(electric and acoustic guitars)

Al "Ancil" Palacio (electric and acoustic guitars) is an Orange County, California native who has been playing musical instruments since the 3rd grade. The alto saxophone was the first instrument that caught his eye and so began his love affair with all things music.

What followed were many years of school band performances, marching band field shows and parades, which eventually led Al to join the famed Santa Ana Winds Band, "Official Ambassadors of Music for Orange County." Guitar also being his passion at this time, Al left the "The Winds" after one last TV performance in the Hollywood Christmas Parade and made guitar his instrument of pursuit.

He took in a summer session at GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, which claims musicians from Maroon 5, Weezer and many of today's top recording and touring professionals as its alumni. After leaving GIT and a brief stint in Manhattan regrouping with his previous band's drummer, Al returned to Southern California where he met up with Scott Bottomley to form the band "Room With A View." This group garnered radio airplay on KLOS Radio Los Angeles with their songs "Remember" and "We Just Smile." This group morphed into the band "Eye 2 Eye" which became the nucleus of what is now Etch.

When he wasn't playing guitar, Al was making them (bass guitar that is). He was a team member of the original and now world-famous Fender Custom Shop under founder John Page in Corona, California. During this time John tasked Al to move temporarily to Santa Barbara, CA to work with legendary bass guitar maker Phil Kubicki along with Fender Custom Shop master builders Art Esparza and Fred Stuart. During his stay in the sunny beach community of SB Phil was so impressed with Al's guitar playing that he gave access to him to play his collection of priceless guitars and prototypes, many of which Phil was not immediately known for developing due to his X Factor bass guitar design fame. Before leaving his stint with Phil Kubicki, Phil sold him an African Padauk Stratocaster body and a one-piece Rosewood Mini Flying V (1 of 300 made). The Stratocaster is now one of Al's main recording guitars due its amazing rich sound and rarity.

Al's main guitar influences are as varied as the music he listens too. "I'm influenced by musicians who play with feeling and from the heart. That's the way I have always approached guitar. My best performances come from music that I'm inspired to play. If you have that then the parts just seem to write themselves. As for guitar players I admire, there are a lot. Too many to mention but off the top of my head there is Jeff Beck, who is pure magic when he plays. No question! He takes a simple approach but manages to conjure up otherworldly sounds that no one can touch.

Gary Moore is another player that has had a deep impact on my playing. He played with such feel and emotion, which is the way I approach my lead playing. Parisienne Walkways is my favorite song from him. Other guitar players I really admire are Neal Schon of Journey. He has a great singing vibrato to his playing. Then there is Johnny Marr king of the indie guitarists and Jamie West-Oram of The FIXX, both of which have had an impact on my rhythm and textural playing. Randy Rhoads was brilliant and a dedicated classical guitar player. His dedication to both his electric and classical was very inspirational to me. Little known guitarist Alan Murphy who played with Go West and Level 42 was amazing too. His speed and tremolo bar technique were second to none. Simply awesome! Steve Stevens from Billy Idol's band and Dominic Miller from Sting's band are a big time influence on my nylon string guitar playing. Trevor Rabin is another amazing player and film scoring inspiration. And then there is the mighty LUKE -- Steve Lukather. Everything he plays is brilliant. Neil Giraldo (Pat Benatar band) is one of the coolest pop rock guitarist too. He's an encyclopedia of iconic riffs! The list goes on but those are some of the players I admire the most.”

Excerpts below from the Yahoo article: Exclusive Interview with Etch: The Rise of the Indie Artist

How does an indie musician/band succeed today? Is there a magic formula?

"Success is playing the music you want to play and feeling good about it. Any more than that is icing on the cake!"

Who are your musical influences and have they changed over the years?

"I really love music and being a musician. To me that is first and foremost in my life. That said, I've been influenced by pretty much all genres of music. I've never limited myself to one type of music. Growing up the music that was in my house was all the early Mowtown stuff, The Jackson 5, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind And Fire, then came KISS, Led Zepplin, Peter Frampton, and after that the '80s Rock, Metal and New Wave bands like Journey, Van Halen, John Waite, The Police, The Fixx, Ozzy with Randy Rhoads, Gary Moore, Johnny Marr, and a slew of others. But at the same time I was also playing sax in marching bands and was heavily influenced by pieces of music such "Pictures At An Exhibition" by composer Modest Mussorgsky as well as Mozart, Vivaldi and Bach. I still listen to a lot of different kinds of music; however, I spend more time creating our own."

With the Internet, a musician can upload his music in seconds so it can be heard around the world. Getting music out is easier today than before the Internet, but the competition is tough. Is it a double-edged sword being a musician in a time when everything in the world is changing so fast?

"Hmm… That's an interesting question because on the one hand you can upload a song on say Facebook, Spotify and YouTube and get instant feedback from people all around the world which is valuable. However, with it being so easy to upload music it also makes it hard to stand out in an ocean of bands."

What are your thoughts on YouTube? Is it a valuable tool for a musician?

"Absolutely! YouTube is the new MTV and more. It levels the playing field and gives independent artists an avenue to present their music in a visual way similar to the way MTV used to. It also allows artists to connect with and build their audience through not only the use of music videos but with vlogs, behind-the-scenes studio time and out on tour. Not possible many years ago if you weren't signed to a major label."


Scott Bottomley (vocals, keyboards and bass guitar)
Al "Ancil" Palacio (electric and acoustic guitars)
Jeff Siciliani (acoustic and electronic drums)
Ian "The Tape Doctor" Miller (bass guitar and producer)


Al endorses
 Trailer Trash Pedalboards

The never-ending search for the Holy Grail of guitar gear takes a giant step for Al with his recent endorsement with
"Trailer Trash Pedalboards."
"James "Rooster" Olson simply builds the best custom pedalboards, period!"
See Al's board in Premier Guitar.


© iFive Records/Another Flight Music (ASCAP)