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Meet Johannes Gritschacher of Gridchecker in Studio City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Johannes Gritschacher.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Johannes. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
My dad was the one who got me into music when I was two years old or so. He would show me Phil Collins VHS tapes and artists like Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Dave Brubeck, and many others. I would play on pots and pans, and at age 5, my parents decided to sign me up for an early music education at the local music school.

Every week they introduced different instruments, but I already knew I wanted to learn the drums. So when I was six, I started weekly drum lessons with a teacher. Throughout the years I went to many drum workshops with drummers from all over the world and started doing classical percussion and drum competitions.

After receiving several awards and being featured in magazines, my parents trusted me with going abroad to study music. I auditioned for Berklee College of music in Boston. I got accepted and received a scholarship in my second semester. At Berklee, I studied with legendary teachers such as Hal Crook, Terri Lyne Carrinton, Kim Plainfield and many more. I also decided to add Contemporary Writing and Production as a second Major in addition to Performance.

In my last semester, I decided to move to LA because I was always interested in the Pop industry and culture. In 2016, I moved to Los Angeles and had been working here as a drummer for artists such as Olivia O’Brien, played on shows such as America’s Got Talent and recorded for several movies including Woody Woodpecker (available on Netflix).

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not always been easy, no. I have encountered big ups and also big downs. One day I would play a show in front of 200.000 people, and a week later I would set up my drums next to a dumpster in Hollywood to play a free show with friends.

As a musician, you never know what’s next. I really learned to trust the process. You never really know when you make it. Instead of setting a goal I just focus more on daily routines and paths to get somewhere. Where? I don’t really know. Most people might achieve something but are always striving for more, as soon as you arrive where you’ve always wanted to be.

So for me, it’s more important to focus on daily tasks and smaller goals and to know that I consistently grow as a musician and person. It also took me a few months to land a job in LA that paid the bills. So I definitely went through some humbling times where I had to figure out how I’m going to buy groceries.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
As a musician, you have to cover different grounds these days. I’m a hired gun, a session drummer. That includes going on tour with different artists, recording on albums, playing in music videos. But I also helped putting together live shows for artists. I would put a band together for them, arrange their music for a live setting and run tracks which enhance the live performance.

I also work as a producer and songwriter. It feels good to have a creative outlet and to develop a simple lyric or instrumental idea to a full song. I’ve been focusing more on writing and producing this year, but I produced and co-wrote a song for an artist about three years ago that has racked up 300.000 streams which is pretty solid for an independent release.

I’m most proud of my versatility I would say. Over the past few years, I definitely had to adapt to many different work environments and different styles of music.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
LA is definitely the center of the pop industry. There are so many opportunities, and the whole entertainment industry is based here. It’s not just music but also TV, film, commercials. And so much content is created every day, and a lot of music is needed. Every day another talent gets signed that needs a band which is great,

I would definitely say that before moving here, people should try to establish a relationship and get some work lined up. Life is expensive here, so you need a game plan and financial resources to sustain yourself in times of no work.

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Image Credit:

Blackprints, Blair Brown

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