I grew up extremely poor as a child and my mom was possibly mentally unfit to parent. I often had no home to live in and more often no food to eat. When I was 11, my house caught fire and as far as I understand they believe my mom did it on purpose. Because of this, she wasn’t able to collect the insurance money and we were forced to move back into a burned out shell of a double wide trailer that we put a layer of plywood over where the fire had burned through the exterior walls. I continued to live there until I was about 13, when I had to finally move because she wouldn’t let me live there anymore. At 18, 8 months after 9-11 happened, I joined the Marines and was part of the first invasion force to enter Iraq in 2003. On my second deployment to Iraq, I was shot by an enemy rocket and then my own people (not so friendly fire) while waiting to be evacuated for my injuries. My best friend was beside me and lost part of his jaw and most of his teeth. Another of my close friends was killed by sniper fire that same day on the rooftop of the same building.I received a Purple Heart for being wounded and was then honorably discharged from the Marines in 2006 and spent several years attempting to drink myself to death before having a daughter and deciding to change things for the better. I was playing music in a band and that led me to discover my true passion of recording music. I went to school and right out of school moved to Hollywood to become an audio engineer. Since then I have worked with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steven Stills, Imagine Dragons, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande, Skylar Grey, The ChainSmokers, Travis Scott, Pharrell, Timbaland, No ID, Young Chop, JayZ, Ludwig Goransson, Jemaine Clement, Tom Petty, Third Eye Blind, Slayer, Metallica, most of the members of the Mars Volta and ATDI, Ozomatli and so many many more. Most recently I recorded Vic Mensa’s debut album, The Autobiography. I’ve been married 3 times and my current wife is a singer in the British band, Crystal Fighters. Im currently on tour with JayZ and Vic Mensa, recording Vic’s new material on the back of a bus with a studio in it. Last summer I built my own studio on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. I’ve been in riots, gun battles, bar fights, and I ran with the bulls in Pamplona. I’ve been thousands of dollars in debt and flush with so much money I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve struggled with depression and addiction, loneliness, hunger, commitment and fear of abandonment. I’ve lied to people I love and I’ve been wrong more times than I’ve been right. Overall, I feel like your typical, ordinary American dude who keeps Jar Jarring his way into extraordinary situations.

I’m here to answer any questions about my life, the artists I’ve worked with, my military experience or anything else you guys could want to ask but also to promote my wife’s new solo project that I am so very proud of her for completing, so please check out Eleanor K on Spotify and iTunes, follow her on Instagram @eleanorkofficial and watch her music video Youtube-Eleanor K We are on an off day today so I’ll stick around as long as anyone has any questions. Also, follow me on Instagram @greazywil for day by day updates of our dressing room quality and pictures of nerd stuff.

You can find verification on my Instagram @greazywil

Edit: Thanks for the amazing questions everyone. I am going to continue to answer and respond to every one for as long as I can. I know I always get bummed out when I see an AMA thats been over for hours and I'm just seeing it for the first time. For all you veterans out there, I see you. I know you've been dealt a rough hand. No one with a stable life and good upbringing with lots of money needed to join the military. I know how hard it is. Don't give up and don't use your military service as an excuse to not keep working hard. This world will give you nothing for free and you need to keep earning and proving yourself every day. Message me any time for some encouragement and occasional tough love.

Comments: 215 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

BambooFlex127 karma

My honest respect to you. Where did you live from 13 to 18?

strapped_for_cash108 karma

Thanks! I moved in with my dad and stepmom. My stepmom was a little mentally unstable as well (she later killed herself) so it was not exactly a good fit. I was grateful to have regular meals and a warm place to sleep though, for sure.

xynix_ie67 karma

How do you personally think you got out of that pit of hell you were born into? How do you think you made it when so many others, probably members of your own family couldn't? Do you consider it drive and ambition or genetic somehow?

I believe we're in the same historical boat and we could have been neighbors. Super poor and abused to becoming successful people. I love meeting other people like us. Also: I feel it, and I'll delete this, cause it's my own personal thing, but: https://imgur.com/mpDCdSa I get it.

strapped_for_cash49 karma

I just always wanted to be more. I had nothing and I knew I wasn’t supposed to be nothing. I just kept clawing my way upwards. Sometimes I slid back down, sometimes I had to start over all over again. But I did it. I refused to stop trying to be good enough. Don’t delete it, unless you want to. I’m happy to hear you made it out of the shit.

xynix_ie9 karma

Seriously that strikes a cord. I was absolutely supposed to be nothing and every expectation was I would be nothing. I also did the slide back and the start over (a couple times) and it was hard but I refused to stop. At some point it wasn't about "them," meaning what "they" thought of me and became what I thought of myself.

I'm glad you made it out of the shit too. Do you find yourself distanced from it now though? Like I have a hard time correlating the me today with the family that I still have who is still living in poverty. It's like, I can't pay for your bills people, so I've become a hermit from my family. Have you found yourself in that same situation?

strapped_for_cash10 karma

I don’t feel like I have a lot in common with my family but I do love them very much. I couldn’t pay their bills if I wanted to and most of the time I call my brother asking for a couple hundred bucks to pay my cable bill. I have distanced myself as much as I can though as they all live in Philly and I live in LA so I only see them once a year at best. It’s better that way

Batun1352 karma

Does Jay treat you as if you exist or does he simply ignore all he’s not “with”?

strapped_for_cash121 karma

He’s always very respectful and polite to me. I have a history of saying stupid things to him though so he makes me laugh in my memories. He always would randomly appear and I would be surprised by him so then when he asks a normal question like “hey man, what’s up?” I get flustered and reply with “good man, how are you” and feel dumb for the rest of the day. I’m not star struck, just stupid I think.

batboy96339 karma

Iraqi here, you and I fought on different sides. I'm sorry for your loss and all you've been through. That entire war shouldn't have happened.

If you could do it all again, would you do it?

strapped_for_cash37 karma

I think that's a complicated answer. I really feel like the war was a giant mistake and that it was a group of old men exploiting the world's crisis for their own profit but I also learned a lot about myself as a human and I grew a lot in that time so I can't say that it wasn't good for me. I saw a lot of your people suffering but I can also say I was as kind and helpful to those people as I could be. I cared about making Iraq a better place because thats what they told me we were there for. So I guess I don't have any idea what the answer could be. I guess yes if I could not go to Iraq and attack a country for no reason.

Giantbookofdeath5 karma

Wow, I never thought I’d see this on reddit. I served in Iraq as well but in 08-09 as an Apache mechanic. Thx for this AMA man, I feel like we have some similar experiences. I wanna know if having stupid amounts of money makes all the other shit easier. Depression and addiction obviously seem like they’ll still be there. Seriously, how do you manage. How do I figure it out as well and try to thrive. Pm me if you see this and have time to maybe help out a brother

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I definitely don’t have stupid amounts of money. Every time I get ahead something new sets me back. It’s very very hard to survive in this world. Just like I said to someone else, don’t let your past define you. Just try and try and try and never give up. I’ve wanted to die so many times in the last 15 years but I never let myself give up.

Giantbookofdeath4 karma

Fucking feel you brother. Shits hard and it barely gets easier, and every time I start to feel like things will be fine life puts its boot back on my neck. If anything the give-a-fuck in me has just kind of disappeared so if it seems easier it’s probably only bc I no longer care. Do you think you would’ve ever changed or gotten better had you not had a daughter? I feel like it’ll take bringing another person into the world to get me to clean up but I’m in no position to have a child. I know having kids isn’t the answer but sometimes it seems like it could be. Like, I don’t fucking care about myself at all but I do care about the people that care about me and I would take having a kid very seriously. I’ve always sworn I’d be a great dad bc my dad disappeared when I was 3. I know what it’s like to be abandoned and I couldn’t do that to my kid. But it doesn’t seem like that’ll happen anyway anytime soon. And if I don’t find something else to get me off this path, idk where it’ll end. Fuck man, shit. Thx for responding, I know you got shit to do. I’m gonna go finish this 12 pack and try to get some sleep. Turned 31 today. Never thought I’d make it past 30 but here tf I am. Yeaaa.

strapped_for_cash2 karma

Happy birthday. My best friend lost half his face in iraq. He spent years feeling sorry for himself. Then, one day, he woke up and said “happiness is a choice” and started living that way. He had trouble getting girls because his face was deformed but after he made the change he found all these beautiful girls that loved him for his soul. He’s one of the most put together people I know and he devotes his life to making others happy. Don’t give up on yourself and don’t be lazy in making yourself happy. Being happy is controllable. I promise it is. You just have to change the filter by which you view everything

Giantbookofdeath1 karma

Thx man. Actually your best friend sounds a bit like me. I’ve learned the happiness lesson and put it to use. I’m just fucked up today and don’t have anyone to talk to. Or it’s easier just throwing it out online to a stranger that doesn’t know me. Had what I thought was a good girl and after a few years of struggling with commitment issues and being afraid to settle we finally decided to get a place together. I thru down some substantial amount of money to get us in and keep her comfortable and last Thursday we moved in and had a place to our own. I’ve been practically homeless for the last year but more by choice that anything else. Saturday me and my girl were watching hanging at home and ordered some food off uber eats. Uber guy can’t find the front entrance so gf hands me her phone calling the driver and asks me to go get it. No problem right? While I’m heading downstairs it dings, look down and it’s some dude I don’t know. I look bc it’s kinda a flirty txt. Turns out they’re making plans for him to come over Sunday night after we have dinner with her fam and I go to work. Fucking lost it. 4 days after we move in. Finally feel like I have a home again and then boom world is kinda fucked again. Car sleeping sucks but that’s life. But I’ll be fine. Thx for listening man.

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I’ve been married 3 times, I get it. Relationships are tough. I know it’s shit but like everything else, it will pass eventually. Keep on going and let me know if you ever need anything. I’m here to listen if you do

ipsum_stercus_sum14 karma

Marine, huh? What's your favorite flavor of crayon?

J/K. I was army, and went to Afghanistan, but didn't see much action. Worked on helicopters so other people could go out and do the "important stuff." I did work closely with a few marines, and they were great guys, even if you couldn't leave them alone with a bottle of glue.

I love it that you clawed your way up from those circumstances and put yourself in a place where good things can happen for you. No real questions, just that.
And maybe a thanks for serving. You had a rough time of it; I had some friends who were in similar circumstances. A few of them did what you did. Most of them have set themselves on the road to recovery, though sadly, a few have never come out of the bottle. A couple died there. I'm glad that you found some peace, and got on with life. You sound like a good guy, even if you were a Marine.

strapped_for_cash10 karma

Thanks, lol. Its the 10% rule right? 10% of any organization is brilliant and 10% are fucktards. Everyone else was somewhere in between. I guess I was a good one. I tried pretty hard to be.

eohorp13 karma

Ages of each marriage?

strapped_for_cash20 karma

20, 30, 32. Partners were 19, 27 and 27 respectively.

StuttererXXX13 karma

What's your most memorable bar fight?

strapped_for_cash69 karma

Bar fights aren’t ever really memorable to me, I guess just because in order to get that far into a situation you gotta be pretty drunk. One time I got hit with a bottle when I was in Thailand but the bottle didn’t break and it didn’t knock me out so I was just really surprised and in a lot of pain. I turned around expecting to see some other Marine that I had pissed off or a local dude that I had offended but instead I found myself looking down at a 90 lb girl who I had beat at connect four just a little bit before. She didn’t take that L very professionally.

Elbynerual26 karma

HOLY SHIT! YOU BEAT ONE OF THE CONNECT FOUR GIRLS!? That's borderline impossible; I've never seen anyone do it. No wonder she bottled you. =P

strapped_for_cash30 karma

Hahaha that’s the response I get from anyone who’s been to Phuket

Elbynerual12 karma

Lol, yep. 3 times. Adult Disneyland. Possibly the happiest place on Earth.

wargod_war4 karma

Except if you happen to be good at Connect 4 of course...

Elbynerual1 karma

Nah. You have to be some mythical legend of connect 4 to beat those girls. "Good" isn't enough to have a chance against them.

strapped_for_cash9 karma

truth. Playing Connect 4 in Thailand is like playing Kasparov at chess. You gotta be 30 steps ahead.

eohorp11 karma

I found myself looking down at a 90 lb girl who I had beat at connect four just a little bit before.

Sounds like my kinda girl, she plays to win!

strapped_for_cash27 karma

I would’ve married her but I got a pretty bad track record there too

supermilfy897 karma

How did the state not take you away if they proved she started the fire and wouldn’t receive insurance? Sounds like negligence on their part. Very happy to hear you are successful now and good luck with your daughter! 💖

strapped_for_cash12 karma

It was definitely a different time back then. This would’ve been the mid 90’s and in a rural part of Pennsylvania where everyone was poor and prolly on a bit of meth. I was pretty low priority for protection I guess. Sadly, my daughter is very uninterested in me as a human right now because her mother and I divorced and I have made some big mistakes in the process but I do love her very much and I hope one day to restore our bond to the level it used to be at. Thanks!

_wh6 karma

Why is Vic Mensa on a camel?

strapped_for_cash11 karma

Vice Mensa does whatever he wants to do

BrowAndBoogie5 karma

Is traffic still happening or did that become the autobiography?

strapped_for_cash4 karma

That was completely scrapped in favor of the material on The Autobigraphy. We’re moving on to new things. Vic felt like the material he prepared for Traffic didn’t represent him any longer and wanted to start fresh.

BrowAndBoogie3 karma

Thanks man. Do you think Vic is trying to transition into some sort of hybrid away from rap? Both the manuscript and the autobiography seem a lot less rap centric then innaetape or TAGO.

strapped_for_cash6 karma

No I think he is just doing what feels right to him at the moment. He’s a great singer and he has the ability to make meaningful songs without relying solely on auto tune for his sound. When he uses it, it’s an effect not a crutch. That’s a big difference.

BrowAndBoogie1 karma

Sweet. One more question doe. You mentioned that he's recording his album rn.. How's that going? How along in are y'all?

strapped_for_cash5 karma

There is literally no way to gauge what Vic Mensa is doing at any given time. He is a mystery

asydquiz641 karma

I'm late, but how does he come up with content for writing music? For example, does he write music based on a certain feeling at the time or some thoughts that pop into his head?

strapped_for_cash3 karma

He can be inspired by anything. A song, a moment, a comment. Anything. When it hits I just gotta be ready to capture it

strapped_for_cash5 karma

Verification can be found on my Instagram @Greazywil

dudelmao5 karma

What the fuck is happening with this gold everywhere?

strapped_for_cash13 karma

I just happen to like people commenting and being polite. So I gild them

feistysalsa4 karma

Hi! I have a family member who went to school for audio engineering and was recruited by a big-name studio after graduation. This relative was unable to work at the studio, as not long after recruitment, they started going blind from a birth defect.

My question for you is, would it be possible for a blind sound engineer to work in the business, much less get work in the business?

My relative's lifelong dreams are dashed, along with their vision. I'd love to see them happy again and pursuing their passion of music. Thank you!

strapped_for_cash5 karma

I think a blind engineer might be amazing at engineering. You only really need your ears. It would take a lot of work and you would need some custom gear for yourself to know where things are. But if you did all that I can’t see why you couldn’t be amazing at engineering. All you need is your ears

high_up44 karma

As someone really into listening to beats and generally underground music I really want to learn how to make beats not to many vocals if any but I have 0 idea wat to do. Can u give me some advice on where to start and what to do? I have little knowledge on DAWs and things of that sort. Also thank you for your service.

strapped_for_cash7 karma

Even I watch YouTube tutorials. Start with a specific song and try to copy the things they are doing. It won’t take you long to start figuring out the basics

high_up42 karma

Any equipment u recommend for beginners? Keyboards ? Anything else ?

strapped_for_cash17 karma

I think you never buy more than what you are capable of appreciating, meaning if you don't know the difference between the $1200 model and the $200 model then definitely get the $200 model. You won't know what you're missing until you're good enough to know its missing. That being said I love analog everything. I have several Prophets, a Moog, OP1, several Roland Boutique synths. My studio is a synth heaven, or at least it will be eventually. I'm always looking for new stuff, or rather, old stuff that is new to me.

mkkbae4 karma

What kind of music do you listen to personally? And does it influence the music you create? I'm a Nujabes fan myself (lo-fi hip hop and the like)

strapped_for_cash7 karma

I listen to just about everything. I don't particularly like current country music because its a bit boring to me but I can find almost any song interesting for some reason. I go through phases where I listen to one genre exclusively for a while but it usually relates to whatever artist or band I am working with. The best band of all time is the Beatles and the second best is Pink Floyd

MatanKatan4 karma

Would you have still joined the Marines had it not been for 9/11?

strapped_for_cash3 karma

Very likely. I didn’t have a good path set out and my brother had already joined the marines so it seemed like the right fit for me at the time.

MatanKatan4 karma

How's your brother doing?

strapped_for_cash6 karma

He’s doing well. I just saw him a few days ago while we were in Philly on tour. He has a nice house and family and has recovered from childhood well but he still has many dark stories rattling round in his head. We all carry our demons with us all the time

catofnortherndarknes3 karma

Do you have a huge Veteran Beard?

strapped_for_cash5 karma

No I’m starting to bald on top so I can’t go big on a beard. I’ll look ridiculous

Jtotheoey2 karma

A little late, but my dream look is a clean shaved head with a big ass beard. But I'm 32 and my beard shines with it's absence. I still have a full head of hair though, which is nice.

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I guess it’s all about perspective. It’s much easier to deal with baldness when it’s a choice

Jotakave3 karma

As a veteran, and having the depression and addiction issues you mentioned, what’s your stance on pot?

strapped_for_cash9 karma

I use pot and have ever since I left the Marines. At first it was to help me sleep and to help me lighten up but now I find that it really helps with a lot of my issues. To each his own though

RENEGADEcorrupt3 karma

You wanna help another struggling vet get a job?

strapped_for_cash3 karma

I can barely stay employed myself. What do you do?

DefaultWhiteMale33 karma

Can you elaborate on being shot by a rocket? Where did it hit? How did you survive? Did you leave any pieces behind? Did it leave any pieces behind in you? Sorry if I'm a little fixated on that one aspect of all this.

ipsum_stercus_sum5 karma

Rockets are no joke. They spit out splinters of metal in every direction, and rip through everything in their path. This is reddit, where you can ask anything, and you may get lucky and get an answer. But for anyone who has seen the effects of a rocket attack, the questions can bring back some unpleasant memories. If you really want to know about them, check out liveleak. Be warned, though - it can be.... Disturbing.

strapped_for_cash7 karma

you're absolutely right. If I can be graphic for a minute, my best friend who was hit in the face had his entire jaw ripped off and he looked like the Vampires from the Blade movies. I will never lose that image in my head. The jagged pieces of metal that went into my leg still sometimes work their way out.

strapped_for_cash2 karma

It impacted beside me and blew me back a few feet. Unfortunately, the brunt of the explosion was handled by my friend who was very seriously wounded and spent many years recuperating. I was injured pretty badly. I had a tennis ball sized hole in my leg for a minute until it filled back in.

DefaultWhiteMale33 karma

Wow. Thanks for the explanation. Glad you both made it out.

Also, your empathy for the guy shooting at you is a little surprising and very refreshing. War is dumb; good to see it didn't ruin you.

strapped_for_cash1 karma

It did for a little while. I let it define me and it hurt me a lot. I found later that by making more out of myself I was able to let go of that part of me and be proud of bigger things. The first step in that transformation was my daughter being born and realizing that I had more to live for.

Ade_931 karma

Have you got any tennis ball stories from Thailand?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I have a story about coke cans turning into sprite cans by magic but that’s not quite a story I’m willing to publish

scudsdoutmywiddly2 karma

Always good to hear a success story from someone like yourself. I've seen so many Marines get out and do nothing with themselves and it's heart breaking. I hope you know you're the kind of Marine we all aspire to be. If you're ever around pendleton I'm sure there's a bunch of us who would love to meet you and hear your story. So my question is what is the biggest piece of advice you could give somebody whose about to get out and have to start over?

strapped_for_cash4 karma

Someone told me when I got out that I would look back on my life and being a marine would be the most important thing I had ever done. I genuinely remember thinking at the time, “god I hope not.” That’s been the key. Don’t let it define you. Don’t let anything define you. Don’t be an “ex-marine” with your truck covered in USMC stickers and all your ribbons. Don’t even tell people you were a marine. Let them figure it out in casual conversation and be surprised. When I tell people I was a marine it’s almost always met with a bit incredulity and fascination. “How could this guy have been a marine?” I want every person to find out and be a little confused by it but also to think of course he was, he’s so hard working.

punchmyoctothorpe2 karma

Who were you with?

strapped_for_cash5 karma

In Iraq? I was with 1st battalion 4th Marines Alpha company

punchmyoctothorpe4 karma

Cool. I was with 3/3 L in Iraq and the stan. Semper.

strapped_for_cash5 karma

Oohrah Devil


Well im awfully late to this, but Good ol horno huh? Gotta love/hate that place.

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I still go there once a year to have a reunion with the boys and to climb to the crosses

jldestruct2 karma

What album did you work on with Frank? Everything he puts out is pure perfection, so just by association you must be amazing at your job.

Also, did you ever think you would reach this point while you were in school?

And a third question, because why not, if you could work with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?

strapped_for_cash3 karma

I worked on all the stuff Frank has put out in some capacity. He’s had two main engineers who are both really great and I have been fortunate to be in the occasional rotation for things as well.

I always dreamed of making it this far but definitely didn’t think it could be a reality. My wife at the time was very skeptical of my success for sure.

Jimi Hendrix.

alec_sadler2 karma

You turned tragedy into triumph, much respect.

Who was the coolest person you've worked with?

Do you get to interact with artists, or stay behind the scenes setting up audio?

Do you have any videos of you in the band? I would kinda like to see your musical style.

Your thoughts on "friendly fire"? It happens waaay more often than people think. It's understandable in the fog of war, but covering it up, which tends to happen, is never cool.

strapped_for_cash15 karma

I really liked working with Vic Mensa. He and I have spent so much time together that he’s become like family to me and I would do almost anything to help him, which is precisely why I am out on the road with him right now. He’s a very passionate and intelligent artist and he has always given me massive respect.

I typically work very closely with the artists in the studio. A lot of times it’s just the artist and myself alone in the studio. I really enjoy getting to influence popular culture in a very subtle and understated way.

I wish I had a video of myself. The guitarist in the band has a bunch of old home movies but this was really before everyone had a camera on their phone so I don’t know what is all out there. I do know that none of you would be very interested in it, as it was a progressive metal screamy type band.

Friendly fire is an unfortunate side effect of war that can’t be avoided very well. I don’t hold any ill will towards the people who were responsible because I know that on 3 hours of sleep with the fog of war surrounding you, you make some poor choices. No one wanted to hurt me except that dude that shot me with the rocket and even he was just defending himself against someone he viewed as an invader to his country. War is dumb

asydquiz641 karma

How did you put yourself in a position to become desirable to successful artists?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I just work really hard. I can't give any answer that isn't that. I always want to please people and in order to do that I go to any length and thats what people want at this level. Someone who cares about the problems and solves them at any cost.

asianbond_2 karma

I’m just a silly 15 year old kid with no crazy story. Thank you for your service. Just wondering if you think what happened in your early life impacted you for better or worse? Thanks in advance

strapped_for_cash2 karma

Every event in your life will influence you in some way. I was once a silly kid with no stories but I always believed that a man’s worth is in the stories he has to tell because I didn’t have any tangible things to value. So I said yes to things and took risks. I went to extremes to prove my worth in the world. I risked my life for the adventure. I still take big chances even when it’s a bad idea because I know that even if I fail I will still have the story. I wish I had the opportunities that some other people have had and the loving home environment some had but maybe that’s what drives me.

ElGuapo20102 karma

Hope you're still answering, are the members of Crystal Fighters as chill as they seem? Saw them at Shaky Knees in ATL and it's been one of my favorite shows.

strapped_for_cash2 karma

They’re great people. They’ve actually been in my studio while I’ve been out of town. They’re so unique and interesting to me. I have almost no way of defining them

scrillasean2 karma

Whats 2+2?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

9? I dunno, I failed maths

MSJMF2 karma

I thought of a question! Whose your least favorite ex wife?

strapped_for_cash7 karma

The last one. She hates me a lot.

oesalgado1 karma

Happy to hear that you dug yourself out of a terrible situation and that you made it out alive.

My question: How did you get your foot in the door within the industry?

I just moved to California two weeks ago (Santa Barbara to be specific and very lucky since I also come from nothing) and want to help a friend who's really talented in front of the right ears. Right now the angle I'm taking is using my photography to meet people in LA who might know someone that knows someone but I'm not sure if that's the optimal approach.

strapped_for_cash6 karma

I took every gig I could. Even if it was free. I once had a boss before I got into music that told me to never lose the value of knowledge. He paid me shit but he taught me a lot about being a good salesperson and a good friend. I used that knowledge so much in life that I now look at it as though that job paid 100k a year. Keep kicking down doors until someone listens to you. Never quit and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. I always say that if you’re the type of person who gets told “you can’t do that” and you just give up then maybe you should stick to something less challenging but if you hear that and think “fuck you, I do what I want” then you’ve already made it

oesalgado1 karma

I truly understand where you're coming from it's how I went from college dropout and almost homeless to living in this beautiful city. Is there a gig in particular that you recall which became your turning point where everyone was starting to notice your talent?

strapped_for_cash4 karma

When I started working for Alex Da Kid suddenly everyone took me seriously but it still feels like I am an underdog in the industry. It takes years and years of struggle to get somewhere. There’s no such thing as overnight success. It’s years and years of talent. I always like the story of the woman who asked Pablo Picasso to draw on a napkin for her and he did and when he finished he said “that’ll be $10k” and she said “it only took you ten minutes” and he said “my dear, that took me a lifetime”

diddylongbreadz_rm1 karma

What a story! All the best for you man :-)

How did you like 4:44 and what is your favorite track out of it?

strapped_for_cash3 karma

I love it. I think it’s so interesting for JayZ to change up his style and do a progressive rap album about his trials and tribulations and make it continuous and heartfelt. One of the best rap albums from beginning to end. I really love Marcy Me and he story of OJ

qwerty-confirmed1 karma


strapped_for_cash5 karma

No I don’t regret it. It gave me a lot of good habits to go along with the bad ones. I don’t agree with war and I definitely don’t agree with our reasons for invading Iraq but I am proud of my service and I know I did the best I could in the situation I was in. As far as a hero, I don’t know about all that. Jar Jar was no hero.

clidethedrummer1 karma

Out of all the artist you recorded, who was your favorite and why?

Thanks for your services as well!

strapped_for_cash4 karma

Vic Mensa is at the top and of course working with my wife is a dream come true. I also really enjoyed working with Frank Ocean and surprisingly, Nickelback are the greatest people in the world. They are the most humble, polite and kind people on this planet. Doesn’t hurt that they’re all Canadian

clidethedrummer1 karma

What DAW do you use?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

All of them. I rely primarily on protools for my engineering work because it’s the industry standard but I use ableton for the live shows and to create and I am fairly proficient in logic as well. I am going to buy a pc and learn fruity loops when I have time. There’s never any time but you gotta force yourself. I gave up video games so I could have more time to perfect my craft

clidethedrummer2 karma

I use Studio one myself. I was also using Logic but couldn't stand Mac. Is their a band/artist you would like to record?

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I just want to work with people who still have the passion for creating. It’s not fun working for people who are doing it for the money. I would rather work for an up and coming band that has the desire to make a change in the world of music than someone who can just pay me a lot of money. I’ve always chosen pride over payment. Always

oesalgado2 karma

Can I throw a hail mary and send you a link to a track of my up and coming friend? ;)

strapped_for_cash2 karma

Sure send away. I can’t do shit for anyone but I’ll listen anyway. If I had any pull in this industry I would be using it all for my wife’s project anyway lol

tacodepollo1 karma

Thanks for your time, I am looking into getting into a more professional recording setting myself. What steps did you take between discovering your passion to realizing it? Any sort of degree or further education?

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I went to a school in Phoenix that was 9 months long and gave me the basics of engineering and then from there I just did it. I know the 10,000 hour thing isn’t exactly accurate but I do think if you just do something all the time until you know everything about it eventually you become really good at it.

tacodepollo1 karma

Thank you so much.

That sounds really amazing. What's the 10k hour rule? DO something for 10k hours and you will master it?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

Yeah essentially. It could be anything. Even if you start with no skill, by 10k hours you’re a pro

tacodepollo1 karma

Thanks. I've been recording and mixing music for about 17 years now, as a hobby until about 5 years ago when I took it to the next step. I've been focusing on electronic music since about 7 years now and have a healthy handfull of releases, currently finnishing my album, contract already signed.

My long term goal has always been to make film/advertisement music and sound design in general, not exclusive to the music industry. I am currently looking for an internship/apprenticeship with any post-production houses/agencies in my city at the moment, but i seem to be running in circles, any advanced tips perhaps?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I met more connections for this industry in bars and places where I wasn't looking for connections than I did looking in the traditional places. Its a tough world to get into and people are very guarded against letting people in. I always do things for free for people to build up a reputation too.

STiSausage1 karma

What do you think about Bitcoin?

strapped_for_cash6 karma

I used to buy large quantities of bitcoin to purchase, uh, stuff, off of the internet back around 2011 or so. I once had 470 bitcoin when bitcoin cost nothing. I wish I had that instead of those jelly beans I bought. Even in the beginning of the year this year I purchased a couple bitcoin to pay a friend back and then right after I gave him it they went up 800%. Im always on the wrong side of money transactions.

nsprdbymu1 karma


strapped_for_cash1 karma

Till the 7th, you coming to the show or the club performance?

nsprdbymu1 karma


strapped_for_cash3 karma

Well don’t expect any free tickets lol, I had to buy tickets for my wife and her dad in chicago cuz the guest list is full as fuck!

mralexanderwesley1 karma

I heard he cancelled one of his tour dates because of problems with the video crew, what really transpired there? also any advice for an audio engineer stuck in corporate AV?

strapped_for_cash2 karma

They just did not have the ability to properly hang the screens in those venues I believe.

Advice? Stop doing things you don’t want to do. that’s it. I know it sounds stupid cuz you’re like “that’s how I make money” but that’s also how people know you. Stop being that guy and people will call you for the right gigs

SentinelFPS1 karma

You said you were shot with not so friendly fire? That doesn’t mean intentional friendly fire does it? You meant enemy fire?

strapped_for_cash4 karma

No I was just making a joke about how silly a phrase friendly fire is. Like yeah, that bullet was neighborly as hell when it tore through my body

Deranks1 karma

So was boot camp difficult for you? Were you mentally scarred?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I actually was in really good shape from years of wrestling so it wasn’t too tough. I actually somewhat enjoyed it.

160swiftly1 karma

Would you reccomend a career in Sound Engineering? How's the pay?

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I love it but it absolutely has to be something you love to do or else the months of 16 hour days will wear you out and make you hate it. I wouldn’t recommend doing anything unless you love it. The pay sucks to start but eventually you can make a lot. It’s all relative I think

BlakMakk1 karma

I'm near Hollywood. What is your rates for recording?

strapped_for_cash2 karma

Pm your info and we can talk. I’m pretty booked right now but the new year is coming and I free up then

WhichWayzUp1 karma

When you were honorably discharged from the military with a purple heart, does that earn you some sort of monthly disability stipend for the rest of your life?

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I do get disability and that helps a lot in my lifestyle because I don’t always get a consistent paycheck but mostly it pays my ex wife’s rent every month. So sort of not

Chicopedazos931 karma

So do any of these guys in the music business have actual talent? Or do they all just pay Bruno Mars to make a song for them? All joking aside, do they really have talent or just pay for their publicity? My brother in law was a winner for the "Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento" show and he told me some crazy stories about the music business.

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I work with really talented people mostly so I don’t know about that. Bruno Mars doesn’t even write Bruno Mars songs, that’s 1500 or nothing.

UWillNeverGetDis1 karma

Hey man, stoked to see a vet excelling in the "real" world, a term whose application I generally find pretty ironic.

My question is: how do you think the things you saw and did in the Marines informs your perspective on the new challenges you face today and the ones you expect to face in the future?

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I remember when I went to school for recording, they told us "don't expect to do anything but clean toilets and get food for people when you first get into the industry" and I thought, "at least they don't expect me to do it with my own toothbrush." The military gave me something amazing that you can't buy anywhere, and that is something worse to compare it to. Its easy to say "I've had worse" and that makes it easier to go on.

justin_memer1 karma

Why don't you use paragraphs? JK, is there anything you don't like about working with celebrities?

strapped_for_cash1 karma

I don’t like egos so if people are relatively shitty towards me for no reason I don’t appreciate it. Mostly though, I find that celebrities are often really great people and just like every one else, just richer and more famous

Theoriginalmegapedia0 karma

  1. Thank you for your service. Truly amazing.

  2. Coke or Pepsi?

strapped_for_cash13 karma

Coke. Pepsi is the piss of Satan.

werwhtwepretendtob-6 karma

Do you think the men who came back from WWII bragged about their service when they came home?

strapped_for_cash5 karma

Do you think I am bragging? I don't mean to. I hope it doesn't come off that way. I feel its very important to share my history and experiences and the opinions that formed from them because not a lot of people have these experiences and if more people understand how awful war is then perhaps we will stop doing it so much

TigerRei6 karma

Former Army here. You're not bragging. What most people don't realize is that stories of war drive home to civilians why conflicts are bad. Without stories from servicemen coming back, the average person would have no idea the horrors that young men have to deal with. Or that ideals tend to last until the first firefight and then it becomes protecting your brothers and sisters. That no matter how lofty our goals are, when the shit hits the fan it's all about watching over ourselves and each other. Showing our scars is not bragging. It's informing the people about what happens in the world so that hopefully future generations can continue to seek out peace.

strapped_for_cash1 karma

Thats how I feel but obviously there are people who are either trolls or simply disagree but thats ok.

Guano--11 karma

Why did you agree to illegally occupy a country and contribute to the destabilization, theft of resources, and displacement millions?

strapped_for_cash6 karma

Nah I'm not falling for this twice bro. Go buy yourself gold for being an asshole. I reward nice people not assholes.

ipsum_stercus_sum3 karma

Ignore the idiots. I get this often, and responding only encourages them.

strapped_for_cash2 karma

I try.

VIIX-54 karma

Who cares?

strapped_for_cash41 karma

I mean, I guess not you. That’s cool though. I hope you find something on Reddit that you do care about so you don’t have to go around being a dick to people for no reason.

VIIX-49 karma

Yeah, we can't all care about pointing guns at innocent civilians.

strapped_for_cash45 karma

Lol. Ya know what? Have some gold. Maybe it’ll cheer you up some.