Hello, music and drums have been crawling through my veins since I was five years old. I remember scavenging my house to find anything that would resonate when struck and use it to create music while driving my parents insane in the process. Some kids are forced to learn to play instruments at an early age and end up hating it; I was born with drumming embedded in my DNA, so learning my instrument became second nature to me.
My parents finally caught up and realized that music was going to be a part of my life forever and bought me my first drumset at the age of thirteen. To this day, it is still the best Christmas present I have ever received and that set me on the path to become the person I am today.
Being from the musically inclined island of Puerto Rico, I was always exposed to heavy percussion type music, old salsa, bomba, and plena (traditional Puerto Rican music), and other beat inducing music, which reflect on my drumming style.
One day I went to a friend’s house and was immediately drawn to the sound coming from his cassette boom box. I was like what in the world is this I am hearing? My friend told me that it was Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper,” and the connection was made forever. This is the type of music I want to play, this is how I want to sound, and I was going to spend the rest of my life striving to be the best I could be. I’m still far away from reaching that goal but I practice my art and try to evolve as much as possible every time I sit at my drums. Drumming is not only an obsession, it’s a commitment and I made a promise to myself a very long time ago that I would drum until die!
I grew up listening to Neil Peart, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Peter Criss, and Pete Sandoval, among other greats. Since listening to these guys my mind is now wired to always think, how can I make this even better? I also need the help of other professionals to tell me, dude, that’s it, you nailed that part, it’s perfect, for me to basically stop thinking about it (but I really never stop).
I currently play with the band Fit For an Autopsy, led by metal producer Will Putney. I have a lot of fans come up to me after shows and ask me what type of music keeps me motivated to innovate. My answer to them is always a surprising one—listen to anything with a powerful groove, no matter what music it is, from Latin, African, and Asian traditional to Australian aborigine and world folk music. This is where you will find the key to innovation.
I really want to push my career much further, work closely with my awesome sponsors (Gretsch/Zildjian), and be a drumming ambassador to bring the world of drumming to kids who don’t have resources or have little exposure to the music world. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of others who are less fortunate and use my abilities to give back to the instrument I love so much.
Thanks MD for this opportunity and thanks to all those who support and inspire me.
photos by John Leiby for Leiby Art World.
For more visit the bands FB page at www.facebook.com/FitForAnAutopsyOfficial.