I was born in Albuquerque in 1969. The year of the man on the moon, Woodstock and LANCE. (Good things come in threes, right?) I was raised between here and Los Angeles, until stability settled in around age 11. Music has always been an important part of my life, since I was a toddler. I have early childhood memories of me jumping on a coffee table and doing my best Mick Jagger or Alice Cooper at family jam sessions, much to the displeasure of the real musicians, who were irked at sharing the stage with some little poopeyhead/mocoso kid! I was fortunate to be raised in a family that had three generations of musicians, including my dad, who was a killer singer/performer/songwriter in his day (he and John Lennon were my first idols), and I was lucky to have parents who were avid concert goers. I imagine me getting to see Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Steve Miller Band, Rod Stewart and Santana from my pop's shoulders, definitely had an influence on me. My earliest musical influences consisted of the Beatles, Stones, the doors, Alice Cooper and the Steve Miller band, and later, in my early teens, Journey, styx and foreigner. Then it happened! In the beginning of my 8th grade year, I was caught in the spell of Black Sabbath/Heavy metal music. I have never been the same since. The dark music of Sabbath, Dio, Ozzy, Maiden, Priest and later, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate was like an addiction to me during my high school years. I quickly abandoned entertaining any aspirations of being the first , too short, too small, little chicano wide receiver for my beloved Cleveland Browns and focused on all things metal.
In my Junior year, some high school buddies and I formed our first group called Enchantor. I think we played our first gig within our first two weeks. We weren't very good but we had a lot of fun partying and hacking classic tunes, such as Smoke on the Water and Paranoid. ( Yikes, I still play those two with Traveler) We actually played two or three more gigs and changed our name to King over the next 8 months before disbanding, due to inactivity and lack of interest from the community and ourselves. While at a cheesy glam rock battle of the bands, I was fortunate to be recruited to join another band during my senior year by a couple of expeienced musicians; Thumper Romero, Anton V and Kyle Carr. We rocked out at a few parties and at the West Mesa variety show 1987. I believe there is some video footage of that just waiting to be released on funniest home videos of the Group Axist and later, Aftershock. We had a lot of fun until graduation, when it was time to say goodbye to friends and family when I left for the Army.
While in the Army, I tried forming bands of similar musical tastes but had to settle for a country band that played slightly amped up versions of the Eagles, Elvis, Buddy Holly, as well as country standards. Upon my discharge from the Army, I already had a potential band in place. With friends Brian Wiggins, Jonathon Zamora and 13 year old Carl McQuery, we formed Raging Fury. Over the course of the next 2 1/2 years, we recorded a Demo an Album, played hundreds of keggers, dozens of bike runs and every late 80's, early 90's Albuquerque bars, including Confetti's, Maxwell's, the Sunshine Theater and Senor Buckets. We had a good run and had a lot of fun during my reckless, early 20's, before imploding due to differences in musical direction, too much partying and conflicting priorities. I thought I was done. I became seriously focused on my history studies in college and Traveling the world. Attaining BA and MA degrees and teaching middle school was fun but there was something missing, the music. Fortunately, in 1996-97, Brian Maestas (way before he joined Traveler in Pain) kept bugging me to come jam with him and his little group. After a year of sitting on the couch getting fat and depressed, I finally got off my ass and started rocking again. THANKS BRIAN!!! We didn't play out much but we practiced a lot, I learned to play bass (by necessity) and we did come up with early renditions of Traveler in Pain's Song for a Loved One, as well as B Minor Blues and Nameless Stranger; two songs from our new album, Paths of Sorrow, Roads to Pain...We played for roughly a year and it was my transition from "my fat Elvis period", when I was fat, depressed and talking about what I did the past, to looking to the future. The dark veil of depression was lifted. My experiences, my faith, my studies and my emotioal, spiritual and physical travels provided me with perspective, inspiration, historical knowledge, and serenity, which help shape Traveler in Pain as a concept, a band and as a lyrical and musical vehicle. For more on that story, go to the Traveler in Pain about us page.
I've had the pleasure of rocking in this town for 20 years now (at least 15 of those professionally, wow) and it has been a lot of fun. I''ve had a few flops, train wrecks and missteps along the way but a number of fond memories (the 87 variety show, Carl dropping the F-bomb in front of parents, teachers and principals in 1990, Playing while tripping in 89, The 1999 sold out Creepy Crawl and CD release at the El Rey theater, getting to play OZZY at both Monsters of Mock, meeting and opening for Queensryche and Foghat at 94rock's Blarney Bash with my Ozzy tribute side project, Suicide Solution, as well as meeting OZZY, Dio, maiden, BLS andKing Diamond to name more than a few. . Sorry this is so long and took me so long but I've had a lot to say, as always. Thank you for the opportunity to keep entertaining and performing for you!
Lance's personal photos...