We had the good fortune of connecting with Gavin Valladares and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gavin, what makes you happy? Why?
I get the most personal reward when I am able to do something I love in a way that makes other people happy. There’s little to nothing that compares to looking out into the crowd from behind the drum kit and seeing your friends’ faces all smiling back at you. If I am not able to positively affect other people with what I am doing, I wouldn’t want to keep doing it.
Outside of my personal pursuits, I get a lot of joy from just being around people. I love to meet new people and get to know them. I love to be around my family, and my close friends as well. I’m a big fan of community.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been playing drums for a little under six years now, and I am most excited for my band’s upcoming tour and the release of our sophomore album. I started drums for fun because I always saw my dad’s drum set in my family’s old house. I began taking drumming seriously after about two years of playing local shows and houseparties. I am currrently studying jazz and latin drumming in the CSUF Jazz Program. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made as a drummer, but also very aware that I am nowhere near the level I want to be at. I think that the biggest challenge I have encountered as a serious drummer is a lack of faith-it is hard to get people to “buy in” these days. I’ve learnt how to win over instructors, professors, etc. without compromising my personal drumming style or joy. If I had to tell the world something with my limited and youthful knowledge, I would say this: Buy into yourself. If you don’t fully believe in yourself, then you can’t expect anyone else to. And then be ready to make sacrifices to pursue that goal if you truly want it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to Hillcrest Park in Fullerton! The scenery is beautiful and it even has these terraced staircases for everyone to walk around on the hill. As far as food, my friends know me to love Taco Bell-we would definitely get some food there. Most of my friends and I actually don’t drink so I don’t think we would be hitting any bars, but we would probably find a trampoline or water park of some sort if we had a full week to spend together. I think in Fullerton one of the coolest things to check out currently would be the jazz performances that you can catch either on campus or at one of numerous coffee shops or bars in the Downtown Fullerton area.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my parents; they have always been my biggest supporters. They always push me beyond what I believe are my limits. In growing up, I have learnt that even the closest of friends will never show the same level of love and support that a family will. Family comes first over everything. Thank you to my mom and dad for being the original blueprint for how I try to express my creativity. I love you guys.
All Photos Taken by NahumTheLemon and Matt Kim Live Show Photo taken by Dylan Kelley