Who are we? Where do we come from? What do we do?
Andrew Michel was born in Chula Vista, California on July 26, 1984. He was brought up in a very musical family where his father plays guitar and brother plays bass. His first instrument was clarinet which he started playing at the age of 12. later, he began trying out other instruments and finally found himself playing bass. His first style of music was jazz. Andrew was the bass player for his junior high jazz ensemble where he won an award for best jazz musician. Andrew helped start a small jazz combo when he entered high school. For a while he had a gig with his father playing at an italian restaurant for $50 a night and a free meal. Andrew was asked by Steve Picanza and Pablo Contreras to play bass for a progressive rock band when they saw him playing bass at a festival with the jazz combo. Even though Andrew had never heard of progressive rock, he agreed to try it out. Andrew cought on quickly and was automatically in the band on his first day trying it out. Andrew still plays jazz today as well as rock and other types of music. He uses a '76 Fender P-Bass,a Yamaha 5 String, and Peavy amplifier. His major influences are Jaco Pastorius and John Myung of Dream Theater.
John Shimkus was born in the winter of 1984 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. At the age six, he moved west to Flagstaff, Arizona where he started playing the trumpet in the fifth grade. He then moved to Bisbee, Arizona and was involved in a number of small garage bands. While in these bands, he learned how to play bass, guitar, and drums. In the Summer of 1999, John moved to Chula Vista and in Spring of 2000 met Steve Picanza. Steve heard John sing some Led Zepplin and then tried him out to be in his band. One thing led to another, and the end result was Synergy.
San Diego native Pablo Contreras has been playing drums since he was five years old. Since his birth in 1982, music has always surrounded him. His father was a Musician/drummer and a major influence on Pablo as he began playing the drums. A young rocker, Pablo would sit and play to all the GNR records and Matt Sorum was his idol. After joining the middle school band, Pablo began taking music and the drums a lot more serious. He began studying music and listening to jazz, fusion, and funk. Much of his progress was cut short by his second love; Sports. Soon, sports began to take over. Instead of playing the drums 4 to 5 hours a day he began working out and going to football practice non-stop. After playing for the Varsity football team and receiving several MVP awards, along with playing at Qualcomm stadium, Pablo yearned for playing drums again. During his junior and senior years of high school Pablo began taking drums serious again when he joined the drum line. Along with his fathers advice and encouragement, he began to study music and learn to lose his ego and become one with his instrument. He formed SynergY along with Steve in the fall of 1999. Bassist Andrew soon joined and frontman John joined later that year. Pablo plays a 5 piece custom Tama rockstar drumkit, with a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute as a main snare drum and a Ludwig supraphonic as an aux. snare drum, he plays Zildjian cymbals and uses Zildjian sticks, he uses Evans drumheads, DW pedals, and Shure microphones. His influences include: Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Mike Portnoy, Dave Weckl and the support of his family.
Jason was born in the summer of 1983. He comes from a very musical family and very early on started playing piano. Jason says that he gets most of his inspiration and talent from is Father. Jason plays a Yamanha keyboard.
Steve was born outside of Queens New York in the winter of 1982. Steve comes from a very musical family and attributes all of his talent from his family. His grandfather played many many instruments along with his father. When Steve turned around 10 he got his first guitar. It was a black Strat like replica. He took some lessons but soon relized that they weren't teaching him anything. He soon just started playing by himself and with the kids in the neighborhood. In 1994 Steve moved to SD and eventually hooked up with Pablo and they started playing and just jamming and hanging out. Around 1998 they started taking this shit seiously and really started playing. That takes us to today where Steve playes a Gibson Les Paul, a Gibson Maurader. He runs it all thru a Marshall VS100 Head and a 1960 Lead 4x12 Cabinet with 75w celestion speakers. The only effects Steve uses is his Morley Wah peddle, Dannelectro DanEcho, and his Flanger peddle. Steve's Influences include: Ace Frehley, Kirk Hammit, John Petrucci, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, and his family.