Scot Jon Schwestka - Guitar/Vocals
Scot began playing guitar in high school. Self-taught, Scot started his musical journey by emulating popular rock guitarists and artists of that time like Pete Townsend, Ted Nugent, Robin Trower, Ace Frehly, Pat Travers, Alex Lifeson, Steve Howe, Steve Hackett, Carlos Santana, and Neil Schoen. An early interest in Jeff Beck and Steve Morse introduced Scot to the world of Fusion and Jazz influenced rock music. While his musical interests are broad, Scot credits John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, Steve Morse, Eric Johnson and Pat Metheny as his greatest influences. Band leaders like Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Jean Luc Ponty, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinal, and the artists often associated with them are also cited as major influences. Scot also cites ECM records, Abstract Logix and many of the associated artists as influences .
Over the last 30 years Scot has worked with diverse musicians from all genres of the music world including rock, pop, jazz, electronic music, gospel, world or classical and has a lengthy discography representing his work as recording artist, producer, engineer and composer. Scot has an extensive background in music/art/technology education and holds degrees in Studio Art (BA) and in Art Education (MA). Scot has served in research and development, custom shop and product development roles for major international stringed musical instrument manufacturers, and has been an avid woodworker since elementary school. Scot has had the privilege of making stringed musical instruments for some of the finest guitarists and bassists in the world. Some of the instruments Scot uses in recording and performance settings are his design and creation. Scot has served as artist/musician/educator in residence with numerous colleges, universities, corporations, arts organizations and schools worldwide.
“Although it is constantly changing, my current equipment set-up looks something like this”:
SJS custom Claro Walnut hollow body. 2/humbucking Duncan Jazz/JB. Black limba neck w/Wenge finger board
PRS McCarty - Korina
Fender Deluxe American Strat w/ Dimarzio Area 61 and 58, soft v compound radius maple neck
Fender Deluxe American Strat w/ Dimarzio Steve Morse neck and bridge pickups and a Duncan Hot Rails middle, soft v compound radius maple neck
Line 6 Pod HD500
Derrick Ogden - Bass/Vocals
Derrick’s approach to music has been shaped by the different musicians he has played with over the years, however his primary inspiration for playing has been his passion for the nature of the bass itself. Derrick was drawn to the instrument as an adult without prior musical training. As a result, he looked to a variety of musicians, not just bassists, while developing his bass identity.
Derrick has played as a solo bassist and singer since 1993. Derrick cut his musical teeth with funk rock quartet Dr. Doolittle consisting of Allen Tobin (Maze Studios NYC), Michael Parillo (Modern Drummer/Shark Hat) and Jonathan Reitan. In 1993 Derrick released a solo recording “Derrick Ogden-Bass” with Michael Parillo on drums. “Dichotomy” is a collection of songs featuring multi-tracked bass that was released in 1999. “Troubdour” is in the works and will feature bass and voice.
Since moving to Des Moines, Derrick has had the opportunity to play with some of the Des Moines premier talent including Tina Haase Findlay (Lady Blue, Bella Soul), Rob Ankum (local guitar legend), Chris Ranallo (Decoy), and Richie Caschiato (Iowa Hall of Fame guitarist). With these diverse groups and talented individuals, Derrick has been able to play most of Des Moines landmark venues.
A 20th anniversary disc is soon to be available from Dr. Doolittle. Allen Tobin, Michael Parillo, Phil Ristaino (thesearedreams.com), and Derrick form the lineup for the pop rock group Agents of Venus (agentsofvenus.blogspot.com). Check them out on ITunes. There is also a collection of solo bass clips on his YouTube channel, Derricks Bass.
A lot of gear has passed through my hands during my search for the “right” instruments and rigs. Recently, I purged most of my gear in an effort to more closely define myself as a player and to get back to my roots. Currently I’m using:
Modulus Vintage Jazz bass. My idea of the perfect 4 string Jazz bass.
Modulus Genesis 5 Fretless. Woody natural tone and superb playability.
Fodera Emperor 5 Standard.
Aguilar Tone Hammer 500
Aguilar GS 412
BagEnd S15-D, S15X-D
Zach Von Stein - Drums/Percussion
Zach Von Stein has been playing drum set since 1998. He graduated from the Los Angeles Music Academy in the fall of 2007 where he studied drum set under Ralph Humprey, Joe Porcaro, Tony Inzalaco, Mike Packer, Mike Shapiro, and Dave Beyer. Zach has been influenced by many musicians, including Billy Cobham, Frank Zappa, Umphrey's McGee, Primus, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, and Yes.
Zach has been a part of the Des Moines area jam bands NeuMoniker, The Workshy, Sour Diesel, Von Schteen, JB and the Smoothsayers, and Rob’s Neu Snacks. Other projects include playing in a Primus cover band (Nature Boy), jazz/blues gigs with musicians including Rob Ankum, Dave Aleteier, Bob Pace, and Janey Hooper, and filling in for the classic rock/hard rock band Smokin’ Whiskey and metal band Divided We Stand. He also played drums for the musical “Ring of Fire” at the Des Moines Playhouse.
I have a custom drum set I had built from scratch from www.drummakers.com. They are Kellar shells with a green sparkle finish. I can have a 10", 12", 13" toms, and 16", 18" floor toms, and 22" bass drum. I almost always just bring the 12" tom, 16" floor tom, and bass drum. I also have a 14" Craviotto/DW snare drum.
I also use the following:
•14" Z Custom Ziljian hi-hat cymbals
•16"Alpha Paiste thin crash
•16" Z Custom Ziljian rock crash
•21" AA Sabian raw bell dry ride
oPearl, Tama and Yamaha stands
•Bass Drum Pedal – Iron Cobra