Media ~ Blog ~ Bio ~ Links ~ Lessons ~ Knowledge ~ News ~ Activism ~ VNON Band
"When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece" -John Ruskin
Gabe Rosales is a latino renaissance man hailing from Southern California. He began is music and artistic exploration at a young age inspired by his parents who played latin folklorico on nylon string guitars when he was a child. Old MTV music videos from "Head Bangers Ball" to "Yo MTV Raps" influenced Gabe to record himself to pass time.
At age 10, Gabe developed a taste for the macabre when he asked his mother to start reading him the disturbing writing of Edgar Allen Poe for bedtime stories. Hearing writings such as "The Tell Tale Heart", and poems like "The Raven" before bedtime began molding his thoughts. These literary inspirations also aided his vocabulary for his own writing, as well as fueled a growing fascination with the occult, supernatural and darker aspects of life. He spent much of his time writing, completing 40 page stories when he was only in 4th grade.
Gabe's family split in 1986 and in 1990 at the age of 12, Gabe moved with his mother to the city of Santa Cruz, Northern California. He became the lead singer of a death metal band at age 14 using his writing and lyrics as the catalyst. It was this experience that called for him to pick up the bass guitar to complete the band. Within 6 months Gabe was gigging and taking bass solo's. Along with this new found love, Gabe began lifting weights and training regularly along with beginning his first form of meditation.
Before high school Gabe returned back to Southern California to live with his father. Gabe found himself practicing rigorously 12-16 hours a day, for months during the summer. With sporadic bass lessons and 5 years of "formal" self teaching, Gabe increased his musical tastes from his old love, bands like Deicide and Suffocation, to a diversity of artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Weather Report and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. This helped Gabe hone his skills in a wide arena of music from the "out" jazz of Art Tatum and Coltrane, to the repetative and groove oriented funk and R&B of Cameo and Zap. This would eventually prepare him for the myriad of top name music artists he would soon work with.
During his high school career his talents flourished. From being the 1st freshman in Laguna Beach High's history to have the lead role in an award winning comedy production, to gigging regularly at high school functions, the young artist worked at developing a strong sense of self expression and a warped sense of humor. By his senior year he had taken part in numerous theater productions, played in 7 different bands and thrived in an advanced placement art class where he began receiving college credit for his work. With his assorted art pieces being showcased at the local college, Gabe had a myriad of options to pursue for his future career. Music began playing a more prominent part as he began seriously studying theory on his own from university tonal harmony text books and the time he spent drawing eventually got taken up by rigorous rehearsal schedules and instrument practicing.
At this time he crossed paths with session, touring, and production legend, Paul Pesco. Paul took Gabe under his wing and began showing him "the ropes" of the music industry as well as introducing him to a book that would send him on a path deeper into eastern thought, the Zen Guitar book. This also sparked an extreme interest in quantum physics and the order of all things which included the human experience. This new found interest made its way into his poetry-turned-hip hop lyrics.
Just a year after graduating high school Gabe landed a voice on guitar hero George Lynch's eclectic 1999 release, "Smoke This". A 3 month tour followed the release. With new endorsements with ESP guitars, Dean Markley strings and Hughes and Kettner bass amplification systems, Gabe began living his dream at age 19, a few years younger than George Lynch's son. After the chaotic lifestyle of the hard rocking 1999 US tour which included excessive alcohol consumption, Gabe returned home where even his closest friends recognized and worried about his destructive, indulgent lifestyle. Gabe went on a spiritual search and attended a 10 day Buddhist vipassana meditation course, where he took a mandatory oath of silence for the courses entirety. This experience changed his views on his existence drastically. A deeper sense of universal understanding vanquished the young artist. An inner peace enveloped Gabe's life and everyone noticed it when he returned.
From 2000 to 2005, the southern California native landed other high profile gigs and tours in the music world through networking and word of mouth. From heavy rock band Lynch Mob to pop megastars like Jennifer Lopez and Christina Milian, to fusion legends such as Prashant Aswani and Joey Heredia, Gabe has graced stages from country to country, continent to continent.
Even with his growing resume and promising future, alcohol and drug consumption crept back into Gabe's life which led him to a deathly destructive path. From drug dealing, health issues to excessive alcohol consumption, this volatile chicano found himself incarcerated several times and in 2007 after getting a sentence reduced from years to months, Gabe observed the sub culture of jail life, and drew from it inspiration for his future work. The different phases of emotions fed concepts and stories about doing time which Gabe in turn focused back into music. He wrote sheet music, lyrics and vigorously worked out to pass the time productively. He sympathized with the trials and tribulations of the dominant hispanic race in the facility and he was even asked to hold a position. During his sentence a gang war broke out and Gabe was faced with the choice of participating and getting an extended sentence or stepping down and facing the potentially deadly consequences as a disgrace to his gang. The facility was immediately put on lockdown a week before he was released leading to the longest lockdown in Orange County jail history. He was pepper sprayed and kept confined for days but he soon did his time and was released with no extension.
This experience drastically altered Gabe's view on society and the law. He became inspired to put his efforts towards helping the community and bring awareness to various injustices. There became new meaning to his life and the appeal of playing with commericial pop acts contributing to the dysfunction of the human experience seemed frivolous and almost a crime in itself. Gabe's addictive personality proved that there was no room for any substances in his life. His first hand experience of the level of addicts in jail reinforced his drive to rise above all mind altering substances. He took a vow of complete sobriety in early 2007 and has maintained it since. This sober road gave him the strength to start secular recovery groups online and locally.
In 2009 a thirst for knowledge and growth fueled Gabe's return back to school for a formal education majoring in anthropology and philosophy; his new inspirations including new friend Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine who has a Masters degree from Harvard in Political Science and Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin who has a Phd in Zoology and Evolutionary Biology. This education has brought Gabe's lyric writing, knowledge, public speaking, determination, and legitimacy as a scholar to a whole new level.
Working as a solo artist, musician, dedicated teacher, activist, and leader, Gabe has proudly accepted the honor of passing on his music knowledge to many hungry individuals. With over 14 years of teaching experience as well as earning street credit along the way, Rosales caters to each students needs with awareness and encouragement. Using a zen based philosophy, he cultivates awareness, technique and heart.
At age 29, he finally harnessed his skills to release his first explosive album entitled "Vital Nonsense" that encompassed all the styles that he had grown to love. This album release served as the foundation for his band "VNON" that is comprised of high profile professional musicians who have dedicated their talents to raise money for children's charities and social justice issues. "Vital Nonsense" can be downloaded FREE on the music page of this site. Be on the look out for performances, locally and on the web.
Gabe Rosales is a devout member of Afrika Bambaataa's Universal Zulu Nation and in 2010 Gabe became a proud member of the Anti-Injustice Movement known as The AIM. He is now the West Coast General of the A.I.M. as well as officially becoming a Guerrilla Republik warrior and Real Hip Hop Forever affiliate. He is a founding member of the science education artist collective Grand Unified and he is also a member of the international hip hop collective Los Animales. In 2013 Gabe became affiliated with the American Indian Movement through the activist band Shadownation and has worked with human rights groups such as Icons Unite. He is on the Dean's list at his educational institution and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
"I have toured on a private plane over Europe. I have done drugs in a room by myself for days. I have cleaned toilets and been pepper sprayed in jail during the worse race riots in OC jail history. I have meditated in silence 16 hours a day for weeks in the mountains of California. I have been cornered on the streets of Los Angeles by thousands of riot police with the Occupy LA movement. I have marched with the American Indian Movement to the Jumping Bull house for the first official Leonard Peltier day in South Dakota. I have been lucky enough to see my writing published. I have had the honor of working with the BEST musicians on the planet. The meaning of life is to give life meaning, so use your time wisely. I am just getting started."
List of Recording Artists Gabe has worked with:
Lynch Mob US tour 1998-1999