|Some bands follow trends, some stay true to their roots. Of course some like to mix it up and
try a bunch of different things (but that’s a whole other story).
This article is about a band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From what we can gather,
they pretty much stick to what they want to do without getting distracted by trends.
The music we have heard from them is classic, loud, fun and pretty kickass. Can't knock a
band for that!
They have a few social media pages and it's easy to find their music, but what’s not so easy
is really learning much about them other than the music they have to offer, and we would
venture to guess that they would be just as happy to just let the music do the talking.
On FaceBook they call their music psychedelic heavy metal from hell.
Here we talk to Ty Asoudegan, the guitarist in a band called Fastride. FYI, he also works at the
Scool Of Rock (How cool is that?)
Joe "Crow" Reno
|Tell us about the band FASTRIDE. How did it all start?
Fastride is a project that has had a few line up changes over the couple years it has been
around. However, ever since our follow up disc, Groove Machine, the band has really hit it's
stride. Working with lead vocalist Joe Reno has been amazing. He's a multi-instrumentalist,
so him and I can get together and bust out stuff efficiently and on the fly. I can come in with
riff and after some jamming, we can have a tune sketched out. We're about to head into the
studio to record our follow up record featuring JD Deservio, from Black Label Society, on
What can you tell us about the SONG "Fastride"?
Well, it's not exactly Shakespeare, but the lyrics to the song Fastride actually relate to the previous question. In the crazy world we live in,
all you can do is your best, so you might as well loosen up and go with the flow. This song definitely gets the crowd rocking and is a blast
to play live.
Is there a mission statement for this band?
"When you're hangin' with the boys, it's a Fastride"
When you're playing rock and roll you never know what's
going to happen. You might be riding high, having the time of
your life then blow your motor on the way to the next gig.
There are many ups and downs on the road but it's the music
that keeps us focused and motivated.
Lets go back in time here. Tell us how you got into music.
What was your biggest influence starting out?
Were you always into hard rock/metal or did you grow into it?
Red House by Jimi Hendrix is what got me started. It was on the soundtrack for some movie, I just remember
hearing it and my mind being blown. Blues has all ways been a huge part of my playing. I love the old school
guys like Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, Albert King, etc. Also, I am inspired by the new cats on the scene Derek
Trucks, Eric Gales, Joe Bonamassa, etc.
How did you meet Joe Reno and JD Deservio?
We met JD through Instagram, talking about music on messenger. He said he had a wicked studio in North Jersey, so we loaded
up our gear and headed up there.
When we first got to the studio, we had high hopes. We thought we were going to roll in there and bust out Zeppelin IV.
However at the end of the session, JD said it was all trash and we needed to go practice for a few months and come back.
What I really appreciate about JD is that he really took us under his wing and helped us get to the next level.
What you hear on Groove Machine is the result of a lot of hard work and growth.
Now Fastride didn't have a singer when we entered the studio, but I met Joe when he started teaching at the School of Rock
with me. He's an amazing musician and has a vast knowledge of music. Joe crushed it in the studio on Groove Machine and
he's amazing to watch live. Joe has definitely pushed the band to achieve great things.
Do you have a formula for songwriting?
I wish I did but some good advice I got from Paul Simon when he came to Berklee was, "Sit down, strum an E chord, and really
listen to it. Listen to the notes individually and in harmony. Make sure your strings a really in tune, and strum"
Now I know that sounds like a bunch of neo-hippie bull crap, but I find it to be true. When I'm focusing on making that E chord
sound good I kind of tune out to the outside world. You become so focused that you enter a trance like state.
You say you are returning to the studio soon.
Tell us about the impending follow up to you last release.
We have a few songs we have been tweaking on the road.
It was cool to play these songs live first because we could see
what worked and what didn't in a live setting. We really got to
tighten the bolts and get in the groove for these new tunes.
You work at the School Of Rock? Tell us about that.
What sets SOR apart from other music programs is the emphasis on performance/teamwork.
Every twelve weeks the kids join a new band, where they work each week on getting the songs they were
assigned. At the end of the semester, they perform at a couple local rock clubs.
Since the students are rocking out on stage and having fun, music no longer becomes work, and they excel
at a fast rate. Working at SOR is a gratifying job to say the least.
What is the recording process like for Fastride?
Once we feel comfortable with the music, Joe and I hit the studio. Joe lays down the drums then I record all the
guitars. JD flies in the bass from his studio and Joe lays down the vocals. That's how the doughnuts are made!
The sound of Fastride is intense. What gear are you using and how do you maintain that sound live?
For my guitar tone, I like to keep it simple. I use a Peavey 5150II, which is 120 tube watts, but sounds great
even on a low volume. Live, I use Marshall or Orange cabinets. As far as pedals go, I use a Zakk Wylde
CryBaby Wah and a Boss Chromatic Tuner.
Leaving the Zakk Wah in the middle position gives a great lead tone.
Being that you work at School Of Rock, what advice would you give someone with music aspirations
that can't attend that school?
I would have to say, keep challenging yourself.
Since you don't have a teacher/group pushing you to get to the next level, you have to
I would say pick a song you always wanted to learn, but thought it was too hard, and
just go for it.
Learn a new scale or lick from the millions of YouTube videos out there, each day.
Every band has some kind of funny (or horror) stories to tell from some of the
crazy stuff that can happen when doing live shows.
Please tell us the best story you can recall
Probably would have to be this one time where we were playing a music festival and their backline took a shit.
My amp was cutting in and out the whole show. Since the hardware was damaged Joe only had one cymbal, and a bistro chair
as a drum throne. The gig was painful but we rocked through it and our pay was increased for the trouble.
We didn't throw any hissy fits, just did our job and got out of there, pure Fastride style.
|Interview by Dave Henninger