David Reed Watson Biography
The long and short of it all
I started singing at a very early age, performing musical theater in grade school, then high school. In my high school year book it is written that I was willing to sacrifice myself for the theater, having been stabbed [for real] in the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Long story.
In 1970, Jesus Christ Superstar premiered. I heard Ian Gillan’s voice and that was it. I had never heard a rock singer perform in a theater production and it just hit me… that is what I want to do! Years later I would be the understudy for Jesus in said play, playing Simon Zealotes throughout the production.
I’m kind of a late bloomer when it comes to singing in rock bands. That didn’t start until I was about 23 years old. When I finished high school I immediately joined the Marine Corp and was planning on it being a long term career. As fate would have it though, after six years of service I received a medical discharge. I was hit by a car while home on leave celebrating my second enlistment. Another long story (Seems to be a pattern with me).
Again, the stunted growth. My ‘job’ (Just Over Broke) of 20+ years as a graphic designer had taken the forefront in my life. In 2009 I was laid off from the Ad Agency I was working for in Boulder, Colorado. They gave me a decent enough severance package to afford me the time to concentrate on music. I started doing a lot of recordings all over the country, putting a craigslist ad out there I started getting a lot of calls. I recorded 29 songs that year, traveled to New York a couple of times, recording at Green Street Studios, doing 3 albums, working with various musicians all over the country. I was finally doing what I loved. But what really made it forefront in my life was when my sister Darlene got sick with Sjogrens. Before she passed away she asked me this question, “David, when are you going to start doing music full time?” She had asked me this because even though I was doing all of this music I was still looking for another design job. 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.
Below is a very condensed version of what I’ve done, having recorded and played with many bands over many years. You can find a fairly updated chronology on my website as well as, again, a fairly updated list of recordings. To spare you a novel I have highlighted of what I consider The Beginning. Why do I consider this the beginning? After Darlene passed away I said the hell with everything and finally focused on what I love the most… music.
I packed my things and moved to Los Angeles, California where I signed with my first major (to me) band called ‘The Constant‘. Living the dream, playing in all of the clubs that I had heard of like; The Roxy, The Whiskey a go go, The Viper Room, etc.
This led me to meeting Ged Rylands. Ged, I have to attribute to really jumpstarting my career. Having me sing on his all star album, Dreamworld, with his band Rage of Angels, which included many famous names, and assigning me my very first producer, Kane Roberts from Alice Cooper fame. One of my songs that I wrote, With the Beating of your Heart, made it on both the UK and Japanese releases. Thank you Ged.
I released an EP early Summer 2013 with D.N.A. which includes members of, Scar for Life, Ten, and Rage of Angels.
In the fall of 2013 I moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. My friend and guitarist from our Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute band called ‘Sweet Home Alabama‘ and I moved the band from L.A. to Las Vegas where we both call home now. I also co-formed Electric Messiah here in Las Vegas. Within its short life we opened for Leatherwolf, LA Guns and Accept. You can hear some of the recordings we did in Count’s Studios on my webpage with Oz Fox and Michael T. Ross. I even got my buddy Pat Fontaine from the band XYZ to add his 2 cents into the recording process.
2015 – Present
In February 2015 I started writing songs with Kill Ritual out of the San Francisco Bay area. Our first album was finished in June 2015, mixed and mastered by Andy LaRocque from King Diamond fame. On February 29th, 2016 we headed out for a month long tour (clocking in 7000 miles) to support our album Karma Machine. We are already underway writing our 4th album. You can follow us on tour here or on our facebook page.
Before I took off on tour with Kill Ritual my friends and I did a one-off memorial show for Scott Weiland. It was such a success that we decided to create a Tribute band to him and Stone Temple Pilots called Purple. Since then we’ve done shows at the House of Blues and Vinyl in the Hard Rock here in Las Vegas with many more to come.