David Van Pelt



Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Europe, Hans Zimmer, John Carpenter, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Dream Theatre, Metallica and Rainbow

My Musical Journey

I first heard ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe when I was in grade three and the synth introduction with its soft pads and biting analog brass lead sent shivers down my spine. That same week, my mother brought home a tape of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and it just blew me away. I started to pick out the riff line to the Final Countdown and several pieces from The Phantom of the Opera on my parents piano. It may sound corny, but as I spent hours upon hours practising, I began to be able to hear the chords in my head and see the notes to the different chords on the piano. It all just made sense. My grandmother paid for professional lessons when I was 11, but they did not work as I would pretend to read the music and simply play the pieces by ear after my teacher had showed them to me. My teacher knew it was hopeless teaching me to read music so instead we began working on the theory of writing songs. In the next 10 years that followed, I played in a variety of bands in including original heavy rock bands and even 80s cover bands. I stumbled across the keyboard wizardry of Rick Wakeman in 2000 and that really made me want to take my playing to the next level. His blistering minimoog solos and creative use of both analog and digital hardware really inspired me to make music a priority in my life. When I heard Nightwish for the first time in 2001, I knew the exact direction I wanted to go and began writing more heavy metal based songs with gigantic, multi-layered synth introductions and solos. However, I was unable to find a band that could pull off the lightning fast guitar riffs I wanted or the explosive double kick accentuations I was hoping for. When I placed an ad in ‘Melband’ looking to for a band to join and heard from Luke, I had a feeling I had stumbled across something special. As fate would have it, DA was after a keyboard player who could create a symphonic atmosphere in their music and I was after a band that was melodic, heavy and willing to do anything to take music to the next level. I guess it was just meant to be.

What DA Means To Me

DA means the world to me. It really does. I am a very animated and passionate person and to play along side five brilliant musicians who all share the same goal and musical interests as me is just amazing. It is too easy to get caught up with the monotony of work and making money that you can forget what you are truly passionate about, what you dream of doing. DA allows me to escape from the ‘normality’ of life and realise what life is meant to be about: taking risks, pushing the boundaries, realising your dreams and having a bloody great time working to achieve them.




Korg Kronos X 61 & Korg RK 100s.