Welcome to the June issue of Sin City Presents Magazine! This month we add a new recurring segment to the magazine! You can now look forward to seeing a monthly feature on the front men/women #OnTheMic. To kick it off we have the great pleasure of sharing David Reed Watson’s journey. David is also one of our monthly contributors, “The Reiki Rocker” who brings us stories of spiritual enlightenment each month. So without further adieu…. Here’s our interview with David Reed Watson.
Hello David, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. I guess the first question should be where did you start?
I was born in North Adams, Massachusetts. My father was a banjo player and singer so I always had music in my life. I sang a lot in school, mostly doing musicals. I really didn’t start singing in Rock bands until I was 23. You see, I went in the Marines for 6 years, just trying to do the right thing, you know? I was also in Advertising for several years, living in Florida then Colorado. I didn’t make music the forefront of my life though until my sister got sick with Sjogrens. Before she passed away she asked, “When are you going to start doing music full time?” It wasn’t until she passed away that I heeded her words and still hold those words dear to my heart as a reminder that we are only here for a brief moment and that moment can be taken from us at any point and time. From that point on music took the forefront in my life. Even though it took me until my 40’s to jumpstart my career it has been my mission to keep it this way once and for all. That’s when I packed my bags and moved out to LA.
Question: LA… did you like it?
David: You can plant me pretty much anywhere and I will make the best of it. I really did like LA. I lived on the beach in Marina del Rey, so what wasn’t there to like? It’s just a very different life. I honest to God never thought I would ever live in Vegas. The last time I was in Vegas was when I was in the Marines… Wow.. I’m dating myself here… 1982. But, you know the story… I met a girl and moved here.
Question: Since your move here to Las Vegas in 2013, what has changed the most for you musically?
David: I’ve become a lot busier. Las Vegas is a town full of opportunities. I was never this busy in LA. As I was told when I moved to Los Angeles… ”You can throw a stone and hit a musician, but there is a 1% chance of finding people with actual talent.”, so the opportunities are much harder to come by. Even though I signed with my first major (to me) band called ‘The Constant‘ in LA, they were already established in the music scene, so my actual input was minimal. Don’t get me wrong; I am incredibly grateful for the exposure they provided me. I got to play at The Roxy, The Whiskey a Go Go, The Viper Room, etc. However, here in Vegas I feel like the caliber of musicians is higher, and most of the situations here in Vegas are already at a “pro” level. The musicians here in Vegas EXPECT you to come in with the chops, the motivation, and no ego; ready to actually collaborate.
Question: Is there any one musician or person here in Vegas that has been your biggest inspiration?
David: No, there truly isn’t ONE. When I first moved here I saw Todd, Zach, Doc, and Rob playing together as The Sin City Sinners; it showed how high the caliber of musicianship was here in Vegas. After that, I went to the Zito Jams on Wednesday nights at Vamp’d and just saw so many great musicians playing together and supporting one another. Where else but here in Vegas can you have Oz Fox say grace at Thanksgiving, and the next night be sharing a glass of wine with Jizzy Pearl? That just doesn’t happen in LA. I have to say this… I have been very blessed here in Vegas. I’ve been offered several situations that I’m still looking at. I’ve even gone so far as to inquire about getting my own personal Manager to keep everything in focus.
Question: What are YOU trying to accomplish in the music scene here in Vegas?
David: I have the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute that was brought out here from LA called ‘Sweet Home Alabama‘, I am in the Stone Temple Pilots Tribute called Purple with my friends Johnny Rude, JP Michaels and Jeff Outlaw. We’re having a lot of fun with that. We’ve done 3 shows so far; Vamp’d which we had a huge crowd, The House of Blues, that we were told were over 750 people and Vinyl we had a couple of hundred. I think we’re onto something and we really enjoy playing together. I would like to establish a good base here that could be taken into the casinos and out on the road. But I am not focused on Vegas per se, my goal has always been world-wide. That is something I try to do with my original band, Kill Ritual out of the San Francisco Bay area and who knows? Maybe Purple and SHA.
Question: What is your goal with Kill Ritual?
David: We are currently working on our second album with me (4th album for the band). We’ve got a label, management, and a touring company; I would love to go back out on the road and tour Europe and see what grows from there. We did a month long tour back in March that was pretty cool. I think the biggest surprise of that tour is we sold out on CD’s so by the time we hit our last show at Vamp’d we honestly had 2 CD’s left. I didn’t think people bought CD’s anymore. I guess I was proven wrong.
Question: What is your biggest frustration as a musician?
David: I work on the music 24/7 and it’s my main source of income. I guess you could call me impatient? I want it NOW. Hehe. Seriously though… the days of writing, recording and selling your music are pretty much gone. Do I like being in a Tribute band? Not necessarily, but it helps pay the bills. Don’t get me wrong… it is a lot of fun and I get to keep up my chops, but I wish more people were buying and listening to original music.
Question: For those people that are not in the know, your other source of income is doing Reiki. Can you explain to our readers what Reiki is?
David: Reiki is energy work, basically. Energy workers, such as myself use this healing technique to channel energy into a patient by means of touch… what we are doing is activating the natural healing processes of the patient’s body to restore physical and emotional well-being. I’m just a facilitator. The person I’m working on is really, essentially, healing themselves. I just push it into high gear.
Thank you for your time David.
David: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
If you would like to read more about David you can go to his website; www.davidreedwatson.com, where he writes a weekly blog and where you can also hear all of the music that he’s recorded over the years as well as links to current projects, tour dates, etc.
Davie is endorsed by Godin Guitars, ESP/Takamine Guitars, Blackstar Amplification, Spectraflex Cables and Clayton Guitar Picks.
Again, thank you for sharing your story with us David! We’ll see you soon #OnTheMic!
This article can be read on Sin City Presents or the link below.
I started out this blog by writing the title and then leaving the room. Gotta make coffee… oh, look… a spot on the floor… how is the compost doing? You get the point.
What is it about procrastination? The definition of Procrastination is; the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time. We, as a society, seem to get tasks done when someone is making us do it. We seem to lack the motivation to get it done ourselves. I mean, it’s proven that we will do it, it does get done… but why do we have to be pushed to get it done? When I was in the Marines it was drilled into my head, D.I.S.C.I.P.L.I.N.E., hyper-focusing on the task at hand. Of course, in the Marines I had somebody drilling this into me… today it’s just me doing it. When I quit my day J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) to do music full-time I had to acquire that old Marine discipline again… something that I haven’t trained myself to do for a very long time. I had gotten so used to being told what to do. I would work endless hours at the Ad Agency to get the task done, but found that on my own I could easily get distracted.
Living here in Las Vegas makes it even harder. This is the first place in my life that I’ve lived that something is ALWAYS going on. Every day, every night. It never ends. And I’m the type of person (Leo) that wants to be out doing everything all the time. When I lived in Marina del Rey I had a routine. Get up, exercise, go to work, come home, meditate, record… I know what you are probably thinking,”Poor David! You have such a full life. I’m so sorry!” Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed. Beyond blessed. I’m just saying that with so much going on it’s hard to keep a routine going. And I believe we all need a routine to keep that balance in our lives. We need to get the task at hand done first, then we can play. And sometimes that just plain sucks!
So how do we do both? How do we maintain a routine AND have a full life AND get the proper amount of rest?
Exercise: I’ve found that I have unlimited amounts of energy if I get up and exercise before I even have time to think. For years I would get up before sunrise, get on my bicycle and ride 20 miles. I did this every morning. Eventually it became a game. I would try to work up a sweat before I saw the sun peeking over the ocean. Don’t make excuses saying that you’ve got too much to do. Believe me, it will get done and it will get done more efficiently when you exercise first. Don’t blow it off. Start small. Walk for 10 minutes a day. Get into the routine of putting on your running shoes, or cycling shoes, even if it’s for a few minutes, at least you’ve done it. Eventually you’ll be doing it longer and the routine will set in. I have a friend who runs every morning. I’m talking a touring musician. Someone who flies to another state to do a gig, going to bed at 2am sometimes. It doesn’t matter, he has made it a mandatory routine. So if he can do you, so can you. No excuses. If you can, get a work out partner. Somebody that will call you up and keep you accountable, and vise-versa.
Eating: I would eat a light breakfast, go to work, have a snack at work to keep up my energy, all in all just grazing all day long. Not eating more than a fist full of food. Most nutritionists will tell you that eating 5 or more times a day is much healthier than eating 3 big meals a day. Think of your body as a locomotive, and food, coal. With a train you are always feeding that fire to keep the train running fast and strong. When you eat 3 big meals a day you’re body goes into overtime trying to digest the food. That’s why we get sleepy after a meal.
Meditation: Meditation is not just sitting in the lotus position and saying ‘Om’. Yes, that is one form, but there are many forms of meditation. Meditation is just focusing on one task. I use my cycling as a form of meditation. For me I concentrate on my breathing while I’m riding. Maintaining a rhythm. This is a good way to look at meditation… When you clear your mind you are allowing a flow of energy, source, God, whatever you want to label it, into your body. When that energy flows through you it hits each of the Chakra’s to create an even balance. A harmony if you will. When your head is all cluttered, energy has a hard time flowing. Think of it as a Dam. When you put up a dam it blocks the water from flowing down the river.
Community: We are always getting together with friends, either here at the house, or out to dinner. Conversation is very important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Being with people who you can actually talk to. Be vulnerable with. It makes you feel good and you actually get more accomplished when you share it with others. I’m not saying blabbing it all over Facebook. This isn’t to brag on what you are doing… it’s just being real with people who you are comfortable being real with. You’ll find that you can bounce ideas off of friends and they can do the same. Sometimes you have that ‘ah ha’ moment that will motivate you to try something different that you never thought of yourself.
Journaling: Before you go to bed at night take a pen and paper and write three pages. Three pages of anything, it doesn’t matter. It’s more the routine of just free-form writing to get your juices flowing.
Make a list. Start your list with Exercise, and then the tasks that you need to get done, and by when. Go through the list one by one, only checking them off when they are done. Do your best not to bounce around the list. And most importantly, reward yourself when the tasks are done. Allow yourself to go to that concert, or dinner and drinks, when the tasks are done. I’ve found it easier to accomplish if I’ve got a pay off.
If you have a hard time with this, share it will your partner or friend and have them do the same. It will help keep you accountable.
And last but not least… don’t beat yourself up if you are having a hard time doing it. It’s human nature. I was told years ago that even Tiger Woods had a golf coach. You can do the same, it helps having someone who will hold you accountable. I do life coaching and have been coached myself. It works. Contact me and we can set up a plan for you that works.
You can also read my blog every month in Sin City Presents Magazine.
On May 20th, 2016, The Souls of Rock Foundation released their first Souls of Rock Compilation CD Volume 1, and we are very happy to announce our first released song since Karma Machine in September of 2015, Feel The Cycle, included on this Compilation. We decided to release this independently from our label and on the Souls of Rock Compilation CD Volume 1 because of the direct support we received before, during and after our month long Karma Machine North American Tour this past March. Daniel Frey and The Souls of Rock Foundation have gone above and beyond in helping touring musicians around the world. We believe in them and their philosophy;
“ROCK, HARD ROCK AND METAL MUSIC HAS ACCOMPANIED US OUR ENTIRE LIVES. THROUGH COUNTLESS PHENOMENAL CONCERTS WE HAVE GOTTEN TO KNOW MANY GREAT AND TALENTED MUSICIANS AND BANDS.
MOST MUSICIANS AND BANDS HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON… THEY WANT TO REALIZE THEIR DREAMS… TO MAKE A LIVING FROM THEIR BIG PASSION WHICH IS CALLED, ROCK N’ ROLL. FOR THIS, THEY RELEASE NOT ONLY INFINITE ENERGY AND REHEARSE WHENEVER POSSIBLE, BUT ALSO INVEST THEIR PERSONAL INCOME AND HARD EARNED SAVINGS, BECAUSE THEY LIVE AND BELIEVE IN THEIR DREAM. WE ARE BLOWN AWAY BY THEIR DRIVE AND PERSISTENCE.
IN THE AGE OF FREE DOWNLOADS AND STREAMING, THERE IS, FROM OUR OPINION, TOO LITTLE RESPECT FOR THE HARD WORK OF MUSICIANS AND BANDS.
NO, WE ARE NOT MORALITY POLICE AND WE WILL ALSO NOT BE ABLE TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE MUSIC BUSINESS, BUT TOGETHER WE CAN DO SOMETHING. WE CAN MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR TALENTED MUSICIANS AND BANDS TO HAVE A FAIR CHANCE TO BRING THEIR PERFORMANCES TO THE STAGE.
AND THUS THE IDEA WAS BORN THAT 10% OF THE TURNOVER OF THE NEW CLOTHING LABEL “SOULS OF ROCK” WILL DIRECTLY FLOW INTO THE “SOULS ROCK FOUNDATION”. THE “SOULS OF ROCK FOUNDATION” AIMS TO SUPPORT TALENTED MUSICIANS AND BANDS IN BRINGING THEIR MUSIC TO THE STAGE.
It is with that philosophy that we, Kill Ritual, find hope in an industry that has left most musicians to stick with their day jobs and let those dreams die.
Thank you Daniel and Souls of Rock for helping us bring our voice to the world.
Here is the link to the new song, Feel the Cycle, as well as the link to the Souls of Rock Compilation CD Volume 1