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Ian C.T. vom Saal
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play hi-fi  PARADISE (I.U.I. '2010) TAMPA, FL
play hi-fi  Suffocation (Ring '05) San Diego, CA
play hi-fi  Burn it down (Decompression '04) CA
play hi-fi  I am not invisible (Decompression '04) CA
play hi-fi  Carry you alone (Decompression '04) CA
play hi-fi  Zeppelin LESSON (Since I've Been Loving U)
Most of the music above is from 3 of my former bands (2 in San Diego, 1 in Tampa). I recorded the Led-Zeppelin/Jimmy-Page lead intro (above) as a Rock/Blues lesson for my guitar students (creating feeling with dynamics & bends).

* 2013 - ARIES RISING (a.k.a. Ominous Gray) is currently writing for their new album.
- The music on this SoundClick page is purely for people to have something to listen to; I'm not allowed to post any music from Aries Rising on this page (I'm not promoting my former bands).
I was a fill in guitarist with "Decompression" leaving in early '04 to commit to "Ring" full time; sadly Ring ended in '05 with the loss of our singer; I left the "Precious" in November '07 in search of a band with more commitment & potential; "I.U.I." ended abruptly late November 2010 (our drummer & singer vanished leaving myself & Juan [our bassist] to pick up the pieces). There's no ill will from me on any of these band splits, & as far as I know we're all still friends.

* My goal has always been to play music with serious, dedicated musicians that are all looking to go as far as they can musically (recording, touring, etc); of coarse continually shooting for that ominously lucrative 'recording deal' most musicians covet.

* My main focus is on Original Music; I'm inspired by a confluence of styles: Hard-Rock, Alternative & Progressive-Rock, Alternative & Progressive-Metal, Blues-Rock, Fusion (a mix of rock, blues, jazz), & Acoustic Music - I've played an amalgamation of these styles since '2000.

* I have a music degree from Palm Beach State/Florida Atlantic University (in Guitar Performance; Classical' & 'Jazz Studies '99/'01) - Regardless, my main focus since '2003 has been Original rock;
* Notably; Scott Henderson also went to F.A.U.

I've owned a lot of equipment over the last few years (guitars/amps);
As of January 2013:
* ELECTRIC-GUITARS - Two '99 Gibson Les Paul Standards, '90 Gibson SG Standard ('62-RI), Fender Amer-Dlx-Plus Strat ('96) & Amer-Dlx Tele ('98), two Schecter Tempest Customs, an Ibanez AS103, & many other custom & hand-made guitar's. I currently own 17-guitars. This number fluctuates from year to year depending on my needs (I'm down by 10 guitars since 2005); Thanks to TAYLOR-Guitars (El Cajon, CA) & ELIXIR-Strings (Elkton, MD) for their endorsements on my last tour (Taylor 814-CE & Elixir 11-52).
* AMPLIFIERS (Tube Amps); Dr.Z`MAZ 38 / Marshall`JTM45, JCM2000 DSL / Mesa/Boogie`Road King 2, Triple Rectifier, Lone Star, Mark III / Bogner`Shiva, Ecstasy / Budda`Superdrive-45 / Fender`Super Reverb, Bassman, Hot Rod DeVille, Vibro King, Twin Reverb / Bad Cat`Hot Cat / Fargen`Bordeaux, modified Classic-50 / Vox`TB35C2, AC30 / Matchless`DC30 / Victoria`Tweed / Rivera`Knucklehead, Fandango / & several other custom amps.
* My Current Rig: Mesa/Boogie Road King II Head into a Port City OS Wave Cabinet. I've gone MIDI with this via RJM Amp Gizmo connected to a Rocktron touring MIDI controller (MIDI Raider). I'm in the process of incorporating an Avid Eleven Rack for simple delay/chorus effects & for touring. I run my entire rig through a Furman AR-1215 voltage regulator (which protects my rig and gives me a consistent 120V at every venue).

I love playing & recording, but work's work. I've played or recorded with almost anyone I can to get my name out.. Since 2000 I've done work for several recording companies including; Sony, Epic, EMI, and Atlantic. Subsequently, I've recorded all over the US * Tree Sound Studios '2000 GA ( * Southern Living At It's Finest '2000 GA * The Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios '01 FL ( * Record Plant Recording Studio '03-04 CA ( * DML STUDIOS '03-04 CA * Avatar Studios '04 NY ( * Morrisound Recording '05 FL ( * Eastside Sound Studios '05 NY ( * Panda Productions '05 FL (now Creative World Recording: * Tub's Music '06-07 FL (

* Session/Studio work can be fairly tedious, but it can also be a lot of fun & a great way to meet, record, or play with a lot of talented musicians. I've been fortunate enough to play/record with a few fairly well known bands & people over the years Including: John Mayer, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl, Ike Turner, Tori Amos, members of Pearl Jam, Adam Duritz, Finch, Scott Henderson, Dave Matthews, Jewel, Switchfoot, POD, Derek Trucks, Sugarcult, Patrick Monahan, Alice Cooper, & many more.

* January 2013 - ARIES RISING (a.k.a. Ominous Gray)
. GUITARS / B.VOCALS / MAJORITY MUSIC COMPOSER (Ian C.T. vom Saal): Gibson Les Paul Standard(s); Mesa/Boogie ROAD KING 2 Head into a Port City OS Wave Cabinet.
. DRUMS / PERCUSSSION (Emory Smith): Yamaha Recording Custom Series drums; exclusively plays Paiste Signature Series Cymbals.
. BASS (Dave Graves): Music Man Stingray & Fender P basses through SWR & Ampeg amps/cabs.
. FRONTMAN / LEAD VOCALS / LYRICIST / PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER (Daniel Solwold Jr. Austin Aries): Audix Microphones; Frontman Charisma (lol).

* Aug'2010 - Dec'2010 I was lead/rhythm guitarist for the Original Band "IUI" in Tampa, FL;

* Jan'2006 - Oct'07 I was lead guitarist in the Original Band "The Precious" (Ring2) in Tampa, FL. We recorded 2 songs for the upcoming vampire movie "THE BASEMENT" (told John Landis is helping to produce this film); Production company making this film is CHAOTIC GARDENS;

* July 2006 "The Precious" recorded w/ renowned Producer & Recording Engineer Bob Langford (TUBS MUSIC STUDIO). Bob's worked with many bands including; Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers Band, Deep Purple, James Brown, Joe South, 38-Special - Bob engineered & mixed "Free Bird, Sweet Home Alabama, Gimme Three-Steps" & more for Skynyrd - the band were so indebted that they included his photo & special thanks in the original release (Sounds of the South Records). Bob's really great, & I'd recommend him to anyone looking to record.

* August '06 "The Precious" were flown to San Diego on Aug.22nd to play a show for the "S.O.S. (Share Our Strength) HUNGER ORGANIZATION."

* 2005 ~ I moved to Tampa, FL from San Diego, CA (april). Since then I've had the opportunity to play or record with many talented LOCAL artists including: Tony Starez, Damon Fowler, Christie Lenee, Julie "Angel for Blues" Black, George Harris (Greg Billing Band, Soupbone), Steve Arvey, Dean Johanesen (Human Condition), & many more . . . Again, apologies to anyone I haven't added yet.

* 2004-'05 ~ I was lead & rhythm guitarist for 2 Original Alternative-Rock Bands; "Ring" (an alternative-power trio) & "Decompression" (quartet, alternative-metal vibe).

I signed a small contract with a division of SONY-MUSIC® for soundtrack work. As a result of that contract I was able to land private work as a session guitarist; working with multiple artists at both the Record Plant in Los Angeles & DML Studios in Escondido. Unfortunately I just couldn't get enough work to make a consistent living as a session guitarist (as we all know it can be quite a sanguinary profession), so while in CA I also gigged throughout San Diego & Los Angeles playing a conglomeration of Rock, Blues, & Acoustic music (as a solo artist & with 3 Original Bands; including my own Band "Dark Ring" '04-'05). Thank you to all of my band friends in San Diego: Finch, POD, Innocent Noise, Off Track, Switchfoot, Jason Lee & The Rip Tides, Call Me Alice, Decompression (currently; Lead Burns Red), & many more.

* I'm currently a Guitar Instructor.

* CUSTOM BUILT GUITARS - vom Saal Custom Guitars
* March '09 completed another guitar - southern swamp ash capped w/ figured-maple, rear-routed 1-H/B, 2-S/C, vintage trem - sprayed w/ nitrocellulose lacquer (red/amber sunburst) - neck carved from maple, fretboard from ebony (22 jumbo 6100 stainless frets, pearl dots) - headstock's a 3+3 tuner design angled 13┬░ for better string pull w/out string tree's - truss rod cover (rosewood), tuner buttons (ebony), back plate, trem cover (all hand carved)- pic below.
* Jan 2011 completed another guitar; body/neck made entirely from walnut - ebony fretboard - 22 jumbo 6100 stainless frets, abalone block inlays (1st time doing this) - custom claro walnut pickguard - Gotoh hard-tail bridge/tuners (hand carved ebony tuner buttons, walnut input jack, & walnut truss rod cover) - Nitro-lacquer finished body, oiled fini
Do you play live?
I play live as often as I can (locally, out of state, wherever).
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
Most bands these days make their money by selling merchandise while gigging/touring (for most bands the money made from CD sales is fairly insignificant, and whatever money is made from the gigs/tour usually ends up going back to the label to recoup studio costs anyway). However, the internet allows you the opportunity to reach a lot more people than you could before (plus internet merchandise sales); not that the RIGHT people in the music industry are going to hear you, or give you any kind of deal (sadly, these days it seems to be much more about who you know & what you look like rather than what you know or how good you are).
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
I would sign a record contract with a major label (I have) - I'd sign a 360 deal if the label heavily promotes and pays for touring (pending IAEL review) - For me it's about getting music out there for people to hear - As I said earlier, today most bands make their money selling merchandise, not their music; It's nice to have $$$ behind you for promotion & marketing (and the unfortunate truth is it's easier to do this with label/corporate $$$ behind you).
Band History:
- see above
Your influences?
- I'm influenced by & listen to lots of music - some of my influences are:
Led Zeppelin, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Incubus, Soundgarden, Alterbridge, Joe Bonamassa, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Metallica, The Police, Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band, Ozzy/Black Sabbath, Jimmy Hendrix, U2, Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule), Shinedown, Steve Morse, AC/DC, The Cure, Robin Trower, Rush, CS&N, The Mars Volta, Scott Henderson, Dweezil Zappa, and many more . . . Don't worry if you don't see your favorite band listed here - I'm into a ton of music.
Favorite spot?
- San Diego (north county)
Equipment used:
- lots and lots . . . please read above under EQUIPMENT where it says Guitars and Amplifiers.
Anything else...?
My '99 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus (Limited-Ed)
Decompression at Sunset Live Key Club Hollywood
warming up in the studio before recording session
Mesa Road King II & Port City 2x12 OS Wave Cabinet
One of my Mesa Boogies (Mark-III blue-stripe)
My band Dark Ring; San Diego '04 1,500+ attendance
another PIC from DR show; 4th & B, San Diego, CA
Hard Rock Tampa '06; Charlie Daniels Angelus event
Me at the House of Blues in Orlando in '2000
Playing at House of Blues Orlando in '2000
Playing House of Blues Orlando the following night
Precious '06 Airplane Hanger Rehearsal Studio
Me & my wife in Las Vegas '04
Me . . . with Tony Starez
Bandsawing the Body
Carving Tummy-cut
Cutting the channel for the truss-rod
Routed Body
blueprints: Click link Above For More PIC's
Custom Guitar I Built For A Client
Custom Guitar I Built For A Client
Custom Guitar
Custom Walnut Guitar I Built For A Client
Walnut guitar I built for a client
(Abalone Neck Inlays)
Guitar back w/ custom made stainless neck plate
Hand Carved Walnut Input Jack
Hand-made walnut pickguard
My Custom Neck Plates
Custom Case Shaped To My Body Contour
Custom Case
Ameritage Custom Case
Custom Case
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