BY NOE GUTIERREZ
David Ross, as an artist manager, is synonymous with the concept of immersion. The man dives into his artists and nudges the talent to the forefront.
Since 1985 Ross has had his hand in many a musical pot in the Coachella Valley. He’s also heavily involved in supporting local charities and individuals in need, especially musicians.
CVW: What has it been like managing Krystofer Do? What drew you to him initially?
Ross: “I saw Krystofer Do on two occasions and I knew he could be a mega-star. He had all the pieces. He had the amazing vocals, the performance and the look. I knew I wanted to manage him. I knew what to do with him. I’ve done it before. So, after a couple attempts, he decided to sign the contract with me. I also had heard his incredible song Time Stops and I knew with the right production it would be a winner. So, I took him and the band into 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, CA and produced the song. I also have been dealing with labels on his behalf. One being Sumerian Records (The Smashing Pumpkins, Crosses), they also have the #1 series on Amazon right now called Paradise City. Ash Avildsen is the owner of the label and a good friend of mine. I gave him one of the artists on his label, Palaye Royale, who is now highly successful and has music in Paradise City. Then there’s this new music competition show recording down in Hollywood with a celebrity panel of judges and I was able to get Krystofer in the competition. We can’t talk anymore about it just yet as they are waiting on an air date. So mum is the word until we exclusively share an update with CV Weekly to tell readers all about it. It has been an amazing experience for everyone. Krystofer will now be seen soon on television”.
CVW: You’ve been in the music industry for 36 years now, what are you most grateful for?
Ross: “Grateful for every moment of it! It’s been a heck of a ride, starting as an engineer in Los Angeles, to producer and then manager. Managing and producing legends like Junior Walker, Ike Turner and bands like England and many others. I’m grateful to be alive and living my life doing what I love best…music!”
CVW: What is your finest accomplishment thus far?
Ross: “Finest accomplishment? WOW! I have no idea! I have relished in bringing up two children that were not mine, and they both turned out amazing human beings. My productions through the years, so far, have been well-received. I’ve helped for years at The Well in the Desert where we feed and provide clothes to the homeless in Palm Springs, and that is an accomplishment I am proud of.”
CVW: Your optimism is infectious. Where do you find the energy to stay positive?
Ross: “Ah! Optimism! Yes! I am always asked how come I am so optimistic and happy! I guess I like to look at people and things with the right focus. I try and focus on their positives and not their negatives. I also have just always had a desire to be happy. I believe in acceptance! Acceptance is the answer to everything in life. Things happen that we cannot change and there is no point in getting mad or depressed over them. It’s a waste of emotion and just brings ya down. Also, I try to stay in the ‘now’ and keep my mind out of yesterday and tomorrow. None of these things are always easy, and I’m certainly not perfect, but I try daily to follow my own set of rules to be happy”.
CVW: You’re an artist manager but also a music producer. What’s it like for you to wear different hats and give each position its appropriate attention?
Ross: “Separating the music production job from the management job is not easy! However, I have been doing it since the mid 80’s! It’s about mind over bullshit! When I am producing, I set my mind to only the music. Naturally, in the back of my mind is always the thought, ’Is this going to be correct for the labels?’ When managing, it is about trying to get the artist to listen and understand what is necessary to make it in the music industry. No matter what age they may be, they already know everything! Haha! Excluding Junior Walker and Ike Turner, they understood the business and were very easy to manage. It’s the younger artists that are a bit more difficult”.
CVW: What are your plans post-pandemic?
Ross: “During COVID I have spent more time producing and working on the artists than before COVID. Since the live shows were out, there has been a lot more time for studio work and videos, etc. So, after the pandemic we can begin with more shows! Won’t that be wonderful?”
CVW: What are you working on besides managing Krystofer?
Ross: “Besides working on Krystofer, I have been on a new project with a band that is just off-the-hook amazing! We have been in the studio during the pandemic and we are getting a lot accomplished. The band name is still under consideration, however the members are Erik Mouness ‘Erik Living Man’ on drums and lead vocals, Ethan Vega on guitar and Miguel Arballo on bass. This band is going to blow people’s minds. I am currently producing the new songs and I am loving the results! This band ROCKS! Period! We’ll release a single and video over the next month. Watch for it! Also, plans are in the works to finish the Krystofer Do album. I managed to befriend David Rath, Senior Vice President of A&R Elektra/Roadrunner Records and will be connecting with him again soon. I also am bringing in Alice Cooper for something here in our desert in the near future, can’t say anything now (wink, wink)”.
CVW: You also have other artists you’ve worked with as well. People like Chris Wyse, Calista Carradine, etc. Can you share a little about that?
Ross: “I am also still managing and producing Calista Carradine, David’s daughter. We have been discussing new ideas and possible recordings and shows. I also have some good things in the works with Riki Hendrix, Jimi’s cousin, and Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s brother. Leon will be coming to see me here in the desert in a couple weeks. I’m looking forward to what is to come from these Hendrix boys! I am also getting ready to tape some new interviews for Coachella Valley Music Show very soon. We have some famous musicians in the works! I am also very grateful to my sister and brother from another mother, Tracy Dietlin and Phil Lacombe. Without them my music business and shows here in the Coachella Valley may have never occurred. They have been my close friends long before they created CV Weekly and I love them to tears!”
“Music is my life, and helping my artists to get to their dreams is my goal! People say, ‘David, you are living the dream!’ I say, ‘It has been a hell of a ride! And the ride continues…”
Check back with CV Weekly in the next few weeks for an update on the music competition that Krystofer Do has been competing in Hollywood. As soon as they have an air date we will release all details including the amazing star studded panel of judges.