What You Might Not Know About Classless Act's .....
Vocalist Derek Day:
• Derek is a first generation American, and a native Californian. His father is from Poland, and his mother from Honduras.
• From the time he was about 13 until he was 23, he learned his craft as a guitarist/live performer busking on the L.A. streets, often at Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade.
• If he wasn’t a musician, he’d be some sort of chef, as he feels that music and food are very similar to each other, as both are about taste, precision, and feel. While he’s really not much of a cook, he does like the idea of breaking an egg and seeing what he can do with it.
• He looks up to David Bowie for his fashion sense, his artistic transformation, his persistence, and his work ethic of “work hard, believe in yourself, and never quit.”
• Derek appeared at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert at L.A.’s Kia Forum on Sept. 27, 2022, where he joined Dave Grohl and members of the Foo Fighters as well as Motley Crue for a special two-song set.
• Most prized possessions: his 15 guitars. A big fan of Fender guitars, the company gifted him a 2017 Stratocaster that resembles Jim Hendrix’s, and he calls “Milkshake” - it’s creamy white, and Derek loves milkshakes.
Bassist Franco Gravante:
• Franco was born and raised in Argentina, where his family still lives. His upbringing was very different from growing up in the U.S. Very humble, life was about family and friends, socializing and playing soccer in the streets. Moving to Los Angeles was a strange experience for him, and in the early days, he supported himself as a cook, and working construction jobs, a skill his father taught him as a teen.
• The first band Franco fell in love with was AC/DC. When he was about eight years old, he “found” Back In Black and played it 24/7. His very first concert - when he was 12 - was AC/DC at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires.
• Franco plays piano, guitar and bass. He considers himself more a guitarist than a bassist, but acknowledges that “every band needs a bass player.” He produced the track "Classless Act" on the band's debut album, and co-produced (with the rest of the band) and mixed the new EP, "Welcome to the Acoustic Show."
• When he was 12 and wanting to play in his brother’s band, Franco’s father got him his first bass, a really cheap one, not really designed to play live, but it was a bass, and the one he played in his brother’s band. At 14, while walking home from school, a bass in a store window caught his eye. He asked his father if he’d buy it for him, and that Franco promised he would pay him back. But his father said no, that he wanted to get Franco something better. The two did some research and found a really expensive red Fender from America. Although he was still 14, his father bought and gave it to him “as his 18th birthday present.” Today, while Franco regularly plays a bass gifted from Fender, that red 1996 Fender goes with him everywhere, whether he’s in the studio, or onstage performing. He considers it his most prized possession.
Guitarist Dane Pieper
• Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, adopted at birth. Dane grew up in LaJolla, CA, a very affluent area, but with people who didn’t look like him. LaJolla has a beach culture, but not a refined ethnic culture at all. When he was young, he accompanied his mom at Thanksgiving and Christmas, delivering meals for Meals On Wheels, and spending time with people in need.
• First concert - Kool and the Gang opening for Van Halen in San Diego, he was 10 years old. Van Halen was a big favorite, especially as “they have the ethos and creativity that I think our band can really do well - have a fun aspect of rock music and not take ourselves too seriously. To see Edward play in person was amazing."
• Early guitar influences were Slash, Edward Van Halen, Brian May.
• The two main common denominators in his life were sports and music. He attended Santa Monica Community College, first year, just focused on studies, as well as playing on the school’s volleyball team. Had a lot of time to himself, a long-distance girlfriend, so few distractions. He had been following a thread of being involved in sports, but the “alone" time led him to realize he wanted to play music.
• “Can’t Hurt Me,” a memoir written by former Navy Seal, David Goggins, had a huge impact on Dane’s life. Goggins had struggled to find purpose, he was overwhelmed, super overweight and worked at a Denny’s on the overnight shift. But, then he overcame all of his obstacles, physically and mentally. He lost a ton of weight over a few months, joined the Navy Seals - was the 35th black Navy Seal ever, served in the Iraq War, and now is an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker and author.
• He is a dedicated and regular meditator.
• Before Classless Act, he had jobs coaching volleyball, and axe throwing.
...and about all members of Classless Act:
Each one of the five guys in Classless Act sings, write songs, and is an multi-instrumentalist - they’ve actually talked about doing a live show where, when they come out on stage to play, would all switch instruments, not playing their “go to” instrument” - Griffin (guitar) on drums, Franco (bass) on guitar, Chuck (drums) on bass, and so on. They are all THAT talented. And, as is evident on the band’s “Classless Act” acoustic video, vocalist Day is totally in the moment, passionate, immersed in the song’s story like he’s singing the words for the first time ever.