Artist Highlight of the Week
Guitarist for Within Ophir
Artist Highlight of the Week
"My name is Nathan Quiroz, and I am the guitarist of Within Ophir. I go to the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, majoring in Kinesiology, and made a name for myself in the music department at UTPB as well. I will be graduating university on December 17th, and pursue a career in coaching sports. My musical upbringing started when I was around 8 or 9 listening to all kinds of music. Music was always a big part of my life, as my household was full of music. I would wake up to my mom blasting 80’s music in the kitchen or in her room while she would get ready for work and I would get ready for school. I was very much into classical music when I was young, and the first instrument that I ever tried to play was the piano that my grandmother had. It was an old, out of tune piano that was gathering dust in a corner, but I loved it. I taught myself the note names, and figured out simple chords. After that, I joined band in school, and played the trumpet. Band really taught me so much when it came to learning concepts of music. I was the third best trumpet player in the state of Texas, and the trumpet became a big part of my musical career. With this knowledge, I started playing guitar about 15 years ago at 9 years old, and I took one semester of guitar lessons at Odessa College at the same age. At the same time, I figured out that my hands were too little, and it was very complicated, so I gave up for an entire year. It was until my parents bought me my first electric guitar, and I decided to teach myself to play the guitar to the best of my ability. I haven’t stopped playing the guitar since then, and with time I taught myself music production and music theory. Since then, my favorite bands that has inspired me are August Burns Red, Born of Osiris, Currents, Shadow of Intent, ERRA, Fit for a King, and Periphery."
What has been the highlight of your career as a guitarist so far?
"One of the biggest highlights of my career as a guitarist so far is to be a part of a talented band that Within Ophir is. Also, it is really nice to be noticed by bigger bands, and companies on social media, which gives me more motivation to keep getting better as a guitarist and as a creator."
What impact do you hope to have on the music scene?
"As a guitarist, I hope to impact the music scene by giving other younger or beginner guitarists hope and motivation to keep playing and learning the instrument, as I was in their shoes once before. As a musician, I hope to impact the music scene with the band’s technical and complicated riffs, to show that we are adding more musicality with our music, rather than just relying on heavy breakdowns to make the song. With that, as a band we are trying to prove that we can be musical and catchy, including harmonies and clean singing, and still remain heavy at the same time."
What made you want to become a musician?
"This is a pretty hard question to simply answer, as music has always been a part of my life. Whether it was from watching the marching band at football games when I was younger, or watching and listening to James Hetfield, and Kirk Hammett from Metallica shred on guitar, it was always so motivating to hear a variety of music in different formats. Putting it simply, I always wanted to become a musician because music was always a part of me from the beginning."
What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?
"Music has always been a passion for me, as I love everything about music. Music itself is like a science and is always been interesting to learn and study. It is so elaborate, and complex, that it takes years to grasp even one concept of music theory. With chord structures, timing, polyrhythms, and the idea of using different key signatures within one piece is awesome to piece together. Even though it is complex, what makes me passionate about playing music is gathering talented musicians, and creating music together. It's like solving a puzzle, with all the pieces, it comes together and without the pieces, the song wouldn’t sound the same."
Description of Within Ophir:
Within Ophir has been a project that I started around 2019 along with Richard Higginbotham (Vocalist). At first we were a five piece band all from Monahans, except for Edwin Aguilar (Drummer) who is from Odessa. With the original members we released a single called “Ataraxia,” in 2020 and an EP called “Principium” in 2021. After “Principium” dropped, our other guitarist and bassist had dropped out of the band due to personal reasons, and we were lucky enough to pick up Christopher Villarreal (Guitarist) and started writing as a four piece band. As Chris joined the band, our writing process changed for the better and we started writing songs with the different styles of each member of the band. As a band, we are proud of our music and proud of the fact that we do not have a specific sound or style. As a band we want our style to be our sound, and treat it as if it is our brand. With the arrival of Christopher, we have released a single called “The Coordinate” this year, and have a lot more music on the way. We are planning on releasing another single with a big feature on the track, and another EP soon, so keep an eye out for us!
Facebook: Within Ophir Instagram: @withinophir