I have been working behind sound boards since 1983 when I first became a college radio DJ on KDVS at UC Davis. I learned how to edit on a ¼″ reel–to–reel tape machine, quite awhile before the digital revolution. I had a show called the “Etherized Metallic Moonlight.” It was basically from 3am until 6am, prime time to cut your teeth. Believe it or not, I often got late night callers wondering what the heck I was playing. I was still lucky enough to have a fantastic 10,000 piece vinyl library at the station, and a program director that told me not to play anything that he might hear on another station. How’s that for an open palette? I was then promoted to the Heavy Metal shift from 10pm until 11pm and on to 1am on Friday’s freeform… Primetime!! I was in heaven and exposed to much of the early material of Metallica, Armoured Saint, and Die Kreuzen. I was walking that fine line of Metal, Rock, Punk and then got to pull in Jazz and even Comedy. There were no rules except: nothing mainstream.

One aspect that always struck me about music was it’s ablility to be raw and fulfilling at the same time. Pure emotion passed from one human to another or many others for that matter, almost a discussion without words. I was always drawn to the raw power of rock, and found many of the same passions in jazz, classical, punk, country, goth, pop… anything I could get my hands on was fair game for inspiration.

As I grew with education and experience at San Francisco State University in the Broadcasting program, I was hooked. Thanks to Dave Bryson of Counting Crows fame and his 1″ 16 track analog studio, Dancing Dog, I got thrown to the sharks, my internship lasted all of three sessions and then he said he needed someone to pick up the shifts he couldn’t find more time to take on. Fantastic!! I was on my way. At that time there was a blossoming music scene in San Francisco, I was working live sound as well as stage managing, and doing more and more recording. I saw the birth of digital audio, and saw the door continue to open before me. I have worked in many of the fantastic studios in the Bay Area, as well as Electric Avenue, Megaphon, Charring Cross and Smash Artists in Sydney, Australia, Sear Sound in New York City, and too many small rehearsal halls around the world to recall.

I have been recording, mastering, mixing, producing, learning, and wondering about just how lucky I have been to have a career in this crazy business called music.

From a recently completed project... One thing Zelaya definitely isn't ambivalent about is the decision to work with engineer Damien Rasmussen, who set up shop at the same Catacombs studio where Second Story Maker was made. “He was the perfect choice for what we were trying to do,” says Zelaya. “He made everything sound awesome, and completely understood what I was aiming for—getting it raw, but not cruddy. The whole recording process was really smooth and real easy.”

I would say that about sums up my desires to find artists that have something to say musically and all I hope to do is help them birth these new ideas.