About The Artist
Violin Shredder is the first successful band to implement violin into heavy metal music. This one-man band started in Aurora, Colorado. He placed several talent shows and holds high recognition of his musicality, being ranked the Top 10 Metal Artists in Colorado. He plays 20+ instruments, composes his own music, puts them through production, and makes things happen! The Violin Shredder is known for his insane performances, obliterating his bows and playing the violin like no other. With 10,000+ hours in the studio, 500+ compositions, 100+ performances/concerts, and several professional collaborations, the Violin Shredder truly stands out from other heavy metal bands.
Behind the Mask | Job Saunders
Saunders has faced a multitude of challenges in his life. His near-death experience during birth led to a variety of mental challenges such as having asthma, ADHD, and autism. He struggled a lot with his social life growing up, trying to make friends when everyone disassociated from him since a lot of what he did was socially awkward. It took lots of trial and error to figure out how to fit in. His ability to understand social life is a daily challenge for him to overcome. Saunders started early to find his passion while he was young. He discovered a lot of hobbies that pulled toward his interest and uses those skills to his advantage, such as art, engineering, aerodynamics, and several others, but nothing stuck out to him as music did. He picked his first instrument (the violin) back in 4th grade and began taking lessons. He grew up listening to a lot of rock music and would challenge himself to play the violin with the songs he listened to. The more he did it, the better he got at picking up other songs to play the violin by ear. This helped Saunders develop perfect-pitch hearing.
He wanted to continue his passion for music and learn as much as he could. He took guitar and piano lessons while he was in middle school and began teaching himself some other instruments while he was in worship bands, such as bass, drums, and then his ability to learn instruments took off from there. He also made his first composition in 6th grade named "Let Us Be Free" with the assistance of his middle school teacher, Ellen Ravnan. The positive feedback from both the orchestra and the audience inspired Saunders to continue his work in music. From there, he made several compositions for orchestra and challenged his techniques on the violin to become a better musician. By the end of middle school he made a total of 10 compositions. Once he made it to high school, people admired his talents on the violin. Saunders was commonly known for playing the violin on top of a hill to get himself out of his comfort zone and feel free to play whatever he wants. He felt that this was also a way to feel comfortable playing in a large audience, having been aware a lot of people were watching him perform on that hill.
Entering his high school years, Saunders was highly recognized for his outstanding performances and was placed in several talent shows. He played as a huge role model for his orchestra class and was challenged to take the next mile from high school orchestra teacher Kyle Rupley. Saunders participated in several pit orchestras, was constantly placed in the school district of honor orchestra, got involved with a music leadership program known as Tri-M, and performed violin in several classes. After working on a variety of compositions to improve his skills, he began his first recording composition using Garageband, known as "Into the Storm," thus began his idea for becoming an artist and Project Shredder. He began composing more music for Project Shredder while working on other compositions, whether it was scores or music for his orchestra. Saunders won several rewards for his participation in performing arts and music and finished his high school year with his orchestral composition called "The Phoenix," involving three movements and a violin solo, was selected to play the national anthem for his high school graduation with over 600 students and a total of over 60 compositions.
Saunders got accepted at Buena Vista University and has put his back into work in their sound department, carrying a major in Music Production and Technology with a minor in Digital Media. He has spent endless hours in their recording studio, constantly learning and creating new ideas as he uses it to his best ability. He would stay on campus over the summer to help his advisor of Music Production Dr. David Klee refresh the recording studio while working on Project Shredder. On the other hand, he would help other students on campus bring their projects to life using his music skills, such as making background music for several productions, making arrangements, composing music, and helping the radio station KBVU 97.5 The Edge in their promotional advertising, adding music, inspiring others with his 1st Place Best Air Personality Award with his show "The Job Show," and so on. His high recognition for working with sound has made an impact at Buena Vista University going far and beyond expectations. This has pushed him to make over 75 successful compositions, over 5,000 hours spent in the recording studio, setting up events and concerts involving sound, performing several concerts and solos with his talented skills, and much more. Saunders will be graduating in Spring 2020 with his Bachelor's in the Music Department.
The 8-Year Project That Started it All
Project Shredder is the largest project Job has taken on. It started as a small idea of wanting to create music that nobody has done, which was implementing violin into heavy metal. When he recorded his first composition, he knew exactly what to do next: make his first album and create an image for The Violin Shredder. He spent his first few years listening to a variety of rock and metal genres on repeat, understanding how songs use violin and how it works with other genres, playing violin with certain rock and metal songs, test them live during performances to see the audience's reaction and repeat the cycle. Once he thought he had a better understanding, he felt more comfortable composing violin music with heavy metal. Job held a very high standard for his music and wanted to make sure his album was unique in every way. It started very rough at first, having to scratch several other original compositions he made due to repetition, how some songs sounded similar to others, and other mixes where it didn't hold as much potential. Project Shredder added up to over 20 originals, with several that didn't make it to the final production.
Once Job had access to the recording studio at Buena Vista University, he immediately got to work. He put endless hours working in the studio to find the right sound he wanted for his recordings, how to improve the sound on each set of instruments, his mixing and mastering skills, and other factors that played a huge role in his production. Saunders understood the importance of creating an image for the Violin Shredder and the factors that are taken into consideration when becoming an artist, such as art design, sound signature, stage presence, and others. He constantly was re-recording his music to find a better and more personalized sound for his instruments and found better technological equipment to make his recording sessions easier. This even required to go back to the drawing board. Saunders went out of his way to redesign some of the instruments he owns.
Job wanted to get a heavier sound of a violin, and since a violin is known to be a "squeally" instrument in the string family, he was playing around the idea of making the violin have more growl to its sound. His first step was to get strings an octave lower than a regular violin and create a special preset to make his violin scream metal. For his preset, he used software applications to simulate amplifiers and pedals to his violin, mainly distortion, and a modulator to drop it down an extra octave to make it sound more full and fat. After lots of trial and error, he finally got the sound he was satisfied with to use in Project Shredder. He then used a cheap 7-string electric guitar, redesigned its style, changed the tuning pegs to auto-locking pegs, and switched out the humbuckers to get a better metal-sounding 7-string guitar for higher quality and professional recording. After re-recording his new 7-string guitar, the mixes were not only a lot easier to work with, but this gave the guitar more punch and variety to work with.
Project Shredder is not just one mass production, it is an experiment to test the limits of what the Violin Shredder can do to make his music stand out from others, understand how to improve the sound and performances based on the feedback that is received, to see how this can run as a better business, and much more. The birth of the Violin Shredder all lies under this 8-year project. Only the fans can determine whether this Project was worth the 8-years, which many agree. This is a reference to understand Saunders' passion and determination in the audio industry. The bigger importance is even though this took 8 years to bring this project to life, this is just the beginning.
Of course, there are plenty of other things that went behind this large project, but those will be explained in the near future...