INTERVIEW: Brian da Motta, Drist's guitarist

One of the most promising heavy rock bands in the Bay Area is Drist. They've been around for a while, they had some good success in the last few years, and their 3rd album is coming soon. Today we are interviewing the guitarist of the band, Brian da Motta.

1. When did you start playing the guitar? How did it all start?

Brian da Motta: I started playing guitar when I was about 9 or 10 years old. My dad decided to pickup the guitar again around that time (he had played when he was younger) and purchased an electric guitar. When I would come home from school in the afternoon I would take it and fiddle with it and try to play it. He knew I was screwing around with it because when he would return home from work it would be completely out of tune. He started showing me some basic stuff and eventually my parents got me my first guitar for Christmas.

2. What kinds of guitars do you currently own? Any guitar you would love to have in the future?

Brian da Motta: Currently I have 4 ESP guitars. My main one is a custom baritone 7 string which I have been using for the recording of the new cd. It's tuned to drop Bb with an additional high string tuned to F. The others are an Explorer, a Telecaster, and a custom short scale Horizon. I also have a Ken Lawrence Custom Explorer which I don't take out too often. Has a dragon inlay and fiber optic position markers on the side of the fret board.

As for a guitar I would like to have in the future... that's a really hard question to answer. I have found over the years that you're always coming up with new ideas and designs for guitars. Once one of them becomes a reality it's onto the next "dream guitar".

3. Do you feel that you have "mastered" most techniques? What's left still to learn?

Brian da Motta: Hahah hardly. I don't think anyone has "mastered" any given technique on the guitar. There's always room for improvement. I don't have a lot of formal training on the guitar so I would definitely say there's still a lot for me to learn.

4. Why did you leave Drist in 2001?

Brian da Motta: At the time I was going through a lot of personal issues outside of the band which affected my head-space musically. I wanted to do extremely heavy stuff instead of the direction the band was going. It got to a point where I wasn't enjoying the situation and I needed to get away from it.

5. How sales have been so far? Are they adequate or they could have been better with a PR or marketing team behind the band?

Brian da Motta: Sales have been good when you consider that we have no PR, label, or marketing team and very minimal exposure via radio. They would definitely be better with a PR or marketing team behind the band. We noticed quite a big spike downloads when Guitar Hero 2 was released, as well as another spike when it was released for the Xbox 360. So the word is definitely getting out there, it's just been slow as we're basically doing it all on our own at this point.

6. What kind of sound should we expect on the 3rd album? Heavier, more...alternative, etc?

Brian da Motta: It's definitely heavier than anything the band has done previously. There's also a lot more guitars on this record than anything we've done in the past. Tons of layers, harmonies, hooks, etc. Without tooting my own horn too much I would say you can expect ass kickin' tunes from start to finish.

7. What are your plans for the future as a musician and professional?

Brian da Motta: As of right now my plans are to continue working on bringing Drist to the next level. I feel we have all the right elements, we just need the pieces to fall into place.

8. Here's the million dollar contract question: Let's say you get a major label contract. Their marketing dpt asks you to cut your hair and beard. How do you respond? :-)

Brian da Motta: Marketing can kiss my ass.