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Derek Day
American singer, guitarist and rock musician

Derek Day

Derek Day
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American singer, guitarist and rock musician
Known for Lead vocalist for Classless Act; Guitarist and vocalist for The Kidneys
A.K.A. Derek Wlodyka, Derek Max Day
Is Singer Rock musician Guitarist
From United States of America
Field Music
Gender male
Birth Los Angeles, California
Residence Los Angeles, California
Family
Siblings: Kenneth WlodykaWaldemar WlodykaStanley Wlodyka
Audio
Spotify
The details

Biography

Derek Day is an American guitarist and singer. He is currently the lead vocalist for Los Angeles-based rock band, Classless Act.

Early life

Derek Day was born Derek Wlodyka in Atwater, California. He grew up in Los Angeles downtown-area with his three brothers: Kenneth, a guitarist; Waldemar, a guitarist and a graduate of Berklee College of Music; and Stanley, a literature major from UCLA.

He attended John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California and later, Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California.

Music career

Early days

According to his mother, Derek once started singing along to "We Will Rock You" during a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial on TV. He was only 4 months at the time. He began playing a plastic guitar with 4 string when he was 6. Later, his father bought him his dream guitar, a Pacifica Yamaha, and he continued to practicing guitar and singing, while attending the school. His favorite music styles were rock, motown, jazz, funk, and experimental.

He fell in love with the sound of electric guitar when he watched a video of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Yngwie Malmsteen playing guitar on their G3 tour. Gradually, the self-taught musician began performing on the street and by the age of 13, he had begun performing at the Venice Beach and on the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade. He also formed and played in local bands.

The Kidneys

In 2011, he co-founded his first band, The Kidneys. Derek was the vocalist and the guitarist, with Ricardo Martinez on bass guitar, and Nathaniel Contreras on Drums. The band was active from 2011 and 2016. They performed live, released EPs almost each year, and released their first full-length album in July 2016.

The Kidneys

Singles:

  • December 2011: Stupid Zombies
  • August 2013: Live at Erick's (Conformity and T'sonly)
  • March 2014: Flounder
  • August 2015: Over There
  • April 2016: Convenient Store Stick​-​up

Album:

  • July 2016: Conformity

HOTSTOP

In January 2013, Derek and brother Waldemar formed a rock band, HOTSTOP. Both played guitar and had signed on two additional members who had recently moved to Los Angeles for the band: Bryn William from Ohio on vocals, and Drü Marshall from Florida on drums. The band was signed by Blue Elan Records. Due to poor reception in Los Angeles, the band decided to move to Nashville and Derek left the band to pursue his solo career.

Solo

While working with local bands, Derek regularly released singles. 

  • July 2016: Bennie & The Jets
  • September 2016: HoneyMoon
  • September 2016: Beat With Mine
  • December 2016: A​+​+​ached
  • August 2017: Face Me (feat. Philip Bynoe who has worked with Slash and Steve Vai)
  • August 2018: Social Kitten

Ultimate Jam Night

In early 2016, Derek's manager, Ali Shayestah, was able to get Derek booked at the coveted Ultimate Jam Night at Whisky A Go-Go bar on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Ultimate Jam Night is a weekly live music show created by Chuck Wright of Quiet Riot. The show is hosted by Paulie Z. and known and not-so-known rock musicians perform weekly. The list of past performers include big rock n' roll figures such as Robin Zander (Cheap Trick,) Steve Vai, Dee Snider, Robby Krieger (The Doors,) Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme,) Scott Page (Pink Floyd,) Rikki Rockett (Poison,) and Eric Dover (Jellyfish, Slash's Snakepit) among others. The show's creator, Chuck Wright, was immediately impressed by Derek's star performance. Derek, thus, became a weekly, regularly featured artist at the historic venue.

That year, Steve Vai happened to see a video of Derek performing on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. Impressed, Vai said, "This guy has a nice fire in him... he has a powerful charisma...", and invited him to open for him at his "Passion and Warfare" concert at The Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 10 December 2016.

The following year, in 2017, he got a chance to perform at NAMM, the Sundance Film Festival and in May, to open up for Living Colour, and for Ted Nugent for his "Rockin America Again" tour. His growing profile caught attention of the guitar maker, Fender, and earned him an official endorsement from the brand.

Classless Act

In March 2018, Derek was approached by the Los Angeles-based rock band, Classless Act, which was founded in 2016 by London Hudson (son of Guns N' Roses guitarist, Slash) and Nico Tsangaris. Derek joined the band as the lead singer, with Hudson as the drummer, Tsangaris as the lead guitarist, Dane Pieper as the rhythm guitarist, and Franco Gravante as the bassist.

Their first live performance was in May 2018 at "Ride for Ronnie," a tribute concert to honor Ronnie James Dio at Los Encinos State Historic Park. The band played a cover of Black Sabbath's The Mob Rules. The other performers at the concert were: Steven Adler's All Star Band, Michael Devin (Whitesnake,) Lita Ford, Robert Sarzo (Hurricane,) Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot,) Patrick Stone (Budderside,) and Jeff Pilson (Dokken and former Dio guitarist.)

On 16 October 2018, Classless Act opened for "Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators" concert at The Palladium in Hollywood, California.

Classless Act at  Ride for Ronnie, May 2018

 

Derek Day performing on the streets of Santa Monica, in 2018

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References
https://web.archive.org/web/20200103041205/https://www.thecomplexslc.com/event-1240.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20200102230148/http://www.metaltalk.net/news2016sg/2016744.php
https://web.archive.org/web/20200103043106/https://www.derekdaymusic.com/bio
https://web.archive.org/web/20200103040117/https://www.lewitt-audio.com/endorser/derek-day
https://web.archive.org/web/20200102231933/https://www.mostmetro.com/event/hotstop-at-south-park-tavern
https://web.archive.org/web/20200102230148/http://www.metaltalk.net/news2016sg/2016744.php
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