Funny Incidents As A Musician

As a teenager, I played a lot of gigs with my previous band Nu.Clear.Dawn, and that gave me the opportunity to witness some funny incidents both on and off stage.

Coiled Guitar CableOne of the funniest was when we were covering Dream Theater’s Pull Me Under during one of our gigs back in 1999. So me and the bass player Rami decided we’ll make some stage action during the song and switch our positions, and we started kind of running towards each other and passed each other safely, but I turn around proud of our epic move only to see the coiled cable of my guitar and the jack both airborne and flying towards me. I had to pick it up and plug it back into the pedal board, and I felt stupid. It is good to mention here that I never used coiled guitar cables again.

Other funny, more like idiotic moments we witnessed when we were touring in the middle east. These people working on the borders were not the very bright, so they were always dumbstruck when they had to check our equipment. In one of the instances, they instructed us to open up the bass drum of our drummer so he can check what are we hiding inside, since the drummer Aram, had filled it with a thick bed cover for muffling it.

Another time, there was this man sweeping the side of a road where our bass player had placed his guitar in a hard case while we waited to board the bus, the man approaches him, while trying to express his utmost comprehension of music and art, holding the broomstick and gazing at my band-mate, and he goes like: “Sir… I need to clean here, could you please move your piano?”

If you have lived to witness funny moments as a musician yourself, don’t be shy to share it with us.

Stardust Airs on Spanish Radio Show La Hoguera (Bonfire)

Translation by Google:

Like every week, we review the most interesting of today’s melodic rock, going into areas ranging from AOR to progressive metal, and all spiced with a lot of rock and roll (and some blues).

The track listing is as follows:

Como cada semana, repasamos lo más interesante de la actualidad del Rock melódico, adentrándonos en terrenos que van del AOR, al metal progresivo, y todo aderezado con mucho rock and roll (y algo de blues).

El listado de temas es el siguiente:

JOLLY JOKER. Damage. L.P. Sex, booze and tattoes
ARC ANGEL. Amnesia. L.P. Harlequins of light
ALHANDAL. El velo rasgado. L.P. Rotta
AVALANCH. Madre tierra. L.P. Los poetas han muerto
SANGRE AZUL. El silencio de la noche. L.P. El silencio de la noche
FERGIE FREDERIKSSEN. Candles in the dark. L.P. Any given moment
DEEP PURPLE. Aprés vous. L.P. So what?
RON & BLUES. Pray and joy (directo en Rey louie)
HARDREAMS. The land inside our souls. L.P. Unbroken promises
LA MANO TONTA DE CERVANTES. Como un fantasma. L.P. Homónimo
SAMMY HAGAR. Personal Jesus. L.P. Sammy H. & friends
LITTLE RIVER BAND. Forever you forever me. L.P. Cuts like a diamond
SEMANTIC SATURATION. Stardust. L.P. Solipsistic  @ 75:36
FIND ME. Dancing to a broken heartbeat. L.P. Wings of love

You can listen to the podcast through this link:

Definition of Prog

One of my fans Andrew Grabowska is writing a speech about progressive rock and metal for his class, he chose me as his source and I’m quite honored.

He wanted answers to some of his questions:

  1. Why do you listen to/enjoy progressive metal and rock?
  2. Why did you chose to write and play it?
  3. Is there anything else you think is important about progressive rock and metal in comparison to other genres?

Well, below was my reply.

I started playing guitar when I was 15, and we played and covered a diversity of metal songs from different bands with my previous band Nu.Clear.Dawn.

At some point I was almost finding heavy metal sounding a bit boring to me, specially the standard song structures, verse chorus verse chorus solo chorus, also the regular guitar chords. I mean don’t get me wrong here, there are a lot of great metal bands out there that I enjoyed playing and listening to and still do sometimes, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Scorpions, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Iced Earth.. The is pretty much endless but still something was missing for me, perhaps the fun factor.

When I first got into prog, it was mostly Dream Theater and Rush that I listened to, and what got me into Dream Theater was Pink Floyd, when Dream Theater covered for Pink Floyd in A Change of Seasons, and how I got into Pink Floyd is quite the story.

Now why do I enjoy listening to prog? The song structures are different, sometimes there’s no chorus at all, sometimes very short lyrics, sometimes long intros, so there’s always the element of surprise, the music is diverse as well, different melodies, different moods, different builds in one track, odd time signatures, and of course some tracks are long which allows for instrumental sections, I just love how everyone in the band could get to solo at some point, in the end the band is not only the singer and then the rest of the band. It’s the singer, the guitarist, the drummer, the bassist, and everyone has their moment to shine.

It pretty much goes the same when it comes to writing and playing progressive music, plus, playing progressive rock is a lot of fun it’s almost like a video game, as a guitarist your left hand and fingers need to move around and hit the right notes on the fretboard while your brain is getting ready to play the next part in the song which is completely a new section, and it keeps progressing!
The chords sound a lot wider, jazzy, each position gives you a different mood, unlike the regular power chord that’s pretty much what every metal song is made of, why play the same four boring chords over and over and wait for the song to be over?

The same applies to everyone else in the band, the drummer has to remember all these odd time signatures and not mess up, and that’s where the fun is. Playing 4/4 time signature gets very old specially for a drummer. When you’re playing a progressive song you have to keep going, the band keeps going, the song keeps going and the melodies and harmonies unite to create an epic song. If you mess up you’re back to the last checkpoint, and keep practicing until you can play the whole thing in one shot, like a pro!

A lot of people think that playing prog is very hard. I almost thought the same, before I first picked up my guitar and tried to play a Dream Theater song, lucky for me I had the transcribed notes and guitar tabs for the song, so I started to learn the parts and I was surprised how extremely easy and fun some sections were to play, despite how difficult they sounded. (Check out guitar tabs and jam tracks from Solipsistic)

You don’t have to be a highly technical musician to play progressive rock or progressive metal, and all new prog bands are missing the point nowadays, they put everything they know in one song, like showing off their muscles.

Music is NOT a race, music is NOT a competition, music is art.

Now tell me why do YOU like prog?


… And We’re Back

I’ve been dealing with lots of problems on the website lately, couldn’t upload any images, the website was not functioning 100%, my blog was down yesterday, and the whole website was actually down this morning.

Broken Machine
This is supposed to be a picture of the broken website.

Fortunately though everything is back to normal today, after hours of work yesterday night, and some this morning.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

This can’t get any more sincere…

I’m gonna cry now.


12 Years Ago Today

I was eagerly waiting the release of Dream Theater’s live album from their evening at the Radio City Music Hall in New York which was shot on August 30, 2000. The album title and release date were announced months ago.

September 11, 2001
A couple of hours after my brain started computing the unfortunate events of 9/11 and the great turmoil in the United States I found myself even more dumbstruck when I remembered the cover and title of Dream Theater’s live album that was set to be released the same morning, with the twin towers engulfed in flames on a burning apple on its cover and the title that says “Live Scenes From New York”.
Definitely one of the greatest What the Fuck moments in my life.

Dream Theater - Live Scenes From New York
Dream Theater – Live Scenes From New York

The album was released the same morning, September 11, 2001 and was pulled off the shelves right away after the tragedy, to be released later with a different album cover.

Some stores still sold copies with the original cover in the US and worldwide, and those remain a collector’s item. I count myself lucky to own one of the few copies sold.