We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Arredondo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in Pasadena, CA. At a very young age, my parents signed me up for violin lessons. They wanted music to be a part of my life. I took to it pretty fast but violin wasn’t for me. Throughout the years, I studied piano, bass guitar and eventually landed on what would define the rest of my life, drums. At the age of 19, I dropped out of college to become a professional touring and studio drummer. My band, The Briggs, quickly became an international touring act. I was doing what I loved, making records in the studio and seeing the world playing live shows.
After a decade, my professional touring drumming career came to an abrupt stop when I found that the chronic wrist pain I had been dealing with turned out to be a fracture. I needed surgery and I needed it right away. I was forced to take a year off from playing for physical therapy and basically had to relearn how to play drums with my new partially fused wrist.
It was during this year that I decided to change by career path from performance to production. I had made enough friends during my performing years that my transition to the production side was relatively painless. I’ve been lucky enough to have a career in the live music / production industry over 20 years now.
In 2020, when Covid put the breaks on my industry, I was forced to change my career path, again. I wasn’t sure what to do. For the last 20 years, I spent at least 250 days a year on tour. But here’s the thing, when you’re on tour, there is no such thing as a weekend. There is no such thing as a holiday. There is no such thing a sick day. You get up, you get to work and you get the job done. So, I got got up and I got to work. I built a coffee table for my home, posted a pic on my social media and immediately sparked interest with my friends. People liked what I had built and wanted it for themselves. My friends told their friends, their friends told their friends, and soon I was building pieces for people outside of my circle. I now had a woodworking business on my hands.
My background in touring and upbringing taught me to never give up. I never gave up on finding an instrument I was passionate about. I never gave up on forming a band and becoming a professional drummer. I never gave up when an injury forced me to stop playing professionally. And, when my industry had to go on pause because of a global pandemic, I never gave up. Hard work pays off. You just have to be willing to get dirty.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
All of my piece are custom made. The client and I talk about what they are looking for, I design it and we go from there. Most of my piece have a mid-mod design to them. Simple lines with clean finishes. With my background in music, I have a collection that is geared toward studio furniture. Anything from a mixing console desk to guitar stands.
I see my pieces as art rather than just a piece of furniture. I put care into everything from the most simple miter cut to a beautifully snug dove tail joint.
I’ve learned that my clients are not just looking for a tray or a table or a guitar stand. They’re looking for a conversation piece. They appreciate the work that goes into it. I hope that I am not just building something for them to enjoy but that I am also building something that will be enjoyed by their families for many years to come.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Visiting LA for a week… wow, where to begin?
My most favorite spot for breakfast is an amazing little restaurant tucked away in the foothills of Sierra Madre. It’s called Mary’s Market Cafe. Find it if you can!
We’re going to Garduno’s Taco King in Baldwin Park for lunch with a killer vegan menu.
Dinner time, we’re headed to Little Tokyo for vegan sushi at Shojin. This is a gem of a restaurant!
And lets not forget about our mid day coffee stops. Some of my favorites in Pasadena are Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters, Jones Coffee Roasters and Lavender & Honey.
I love LA but I’d get us away for a bit and head up to Mammoth Lakes. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful place on earth. We would enjoy days filled with snowboarding or hiking. Coffee at Black Velvet, delicious food at The Stove, healthy snacks at Elixir and tiki drinks at Lakanuki.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Ok! Shout out time.
Big shout out to my dad. At a young age he taught me how to use tools and told me not to be afraid to get my hands dirty. And, to always put pride in what I’m doing, even if it’s sweeping the floor.
Shoutout to my buddy Mel Gragirena, who let me use his shop whenever I wanted. I could never have done any of this without his help.
My long time friend, Kyle McCarthy, who helped on my first few builds and is always willing to lend a helping hand.
And of course, my wife Lyndsey. If she hadn’t expressed an interest in getting a new coffee table for the house and the possibility of me building it, I don’t know if I’d be where I am today. It’s crazy how the smallest idea could change the direction of your life!
Chris Arredondo Jess Reynolds