Vreny was born and raised in Belgium in the 70s and 80s. He grew up listening to the Beatles, The Bee Gees, soul music, disco and whatever else he heard on the radio that played constantly in his parents’ house. He was 17 when a high school classmate started playing guitar and got Vreny interested in playing himself. Around the same time, he discovered Jimi Hendrix and was awestruck.
Vreny’s parents were disappointed to learn that their son was giving up plans to study medicine, but Vreny finally convinced them to buy him his first guitar. He practiced relentlessly, inspired by Jimi and his flamboyant expressiveness on the instrument. Whatever time Vreny had was spent practicing non-stop, and his intense focus helped him master many techniques quickly. By the time he was 20, Vreny was playing the songs of his idols, The Beatles, Queen, Jimi, Led Zeppelin and the great singer-songwriters of the 1960s.
Vreny finished High School in 1989, and, after a year in the military in Germany, he returned to his hometown of Ypres to attend the Academy for Music and Word (SAMW), where he studied classical guitar and composition. He played in a couple of rock cover bands and started his own progressive rock band, Nomen Nescio, with his friend and collaborator, Dieter Calliau. Nomen Nescio’s music was highly complex and technically demanding, a great way for Vreny to apply all the theory and techniques he learned in music school. In the meantime, Vreny’s musical interests were growing to include classical music, metal and blues. Vreny finished SAMW’s 10-year intense classical guitar program in about 7 years, graduated with honors, and received the special award Jan Decadt for outstanding achievement as a classical guitarist.
In 1998, Vreny left Belgium to go to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where he refined his guitar playing and compositional skills. Under the guidance of Jon Damian, Bruce Bartlett, Jon Finn, Joe Stump, and Wayne Krantz, Vreny developed a new and more in-depth approach to the guitar that opened the door to new and unlimited possibilities.
His experience at Berklee expanded Vreny’s taste, vision and understanding of jazz and fusion. He fell hopelessly in love with musical styles that had never inspired him before. In addition, his study of audio engineering broadened his skills and allowed him to develop into a complete musician. He received Scholarships and Awards throughout his time at Berklee, and in 2002, Vreny graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music with Bachelors Degrees in (Jazz) Performance as well as Music Production & Engineering.
His aim to write complex progressive rock compositions full of technical improvisation was replaced with a desire to write short, catchy tunes that told a story. Vreny finds it ironic that studying at one of the best music-schools in the world, known for delivering top instrumentalists, changed his musical approach, taste, style and focus towards an emphasis on form, structure and musical simplicity rather than complexity and technique.
Vreny moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2002, the start of his professional music career in the US. After only a few weeks in LA he was playing in two bands and performing weekly in clubs over LA and So Cal. He worked at a radio promotion company, started his guitar-teaching business, and produced demos from his home-based recording studio. He played in numerous bands as a hired gun with the niece of Bobby Womack (Ezina Moore) and the daughter of the horn player in the Commodores (Leah King). He built a roster of famous clients who hired Vreny as a guitar coach, including the son of Nicholas Cage.
Vreny’s playing can be heard on albums released since his move to LA, including famous R’nB vocalist Amel Larrieux’ latest release, “Morning”. He has also been featured on television playing guitar for a documentary that aired on the Discovery Channel and performing with a band live on CBS television. His songs continue to get airplay on radio stations in Europe, and Vreny’s music earns outstanding reviews around the world.
Today, Vreny is busier than ever. Under the umbrella of his company ZOT Zin Music, Vreny produces demos for various artists. He continues to provide music education and training while he is also in the middle of writing his guitar book. The book is planned to be released late 2010 and will be the ULTIMATE guitar method, based on Vreny’s many years of teaching.
He is also still busy playing around town with various artists and producing albums. Vreny’s playing has been compared to Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Steve Lukather, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Carlos Santana, Joe Satriani, and Eric Johnson. He has often heard those names after one of his shows, and Vreny is happy to be in such great company.
When he is not teaching, producing, or working on his guitar book, Vreny can be found onstage. Go catch him perform when you can, but be prepared to catch your breath!