WHEN/HOW DID YOU START TO FIND YOURSELF INTO MUSIC?
Really can’t remember but I think music has always been in me since I was very young. I remember asking my dad to buy me a guitar when I was 7 years old. Played around with it for a while but I guess at that time it was just a toy to me. I got into video games of course, and the game I got obsessed with was Guitar Hero III on the Nintendo Wii. The song "Cliffs of Dover” was my holy grail. At around 11 years old I decided to pick up my old guitar again and started doing guitar hero for real. I also got into a lot of Van Halen stuff at that time and Mr. Big really drove me crazy. At around 14 years old I found the blues or rather, the blues kinda found me. I met this super cool guy from my hometown, a Luthier named Tito Amboy, as he is fondly called, who introduced me to the blues. He also brought me to this place called Roadhouse Manila Bay who hosted open jams. The moment I went up that stage with my guitar, I really felt that I found home. Music and my guitar brought me to a lot of places and stages and connected me to a lot of great people and friends who helped shape me into the person I am today. I feel so blessed because of music.
WHO ARE YOUR MUSIC INFLUENCES?
Eric Johnson was my first guitar hero and he still is. Even when I got into the blues, I still tried to play it with his playing style and I was obsessed with his tone. The works of Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big were also like comfort food for me. I was 15 when I developed my blues-rock approach trying to fuse together the styles of my guitar heroes. The song Room 335 by Larry Carlton got me interested in studying jazz guitar. Studying Larry Carlton's songs made a huge difference in the way I approach my playing. His technique, tone, and tasty melodies are such a joy to listen to and his songs just put you in a real positive mood every time you listen to them. Right now, I like listening to a lot of cool and diverse stuff. From Intervals to Plini, Alex Hutchings, Lari Basilio, Polyphia, and my list just goes on for like forever. I’m also a huge fan of K-pop!!! I just like learning new stuff and continuously try to make myself better every day.
HOW DID YOU KNOW ABOUT SIRE?
My first encounter with Sire is with the Marcus Miller Basses. That was two years ago I think. I was so impressed with the build and the sound that came from those gorgeous instruments. My bandmate bought a white M2 and I really enjoyed playing around with it. Then I got wind that Sire was working with Mr. Carlton on a new line of guitars through posts from NAMM and Guitar Pusher who is the local distributor of Sire Basses here in the Philippines. That got me really excited. I started doing guitar and gear demos for online video content when the pandemic struck to keep myself busy while school (yes, I still go to school taking up AB-Music Production at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde) was out. When Sire guitars became available, I asked Guitar Pusher if they can lend me a couple of guitars that I can use for my demos. I totally went crazy when I got my hands on them!!!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BASS /GUITAR FEATURE? WHY?
The weight, the finish, the special contours, Everything!!! The guitars just check all the boxes for me. The rolled edges of the neck feel great and comfortable. The choice of pickups we’re also ideal for me because I’m a big fan of Alnico 5s.
WILL YOU RECOMMEND SIRE GUITARS TO YOUR FELLOW MUSICIANS? WHY?
Definitely! It’s like getting custom shop grade or premium line guitars at crazy affordable prices.
WHAT IS YOUR UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR SIRE GEAR?
When I got the H7, I immediately felt that the first thing I had to do was to do a cover of Room 335. I mean, I just had to!!! I recorded it and got in on video and uploaded it on my YouTube and Facebook page. I was able to upload it a bit late - before midnight, I think. As I was drifting into sleep at 2 am, I saw a notification on my Facebook page that woke me up big time. It was Mr. Larry Carlton congratulating me on a job well done. BEST DAY EVER!!!
WHAT CAN YOU ADVISE TO OTHER ASPIRING ARTISTS/MUSICIANS NOWADAYS?
Be brave. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Enjoy the praises but be open to criticism too. Criticism may bring you down but it opens opportunities to lift yourself to even greater heights. Learn from it. Be bold. Keep creating. Music is not an exact science but there are certain rules. Learn and try to master the rules as best as you can like a pro, then break them apart like an artist. It’s something I try to live by based on a famous quote by Pablo Picasso. Always try to be a little better today than you were yesterday. Keep learning, keep practicing, and don’t forget to love what you do.