Where are you from?
What instruments do you play?
My main [instrument] is drums. I play a little bit of guitar and a little bit of bass (when it’s needed). Mainly now I’m doing a lot of production—the actual writing part of production, so a lot of virtual instruments and all that stuff.
Do you use Pro Tools?
No, I use Ableton.
Do you typically work as a solo artist or do you have a band or any common collaborations?
My current band is Orvega; it’s me and one other guy. I’ve also started working with another artist who goes by [the name] Hornbill, but I’m just producing a couple tracks for him. Other than that anything I do is solo… I’ve been in-and-out of a few rock bands.
How long have you been playing the instruments that you play?
Drums, it’s been about 10 years. I’ve been fiddling with guitar for about 11 years.
Tell us about yourself as an artist. How did you get to where you are now, or what started everything for you?
I gotta think about that one… I mean, I don’t know why I started making music. Really it was just [me] thinking it was cool. I wanted to learn how to play the guitar…and it didn’t work out. Then I wanted to learn how to play the drums and it did work out! While I was learning to play the drums, I had met some guys in a band and became really good friends with them. The vocalist [was the one] who told me I should pursue music, so I really took it seriously and started pursuing music seriously. Then things changed and I went from playing in rock bands to producing more electronic type music. So it’s kind of been this strange progression of learning from my mistakes in a way… like in every rock band I was in—there have been two or three, which really isn't that many—things just didn’t work out. Working with four or five other guys is hard, it’s difficult. So learning to do everything by yourself is beneficial because you don’t need to rely on anybody. It goes from, “hey, I need you to write this guitar track,” to, “I need to write this guitar track.” That’s kind of how I got to where I am now.
Tell us about your music.
My current project, Orvega, is electronic based. It’s kind of R&B in a way… It’s a weird mix of pop music that you hear on the radio now, with a darker R&B sound, and more (I guess you could say) aggressive elements of electronic music. I tend to sample a lot from other music—tweaking samples—so let’s say I hear a section of a song, like a 2 second clip of a song, I can pitch shift it, flip it backwards, chop it up, and just turn it into something new. That’s really where I go musically; a lot of what I do is sampling.
Tell us about your time at Norco, in the Norco Music department.
It was fairly short; I was only there for a year-and-a-half [which is] kind of standard for a lot of people, but some people are there longer… It was a good experience learning, mainly, how to work with others. Also, working in a professional studio environment. Those are things that [you need] as a musician. If you’re going to record an album, sound engineers hate recording new bands because they don't know what to do in a studio, they don’t know proper studio etiquette, they don’t know what you should or shouldn’t do. So really, going to Norco and being in these classes really helped with learning the basics of studio etiquette and working with others in collaboration. Really it was a big help.
Do you have a favorite experience from being in Norco Music?
Yeah! Really my favorite experience was being in choir. I learned how to sing properly and I’ve been singing ever since, and all of the people that were in it when I was in it, including the instructor that we had, made it feel like less of a class; it was a family. We went out to Palm Springs for a weekend and did some singing there; it was a lot of fun and it’s something I won’t forget.
What are you doing now as far as anything school-related, music-related, anything professionally?
Nothing school related… My current band, we just released our debut album so we’re starting to play shows and hoping to take things to the next level. At the moment I’m trying to see where this project goes.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music?
Um… no. All I do is work, music, and sleep. That’s it. I mean I tried painting and I’m awful at it.
Do you have any goals that you’ve set for yourself, either short-term or long-term?
Really I just want to make lots of money.
That’s the dream.
I mean, it’s a plus if you can get it, but it’s not about that. Really it’s just the expression part of [music] and connecting with people. Already seeing it with this album that my band just dropped—people saying, “hey man, that song… Your song, ‘Waves,’ made me feel this way”—that’s the coolest thing to me. If you can feel a [certain] way, write a song about it, and someone can listen to it and feel that way or if it reminds them of when they felt that way, it kind of shows how special music is. That you can communicate these emotions.
Would you say that maybe a goal that you’ve set for yourself would be to build a fanbase?
A little bit. I mean, I don’t want a crazy huge fanbase necessarily… A small fanbase that just connects with what we’re doing would mean the world to me.
Do you have any last words of wisdom for whoever might be reading this interview?
Don’t do drugs.
The Longing written by Kory Garrett and Kevin Allen (vocals/drums) Kory Garrett (rhythm guitar) Daniel Jimenez (rhythm guitar) Alex Zimmer (lead guitar) Steen Kevett (bass)
Speak Up written by L!R@, Matthew Hobbs, Big Man and Courtney Redwine • Big Man (lead vocals) Daniel Chavez (vocals) Courtney Redwine (backing vocals) L!R@ (guitar/vocals) Dominic Valenzuela (guitar) Marshall German (piano) Louis Ojeda (bass) Kevin Allen (drums)