Nico is a self-taught musician, born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He began playing guitar in 2003 when he was gifted an acoustic guitar by a family friend. Soon after, he learned classic rock riffs that reinforced his desire to get an electric guitar to began playing power chords, leads, and solos. That holiday, Nico was gifted a Fender Squire starter pack and after playing for a few years, Nico changed out his equipment to a Dean Baby ML, Peavey Duel 212, and a Digitech “The Weapon” pedal to make, “The perfect metal tone!” (hah)
In High School, Nico started a band with some classmates and performed around the city and in their High School’s battle of the bands for about three years. (They didn’t win.) Toward the end of High School, Nico upgraded his guitar to a Schecter Damien Platinum 6 as Avenged Sevenfold was a very big influence of his at the time.
After disbanding in 2007, Nico helped form a more “technical” death metal band named, “Amidst the Silence” that went on to record 3 songs at Arcane Digital in Chandler, Arizona. Nico played bass in the band when they played a handful of shows with Carnifex and Winds of Plague in their 1 year tenure.
In the summer of 2008, Nico moved to Flagstaff, AZ to pursue higher education at Northern Arizona University. There, he began honing his recording skills, again upgraded his gear to an LTD F100FM, Randall 100 Watt head and cab, and a Digitech Decimator pedal. He also met Mark Garrett there, whom would later be invited to sing for Kardashev.
Nico moved back home in 2009 and joined an Arizona local band, “Composer, Meet Corpse” with whom he spent almost three years playing shows, writing/recording music, and networking with the local scene which again required a gear upgrade to Peavey Valve King 100, Krank SST head/cab combo, LTD EC-1000, Maxon OD 808, and a Boss DD-2. Toward the end of Nico’s involvement with Composer, he sold his Krank setup to fund the desired Fractal Axe FX Ultra from a friend which allowed him to record Composer’s first full length album, “Prozium” in his home studio with Propellerhead’s Reason software and a two track M-Audio interface.
At the height of Composer, Meet Corpse’s momentum, Nico left the band and invited Mark Garrett and James Hyatt to join him and bass player, Chris Gerlings, in creating a new band around the concepts of Science, Technology, and Altruism. They took on the challenge of embodying the tropes introduced to metal by the musical geniuses, The Contortionist, Aegaeon, and Fallujah. Thus, Kardashev was defined.
Nico lead Kardashev’s sound into the modern era by utilizing the capabilities of Fractal Audio’s Axe FX Ultra as the sole guitar and bass tone generation unit. Heads and Cabs were a thing of the past. Mic’ing cabs was no longer necessary as they developed the tones for all their needs and sent them directly in the front of house at shows, or into a recording interface at home. This also meant reaching beyond their comfort zone and performing on extended range instruments. Nico went through a number of seven string guitars to fully develop the Kardashev sound including Schecter Diamond 7, Agile 725 PRO, Ibanez RG7321, and finally, an Ibanez Prestige RGD7UCS.
Nico continued to innovate on the technological front of the band by helping to integrate a live projector screen to fill the back stage with hand crafted video content that would run seamlessly with the live audio. In-line triggering of guitar/bass tones through midi processing helped keep the audio and video in a snap-tight, seamless performance.
In early 2015, Nico began pursuing live streaming as a possible avenue to bring a global audience to every show whenever possible. Now, multiple times per week, Nico streams on Twitch.
In early, 2018, Nico began working on Kardashev’s next album along with their followup to IOTA, titled, “IOTA pt. II”.
- Kardashev (2012 – present)
- UK Tech-Fest (2015)
- Southwestern USA tour, “Game of Tones Tour” (2014)
- The Room Colored Charlatan (2017 – 2018)
- Independent Documentary, “Unzipped” (2016)
- Jerry Grannan’s Musical Project, “Simulated Reality” (2016)
- Independent Documentary, “A Mess of the Mind” (2015)
- Composer, Meet Corpse (2009 – 2012)
- The Coat Hanger Method (2009)
- Amidst the Silence (2008)
- Autophogist (2007)
- Tainted Winter (2006-2007)