174 – Arjuna “RJ” Contreras: Drumming for The Reverend Horton Heat, Grooving at Fast Tempos, WDP Documenting His First Year in Nashville
Arjuna Contreras is a drummer/ percussionist based out of Dallas, TX with plans to relocate to Nashville, TN in the fall of 2018. He possesses the uncanny ability to sound equally at home in a wide variety of musical styles including Jazz, Country, R&B, Latin, Rock, and even “Nuclear Polka”! Arjuna is often noted for the energy, soul, and excitement he brings to music both as a performer and an educator.
As a performer, Arjuna’s experience is vast. He currently records and tours with the Reverend Horton Heat. He has toured nationally with the popular Texas Country band, Eleven Hundred Springs as well as Grammy Award-winners Brave Combo, Donna Summer, and Howard Scott (original lead singer and guitarist for WAR).
As an educator, Arjuna has taught at Colleyville Heritage High School and its surrounding middle schools since 1996. His duties have included teaching the high school drum line, coaching percussion ensembles, daily teaching of 6th grade percussion classes, as well as giving private lessons to students in 6th through 12th grades. Over the years, his students have garnered top honors at drum line competitions, solo and ensemble contests, and band competitions.
Arjuna’s drumming can be heard on Eleven Hundred Springs’ recording, Eight the Hard Way. Their song, This Ain’t the First Time, is currently in rotation on many Country music stations in Texas and beyond. He also appears on the song, Belgium Polka, off of RCA/Jive Recording Artists, Bowling for Soup’s latest album, Sorry for Partyin’. Other recent recordings of Arjuna’s include Brave Combo’s album, The Exotic Rocking Life, and Fingerprints’ latest release, Dream Life. Arjuna is also currently working on innovative instructional multimedia materials for drummers.
In this episode, Arjuna talks about:
Drumming for The Reverend Horton Heat
The styes covered and influences of psychobilly
Subconsciously preparing for future gigs and opportunities
Leaving a band on good terms
Redefining the term “chops” to include touch and feel
Creating a drum solo that entertains the audience
Keeping a solid feel and groove while performing at fast tempos
The importance of an online presents
And, WDP documenting his journey for his first year in Nashville
This episode is sponsored by Session Ace