Hailing from Houston, Texas, Drive was formed by Rick Chavez (guitar/vocals/songwriter) when he was barely out of high school.  Chavez led the band with his extraordinary guitar technique and amazing ability to tell stories with his songs. The twin axe attack was accompanied by guitarists Mercy Valdez and later Mike Conde, (when Valdez left the band for personal reasons.) Drive was fronted by the unique and remarkable vocal range of David Taylor and rounded out by the pounding fury of bassist Michael Anthony Guerrero and hyperactive drumming of Valentin San Miguel. Included on some of these never before released tracks are the talents of booming bass player Michael E. Ribeiro and the skilled drumming technique of Carlos Cervantes.

On June 25, 2009, singer David Taylor lost control of his vehicle after a tire came off, causing him to crash. He was airlifted to an area hospital where he died of his injuries five days later.  Upon hearing of Taylor’s passing, 20th Century Music label heads Kai Brockschmidt and Dave Tedder reached out to Chavez via Facebook to offer condolences and a virtual relationship began. Brockschmidt had first become a fan of the band when he grabbed a vinyl copy of Characters In Time in 1988. They asked Chavez if there were any unreleased songs, but devastated by the loss of his brother and singer, Chavez wasn’t ready to talk music.

“Been literally looking for Rick’s whereabouts for ages as Drive have always been one of my fave bands. There are only few bands around with this amount of talent. We are proud to be part of the Drive family now!” – says Brockschmidt

Brockschmidt kept in touch with Chavez and as time went on he started to share the unreleased songs with him. Brockschmidt and his partner in crime Dave Tedder were eager to start a conversation about releasing an album but Chavez, still mourning the loss of his bandmate and brother, wasn’t ready. A few years went by and Chavez woke up one morning and recalled a dream about Taylor he had the night before. He called bandmates Guerrero and San Miguel and told them it was time to release the songs as a tribute to the life and legacy of David Earl Taylor.

During the production of the IDEFI album, Rick Chavez unexpectedly passed-away from an internal bleed that was undetected until it was too late.  Joining his singer and friend on the other side, the album is now a tribute to them both.

IDEFI is 15 unreleased songs that include both Taylor and Chavez taking the lead on vocals. The band’s signature style is intact with a sound that brims with pride, an unrelenting fighting spirit, and fierce determination.  Although these songs were recorded over 20 years ago, the thought-provoking lyrics still resonate today with a musical backdrop that roars with power and precision. Drive’s IDEFI offers a lethal dose of melodic power.

Drive originally came together when its members were barely out of high school.  In the late ’80s, the band moved to Los Angeles, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the current rock scene. Winning a radio contest with their song “I Need The Nights,” Drive landed on KNAC radio’s Best Of The West compilation that was released on Rampage Records. Soon after that release, Rampage signed the band, and in July of 1988, released their debut, Characters In Time. The album received tremendous reviews from the industry’s top rock press, including the coveted 5 “K” rating from Kerrang! Magazine. Characters In Time was followed by their 1992 album, the sonically advanced Diablero on Zoo Records. “Not only do the lyrics convey all the mystery and poignant emotion that the title implies, but the music is stellar. These songs ooze with divine vocal melodies, powerful-yet-melodic twin-guitar riffs, consistently catchy hooks, and an impeccable use of dynamic contrasts.” said True Metal Lives.

What separated Drive from most of the bands of the Sunset Strip was their intelligent lyrics, intricate musicianship and suburb vocals. What endeared them to the rock critics and fans alike was that they were more Iron Maiden than Poison, more Judas Priest than Winger, but with a strong and original voice of their own.  Unfortunately, a shake-up at the label left Diablero without much of a push.

Chavez continued to write and record but the songs were never released, until now.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

Check Also

Lucky Harmon Releases New Music Video For “Party Life”

Chances are, you’ve seen Lucky Harmon around somewhere. Perhaps you recognize him from the movies …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.