yet unnamed) band as a full member. I've been MDing and playing for him for about two years and have been very happy with the constellation. The record we've been recording has been coming along very nicely, too. It's co-produced, engineered and mixed by the amazing Allen Hessler, whose credits include work with Serj Tankian (of System of a Down), Goldfinger, The Used, Avanged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance and many more. Further on we got Matt Appleton of the Ska band Reel Big Fish to play our horn section parts. It's the first time in a while that I have my own project, and it feels great! With the help of many of our friends we've already shot two full music videos and three lyric videos, which we are eagerly waiting to release. We finally have all the masters of the record and are currently forging a masterplan on how to best release it. It might take another few month, but get ready for 14 seriously awesome Ska, Pop-Punk and Rock tunes!
In March, I was cast to play drums in a major nationwide Coca Cola / McDonalds commercial featuring Mindy Kaling. It was a SAG job, which means I would get payed over and over for it, depending on how often they show the ad. People make thousands and thousands of dollars with this kind of work, so I was thrilled to get selected! After getting onto the huge set at Universal Studios, me and my fellow co-musicians were informed, that we will perform only in one of about six sketches, and that our sketch would be the very last one to be filmed. Impatiently we were watching one spot after the other being shot, the clock ticking on and getting dangerously close to 6 PM (since it was a unionized commercial we knew that they wouldn't go past 6). 5:30 came around and they still weren't done with all the clips that came befor ours. At 6 PM the directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (who are known for such notable films as 'Blades of Glory') called it a wrap. I got payed very well for just waiting around the whole day. But knowing how much money I wouldn't make, now that I didn't get to play in the commercial, I was still rather... confused? Anyways, I'll keep at it! Here's one of the clips that did get made while I was waiting in the studio.
In April, I went on my honeymoon in Japan, which was absolutely amazing! I'm not trying to bore you with my personal life here too much.. add me on Facebook if you want to know more about that! So here is what happened professionally that month: Nitendae released her new EP, which I played drums on. With it, she got to be 'featured artist' on Itunes for a day. Congrats! You can hear some of the songs here. May took me to San Francisco to play at the Doclands Film Festival with Gingger Shankar. Throughout these month and up to now I also played the whole LA club circuit with Lost Puppy, culminating in a show at the famous Whiskey a Go Go opening up the Ultimate Jam Night. The band has been coming along very nicely and in June we did a live session at Soundcast Studios, which we're very proud of. You can watch it here in it's entirety. We're planning on recording a new EP this Fall, which I'm very very excited for!
Also during these months, I started playing around town with Mechanical Roots. It's a three piece rock band formed around the guitarist and singer Kevin O'Brien. After playing a few shows we headed in the studio to record our first EP. The studio of choice is owned by the Foo Fighter's keys player and had Taylor Hawkins' (Foo Fighters' drummer) drum set fully set up and ready to record. We cut the drums for the whole EP in two hours and the drums sound pretty cool! The record is currently getting mixed and should be ready for release in a month or two.
On the cover-band front I picked up a lot of gigs with Pop Vision, the band I used to play in Las Vegas with. It's a lot of fun, and they have an ever evolving setlist, so it stays interesting. I also played a few shows with Crowd Theory and a giant cancer benefit show with Body Talk. Further on I finally got to play with my friend Devin Tait in his Bananarama tribute band Boynanarama. Boynanarama features Chris Freeman, of Pansy Division fame, on bass. Another band that's gearing up to start playing showcases is the Magnetic South. And, last but not least, I want to mention Joel Jarek Degraff's band Same Animal. I recorded for him last year and now we started rehearsing with me filling in the role of the MD. I'm very much looking forward to see where we can take this project!!
The coming months are looking very promising. In October I'll start playing in duo formation with Norwegian EDM producer Coucheron. We will be hitting LA, San Francisco, New York and Montreal (CA). In SF we'll be playing the famous Rickshaw Stop. And in early November I'll start playing shows with the Indie-Pop band Heffron Drive. We'll be travelling to Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.