Archive for December, 2009

Thank You.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2009 by demianarriaga

To say that 2009 has been important in my life would be the biggest understatement i’ve ever made, and believe me i talk a lot of non-sense. When I look back at where I’ve been, people I have met, things I’ve seen and things I have learned and experienced I can only say THANK YOU. I don’t know where to begin and/or end so excuse how loose this blog entry will be.  I guess I can separate things in a few different blocks such as professional experiences, personal, etc but the way I think about it they are all interdependent and it would almost go against how I see life if I were to even suggest that they aren’t.

It all started in January when I got asked by guitarist Richie Kotzen to be his drummer for his European Tour. Right before I went out on the road I spent a couple of weeks in Venezuela with family and friends. They were all aware of how much I liked touring let alone with someone I had been listening to for literally years, so to see how happy they were, almost more than me was a trip. The tour was incredible… all of jan through feb… Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Denmark… i think i’m naming them all. My dear friend David Filice played bass on the tour and all i can say is that it was a tour to remember. I can’t even begin to say what an honor it is for me to have played with those guys… what followed were 4 shows in Brazil and one in Argentina, followed by 2 in Costa Rica. Buenos Aires was particuarly special for me because I got to see an old friend, Charlie, whom I hadn’t seen in over 5 years… those were some good days in an incredible country with amazing people, same as Brazil, simply amazing. After the shows in Costa Rica we did 3 shows at House of Blues hollywood, anaheim and san diego with none others than PAUL GILBERT and GEORGE LYNCH. Kick ass… nuff said.

I have to mention how incredible it has been for me to see lots of friends all over the world. Just the fact that I can say that is something that I’m thankful for…Another thing i’m grateful for is the fact that I got to perform in front of people i look up to and “only” visualized. I say “only” because I’m a firm believer in the power of visualization but thats a whole different thing. Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden), Steve Lukather (Toto, Michael Jackson),  Jason Becker, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey (Mr. Big), Extreme, Frank Bello from Anthrax, etc… just rad man!! it has been such a trip looking up in the crowd and seeing “familiar” faces… as in people on cd covers hahaha. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to return in some way, shape or form their influence… i just hope they liked what I did hahaha.

School Of Rock Hollywood has been a HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE part of my life, not only since I joined the faculty but the last year has just been insane. I can say that it’s an HONOR to be part of the group of teachers there… teaching alongside guys like Jody Delli Santi from Supercreep, guitar virtuoso Neil Rambaldi, one of my fave singers songwriters Pablo Signori and one of the most badass musicians i’ve ever met in my life Carl Restivo, is just sick. Furthermore knowing that I have an impact on such amazing kids’ lives is something I appreciate immensely and I thank every single parent and every single kid. I love and miss you very much. Also would like to extend my thanks to Wendy Winks, not only cuz she’s my boss… the coolest boss ever 😉 but because she has shown as much support for me as anyone has, so thank you!

Aside SOR, i have many private students and I want to thank YOU for all the things I have learned from you and your families. I was saddened by the news of a girl i cared lots for, which you can read on another entry, lost her life and among the things I can learn about the whole experience is the never ending necessity to not take life for granted and be very vocal and demonstrative of the love you feel for someone, be it a  friend, a loved one, a woman you are dating, a celebrity you like, you get the point. I wish i didn’t get reaffirmed this way but life has a f’ed up way of working sometimes.

Living in LA i’ve had the chance to work with numerous artists.. nothing new  there BUT i considered myself a sort of exception in that the people I have been working with lately, actively, beyond being great musicians, they are all GREAT PEOPLE, which, at the end of the day is the most important thing for me. I don’t care who you are… if you are a idiot i don’t want to work with you, simple as that. I don’t mean that in a proud way, i just know myself and I would be dying inside dealing with someone i truly disliked day in and day out. I could write separate blogs for each one but I just wanted to take this chance to thank Jamie Alonge, Native Sun, Vida Espia, Kashmere, One Tribe Nation, Streetlight Manifesto, Paul Austin, SonSoles, Selena Garcia, Neil Rambaldi, Jody Delli Santi, Carl Restivo and last but certainly not least Richie Kotzen for allowing me to be part of your artistic vision. I am touched and it has been nothing short of a privilege and I hope the rock keeps on rockin’

October 5th marked the beginning of ANOTHER european tour with Richie, spanning 2 months, 42 shows and many many anecdotes. I got to see London and the emirates stadium, home of ARSENAL FC… unforgettable experience… This time around Daniel Pearson played bass… all i can say is holy sh!t this cat is GOOD. funniest mofo too.. what a trip!!I got to see so many old friends… Pedro in Madrid, Valen in Italy… 5 of my BROS in Barcelona … the list goes on and on… i just can’t believe I’m even saying all this stuff… surreal.

Without wanting to sound too esoteric I  have to say how massive POSITIVE THINKING has been in my life, specially the last year. I spend an extensive amount of time meditating and visualizing my life, what I want to experience, people I want to perform with, places I want to go, things I want to achieve, people I want to meet, etc… all i can say is that it works FOR ME. Reading/watching/listening to James Arthur Ray (whose book HARMONIC WEALTH is a must have if you ask me), Bob Proctor, John Assaraf , The Secret and most importantly Anamelia Arriaga has been as important to me as practicing, being on time and so on.

My mom always says that “the beautiful thing in life is not to make your dreams come true, you find the true beauty when you make your life a living dream” I can’t name you all but i want to THANK YOU for making this year truly unreal, surreal and most of all very very very REAL.

thx

d

VIDEO BLOG – TOUR END/2009 Wrap-up

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2009 by demianarriaga

What a year this has been… So many things to talk about it would take me forever to write and I don’t want to waste your time…. too much, haha! To start:  2 European and 1 South American tours with Richie Kotzen… over 15 countries, over 40 cities…. what an amazing run. I always visualized going to these places but I didn’t think it would happen in ONE YEAR, let alone going TWICE to tons of these cities… just amazing. All I can do is be thankful… practice the attitude of gratitude.

Here’s a brief summary of the 2nd half of the tour, including Spain, France, having my father on the road for 2 weeks etc.

thx

d

ps: forgot to mention seeing my dear friends PEDRO in madrid and one of my fave people in the world VALENTINA in Torino, Italy… luv u guys

Tour Gear

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 by demianarriaga

Hey…

This is where I get dorky, so bear with me please. I have gotten many questions regarding my gear selection, drum setup and such so I wanted to answer to those 4 people that asked me, lol.

First things first, I have to say a huuuuuge THANK YOU to Chad B. at Vater for their continued support. I’ve played Vater for years, since 2001 to be specific and I’m proud to say I endorse their amazing products. For this tour I used Manhattan 7A’s.

Regarding drums… I use a minimal kit for my shows with Richie, 22″ bass drum “16 floor tom and 14″ snare , thats it. As far as heads I used Evans EC-2’s for the toms and Genera Dry’s for the snares which are paramount to my sound. Thanks to Steve at Evans for helping me out!

Cymbals… this is interesting. I used my trusty 14” new beat Zildjian hi hats and an 18” Avedis Crash-Ride, also by Zildjian. My ride was, enfasis on the word was, my baby… a 21″ Constantinople Big Band ride that i CRACKED 12 gigs into the tour.. OUUUUCH!! It still hurts… you shall be missed my friend. I replaced it with a Paiste 2002 ride, 20″, not bad actually, i was very very pleasantly surprised.

Pedals? PEARL. need I say more? of course not. For my money the most reliable and musical pedals out there.

here’s a bird’s eye view taken at the very last gig in Scandiano, Italia.

The window seat means its MY window…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2009 by demianarriaga

Ok… let’s see if I can write this and not come off as a complete douchebag…

Am I the only one that believes that if you are flying and you get the window seat you, more or less (and this is the key), have certain privileges regarding when you want to close /open the window? Well you bet your ass I think so. First of all I have to make it very clear that when I do choose to close it I take a look at my row mates and ask them if they mind. Yes, I’m already closing the window as I’m asking so it negates my politeness but the bottom line is that at that moment I don’t feel I need their permission. When I’m in the middle or the aisle I don’t expect the window seat person to ask me, it’s the luck of the draw in a way. When I get a window seat its a small victory for me cuz I feel I have some sort of control in a completely control-less environment.

In a scale of who has more rights it’s very clear to me: Window, Middle Aisle. If voting took place it wouldn’t be a 2 vs 1 scenario per se. If aisle and middle guy want me to open/close it and I don’t want to for whatever reason then its a clear-cut sod off from yours truly… yes I said “sod off”” . I would ask both and if middle could go either way I would assume he or she agrees with whatever I decide. Aisle’s opinion is completely irrelevant on its own.

Why would I ever even think about writing this let alone actually going through with it? I shall explain.

If you know me you know I’m Mr. Optimist, I never get angry except when ignorant mofos try to argue football (soccer) with me.. aside from that it takes a lot… I’m actually not a dick about the whole window thing but when I was flying from London to Rome something f’ed up happened. As I was in a deep sleep, much-needed after our first leg of the tour in the UK, i was awakened by something. IT was the light from the window that was blinding me…annoying as all hell. Not only that but when I open my eyes I can see half of a human’s head right in front of me, completely invading my personal space. I actually don’t mind touchy feely people but this was just wrong. She opened the window without permission, at this point I still think its needed, but she wanted to be in my seat so bad she leaned all the way in front of me. Add to that the fact that now I couldn’t even see whatever was outside cuz I had to resort to leaning all the way back and all I could see were propellers… When i finally was able to take a clear peak it was nothing but the freakin OCEAN… which, due to my never-ending fear of sharks i couldn’t care less to see.

Yes, this topic is much more relative and open to debate than my FREE REFILLS post which you can find here somewhere…

talk amongst yaselves

d

HOME

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2009 by demianarriaga

Long time no write…

I will summarize the whole tour experience in a long ass video blog which will be uploaded next week.

I just wanted to drop a quick line, express how thankful I am to life for giving me such an incredible opportunity to perform in so many countries, meeting new people and playing with Richie and Dan. The amount of respect I have for these guys is beyond words, what an honor it is to play alongside such killers!

After 2 months of intense touring i´m back home, my original home: CARACAS. Nothing like seeing mom and dad, old friends who to me are family, eating great food, drinking good wine and great rum, watching soccer with my friends, etc. I need a break/vacation and what better place both physically and mentally than home?

With that said I have to mention how much I miss Los Angeles, in particular all my students. If home is where the heart is then I have more than one home, and thats another reason i´m thankful.

We´re off to COSTA RICA for what will be the last gig with RICHIE KOTZEN of 2009. I believe the count is up to 75 shows this year with him. Crazy. We played there already this year and if thi show is anywhere near as killer as last time then we´re in for a kick ass weekend!

THis is when I get dorky/cheesy/myself … my great friends from MALBEC have an incredible song that is one of my faves of all time, no joke. AS musicians sometimes we hear songs and wish we would have written them. Songs such as Yesterday, In My Darkest Hour, Wish You Were Here, More Than Words, Why Can´t This Be Love… yes i just mixed beatles, megadeth, floyd, extreme and van halen, got a problem? thought you would. thanks. haha

anyway, talk about long-winded… i wish i would have written this song.

(for whatever reason i can´t embed this bad boy, heres the link)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ECV5vh9u58

c yas

d