Where is he now? Jay Guins (Santeria 1998-2003)

Here’s a good game. It’s called: Where Are They Now? As in, what the fuck happened to that dude? In this case, the subject in question would be my good buddy Jay Guins. He played bass in my band Santeria (1998-2003) before it imploded in 2004 amidst car crashes, voodoo curses, financial ruin, and 10-years as a band burnout.

Santeria, 2002

Jay Guins, 2001

Where is Jay now?
A true survivor and hambone, he is now married and living in Los Angeles, working as an extra in music videos for extra cash. Jay was always a little flashy. Some people, who did not know him well, found it annoying, but I always thought him interesting and soulful in a glamdude, Bolan / Bowie kind of way, just doing his thing. A lot of people in the metal & hard rock underground scenes are closed-minded, uptight, and self-consciously preoccupied with keeping some up some cloaked anti-macho / machismo front. Not Jay. He just kind of rattled around in the middle, which was rad.

Here’s Jay's headshot, a necessity in Hollywood, USA. 

Jay Guins, 2011

Check out Jay playing “fake saxophone” in this video for British synth-popper boy Patrick Wolf. Jay's  playing mean fake saxophone while rocking some 80s Corey Hart, sunglasses at night duds.  

Yeah, that’s my bro! Playing fake sax! Nice. If nothing else, the video gives one strange insight into the plastic workings of Hollywood and that of the music industry. Like, "Hey dude, come to Hollywood, we’ll make you rich, famous, pay some people to be your friends in your video. Everyone can frolic around like kids, pretend you’re old buddies. We’ll even pay a guy that doesn’t know how to play saxophone, to pretend to play sax in your video so it looks like you’re tight with your band and you’re a good dude…who’s got real friends.”

Jay Blue Steel-style, 2011

Although a guitarist by trade, I convinced Jay to join Santeria on bass for three reasons.
1) I got along with him as a human being: intelligent, good conversation, he wasn't an asshole.
2) Good sense of humor. And he wasn't a whiner - very important.
3) We really needed a bass player.

So yeah, to make ends meet nowadays, he works as an extra in these music videos. You have to look quick to see Jay in this nonsensical Lady Gaga “Judas” video, but he's in there, brooding and mooding with the other chic-biker extras. “I'm the only other person in the bar scene wearing a bandanna besides Gaga,” says Jay. “In the other scene, I’m lurking behind Norman, the male biker lead, with a leather jacket and green hood.”

Here’s the stills…in case you don't see him in it.

Check Jay mugging, bandana dude in the back.

Jay rocking some “stage craft" way in the back

Here’s the video:

If you’re fan of Santeria’s House of the Dying Sun (2002), you probably remember Jay and that era of the band, which was pretty rocking. Lot of craziness, volume, and rock & roll – it was a wild, high-energy time. Most of the band lived in an old flat-roofed house. We were broke all the time, wrecking cars, gigging, drinking, the usual.

Throughout this era, we were barely scraping by. We put out our own records and did all the other shit by ourselves. No managers. No booking agents. No label. No distribution. No NOTHING. There wasn't even iTunes yet. It was lean and sometimes mean times, and not very lucrative...even after 10 years. None of us had rich parents, so this was all done without a net. There were no trust funds, fall-back plans, Plan B's, or jobs waiting for us at the family business when we were done playing rock & roll games. But it was a blast. But it was not for everyone. The average dude with dreams of a “career” in the music industry would’ve been out of there in six months. Period. It wasn't for lightweights.

The Hillbilly Zatan Boys, 1999

Throughout it all, Jay revealed himself as a true road warrior and survivor. He rarely complained when shit got tough. In fact, like me, he kind of enjoyed the challenges of living lean on the fly – doing without luxuries and just living like a caveman in a van with beer in his hand. It was a survivalist mentality. Sure on occasion, we'd all bitch and moan, but overall Jay's true talent as a member of the band lay in the fact that he was a good team player and a great performer. He was not one of these mousy dudes that stood still, while contemplatively plunking the bass. On tour, he once distinguished himself by pissing in an empty Lay's potato chip bag and tossing it out of the window (when no Gatorade bottles could be found), while rolling down the road in the van when I refused to stop the van for a piss stop. It was an impressive maneuver, requiring remarkable dexterity and control. I always admired the ingenuity of that move, pulled off with a style and grace uncommon among cranky, tired dudes on tour.

Around 2004, the whole band imploded. We were a mess. Burnt out. I was living in a rat motel, unemployed and coasting to a halt. Krishna (drums) was in a car accident that broke both his legs and one arm. Primo (guitar) was domesticated and living at his fiance’s house, secluded and cloistered. Rob Rushing (percussion) was off somewhere. I don’t even know where he was. Working or something. And Jay was living at his grandparent's home in Scott, LA until he happened to meet a genius theremin player, named Pamela Kurstin. He soon moved to New York to live with her. They eventually split. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife Celeste. And that was it. Everybody went their separate ways.

Until around 2006, Santeria reformed with Chad Willis on bass. And we picked up where we left off. Little older, little wiser.

In addition, Jay also got a gig doing these guitar instructional videos for a company called Mahalo. They have a channel on YouTube. Check him out.

Life is a trip like that.
If interested in touching bases with Jay,
Hit him up Here on his Facebook. 

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