Hello girls and guys!
Some time ago, when we spoke to John Bechdel of Ascension of The Watchers, several people asked if there was the possibility for us to interview other members of the band: those full time and those who played during the live shows. The answer is: of course there is the possibility! After all, we have the access to Internet and Facebook 🙂 Several emails were exchanged and here is the result. Please read on and return here sooon – we are only starting to have fun!!
Interview with Bones Padilla
The drum genius, Bones Padilla is an incredibly humble and kind person. For more than 20 years, his drumming skills and techniques helped to shape the Industrial genre and influenced many bands and musicians. When approached about his achievements, his response was: “I’m only performing on stage!” We have caught up with Bones to talk about his past with Ascension of The Watchers, the legendary Still Life Decay, moving across the US and leading a happily married life in California.
Vanadian Avenue: You are a living legend of the NYC metal scene. However, younger fans of Ascension of The Watchers might not know where you played before joining the band. Can you introduce yourself to those who just started listening to your music?
Bones Padilla: My name is Bones (no Star Trek references please)… I played drums in Still Life Decay, Canibals, GASNYC and DeSade… I’ve been playing drums since I was 18… I was the drumtech for the band Biohazard from 93’-95’.
Vanadian Avenue: You joined AoTW as a drummer in 2008, replacing Fade Kainer. Tell us who recruited you?
Bones Padilla: Burton originally had Vinny Signorelli (Unsane and Swans fame) lined up to be the drummer but he was on tour in Europe at the time so Burton asked me as a favor to fill in for the shows he had lined up… I couldn’t say no…
Vanadian Avenue: Did you enjoy the tour? Any fond memories from performing on stage with Burton C Bell, John Bechdel and Edu Mussi?
Bones Padilla: Performing at the COSM Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in NYC was really cool… It was the record release party performance… The vibe was different from your ordinary gig…
Vanadian Avenue: What kit did you use for drumming with AoTW?
Bones Padilla: I use a Gretsch Catalina Club Rock kit which I still have to this day…
Vanadian Avenue: Were there any specific pieces you used to create the ambient beats?
Bones Padilla: I’m not an official member of the band so I had no part in the writing process. However, for the live shows, I used some china bells to replicate one section of the song “Residual Presence”, played brushes on “Canon For My Beloved” and used a lot of tambourine for the back beats…
Vanadian Avenue: What were some of the inspirations you gathered from for creating the beats for AoTW?
Bones Padilla: See answer above…
Vanadian Avenue: Do you remember an exact date when you joined Aotw? Where did you play the first gig?
Bones Padilla: The first show I did with AOTW was at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors gallery in New York. I didn’t “join” AOTW, I just filled in. Here are the dates I did with them:
Feb. 18 – New York, NY – Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
Feb. 19 – Washington, DC – The Red and The Black
Feb. 20 – Passaic, NJ – Loop Lounge
Feb. 21 – Philadelphia, PA – The Khyber
This was back in 2008. I met my wife in October of the same year.
Vanadian Avenue: You, Fade Kainer and Alex Terhune seem to know each other very well. You have performed with them plus Edu Mussi in Still Life Decay. Although much more heavy and noisy, it carries the spirit of AoTW.
Bones Padilla: Thanks for the compliment… Still Life Decay was all out industrial… We put on a killer live show everywhere we played… Fade, Edu, Alex and myself are the original members of SLD for 5 years…
Vanadian Avenue: We have always wanted to ask about the video to song “Detach” (from Still Life Decay) directed by Zina Brown.Burton plays a mad scientist and you and Fade Kainer serve as objects of some gruesome experiments. Must have been a lot of fun.
Bones Padilla: The majority of the video took place in one evening at our friend job’s warehouse… That part of the shoot took all night long and most of us went straight back to work after filming wrapped up… The rest of the scenes took place over the course of a few weeks…Burton had fun playing the scientist… All 4 of us were the “lab rats” meeting an untimely demise…
Vanadian Avenue: There was also a short lived and mysterious project called “Echoes and Shadows”. Can you tell us what is the status of this band? Did you know that all releases of E&S are completely out of print and unavailable to purchase?
Bones Padilla: Echoes and Shadows were born out of the ashes of Still Life Decay. Two months after forming E&S, we had our first 2 shows opening for New Model Army in NYC. We have opened for them a few more times after that as well. Since then, Edu had been busy recording “Numinosum” inEl Paso. E&S has since been put to rest. I’m very grateful to all the fans that purchased the album and CD versions. I don’t know if the music will be released again. For the time being MySpace is the only place to hear it.
Vanadian Avenue: You have played withBurton, Alex, and Edu in three different groups. If there would be a chance to hit the road with AoTW again, would you give it a shot?
Bones Padilla: If the logistics were correct, absolutely I would do it again… I had a blast doing those shows…
Vanadian Avenue: Recently you relocated from the East Coast toSan Francisco where you live with your wife, a famous burlesque star, Sparkly Devil. Have you ever thought of joining forces with her and creating an artistic project together?
Bones Padilla: I’m the sound guy for her show “Curvicious Cabaret” and have made several guest appearances in her acts onstage as a man-prop…Eventually she wants me to play drums onstage during one of her performances.
Vanadian Avenue: Are you working on any new music? What can we expect of Bones in the nearest future?
Bones Padilla: I’m playing with my band here inSan Francisco for 3 years now. We recently acquired a new vocalist so we have yet to come up with a new name. Stay tuned for more on that.
Vanadian Avenue: Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
Bones Padilla: Thank you to all the fans of the bands I’ve played in… I hope you like the new material I’m working on with my band… I promise to have a new band name soon and share our music with you guys… Take care!!!
Vanadian Avenue: Thank you so much for answering our questions!
Bones Padilla: Thank you!!!
Interview by Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz and David J Mazur
Layout by Rita Dabrowicz
Pictures used with permission, live shots by Ryan Speth (www.ryanspeth.com)
You can see the PDF version of this interview here: https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/padilla-bones-interview.pdf
PDF version at Issu:
A big thank you goes to Bones and his lovely wife, Sparkly Devil, who made this interview possible. Without their time and dedication, multiple corrections and changes, we would have never finished this little project.
As with other interviews, please do not “borrow”, re-post or post it anywhere else without or written consent. This is a very time consuming hobby. We work hard to bring you the best interviews and to make them look aesthetically pleasing, but they take a lot of our free time and it’s sad to see them go viral – not even our names are usually given! Please write an email to ask, it takes a mere second! Thank you and the address is: rdabrowicz at yahoo dot com.
Rita and Mal and David
************************* Update 2013.05.28 ************************
Thank you kindly from the bottoms of our hearts,
Rita, Mal and David
Release 1: Raul `Bones` Padilla
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Following a tragic accident that claimed the life of his wife, Sarah Klein, a well known burlesque dancer that performed under the name “Sparkly Devil”, the driver of the vehicle, Raul Padilla (known as Bones) is making progress towards a recovery.
Through a message from a local bay area hospital, he stated that he is overwhelmed by the support he has received.
At this time, the family requests privacy to allow Mr. Padilla time to focus on his health. For further information or comment, please contact Steve Hamilton at email@example.com.
Release 2: Sarah `Sparkly Devil` Klein
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On Sunday morning May 26, 2013 just after 2:05AM, a tragic accident south of San Francisco, CA claimed the life of an international icon in the burlesque scene. Sarah Klein, 36, of San Mateo, CA, who performed under the name “Sparkly Devil” was in a 1995 Honda Del Sol driven by her husband, Raul “Bones” Padilla, on their way home after a show in San Francisco. Mr. Padilla lost control of the vehicle, which struck the center divider on US-101 southbound, the vehicle came to rest in the fast lane facing the wrong direction where it was struck head on by a party bus. Mrs. Klein was killed instantly and Mr. Padilla remains in intensive care following the accident. It is not known exactly what caused Mr. Padilla to lose control initially. This is currently being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.
Sarah was an amazing performer, and an even better friend. She will be missed by all that had the honor of knowing her. Many have been touched by this amazing couple’s generosity and love.
Unfortunately, insurance is insufficient to the task of covering all of the expenses incurred by Raul and the family of Sarah Klein. If you are interested in making a donation to help, please follow this link for donation instructions: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/2WOJd.
For more information about the career and achievements of Sarah “Sparkly Devil” Klein, please contact Steve Hamilton – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are amazed by the care and support Bones Padilla is receiving. The interview is read daily and we get new people coming to the blog to learn on Bones` condition. So we have decided to make another short update. Bones is now at home, after more than a month spent in the hospital. With his friends and family around him, he will make full if slow recovery. He is sometimes on Facebook and if you want to send him a message please do so by following this link:
We have also decided to share some screenshots from Ascension of the Watchers Facebook page, showing the amount of love and care from his fans. This is something truly inspiring and we want to show the world what amazing fans Bones has.
Thank you for reading and coming back for the updates.
You people make this job worth every effort!
************************* Update 2013.07.17 ************************
It was a truly dark month, but there’s a silver lining. Finally we can report something optimistic. On July 5th, 2013 Bones posted this image of himself on his Facebook page. As you can see he is still in a vulnerable state but nothing can crush his incredible spirit. He is still defiant and fighting with all his might, against all odds.
We have spoken to him a day later and passed all the words from the fans. We also informed him that people come to this blog in search of news about his condition.
His message is brief but he is grateful:
“Wow. I’m truly lucky to have friends like you guys. Thank you so much for all your love and support.”
He is also promising that:
“I will never stop fighting…”
And since a screenshot is worth a thousand words, see for yourselves:
Please spread the word and keep your horns raised for the man.
************************* Update 2013.09.06 ************************
Another update because good news are never enough! On Tuesday, Bones underwent his last operation. It went well, but now he will have to remain home for 6-8 weeks. His ankle is wrapped in a split and bandaged. Bones` spirit remains high and he is very much back to his old self: he says he is now under “house arrest”, got rid of the wheel chair and moves around on crutches. Yes, he is rock `n` roll and you can learn from him a thing or two about endurance. He’s also a rebel, wearing all those white bandages after Labor Day 😉
We remain in awe how strong Bones is and we are grateful to still have him with us.
Images are courtesy of the man himself.
We will be checking on how people can still make donations to Bones recovery fund, so please stay tuned.