Daniel Bautista- Issue #2- January 7, 2023
Recently I was able to catch up with Daniel Bautista- and believe me "Catch Up" is the right phrase. He shreds SO past it is virtually (see what I did there) impossible to keep up! Enjoy!
WM: Daniel- thank you for taking the time to join me for this interview- Welcome!
Daniel: I’m honored! I'm happy to be here, thank you very much.
WM: So when did you first get started in music?
Daniel: I've always been surrounded by music. My mother used to put classical music on all the time when I was a child. When I was a teenager my friends introduced me to rock and metal music (Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Megadeth) and then I started playing the guitar in 1993.
WM: What led you into the virtuoso/instrumental style you do?
Daniel: Yngwie Malmsteen, of course! And Dream Theater, Symphony X, Freak Kitchen later... But Yngwie was the first to blow my mind.
WM: Ok- as a fellow guitarist- I must ask this question- what is your practice routine? How do you gain such blazing speed?
Daniel: I have a very strict daily routine which I haven't skipped since 1999. It's 30-45 minutes of fingering, arpeggios, scales and other exercises (which I have been changing over the years). And I play every single day because I'm always writing or recording music.
WM: Wow- since 1999? That’s quite a while- so where does your motivation come from?
Daniel: I think that my motivation to keep playing comes from the pleasure of being able to play the things I can play nowadays... And it's also a tool for the thing I really care about he most: recording and writing my own music.
WM: Have you played in bands before or have you always been solo? Would you be in a band in the future?
Daniel: I’ve played in a number of local bands and projects until I decided to focus on my solo works in 2010. My solo work allows me to focus in my music while I can work and be a father and a husband. So I don't see me in a band in the future, but you can count on some collaborations with remote musicians.
WM: As you have talked so far- you have a passion for what you do- recording and writing- talk to us more about that.
Daniel: I wrote my first song back in 1994... I think that the writing skill is a muscle and it must be developed as the other muscles: by writing, writing and writing. And then, writing some more. For me, it's amazing seeing how a song grows from the first basic ideas, by adding new sections and layers... Nothing gives me more joy than a finished song or a finished album.
WM: So- why the neoclassical route? You do a great job with it- but why that style?
Daniel: That’s easy! Because of my classical background coming from my mom and Yngwie, of course! But I go through the neoclassical route from time to time, I'm more into prog metal and rock.
WM: So when you sit down to write- how do you decide which direction to go?
Daniel: Most of the time, I have a predefined mood or direction I want to go, because I'm always thinking about a full album. Sometimes I want an aggressive song to start, sometimes a sad ballad, sometimes something more jazzy... I know what I want for that album. A few times the inspiration strikes me outside the studio (maybe I'm walking or taking a shower) and I have to sing the idea to my cellphone. Or maybe I'm just noodling and something magical happens. But, as I say, it's nearly always album-driven.
WM: Interesting- so as an artist what do you hope to convey to your listeners? What message? How do you hope your music touches them?
Daniel: I want my music to touch their hearts, to make them move their feet or their heads, to make them cry or laugh... In brief, to provoke an emotion. That's the best gift to me as a songwriter.
WM:You certainly do that! Especially through your videos! They are FULL of humor- where does that come from?
Daniel: From many bands and artists! Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Devin Townsend, Richard Cheese... There's a band from Argentina called Les Luthiers that combines music with humor... Huge influence on me too.
WM: Your videos are hilarious! My kids love watching them- it definitely impacts all ages.
Daniel: That’s always great to hear, thank you! Of course, there are always people that can't understand it and ask me to close my mouth or put a normal face... Some think that I'm acting, but I'm really living my music, and sense of humor is an integral part of it.
WM: I’d like to ask more about your practice regimen if I may. You mentioned a daily routine. I’m not sure how many of your secrets you’d like to make public- but could you share more about what that includes?
Daniel: It consists of these steps:
1.- Fingering: the typical 1-2-3-4 along the fretboard (vertically, horizontally, diagonally) with variations (1-3-2-4, 2-3-1-4, 1-4-3-2...). Taken from Vai, Petrucci...
2.- Arpeggios: using alternate, economy and sweep picking.
3.- Scales: all kind of them, using duplets, triplets, quadruplets...
4.- Some famous songs sections which are hard, from bands like Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, King Crimson...
5.- Hybrid picking.
WM: While doing that- how do you work on speed? How would you recommend one to increase their speed?
Daniel: Always, always, always set the metronome at a tempo you feel comfortable and then slowly increase that tempo. Fluidness, expression and cleanness is always more important than speed, so don't rush.
WM: Great advice. I've also watched you play several different types of guitars- solid body, hollow body, 6 string, 7 string.... do you have a favorite?
Daniel: Every guitar has its own thing... All of them are special and all of them are just a piece of wood with strings attached too. But I especially like my 8 string Ibanez and my two Charvels.
WM: Nice- so I see that Digressions of a Sick Mind was just released- first of all- where did the name come from?
Daniel: (Laughing)- Just a shocking way to say 'Another collection of songs with many different styles'
WM: (Laughing)- That is great- it definitely is an attention getter….
WM: So- to date how many albums have you completed? I know it’s a lot…
And what do we have to look forward to in 2023?
Daniel: I think I have 30 albums! Some of them are the 'Home Video Sessions' volumes with re-recordings, so let's say 22 albums... Not counting my band albums. Yeah, that's a lot...
WM: That’s great sir- admire your dedication. Any other advice you have for guitarists out there?
Daniel: Never give up! Practice, practice and practice (dedication is more important than talent) but never forget enjoying your instrument. Play with friends or other musicians (you will learn a lot).
WM: Once again great advice…. OK it is now time for the on the Wildman On The Spot question- final question of the interview, are you ready?
Daniel: (Laughing)- Let’s go!
WM: Ok- you are on a deserted island. You can only listen to music YOU have written and recorded. BUT- you can only listen to one song- what song will Daniel Bautista choose????????
Daniel: (Laughing) That’s like choosing your favorite son. Ok, here it goes: recently I've been working on a re-recording of 'God Hates Kittens'. That song makes me proud, IMHO. I would choose that one, with all the pain from my heart for the other ones :)
WM: Great answer sir! I want to thank you for taking the time to join us- and we look forward to more great shredding from you in the future!
Daniel: It was a real pleasure and an honor!
It was an honor to interview Daniel Bautista- in my opinion- he is a guitarist that does not get the recognition his work deserves. He can shred with the best of them. If you don't believe me- click here to check out any of his songs or videos- or follow him on twitter @dbautistadecabo
trust me you will be impressed. I also appreciated his passion. As he says he is ALWAYS working on his music even when he is away from his guitar. All of us can learn from this. What is it that drives you to do what you do? Interesting question..... I think,,,,,
Hey guitarists- what did you think of Daniel's practice regimen? Comment below....
What's All The Fuzz About? Is a blog dedicated to the instrument we all know and love- the guitar. Stay tuned for more articles and interviews!