By Rich Henrich
The Yucca Valley musician just returned from an urgent mission- to find his dog. “He escaped, I was worried he would be coyote feed. You know it’s open desert, you hear the dogs being eaten all the time. Gene Navarro’s dog just got attacked by a coyote that jumped the fence. Another lady had her horse taken down!” says the former combat medic with the Marines 3rd Battalion. His awareness is all encompassing of the dangers that exists, perhaps a parallel for the music business itself.
While stationed at 29 Palms, David discovered the Joshua Tree Music Festival. He knew then that it was time for him to get out of the military and start playing music. “You know, I was risking my life for a cause I didn’t fully understand but I was a Patriot. I loved it. We were in Ramadi, Iraq and a lot (of soldiers) didn’t make it back. I made myself a promise that if I did make it back alive, I would play music. I left the military to pursue music. I feel a lot of responsibility,” says the musician.
“There is so much sh!% in war, I thought how much worse can it be if I bet on me? Life is about pursuing our dreams,” he says, echoing wisdom. Macias left the military in 2009 and enrolled in Dr. Anthony Fesmire’s, Music Theory class at College of the Desert. “I had played music and always had a guitar and knew a few chords but nothing serious. I played a little mariachi but I wasn’t a musician. Once I understood theory, music opened up,” he beams. He started playing in the California Celts and learned how to really manage a band. He says that no matter what, he is a musician first. “Music has been my therapy. There are a lot of universal triggers if you pay close attention that guide you to what you really should be doing,” says the stoic singer and songwriter.
He misses the group unity of the military and being with people he can trust with his life. He says being in a band allows for the group cohesion but sometimes you must journey on your own and then return to the group to be stronger as a person. “Once you realize you don’t owe anyone anything, you owe it to yourself to do what you need to do. It’s great to have support but if you don’t have it, what are you going to do roll over and die? I’m on a mission. I am a musician and I’m not exclusive. I play music and it’s great to share that with other musicians. That’s why I play in a few bands. It’s a state of mind- I’m not going back to the medical field. There is no back up plan, there’s only music. Set up your GPS or otherwise you end up making a left into a strip club,” he exclaims. The two-time combat medic says there is nothing in this life that can be harder than what he’s already had to overcome.
“As a kid, I had an obsession with The Doors so I think that’s part of why I love the desert,” says the man who once shared the stage with Robbie Krieger. “I love the quiet. I bought a house here. There is a lot of mysticism, too. I’ve learned a lot about myself. There are a lot of influential artists here and I feel comfortable (in the High Desert),” reflects the rhythmic performer of several projects including Machin’, Desert Rhythm Project, and every Saturday Co-Hosting Global Lounge Sessions with Producer/Songwriter Esjay Jones at The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs. He’s also spending more time writing and recording at High Lonesome Studio. “You spend a lot of time hustling and gigging for the band and less time developing, “ says the music maker in preparation of his solo project, a stripped down acoustic version of mostly material from Machin’, the band chosen by Goldenvoice to perform at Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival in 2014.
David Macias embodies the force we can all create when we trust the courage of our convictions and pursue the passion of our dreams. He says, “Find the thing you truly love and it becomes healing. Go after it because when it ends, it ends and it won’t matter if you were making a million dollars. Achieve your daily goals by believing what you want to be.” The proud father is now passing the values his family gave to him onto his own son. “No matter what, achieve by going forward. Achieve your dreams!” His words resonate with the wisdom of a warrior. www.davidmaciasmusic.com