Dec 8th 2017 by Atetsufooj • 29 Questions • 559 Points
I grew up extremely poor as a child and my mom was possibly mentally unfit to parent. I often had no home to live in and more often no food to eat. When I was 11, my house caught fire and as far as I understand they believe my mom did it on purpose. Because of this, she wasn’t able to collect the insurance money and we were forced to move back into a burned out shell of a double wide trailer that we put a layer of plywood over where the fire had burned through the exterior walls. I continued to live there until I was about 13, when I had to finally move because she wouldn’t let me live there anymore. At 18, 8 months after 9-11 happened, I joined the Marines and was part of the first invasion force to enter Iraq in 2003. On my second deployment to Iraq, I was shot by an enemy rocket and then my own people (not so friendly fire) while waiting to be evacuated for my injuries. My best friend was beside me and lost part of his jaw and most of his teeth. Another of my close friends was killed by sniper fire that same day on the rooftop of the same building.I received a Purple Heart for being wounded and was then honorably discharged from the Marines in 2006 and spent several years attempting to drink myself to death before having a daughter and deciding to change things for the better. I was playing music in a band and that led me to discover my true passion of recording music. I went to school and right out of school moved to Hollywood to become an audio engineer. Since then I have worked with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steven Stills, Imagine Dragons, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande, Skylar Grey, The ChainSmokers, Travis Scott, Pharrell, Timbaland, No ID, Young Chop, JayZ, Ludwig Goransson, Jemaine Clement, Tom Petty, Third Eye Blind, Slayer, Metallica, most of the members of the Mars Volta and ATDI, Ozomatli and so many many more. Most recently I recorded Vic Mensa’s debut album, The Autobiography. I’ve been married 3 times and my current wife is a singer in the British band, Crystal Fighters. Im currently on tour with JayZ and Vic Mensa, recording Vic’s new material on the back of a bus with a studio in it. Last summer I built my own studio on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. I’ve been in riots, gun battles, bar fights, and I ran with the bulls in Pamplona. I’ve been thousands of dollars in debt and flush with so much money I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve struggled with depression and addiction, loneliness, hunger, commitment and fear of abandonment. I’ve lied to people I love and I’ve been wrong more times than I’ve been right. Overall, I feel like your typical, ordinary American dude who keeps Jar Jarring his way into extraordinary situations.
I’m here to answer any questions about my life, the artists I’ve worked with, my military experience or anything else you guys could want to ask but also to promote my wife’s new solo project that I am so very proud of her for completing, so please check out Eleanor K on Spotify and iTunes, follow her on Instagram @eleanorkofficial and watch her music video Youtube-Eleanor K We are on an off day today so I’ll stick around as long as anyone has any questions. Also, follow me on Instagram @greazywil for day by day updates of our dressing room quality and pictures of nerd stuff.
You can find verification on my Instagram @greazywil
Edit: Thanks for the amazing questions everyone. I am going to continue to answer and respond to every one for as long as I can. I know I always get bummed out when I see an AMA thats been over for hours and I'm just seeing it for the first time. For all you veterans out there, I see you. I know you've been dealt a rough hand. No one with a stable life and good upbringing with lots of money needed to join the military. I know how hard it is. Don't give up and don't use your military service as an excuse to not keep working hard. This world will give you nothing for free and you need to keep earning and proving yourself every day. Message me any time for some encouragement and occasional tough love.
how effective has solar chargers been in this situation? are there any particular brands or devices that have a developed a reputation for being more useful than others?
Does Jay treat you as if you exist or does he simply ignore all he’s not “with”?
Sadly I haven't been able to get my hands on a solar charger. I have seen a lot of my friends using them and they love it while they last. The thing is though I haven't heard of any solar charger that doesn't break in a month or less. I think the problem in PR is that the heat can get so bad that solar chargers just break and people here are not going to want to spend extra money on a better charger that won't break in those situations.
Sorry that I don't know about any brands though...
He’s always very respectful and polite to me. I have a history of saying stupid things to him though so he makes me laugh in my memories. He always would randomly appear and I would be surprised by him so then when he asks a normal question like “hey man, what’s up?” I get flustered and reply with “good man, how are you” and feel dumb for the rest of the day. I’m not star struck, just stupid I think.
I’m curious, does the university itself not have any power or do you not have power in your residence? Coming off of a 60ish day deployment, Bayamon was one of the first places I saw that had municipal power about a month after Maria, well before San Juan started making progress.
Can you elaborate on being shot by a rocket? Where did it hit? How did you survive? Did you leave any pieces behind? Did it leave any pieces behind in you? Sorry if I'm a little fixated on that one aspect of all this.
Yes, my university does have power! Fortunately my university was one of the first to get electrical energy and to commece giving classes. A lot of people were actually pretty mad about this because students from farther and more affected areas probably didn't have the means to starts studying yet. I, for one, had my car break down after Maria and it's been really difficult to go from Puerto Nuevo to Bayamon everyday. On top of that public transportation is pretty much horrible and unreliable right now.
It impacted beside me and blew me back a few feet. Unfortunately, the brunt of the explosion was handled by my friend who was very seriously wounded and spent many years recuperating. I was injured pretty badly. I had a tennis ball sized hole in my leg for a minute until it filled back in.
Did you have the option to displace and continue your education in the states? Do you know anyone that has done this? A lot of universities here in Miami were taking in students and helping with tuition and finding a place to stay.
Wow. Thanks for the explanation. Glad you both made it out.
Also, your empathy for the guy shooting at you is a little surprising and very refreshing. War is dumb; good to see it didn't ruin you.
Yes, I did have the option to go to the states. I didn't want to leave my mom alone in PR in this situation though. This is my last semester and when I graduate I'm looking to move to the US. Hopefully not Florida (even though I was born there) because I'm sure jobs must be scarce with how many puertoricans moved over there these past few months.
It did for a little while. I let it define me and it hurt me a lot. I found later that by making more out of myself I was able to let go of that part of me and be proud of bigger things. The first step in that transformation was my daughter being born and realizing that I had more to live for.
Would you reccomend a career in Sound Engineering? How's the pay?
I love it but it absolutely has to be something you love to do or else the months of 16 hour days will wear you out and make you hate it. I wouldn’t recommend doing anything unless you love it. The pay sucks to start but eventually you can make a lot. It’s all relative I think
I use Studio one myself. I was also using Logic but couldn't stand Mac. Is their a band/artist you would like to record?
I just want to work with people who still have the passion for creating. It’s not fun working for people who are doing it for the money. I would rather work for an up and coming band that has the desire to make a change in the world of music than someone who can just pay me a lot of money. I’ve always chosen pride over payment. Always