What branch of the military are you in, or have serviced? (choose non-military if this doesn't apply to you)
For some institutions a name can be a marketing tool; an instrument to brand and image something to claim your own. For few of them however, can a name be more than that; a mission statement, a lifestyle. Diehardz Music is one of those, a company that was boldly born out of necessity and hunger, a company named after its most powerful trait, survival.
Diehardz Music (formerly D4D Music) started out as a sister company to “Diehardz,” a music, movie and sports collectibles shop. The story of how the name Diehardz was born however, came much earlier than that. Founder and owner Pete Salazar began 15 years ago trying to be a musician himself. As many musicians can attest to, his pursuit for the art led him to spend long hours away from his newly formed family. Because of this he decided to put the music on the back burner and pursue the retail side of business instead. None of this changed the love he felt for music however. Finally, after nine years of failures, heartache, wasting money on “futile” dreams and ultimately filing bankruptcy, he opened up a collectibles shop that would become his outlet for artistic expression; his means of connecting with the music world.
Immediately after opening, Pete began networking with local artists, always offering them a place to showcase and sell their music. When he met local musicians Rob Escamilla (from metal band Nativeburn) and Jay Martinez (from L.I.O.N Records, and later alternative band Down Word), they began discussing the void that they all felt was hindering the Fresno music scene. Soon they realized that the local music scene had “something” missing. Instead of merely complaining about it, they felt compelled to do something, to create something that would fill this need that had not been met. So they put their collective knowledge together and began discussing a venture that would change the Fresno music scene forever. It was with this basic idea that “Diehardz for Diehardz Music” was born.
The three of them began to work feverishly and finally, in in January 25th of 2008, they booked their first show. Unfortunately, it was during these beginning stages that they were dealt with horrible news. The shop that brought them together had been robbed. It quickly became apparent to Pete that the shop had been dealt too big of a financial hit and could no longer sustain itself, thus forcing him to close it for good. As tragic as this event was however, it was in circumstances like this that allowed Diehardz Music to earn its namesake; no matter what, nothing would ever get in the way.
Pete, Rob and J quickly picked up where they left off and soon made a name for themselves as a company that simply did things “differently.” Diehardz Music broke the notion that bands were at the mercy of the promoter. For the first time it seemed, the promoter put bands first before their own well being - whether monetary or image wise. These guys pushed shows just as hard as if their own band was booked on the show scheduled. Furthermore, the new practice of pre selling tickets before ever show (regardless of how big or small) allowed bands to make a show as great as they were willing to work for it. Although many criticized this concept, the bottom line remained, shows would be as good as the work the promoter and bands put into making it.
After 2 1/2 years, Rob and Jay decided to part ways with Diehardz Music. This business – with its constant demands that take endless amount of time away from family and life – forced Rob and J to take a step back so that they could focus on their priorities. This was a stern reminder to Pete that the music business is a brutal one, and that sometimes we must face this fight alone. He then carried on, as he was not about to let the last 15 years he had spent chasing dreams end this way. Thankfully, however, the split was amicable and to this day Rob and Jay remain an important part in the Diehardz’ story.
As fate would have it, Pete would soon meet Stephanie Beltran. At first reluctant to work with a new partner, he was soon swayed in her favor as he saw the level of commitment and passion that Stephanie put into the vision of Diehardz. Soon after Diehardz grew even bigger with the addition of Isabel Orduno as photographer and a complete crew to cover every area in the business. It was in this way that Diehardz music had its rebirth, one that had seen it reach its strongest iteration.
Now Diehardz music is poised to reach its 4-year anniversary. They have booked over 200 shows, working with over 242 Bands/Artists, and still continue to work as hard as the 1st show they booked. Often misunderstood but always-recognized, Diehardz music has lived through robberies, meltdowns, growing pains, and rotating members to establish itself as one of Fresno’s most recognized live entertainment institutions. When confronted as to why anyone would work so hard in something that leaves him little to no financial gain, Pete “The Diehard” - as he has come to be known - simply responds, “Before you can even think financial gain or profit, you must build a system, team, foundation, network, trust, reputation, an idea that people believe in. Then, you can start your first real steps…”
My definition of "Freedom" is:
The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Pantera, Machine Head, Mushroom Head, P.O.D., Killswitch Engage, Bob Marley, Metallica, Johnny Cash, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble
My favorite movies:
The Crow, Fisher King, What dreams may come, Good Will Hunting, Dare Devil, Transformers, Incredible Hulk, The Notebook, Deadwood, Braveheart, Gladiator, Scarface, Casino, Goodfellas,Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, Tm Burton's Batman and Equilibrium