Sometimes, I have to take a minute and just be grateful for what I get to do for a living. I just landed last night in Anchorage, Alaska with the rest of my ZAVALAZ bandmates, because we’re opening for The Red Hot Chili Peppers tonight and tomorrow! I’ve been lucky enough to have toured with them several times over the last decade while I was in The Mars Volta. The first time was in 2003, and the last was in beautiful Hong Kong in 2010.
I’ve always been a fan of the mighty Flea, and getting the chance to go on before him is always such an honor. Flea has always been very kind to me and has offered great words of encouragement and bassist camaraderie. I remember when The Mars Volta did a show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles and I saw Flea looking for his car in the parking garage afterwards. I rolled down my car window to say hi and he said “Juan! Your bass solo tonight was amazing! You blew me away.” I thanked him, and as I drove out of the garage my friend turned to me and said, “You just got props from Flea!” That’s still one of the greatest nights of my career!
This weekend looks like it’ll be just as fun as ever. Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist and our friend, Josh Klinghoffer, will be playing keys for us since Nate had a previous engagement. Josh knows our music well since he had to hear it every day for two weeks when ZAVALAZ toured with his other band, Dot Hacker.
I’ll be taking my own head and pedalboard in my luggage (to save on freight) and will be using my trusty 1964 Fender Jazz bass.It’ll be a quick few days, but getting the chance to play in front of legends and be surrounded by great friends is a constant reminder that I am one of luckiest people in the world.
Who’s coming to see us in Alaska? Be sure to say hi!