Quibranza: Guitarist Gonzales releases instrumental rock debut album

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By Luis A. Quibranza III


Monday, March 30, 2015

DAVE Gonzales, one of the younger breed of technical lead guitar players in the city today, recently released his solo debut album, Only a Matter of Time. The album was launched March 20, at Handuraw Pizza, Gorordo Ave., Cebu City.

“I finished writing the songs in 2012, then started recording in the studio middle of 2013 but had some financial issues. Then I re-recorded everything middle of 2014 until February 2015,” shares Dave.

“Only a Matter of Time is actually also the last song that I wrote for the album. I named it such because as I was writing, I could foresee where the song was going and I said to myself that it was ‘only a matter of time’ that I would finish the song.”


The album is the fruition of Dave’s long years honing his craft. Not only does the record display his guitar prowess, but Dave actually played and recorded every instrument for all 10 tracks. He played the drums, the bass and the keyboard as well. He produced the album himself, mixed and mastered by Brian Sacro of Kalye Musika.

“Basically, I had music coming out of me all the time, and as I developed the ability to capture my ideas and put them into a song, I had to let it out,” Dave shares on how the project came to be.

“I just wanted to express myself. Most of the songs on the record are based on experiences and ideas. And as a musician, I felt the need to have something to contribute to the ‘music world’ in the instrumental rock department.”

Exposed to music at a fairly young age, Dave listened to a lot of The Beatles, Eraserheads and folk music as a kid. While in high school, he discovered guitar virtuosos like Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai; and then heavier acts like Metallica and Megadeth. “Anything that had something to do with guitar solos or something that sounded interesting with the guitar, I was attracted to,” quips Dave. “Later on, I listened to a whole variety of musicians like Yngwie Malmsteen, Victor Wooten, Ritchie Kotzen, Marty Friedman, Bela Fleck, Extreme, Zakk Wylde, Dream Theater etc. Especially now that I’m writing songs, I listen and absorb almost everything that I can.”

Instrumental rock, though, requires a pretty niche audience. Dave understands the “trade-off” pretty well, yet sticks uncompromisingly to his passion, devoted to creating guitar melodies, both sweeping and sultry.

“Yeah, it is hard,” he shares about the chances of rock instrumental music winning audiences. “But I’ve always been interested in technically challenging music and it has always been entertaining for me. I’m sure some people find it interesting as well. I don’t expect everybody to like my music. But I’ll just have to trust my ears; if it sounds good then it is good. I’ll just make sure that I’m writing good music.”

And here comes the part that gets guitar geeks excited, the gear talk.

“My gear is very simple. I use only two effects, one for lead and one for clean. I may put in a bit of delay and reverb, but that’s it. I use the Boss GT8 most of the time, but I have a new pedal called the Wampler SLOstortion which I use if I do not like to bring heavy stuff. For my guitar, I’m using a Fender Stratocaster. I’ve always loved the look of the strat. I’m not very particular about the pickups, as long as it is properly tuned and the action is properly set up.”

Although the record does feature Dave on all instruments, he needs some help live. “I have worked with three drummers already: Joshua Kangleon, Mark Cornelio and Jeriel Laraño. At present Jeriel is the drummer. My bass player is Ralph Barroma and sometimes I work with Cel Joseph Aligno if Ralph is not available. My keyboardist is Alvin Ybañez. I wouldn’t be able to put on a good show without a good band even though I appear as a solo artist,” states Dave.

Dave Gonzales and his band currently perform in venues around town like Handuraw Pizza, Koa Tree House and Muse bar.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2015.


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